Columbia Disaster Underscores the Risky Nature of Risk Analysis

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5609, pp. 1001-1002
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5609.1001

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


This month's breakup of the space shuttle Columbia, the second such catastrophe in 113 flights, suggests that NASA's most recent official risk estimate of 1 failure in 250 is off. Why can't NASA get it right? The answer lies in a field known as probabilistic risk assessment.