What caused the Challenger disaster?

The motivation for this blog is to examine the reasons behind the explosion of the USA Space Shuttle Challenger on 28 January, 1986. The night before the launch a decision had to be made regarding launch safety and engineers recommended that the launch be postponed in the event the temperature at launch was below freezing as this adversely impacted the integrity of O-rings, a key component holding in field joints. The engineers advice was ignored and disaster ensued. Let's dive in!

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