Many of the
changes and upgrades in the space shuttle systems and components
were under way before the 51-L accident as part of NASA's continual
improvement and upgrade program. However, NASA has taken advantage
of the space shuttle program downtime since the accident to accelerate
the testing and integration of these improvements and upgrades
as well as fixes required as a result of the accident.
- The following identifies the major improvements or modifications
of the orbiter. Approximately 190 other modifications and improvements
were also made.
Shuttle Main Engine Margin Improvement Program
- As early as 1983, engineers designed modifications to the
SSMEs, improving margin and durability.
- SSME Flight Program
- In the first 25 flights, three off-nominal SSME conditions
were detected. A major upgrade ensured these problems would
not be repeated.
- Solid Rocket Motor Redesign
- Based on the recommendations of the "Presidential Commission
on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident," new design criteria
were assessed and implemented for the solid rocket motors.