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Man who warned of Challenger disaster dies at 73

Tuesday - 2/7/2012, 3:52pm  ET

NEPHI, Utah (AP) - The man who warned his employer of the equipment quirk that led to the deadly explosion of the space shuttle Challenger has died. Roger Boisjoly was 73.

A funeral home in Boisjoly's hometown of Nephi, Utah, confirmed his Jan. 6 death with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Boisjoly had written an ominous memo to his supervisors at Morton Thiokol six months before the shuttle launched on Jan. 28, 1986. He told the company that cold weather could compromise the seals connecting sections of the rocket boosters they manufactured.

Boisjoly and four other engineers pleaded with supervisors for a delay the night before the launch, as temperatures dipped below freezing.

The warning was ignored, and the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch. Seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, were killed.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)