Re: Space Shuttle
Even with Columbia, the issue of foam debris hitting the wings at liftoff was known, but downplayed - that happens when you let beancounters running the shop, instead of true technicians. I don't know if also saving the weight and cost of the white painting over the central tank made the foam more prone to detach.
There were also preliminary drawings of the Shuttle being launched atop a rocket (IIRC reusing some Saturn technology), but it was deemed too complex and expensive. It could have avoided both the Challenger and Columbia disaster - but probably better mission management would have avoided them too.
Anyway, a failure at the worst re-entry time is hard to manage with emergency systems - Russian cosmonauts too were killed by a defective valve.