As far as these 'based on true events' type of TV movies go, this one definitely is a pretty good one to watch, which is mainly thanks to its wonderful cast!
Doubt that the movie is a 100% accurate one but it does a pretty good telling the story, as well as explaining things in layman's terms. After all, this is a movie about the space program, involving the 1986 Challenger disaster, so these type of movies can get complicated and hard to follow fairly quickly and easily. Not this one though. Not that it's dumbing things down for the audience but it simply cleverly avoids any sort of complicated issues and more technical oriented type of dialog.
Now, reason why I don't think that this movie is 100% accurate though is that a lot of the moments in this movie feel fabricated, or Hollywoodized so to speak. Like I said before, things get simplified and in return some more drama gets added to the story as well, in the form of some more personal drama, mostly involving the William Hurt character. It's never anything too sappy or forced though fortunately, so it isn't really a complaint but more something to indicate how the movie isn't a 'documentary-disguised-as-a-movie' type of movie but rather an over-dramatized and simplified 'based on a true story' type of movie, without ever overdramatizing- or simplifying things too much.
I can easily definitely see and understand how NASA would be less happy with this movie, to put things mildly. The NASA organization gets pretty much villainized, up to a point that is seems nothing but an organization who isn't concerned about safety or human lives but more about money and trying to cover things up, as quick and clean as possible.There is of course some truth to it to a degree but for a more that's going for a somewhat more realistic and subtle approach, it does feel a tad bit too forced and overdone.
Well, guess that it helps to make the movie a good and intriguing one to watch, so maybe I shouldn't be complaining too much about it. The movie does feel like a constantly interesting and fast paced one, even though not an awful lot is always going on in it. After all, it's a very talkative movie of course, without any action or anything else along those lines. The movie absolutely never bores or drags with anything though and successfully remains a consistently good and interesting one.
Really most of this is all thanks to its wonderful cast! Definitely good to see how great actors keep doing TV as well, with just as much passion and devotion to the project. William Hurt is absolutely great and carries most of the movie by himself. The supporting cast is pretty impressive as well, with actors such as Bruce Greenwood, Brian Dennehy, Henry Goodman and Joanne Whalley in it.
It's also a pretty good looking movie, especially for TV standards of course. It has a very professional look to it, which helps to add to the overall effectiveness of the movie.
All in all, a very good made for TV movie, with only some few minor flaws and weaknesses in it.