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NOW they ground the shuttle fleet, before they're even back on earth

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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:08 AM
Original message
NOW they ground the shuttle fleet, before they're even back on earth
that's got to instill the astronauts with confidence huh?
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yeah........
I bet they're shitting bricks up there, unless they haven't told them, that is.
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Prism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'm sure they did
They're testing the new robotic arm to inspect the outside of the shuttle while it's in orbit. No doubt they're having the crew study the thermal tiles very closely.

A minor loss of thermal tiles was actually a fairly routine occurrence during previous shuttle missions. They're very fragile, and the "glue" holding them on isn't as strong as one might think. It wasn't the loss of tiles that destroyed Columbia, it was the gaping hole blasted into the wing.

Also, factor in this is the most closely scrutinized and video taped shuttle mission in the history of the program. The insulating foam could have been - and probably was - flying all over the place during launch. They simply never noticed or never worried much about it until it caused a disaster.
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, maybe they'll even refuse to come down

they'll be so mad.

Undoubtedly they announced it because it would have leaked out anyway, once they decided to suspend FUTURE LAUNCHES.

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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. that's what goin' with the *lowest bidder* gets 'em.....
....sure hope they make it back safely this time. :(
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woodsprite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Which goes to prove the launch was a "distraction". n/t
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. at this point,i would be having nervous breakdowns if i were up in orbit
:)
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oscar111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Robotics cost 1/1O human flights, do same jobs. End human flights
we cant afford human flights. Never could.

9 million starving to death worldwide. "flyover people"

here, 1OO OOO homeless die /yr from heat , cold.

4 billion would end all hmlssness.
Save 1OO OOO lives.

The shuttle throws away 6 billion/yr.. on obscure experiments that robots could do for .6 billion, saving 5.4 billion, eno to end all homelessness and save 1OO OOO lives right here in the usa.

The current shuttle is illconceived and costs many, many lives.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Factor in the cost of congressional
junkets to watch the launches, even the ones that are postponed - how many thousands of wasted tax dollars that could have been better used to feed some hungry kids.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. I don't understand how they didn't know this pre-launch . .
Back in the sixties I worked on several space programs in SoCal. Even then we had huge speaker coils powered by big amplifiers that we attached to items that were headed to space - and we could shake the hell out of them. We used a variety of acoustic waves including recordings of the actual vibration spectrum from the rocket motors that were being used for launch. We vibrated the whole Apollo upper stages to find resonant modes.

We also had wind tunnels to subject models to air flow at any conceivable airspeed. It amazes me that they are surprised now about the foam still breaking and coming off.

Do they just not have the money to run the tests? Seems unlikely for such a critical known problem that has already destroyed several lives and set the program back several years and billions of dollars.
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. gluing little tiles on the shuttle seems so low tech to me
interesting job you had!

why can't they cover the whole thing in the tile material? instead of gluing hundreds of them on. i never understood that.

tesla proved more or less that resonant vibes can rip anything apart.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Tiles can only be baked up to a certain size.
(And then there's the different coefficients of thermal expansion
between the tile material and the aluminum underlayment.)

Tesha
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mopaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. they've had a 'space plane' design forever, instead of a rocket design
it goes slowly into orbit just like a plane and comes in the same way. i don't know why they've never persued it.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. How do you figure it dissipates the energy...
How do you figure it dissipates the energy represented by orbiting
at 17,000 MPH? THAT is the problem that the tiles are meant
to solve.

Tesha
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. What I find interesting about the tile design is this...
Every system on the shuttle has 3 additional back ups. Why then is there only one way of protecting the shuttle during re-entry?

During the days of the apollo program a heat shield was used to protect the capsule upon re-entry. With all the technology and geegaws invented since the apollo days, one would think that they could come up with something a hell of a lot better than frigging tiles!

I had an idea a few years ago, but it would add a lot of weight to the shuttle so, I thought it a bad idea. However now I don't think it's so bad and with modern tech I'm sure they can figure out a lighter way.

Why doesn't NASA use that apollo tech on the shuttle. Still use the tiles but under the tiles, especially the wing and nose sections, place a layer of the heat shield resistant material that was used during 60's. I'm sure at this point they could figure out some sort of thinner material or a spray on version of that stuff.

Pardon my ignorance in all of this, I'm neither a rocket scientist or play one on TV. It's just something that begs to be explored.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. In a word, "weight".
The heavier the shuttle, the more energy needs to be dissipated as you
brake it from 17,000 MPH to zero.

The tiles represent a good solution; they've just got to quit smashing
them on launch.

Tesha
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jim3775 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. There is a backup
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 08:38 AM by jim3775
There is a pressure seal and two redundant heat shields on the shuttle.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Redundant heat shields?
Again, pardon my ignorance, but why then didn't they work?
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. There's also a problem with different rates of thermal expansion.
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 09:14 AM by msmcghee
As Tesha points out. It's like why there has to be expansion joints in railroad track. That can put tremendous stress on the adhesive joint.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. They probably knew a "probability" (for detaching foam)
And then, on launch, they lost the bet.

Tesha
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