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#94171 - 02/01/03 03:04 PM Space Shuttle Explodes  
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wow Offline
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The space shuttle Columbia has exploded on approach to its landing this morning, Feb. 1, 2003 at approx at 8:09 Central time. Contact with the shuttle was lost by mission control as the shuttle was making its approach to its landing.
Amateur film of the shuttle shows a white streak indicating the shuttle had exploded over Texas on landing approach to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
God be with the astronauts and their families at this tragic time.




#94172 - 02/01/03 04:12 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Jackie Offline
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Yes. They've just made the official announcement that there is no hope. All the families had been gathered at the runway to have lunch with their returning loved ones...


#94173 - 02/01/03 04:38 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Another horrid tragic loss for the space program...brings back the Challenger disaster. My thoughts are with the families of the astronauts. Sad, sad day...


#94174 - 02/01/03 04:44 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Oh, no! I just saw the heading on MSN... It does bring back Challenger...

Remembering film clips of techs checking various parts of equipment for safety...


#94175 - 02/01/03 05:22 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Capfka Offline
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NOW maybe they'll look at their antiquated launch systems with a more pragmatic eye.

But it's a desperately sad day for all concerned. Of course I feel for the astronauts' families, but I also feel very sad for the ground crews and mission control people. Losing a spacecraft on your watch must be as bad as losing a family member.

It's perhaps even more ironic that it happened on ST-107, because it was a pure science mission - no spacewalks, no satellite launches, no hush-hush aspects. Just plain science, trying to expand the boundaries of human knowledge.

It makes me WILD that NASA felt that they had to state that there was no reason to suspect terrorism as almost their first announcement. There are enough things that can go wrong with one of those babies without any outside help, that's for real, and using a 22-year-old prototype is hardly a safe proposition, is it? Having said that if I was offered the chance to go up in a shuttle, I'd be camped at 39B within a day to ensure that I made the flight.

From the news reports, my guess is that the shuttle lost attitude during the reentry phase, because it was far too low when it flew over Dallas and Plano, creating sonic booms along its path. They have an attitude leeway of less than 5deg, and no realistic way of recovering if they get out of shape. I don't have any idea of why it might have lost attitude, though. I hope they can find out.

Damn!

- Pfranz

#94176 - 02/01/03 05:24 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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#94177 - 02/01/03 05:31 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Here's a link to the MSN reports:

http://msnbc.com/news/857733.asp?0cv=CA00

Beef-up security, Israeli aboard...that's why NASA had to come out immediately and state whatever it stated about no terrorism [and I, too, shuddered when I read the word]. I haven't seen NASA's statements on the matter, but it makes sense something would have been stated under the circumstances. Sharon hasn't said anything public yet.

It's all too terrible--hard to think of anything to say at all. Just want to know more about what went wrong.

Thanks, D., for your input here.

T.


#94178 - 02/01/03 07:33 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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milum Offline
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The Crew of the Columbia: In Memoriam 

Richard P. Feynman's Minority Report to the
Space Shuttle Challenger Inquiry


Conclusions: (abridged)

If a reasonable launch schedule is to be maintained, engineering often cannot be done fast enough to keep up with the expectations of originally conservative certification criteria designed to guarantee a very safe vehicle. In these situations, often with apparently logical arguments, the criteria are altered so that flights may still be certified in time. They therefore fly in a relatively unsafe condition, with a chance of failure of the order of a percent.

Official management, on the other hand, claims to believe the probability of a failure is a thousand times less.


This difference has unfortunate consequences, the most serious of which is to encourage ordinary citizens to fly in such a dangerous machine, as if it had attained the the safety of an ordinary airliner.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

~ Richard P. Feynman 1986




#94179 - 02/02/03 01:12 AM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Some wretchedly depraved soul was offering a piece of the wreckage on eBay today for $5,000. I hope the Feds nabbed him. (eBay ivalidated the auction and took all the info down, except for the main menu).


#94180 - 02/02/03 01:16 AM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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and we wonder what's wrong with the world. god, I just wish people would wake up.



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