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Launch Fever

Unreleased
“Launch Fever”
Launch Fever is a narrative film inspired by true events. When a highly anticipated mission for NASA and the Columbia STS-107 Crew takes a sharp turn, Mexican American Chief Structural Engineer Rodney Rocha uses his intuition and scientific know-how to challenge NASA’s management, risking his credibility—fearing a greater loss. Sponsored in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Launch Fever is an exploration of the human psyche when faced with organizational silence. This film unfolds within the walls of the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), an institution that was once hailed with reverence by our nation. Our story provides a harrowing account of the STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster through the eyes of a loyal engineer. In 2019, I established a line of communication with NASA's Chief Structural Engineer, Rodney Rocha, and shared my background as part of a family of engineers, including my mother, who is also a Mexican immigrant. I emphasized my understanding of analyzing structures with human lives in mind, a value that Rodney cherishes as well, evident in his meticulous analyses rooted in factual data. As a Mexican American engineer, Rodney is an underrepresented in film and under appreciated at NASA. According to Rodney, NASA culture has remained stagnant, with a noticeable divide between engineers, shuttle managers, and astronauts. Nonetheless, his unwavering belief in the essence of NASA, its legacy of science exploration and human innovation, serves as an anchor, nurturing his faith in the eventual restoration of its former glory. Today, he continues to work at NASA at the age of 72. With the 20th anniversary of the tragic STS-107 incident approaching in 2023, I wanted to share Rodney's experiences and insights, while honoring the memory of the courageous astronauts lost in the incident.
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Duration
23 Minutes
Release Date
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Age Rating
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Country
USA
Language
English
Contact
Sabrina Ehlert
Topics
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