A couple of Space Shuttle related links…
 The first is a talk about the two big Shuttle disasters — Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. In both cases, both the vehicle and crew were tragically lost.
The speaker Stephen Carver talks about the immediate technical causes, as well as the broader organizational issues like poor communication, a culture of mistrust at NASA, and the tendency of management to ignore or deliberately shut out bad news. Although there is quite a bit of hyperbole here, the talk is extremely engaging and I highly recommend it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyrRoKN_kvg
Some of the issues he talks about go back to the very dawn of NASA and the dominating style of the early leaders. This goes to show how much of the cultural DNA of an organization is defined by early leaders; this is especially evident (at least to me) in software companies where you often see that the star programmers that everyone looks up to also set the unwritten standards for code quality, and even things like collaboration and mutual respect — I have certainly noticed this in Google’s engineering environment.
 While talking about the Columbia disaster, the speaker hints at a possible rescue mission. If you remember the event, the orbiter suffered some damage during the launch, but it made it into orbit and the crew carried out their mission; it was only on re-entry two weeks later that the Shuttle broke apart. The committee investigating the accident considered into whether a rescue mission was possible, and they said that it was indeed possible but that it was “high risk”. This arstechnica article goes into some detail of what such a rescue mission would have entailed, and it sounds ridiculously audacious!http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/the-audacious-rescue-plan-that-might-have-saved-space-shuttle-columbia/ #SpaceShuttle #Shuttle #Challenger #Columbia