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razorace
02-01-2003, 01:50 PM
What do you guys think of the space shuttle explosion? While it might seem like terrorism, the chances of terrorists planting a bomb or hitting the shuttle with a missile are basically nil.

The shuttle is very carefully weighed since every pound of stuff on the shuttle costs thousands of dollars.

Also, a normal AA rocket couldn't reach that far into the air.

Still, with the first Israeli astronaut on board it was a tempting target....

RoguePhotonic
02-01-2003, 02:06 PM
Just a fine example of why we need to get the new one in the air...that old piece of **** can't handle it anymore :D

razorace
02-01-2003, 02:20 PM
That's easy to say but NASA's budget has been getting cut back every year.

C'jais
02-01-2003, 02:33 PM
I don't think it's was a terrorist attack. Too unlikely and illogical. If the Israeli did it, what would be the motive? To cut off Israel as USA's ally? Go figure.

razorace
02-01-2003, 02:40 PM
I never even suggested that the israelies would consider bombing the shuttle! Where you pull that from?!

C'jais
02-01-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by razorace
I never even suggested that the israelies would consider bombing the shuttle! Where you pull that from?!

That was how I heard it on the news - They thought an Israeli onboard a US space shuttle was too good a chance...

Sting'ering the shuttle is both impossible and unthinkable in US land. Planting a bomb in a tight-security shuttle sounds ludicrous as well.

Let' put it this way: If it was indeed a terror attack, it has failed. People are passing it off as a structural failure (and rightfully so). For terror attacks to be effective, you need to show, with no inkling of doubt, that it's you who did that.

9/11 was a success because it was immediately apparent it was no mere flight plan gone astray.

If it was a terror attack, I wonder how the terrorists are feeling right now, when no one are even thinking about connecting it to them. If it looks like an accident, smells like an accident and sounds like an accident, it probably is an accident. The terror attack has failed by now if there ever was one.

Of course, I'm open to the possibility that the terrorists are going to appear on TV with a confession that it was them who did it. But I doubt they have the guts to do that, seeing what happened to Afghanistan. If it was Palestinians who did it, I seriously don't think they'd risk for the US to obliterate them.

RoguePhotonic
02-01-2003, 03:31 PM
No way "terrorists" as you call them did it...no point....you have to think strategy...they are up against such a big force....about the only way to win is to destroy key things in the U.S.'s economy.....

What possible interest is there in a space shuttle flight?


I know they make it out as it's all for the sole purpose to kill innocent lives....but that is complete bull****.

C'jais
02-01-2003, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by RoguePhotonic
What possible interest is there in a space shuttle flight?


Space shuttles are a symbol of the US.

"What possible interest is there in the Statue of Liberty?"...

'Thing is, if it doesn't get known that it's a terrorist attack, it has failed.

Darklighter
02-01-2003, 07:17 PM
Very good point C'jais. I do not believe it was a terrorist attack, if it had been, it would have been made know that it was. Astronauts must always be prepared for danger or something going wrong when travelling to and from space, in a day and age when space travel is relatively new to us. They all take the risk, and risk their lives, just like these people did. I believe that it was a genuine accident, and a tragic one at that. All we can extract from this tradegy is what went wrong, and how we can stop it happening in the future.

ZBomber
02-01-2003, 07:35 PM
Razor, it cost more than thousands, try billions. ;)

razorace
02-01-2003, 08:17 PM
I said, per pound, not per year. Check your math/source.

Jed
02-02-2003, 12:34 AM
It wasn't terrorists. We've already had reports and stories of what happened:

During take off, a chunk of ice fell off one of the external fuel tanks and hit the wing, knocking off a few vital heat tiles. During entry to the atmosphere, the kinetic energy transfered to heat energy, heating up the structure of the shuttle beyond capacity, causing it to break up. Nothing extraordinary or terrorist related.

However, if it was terrorists....one word.

Bastards.

razorace
02-02-2003, 02:51 AM
Boy if that's true, the whole team that said that the shuttle was ok-dokie after some telescope checks are canned for sure.

I'm not sure that's the case thou. If that's what caused the accident, ether that team is totally blind or it was a 1 in million chance that came up snake eyes.

^Invader
02-02-2003, 04:46 AM
Well either Terrorist got brave or a undetectable missile etc. So that counts them out...Personally I think on of the heat shielding had enough stress that it flew off CNN reported earlier today or yesterday that a few of them was getting ready to fly off. I think when that happened if it happened, the heat hit the fuel I mean like CNN.com said reentry can reach up to 3000 degrees. And yes most of the shuttle fleet needed alot of work redone you think with all the Technolgy we have now of days we could of at least come with a way to enter space alittle easier.

Kstar__2
02-02-2003, 06:53 AM
i have to agree with invader here, my thought exactely

BCanr2d2
02-02-2003, 06:54 AM
Let's clean up a few facts -

Whilst Columbia was the oldest Shuttle, built in 1979, it had just gone through a 19 month retrograde, the first planned for the rest of the fleet. Whilst it's shell may have been 23 years old, many of the inner components were not, most of them being the latest and greatest pieces fitted to the Orbiter.

Whilst it is 1970's design, that of the same era, or later than that used in Boeing 747's, F-14 Tomcats, F-15 Eagles, F-16 Falcons, E-6 Prowlers, SU-71 Blackbirds and U2 spyplanes, which are all currently operational US military hardware, it is agreed upon if the Shuttle had been designed now, the basic shape would still remain the same, the aerodymanic design is right.
The speeds that it had to cope with meant that little changes would have been noticable if we had designed on recently.

It is known that there was loss of hydraulic pressure to elevons on the left wing, which help control the shuttles descent in what is nothing more than an unpowered glide back into earth's atmosphere. Along with this is the change in pressure in the landing gear in that same wing, with the nitrogen filled tyres starting to feel the effects of what ever was going wrong up there.
It is also known that a piece of foam insulation, which was most likely covered with ice due to the extreme cold needed to keep the propellants stable, did break off from the large external fuel tank. This fuel tank is no doubt already in NASA's hands, being examined along with any remaining debris. It did appear to hit the left wing, which was later examined via high quality footage, and telescopes from Earth, and engineers passed it fit.
No one has confirmed, or denied that any tiles actually left the wingtip of the Shuttle Columbia. It is not actually rare for the shuttle to be missing some on return to earth. What may have been where this one that might've fallen off was positioned. On the leading edge of the wing is where most heat is built up, any heat allowed in through here would heat up the aluminium airframe. The wing would then most likely fall off, followed by an out of control Shuttle exposing areas to heat that they were not designed to handle.

It may have been the piece of ice, or it may have just been that the hydraulics had failed, causing the computer controlled glide and slide, to end up destroying the craft as heat entered the airframe.

Known current technology allows SAM's to reach 40 km altitude, along with the ability to track and hit targets that travel at approx Mach 3. This is approx where the SU-71's operating limit, at these heights, perhaps up to 50 km's from the earth's surface.
The Shuttle was 63 km up, along with travelling at Mach 15 or more. I assume if it was AAM, the US would've detected the intruding aircraft or missile in their airspace.
To even assume terrorism, or even mention this word in association with this event, is ludicrous.

InTeRLoPeR
02-03-2003, 07:00 PM
The left wing was missing some tiles. You can see it in the video. It doesn't matter if someone that said it was ok to return. Even if they didn't how in the world would the repair it up there? Send another shuttle and risk the two running into each other? It sickens me that one of the first things that was said by some news station(not sure which one) was that it was a terrorist attack. Even before anyone at NASA had said anything. They didn't check it will a telescope, the shuttle has tons of cameras on board that are used to check for something like this.

Luke Skywalker
02-03-2003, 09:09 PM
Thank you BCanr2d2. I hate it when cowboy Americans (no offense to professional cowboys) go out and say things like "Its terrorists!" Without doing any scientific exploration of any sort...

BCanr2d2
02-04-2003, 07:25 AM
Hate to see anyone go off at situations, and not even logically think about what is possible.

Hard to understand that as NASA looks harder at the video of the piece of ice/foam falling off the external fuel tank, that NOW they see what it has done....

Anyway, it would be technically impossible to have cameras on the bottom of the Shuttle to look for any problems there. Not only would they burn up on re-entry, they would also give small areas on the bottom of Shuttle that would allow for heat leak into the main structure....

The cameras in the Shuttle are actually more associated with the cargo bay, so that they can monitor the astronauts and robotic arm. If NASA told them to look for damage, I am pretty sure there was a way to get around them not having to return. The Robotic arm with a camera, or an astronaut in a suit could've done it for them. The only reason they actually checked for the piece of foam hitting the wing, was that everything had gone so well, they had nothing else to do...
After all, there is the International Space Station they could've docked with, and then send up another Shuttle to get them home.

Darth Groovy
02-04-2003, 07:57 AM
The terrosist thing is pro-war propaganda. Why not blame every disaster on terrorists so we go into the middle east with flags a wavin' and guns a blazin'...... really! Pathetic! :mad: NASA makes mistakes people, alot. Space Exploration is dangerous, especially since I have known Navy ships that have been Decominished that are much younger than that old ass shuttle. I don't care how much maintenance you put into it, you cant make the damn thing last forever.

C'jais
02-04-2003, 10:51 AM
Read and despair. (http://www.godhatesfags.com/fliers/feb2003/The_7_Are_In_Hell_2-2-2003.pdf) (PDf. file)

Just one question: Can we all agree that this zealot needs psychiatric treatment?

ShadowTemplar
02-04-2003, 11:08 AM
Just a comment to the notion of repairing in space: The damage was on the underside of the hull, which means that it was impossible to repair in space. As for sending up another shuttle: Without being an expert I don't think that they have the oxygen supply to hang around in orbit while another shuttle is prepared.

Read and despair.

Just one question: Can we all agree that this zealot needs psychic treatment?

I doubt that they could even get a priest to back that. And that's saying something.

And yes, he does need psychiatric treatment (or a firing squad detail).

Darth Groovy
02-04-2003, 11:11 AM
I too first questioned if this was perhaps God's way of telling us to stay out of space. I too am a Baptist, however after reading that, one cannot help to wonder if he had a nice tall glass of intolerance with his breakfast. What I was always tought, was that it was our mission to save people and forgive, not to condemn. Guess I didn't go to the same church this guy did. Thank God for that! :smirk2:

ShadowTemplar
02-04-2003, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Darth Groovy
I too first questioned if this was perhaps God's way of telling us to stay out of space.

And if it is interpretted that way, it will prove once more that God doesn't know what he is doing. Seriously: We have to expand beyond Terra, or be destroyed in a specicidal war, or so I believe, at least.

razorace
02-04-2003, 05:13 PM
Well, thinking long term here. We'll have to leave earth eventually. The sun isn't going to last forever.

C'jais
02-04-2003, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by razorace
Well, thinking long term here. We'll have to leave earth eventually. The sun isn't going to last forever.

Well, that's thinking long term indeed! :D

I'm thinking in the more immediate future than that. We're already getting too many people on the planet, and while the population growth will be less enourmous than it is right now, there's no indication that we'll ever stop getting more and more people.

Resources are also a concern. Unless we found that miraculous cure for all the energy problems, we're going to have a power shortage.

All in all, when too many people are crammed together with inadequate supplies, violence is bound to erupt sooner or later.

daring dueler
02-04-2003, 08:46 PM
i dont think anyone was behind it at all i think it was a freak acident-now they are saying people warned of it and all that but think about all the sept. 11 rumors.

Andy867
02-05-2003, 06:39 PM
My girlfriend's dad and myself both agreed mere minutes after learning of the disaster thought that we had heard of the piece of foam, not ice, that fell and struck the left wing of the orbiter. We also thought, well, there should have already been a contingency plan to get the astronauts out of the shuttle to personally inspect the damage of the shuttle. They had 16 days to work with, surely they could have taken 5-10 hours out of the day to inspect the damage and relayed their findings to NASA whether through voice communications or even email for that matter. NASA really botched this mission big time. if I was in charge of the Mission and learned that there was damage to the shuttle, I would have grounded it before it even entered space. But because of NASA's overconfidence and stupidity, 7 people are dead, and they are rightfully taking the heat, which they should.

I guess i should also note that it would be impossible for any surface to air missle projectiles to reach the orbiter, so any land-based terrorist attack would be futile. The Personal Stinger missle according to classified specs, can only reach 5-10 miles, where as the shuttle was over 200,000 feet (207,??? in the air) or almost 40 miles into the air. So firing the missile at it would be a wasted missile and waste of time.

Pnut_Man
02-05-2003, 06:54 PM
It's a true pity for NASA, the guys down there must feel so guilty, it's a shame. Unforunately it seems that our explorations into Space will be ultimately delayed, I can only hope that we send another shuttle up in the next 3 years. Damn freaking wars, they waste so much money so that lives can be destroyed; if only the world could come together and fund NASA so that colonies in Space could be a possibility..

BCanr2d2
02-07-2003, 03:56 AM
I am agreement with some of you here, that it has taken less time than the Shuttle was in space for them to almost make quite a clear statement about what happened. As for the foam piece, remember that it surrounds an extremely cold tank, which makes the piece of foam most likely to be full of water, or frozen into ice, not just simply some foam..

Andy, it only takes 8 1/2 minutes, or 510 seconds for the Shuttle to be at orbiting height, it is one hell of a quick ride, tell me you could've made a decision in the 2 or 3 minutes that they had, to jettison the external tank, and external rockets, along with somehow manouvering the shuttle - in air it is only a glider, THEN not to have it too high in the atmosphere to have the problem of heat in the landing. I think you ask way too much of NASA to be able to do that.

razorace
02-07-2003, 04:09 AM
It should be noted that NASA doesn't think that the foam caused the accident. They're estimating that the piece of foam would only weighed 2.5 pounds. There's no way a 2.5 pound peice of foam could have cause that much damage (if any).

Andy867
02-07-2003, 04:15 AM
But take 2 or 3 pounds accelerate it to roughly 500-1,000MPH, and aim it at your car, and see what damage it does. You have to realize that once the orbiter started taking off the mere inertia or force driving the Shuttle would cause the some proportion of force to throw the foam into the wing, which NASA themselves agreed caused a roughly 7" long hole in the left wing, which is more than enough to cause critical problems to teh orbiter.

razorace
02-07-2003, 04:25 AM
I'm not sure I agree with your math.

This foam came off the shuttle, it wasn't falling from the sky. Yes, the shuttle is accurating like a bat out of hell, but I'm not sure that a piece of foam could come off the shuttle and hit at a speed to cause mission critical damage.

C'jais
02-07-2003, 07:12 AM
Originally posted by razorace
but I'm not sure that a piece of foam could come off the shuttle and hit at a speed to cause mission critical damage.

A gram of paint is enough to rip through the hull of your ship in space. A bucket of paint is enough to tear the ship apart in half at that speed.

BCanr2d2
02-07-2003, 07:37 AM
It's a case of the Shuttle hitting the foam, not the other way round, think of that way.

It's the same kind of logic that people tell you when you drop a coin from a height, if it hits something, it will do a lot of damage to whatever gets in the way. It will also leave a mark in the ground, or concrete that it lands on too.
Grab a 1 kg weight, and then think about how something like that being hit by something going at about Mach 1 or so, then tell me it wouldn't do any damage. The tiles aren't indestructible, they are extremely heat resistant, which would tend to make me think they are of a ceramic base, which explains the ease in how they might've chipped/broken/moved.
Perhaps at the end of this, what may happen is that the leading edges of the wings will have some form of protection. The Shuttle will not be out of action for the same kind of 32 month time delay that happened after Challenger. Challenger was a case of faulty equipment, not an accident. They had to go through every single supplier and audit their production so that an act of shoddy design and manufacture wouldn't cause such an accident..

Echuu Shen-Jon
02-07-2003, 11:42 AM
I don't care if it was either terrorists, human mistake or system faliure. It was just terrible. Think of the familys, who have to live on, without their father, uncle etc...I feel for them.

razorace
02-07-2003, 03:40 PM
I'll remind everyone that the foam had the momentum of the shuttle when it detached. It's not like it was traveling at terminal velocity straight down. The math is very complicated and I can't say what the foam impact speed would be.

Andy867
02-07-2003, 03:51 PM
But in all seriousness, {MGS}Echuu, it is because of severe human error that the families are having to deal with this great loss. If NASA had implemented an in-orbit repair procedure, there is a good chance that columbia would have landed in one piece. So, as you can see the cause and effect theory taking place. The cause: The foam hit the wing. The Effect: All 7 members of the space shuttle Columbia died in-flight.

Well razorace, if it was going the speed of the shuttle, which i have heard numerous times as well, it was going approximately 1,100mph into the wing.

razorace
02-07-2003, 04:05 PM
yeah, in the SAME direction as the shuttle, the impact speed would be far, far less.

NASA doesn't think that the foam cause the accident. I don't think it did either. It's just the scrapgoat of the media.

Andy867
02-07-2003, 04:18 PM
I remember hearing just mere hours after the explosion, NASA was saying that body parts had been found.

Originally posted by Yahoo! News
_Forensics experts say they are confident remains of Columbia crew members can be genetically identified. Johnson Space Center spokeswoman says remains of some astronauts have been found in rural east Texas.



Originally posted by CNN.com
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Photographs taken by an Air Force tracking camera shortly before the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated show serious structural damage to the shuttle's left wing, an aviation magazine reported Friday.

The images, captured about a minute before the shuttle broke apart, show a jagged edge on the left wing structure near where the wing begins to intersect with the fuselage, according to a report in Aviation Week & Space Technology.



Razor, one thing we have to remember though is that once the foam was detached from the shuttle, for a brief second it is suspended in air, and within that second, the shuttle is still moving at 1,100mph+, which then strikes the foam piece, which when weighing 2lbs, can cause some serious damage.

razorace
02-07-2003, 04:46 PM
You're still not understanding the momentum issue. The foam doesn't just stop instantanously when it deattached from the fuel tank. Yes, the air resistance slows it down, but the impact speed isn't easy to guessimate.

Andy867
02-08-2003, 12:50 PM
But anything even past 100MPH, which is probably underestimating would be enough fpr a 2.7 lbs piece of insulation foam(with probably some ice formed on it) to do some damage. And apparently,we all know that it was enough damage to place those 7 astronauts into their graves.
But one thing that confuses me is why NASA didn't implement a repair procedure. Oh wait, I know, they only wait till they kill of some of their own before they should do it. Perhaps one day they will actually learn to think ahead of time before making yet ANOTHER crucial mistake or wrong assumption. Perhaps this disaster will get NASA to get on top of the ball for once, and actually implement safety procedures. Shuttle repair procedure should be a basic procedure, not some idea to be considered.

razorace
02-08-2003, 03:43 PM
I think the reason why is because they didn't think it was an issue.

First off, minor tile loss was expected and non-mission critical. The shuttles always came back with some tile lose.

Second, all the tiles are custom made. You can't just bring up some spare tiles.

Third, there's not enough time. The shuttle has a limited amount of fuel, oxygen, etc. Even if they had found major damage, they wouldn't have been able to do much. They didn't have the equipment, time, or fuel to either repair the damage or cut and run to the ISS.

Finally, there's the money issue. We could come up with a safer way to do our space exploration but it would take many more times NASA's current budget. Yes, losing the astronauts and a 2 billion dollar shuttle was bad, but we accepted those risks when we cut NASA's funding dramatically since the Apollo program.

Andy867
02-08-2003, 08:33 PM
Space Shuttle repair should already have been a primary procedure when space travel came to be.
NASA and anyone with a basic understanding of thermal energy and space shuttles knows that even the slightest crack at speeds of MACH 18 and 3000 centigrade is not good. Once that heats get up into the aluminum shielding, the astronauts are basically chicken in the oven as they are heated up to that fatal 3000 centigrade.

Third, there's not enough time. The shuttle has a limited amount of fuel, oxygen, etc. Even if they had found major damage, they wouldn't have been able to do much. They didn't have the equipment, time, or fuel to either repair the damage or cut and run to the ISS



All they would have to do is stop the shuttle. Then get a couple people out in the suits, and at least inspect the damage so if needed, another shuttle could come up with a repair crew. Because right now, there is more money being spent on the recovery then would be on any procedure that even I could conjure up.

And if losing the Challenger, and the 3 astronauts in Apollo 1 was bad enough, NASA still doesn't have more safety precautions? Hell, Apollo 1 was an accident waiting to happen with its suicide door.

razorace
02-08-2003, 09:19 PM
They didn't have the money to DO that. Having a emergency shuttle preped and ready to go for every shuttle mission would have cost billions in additon to the money spent on all those extra spacewalks. Our political representives and NASA decided that it wasn't worth it. They made their bed; now they have to lay in it.

Andy867
02-09-2003, 03:16 PM
Well, If NASA would have quit screwing up with their heads up their asses, they would have seen all these problems, and the Government would still be helping in funding NASA. The gov't will only fund project that work, and with NASA repuation being less than reputable, they kind of screwed themselves over for a long time or until they can get themselves onto the positive side of the spectrum, like discovering intelligent life outside of Earth.

razorace
02-09-2003, 05:11 PM
Nah, I don't think NASA did anything wrong. They just quit having the needed leadership and support from the Prez and Congress. If the Prez said TODAY that we'd be landing on Mars in a decade, NASA could do it (with the financial/political support).

Andy867
02-09-2003, 06:58 PM
Didn't do anything. Let's recall these dates:

1995: Independent specialists, hired by NASA, warn NASA that a piece of foam striking the shuttle and cracking even tearing away the ceramic heat tiles would be sufficient enough to cause probems.

Jan 16th, 2003: During launch, a piece of foam(possibly coated externally with ice) strikes the left wing. Several NASAengineers and specialists confront the mission leaders and other experts that the incident could prove critical in the re-entry of the orbiter.

Feb 1st, 2003: At approximately 9:00am EST, NASA loses contact with the shuttle, and amateur home videos show the shuttle breaking up into many pieces, while specialized Air Force Tracking cameras take photos of the re-entry, which show a jagged/damaged section of the left wing.

"The Columbia is lost."

So, because NASA ignored many warnings over time, they DID do something. They did many things wrong.

razorace
02-09-2003, 07:17 PM
Hindsight is 20/20. There's ALWAYS some group saying that such and such is a danger. If we pissed our pants everytime a "danger flag" is raised, we'd never get anything done.

SkinWalker
02-10-2003, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by Andy867
And apparently,we all know that it was enough damage to place those 7 astronauts into their graves.

Actually, making that statement would be making a blanket assumption. The dislodged foam is definately a possibility (and looks very probable), but there is still much left to examine and several hypotheses left to test. It could easily have been micro-meteorites or tiny space debris. Many contend that it is only a matter of time before a spacecraft encounters some nut or bolt that is orbiting the earth. These bits of debris, themselves, could be traveling at 8 km/sec. Factor in the orbital velocity of the spacecraft, and depending on the bearing of both.... well, bullets on Earth aren't that fast.

Originally posted by Andy867
But one thing that confuses me is why NASA didn't implement a repair procedure.

There was no way to do so. If one has a flat tire, the driver stops his vehicle and uses the spare. This analogy doesn't work for the shuttle crew for two reasons: 1) they could not possibly carry enough spare tiles. It would require that they have one spare for each in use, since they are that unique; 2) The crew did not have that kind of EVA capability and were probably not trained in EVA since that was not in the mission profile.

Originally posted by Andy867
Oh wait, I know, they only wait till they kill of some of their own before they should do it. Perhaps one day they will actually learn to think ahead of time before making yet ANOTHER crucial mistake or wrong assumption.

That is a completely ignorant statement. I use the word ignorant because you obviously know little of how NASA works. They are the original thinkers when it comes to contingency planning. So, obviously they "think ahead." I will, however, conceed that it may be time for the Space Program to rethink it's vehicle design. Also, to even suggest that the folks at NASA would be careless with lives is a very calleous and thoughtless statement. NASA is a very tight-knit family. Most of the mission control people consider the mission specialists their friends. I cannot imagine what level of professionalism allowed them to continue calmly at their jobs as their friends perished.

Originally posted by Andy867
Perhaps this disaster will get NASA to get on top of the ball for once, and actually implement safety procedures.

NASA has been more "on top of the ball" than any other government agency in US History. I wish their level of efficiency existed elswhere. Safety procedures? Going into space is inherently risky. These astronauts knew this. The use a hydrogen bomb to get there for Pete's sake!

Originally posted by Andy867
Shuttle repair procedure should be a basic procedure, not some idea to be considered.

You're obviously a smart guy.... write a proposal and submit it.

Originally posted by Andy867
Well, If NASA would have quit screwing up with their heads up their asses, they would have seen all these problems, and the Government would still be helping in funding NASA. The gov't will only fund project that work, and with NASA repuation being less than reputable,....

NASA has always had, and still has, a reputation of being professional and of planning missions to the very second with contingencies for contingencies. I'm not surprised, however, that those that are largely ignorant are willing to step out into the limelight and nay-say as a highly successful organization experiences a tragic loss.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

SkinWalker

razorace
02-10-2003, 01:58 AM
I'm with Skinwalker. To blame this on NASA doesn't seem right. They're doing the best they can with what they got.

As for developing a new form of space travel for NASA will take billions of dollars and years. We'll most certainly have to use the shuttles in the meanwhile to maintain the ISS.

SkinWalker
05-10-2004, 12:43 PM
This is a long overdue apology.

Two posts up I made a accusation to Andy867 about being ignorant of the workings of NASA as I defended their ability to handle the Space Shuttle Program's administration.

I was probably very wrong and, Andy, I apologize. Sincerely. This has been nagging at me off and on for quite some time and I finally did a search and dug this post up. I didn't remember that the person I was so scathing to was, in fact you, but I did remember the tone I took.

I read, last summer, a book by Richard Feynman: "What do you care what other people think?" In it, Feynman goes into detail about the Challenger investigation (he was a physicist on the committee) and the culture of NASA (from his description, "cultures" would be more accurate) and how this was the main contributor to the faulty "O" rings.

It struck me then, and the apology should have come then, that my assumption about NASA was completely wrong. Having grown up on or near a NASA base as a child (Wallops Island, VA), I had some pre-conceived notions about NASA. I was always impressed with their thouroughness and dedication to a mission, even the small ones. My family was friends with many NASA administrators and, as a toddler, I even had U-2 pilots and crew show me their aircraft and even babysit for me (a guy named Luke, who everyone nicknamed "Coolhand").

In short I was biased and made an emotional response based on that bias. I still hold NASA in very high regard when it comes to the way they operate, only now, I realize and concede that they are people. And as such, have all the same fallibilities as the rest of H. sapiens. Cultural norms, particularly the pressures of the "bottom line" of money and funding can creep into any organization and corrupt it, especially as it grows in population.

I was emotional and biased and I was far more belligerent than I should have been.

I should be ashamed of myself.

SkinWalker

ShadowTemplar
05-13-2004, 11:41 AM
Just to rack up more bad stuff against NASA, I've been told a conference where some NASA guy proposed cooling a space probe with liquid He-3 Now, recycling He-3 in a zero-g environment is impossible, so they proposed simply allowing it to evaporate into hard vacuum! 3 litres of liquid He-3! AFAIK that's half the available He-3 in the world! Just where did they think that everyone else was supposed to get their helium from after that? At twice the price, at least? Stupid gits with no respect for rare and precious resources.

[edit] Just to give a sense of scale to this, a litre of gaseous He-3 costs roundabout a million dollars.[/i]

razorace
05-13-2004, 03:35 PM
What a sec, is He-3 just processed helium? There's loads of helium on the planet.

Secondly, you're not truely losing it because it would still be in Earth's gravitation field, right? It would eventually just settle back into the atmosphere.

ShadowTemplar
05-16-2004, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by razorace
What a sec, is He-3 just processed helium? There's loads of helium on the planet.

Nope. It's a helium isotope (like U-235 is a uranium isotope). And it's an isotope that we don't have in plenty.

Secondly, you're not truely losing it because it would still be in Earth's gravitation field, right? It would eventually just settle back into the atmosphere.

1) We're talking about a deep space probe.

2) He-4 cannot escape the atmosphere, because it is too heavy, but He-3 is lighter by 25%. I don't know whether He-3 can escape but it would seem likely.

3) Even orbiters are so far out in space that the Earth's gravitational field is too weak to hold back He-3

razorace
05-16-2004, 10:41 PM
ok, more specifically, is it just rare because it is hard to create or because it's a rare resource that we can't create thru other means?

ShadowTemplar
05-26-2004, 11:31 AM
Well, it's a combination, really: There's not a lot of it in the atmosphere, it's hard to extract, and it's hard to store and transport.

As for your other question, then yes, theoretically we can make it, but not in any significant quantities. Besides, even if we could make industrial scale manufacturing plants, you'd still need a nuclear reactor to power it, even without considering waste energy. I sure could find some better way to use a nuclear plant.

razorace
05-26-2004, 05:57 PM
Define "not a whole lot". You can have a element be very low density (like Uranium) but have a whole lot since there's a lot of earth to refine it from.

ShadowTemplar
06-05-2004, 02:13 PM
'Not a whole lot' in absolute numbers. Even if we could improve our means of refining, there'd still be a fairly low upper cap to how much we could produce in total. I don't have the exact figure, but it's a noble gas, and it is fairly light, so one can conjecture that it will tend to escape the atmosphere little by little. Furthermore, it has a high binding energy, which means that it's tough to create in natural processes (He - 4 is much, much more likely). And lastly, it might be unstable, but I'm not sure about that. I'll have to look it up if you want to know.

razorace
06-05-2004, 03:13 PM
Nah, that's ok.

Andy867
06-06-2004, 05:39 PM
Its ok Skin, some of my remarks were biased in that I was very upset by NASA's lack of resourcefulness to investigate the possibility that the foam that struck the left wing could cause complications, especially since NASA doesnt have the best track record.

What I found really interesting was about 6 months ago, I read a report that way stating that NASA is looking into making a repair procedure for future flights, which could possibly help prevent future incidences, such as the Columbia accident.

For me, the procedure of space repair would be the standarization of parts for the crafts that go up, and make them into components and sections to that if say a wing does get struck, they can initiate a procedure that would have systems start-up that would act as a counter while that section of the wing is removed and repaired, or possibly have the repair vehicle be able to dock with the shuttle or station whatever and help it maneuver while the repairs to the section of the wing, nose, whatever, are being completed.

razorace
06-06-2004, 11:07 PM
Well, the problem with that strategy is that you'd have to waste huge amounts of resources to do so. They discussed it at the time, but the shuttle didn't have enough fuel to make a run to the space station had they discovered the problem in the first place.

Personally, I think they just need to construct a new shuttle design with a titanium hull that can survive reentry. The problem is that we've haven't been giving NASA the funding to do such projects. As such, they've been stuck with an inferior design for decades.

ShadowTemplar
06-15-2004, 06:14 PM
The main problem with creating redundant systems is that it takes up weight, and every kg you want to send into orbit costs valuable fuel. Personally, I think that they should scrap the shuttles and use more specialized craft instead. The shuttle is basically a catch-all: It's designed to carry out the following operations

1) Bring stuff into orbit

2) Bring people into orbit

3) Carry out repair functions and experiments in orbit

4) Fetch stuff back to Earth

5) Fetch people back to Earth

Now if the shuttle can use two, three, or four of those capabilities, it pays to use it, but more often than not, it has only one mission, meaning that you send a lot of useless functions into orbit, which is more expensive and hazardous than using single-purpose craft.