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Roger Boisjoly-The Challenger Disaster

Added05/19/2006

Updated08/29/2016

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Year 1987
Language English

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Morton Thiokol Organizational Chart

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An organizational chart of Morton Thiokol D.M. Ketner Arnie Thompson Roger Boisjoly J.R. Kapp L.H. Sayer B.C. Brinton Index

Bob Eberling
Bob Eberling, one of the engineers who agreed with Boisjoly and Thompson and supported their efforts to address the O-ring problem. Eberling, however, did not confront management the night of the telecon, has said, in January of 1996 on Sixty Minutes, that he feels he should have done more.
Jerry Mason
General Manager of Morton Thiokol whom Roger Boisjoly describes as pressing for the launch at the January 27, 1986 teleconference with NASA officials.
Joe Kilminster
Vice-President of Space Booster Program at Morton Thiokol, who first recommended against launch in light of the engineering concerns raised in the teleconference with NASA on January 27, 1986.
Bob Lund
Bob Lund, who was the Vice-President of Engineering, is the person to whom Roger Boisjoly sent his famous memo the summer before the fatal flight of the Challenger, the memo in which he stated his concern that failure to address the problem would mean an explosion of a shuttle flight. Lund had often listened to Boisjoly in the past and it was to Lund that Boisjoly and his colleagues took their case for postponing the flight in view of the record cold predicted. They convinced him of the danger and secured his decision to recommend against flying. However, in the teleconference, under pressure from NASA and from Morton Thiokol management, he reversed himself and voted to fly.
Al MacDonald
Al MacDonald was a manager who was concerned about the joints and seals. Roger Boisjoly had sent him a copy of his 7/31/85 memo to Vice-President of Engineering, Bob Lund. MacDonald was at NASA's Kennedy Center for the telecon with Mulloy and Reinarz. At the launch MacDonald found out that Reinarz had not reported the MTI engineer's concerns to other NASA officials. MacDonald alerted the Presidential Commission to the existence of the telecon.
Boyd Brinton
Manager of Space Shuttle at Marshall Space Flight Center, who remained quiet during teleconference. He was one of the people to whom Roger Boisjoly sent a copy of his 7/31/85 memo to Vice-President of Engineering, Bob Lund.
L.H. Sayer
L.H. Sayer, Director of Engineering Design, was present but silent during the teleconference the night before the Challenger flight. He was one of the people to whom Roger Boisjoly sent a copy of his 7/31/85 memo to Vice-President of Engineering, Bob Lund.
Jack Kapp
Jack Kapp, Manager of Applied Mechanics, was Roger Boisjoly's immediate supervisor. Notice that when Roger Boisjoly wrote his memo directly to the Vice-President of Engineering, he showed the memo to Kapp so as not to undercup Kapp in going over his head. Kapp chose to countersign that memo. However, Kapp was silent in the telecon the night before the flight.
Roger Boisjoly
Morton Thiokol Engineer who in 1988 received the AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility for his efforts to avert the Challenger disaster. Roger Boisjoly had been elected Mayor of his town, Willard, Utah, in 1982.
D.M. Ketner
D.M. Ketner, Supervisor, Gas Dynamics was the person who headed the seal task force that was formed after Roger Boisjoly's memo to the Vice-President of Engineering on 7/31/85. The team had five full-time members, including Boisjoly.
Arnie Thompson
Engineer who worked with Roger Boisjoly and who was active in rasing concerns about the joints and the seals. He wrote his own memo stating his concerns to management on 8/22/85 and was active in raising the issue of the effect of cold temperatures on the resiliency of the O-ring seals at the teleconference with NASA the night before the flight. He also gave testimony to the Presidential Commission that investigated the disaster.
Cite this page: "Morton Thiokol Organizational Chart" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 8/29/2006 OEC Accessed: Sunday, November 19, 2017 <www.onlineethics.org/Topics/ProfPractice/Exemplars/BehavingWell/RB-intro/33759/Chart.aspx>