15 May 2009

Arnie Aldrich Expresses his Appreciation for Truth, Lies and O-Rings

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May  15, 2009

Allan,

I want to offer my heartiest congratulations on the fine book which you have written on the Challenger accident and its aftermath.  I find it a very important addition to the existing documentation on the Challenger story and, I believe, the only place where the entire story up to and including return to flight is told.  I have no issue with the Roger’s Commission findings, but the story is very hard for a reader to piece together using their format and multiple volumes.  All other post Challenger writings have varying degrees of accuracy and motives/focus as is well described by James Hansen in his bibliographical essay at the end of your book.

I must admit that when I first heard you were writing a book I frankly did not know what to expect.  I had, of course, been aware of some of the controversy you become embroiled in following the accident, but it had been many years since anyone directly involved in the accident had spoken out and it seemed unlikely that much new information was likely available to be brought forward.  Boy was I wrong!  I was immediately impressed with the specific detail which you have been able to recount throughout the book as well as the balance, charity and tenacity with which you strive to tell the whole story.  Finally, your choice of someone with the skill of James Hansen to assist you has enabled all this technical detail and complexity to flow smoothly and be highly readable by general audiences.

I must also congratulate you and your family on the steadfastness of purpose which drove you through the overwhelming turmoil and effort required to successfully return to flight.  I see the same steadfastness of purpose in striving to finally and thoroughly document this story.  Thanks for all the effort.

Sincerely.

Arnie Aldrich

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