Irony, twenty-five years in the making.
On January 28, 1986, I was having a tough time in my life. I took a few moments to watch the space shuttle Challenger lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Seventy-three seconds later, the shuttle broke apart and killed all seven passengers, including Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher from Concord, New Hampshire.
The disaster, it later was revealed, was due to an O-ring which failed due to temperatures below its specifications at the time of launch. When I heard about this, I angrily cursed the company who made that tiny, seemingly inconsequential piece of equipment.
Now, I work for them.*
*-The company was indemnified by the volumes and volumes of documentation they had showing this particular O-ring wouldn’t be suitable for temperatures such as those on January 28, 1986. The investigation which followed was long, thorough and detailed. You can get a decent summary here.