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Justification Memo on the Columbia
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IEE 1020: Justification Memo on the Columbla Due on February 9th
Step 1: Read the Sample on back; read these instructions and do some research
Your memo should follow the sample’s format in general, but your version will be longer.
Also, retrieve some more information on the cause of the Columbia {STS-107} disaster. To do this i
you may use NASA’s web site, the final report on the disaster accessed at
When visiting this page, click on /downloag chapter six in the Table of Contents. Section 6.3 might be
espeCIally 1n51ghtful. PM In P“ a a“. 0&9‘“
The purpose of the memo and background of the problem will be your lSt paragraph. I don’t want you to merely
reiterate what my PowerPoint notes have, so paraphrase from the CAIB report, maybe in a more thorough way
than I could cover in class.
Step 2: Beginning to write
Meet with some others in class on Thursday, and go through the Q and A slide together.
The answers to these questions will create the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of your memo-the
recommendation and support for the recommendation, which is essentially an action plan.
If you are going to try to save them, your 3rd paragraph will describe how to save them. Use a transition
sentence and a list of the major tasks required for a rescue mission. Feel free to be creative with this, but consider
the feasibility of the tasks you suggest. Also, mention when and how to notify the astronauts, their families, and the
public. In your memo, this list will be the way that you will expand on the recommendation.
If you would like suggestions for repairing the damage, search online for info on the “Discovery {STS-114} 2005
Mission” and look at information about in-flight repairs. Also, search for the “STS-3OO contingency plan.”
If you choose not to save them, the 3rd paragraph of the memo must explain why not. Also, this paragraph must
elaborate on how you will notify the astronauts, their families, and the public about the situation. So this choice
will still require a list/ action plan for saving face. (You have to face the ethical dilemma.)
Either decision that you make will lead you into a discussion about costs or benefits. Make a list of reasons why the
benefits outweigh the philosophical costs or vice versa. This will be paragraph 4 of your memo.
Step 3: Conclude, proofread , polish, and complete the memo by February 9th.
Paragraph 1 Introduces purpose and discusses the problem.
Paragraph 2 Recommends your overall recommendation.
Paragraph 3 If you’re saving the astronauts, this may be a transition sentence that introduces a list. The list will
expand upon your recommendation, providing clear steps to achieve your desired outcome.
If you will not be saving the astronauts, paragraph three must mention why not, and it must also elaborate
on how you intend you resolve the ethical dilemma of notifying the astronauts, their families, and the
American public.
Paragraph 4 Discusses the philosophical costs or benefits of a rescue mission in list form.
Paragraph 5 Provides a conclusion that encourages acceptance of your recommendation.

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