Challenger: The Final Flight episode 4 recap – “Nothing Ends Here” Answers.

3.5

Summary

Challenger: The Final Flight episode 4 is a solid conclusion to the Netflix series, discussing accountability post a tragedy.

This recap of Netflix’s Challenger: The Final Flight episode 4, “Nothing Ends Here” contains specific information on the chapter.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive.


The opening

Episode 4 starts with the spectators sobbing and a lot of pain flowing in the air — there was no answer, there were no words to understand what happened. It’s a somber, upsetting opening. What was compelling about the sad event is that no-one knew what an exploded shuttle looked like so the assumption was not immediate.

The data

The engineers feared this and it happened. Episode 4 shows the NASA Press Room which had loads of journalists immediately. Everyone wanted to know what happened in the accident. Interviews show that NASA must have known what happened as they had all the data. The control room spent 5 hours going through the information to find out. Data were treated as high-level and secret and no-one was allowed to talk to the press.

A hard pill to swallow

Episode 4 shows how grief struggled to take hold of some families — it didn’t compute with some members that their loved one wasn’t coming back. Many schools had broadcast the launch, so it traumatized the kids — it was a national tragedy.

Deflection

The NASA board reported that there was an unusual plume coming from the booster. It was clearly a burn coming through on the booster. It was a strange thing calling it a “plume” when quite clearly you can see a flame coming through at the side of the booster. NASA were been purposefully extraordinary with their answers — episode 4 hints at a deflection.

The commission

A commission was formed to investigate what happened. In the beginning, NASA officials were given a lot of leeway. One person who worked for NASA leaked information to the press that there were past failures with the rocket boosters that would result in “Catastrophic failures”. In one of the commission meetings, Sally Ride raised how there were rumors that the contractor recommended not launching. The contractor raised their hand in the commissioning they stated that they recommended not to launch.

It wasn’t an accident, they were rolling a dice

The commission did a public hearing — Richard Feynman, a famous American physicist, brought scientific evidence showing an O-ring after being submerged in ice-cold water; this dismantled NASA’s argument. It was impossible to not make NASA look bad — it was obvious they were trying to stay on schedule. It wasn’t an accident and it was starting to look like manslaughter.

The shuttle cabin was found

Episode 4 then shows rescue teams finding the cabin in the ocean with all the crew members inside. This was evidently a difficult time for the families.

Jobs at NASA were lost. The space program had failed. An air of disappointment spread throughout the country. The commission came to the conclusion that the sealing was faulty but also NASA’s decisions were equally faulty.

The ending

With tragedy came reflection with NASA spending two years creating a redesign. It was a formidable redesign. The Shuttle Discovery was created. It was important to see something successful. Discovery was a resounding success. After the redesign, no solid rocket booster failed again.

Challenger: The Final Flight episode 4 is a solid conclusion to the Netflix series, discussing accountability post a tragedy.


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Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

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