Essay about The Consequence of Communication Failure

Words: 1101
Pages: 5

uereTimothy Sherrell
Professor Bunting
ENC 1102 Sec. 176
14 July 2012

The Consequence of Communication Failure
A Review of Two Historical Events

The Consequence of Communication Failure
In the history and evolution of professional communication practices, there are several instances that have greatly impacted our understanding of the necessity for clear and effective technical communication. Few, however, have had such eye-opening impact that they continue to be discussed decades after their occurrence. Two such incidents to have reached this height are concerning the Three Mile Island nuclear plant and the Challenger shuttle launch.
(Martha Cooper. Three Mile Island. 1979. The Washington Post. Web. 13
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Space Shuttle Challenger Wreckage Entombment; About. com; Web. 13 July 2012) (Associated Press. Space Shuttle Challenger Wreckage Entombment; About. com; Web. 13 July 2012)
Roger Boisjoly wrote a memo addressing his concern with the possibility of O-rings that were vital in the safe launch of the Challenger space shuttle. Boisjoly was an engineer for Morton Thiokol, the manufacturer of those very O-rings. His memo was well written, with a clear layout and was directed to the proper recipient for effective action in such circumstances. The subject matter is clearly stated in the heading. After proper notation of the parties involved, Boisjoly writes with clarity of intent and the necessary tone to relay the seriousness of such a scenario.
Textbook Effective
In this memo, he does well to stress the fact that he believed this O-ring corrosion may lead to a “catastrophe of the highest order - loss of human life.” How else could one covey such urgency? Boisjoly admits an “honest and very real fear” that if immediate action was not taken to solve the problem with these O-rings, this entire shuttle mission stands in “jeopardy of losing a flight along with all the launch pad facilities.” The choice of words seems very intentional and appropriately weighty given the possible outcome. (Boisjoly)
So what was done with this information? Apparently, it was merely dismissed as being non-crucial to flight success. The morning of the shuttle launch was particularly cold and