The space shuttle Challenger accident in January 1986 was the result of the failure of O-rings used to seal field joints in the solid rocket motor due to the extremely low ambient temperatures at the time of launch. Prior to the launch there were data on the occur-rence of O-ring failure and the corresponding temperature on 24 prior launches or static firings of the motor. In this chapter we will see how to build a statistical model relating the probability of O-ring failure to temperature. This model provides a measure of the risk associated with launching the shuttle at the low temperature occurring when Challenger was launched.
After careful study of this chapter, you should be able to do the ...