Life Flight: Trauma Center Houston is an intense, behind-the-scenes docu-drama that follows the trauma teams at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and the split-second decisions they must make while performing life-saving procedures both on the ground and hundreds of feet in the air. Viewers will see what really happens behind the emergency room doors where doctors, nurses and trauma surgeons do everything they can to save each patient brought in by the helicopter "Life Flight" teams.

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2015-03-02

Life Flight: Trauma Center Houston - Space Shuttle Challenger disaster - Netflix

On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-99) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 EST (16:39 UTC). The disintegration of the vehicle began after a joint in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The failure was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used in the joint that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch. The seals' failure caused a breach in the SRB joint, allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft field joint attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter. The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. The exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown; several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. The shuttle had no escape system, and the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable. The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident, with the agency violating its own safety rules. NASA managers had known since 1977 that contractor Morton-Thiokol's design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings, but they had failed to address this problem properly. NASA managers also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning, and failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors. Approximately 17 percent of Americans witnessed the launch live because of the presence of Payload Specialist Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident. The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics.

Life Flight: Trauma Center Houston - Post-breakup flight controller dialogue - Netflix

In Mission Control, there was a burst of static on the air-to-ground loop as Challenger disintegrated. Television screens showed a cloud of smoke and water vapor (the product of hydrogen+oxygen combustion) where Challenger had been, with pieces of debris falling toward the ocean. At about T+89, flight director Jay Greene prompted his Flight Dynamics Officer (FIDO) for information. FIDO responded that “the [radar] filter has discreting sources”, a further indication that Challenger had broken into multiple pieces. Moments later, the ground controller reported “negative contact (and) loss of downlink” of radio and telemetry data from Challenger. Greene ordered his team to “watch your data carefully” and look for any sign that the Orbiter had escaped. At T+110.250, the range safety officer (RSO) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station sent radio signals that activated the range safety system's “destruct” packages on board both solid rocket boosters. This was a normal contingency procedure, undertaken because the RSO judged the free-flying SRBs a possible threat to land or sea. The same destruct signal would have destroyed the external tank had it not already disintegrated. The SRBs were close to the end of their scheduled burn (110 seconds after launch) and had nearly exhausted their propellants when the destruct command was sent, so very little, if any, explosive force was generated by this event. Public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt reported: “Flight controllers here are looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction. We have no downlink.” On the Mission Control loop, Greene ordered that contingency procedures be put into effect; these procedures included locking the doors of the control center, shutting down telephone communications with the outside world, and following checklists that ensured that the relevant data were correctly recorded and preserved. Nesbitt relayed this information to the public: “We have a report from the Flight Dynamics Officer that the vehicle has exploded. The flight director confirms that. We are looking at checking with the recovery forces to see what can be done at this point.”

Life Flight: Trauma Center Houston - References - Netflix