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#94191 - 02/03/03 02:12 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Jackie Offline
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Here's a link to the MSN slide show of the ...tragedy, and reaction to it. Number 6 is somehow the most poignant, to me. A warning for those even slightly inclined to think of this as ghoulish: don't look at #13.
http://www.msnbc.com/c/0/134/54/ssMain.asp?fmt=&sld=0&res=inline&0ss=N1b5134054


#94192 - 02/03/03 02:43 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Rubrick Offline
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A warning for those even slightly inclined to think of this as ghoulish: don't look at #13.

That picture appeared on the cover of most world newspapers, Jackie, so there's nothing too ghoulish about it. See today's Irish Times: http://www.ireland.com/

The astronauts don't wear helmets during take-off and landing (and rarely during flights now) so it was probably in stowage outside the main cabin.


#94193 - 02/03/03 02:53 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Capfka Offline
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Suggest you look at this article if you're interested in the shuttle operations for the STS-107 mission. It answers some of my questions, anyway:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/867926.asp?0sl=-12

- Pfranz

#94194 - 02/03/03 05:24 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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vika Offline
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I just hope that you are not going to abandon your space program after this disaster...

I am so sorry for your loss...


#94195 - 02/03/03 05:40 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Rubrick Offline
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The space program shouldn't be abandoned but I think the Shuttle has become a dinosaur.

Since its first launch in 1979 it has flown 113 missions using six craft making it the most used spacecraft in history. It has been in almost continuous use for 24 years which would mean, by comparison, that the Apollo craft (which went into service in 1967) would still be running up until 1992 with no view to being phased out.

The shuttle has been successful and has served its purpose primarily as the key builder of the ISS but is now no more than a ferry service to and from the space station and new viable alternatives must be sought to continue space exploration into the 21st century.


#94196 - 02/04/03 12:09 AM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Jackie Offline
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The astronauts don't wear helmets during take-off and landing (and rarely during flights now) so it was probably in stowage outside the main cabin.
Thanks, Rubrick--that helped me feel better.



#94197 - 02/04/03 06:31 AM Re: Columbia Memorial Service Today  
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The National, and, indeed, International, Memorial Service for the Columbia Crew will be held at Houston Space Center today at 1 p.m. EST, televised live by most of the major networks.


#94198 - 02/04/03 06:41 AM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Capfka Offline
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It certainly appears that NASA's contingency planning wasn't all that it might have been. They couldn't abort to the ISS - which appears to be difficult to rendezvous with at the best of times - and there were no other non-reentry abort or repair options. It would appear that the pilot and commander, at least, must have known there was some risk in reentry. Terrible thing to have to live with for 14 days!

Discussed at http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/sts107_options_030202.html

What NASA obviously needs to do (and appears to want to do) is to go with one of the SSTO (single stage to orbit space plane) options they've been examining. It doesn't require any fancy R&D and is much more controllable in flight. It's not just a glorified glider. Boeing and Rockwell seem to have the leading big and fancy options, but there is a prize of $10m for a private venture effort and from memory there are five US companies in the running for that.

The problem is, of course, money. NASA would need to have their funding increased by a third for the rest of the decade to pay for one of the "big boys'" SSTO options. Fat chance in the current climate.

- Pfranz

#94199 - 02/04/03 10:19 AM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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In the wake of this tragedy, I do not mean to sound harsh here. Just observant and disturbed: Pfranz wrote above about the contingency plans not having been what they could have been; from what I've been hearing in the NASA briefings, primarily through Ron Dittemore's honesty and care in explanations that he admits are 'fluid,' changing each day by necessity as information is gathered, there does not appear to have been contingency planning in the case of damage sustained to the vehicle during liftoff. And I have a very uneasy feeling about the film of the liftoff not having been reviewed till the next day, at which point nothing could have been done to rescue the crew anyway. There is such a very slight window of opportunity for the shuttle to turn back, and that time almost immediately follows liftoff from what I've gathered. As our understanding increases of what the crew and NASA were up against deepens, the whole event takes upon sobering realizations and makes the whole situation that much more piteous and sorrowful.


#94200 - 02/04/03 12:12 PM Re: Space Shuttle Explodes  
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Jackie Offline
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From Capfka's link, WW:
If NASA knew there was a problem, Columbia could have stayed in orbit for an extra few days — perhaps long enough for the emergency launch of another shuttle, Atlantis. In a series of spacewalks, Columbia’s crew members could have been transferred over to the other shuttle. The operation would have required NASA to throw out its rule book, involving extraordinary risks.




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