Richard Cook

Former Federal government analyst Richard C. Cook became a world-famous whistleblower when he released the documents that proved NASA’s advance knowledge of the flaws in the O-ring booster rocket joints that destroyed Space Shuttle Challenger and took the lives of its seven-person crew on the frigid morning of January 28, 1986. Cook’s subsequent testimony to a Presidential Commission led to disclosures by contractor engineers that they tried but failed to stop the flight the night before launch due to their certain knowledge that the booster rockets would fail in sub-freezing temperatures at the Kennedy Space Center. Subsequently, the Commission identified some but not all of the causes of the disaster. Richard C. Cook’s later research determined that NASA refused to stop flights to fix the known flaws in the O-ring joints because they were in a rush to convert the Shuttle into a testing platform for President Reagan’s “Star Wars” weapons-in-space program. NASA also failed to postpone the Challenger launch until the weather had improved in order to have Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe in orbit prior to Reagan’s state-of-the-union address that night. In 2007, Cook published his findings in a post-retirement book, Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Worst Tragedy of the Space Age. A reviewer called it “the most important spaceflight book in twenty years.” Cook never returned to NASA after his testimony, spending the next twenty-one years as an analyst for the US Treasury Department. Through developing training courses on US monetary history, he acquired a deep understanding of how British, European, and US bankers hijacked the American monetary system by placing it under the control of the Money Trust through the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. He is the author of "Our Country; Then and Now"