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Challenger Shuttle disaster: Recovery of data from damaged tapes

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Keypoint Credit Union

2805 Bowers Ave.

Santa Clara, CA 95051

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As an introduction to this event we will cover how Silicon Valley's engineering & education communities coalesced to return a personal token from the Challenger flight that local students had given to Astronaut Ronald McNair.

About seven weeks after the 1986 Challenger disaster tapes containing flight and crew data were recovered from 100 feet of salt water. They were so corroded that they resembled a brie doughnut and the data were deemed unrecoverable by NASA and the tape and the drive manufacturers. A chance meeting of NASA officials with IBM scientists and engineers at IBM’s Tucson laboratory led to the recovery of the data.

Dr. Ric Bradshaw led the team that recovered the data. His observations, findings and conclusions are memorialized in a set of images that he will discuss at this meeting. Ric has more than 40 years experience in tape media development and can share his opinions and observations on the state of the industry during the question and answer period.

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Date and Time

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Keypoint Credit Union

2805 Bowers Ave.

Santa Clara, CA 95051

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