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(CNET) KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - Three days after a last-second launch abort, an unmanned cargo ship designed and built as a private venture blasted off early Tuesday and streaked into orbit, kicking off a complex test flight to pave the way for commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station.

With a replacement valve installed in the engine that derailed a launch try Saturday, all nine of the booster's first stage powerplants roared to life on time at 3:44:38 a.m. EDT, throttling up to full thrust with a rush of fiery exhaust.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57438906/spacex-cargo-ship-blasts-off-to-international-space-station-in-nasas-first-commercial-flight/

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What is even more interesting is some of the cargo that 'didn't' go to the International Space Station.....

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Exciting a flyby and the other tests for the robot ship

 

I think in the future they will outfit the ISS with escape pods ... lol, I wonder how one can live on the station without them?

Another issue is keeping a craft operational ready for emergency.

Its not like you have a car parked. Thats ready anytime you need it.

Its rocket propellant being stored for a long period of time for use.

 

If the spacex rocket makes monthly visits then perhaps there would be no need for an escape pod

but one never knows if you could survive an emergency.

so thats the risk picture being on the ISS ... everything is predictable ... or your safety is at risk.

 

Two burns are planned between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. EDT (0700 and 0800 GMT) to put Dragon on a path to fly 2.5 kilometers, or about 1.6 miles, beneath the space station some time around 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT).

Thursday's test is called a fly-under by NASA and SpaceX.

"The fly-under is very important to us because it's the first time the Dragon and the space station will communicate with each other, an absolute requirement for proximity operations," said Holly Ridings, NASA's lead flight director for the SpaceX demo flight. "It's the first time the crew on-board the ISS will send a command to the Dragon and get a response. This is just a test command, so it's a light on the Dragon, but it's leading towards the crew potentially needing to send more invasive commands, such as a hold, retreat, or even an abort later."

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120523flyby/

 

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Perhaps like in the movie Iron Man2, the private sector must prove they can do better than the public sector.

Baby steps for the dream to be realized. Baby steps for Satellite market to come to SpaceX rather than the public sector.

NASA doesn't have the means like Apple to do everything with the budget they get from the gov't

Maybe SpaceX can prove them wrong while bringing them to realize the original thrill and adventure when NASA was young.

 

I still say it's a damn shame that everything they did for the Constellation program is reduced to a mere escape pod for the ISS...

 

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true ... but this is just a start up phase .. we have yet to see the other lifting product do their thing

they are slated .. so there's more to come

NASA just wants to be in their little service world like fuel, assembly, launch pad, ops, and the exclusive in launching computer technology

 

Its still wonderful news that the space coast isn't too quiet .. its the stop gap until something more exciting comes

like a moon or mars launch ...

 

That may be, but SpaceX/ULA aren't exactly replacing the massive amounts of jobs left behind by the shutdown in the Space Coast...

 

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ISS does have a "lifeboat"; they keep a Soyuz docked at all times; they roate them; a Soyuz brings up a 3 many crew, and the three men leaving the station then take an older Soyuz down. While there are six men on the station, they keep two docked. :)

 

SpaceX is a company I'm intensely interested in. *IF* they can do what they claim; achieve far lower launch cost per pound, that will enable far easier, and more frequent, access to space for both manned and unmanned payloads. The shuttle was originally planned to do that, but never even came close; it was phenomenally expensive to run.

 

SpaceX is claiming a cost of about 100 million for a Falcon Heavy launch, and even if that ends up doubling, it is still a massive improvement in cost per pound to orbit. Falcon Heavy will be a true heavy lifter, and if it works, it'll be in a similar class to the planned SLS heavy lifer NASA is working on. Personally, I hope Falcon Heavy (Basically, three Falcon 9 first stage cores) is flying soon, and then SLS can be canceled. SLS is a kludge on the engineering side anyway, almost as bad as the Ares1 design.

 

Falcon Heavy's initial configuration is planned to put 120,000 pound payloads in LEO; that's more than twice a shuttle payload, and the US hasn't had that kind of capacity since the Saturn 5. SLS, for comparison, is supposed to achieve 150,000 pounds. The Falcon Heavy figures may change with the Merlin D engine, and a LOX/LH upper stage. The biggest difference, other than cost; Falcon Heavy is supposed to be on the pad late this year (I'll be surprised if it is... fall next year is my guess). My best guess on SLS is it won't be operational within a decade.

 

Now, cost... So far (and much remains to be seen) SpaceX and a few other companies are far better than NASA. Space X developed the Falcon1, the Merlin and Kestrel engines, the Falcon 9, the Dragon capsule and service module, and some of the Falcon Heavy, for under 900 million, including some launches. NASA? NASA blew 750 million plus on JUST the Ares1x test launch. That launch used a 4 segment (shuttle) SRB as a first stage. It used a dummy second stage. It had precisely zero hardware commonality with the proposed Ares1 rocket. So, to get a one stage test shot off the pad, NASA spent almost as much as Space X did to develop a family of rockets and hardware, and several space shots. And don't get me started on the Orion capsule; that's cost billions already, and has taken years longer, than SpaceX's Dragon. And a Dragon is currently in space, Orion isn't even close. Yet, for far less money, SpaceX developed a capsule of equivalent capabilities, plus the entire launch system to get it to space, and have done so; this is the second Dragon to orbit the earth. They are working on a manned version; and the cost? About 75 million for the upgrade (for the development program and a test flight!), primarily for the launch escape system. (something Shuttle never had - Shuttle was not actually "Manned rated" per the guidelines that NASA has for manned rated).

 

I hope SpaceX can keep going like it's going. *IF* it keeps up the good work, I think it's a far better option than NASA for both heavy lift and manned lift to LEO, but that's *IF* things keep going they way they are going; it's still early in their test program, and SpaceX does not yet have a long-term record.

 

I'm an opinionated bastard on this issue. I know that. I have two reasons; the first is cost. Space CAN'T be a jobs program, because that increases costs, and that means, perforce, far less actual spaceflight. The second reason is that we have already killed at least seven astronauts thanks to space being treated as a jobs program. This was because Of political (spreading the jobs) agendas in congress and the white house in the early stages of the shuttle program. In this case, I'm referring to the solid rocket boosters; there were four candidate bids. The top contender was a design by Aerojet, for a single-body design, of greater circumference than what was actually used. It was single-pour as well; it would have been cheaper, it would have given the shuttle a greater payload capacity (especially to high inclination orbits like ISS) and it would have been safer, too. But, Aerojet wanted to build an automated facility in Florida to build them. Instead, for political reasons, Thiokol was chosen. A Utah company, because at the time Utah had a very powerful senator, who wanted a "piece of the jobs pie" for his state.

 

This had a number of problems. One is that the SRB segments were constrained by the diamiter of the 19th century railroad tunnels tin the rockies. thus limiting the diameter of the SRBs. Also, thanks to the railroad constraints, the SRBS were segmented, not single structle like the Aerojet design (and Aerojet had a longer history with large solids; they knew what they were doing). So, thanks to politics and the jobs issue, we got a more expensive, less capable, and less safe SRB for Shuttle.

 

When Challenger went up on that cold January day, it was one of the joints between the segments that failed. It didn't have to happen.

 

And new, the buffoons in congress (both parties did this) wanted to use the Thiokol segmented SRB not just for a booster, but build a longer (5 1/2 segments) for a first stage of Ares 1. This was madness on many levels; the vibration issue alone would have made the capsule akin to a paint shaker, and the structural rigidity issue was a major one. They also want to use this same stretched SRB as a booster on the SLS heavy lifter. Why? Because Congress (whom I would not trust to design a shoelace, let alone a rocket) specified "Shuttle derived technology".

 

Okay, I've ranted and raved long enough. :)

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I remember some blaming the design of the shuttle as the sole reason of the Columbia incident back in 2003. It was tragic how the people who originally designed a short term (20 year max life cycle) space vehicle were blamed when the shuttle program was stretched out to what the shuttle program eventually became - decades past its intended expiration date. I loved seeing the day and night launches (night launches were always amazing in my book though to be honest) and I can proudly say I was one of those nerds watching from the causeway as they launched the shuttle every time.

 

SpaceX still has a lot of issues and kinks to work out. And while yes, I agree that they are the first ones to actually make physical progress towards the goals they've set out to do, I still see major flaws in their structure. Although, I do agree, I can do without the "job creation" pitch. I'm not a fan of people making jokes about how many people it takes to replace a light bulb in the space shuttle...

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Did NASA paypal SpaceX payment?

lol another way for the company to make money on fees

 

The International Space Station's crew reached out today with a robotic arm to grab SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule and brought it in for the orbital outpost's first-ever hookup with a commercial spaceship.

It marks the station's first linkup with a U.S.-made spacecraft since last year's retirement of NASA's space shuttle fleet, and potentially opens the way for dozens of commercial cargo shipments. If the long-range plan unfolds as NASA hopes, U.S. astronauts could be shuttled back and forth on the Dragon or similar spacecraft within just a few years.

The Russians had some rival heavy life Rockets that can lift 200,000 LBS ... the issue at the time was the fall of Russia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energia

 

here is a table on all Launching System

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launch_systems

 

So it seems in a couple of years they can remove the russian craft from the space station

if Russia objects then maybe they will keep one of each

 

why cancel SLS they is going for 130,000KG vs Falcon 53,000KG

 

lol if u launch

Saturn5 in 2012 it would cost 185 Billion @ 118,000KG = 1,567,797$$/KG

Energia at 240 Million @ 100,000KG = 2,400$$/KG

Falcon at 125 million @ 53,000KG = 2,359$$/KG

 

lol spacex is price matching but they need to bring their lift capacity by 65,000KG

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I remember some blaming the design of the shuttle as the sole reason of the Columbia incident back in 2003. It was tragic how the people who originally designed a short term (20 year max life cycle) space vehicle were blamed when the shuttle program was stretched out to what the shuttle program eventually became - decades past its intended expiration date. I loved seeing the day and night launches (night launches were always amazing in my book though to be honest) and I can proudly say I was one of those nerds watching from the causeway as they launched the shuttle every time.

 

SpaceX still has a lot of issues and kinks to work out. And while yes, I agree that they are the first ones to actually make physical progress towards the goals they've set out to do, I still see major flaws in their structure. Although, I do agree, I can do without the "job creation" pitch. I'm not a fan of people making jokes about how many people it takes to replace a light bulb in the space shuttle...

 

My inner geek is showing. Posted Image

 

Yep, I remember the Columbia loss too. What bothermed me then, and still today, is that too MAY have been political in cause. The immediate culprit was the left bipod ramp (that's the chunk of foam that did the deed). Why did it detach? Foam loss was always a problem, but the problem increased when NASA began using non-freon-based foam for parts of the ET, per an EPA mandate. They found ways to reduce this loss to roughly what had been occurring before, thoughb that makes me wonder; what if the same improvements were used on the original BX-250 foam?

 

LEt's not forget; the return to flight mission, flown by Discovery, also lost a big foam panel, very close to the bopod area, and had that come off earlier in the flight (when air density was greater, like with Columbia) the results could well have been the same. That was the new foam.

 

The bipod ramps used for the Columbia disaster were the old BX-250 foam, so the change in foam was ruled out as a cause. However, it should not have been; the bipod ramps are hand-applied, and applied over what? Foam - the ET's "acreage" sprayed on foam. And that foam, on that tank, was the new formula, which even NASA says has poorer adhesion qualities. It also had a greater tendency to "popcorn" - small bits popping off. Could this have caused the left bipod ramp to come of as it did? Maybe. We don't know, and no one seemed interested in finding out. So, in my mind, it's possible that it did, and if so, that's another ship and another seven astronauts lost due to political meddling.

 

And a further factor; one proposed solution to the foam problem was to apply, to the bare metal of the tank, a nylon netting prior to foam installation. The problem was that this would have added around 5000 pounds of weight, which would have cost that much payload. If the shuttle had the bigger (and longer burn time) Aerojet boosters instead of the Thiokol boosters, might this have been done? Maybe.

 

Well, Dragon is now berthed at ISS, so so far, it has been a highly successful mission! SpaceX seems to be doing well, but my one big concerns with them; they keep experiencing schedule overruns, and have yet to ramp up to the high flight rate needed for commercial success. That will be the deciding factor; if they can't do it, they are done. I think they can, but I think it will take them longer than they think.

 

Did NASA paypal SpaceX payment?

lol another way for the company to make money on fees

 

 

The Russians had some rival heavy life Rockets that can lift 200,000 LBS ... the issue at the time was the fall of Russia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energia

 

here is a table on all Launching System

http://en.wikipedia...._launch_systems

 

So it seems in a couple of years they can remove the russian craft from the space station

if Russia objects then maybe they will keep one of each

 

why cancel SLS they is going for 130,000KG vs Falcon 53,000KG

 

lol if u launch

Saturn5 in 2012 it would cost 185 Billion @ 118,000KG = 1,567,797$$/KG

Energia at 240 Million @ 100,000KG = 2,400$$/KG

Falcon at 125 million @ 53,000KG = 2,359$$/KG

 

lol spacex is price matching but they need to bring their lift capacity by 65,000KG

 

There were many issues with Energyia, but it did fly twice, both time successfully (the loss of payload on the first flight was due to the payload, not the launcher).

 

Falcon Heavy Vs. SLS... you're comparing two different things :) The SLS payload you cite is not what it would have when entering service, but after a theoretical upgrade nearly twenty years from now. If we want to count that, what about the proposed Falcon Heavy LOX/LH upper stage? That would increase it's payload too. So would strapping on a few small solid rocker boosters such as the ones the Delta and Atlas rocket families use.

 

I was using baseline operational capability; for Falcon Heavy, that's 120,000 pounds (54,000 kg), and for SLS, 150,000 (68,000 kg). However, SLS is still in the early design stage, so that 150,000 is a best case scenario.

The best thing about Falcon Heavy; we (taxpayers) don't have to fund it. It's being done, and it's far closer to completion than SLS. SpaceX is saying they'll have it on the pad by December of THIS year, and frankly I doubt it, but I think we'll see it fly next year. SLS, on the other hand, is many years down the line (and many billions of dollars).

 

The biggest problem with SLS is that the many billions it will cost to develop will take most of NASA's budget for a decade. Every dollar spent on it is a dollar not spent on space. That's why I favor canceling it, and using the money for what NASA is supposed to do: explore. Otherwise, we'll see many more cancellations, like the entire Mars unmanned program, which has already been terminated (the rover heading there now will be the last unless this is changed).

 

Now, for cost per pound. Falcon Heavy is supposed to cost about 100 million a launch. So to be pessimistic, let's double that and say 200 million. That's $1666 per pound of payload to LEO.

SLS? Don';t forget that you have to factor in development costs, currently estimated at 18 billion (though that's low, as they always are). Flight rate? Maybe one per year. That works out to (including support infrastructural expenses) around 2 billion a launch in today's dollars. So, we doubled the SpaceX cost estimate, let's cut this one in half; a billion a launch for the 150,000 pound payload. That's $6666 per pound!!! So, for a givern dollar in launch costs, you can fly five exlporation missions on FH, 1 on SLS. I'd rather see five missions per year than one.

 

Plus, there's a better option. IF we really want a 150 metric ton capability (more then 20 years away with SLS) SpaceX offered to do it in less than 5 years, for 2 and a half billion total deverlopment , payable upon delivery. A far, far better way of getting there, and getting there far faster and cheaper. Personally, I see no good reasy for super heavy lift yet, so I'd be happy with just canceling SLS. (If you need a larger payload, launch it in segments). But, if they really want a super heavy lifter, bid it out to SpaceX and others. We'd get it far faster and cheaper.

 

:)

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If they can make it so they can run about monthly or bi-monthly it would be pretty damn cool for SpaceX... it'll take them a long, long time for them to achieve that sort of schedule though...and that's what's going to be part of SpaceX's growing pains...

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so What about Russian Heavy Lift like Energia? More bang from the rubals?

has the demand for heavy lift been a factor for the lack of development?

yeah .. private is better since it doesn't have to worry about politics

 

now why is it so much of a tech issue ... the industry has experience for 60 years

of course if they had the tech we have today we have better built rockets

it must make up worry if we had a nuclear war ... how many rockets would have failed their missions?

its only in theory they do their mission ... there isn't any proof of experience ... they are 100% reliable

 

Thiokol are they no longer in the Sold Rocket Boosters??

I bet the millitary use of the boosters is made from someone else.

I am surprise that nasa didn't maintain the spec they wanted for the boosters.

but if they wanted to lift the shuttle into higher orbit .. strap on another booster

 

On a doco the Challenger could have made it to space because of the slag ... but because of heavy winds ... it dislodge the slag and poof

On the foam incident, you got a team of brains (and bad attitude) that amount to morons that should rip their degrees into the trash

They forgot caution is a better part of valor. When I learn that foam struck the shuttle ... I figure that they should check it out

Look they do have a history of tile issues ... so with that .. I expect checking the shuttle ...

They been up at the station for a week and no one checks their ship?

We own cars and planes ... drivers and pilots always checks them out

Fault really goes to Nasa and the crew commander ... they didn't care for their vehicle until it was too late

More of a Thiokol\Nasa mentality.

 

I wonder how much HAMMER Tech do we have in USA vs Russia?

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If they can make it so they can run about monthly or bi-monthly it would be pretty damn cool for SpaceX... it'll take them a long, long time for them to achieve that sort of schedule though...and that's what's going to be part of SpaceX's growing pains...

 

That's what worries me most about them; this is the first Falcon9 flight in over a year. They need to ramp up production. They have plenty of private launch contracts now, so we'll see what the coming year brings.

 

so What about Russian Heavy Lift like Energia? More bang from the rubals?

 

has the demand for heavy lift been a factor for the lack of development?

yeah .. private is better since it doesn't have to worry about politics

 

The Russians don't even have a proposed heavy lifter. There just isn't the demand. The only reason SpaceX is going ahead with Falcon Heavy is it promises a lot less cost per pound; were it not for tha,t there's no point to one.

Unfortunately, even with commercial, you get politics and political meddling, but at least it's less of a problem. :)

 

now why is it so much of a tech issue ... the industry has experience for 60 years

Because there's only so much you can do with chemical combustion; rocket engines today are little if any better than those of 40 years ago. There's only so much energy in a chemical reaction, so there hasn't been a lot of room for improvement.

 

 

 

Thiokol are they no longer in the Sold Rocket Boosters??

I bet the millitary use of the boosters is made from someone else.

I am surprise that nasa didn't maintain the spec they wanted for the boosters.

but if they wanted to lift the shuttle into higher orbit .. strap on another booster

Thiokol makes some smaller military rockets, plus other things, such as the pyrotechnics that inflate the crash airbag in cars.

 

There was no way NASA could maintain the spec they wanted for the boosters and have them made in Utah. Doing that but an absolute limit in diamiter, and also required the segmented design. That was a purely political decision that was out of their hands.

 

And you can't just add a booster to the shuttle; there are no hard attach points for an extra one (such as a smaller SRB, as used on Delta and Atlas) and you'd hit the MAxQ wall; as it was, the shuttle had to throttle down about 40 seconds after launch because of maximum dynamic pressure (they'd throttle back up about twenty seconds later). So, adding a booster of some sort would not work. Going with larger boosters that had a longer burn time though, that would work.

 

On a doco the Challenger could have made it to space because of the slag ... but because of heavy winds ... it dislodge the slag and poof

On the foam incident, you got a team of brains (and bad attitude) that amount to morons that should rip their degrees into the trash

They forgot caution is a better part of valor. When I learn that foam struck the shuttle ... I figure that they should check it out

Look they do have a history of tile issues ... so with that .. I expect checking the shuttle ...

They been up at the station for a week and no one checks their ship?

We own cars and planes ... drivers and pilots always checks them out

Fault really goes to Nasa and the crew commander ... they didn't care for their vehicle until it was too late

More of a Thiokol\Nasa mentality.

Columbia wasn't at the station, it was a spacelab mission, with the lab in the cargo bay. The damaged section could not be seen from any of the windows, and the commander was blameless; NASA never informed the crew of the foam strike, even though they had video. They ASSUMED it wasn't fatal damage. They also passed up at least two chances to find out. NASA screwed up, massively. Their reasoning seems to have been that even if there was a problem, there would be no way to save the crew. They were wrong, very wrong, on every count. There were several ways to image that wing, but they turned down the idea to image it with a recon sat. The most basic way for the Columbia crew to do it themselves would be a free-drifting astronaut on the end of a tether. Just a mild push off to put him on a trajectory past the leading edge. They did have an emergency manned maneuvering unit, but that'd be good to save for a repair job.

 

So, if they did find the hole (it was about the size of a bowling ball) in the carbon-carbon leading edge, then what? NAsa was right in one regard; there was no time to launch a rescue shuttle; launch prep would take too long. Once Columbia had been up a week, there was no chance of help from the ground. Docking her at the space station is one frequently mentioned option, except orbital mechanics made that impossible; their orbits were about 25 degrees apart, and Columbia had nowhere near the needed Delta-v capacity to reach the station's 51.5 degree orbital inclination. NASA, of course, knew that. But, they assumed that there was no way for the crew to patch the wing. They were wrong.

 

The problem was that the wing leading edge takes the worst of the reentry temps. That hole allowed the heat to burn through the wing spar, which is aluminum. However, the leading edge is essentially a hollow C shaped piece of carbon carbon, in pannels. So, there's a void space behind it, between it and the wing spar, of roughly a foot deep. That's what the hole opened onto. They were thinking there's no way to patch it, and technically that's right, but it overlooked the obvious; you don't need to patch it, you just need to keep the reentry heat and plasma out of the wing. To do so, they could have scavenged the ship's interior for a piece of steel that would fit inside the hole, and glued it to the spar. They could have then filled a trash bag (they had those aboard) with water, and shoved it into the hole to fill it. It would freeze, becoming a plug of solid ice (and even under massive heat, a block of ice takes time to melt). Then put foil, duct tape, or whatever they could find as an ablative covering. It'd be no sure thing, but it might have held together long enough. Better than doing nothing. One argument against this idea was they had no handholds, and no longer have the full manned maneuvering unit. That's a weak excuse; even if they had no rope or line aboard, they could have scavenged wiring and made what ammounts to a pole out of various parts, and rigged a harness to use it to hold an astronau; the pole would be held by a second astronaut in the cargo bay, where there are handholds. Wouldn't even need to do that; put a few handholds on the pole and the astronaut could use that; it wasn't far from the cargo bay to the hole.

 

The problem, in a nutshell, was that the decisions were made by people who did not understand the systems, or the tech. They never bothered to ask for advice, such as from the actual astronauts they had in the building, or from engineers, etc.

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Thanks, CJ. Yeah if NASA were to be cautious then we could have the 2nd McGyver attempt since Apollo 13 and perhaps we may call upon russia to help.

 

The public who seen the video just like NASA during that week ... don't you think anyone contacted NASA to have them contact the shuttle to check it?

They did make the video public and the public would have expected NASA to take precautions or even contact their concerns.Its kinda crazy its engineers throwing up their calculators and the managers shooting down the what-ifs

The most logical rational ... would be to check it out? Just go to the cargo hold side and shine a flashlight to look?

Its doesn't take much technical knowledge or decision to figure out ... we better find out or else

NASA didn't learn from Apollo13, Challenger, and other mistakes.

 

So with Challenger there were people at NASA and Thoikol Fired.

Was there anyone fire because of Columbia?

 

Look, the attitude in Apollo13 was much diff than Columbia ... whoever made the decision to make a go - didn't have the guts to try to take precautions.

Hey if they aborted during launch ... no one would have taken ill will at being cautious ... safety of the crew is #1

This would be the first time we would have tested an abort situation but we failed to try.

This is another bad face of NASA ... to not prove to the public they take pride in safety ...

 

 

Gosh have we noticed the letter "C" is common between both vehicles ... while the others were lucky.

Was this NASA way of sacrificing the older shuttles?

There was suppose to be a few more shuttles. Did we run out of budget to build another one or two?

or Were we at the end of the Shuttle era for building space stations and satellite repair\recovery?

Has NASA proved they aren't a self-sustaining business.

Edited by hh5
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Thanks, CJ. Yeah if NASA were to be cautious then we could have the 2nd McGyver attempt since Apollo 13 and perhaps we may call upon russia to help.

 

The public who seen the video just like NASA during that week ... don't you think anyone contacted NASA to have them contact the shuttle to check it?

They did make the video public and the public would have expected NASA to take precautions or even contact their concerns.Its kinda crazy its engineers throwing up their calculators and the managers shooting down the what-ifs

The most logical rational ... would be to check it out? Just go to the cargo hold side and shine a flashlight to look?

Its doesn't take much technical knowledge or decision to figure out ... we better find out or else

NASA didn't learn from Apollo13, Challenger, and other mistakes.

 

So with Challenger there were people at NASA and Thoikol Fired.

Was there anyone fire because of Columbia?

 

Look, the attitude in Apollo13 was much diff than Columbia ... whoever made the decision to make a go - didn't have the guts to try to take precautions.

Hey if they aborted during launch ... no one would have taken ill will at being cautious ... safety of the crew is #1

This would be the first time we would have tested an abort situation but we failed to try.

This is another bad face of NASA ... to not prove to the public they take pride in safety ...

 

 

Gosh have we noticed the letter "C" is common between both vehicles ... while the others were lucky.

Was this NASA way of sacrificing the older shuttles?

There was suppose to be a few more shuttles. Did we run out of budget to build another one or two?

or Were we at the end of the Shuttle era for building space stations and satellite repair\recovery?

Has NASA proved they aren't a self-sustaining business.

 

Challenger was far from an old shuttle when she was lost.

 

With Columbia, as far as I know they only released the video of the foam loss to the public a few days after the disaster. The crew didn't know either.

 

The causes of both disasters had one thing in common; they were both largely due to bad management decisions. One thing to bear in mind with NASA; since the end of the Apollo program they most often appoint managers who are not experts in the divisions they are overseeing. So, you get a heat shild manager who is not an expert (or even particularly knowledgeable on) the thermal protection system. Indeed, many have no engineering knowledge at all.

 

Once we ceased construction of the original four shuttles, we lost the ability to build more without astronomical cost (restarting production is a massive undertaking for anything highly complex). When Challenger was lost, she was replaced by Endeavour, but contrary to popular opinion, Endeavor was not a new shuttle; her airframe was created from structural spares.

 

Firings for the Columbia and Challenger disasters? Yes, there were, so far as I know, only two, both for Challenger. They were actually forced demotions, to be exact: two engineers at Thiokol. They were trying to stop the launch, and called several people at NASA, thus bypassing the normal chain of command. As a result, NASA insisted that they be fired - for going outside the chain of command. They were demoted instead, and reasigned to projects where they would not be in contact with NASA (and also at a far lower pay rate). So far as I know, those two men were the only ones fired or demoted for either disaster - and this was done because they were calling in with their opinion that the launch temperatures were well out of spec (it was well below freezing) and they believed it was unsafe to fly, due to the fist of O-ring burnthrough. They were right, and NASA punished them for it. That, to me, speaks volumes about what's wrong with NASA, and how different NASA of the Apollo era and before was to what came later.

 

I grew up as a huge fan of NASA... and it pains me greatly to say this, but I now wonder if it's broken beyond fixing.

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Yeah I saw the doco on the thoikal call to Nasa ... but the one engineer that really cared was spared demotion but he later quit because of the death of the crew

 

Really I think Ham and other NASA decision makers be held accountable for involuntary manslaughter ... let them pay the price for being a general or officer

hey we now do it in the military to put ppl on trial ... we should have done it to NASA to encourage safe space flight

 

Its diff if someone got hurt and lived .. but when killed ... its a group fault

its not like we can call it the price of the security of the nation

its an abuse to the respect to human life by NASA and subcontractors ... over charging for unQA products

 

lol privatization of space seems to be safer ... did u see the interview on 60 min with spacex ... that company is under realized and under respected

but I bet they won't put an intern on the control center station

 

gosh that harsh comment in that ben afflect movie ... lowest bidder etc etc

we should be back to NASA bashing for not creating safe space age systems

 

only syfy movies do we have back up systems and life boats

the next thing to that is military having back up systems

 

the real life of NASA design .. one thing go wrong .. scrub ... but now we have a blonde HAM at the helm ... Fried astro nuts

Edited by hh5
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A great many things about SpaceX's mission to the station impressed me; it was nearly flawless. However, the thing that impressed me the most occured months before launch; SpaceX delayed the mission in order to do a complete rework of the Dragon's flight software. They did this partially due to NASA concerns, but went well beyond that. That could not have been an easy decision; it caused them a lot of bad PR. However, they took the dealy in order to reduce risk. They, unlike NASA, didn't take risks to keep to a schedule.

 

NASA can do many things well, but launch systems do not seem to be amongst them. Better, I think, to get them out of the launch business and let them concentrate on reserach and exploration. SpaceX and others seem far better suited to providing launch services.

 

I earnestly hope the senate-designed Space Launch System is canceled; it's a massive boondoggle, and will only drain funding from useful NASA programs. It already is.

 

The problem is that this is a boondoggle that has bipartisan support; the two senators who took the lead on creating this project, Bill Nelson of Florida and Kay Baily Hutchison of Texas (A Democrat and a Republican, respectively) rounded up quite a few senate supporters from both parties. They are intent on keeping all that's bad about the shuttle program; massive cost and a flawed design.

 

I'll defend NASA on one issue; no launch abort system for the shuttle. They could not have one; due to the system design, the weight penalty was too large. Every pound in an abort system is a pound of parasitic weight, and an abort system for shuttle would have weighed a lot.

 

However, on the flip side, NASA is putting all sorts of constraints on companies such as SpaceX when it comes to manned launches; they are insisting that every element of the launch system be "human rated", and meet exacting criteria (such as very demanding launch phase abort capabilities). The irony here is that the space shuttle, by NASA's own definition, was never a "human rated" vehicle. And neither was the Ares1, the canceled NASA manned launch vehicle that was part of the canceled Constellation program (the failure modes of its shuttle-derived solid rocket booster stage included quite a few that would prevent any survivable abort during a launch).

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Privatization allowed it to be a buffer from political claws of the Senate\Gov't.

It being SpaceX not Grumman or some other outfit is surely a testament to actually winning a contract rather than favoritism that occur in Gov't Contracts

We can only hope that no one in future contracts will execute this favoritism clause. But you never know if NASA will change its behavior.

Favortism wrecks Capitalism and it destroys Small Business from competing with the big guys if their patent or etc is shared with the other competing companies.

Really its nasa set the specs and the competing companies must prove they can comply or offer better features.

If this was one of the other Gov't dept that does the selection and awarding. SpaceX would be doomed.

 

Hey if SpaceX rewrote their SW then perhaps they fail some NASA QA tests.

The same must have been on Apollo Capsule and Moon Lander. Made by two companies. That both systems must be able to communicate with each other.

 

 

Abort Situation

They don't need such additional HW. The commander or Ground control can jettison the solids and\or the fuel tank.

I think they already have plans of this situation to land in like Spain or somewhere in Europe.

They just didn't decide to do it. Blame it on HAM. She doesn't have proper mission experience.

 

Question - Nowadays when a General or commander does a mission that gets civilian killed or personnel killed.

Don't they get court marshaled and\or sent to military prison or release from service

 

Should something like that be done for Challenger and Columbia problems?

Instead of demotion \ reassignment?

Its clearly they disregarded safety in a meeting.

If they never talked about damage or safety and the shuttle went boom or burn, sure we can fault anyone but fix it so it doesn't happen again

Its real funny NASA faults violating protocol during Thikol that should not be ... if a contractor has to pull the emergency cord ... they should be allowed to.

NASA as the general contractor and owner has to adhere to safety. I'm surprised that Thiokol didn't have personnel in the control room.

In Apollo, all the contractors where there monitoring systems.

 

I wonder if HAM gets any hate mail for not trying to save the flight crew. I wonder if anyone can see through the BS of when something happens they blame the equipment,

So management can get away with not being convicted.

 

Question

Can they use carbonfiber in the space ship? mmm make it 90% carbon fiber? or is there something about it that it can take extreme temperature changes?

 

 

NASA can do many things well, but launch systems do not seem to be amongst them. Better, I think, to get them out of the launch business and let them concentrate on reserach and exploration. SpaceX and others seem far better suited to providing launch services.

 

I earnestly hope the senate-designed Space Launch System is canceled; it's a massive boondoggle, and will only drain funding from useful NASA programs. It already is.

 

The problem is that this is a boondoggle that has bipartisan support; the two senators who took the lead on creating this project, Bill Nelson of Florida and Kay Baily Hutchison of Texas (A Democrat and a Republican, respectively) rounded up quite a few senate supporters from both parties. They are intent on keeping all that's bad about the shuttle program; massive cost and a flawed design.

 

I'll defend NASA on one issue; no launch abort system for the shuttle. They could not have one; due to the system design, the weight penalty was too large. Every pound in an abort system is a pound of parasitic weight, and an abort system for shuttle would have weighed a lot.

 

However, on the flip side, NASA is putting all sorts of constraints on companies such as SpaceX when it comes to manned launches; they are insisting that every element of the launch system be "human rated", and meet exacting criteria (such as very demanding launch phase abort capabilities). The irony here is that the space shuttle, by NASA's own definition, was never a "human rated" vehicle. And neither was the Ares1, the canceled NASA manned launch vehicle that was part of the canceled Constellation program (the failure modes of its shuttle-derived solid rocket booster stage included quite a few that would prevent any survivable abort during a launch).

 

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Privatization allowed it to be a buffer from political claws of the Senate\Gov't.

It being SpaceX not Grumman or some other outfit is surely a testament to actually winning a contract rather than favoritism that occur in Gov't Contracts

We can only hope that no one in future contracts will execute this favoritism clause. But you never know if NASA will change its behavior.

Favortism wrecks Capitalism and it destroys Small Business from competing with the big guys if their patent or etc is shared with the other competing companies.

Really its nasa set the specs and the competing companies must prove they can comply or offer better features.

If this was one of the other Gov't dept that does the selection and awarding. SpaceX would be doomed.

 

Hey if SpaceX rewrote their SW then perhaps they fail some NASA QA tests.

The same must have been on Apollo Capsule and Moon Lander. Made by two companies. That both systems must be able to communicate with each other.

 

Actually, the LEM and the command module had no data link. There were some instrumentation crossfeeds, that's it. For example to transfer guidance system readings from the LEM to the command module, you had to use a pencil and paper. In those days, computers had very little ability.

 

 

Abort Situation

They don't need such additional HW. The commander or Ground control can jettison the solids and\or the fuel tank.

I think they already have plans of this situation to land in like Spain or somewhere in Europe.

They just didn't decide to do it. Blame it on HAM. She doesn't have proper mission experience.

Um, no, they absolutely could not jettison the SRBs or the external tank prior to SRB burnout. There was no remote-command ability to fire the explosive bolts and do so. Such a commandset could have been added easily, but the reason it wasn't is that attempting an SRB jettison before they had reached burnout would have been a non survivable event; the SRB exhaust plumes would have destroyed the shuttle orbiter and all aboard. The same is true for attempting to detatch the shuttle from the external tank (the SRB's attach only to the external tank, which the shuttle was mounted to.) prior to SRB burnout; it would be a very fatal move, zero chance for survival.

They did have abort scenarios for after SRB burnout, including a transatlantic abort, but those depended upon how many of the three main engines had failed, and the payload weight. The only time they had an in flight launch abort was when a sensor failure shut down one of the three main engines (the shuttle was Challenger in that case), but they were far enough into the flight to abort to orbit via throttling the remaining two past 100%. They were damn lucky; had they not figured out it was a sensor failure and overridden the shutdown on the two remaining engines, they'd have lost them as well (they have no relight capability) and the shuttle at that point was on a trajectory "black zone", meaning that it's trajectory and reentry angle were not within the survivable envelope.

 

A shuttle main engine failure during the SRB burn could be handled by an abort mode (return to launch site abort) but, they'd still have to ride the SRB's to burnout; There was never even a theoretical scenario where the shuttle could survivably part company with the SRB's pre burnout. (at just over two minutes into the flight).

 

 

Question - Nowadays when a General or commander does a mission that gets civilian killed or personnel killed.

Don't they get court marshaled and\or sent to military prison or release from service

Nope... only if it's due to misconduct, violation of orders, etc. Collateral damage (including civilian deaths) happens in military missions all the time.

 

Should something like that be done for Challenger and Columbia problems?

Instead of demotion \ reassignment?

Its clearly they disregarded safety in a meeting.

IMHO, yes; it wasn't just an accident, it rises to the level of negligent homicide. I'd be fine if they'd just fired those responsible, but so far as I know, the only people who were punished were the two Thiokol engineers who tried to stop the disaster from happening.

 

Question

Can they use carbonfiber in the space ship? mmm make it 90% carbon fiber? or is there something about it that it can take extreme temperature changes?

Can and do. Quite a few parts of the shuttle were made from carbon composites, including the wing leading edge, which was carbon-carbon. They can go beyond that now, but even in the early 70's (when the shuttle was designed) The Dragon capsule makes use of it for some components, including their reusible heat sheild. (before now, capsules used ablative sheilding; it partially burned away during reentry). The shuttle and the X-37 use ceramic tiles, but the Dragon's PICA-X sheild is one peice, and also far more resistant to damage than tiles. NASA developed PICA, but SpaceX changed the process, getting a better result and loweiring the cost by a factor of ten.

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So its sounds like they could have done something about it to abort the main engines.

 

But hey like it happens in the movie IRONMAN ... you have to try it when you have to.

There were so many things they could have tried. But it all boiled down to Linda Ham.

 

I bet there are better leaders at NASA better than her.

Perhaps its about looking better than her husband who is also an astronaut.

 

Perhaps the reason of her totally getting away from the accident is the though that if she was leader again.

What if it was her husband next in rotation and something happen ... I bet she thought about losing him.

 

They did have abort scenarios for after SRB burnout, including a transatlantic abort, but those depended upon how many of the three main engines had failed, and the payload weight. The only time they had an in flight launch abort was when a sensor failure shut down one of the three main engines (the shuttle was Challenger in that case), but they were far enough into the flight to abort to orbit via throttling the remaining two past 100%. They were damn lucky; had they not figured out it was a sensor failure and overridden the shutdown on the two remaining engines, they'd have lost them as well (they have no relight capability) and the shuttle at that point was on a trajectory "black zone", meaning that it's trajectory and reentry angle were not within the survivable envelope.

 

A shuttle main engine failure during the SRB burn could be handled by an abort mode (return to launch site abort) but, they'd still have to ride the SRB's to burnout; There was never even a theoretical scenario where the shuttle could survivably part company with the SRB's pre burnout. (at just over two minutes into the flight).

 

 

So you're sayin that only in the military would there be big leeway. LOL, more so if a cover up is in place. But if the press found out then there be a oliver north.

 

Nope... only if it's due to misconduct, violation of orders, etc. Collateral damage (including civilian deaths) happens in military missions all the time.

 

I've read several articles and I don't buy a lot of the NASA playing dum founded. Yeah, the bad impression of NASA gonna stick.

And this is why there was a speedy end of the Shuttle missions in spite of Glenn trying to save the program.

NASA put the NAILS in the programs coffin. Just like it did with the Apollo missions.

I am not sure if the death count is the same.

 

If spaceX develops a better reputation than NASA ... then maybe they can or someone else can replace NASA.

The idea would be to replace the bad reputation but it be great if its done by privization.

Perhaps by the end of our lifetime NASA is replaced.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=129844&page=1#.T9Fu-dVYt5E

http://www.universetoday.com/93246/remembering-columbia-and-suffering-from-survivors-guilt/

http://everything2.com/title/Columbia+Accident+Investigation+Board+Report

 

What was your impression when you saw the foam\ice his the shuttle? Esp when the news was hopping on it.

I was on safety is a better part of valor. But even if I emailed or call NASA. They would ignore my concern.

I bet others have contacted NASA and NASA just ignores and deletes the messages.

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-205_162-566547.html

I don't buy the explanations. News men did inquire about but that wasn't enough to tell the flight crew.

They mention a foam occurrence with Atlantis. That time it was just foam and possibly the ice detach from the foam.

But this strike probably contain a lot of ice not frozen foam. I bet someone in the race car arena can figure out the damage to the shuttle.

 

Its stupid to not check. If something struck your car even if you thought was insignificant ... would you check for damage?

Given there are other ppl who can see the damage on your car ... would you listen to them and check the damage later.

And then when you did get to check the damage and saw how serious it was, you would get it fixed.

 

But NASA didn't want to lose the payload, the work, the progress of ISS and a lot of other things.

Losing any mission progress would put NASA out of business. Cost is the bottom line.

 

I bet the accident review board didn't review all videos, recorded meetings, etc etc

Perhaps there is destroying evidence or hiding of it.

 

NASA has to protect whats left of their funding even at the cost of safety.

I think congress was making NASA foot the bill on the over budget ISS. And maybe NASA had to cut a few modules off the ISS wish list.

 

--

 

The shuttle so prone to many situations that can make space flight unsafe compare to the Apollo. That seems to make Apollo safer even thou it was expensive. It sounds like Apollo was more PR to get the public excited about space exploration.

 

I've seen the other foam strike they shown before Columbia and this one was obviously display possible damage situation.

Tile damage could have been assumed but if they check then a pleasant surprize of wing damage would open their eyes.

But I bet the engineers who believe in their own investigation knew the shuttle was doomed because of HAM leadership.

 

NASA does have a history of covering up things or perhaps that controversy.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Ham

I get the impression she was dismissive of a lot of things. There are articles that give that impression.

LOL, all we need is doco videos to show how this atmosphere was like.

 

Hey Space Cowboys definitely shows this NASA attitude.

 

The article shows she did hear about a need to check by satellite.

But it appears she has no follow up. She did not ask the engineers or anyone about it.

She didn't assemble a team to review and investigate.

Whatever the meetings they did have is certainly not the openly expressive ones.

 

We don't know the mentality among them. How many of them came forward to an TV interview?

I bet none. I bet there must be a long standing threat. Say something and your fired and blacklisted.

Life among engineering is more cruel that non-engineering. A new kind of peer pressure crowd. Its not about working together.

 

I bet the interviewer could have ask similar questions like I can.

 

Whoever cancelled the request is the person that killed any other chances to try even if futile, it would have proven if once again such powerful minds can come up with a solution. It more of in her mind she saw the dead by her own thoughts n decisions.

 

So perhaps in all this drama she decided to get away from mission control and everything. Hide from the public. Hide from her guilt.

 

If she had a different attitude and leadership ... then perhaps there would have been a chance to do something.

But perhaps this what NASA doesn't want to look bad. Perhaps the fears of Apollo 13 and the others still shakes NASA mindset.

 

 

http://www.governing.com/columns/mgmt-insights/Danger-Missed-Warnings.html

"The Department of Defense was processing the request to examine the shuttle when the request was cancelled by NASA," says Ride. "The Department of Defense might have been able to spot the hole in Columbia's wing, and there were actions that NASA could have taken to rescue the astronauts on board.

 

Working in a high-risk environment, like a space shuttle or an oil rig, it is easy to grow complacent. What can managers do to avoid the complacency trap?

 

Ask "what if?" If things are going well, there is a tendency to assume that they will continue to go well. We become desensitized to deviations from the norm. To counter this human tendency, organizations need 'tiger teams' to pro-actively create 'what-if' scenarios.

Welcome bad news. A big problem in many organizations, says Ride, is the difficulty of communicating bad news. Managers don't want to hear bad news and staffers don't want to give it to them. But without hearing bad news, leaders can't fix the problems until it is too late. In the political world, strident voices warn of environmental doom due to global warming, or economic doom due to burgeoning deficits, or military doom if we fail to deal with some looming international crisis. Discerning which warning bells to listen to and which to ignore is an art -- not a science, and one which mere humans have yet to perfect."

 

 

Q-What if something like this happens in a regular company? Would some one gotten fired?

 

IMHO, yes; it wasn't just an accident, it rises to the level of negligent homicide. I'd be fine if they'd just fired those responsible, but so far as I know, the only people who were punished were the two Thiokol engineers who tried to stop the disaster from happening.

 

Challenger final demised in spite of the O-Ring is the poor high altitude weather checking. There is evidence that the shuttle was shaking more it normally would compared to other launches. The slag could have held together if the high winds didn't slam into the shuttle.

 

Perhaps the bottom line ... the public learns that space travel is unsafe.

Perhaps the extra few years we will spend it making it safe whenever we send ppl to the moon or mars.

 

But as OIL is getting less and less it maybe a race to cannibalize any kind of resource.

The moon ... that be some land\resource fight.

Already moon land has been sold.

A lot of ppl don't realize they have been defrauded.

Its going to be gov't fighting over it not the ppl.

 

We'll see what gov't will take over Saudi\Middle East.

There is no military contingent to make sure of orderly sales.

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Interesting!!!

 

I had no idea that they'd shared the video with the crew.

 

I don't remember it being in the news, even on space-related sites, before the reentry, but I might have missed it. When I first saw the vid, it was a day or so after the loss. At that time, NASA was still claiming that that wasn't the cause.

 

I remember that part well, because I got into an argument with an aerospace engineer over whether or not foam (no ice) could blast a hole into the wing. He was of the opinion that it could not, I was of the opposite opinion. NASA was still saying, at that point, that the foam on the vid couldn't have done enough damage. I was wondering what they were smoking. Anyway, I convinced the engineer my demonstrating mathematically that the foam's impact speed was probably in excess of mach1. It was simple to do; compensate for pressure altitude, use a chunk of foam the size of a ice chest as the model, and compute it's acceleration rate in the slipstream to get a rough range of velocity. The other factor was dispelling the argument that the foam would "just shatter". I proved it can't. The dynamics of a high speed impact don';t work like that. The kinetic energy has to go somewhere, and a further complicating factor is if the relative velocity differential on impact is even close to the local speed of sound in that foam, the disintegration can't propagate fast enough to dispel the kinetic potential.

 

Anyway, it was a couple of weeks later when NASA finally did a test, using an air cannon to fire foam at a wing panel, and changed their stance to consider the foam as the prime suspect. I was astounded that they resisted so long; it was glaringly obvious. The proof is on the vid; the foam is seen, post impact, as a cloud of dust. Simply calculating the energy required to pulverize it within the tiny fraction of a second the contact had to take place in should have been enough to show that the kinnetic potential of the foam strike was more than enough to punch a hole in a carbon-carbon panel, and could not have come from a harmless glancing strike to the wing underside.

 

They knew a lot about foam strike dynamics. For one thing, they already knew they'd come within a hair of losing an orbiter and crew on an Atlantis flight in the late 80's. Ah, found a link, there's a version online here. They nearly lost that mission because they made the same sort of mistakes in the face of possibly-lethal damage.

 

As for Challenger, the high altitude wind sheer could well have been a factor, but they'd had blowby on a few prior launches. Having those seals (the O rings are made of rubber) ice cold was surely a factor too; they could not seal as well when cold, and the first evidence of blowby on that flight was less than a second after launch. I think it took both factors to cause the disaster.

 

And yep, if someone in a regular company had screwed up and gotten people killed, I think they'd have been fired.

 

In that story you linked, it demonstrates another problem a huge one; they turned down the offer from the air force of a look by a reconsat, not because they thought it was a bad idea, but because they couldn't figure out who made the request. Anytime you judge something based on who made it and not by its own merits, it's a very bad situation. Common, but bad.

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You saw it the day after loss? I saw it around the time of launch.

 

Isn't the shuttle running into foam\ice at mah1?

If the shuttle wasn't not moving the foam ice would only fall at max 160mph?

 

Shouldn't there be evidence of the shattered carbon fiber left on the launchpad?

Crews should have found it?

http://jacksonville....searchers.shtml

NASA workers on Tuesday scoured two beaches near the launch pad where space shuttle Columbia lifted off more than two weeks ago in search of any debris or tiles that may offer clues as to why the spacecraft disintegrated.

 

On that hit on Atlantis wasn't it the zipper effect on the tiles?

 

On challenger, the documentary showed that slag plug up the hole in the o-ring and that the high alt win sheer dislodge it cause the exhaust to leak.

http://avstop.com/hi...jorevents/9.htm

At approximately 37 seconds, Challenger encountered the first of several high-altitude wind shear conditions, which lasted until about 64 seconds. The wind

http://www.oldrocket...ead.php?t=10618

3) Winds at 35,000 feet were at 150 mph, a category 4 hurricane! The weather balloons launched didn't reach 'Q-max' altitude until they were 40 miles down range from the launch site. It was the violent winds that shook lose the 'slag' material that had plug the burn through just 2.5 secs after lift-off. If it hadn't been for these winds freeing the slag, Challenger would have reached orbit.

http://www.nytimes.c...nted=all&src=pm

read this article its interesting.

Two or three days after the space shuttle Columbia's liftoff, a group of NASA engineers asked the shuttle program manager to request the aid of United States spy satellites in determining the extent of debris damage to the shuttle's left wing, but the manager declined to do so, a senior NASA official said yesterday.

The official said the satellites would ''absolutely'' have helped the engineers measure any damage to the wing's protective heat tiles from debris slamming into them about 81 seconds after liftoff on Jan. 16.

He said Lambert Austin, an engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston, had asked Ron D. Dittemore, the shuttle program manager, in a group meeting to obtain satellite images to help gauge the damage. Mr. Dittemore turned down the request, even though Mr. Austin was also speaking for several other engineers, the official said.

Mr. Austin and his colleagues were disappointed, the official said, especially because they believed Mr. Dittemore did not have the technical knowledge of imagery to determine whether the images would have been helpful.

http://www.governing...d-Warnings.html

Unlike Challenger, the Columbia actually made it into orbit. NASA engineers were worried about the foam hit, however, and asked the Department of Defense to use high-res telescopes to examine the wings for damage. "The Department of Defense was processing the request to examine the shuttle when the request was cancelled by NASA," says Ride. "The Department of Defense might have been able to spot the hole in Columbia's wing, and there were actions that NASA could have taken to rescue the astronauts on board."

http://jacksonville....saProbing.shtml

The military acted on their own to take pictures of columbia.

 

http://www.aero-news...74-57d8709caddb

The US military has said "yes" to a NASA request for detailed satellite images of space shuttles in orbit on a regular, ongoing basis. The agreement comes amid persistent questions about why no pictures were taken of possible damage to Columbia's wing, even though it was suggested before the orbitor disintegrated, Feb. 1.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe on Friday announced the agreement with the U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency to use the agency's spy satellites "during targets of opportunity" without NASA having to make specific requests for such images. O'Keefe described the agreement as saying in effect, "When you have the opportunity, please take it. We'll either use [the images] to great effect or autograph them and send them back."

PR Pre-emption

 

The disclosure was a pre-emptive public-relations strike against hundreds of pages of internal NASA e-mails the space agency plans to release publicly early next week. Some of those e-mails, already turned over to the board investigating the Feb. 1 disaster, describe several NASA employees as pleading for surveillance images during Columbia's mission to help determine whether the shuttle could return safely, O'Keefe said.

http://www.rijnlandm...as/columbia.htm

NASA promises to break culture of silenceSome say that's not enough

Sunday, July 27, 2003 Posted: 10:42 PM EDT (0242 GMT)

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Texas (AP) -- The space shuttle engineers who desperately wanted zoom-in satellite pictures of the damaged Columbia in orbit never spoke up at key meetings and never told the manager in charge of the flight.

lol, some one did a paper on NASA breakdown in communication

http://bama.ua.edu/~...s & Carveth.pdf

It explains the disarray in their communications

 

lol, here is lots of details of their miss opportunities during the mission

http://spaceflightnow.com/columbia/report/inflight.html

Edited by hh5
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