A champion of engineering ethics, Roger Boisjoly, pictured here with a mockup of the Space Shuttle’s SRB o-rings, died this January 6th, 2012 , aged 73. 
Boisjoly famously attempted to warn his managers at Morton Thiokol (now ATK) and NASA of the impending Challenger disaster the day before launch. He correctly predicted that low temperatures would change the elasticity of the rubber o-rings, allowing superheated gas to escape. 
Challenger was launched the following day.

A champion of engineering ethics, Roger Boisjoly, pictured here with a mockup of the Space Shuttle’s SRB o-rings, died this January 6th, 2012 , aged 73. 

Boisjoly famously attempted to warn his managers at Morton Thiokol (now ATK) and NASA of the impending Challenger disaster the day before launch. He correctly predicted that low temperatures would change the elasticity of the rubber o-rings, allowing superheated gas to escape. 

Challenger was launched the following day.

More followers. Words can’t describe the elation.

More followers. Words can’t describe the elation.

The Dragon spacecraft will demonstrate both cargo capability and human-rated flight. 

Scorchmarks on the Dragon spacecraft. The vehicle was de-orbited remotely and landed within 800 meters of it’s target, demonstrating to NASA that SpaceX has the capability to send up cargo-only missions. 

Scorchmarks on the Dragon spacecraft. The vehicle was de-orbited remotely and landed within 800 meters of it’s target, demonstrating to NASA that SpaceX has the capability to send up cargo-only missions. 

Dragon being recovered after the successful COTS 1 mission.

The Dragon spacecraft being prepared for COTS 1.

COTS 1 Mission Patch

COTS 1 Mission Patch

SpaceX’s secret payload. A wheel of French “Le Brouère” cheese. 

SpaceX’s secret payload. A wheel of French “Le Brouère” cheese. 

The Falcon 9 carried a small number of nanosatellites to orbit as well. Included were the first U.S. Army nanosatellite, one for Space and Missile Defense Command, and one provided by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. 
Also, a secret payload was used as weight ballast. The payload was revealed a day after launch. 

The Falcon 9 carried a small number of nanosatellites to orbit as well. Included were the first U.S. Army nanosatellite, one for Space and Missile Defense Command, and one provided by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. 

Also, a secret payload was used as weight ballast. The payload was revealed a day after launch. 

COTS 1 launching on December 10, 2010.