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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:04 PM

27 years ago today .... The Challenger Explosion .... thanx to St. Ronald Reagan

The White House put pressure on NASA to get the Challenger up so
Reagan could talk about having a "teacher in space" during his
State of the Union address.

It was so cold that morning that many NASA people didn't want to
do the lift off until it warmed up. The great physicist Howard Fineman
showed that the O-rings shrink in cold temps and that is what caused
the explosion.



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Arrow 87 replies Author Time Post
Reply 27 years ago today .... The Challenger Explosion .... thanx to St. Ronald Reagan (Original post)
Botany Jan 2013 OP
patrice Jan 2013 #1
winterpark Jan 2013 #2
Botany Jan 2013 #5
Coyotl Jan 2013 #39
longship Jan 2013 #3
Botany Jan 2013 #6
Dollface Jan 2013 #37
Botany Jan 2013 #53
yardwork Jan 2013 #58
caraher Jan 2013 #67
Botany Jan 2013 #69
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #80
Botany Feb 2013 #83
sofa king Jan 2013 #10
adieu Jan 2013 #30
lastlib Jan 2013 #35
Phentex Jan 2013 #4
Ed Suspicious Jan 2013 #16
a la izquierda Jan 2013 #26
Jennicut Jan 2013 #51
Blue_Tires Jan 2013 #63
geomon666 Jan 2013 #27
glowing Jan 2013 #42
Ikonoklast Jan 2013 #7
Ian Iam Jan 2013 #8
Lebam in LA Jan 2013 #13
Coyotl Jan 2013 #65
LongTomH Feb 2013 #73
Ian Iam Feb 2013 #75
LongTomH Feb 2013 #79
WI_DEM Jan 2013 #9
Botany Jan 2013 #12
R Merm Jan 2013 #32
Octafish Jan 2013 #11
caraher Jan 2013 #17
zappaman Jan 2013 #19
adieu Jan 2013 #34
Chathamization Jan 2013 #46
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #24
caraher Jan 2013 #68
LongTomH Feb 2013 #84
Grantuspeace Jan 2013 #14
Capt. Obvious Jan 2013 #15
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #18
City Lights Jan 2013 #20
Marrah_G Jan 2013 #56
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #61
lpbk2713 Jan 2013 #21
SpankMe Jan 2013 #22
adieu Jan 2013 #36
Coyotl Jan 2013 #44
Blue_Tires Jan 2013 #64
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #81
kudzu22 Jan 2013 #23
LittleGirl Jan 2013 #25
GatorOrange Jan 2013 #28
Tommy_Carcetti Jan 2013 #29
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #31
BumRushDaShow Jan 2013 #33
Coyotl Jan 2013 #38
yardwork Jan 2013 #59
Coyotl Jan 2013 #62
Berlum Feb 2013 #77
Coyotl Feb 2013 #78
gtar100 Jan 2013 #40
lebkuchen Jan 2013 #41
catbyte Jan 2013 #43
lebkuchen Jan 2013 #45
catbyte Jan 2013 #66
lebkuchen Feb 2013 #72
FunkyLeprechaun Jan 2013 #47
Tommy_Carcetti Jan 2013 #52
malaise Jan 2013 #48
rocktivity Jan 2013 #49
applegrove Jan 2013 #50
quinnox Jan 2013 #54
warrprayer Jan 2013 #55
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #57
reformist2 Jan 2013 #60
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #71
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #82
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #70
libtodeath Feb 2013 #74
Berlum Feb 2013 #76
Gentle-man Feb 2013 #85
hrmjustin Feb 2013 #86
Botany Feb 2013 #87

Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:15 PM

1. KICK

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:19 PM

2. This is actually true. I had a long conversation with my old boss' cousin who has been

working at KSC since the 80's and she gave me the whole lowdown. She said the whole crew of engineers, etc tried to stop the launch because of the O-ring and they were shut down. It was a completely avoidable tragedy in order for reagan to put a feather in his cap. And because those at the top claimed they didn't know (when they did) they put in place whistleblower protections in place so that someone who knows of a problem and their immediate supervisor didn't listen, they could bring concerns to another department head

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Response to winterpark (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:28 PM

5. Phone logs showed call after call from the White House .....

.... to NASA prior to the launch of the Challenger and the whole thing
was swept under the rug and America was told about St. Ronnie's
wonderful speech about the tragedy.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

Thank you.

President Ronald Reagan - January 28, 1986

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Response to winterpark (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:40 PM

39. Read post #38 below about part not so true.

What you relate about NASA knowing better than to launch and their consensus being over-ridden is not in dispute historically. WHY the White House made thedecision to launch is the area where the truth needs to be revealed still, it seems.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:23 PM

3. R&K. BTW, it's Feynman, not Fineman. nt

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:29 PM

6. thanx!

I was 100% guessing on the spelling

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Response to Botany (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:28 PM

37. Howard Fineman is the ex-Newsweek current editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group

Someone has been watching MSNBC

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Response to Dollface (Reply #37)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:38 PM

53. Look I got the "Fineman" part right .....

.... so why quibble about surnames and spelling?

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Response to Botany (Reply #53)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:46 PM

58. It's Richard Feynman. Please edit your OP.

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Response to Botany (Reply #53)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:33 AM

67. Suppose I posted about "Brock Osama"

I sure as hell would fix that!!!

It's an insult to a great physicist

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Response to caraher (Reply #67)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:46 AM

69. The man has been dead for 25 years so I doubt he is being insulted .....

.... by my slip. BTW I read his book "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!"
years ago and from what I gathered about him I doubt that somebody
getting his name Richard Feynman, mixed up w/ Howard Fineman wouldn't have
given him a minute of worry. Matter of fact good chance he would find that
goof funny and attribute it to the fact neural pathways which are used more often
tend to fire quicker and sometimes the end product is wrong.

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Response to Botany (Reply #69)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:09 PM

80. JUST FIX IT and shut UP about it, FGS.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #80)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:19 PM

83. sorry ......

.... from now on I will try to live my live in order to keep you happy.

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:35 PM

10. Richard Feynman





"I believe that has some significance (pause of disgust) for our problem."

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:21 PM

30. Then it's <b>Richard</b> Feynman

Maybe there's another physicist named Howard Fineman.

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Response to adieu (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:27 PM

35. No, he's the HuffPo political analyst who also does MSNBC....

w/ Ed, Lawrence, et al.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:27 PM

4. Yeesh, that makes me feel old!

So many kids were watching because of McAuliffe and I can still see the explosion fresh in my mind. It is not something you can forget! I remember thinking what just happened? What just happened?

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Response to Phentex (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:17 PM

16. I was in second grade watching on the classroom television they wheeled in for the event.

It was my Kennedy moment I guess.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:09 PM

26. I was in 3rd grade.

It scared the hell out of me and I remember my grandma, who lived with us, having to deal with my very distraught young self.

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:07 PM

51. I was in 4th. I totally remember the entire thing like it was yesterday.

I guess it was a big impact on our generation? It was a very sad moment. I remember going to lunch later on and we all talked about why they died.

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:25 PM

63. I was in 3rd grade, too

but we didn't watch that launch in class for some reason...I remember them showing us some earlier ones, and I definitely remember stopping class to watch the first post-Challenger launch (I was in a different school by then...)

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:11 PM

27. Yup

Same here.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:44 PM

42. Yep, my sister and I were home sick.

It was a big deal. We had a contest in the state thru the school to name the space shuttle. And one of my teachers was the runner up. He was 2nd in place of the teacher that went. I think he didn't get it because he was also a member of the VT legislation and it might appear as if he was favored for political reasons.

Those were the years I dreamed of being an astronaut. I wanted to go up into space so very badly. Had my own telescope and star charts and planet posters all over my bedroom. Even then I knew I wanted to be in science. I switched thinking and gears to marine biology. Actually go a degree and everything, alas, graduated thinking Al Gore would make science and technology a primary focus and spending initiative. Ended up with Bush and cuts and a war. I work at a hotel now. So many people wasting away in jobs they aren't best suited for making the world a better and "cooler" place to live for ourselves and our children's future.

The Bush years sure seem like a lost decade and Obama is barely able to crack the surface of what we should be doing and know we should be doing to move forward because of the backwards jackasses called republicans and Dino's protecting old school bs wealthy asshats who use money and power to protect their Franken-foods and oils gold and their polluting ways.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:33 PM

7. Pre-launch pics of the pad...





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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:33 PM

8. Seconds From Disaster S3E18 - Space Shuttle Explosion - Challenger disaster

 

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Response to Ian Iam (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:03 PM

13. Thank you n/t

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Response to Ian Iam (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:43 PM

65. Well worth watching. I doubt we will ever get the truth of the matter.

But, 1.8 billion is a lot of persuasion.

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Response to Ian Iam (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:48 PM

73. "The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party.....

....notifications of copyright infringement."

Hmmmm!!!!!

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #73)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:54 PM

75. That is rather odd

 

Perhaps you might try




Please let me know if this link works for you.

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Response to Ian Iam (Reply #75)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:06 PM

79. Yes, it does!

Thanx!

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:34 PM

9. and he still managed to get political mileage out of it.

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Response to WI_DEM (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:58 PM

12. Reagan was all about the imagine and reality didn't much matter

He ran up deficits, raised taxes, increased the # of White House employees
to record levels, cut deals w/Iran, hid money in Swiss Bank Accounts in order
to fund an illegal war against peasants in Central America, had record #s
indicted and sent to jail, got a bunch of Marines killed in Lebanon after which
he invaded Granada in order to change the subject, and he Alzheimer's for the
final 2 years in office (at least) but the image of St. Ronnie who beat the commies
lives on and on.

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Response to WI_DEM (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:24 PM

32. The Air and Space Museum put up a memorial soon afterwards

that included a staged photo of Raygun pretending to cry upon news of the explosion. I found this disgusting, as a young Engineer with a Solid Fuel Rocket Motor Manufacture at the time I was convinced of the OP conclusions.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:55 PM

11. Prescription for Disaster: From the Glory of Apollo to the Betrayal of the Shuttle



Joseph Trento explains the back story -- Nixon the hater of all things JFK also played a major part in the disaster by authorizing NASA with only sufficient funds to build a Shuttle that used solid-rocket motors. The original plans were for the shuttle to have a liquid-fueled and manned booster that could be flown to a soft landing after helping get the orbiter off the ground. In addition to being safer for the crews, the manned booster would not leave a toxic trail of rocket propellant that courses through our veins.

Thank you for reminding us of this tragic and avoidable anniversary, Botany.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:18 PM

17. I think the hobbled Shuttle program was a bipartisan exercise

There were plenty of good Democrats who opposed the program, Walter Mondale prominent among them.

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Response to caraher (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:31 PM

19. Thank you for the interesting link!

Good reading!

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Response to caraher (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:25 PM

34. There were many scientists who were also opposed

to the Shuttle because it was more of a media glitz than a real scientific experiment base. There's really no reason to put humans up 80, 100 miles in space. It's too close to earth to learn of interplanetary effects on humans, as well as for other astronomical experiments and testing.

Many scientists thought that the money used for the shuttle program could have gone into better use in space research.

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Response to adieu (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:51 PM

46. Still an issue

NASA spends too much on manned missions, especially ones with limited use. I'd personally like to see NASA do more with unmanned exploration then, say, to try to land people on Mars.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:55 PM

24. The military also added to the clusterfuck.

The Pentagon wanted a shuttle with an enormous payload bay for two reasons: So they could use it to launch Keyhole spy satellites, which were as big as the Hubble, and the real unstated Cold War reason - that payload bay was also a bomb bay, and they wanted the Space Shuttle to be convertible into an orbital bomber.

Because the shuttle was intended to be carrying sensitive military and intelligence payloads, they demanded the Shuttle have a huge downrange reentry capability, which led to the winged design, so the shuttle could in theory take off, and land back at it's point of origin after one orbit.

The result: An enormous shuttle that was bigger than it really should have been, the winged design with those fragile reentry tiles that made the Shuttle insanely difficult and labor-intensive to maintain, huge expenses, for a ship that was pretty dangerous to fly.

If the military had stayed out, the Shuttle may have been a smaller craft, about the size of a business jet, that carries three or four astronauts, and a more modest payload, which would have been cheaper to fly, maybe could have had the manned, liquid-fueled, first-stage to make it safer and more reusable.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:37 AM

68. Absolutely

That's definitely the biggest factor of all

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Response to Octafish (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:03 PM

84. "The Utah Connection"

There's another aspect to the sad story of the Space Shuttle: Aerospace analyst G.Harry Stine made a reference to "The Utah Connection," a group of powerful Congressmen from Utah. Utah, is of course, where ATK, formerly Morton-Thiokol, is located.

When the decision was made to forego the development of a flyback booster for the Shuttle, there were quite a few proposals using liquid-fueled boosters; one even used the entire first stage of the Saturn V. There were a number of proven, reliable liquid-fueled rocket engines available, including the F1 from the first stage of the Saturn V. the F1 is still listed as the lowest-cost, pound for pound, liquid fuel rocket engine ever (although SpaceX's Merlin engine may be a challenger for that title!), as well as one of the most reliable.

The reason for sticking those goddam solid-rocket boosters on the Shuttle was more to provide a lucrative contract for ATK/Morton-Thiokol, than economy. Those SRBs were not only the reason for the Challenger disaster; they were a major driver of the Shuttle's high cost. One study pointed out that the SRBs required about 6,000 'man-hours' to stack the various segments for each Shuttle launch; that's before considering the labor costs of recovery, refurbishment and transport.

I followed the development of the Space Shuttle from the earliest days (Yeah, I'm a space geek!). I saw a number of 'viewgraph engineering' designs that would replace the SRBs with liquid-fueled boosters. Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin came up with a very workable concept for a flyback booster called the Starbooster, which would replace SRB's for the Shuttle and any follow-on vehicles.

NASA Shuttle managers, as well as ATK/Morton-Thiokol's supporters in Congress, have made certain that every proposal for a follow-on launcher include SRBs. That includes the 'single-stick' SRB design for the Ares which is supposed to be the launcher for NASA's person-carrying Orion capsule.

This is why I'm such a big supporter of SpaceX, it's Falcon series rockets and Dragon spacecraft. They're all liquid-fuel designs using SpaceX's simple, reliable Merlin engines, which I see as the closest thing to the Saturn family of reliable rocket engines from the 60s.

By the way, did you ever wonder what happened to the plans for the Saturn V and it's engines? So do a lot of people. After the Challenger disaster, someone proposed a launcher based on Saturn V engines, the F! and the hydrogen fueled J2. It was to be called the 'Jarvis,' as a tribute to Gregory Jarvis, who died aboard Challenger. Big problem: the plans for those engines no longer exist.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:12 PM

14. Where was Nancy's astrologer that day? n/t

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:13 PM

15. I remember watching that live

We got sent home. I was in tears as I opened the door to my apartment. Henry - my soon to be adoptive father was home that day. He had no idea what happened (as this was before the internet and 24 hour cable news) but he could tell something bad had happened based on my state of being.

I had wanted to be an astronaut up until that point. Now my dreams were crushed.

My teacher, Mr. Fulton was able to get Buzz Aldrin to come visit after the disaster to speak to us. Meeting a real life astronaut was pretty cool, and I renewed my vow to become an astronaut when I grew up.

It was a very special episode in my life.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:28 PM

18. I still remember precisely where I was and what I was doing when I learned of the

explosion of the Challenger.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:34 PM

20. Me too. eom

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:43 PM

56. I was getting on the bus home from HS when I heard

So sad, still chokes me up thinking about it.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:04 PM

61. I didn't have to work that day. Was blow drying my hair after a shower and listening to

the launch (which I hadn't done for a while) from the other room. Right as the countdown ended I dashed into the living room to watch. When it blew up, the newscasters were babbling about how there was a problem so the shuttle would have to circle around and land somewhere. I just stood there, gape-mouthed, mumbling to myself, "You idiots, they're ALL DEAD." The parts trailed smoke in various directions and the camera stayed on the jumbled mess for what seemed like forever.

I knew they were all dead as soon as I saw it had blown up. I was stunned for days. To stand there and actually see it live as it happened was just BAD.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:37 PM

21. I saw it as it happened from about 100 miles away.




A co-worker and I knew as soon as we saw that fleur de lis that it had gone horribly wrong.

Several good lives were sacrificed that day to promote Runny RayGun's bread an circuses.



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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:40 PM

22. We can't blame every national tragedy on Republicans.

This only makes us look like the same Republican crackpots who blame everything on Obama.

If you read details about what was going on with Boisjoly in Utah the few hours before the go-ahead was given by Thiokol, it becomes apparent that the chain of events that led to this tragedy are way, way more complex than just Reagan wanting to score pride points at his SOTU address that night.

I don't doubt there was some pressure and a few phone calls. But, the horrible decision-making processes at NASA and dickhead launch management was a far greater factor in this than the Whitehouse.

Dictatorial and politicized aerospace management styles and egotistical personalities caused this more than anything else.

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Response to SpankMe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:28 PM

36. I'll grant you that

I doubt Reagan was on the phone speaking directly with mission control asking them to push the launch button. I'm sure there were plenty of layers between Reagan and the director of the launch. Nonetheless, it was pressured due more to political reasons than for engineering or scientific reasons, you agree?

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Response to SpankMe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:46 PM

44. This isn't "everything". It is one thing.

Now, if you would just back up your cover-up info with some references, sources, names, etc. we can get beyond generalities to broad to discuss, such as "everything".

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Response to SpankMe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:29 PM

64. +1

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Response to SpankMe (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:12 PM

81. You read what you are allowed to read.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:54 PM

23. I was in high school and heard it on the radio

Went to tell the rest of the school. We didn't get a lot done that day.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:06 PM

25. I remember that moment and can't believe it's been 27 yrs

wow. Like yesterday for me. I cried at work.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:15 PM

28. Republican choices put the crew in that spot that day

While fiscal conservatives and "money better spent on Earth" Democrats like Mondale had some responsibility for what happened with NASA, two Republicans share most of the blame: Nixon and Reagan.

Nixon killed or limited most Apollo application programs in favor of "austerity". SkyLab and other projects were given the short end of the sticks.

NASA wanted to use a crewed liquid fuel resuable rocket... Nixon's administration ruled that as too
expensive. Design and safety compromises were made that bit us in the rear for 30+ years.

Air Force was brought in kicking and screaming to the shuttle program: they wanted next to nothing to do with it. The shuttles large wings were a compromise of the needed lift to reach an abort location for Air Force mission. That abort location: Easter Island. That 6 billion plus shuttle launch complex at Vandenberg? Never used.

Reagan appointed the worst NASA Administrator ever in James Beggs. Militarized NASA and booted out the last of the early era leaders of NASA. Created the unsafe rushed culture that led to that fateful January day.

Then we get to Challenger. Noonan rips off the poem "High Flight" and Reagan has his most memorable domestic speech. The investigation narrows down the causes but fails to change the true culture of the NASA higher ups. Freedom Space Station becomes a black hole for contractors. And the Nixonian Deathtrap Shuttle keeps flying.

Just an ignored tragedy. NASA systematicly ruined by two of the GOP's "finest".

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:19 PM

29. The one major event in US history that I witnessed in person (i.e. live and not on TV)

My family was taking a January vacation through Florida. We saw it go up around Lake Monroe on the Volusia/Seminole county line and pulled over. Having never seen a shuttle launch before, we didn't think the sudden division of the contrails to be that unsual when we saw it. It wasn't until we got back in the car and turned on the radio that we learned what had happened.

We later stopped for lunch at McDonald's nearby, and the silence in the place was eirie.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:25 PM

33. I remember hearing about this on the way to the bank that morning

to deposit a paycheck. People out on the street were talking about it to strangers, etc. After I was done at the bank and ran back to work, I had the radio on until quitting time. When I got home, I threw a tape in the VCR and started recording - mostly Dan Rather's coverage I believe. Still have the tape, which I need to digitize one of these days.

This was so sad considering that of all times, this flight had the first teacher and there were alot of children following the launch.

I always had issues with having a huge liquid hydrogen tank (along with the liquid oxygen) as propellant. The Hindenberg analogies write themselves.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:37 PM

38. Both WRONG and COVER-UP story too.

Ronald Reagan could have talked all he wanted about a teacher in space before the launch, so forget that angle. Actually, don't forget that angle, because it would not be needed if it were not that a really awful reason DOES need to be covered up.

The timing of all this and the "need" to not cancel the launch is most interesting from the Central America perspective, where V-P Bush is committing crimes, giving 100 million dollars of aid to the Contras in violation of the Boland Amendment. This is a few months before the Iran-Contra scandal becomes public, a year before American Ben Linder is assassinated in Nicaragua by the guys Bush covertly funded. If the launch was scrubbed, Bush in Central America would have been the big news focus instead. The Challenger schedule and the decision to not alter it was more likely linked to Central America crimes than Reagan's words. Reagan could say just about the same thing either way, in space or going to be in space in a few days.

The real need of the moment was keeping the Iran-Contra scandal under wraps. There was plenty to keep covered up and away from press focus, the assassination gone wrong in Costa Rica murdered an American journalist, the 10 million dollar mistake by Ollie North to fix, the cocaine connections and the Noriega problem, plus Bush was adding to the litany of crimes in real time. The White House basement crew knew what a horrible position they were in when this decision came down. The Challenger explosion was even better better cover-up/distraction than the launch, and it took until Fall for the story to finally break. Proof of the role of Bush's crimes in the schedule remain unproven.

Today the context of the decision in not so obfuscated that we should believe your fairy tale meme about the State of the Union speech! For those of us involved in this story, in Central America and writing about it then, the underlying relationships and reasons were already as clear as that cold morning in Florida. What was also very clear to journalists by that time that the murder of an American journalist was being covered up along with the illegal support going to Reagan's not-so-secret mercenary army. A couple of days later, this journalist barely survived nine stab wounds, in my view more evidence of the gravity of the story I was penning.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:49 PM

59. There was an attempt to murder you because of a story you were reporting?

Will you tell more about that?

It was always Bush. Always.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #59)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:13 PM

62. I did not get to interview my three assailants. They escaped. I was saved by locals.

I was nearly killed, could have bled out, but survived thanks to people around me helping out very quickly with tourniquet and transport to ER.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:03 PM

77. Freaking Republicans and their vile anti-American criminal activities

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Response to Berlum (Reply #77)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:54 PM

78. Arms for millions in secret slush funds for criminal activities!

Criminal activities that put millions of dollars from selling stolen U.S. arms in a lot of private pockets while trying to overthrow liberal governments. Ah, the truth of the matter! Even this cartoon is a cover-up of the real crimes.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:41 PM

40. I never knew that about this disaster.

Figures. But tell this to a rwnj and they'll look at you like you're crazy. They don't even have the mental capacity to consider anything that tarnishes the veneer of St. Ronnie.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:44 PM

41. Feynman wrote in "What do you care what other people think"

in part, about the Rogers Commission, which Feynman was on (as were Sally Ride and Chuck Yeager). I read the book years ago, and he did not think the mission was rushed for the State of the Union address, though he did demonstrate his experiment with an o-ring in icy water to explain what had caused the explosion.

However, I've always had my personal doubts about the launch. Was Reagan's initial SOU address ever made public? It couldn't have consumed that much of the address, something that would have been easily altered if there had been another delay.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:46 PM

43. I remember this very clearly. My folks lived in Philly at the time & my DH & I were flying back

We were flying back to Michigan that afternoon, and we were watching the launch as were getting ready to go. I'll never forget that. It's one of those indelible moments that you'll remember even with advanced Alzheimer's. I remember how cold it was in Philadelphia too--there was a cold snap all up & down the entire Eastern seaboard. I also remember how angry I was when it was revealed that it was entirely avoidable and that they launched just so Reagan could brag about it during the SOTU. I remember that nauseating speech Reagan gave; oh-so-sincere even though he knew full well it was partly his fault. Typical Republican MO: fakery masquerading as substance. It seems to be the biggest lesson learned from the "Reagan Revolution"--stagecraft over substance. Yuck. RIP Challenger crew.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:50 PM

45. What is the evidence to support the claim that it was pushed for the SOU?

The Rogers' Commission couldn't find any.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #66)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:28 PM

72. No, and thanks

It makes sense that it would happen. However, I had a lot of confidence in the commission to come through with the truth. Perhaps I shouldn't have.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:54 PM

47. I was at the launch

I was 4 years old and we had tickets to see the launch (standing in the crowd) the day before (27 January 1986) and we saw the astronauts etc, they had cancelled it and we thought about going to the launch again (28 January) but my mom said it was far too cold and they'd be crazy to continue with the launch, we watched the launch from somewhere else (I don't remember very much of it). I'm from Minnesota and we were wearing our Minnesota clothes in Florida (wearing our heavy coats, hats and gloves and heavy clothing and Minnesota is often very cold every January). My mom and dad both said that they were shocked with how cold Florida was that January (they had packed mild weather clothing in anticipation of milder weather in Florida compared to the harsh winter in Minnesota).

I've been back in Florida in January over five times since and I've never experienced a very cold Floridan weather like that since that day in 1986.

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Response to FunkyLeprechaun (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:11 PM

52. I remember the night before how big and *red* the moon was.

And I remember my parents saying in retrospect it was almost as if it was an omen.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:57 PM

48. I remember as if it were yesterday

and yes it did not have to happen

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:59 PM

49. I was going to watch the launch at home and get to work a little late.

But once I learned it was 32 degrees in Florida, I left at my usual time because I didn't think for one second that they'd attempt to launch in such weather when they'd never done it before...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=46575


rocktivity

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:07 PM

50. I remember that. I was living in

resdense at university. It was so shocking. And i think it is spelt Feynman.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:40 PM

54. I remember it, but don't blame Reagan

 

I think that was actually one of Reagan's best moments, when you saw how he comforted the families and there is a famous picture of that.

Odd, I can't find that picture, it is famous and I can't find it doing an image search on google.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #54)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:42 PM

55. I blame Reagan

he was a fascist pig

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:45 PM

57. Krista McAuliffe's children are now in their 30s. They probably barely remember her.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:00 PM

60. It's this kind of unnecessary nastiness that loses elections...

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #60)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:49 AM

71. The TRUTH is brutal and necessary.

Christ on a crutch.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:14 PM

82. And which elections would those be, Mr. Romney?

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:48 AM

70. That was on my birthday.

I was watching tv with the sound off so I didn't know what happened until I saw it happen. Horrific.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:55 PM

74. So much blood is on that bastards hands and name

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:55 PM

76. Republican "Family Values" (exploitation) screw America

As usual.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:27 PM

85. Do you have sources to prove that's what made Challenger blow up?

 

Why haven't Democratic politicians attacked Reagan on this basis?

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Response to Gentle-man (Reply #85)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:29 PM

86. It is common sense.

Reagan was evil.

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Response to Gentle-man (Reply #85)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 05:37 PM

87. see post # 12 ..... Ronnie got away w/a lot of shit.

Richard Feynman proved the O rings could have been compromised because of the
cold temps and pressure



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

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