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What was the first clue? The man made Comet?


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#1 Jangler

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 08:07 AM

I put this here because I know some think the space program is a "waste" of money. :smash:

http://www.theregist...ia_crew_report/

Columbia disaster 'not survivable', NASA concludes
Cabin depressurisation killed space shuttle crew

By Lester Haines

Posted in Space, 31st December 2008 12:10 GMT


NASA's comprehensive final Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report (pdf) has concluded that the 1 February 2003 space shuttle disaster was "not survivable by any currently existing capability".

Columbia distintegrated on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, having suffered launch damage to its left wing caused by a piece of foam which detached from the external fuel tank. Hot gas entering the breach provoked a catastrophic meltdown of the shuttle's structure, although the report reveals the crew were killed not by fire but rather by a "depressurization event" which "occurred so rapidly that the crew members were incapacitated within seconds".

The 400-page report notes that some crew members were not wearing their protective gloves at the time of the "Crew Module Catastrophic Event (CMCE)", one was not wearing a helmet and the six who were had their visors open.

Accordingly, although NASA says the crew was aware of the initial "LOC [loss of control] and was taking actions that were consistent with an attempt to recover hydraulic pressure", the cabin depressurisation proved "lethal".

Had the crew survived the loss of pressure, they would have been killed anyway by injuries caused by "inadequate upper body restraint and protection during rotational motion", possible exposure to "thermal events" and, finally, "ground impact".

Specifically regarding these three factors, NASA explains that "seat inertial reel mechanisms on the crews’ shoulder harnesses did not lock", the "ascent and entry suit had no performance requirements for occupant protection from thermal events" and the suit "provides protection from ground impact with a parachute system" which had to be manually operated.

Its recommendations are that "future spacecraft seats and suits should be integrated to ensure proper restraint of the crew in offnominal situations while not affecting operational performance", and that "spacecraft crew survival systems should not rely on manual activation to protect the crew".

Regarding a "thermal event", NASA soberly concludes that "the only known complete protection from this ... would be to prevent its occurrence".

Nasa deputy associate administrator Wayne Hale summarised: "This report confirms that although the valiant Columbia crew tried every possible way to maintain control of their vehicle, the accident was not ultimately survivable."

#2 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 08:17 AM

Nasa deputy associate administrator Wayne Hale summarised: "This report confirms that although the valiant Columbia crew tried every possible way to maintain control of their vehicle, the accident was not ultimately survivable."


Yeah, I mean I know that they had to study it for other purposes, but that was pretty obvious... it's not like they could bail out at that altitude.

#3 Murph

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 09:12 AM

Huh, I was under the impression that from the moment things started to go wrong to the moment they became unconscious was only a few seconds, long enough just to look around and think WTF? then it all went black. Sounds like they had some time to realize what was happening and tried to secure things. That sucks because that they had to endure that fear and panic probably knowing it was going downhill fast.

#4 cookinwithgas

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:11 AM

I am currently reading a book called "The Man Who Ran The Moon" about Jim Webb and it's into the Apollo 1 fire at the moment. The upshot is, it's dangerous stuff that's being done, and no one can forsee all the problems that might crop up.

Challenger was a different story, that was simply bad management and communication, and too much pressure to meet unrealistic schedules.

#5 thefuzz

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:25 AM

I am not so sure that the space program is the best use of assets at the moment...to be honest.

#6 cookinwithgas

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:08 AM

If we are going to be serious about government encouraged job creation, the space program definitely fills a niche for the higher paying scientific/techincal jobs which are currently going to other countries.

An argument can always be made that money can be spent doing other things....but wouldn't it be great to have something exciting and challenging for the nation to do other than to blow stuff up, and for our kids to have people to look up to that are not TV or music stars?

Being part of a country that can say "Lets go to the Moon because we can!" is a pretty cool thing.

#7 thefuzz

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:30 AM

If we are going to be serious about government encouraged job creation, the space program definitely fills a niche for the higher paying scientific/techincal jobs which are currently going to other countries.

An argument can always be made that money can be spent doing other things....but wouldn't it be great to have something exciting and challenging for the nation to do other than to blow stuff up, and for our kids to have people to look up to that are not TV or music stars?

Being part of a country that can say "Lets go to the Moon because we can!" is a pretty cool thing.



It's almost as cool as saying lets raise taxes and wildly spend money that isn't ours.....because we can!

#8 Murph

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:41 AM

An argument can always be made that money can be spent doing other things....but wouldn't it be great to have something exciting and challenging for the nation to do other than to blow stuff up, and for our kids to have people to look up to that are not TV or music stars?

Being part of a country that can say "Lets go to the Moon because we can!" is a pretty cool thing.


I agree. Reminds me of this quote in Mr. Hollands Opus when the school board wanted to cut out his music class:

Principal: I care about these kids just as much as you do. And if I'm forced to choose between Mozart and reading and writing and long division, I choose long division.
Mr. Holland: Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about.



#9 cookinwithgas

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:55 AM

It's almost as cool as saying lets raise taxes and wildly spend money that isn't ours.....because we can!


Kids look up to junk bond traders and real estate scam artists?

#10 thefuzz

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:57 AM

What about parents?

#11 cookinwithgas

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:57 PM

They don't blast off or anything cool like that.

#12 thefuzz

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 01:23 PM

They don't blast off or anything cool like that.



Mine did, followed shortly there after with a belt beating.


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