Allan McDonald refused to sign the Thikal letter of approval for the launch of the Challenger then addressed the investigation panel of the pressure tactics of NASA and Thiokal on the engineers. This was a man of great strength of character.“Under intense political pressure, it’s easy to cave, to say you’ll play ball,” Dr. Maier said. “He didn’t do that. He assumed personal risk to do the right thing.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/09/us/a ... -dead.html
There's a term for what happened on the Challenger project. Sociologist Diane Vaughan, Ph.D. used the phrase “normalisation of deviance” in her study of the 1986 disaster.
Social normalization of deviance means that people within the organization become so much accustomed to a deviation that they don’t consider it as deviant, despite the fact that they far exceed their own rules for the elementary safety.”