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Review: The Challenger docu-drama gives a fine Feynman account

20 Mar 2013, 12:07 UTC
Review: The Challenger docu-drama gives a fine Feynman account
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The BBC docu-drama The Challenger, recently shown on BBC television, dramatises the investigative process after the Space Shuttle Challenger so memorably blew up some 73 seconds into its flight with the doomed astronauts’ shocked families looking on, after its lift off from the Kennedy Space Center on a cold morning on 28 January 1986..
The TV film, which was based on a book part-written by the wife of Nobel Prize winning nuclear physicist Dr Richard Feynmann, describes his attempt to get to the truth about the failed STS-51L mission which killed seven astronauts including America’s first ordinary citizen in space, school teacher Christa McCauliffe. In the drama, Feynman, as excellentlly played by William Hurt supported by Joanne Whalley playing his Yorkshire-born wife, is appointed to serve on the Rodgers commission along with other military and scientific notables including first-man-on-the-moon astronaut Neil Armstrong and Dr Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.
The drama has Feynman doing battle with the machinations of the US military-industrial complex, vehement blame-shifting by NASA employees, and at the same time, fighting his his own deteoriating heath. But justice is served in the end thanks to a surprising “Deep Throat” informer, and the villainous ...

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