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CNN: NASA grounds shuttle fleet(debris, but guess is, will not be problem)

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:24 PM
Original message
CNN: NASA grounds shuttle fleet(debris, but guess is, will not be problem)
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 07:10 PM by DeepModem Mom
NASA grounds shuttle fleet
Falling debris during launch draws concern
Wednesday, July 27, 2005; Posted: 6:45 p.m. EDT (22:45 GMT)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN) -- There will be no more shuttle launches until NASA engineers determine the effect of debris that fell from the shuttle Discovery during blastoff Tuesday, said Bill Parsons, space shuttle program manager.

"We are treating it very seriously," he told reporters. "Are we losing sleep over it? Not yet."

He added, "We will continue to do the evaluation."...

***

Earlier Wednesday NASA lead flight director Paul Hill said that, based on engineers' "first-blush" analysis of falling debris, there was "no significant problem" with the orbiting shuttle.

Hill spoke to reporters after astronauts, using a robotic arm equipped with a camera and laser, spent "one hell of a day" poring over every inch of Discovery, looking for surface damage....

***

Appearing at a news conference at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Hill said that NASA engineers' "first blush, when they looked at this, was it wasn't going to be a significant problem." But, he added, engineers have seen "some things" in video from the launch that cause "some concern."...

***

NASA was analyzing data from video and from the robotic arm, the launch and elsewhere to decide what steps -- if any -- to take next.

"We should start seeing the jury coming in on those decisions by the end of the crew's day tomorrow," Hill said. "My guess is we're not going to have a problem."...

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/07/27/space.shuttle/...


Reuters: HOUSTON (Reuters) - NASA halted future shuttle flights on Wednesday after learning that a large chunk of insulating foam broke off Discovery's external fuel tank during launch.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050727/us_nm/space_shuttle... ;_ylt=Ap3Sa5N8WYDPjr1xLzKfNQ0YAjMB;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl


AFP: HOUSTON, United States (AFP) - NASA said it was grounding the US space shuttle fleet after a large piece of foam insulation broke off from the fuel tank of the Discovery shuttle on liftoff.

While the US space agency said the foam did not damage the shuttle on Tuesday's launch, a spokesman said that future flights are on hold until the problem is corrected.

"Until we're ready we won't fly again," said Bill Parsons, space shuttle program manager.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050727/pl_afp/usspaceshut... ;_ylt=Au6q5bzP_OOWFJfng8Vc_eYYAjMB;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl


AP: SPACE CENTER, Houston - NASA officials said Wednesday it would ground future space shuttle flights because foam debris that brought down Columbia is still a risk.

A sizable chunk of foam insulation that came flying off the shuttle Discovery's fuel tank during Tuesday's liftoff did not hit the orbiter and does not pose a risk to the seven astronauts.

But it is a problem NASA thought had been fixed, and represents a tremendous setback to a space program that has spent 2 1/2 years trying to rise from the ashes of Columbia....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050727/ap_on_sc/space_shut... ;_ylt=AkKKMjzg6Zui1uqHFCYCAsgYAjMB;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great
way to go NASA. Those astronauts better make it home this time or heads should freaking roll.
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tulsakatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
18. it seems like........
.........every time they try to go up again, something falls off of it!! Why don't they wait until they know, for sure, that the thing is going to stick together before they try it again?

I heard if they didn't do it now, they would've had to wait a few months. Would it really have been that bad if they had postponed it for awhile?
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NoQuarter Donating Member (532 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. That would mean
more column inches for turd blossom.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Oy! I Hope The Get Home Safely!
That really sucks...
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Idiots
Fucking, fucking, fucking NASA idiots

:banghead: :banghead: :grr: :grr: :mad: :mad:
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. That HAS to make the current crew feel comfortable...
"We just grounded the entire shuttle fleet because stuff keeps falling off, but you'll be JUST FINE."

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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. Geez, no kidding
What a mess. :scared:
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. NASA?
I would like to know who really made this decision. Someone here said that when the Challenger exploded, it was partly because Reagan pushed the launch ahead of schedule.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
26. this was definitely pushed too
probably * needed the distraction. The next window was in late september i think. once again political folly puts our people at risk.
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Pepperbelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
93. RR pushed one, too.
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 11:59 PM by Pepperbelly
Anyone remember the frozen O rings?
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #93
111. All too well
:cry:

RIP Challenger crew
RIP Columbia crew
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. The last time a piece of foam plipped off...
:nuke:

I wish them the best, however.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. What Are Those Bananas Riding On? Anyone?
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
32. cartoon llamas?
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
33. Peeps? With legs?
Mutant peeps? That's my guess.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #33
119. Animated pieces of snot?
Slugs?
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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. God.
:scared:

I don't want to do this again.
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. Translation:
The damage was serious and the crew will be spending time at the ISS until we can figure out how to get them home, probably thanks to Russia.

Woohoo.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. You're probably right
at least there is an ISS they can go to.
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
90. Unless they are scheduled to go to the ISS, no
I attended a lecture a few months ago given by a real life rocket scientist who trained some of the Columbia crew before their fatal mission. She was asked why couldn't the Columbia have gone to the ISS and she said the orbits are different and for all kinds of technical reasons they can't just fly up to the space station.
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don954 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #90
92. they are in the same orbit as the ISS due to this
this is why they were so worried about launch windows, they wanted to be able to dock with the space station in case the crap hit the fan..
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #92
95. ... That was the MISSION PROFILE, for chrissakes!
They're scheduled to deliver supplies to ISS. That was the whole goddamn point of the mission! It's been in the pipeline since before Columbia crashed! :banghead:
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edbermac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. If they don't make it back okay, kiss NASA goodbye...
I'm sad to say...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. But We Had To Launch Discovery, Since Launching Roberts
didn't change the subject enough.
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montanacowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Exactly
and the big mouth *pRESIDENT spouting off with "pride" blah blah, to Mars and beyond

Everytime he opens his ugly pie hole something bad happens
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cire4 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
12. Apollo 13 all over again?
Thank goodness Russia and the International Space Station is up there...
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'm not the least bit surprised.
Hopefully they'll scrap the entire shuttle program and get to work on real space science.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. 35 yr old technology, used in a 25 yr old crate
with tiles that have failed each and every flight?
Why would we want to scrap that?
considering that congress manages to screw NASA every time NASA wants to have enough money and freedom to build something better.


I remember the days that NASA did Real rocket science. Only later did they outsource to companies for a profit. and things have gone downhill since.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. NASA's only got themselves to blame.
It's their bloated administration that's led to all this crap.
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
66. bloated administration is America's #1 problem.
at all levels we trust things to 'administrators' and 'managers' who don't know how to do the work, don't want to know, and don't really care except in-as-much as how something negative might effect their career prospects. Do-nothing know-nothing unskilled management is going to be the death of this once great nation.

trust me, this type of shit is everywhere.
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #66
112. They haven't let go of...
Faster, Better, Cheaper.
(Choose any two).

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Im_Your_Huckleberry Donating Member (160 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #27
80. "270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder."
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newscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
65. I agree. It may be time to move on.
The shuttle seems far too complicated, or at least has all the wrong kinds of problems.

Time for a fresh start, a new idea.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
14. Uh, "entire fleet"?
What is that, two?
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. Three, actually.
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 06:38 PM by MercutioATC
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #25
36. I stand corrected.
Thank you.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Your point was well-taken, though.
If one is in space right now, the "fleet" they grounded is, in fact, two craft.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #38
44. Actually...
even though there's only three shuttles, the amount of resources devoted to them is huge.

The grounding of the fleet is a really big deal.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #44
54. Yes, but it's not a lot of actual craft. There've only been 6 built.
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 07:00 PM by MercutioATC
Enterprise was never meant for space and Challenger and Columbia blew up. That leaves three (and one's in space right now).
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #38
48. Yeah, and the phrase "the fleet is grounded"
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 06:49 PM by KansDem
...sounds like the other two are warmed-up and raring to blast off. It's not like these things are taking off on a daily basis, but I suppose "the fleet is grounded" sounds more dramatic than "the other shuttles, which haven't flown in years, have been grounded."
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
67. seriously, "Remaining Orbiters" might be a better term
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #67
81. surviving, aging orbiters?
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. CNN says they'll reach the ISS Friday and check it out
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 06:34 PM by LizW
If it is too serious to risk re-entry, normally another shuttle would go get them, but with the whole fleet grounded, that can't happen.

:scared:

I hate to think this, but it could be that the shuttles are done.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
30. Maybe we can
buy some "capsules" from Russia...s

they seem to work pretty good....
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #30
40. At the very least, we'll have to get them to go get our people.
I bet that will cost a pretty penny.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
39. they should be done
by today's standards and even with upgrades the tech is primitive. we're talking the days when the TI-99 and the TRS80 were your home computers and there was only marginally better stuff in the shuttle.
If NASA is son gung ho to keep throwing people spaceward they needed to work on a better design for a human worthy vessel, or just put HAL up there to do shit, instead of building multiple mars probes that died before the most recent ones and thinking up ways to punch holes in comets to figure out where life might have come from. WHO THE FUCK CARES. Keep our astronaut's lives safe first.
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arcos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
43. Can two shuttles be attached to the ISS at the same time?
Would they abandon Columbia?
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. I would think so, but I don't know. n/t
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #43
52. Well, they could
in the movie Armageddon. But in reality, I just don't know.
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Chichiri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #52
71. That wasn't the ISS in that movie.
That was "Russian Space Station." :p
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. My bad
:rofl:
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #43
68. at the same time? certinly not. but this shuttle is probably fine
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #43
113. Not possible...
It can dock multiple Soyuz, but not shuttles.

Put a fork in it, the shuttles are done for.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #16
96. Sigh ............
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 12:17 AM by kestrel91316
:cry:

I am sad at the prospect of this. 22 years ago I came within one postage stamp of applying to NASAs astronaut program. I changed my mind, but always grow wistful when I see them fly. I could have done that, too.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
19. I feel ill...n/t
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im10ashus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. NBC has it on now.
Apparently the shuttle lost the same pieces on take-off as did Discovery. Big problems!!!
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Thanks, im10ashus.
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Dem2theMax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
23. Banner has been removed from CNN site. NO word about this at all
on NASA.gov and no mention of the story on CNN. What gives?
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I still see a red banner at the top of the CNN homepage...
with the words above.
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Dem2theMax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. Refresh the page and see if it's still there. It's not there, at least
not on the page I'm looking at! LOL?
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. I just saw it at CNN
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
42. they must have heard us
mysterious indeed
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
51. It's still there n/t
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Dem2theMax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #51
56. No it's not. LOL! But they finally have a story up. Here's the link:
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. LOL....actually it still is there (as of 5:53 CDT)....
...and thanks for the link. :)
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. It is still there on CNN
at least for me. Big red banner, top of page.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
34. Time to cut more funds for science teachers.
And to stop them from teaching the dreaded "Eve-ohhh-lew-shun" as well.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
37. News yesterday said will get visual check @ ISS
THe NPR report I heard yesterday sounded like the purpose of this flight was to see if they can repair bits in space. Can they transfer to the ISS if need be?
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
41. They are doing the right thing
Worse gets to worse they will send a Russian ship to rescue them, or at the minimum provide supplies

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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #41
49. And oh how that would be a blow
to NASA's ego. Hell, America's ego.

We really do need something better than the shuttle.
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. This has nothing to do with NASA's ego
and to hell with politics

This is about science

I have no doubt that this will turn out O.K.

One thing I agree with you on though, they do need something better than the shuttle

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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
45. Sounds like they need to eliminate the Shuttles
they are getting old and need to be replaced with something else. Their day is done. Not that there is anything in the near future to take their place but this is getting ridiculous.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #45
72. I'll give them a starting point
Rethink the "tile" system, it's too fragile. Rethink the fuel system. Wasting a giant Hydrogen/Oxygen tank every flight is a terrible waste, not to mention dangerous. They really need to hire Burt Ruttan.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
46. I sure hope all goes well
we don't need another trajedy.
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
50. Frankly, this is what exploration is all about
people believe they will have something 100% safe are sadly wrong

The worst thing is what happened with the last two shuttles

On the Challenger they presented it as safe, and it never was, plus they didn't listen to the engineers, and was all politics

The last shuttle was pure sloppy evaluation of the problem

This will turn out OK



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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. Thanks for this word of encouragement, still. nt
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
59. An earlier article I read stated that they could stay on ISS
For fifty odd days (there is enough food, oxygen, etc), and jettison the shuttle into the sea. That seems pretty desperate. I wonder if they would try to take it down with the minimum crew and have the remainder stay on the ISS?

If this is how it pans out (no more shuttle), I expect Bush/PNAC to re-orient space travel to almost entirely military ends.
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Zenlitened Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
60. FYI, there is a plan in place for this scenario, but it ain't pretty.
... If Discovery suffers a problem after launch - currently scheduled for 13 July - its crew may take refuge aboard the International Space Station while another shuttle prepares for a dramatic rescue mission. But this solution carries risks of its own.

NASA set itself the goal of using the station as a "safe haven" in the wake of the loss of Columbia, which was critically damaged during launch in 2003 by a chunk of falling foam from its external fuel tank.

If a similar problem strikes Discovery, its seven crew members can join the two already inhabiting the space station. Normally, ISS crews could use the Russian Soyuz capsule to escape to Earth, but the Soyuz seats only three.

So NASA has been preparing the shuttle Atlantis to launch with a four-person crew to pick up the stranded astronauts. Atlantis would dock in Discovery's place at the station and the damaged orbiter would be pushed into the atmosphere to sink in the ocean.*

Full story:
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7653



* Actually, I think it would break up on hitting the atmosphere, and come down in burning pieces. "Sink in the ocean" sounds a bit flowery.

As for what happens if foam damages Atlantis on the way up... :shrug:
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Sam_Lowry Donating Member (76 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
61. The super-cynic in me says.....
Shrub would love for this to end in disaster. All that coverage of something other than Rove.


:mad:
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Rufus T. Firefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
62. Paint the external tank!
The tank was painted for the 1st two shuttle flights (it was white). They decided to save money and 2 tons of weight by not painting the tank. I'd say the paint would keep the insulation from flying off. A couple tons and some extra money is better than losing another shuttle.

I love how initially NASA said there was no way that the foam caused the Columbia disaster, now they're INTENSE about it. Wanna bet that this probably happened on EVERY launch but they never paid attention to it?
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #62
70. Exactly how is paint going to accomplish what the adhesives

that are currently used don't. Is this some sort of 'magic' paint ?

The paint in early flights may have been used for its reflective value (heat deflection) or for visibility for monitoring the tanks in flight (camera optics not as good as today).
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Rufus T. Firefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #70
107. I'd say heavy paint would keep it together.
Increased aerodynamics from a smoother surface, possibly.
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #70
114. Was it those #$*&@! woodpeckers pecking the foam again?
Subject: STS-70 Launch Delayed
Date: 2 Jun 1995 14:53:04 -0700

NOTE TO EDITORS: N95-36

NASA MANAGERS DELAY LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY, ATLANTIS DATE NOT SET

NASA managers have decided to delay the launch of Space Shuttle
Discovery on Mission STS-70 in order to make repairs to foam
insulation on the vehicle's external fuel tank. Earlier this
week, technicians at Launch Pad 39-B discovered that
woodpeckers had inflicted about six dozen small holes in the
insulation material.

Due to the critical role the insulation plays from a thermal
standpoint during the Shuttle's launch and ascent, and the
tank's re-entry into the atmosphere, it was determined that
the damaged areas must be fixed prior to flight. After
evaluating the location and nature of the areas in question,
it was determined the repairs should be performed in the
Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). This is due to access and
environmental concerns at the launch pad.
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #62
74. "... bet this happened on EVERY launch" thats what I want to know, when?
WHEN did the damn foam become a problem?
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
63. Don't worry. They'll be okay. BUT...
it's way past time to retire the Shuttle program. These ships, and this program, are almost as old as I am. They are using technology just a few years removed from those old red LED wristwatches and the TI-30 calculator. (Remember those?)

It's been nearly 40 years since the Shuttle program got off the ground. We have since seen a private company develop a spacecraft that can launch into low orbit and return without the "ablation" technology used in the Shuttle. We can accomplish much, much more than we are doing now, if only we had the funding. (I, personally, think it's much more worthwhile to throw a few billion dollars at space than it is throw HUNDREDS of billions at a misbegotten war in the Middle East.)

NASA and the astronauts on board the Shuttle will solve this problem. They are already ahead of the game, since they are AWARE that this may be a problem. But when this problem is solved, it's time for us to really look at what we want to accomplish with our space program, and how we want to go about it.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #63
69. I read once...
that the shuttles literally have an 8086 on board.

I don't know if that's true.
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #69
75. upgraded to radiation-hardened 80386s I think in last decade
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #75
78. Great. 386s.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #78
83. I guess that "386" implies that they have the math coprocessor
Thank God for that!!
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MountainMama Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #69
82. Explain please?
I don't know what 8086 means. Thanks.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. One of the original IBM PCs (ca. 1980) used an 8086 processor
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 08:11 PM by Enraged_Ape
Your cheapo Palm handheld of today has a lot more firepower than that.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #69
87. No it is not true.
They use quad redundant AP-101s, a space hardened version of the IBM/360. Not quite as powerful as the Intel IAPX86 but still serviceable. The expense of man-rating new hardware has prevented newer faster processors from being certified.

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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #63
89. Ruttan's ship never went into low orbit
Sub-orbital is the description I recall. I am not saying it couldn't with more development, though.
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MrMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
64. Appears that Discovery is OK
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/27/science/space/27wire-...

SPACE CENTER, Houston (AP) -- NASA officials said Wednesday they would ground future space shuttle flights because foam debris that brought down Columbia is still a risk.

A sizable chunk of foam insulation that came flying off the shuttle Discovery's fuel tank during Tuesday's liftoff did not hit the orbiter and does not pose a risk to the seven astronauts.

<snip>
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
76. The guy interviewed yesterday claimed only a small part of tile
came off. He was actually laughing about it, saying it shouldn't be a problem at all. Are they saying something different now?
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jim3775 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. No, the news media is being alarmist. n/t
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jim3775 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
79. SHUTTLE FLEET NOT GROUNDED!
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
85. CNN ON-AIR UPDATE from Miles O'Brien: foam fall-off "close call"
A significant piece of foam fell off Discovery, similar to the one that fell off Columbia, with disastrous results. Luckily, the foam that fell from Discovery happened in a way, or at a time, that did no damage. NASA thought the problem of foam falling off had been fixed. Obviously, it has not -- and that is why shuttles are grounded, until the problem is fixed.

Sorry, this is a complete non-expert report. If others can better explain, please do!!!
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
86. Hubble is now Toast. Shit!
The mission to rescue Hubble was iffy at best. Not there is no chance in hell they will risk a shuttle to repair Hubble.

This is tragic.


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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
88. Everyone was being alarmist two years ago...
when they suggested the space shuttle might blow up. Me included. I COULDN'T BELIEVE they didn't do a space walk to check on the wing. The footage of the foam falling off was greatly disturbing and NASA said it was no big deal. And then the space shuttle blew up. A SECOND TIME. Same problem - a culture of not questioning, not making waves.

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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-05 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #88
91. Someone suggested I was being alarmist yesterday
Edited on Wed Jul-27-05 11:46 PM by rocknation


for posting this pic of debris falling off, and what I thought was a very cavalier attitude: "By Sunday, the mission management team will have enough information from the cameras to know whether Discovery is in safe enough condition to return to Earth..." I was assured there was nothing to worry about because the orbiter hadn't been damaged.

I still say that NASA knew that the previous shuttle WASN'T "in safe enough condition to return to Earth" not long after its takeoff. And just like the shuttle that blew up before that one, they seemed to be under some sort of pressure to stay on schedule. Is history about to repeat itself?

:headbang:
rocknation
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #91
94. You were being alarmist yesterday. You're being alarmist right now.
If the goddamn foam didn't hit the goddamn plane, then the godddamn plane is still goddamn fine. End. Of. Story.

Is that too fine a concept to make it through your skull?
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #94
97. That's the foam we KNOW about.
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 12:40 AM by Hissyspit
The shuttle is fine, as far as I know, but we've heard it before. I was making a point about the use of the term alarmist and depending on authorities who have previously shown themselves as incompetent. Neither posts says that particular piece of foam hit the shuttle and damaged it.
There is no need to be an asshole on DU forums.
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #97
98. Yes, yes there is.
And if you were being alarmist two years ago, you must be one of those time-travel alarmists I've heard so much about. As I recall, word about the foam incident wasn't released until after Columbia broke up.

Look, there were a hundred different cameras watching the shuttle during ascent. So far, they've only seen four incidents:

* A turkey buzzard hit the top of the ET at T+00:00:02.5. Sucked for the buzzard but otherwise didn't do anything.

* The foam seperation from the piping down the ET just after SRB jettison. It was captured on video, shown that it didn't hit the Orbiter, and followup photography by the crew after ET jettison shows exactly where the foam came off.

* An inch and a half wide chip came off one of the tile near the nose landing gear doors. Why it did is TBD.

* Another tile hit a bit lower on the underside of the shuttle. This one was picked up by the inspection boom. We'll know more when the ISS crew images the orbiter's belly before docking tomorrow morning.

So far, that's it. This is not the time to be screaming OMGTHEYREDOOMED. So unless your crystal ball has some new unreleased information, stuff the alarmism, mmkay?
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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #98
115. Apply the foam to an anchored fiber or wire mesh.
This sounds like an engineering problem that could be solved. There has to be a way to keep the foam on the tank. Why not apply the foam to a tight wire or fiber mesh with request anchors to the tank. It would be a bit like reinforced concrete.

Has nothing been done to address this apparent design flaw?
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #115
116. Note that most of the foam stayed put.
All that lovely orange...

Adding a mesh to the tank would just make it heavier without adding any significant level of reinforcement - the foam sprays on like a coat of paint.

The design flaw that killed Columbia, a series of anti-ice ramps up at the point where the orbiter's nose connects to the ET, was removed from the ET used on Discovery. The point of the modification was to remove things that needed extra foam, not add another layer of dreck on top of it.
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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #116
117. all of the foam all of the time
The simple solution is only best if it works. All of the foam must stay on the tank all of the time.

Anchor a 1" x 1" carbon fiber grid to the tank and spray the foam on.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #98
118. You recall COMPLETELY WRONG
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 03:50 AM by Hissyspit
The video of the foam piece striking the shuttle wing was shown the day of the launch. (See here: http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/02/01/shuttle.columb... /) I remember quite CLEARLY watching it the day of the launch, and then hearing NASA officials saying it was not worth a space walk to check on and wondering what the hell they were talking about. Whether it was identified as foam or not the day of the launch is beside the point. It was clearly hitting the wing and was a serious issue. Why do I feel so confident that I was right in my assessment of the situation the day of the launch two years ago and NASA officials were wrong? BECAUSE THE FREAKING SHUTTLE DISINTEGRATED on re-entry.

They repeatedly BEFORE the re-entry resisted implications of the threat posed by the piece seen hitting the wing and then after the re-entry CONTINUED to do it until finally all the evidence showed that THAT was most likely the cause. So no, I am not a time-travel alarmist. I was not being a time-travel alarmist when I complained to my girlfriend as we stood at the World Trade Center buildings on Aug. 11, 2001 that Americans were spoiled and oblivious for electing George W. Bush and that they would try to blow up the towers again, only this time they would not use trucks because it didn't work and more likely they would try missiles or airplanes. No, I didn't save anyone's life, but, silly me, I was thinking someone intelligent was in charge of things.

Also, I did not at all scream OMGTHEYREDOOMED in my original post. I did not say that the foam hit the shuttle this time, as I pointed out in my second post. I was addressing the idea of officials being the be-all end-all of authority especially when we've seen this before: political pressure/concerns and group-think mindset affecting safety issues and public relations pronouncments - the same social phenomenon that destroyed TWO space shuttles.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #118
120. DING DING DING! Hissyspit, you're our grand prize winner!
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 09:24 AM by rocknation
...(W)e've seen this before: political pressure/concerns and group-think mindset affecting safety issues and public relations pronouncments - the same social phenomenon that destroyed TWO space shuttles.
Which is more than enough just cause for keeping my alarm on, thank you.

:headbang:
rocknation
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #98
122. Friday Headline from BBC: Foam 'Might Have Struck Shuttle Wing'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4726543.stm

Foam 'might have struck shuttle'

Nasa officials have said they now believe at least one shard of protective foam might have hit a wing of the Discovery space shuttle. But they said they were confident the craft would make a safe return.

Nasa deputy programme manager Wayne Hale said new photographic evidence appeared to suggest an impact with one of the wings.

But he stressed there was a "divergence of opinion" at Nasa on whether the foam had actually made contact.

- snip -

Mr Hale said he did not believe the impact had caused any damage to the shuttle. But in January 2003, the Columbia shuttle broke up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere after a piece of insulating foam struck its wing.

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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #94
121. If the goddam shuttle cannot stay in one goddam piece
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 09:42 AM by rocknation
when it's goddam SUPPOSED to, IT SHOULD STAY ON THE GODDAM GROUND. What part of THAT is "too fine a concept?"

:headbang:
rocknation
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
99. The NYT version
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 12:55 AM by Goldmund
HOUSTON, July 27 - NASA suspended further flights of the space shuttle fleet on Wednesday after determining that a large piece of insulating foam had broken off the external fuel tank of the Discovery shortly after liftoff Tuesday morning - the same problem that doomed the Columbia and its seven astronauts in the last mission, two and a half years ago.

The foam does not appear to have struck the Discovery, so the decision will not curtail its 12-day mission to the International Space Station, the officials said. But further flights will be postponed indefinitely, starting with that of the Atlantis, which was to have lifted off as early as September.

"Until we fix this, we're not ready to go fly again," William W. Parsons, the manager of the shuttle program, said at a news briefing at the Johnson Space Center here on Wednesday evening.

The detection of another large breakaway piece of insulating foam is a potentially devastating setback for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and a bitter counterpoint to the elation of Monday's seemingly perfect launching of the Discovery, a return to flight that was hailed as an inspiring comeback for the space program.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/28/science/space/28shutt...
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #99
100. I don't really have a warm and fuzzy feeling about this.
Just keep visualizing their safe return. Oh my goodness this is creepy.
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #100
103. Just to repeat, for the cheap seats in the house:
Discovery did not get tagged by the foam. The orbiter is more than capable of making a safe reentry and landing.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #99
101. dupe
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #101
102. Oops
Thanks! :hi:
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SnoopDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #99
104. After all these years, 24 years now, why is foam coming off now?
I would think that after all these years this would have been addressed and taken care of.

Personally, I think it is a scam to end the shuttle missions.

I too feel deeply for this current mission - I hope they return safely.
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #104
106. That's probably why
That shit is old and rickety.
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:02 AM
Original message
Not really, no.
Age isn't really a factor when it comes to the ET foam; the tanks are all expendable, and none of them are more than a year or two old by the time they launch.

The CAIB Report cited failures of quality control during the application process, mostly due to managerial problems involving United Space Alliance, the primary contractor for Shuttle launch services. The foam itself has been a problem since the beginning - foam hits caused impressive but non-fatal damage to the TPS well before Columbia - but it was considered the lesser of two evils, since the alternative was to leave the tank bare metal, thus allowing ice to form, which definately would've caused massive damage to the orbiter no mater what.
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
109. Ahh I see
Thanks for the info! :hi:

So it was pure luck it never happened before Columbia.
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Emperor_Norton_II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #109
110. De nada
So it was pure luck it never happened before Columbia.

More or less. If the foam had bounced off Columbia's belly or the underside of the wing instead of hitting the leading edge, she could've ridden it down without anybody noticing it until they landed. For all their much-publicized fragility, those tiles are amazingly tough where it counts.

Instead, it hit the most fragile part of the shuttle's thermal protection, punched right through it and... well, you know the rest.

Same thing with Challenger - they'd had problems with cold-related O ring burnthrough before STS-51L, but they rode it out on luck because it hadn't been that bad. Then they launched under conditions that way exceeded anything they'd ever done before and...
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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #106
108. The shuttle program was never intended to last this long. - n/t
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
105. Dupe, please delete
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 12:49 AM by Goldmund
This thread has been combined with another thread.

Click here to read this message in its new location.
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Zech Marquis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
123. better safe than sorry
I'd much rather see NASA overreact like this, than to do like 2 years ago and say (in public),"oh it's no big deal, stuff fall off all the time.." The extra sensor and cameras should have been added much sooner.
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