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Old 02-03-2003, 06:01 PM   #61
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the fact that we are launching 7 humans into space at 10000+MPH should create an "almost certain" exhibition of the most diligent de-icing system in the world.

and if it was insulation, what is insulation doing on the exterior of the tank, especially insulation that is able to be broken apart, or removed during take-off.

They say they cannot think of everyting, but at the cost o fwhat they are doing (human life and $) they should damn well be able to...

2 disasters out of just over 100 flights is not a good statistic in my book.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:07 PM   #62
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The insulation is on the outside of the tanks to help prevent ice from forming. I believe it's sprayed on relatively thinly to prevent it from adding too much weight to the craft. Even with the insulation there is still a team of people that are responsible for de-icing the tanks and the shuttle til takeoff. Apparently this is the best they can do.

It does sound like the tanks need to be redesigned. Remember, the Challenger exploded because the O-rings in the tanks were too cold to hold their pressure.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:44 PM   #63
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Has anyone seen the picture of the helmet just laying in a field? It's on the front page of aol. It's creepy.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:44 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy
It is true that the tiles fall off, but it is also true that none of the astronauts on the flight were trained to replace the *life-saving* tiles.


They weren't trained for this because there was no way for them to replace the tiles from space.


Quote:
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH GODDAMNED ICE FORMING ON THE SHUTTLE BEFORE IT TAKES OFF IN FLORIDA????

I understand it gets cold, but shit, I have had my plane de-iced on more than one occasion, this is hte friggin space shuttle.

The whole thing pisses me off...
my understanding is that the ice forms on the solid rocket booster...it is filled with liquid nitrogen and other chemicals that are extremely cold.


I hope that now NASA will finally get the funding it needs for improvements, instead of always cutting their budgets.
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Old 02-03-2003, 10:55 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy

ouizy thinks we should not be flying shuttle to space that were designed in the 1970's.

....Columbia, was indeed, built and designed in the 1970s, but was studied and remodeled/fixed after the Challenger explosion. As the oldest vechile in the shuttle class (Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Enterprise were all developed after Columbia), it was extensively remodeled after each flight. There was nothing wrong with the Columbia. There was absolutely no way that NASA was going to put an injured/broken spacecraft into the air. Not in the most volatile business.


Quote:
More importantly, if NASA knew of an idiosyncrasy during takeoff (i.e. the insulation or whatever hitting the left wing) why were the astronauts not told of this, and why was the left wing not inspected in orbit.
There's a great line in Apollo 13.

"Flight, they're still shallowing up there."
"Anything we can do about it?"
"No"
"Then they don't need to know."

Simply, NASA officials analysed the situation and didn't deem it to be a problem. AS well, there is no way that astronauts could have inspected/reparied this. Ther is no way to re-fasten a tile in space, nonetheless one underneath the left wing of a spacecraft. I'm sure the astronauts were aware of this, as was NASA. A similar occuence happened to the Atlantis in October (peeling off of insulation. However, after analysis, it did not appear that this event was likely to occur again or cause any damage. I think now NASA has to look at this and work the problem).



Quote:
ouizy also thinks the remaining three shuttles we have should be grounded and used for kids to walk around on and explore.
sweetest disagrees wholeheartedly. Grounding those shuttles is a contradiction in itself. Letting kids walk around inside saying, "Here's the technology we have to go into outer space, but we won't let you guys grow up to try it. We'll just hold it here. Lookie, no touchie." It's denying progress. Grounding those shuttles will not prevent the exploration of space, but rather, will hinder the space program from being able to study their designs and rectify any evident problems.


Quote:
We cannot have this happen again...
I don't think it will. Think of everything that has ever gone majorly wrong at NASA. Broken door, sparking mechanisms on Apollo 1. They fixed it. Never happened again.

Damaged coil, loss of O2 tank on Apollo 13. Never happened again.

O-ring instability on the Challenger. They fixed it. Never happened again.

I can hazard a guess that this insulation problem will no longer be a problem in furture flights. We learn from our mistakes.

I'm sure that there will be NASA problems in the future, but that happens will all technolgy. How many planes crash per year? How many cars? How many people are the victims of electrical fires, bombs, man-made diseases, etc. This is where progress has taken us. You don't see society stopping, people not driving or flying, not studying the physics behind the atom (bomb), the biology behind bacteria and disease.
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:12 PM   #66
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Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing
sweetest disagrees wholeheartedly. Grounding those shuttles is a contradiction in itself. Letting kids walk around inside saying, "Here's the technology we have to go into outer space, but we won't let you guys grow up to try it. We'll just hold it here. Lookie, no touchie." It's denying progress. Grounding those shuttles will not prevent the exploration of space, but rather, will hinder the space program from being able to study their designs and rectify any evident problems...

I'm sure that there will be NASA problems in the future, but that happens will all technolgy. How many planes crash per year? How many cars? How many people are the victims of electrical fires, bombs, man-made diseases, etc. This is where progress has taken us. You don't see society stopping, people not driving or flying, not studying the physics behind the atom (bomb), the biology behind bacteria and disease.
I agree sweetest! I was going to say the same thing just now about plane crashes, car crashes, etc. Space travel is dangerous. There will always be hazards and accidents wether it's with the remaining shuttles, or with newer crafts. We can't let one tragedy slow us down. They will find the problem, and make sure to the best of their ability that the same problem doesn't occur in the future.

If we ground the shuttles all together, then the seven men and women who died on Saturday died in vein, we can't let that happen. They knew the risks of space travel. There are so many things we can learn from space travel...it's not just about flying in space. There are experiements and science studied aboard the space shuttles that can help better mankind, not to mention the security of the nation.
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Old 02-04-2003, 12:13 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by ABEL



If we ground the shuttles all together, then the seven men and women who died on Saturday died in vein, we can't let that happen. They knew the risks of space travel. There are so many things we can learn from space travel...it's not just about flying in space. There are experiements and science studied aboard the space shuttles that can help better mankind, not to mention the security of the nation.
!!

Those astronauts knew the risks of space travel, yet they were willing to risk their lives to do so, to better and further humanity. I'm going to sound like the world's biggest advocate for space exploration here, but space travel is a test of human ambition. How fast, how far, how high. We can do it if we band together (International Space Station). It is a test of the human spirit. To be up there, in the sky, where all that exists is sunlight and shadow....it must be incredible. I have an amazing amount of respect for those astronauts and everyone involved in NASA.

You're absolutely right about the science experiments being tested. John Glenn--effects of aging similar to the effects experienced during space flight. I know of an elementary school in Canada that actually devised a hypothesis as to how plastic held up in space and NASA tested the hypothesis on the last shuttle.

What if there's a cure for cancer on other planets? Shouldn't be explore? Shouldn't we know about our universe, considering we LIVE here? It's a part of our history, we a part of the universe's history.

Or do we turn a blind eye against all this? In that case, how do you know where to draw the line (not you ABEL, just me generally lecturing here). Why fight disease? Why worry about the ozone layer delpeting? It's so far away, I can't see it, why should we all even care? Space travel has brought us so much already - including cooperation between nations (cold war, anyone?)

These experiments that they bring up all have a purpose: to better life on earth. This is why we always send peple up there: they risk their lives to help us live better.
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Old 02-04-2003, 03:40 AM   #68
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I don't think Ouizy meant that we should ground all space missions (I hate speaking for someone else, but this was how I intrepreted his posts). I think he meant that NASA should design a new type of space craft, using what they know today to try prevent tragedys like the Columbia.

Yes, nothing created is going to be completely accident proof...but it just seems odd that after 25 years they haven't figured out how to keep the heat tiles from just falling off, or getting damaged from pieces of the rocket booster.
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Old 02-04-2003, 06:56 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by Giant Lemon


Whoa, what happened to him?
I won´t repeat the details here.

What do you think has happened? He was a piece of meat when he came down. As if bullets hit you on every centimeter of your body + severe inner injuries - lung, limb, heart,... eyes two black holes...

Anyway, he survived. An incredible inner force made him train every day, and after some time he was able to walk again. He had all this power bc he wanted to continue flying. And after two or three years, he went back to work as a test pilot.

Without those people, Smith, Brush, Bridgeman, Dr. Strepp, and a handful of others, space flights wouldn´t have been possible. True American heroes.
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:51 AM   #70
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I guess I am just frustrated.

Here is why:

I just think that NASA needs to update their fleet. I am not saying ground the shuttles and halt space exploration, I am saying push research and development and get the new spacecraft in the air. In the field of architecture there are safety factors, codes etc. that all have to do with prevention of loss of life. I am not naive enough to think the same things do not apply in the space biz I simply do not believe losing two shuttles out of five is acceptable. They should not be flying unless under a 95%-100% safety factor, and if they do, they should not be surprised things like this happen.

Unmanned is the way to go:

NASA’s X-37 is an advanced technology flight demonstrator, which will help define the future of space transportation — pushing technology into a new era of space development and exploration at the dawn of the new century.
The X-37, a reusable launch vehicle, is designed to operate in both the orbital and reentry phases of flight. The robotic space plane will play a key role in NASA’s effort to dramatically reduce the cost of putting payloads into space.

Capable of being ferried into orbit by the Space Shuttle or an expendable launch vehicle, the X-37 will operate at speeds up to 25 times the speed of sound and test technologies in the harsh environments of space and atmospheric reentry.

The X-37 will demonstrate dozens of advanced airframe, avionics and operations technologies that can support various launch vehicle and spacecraft designs.

A major focus of the X-37 will seek improvement of today’s spacecraft thermal protection systems. The systems now in use are fragile and expensive to maintain.

In December 1998, NASA selected The Boeing Company of Seal Beach, Calif., for negotiations that led in July 1999 to the award of a four-year cooperative agreement to develop the X-37. Total value of the cooperative agreement, including government and Boeing contributions, is about $173 million with an approximate 50/50 sharing arrangement. The government share includes $16 million from the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate additional technologies needed to improve future military spacecraft.

The X-37 is 27.5 feet long — about half the length of the Shuttle payload bay — and weighs about 6 tons. Its wingspan is about 15 feet, and it contains an experiment bay 7 feet long and 4 feet in diameter.

The X-37’s on-orbit propulsion is provided by the AR-2/3, a high reliability engine with a legacy stretching back to the 1950s. Hydrogen peroxide and JP-8, a grade of kerosene commonly used as jet fuel, will propel the X-37 engine. Less toxic, more environmentally friendly and more compact than today’s rocket propellants, JP-8 and hydrogen peroxide have applications for operational vehicles that could succeed the flight demonstrator.

The X-37’s shape is a 120 percent scale derivative of the Air Force’s X-40A, also designed and built by Boeing, which was released from a helicopter and glide-tested in 1998.

The X-40A, which lacks the X-37’s advanced thermal protection materials, rocket engine, experiment bay and other spacecraft systems, is to be released from a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter in a series of free flight tests in 2001 to reduce technical risk before flight testing the X-37.

Assembly, integration and checkout of the X-37 are planned at Boeing facilities in Palmdale and Seal Beach, Calif., in 2001 and 2002. Unpowered atmospheric tests are planned for 2002 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first orbital test flight is planned for 2003.

After the X-37 is deployed, it will remain in orbit up to 21 days, performing a variety of experiments before reentering the atmosphere and landing on a conventional runway. Several locations are being studied for the landing site.

The X-37 government team, led by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., also includes NASA’s Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.; Dryden Flight Research Center and the US Air Force Flight Test Center, both at Edwards Air Force Base.

The X-37 industry team is led by The Boeing Co. of Seal Beach. Boeing facilities participating in the program are located in Seattle; St. Louis; Palmdale and Huntington Beach., Calif.

Flight demonstrators, like the X-37, have a critical role in demonstrating technologies that cannot be validated on the ground. NASA is pursuing, through the Space Launch Initiative, technologies that will enable the Agency to achieve its goals of enabling safe, reliable, affordable access to space in the future.

The X-37 project is part of NASA’s new innovative business strategy to dramatically reduce the cost of space transportation. For the first time, NASA will be able to readily test and validate new, state-of-the-art space transportation technologies in flight.

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Old 02-04-2003, 11:21 AM   #71
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unfortunately it's been hard for them to update much of anything with budget cuts
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Old 02-04-2003, 03:53 PM   #72
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This is slightly off topic here but I have to commend Ron Dittemore(sp?), the guy who has been conducting NASA's press conferences. He has answered the same question countless times with great composure and patience. I've become frustrated just watching journalists ask him the same question worded different ways. (ie The question about repairing the tiles in space, answer: no space walk/repair was possible)

This must be terrribly difficult for him as well. I just thought I'd post about how impressed I am with him and his team thus far.
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:43 PM   #73
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Ouizy, I agree. Unmanned is the way to go, if at all possible. But like Abel said, NASA is so low on funds, who knows?

Maybe this tragedy will push the US gov't to award more funds to the space program.
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Old 02-04-2003, 11:30 PM   #74
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I know I don't know much about the dynamics of the space shuttles, but as I sit here listening to the news about how they could have taken pictures from satellites or from the ground to determine if there was damage, i'm wondering if some sort of retractible outside cameras can be added to the remaining shuttles?
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Old 02-05-2003, 12:22 AM   #75
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that's a good idea...I mean, they've said the hubble and same satellites wouldn't have really been able to see if there had been any extensive damage (as far as I've heard). But if they had cameras on the shuttle..pictures that could have been viewed immediately...
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