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Space Shuttle Explodes Over Texas?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by John Corn, Feb 1, 2003.

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  1. invaliduser88

    invaliduser88 Welcome to Torchwood DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.
    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue,
    I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    -- RCAF Flight-Lieutenant John Gillespie Magee Jr.
  2. RichW

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Mar 29, 2002
    We can second-guess all day and night but the fact remains that there is always a statisitical chance for malfunction and failure. I heard that statisitically speaking, a catastrophy had a 1 in 75 chance of occurring with the shuttle design. Two such failures in 100-plus missions is a little bit hihger than that, but there is no absoutely safe design.

    The shuttle program has had its detractors, but every one of those alternatives have risk of loss of life associated with their designs too. The only "safe" alternative is to stay on the ground - and probably die in a car accident.

    I hope this accident doesn't reduce our will to fund space exploration.
  3. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    I heard last night on CNN that the astronauts had performed some crazy experiments up there which had more then 4 years worth of time invested in just getting them properly planned and setup. Wonder how many animals lost their lives as well. :(
  4. BobMurdoch

    BobMurdoch Hall Of Fame

    Apr 24, 2002
    I don't think we will wait 18 months as we did after Challenger. Thanks to the International Space Station, we have regular commitments to maintain so we may not be grounded for as long as last time.

    At least we are sure that no foul play was involved (contrary to my first impulse when I heard it blew up over Texas. Well, at least it looks that way right now) When I first heard two weeks ago that there was an Israeli Colonel on board, I was worried that it would be an irresistable target for certain terrorist groups.

    My prayers are with the families. They also go out to NASA. I saw that two hour press conference on the NASA channel yesterday and it was the most HONEST press conference I've ever seen. Not a hint of CYOA or hidden agendas on display, even when reporters kept repeating the same questions and making the same insinuations (the falling debris damaging the wing on liftoff, etc.) I pray that Washington treats this situation with respect and doesn't go on a headhunting mission or try to push through some hidden agenda (NASA budget cuts etc.). To paraphrase the NASA rep (the one on the left, I forget his name)at the conference yesterday, "we'll find what went wrong and we'll fix it". There was no mention of the words fault or blame, contrary to every other political press conference I've ever seen. I kept wishing this guy would run for office someday, because people like him are in short supply.

    And to the astronauts, Godspeed. I'm sure they're exploring new worlds as we speak.
  5. Mark

    Mark Mentor

    Jan 13, 2003
    If man would have stop every time a ship was lost at sea, lost in a storm, or NEVER came home. We would not have any of the lives we live today. Because men (people) dare to dream!
    I have lost 7 of my hero's!
  6. raj2001

    raj2001 Icon/Supporter

    Nov 2, 2002
    That's true. Just remember all the good that space exploration has brought. I need not tell users of this forum that :)
  7. HarryD

    HarryD Icon

    Mar 24, 2002
    I found it amazing that they (NASA) didn't have a way to replace damaged tiles (Yeah, I know the Shuttle has over 20,000 of 'em and most are not the same .. but jeez, they didn't have the robotic arm, no extended space walk suits.)

    I know these NASA guys know what they're doing! They have backup systems for backup systems for backup systems.
  8. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jul 19, 2002
    Well if they had known that the shuttle was damaged, they probably could have launched a rescue shuttle mission. They could have moved most of the crew to the second shuttle and tried to repair Columbia, then probably 2 brave pilots could have tried to land it (they could have angled the entry more to keep heat off the damaged sections). It was said that the shuttle had 2 weeks more supplies on board. So, they would have had a month to do the repair mission. But, they did not know it was damaged.
  9. Neil Derryberry

    Neil Derryberry Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    It takes months to prepare a shuutle for launch... that process isn't something that should be rushed, IMO.
  10. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

    Apr 14, 2002
    I also think that they could have sent another shuttle up there to get them back down here safely, and that it could have been repaired. They should not have taken the peices falling off so lightly. Does this usually happen or is this the first time this has happened where the insulation came off?
  11. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    I believe reading over the years where insulation had come off (but not in critical areas)
  12. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Mike1... & Jacob_S,

    Have you been watching the news reports, particularly the engineering analyses?

    FYI, all the experts agree that, given the circumstances, repair or rescue would have been impossible. There is no point in speculation about either of those non-options.
  13. firephoto

    firephoto Icon

    Sep 12, 2002
    I heard the comment during the press conference today that the foam insulation on the external fuel tank could NOT absorb water. They showed a sample of the material and it looked like typical polyurethane spray foam. I also heard the comment about freezing and ice.
    These two comments made me think how I know that foam insulation, even close cell type, can absorb and hold water. If there was a defect in the paint (protective sealant?) on the foam covered fuel tank then I would think it would be possible that water could get into the foam and with freezing temperatures make a big block of ice/foam that could break away. If this did happen, there would be enough mass to cause damage to anything it hit.

    The claim they are making is that the foam can't absorb water (which may be true for the foam they are using) and that the the foam itself would be too light to cause damage to anything.

  14. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

    Mar 25, 2002
    I tend to agree with the foam being too light. It also, even though traveling at a very high speed, was not traveling at a very high relative speed to the shuttle when it hit it. Wheter it was traveling at a relative speed high enough to do damage is to be determined.
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