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Contradictory’ Engineering

1. Why does the author call engineering ‘contradictory’? What does this mean for design, and design for reliability in particular? Can you give an illustrative example? (at least 200 words)

2. Consider the recent successes (and failures) in commercial space flight. For example, read up on some of the recent work by Space X ( and/or Blue Origin ( In particular, we can look at the recent failures of Space X’s SN8 and SN9 rockets (see, for example, and

For any of the commercial rocket systems being developed (by any of these companies), what engineering risks did the designers have to consider when designing these rockets and its launch systems? Can you describe at least four? (I am sure there are many). Can you find any comments from the engineers (or the heads of these companies, for example Elon Musk) about what they learned from past failures? Please include any references used. (at least 300 words)