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NASA loses contact with space shuttle Columbia

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There was not enough funding or initative to construct a replacement. They will need to now for the shuttle program cannot opperate with a limited number of aging spacecraft.

*enter venturestar* rising from the ashes of political oversight.

Planes get old, this one had a little more wear and tear than most experience.

BTW

They found a helmet... curses, I would have hoped the crew compartment would have remained intact to give the astronouts a glimer of hope. However, the intact compartment did not help the challenger crew much because they died on impact with the ocean. It is my worst fear to be in a situation where I am powerless to affect the outcome, these guys had fate against them.

Godspeed Columbia... on its eternal voyage through the stars, godspeed

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quote:


but yes they said the shuttle had flown 113 mission , but the frame is only good for 100

why did they choose to use this shuttle?


Wrong, Jamont..Columbia only flew 28 flights. You can see that here.

With the ill-fated flight of the Columbia, a total of 113 missions have been flown by shuttles as you can see here.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cmdr Chavik:

quote:

I don't think the age of the vehicle is a problem.

I do. I think it played a role, possibly a major role. Even though systems were updated the frame (infrastructure) of the vehicle was over twenty years old. Every time it launched and re-entered the atmosphere stresses were put on the vehicle.


I must agree to disagree. NASA originally designed these vehicles to do 100 missions/landings, and none of these frames have come even close to that number yet.

These vehicles and their frames were designed with these unique stresses in mind.

Idaho

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I remember sitting in History class in 1996 watching the Challenger take off...and everything thereafter....

Never really thought I would see something like that twice. My heart breaks for the familys and friends of those lost, for NASA, and everyone who is effected in the slightest way.

I hope they find the cause and fix it. I hope the three in the space station, hitch a safe ride home. I also hope the dream isn't lost.

My biggest hope is space exploration is still an option for any child dreaming of it now. Even if it's my own. There is soo much to learn up there.

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Guest Grayfox

i was in art class in 6th grade (1986) when the challenger went up... i thought it was all an act.

when the columbia went down, my son woke me up and said a spaceship crashed... i noticed he was wearing one of those goofy hats that they made in the movie "Signs" and i thought he was watching a movie... i crawl out of bed, and sure enough, plastered all over the TV 120 million times is the footage of the columbia breaking up on re-entry...

now it just makes me sick... all the friggin melodrama... the sad sad music on CNN... the "COLUMBIA: The Shuttle Tragedy" headlines... the countless showings of the footage... for gods sake let it be. concentrate on the investigation instead of rubbing our frigging noses 130 jillion times in footage we've already seen 100 times before. makes me want to vomit. yet another reason i dont watch TV. im just waiting for the newsies to show footage of the recovery crews fishing out the remains of the crew and then showing that footage 167 times

as it stands now, they are thinking that a piece of insulation that came off the booster and hit the under left side of the shuttle may have been a possible cause... something about it damaging the heat tiles near the left wheel well. that would explain the burn up... if the integrity of one of those tiles is compromised, thats it...

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As usual the Fox nailed it. Let's get on with the investigation and let the families mourn without Katie Couric or someother bloodsucker sticking a microphone in thier face.

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Fo Real! Yea I'm feel bad for the astronauts, but hell, I'm more worried about the fact that we've lost another shuttle, and the shuttle had the hab module inside of it . This is gonna really hurt the scientific community bad, specifically the astrological community. Lets just figure out the problem and develop ways to keep it from happening again.

EDIT: Yea, I know I contradicted myself in the last post, but I hadn't realized that one of the hab modules was in the shuttle that mission. This IS worse than a small dent.

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I grew up with the shuttle, all I can remember of space flights always include the shuttle. I remember the explosion years ago. And I felt for the crew and their families.

In this latest incident I again feel for the crew and their families. Again the US space program has suffered a massive set back but I am confident that once again, like a phoenix, it shall rise again and Americans shall once again claim their place among the stars. The American spirit refuses to be held under foot and will fight its way back.

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Guest Grayfox

didnt they say in february that it was probably the foam hitting the underside of the wing that caused the burnup???

they changed their minds so many damned times i think they confused themselves.

now i have never attended Embry Riddle (came close but not quite), so im no rocket scientist, but... it just makes sense... you can see this bigass chunk of foam hit the wing of the shuttle. now if this bigass chunk of foam was travelling at 500+mph, then of course it would damage the wing...

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Probably is a far cry from definitely,

So now they have scientifically proven what caused the problem. The wing mockup used in the test was made of fiberglass, A significantly stronger material than the carbon fiber actually used. So hey guys let's put some foam insulation on the external tank that can come off during launch and damage the orbiter enough to destroy it and kill everyone on board. Like I said, "Stupidity, Sheer stupidity.

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quote:

Originally posted by Wolferz:

Probably is a far cry from definitely,

So now they have scientifically proven what caused the problem. The wing mockup used in the test was made of fiberglass, A significantly stronger material than the carbon fiber actually used. So hey guys let's put some foam insulation on the external tank that can come off during launch and damage the orbiter enough to destroy it and kill everyone on board. Like I said, "Stupidity, Sheer stupidity.

The amazing thing is that the main tank insulation flying off is not a new problem. On the contrary, it has happened on nearly every mission, one time so severe that tiles were destroyed before it ever got to orbit. So they made some changes....and tragedy still took place.

It isnt like they can just remove the insulation--I doubt if many materials could handle 17000 MPH speeds and the corresponding thermal increase when in the atmospheric regime of the orbiter as it returns to earth or when at the end of its main and secondary burns it is travelling that fast, but without an atmosphere.

I watched an interview with a shuttle astronaut shortly after the accident and he said that you risk your life every time you go to work. There is a 1 in 50 shuttle failure rate, which, considering the number of launches, two would be expected to be lost, and two have been. This is a far cry from the initial design specs of basically no accidents ever, but zero-defect engineering is not a reality--just ask the folks at Chernobyl.

The O-Ring issue was another accident waiting to happen--Morton Thiokol engineers, some time after the first shuttle loss (from the pad) said that they had been holding their breath....on pretty much every launch. They knew it was only a matter of time, and it was.

I dont see many options for NASA--the only time people seem to care about the space program is when there is tragedy or a problem. The Apollo 13 mission was not even covered on television...until the men got into massive amounts of trouble and it looked like they would not make it back.

It is too bad, really, but what is NASA to do? They simply dont have to money to totally replace the shuttle (the only solution, in my opinion) without going with the lowest bidder. This is not good.

I hope we return to launching the shuttle soon, but we absolutely must think of getting rid of the 'current' design--nearly 40 years old some of the technology on board.

Smokin Bob

[ 06-02-2003, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: rvs ]

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quote:

The wing mockup used in the test was made of fiberglass, A significantly stronger material than the carbon fiber actually used.

WHAT?

check this

Image15.gif

or here for an education: info

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True, but that graph says nothing about impact resistance. Maybe carbon composites are stronger than glass when pulled apart by in-plane forces. But when it comes to impacts (which are perpendicular to the plane), glass comes second place in the Aramid(AKA Kevlar), Glass, Carbon line -up. Aramid has the best impact resistance BTW. But ofcourse, in the end all depends on factors like layer build-up, resin type and others.

That's what we learned from Michael Niu's "Composite Airframe Structures" in 'compo'-class in college anyway.

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To be honest, I didn't intend to join the discussion. I don't know anything about the structural design facts of the shuttle, and haven't paid attention to recent developments of the investigations. I didn't get my best grades in composites class either. I just wanted to make sure some facts didn't get explained in the wrong way.

As for the future, I just hope they find a way to find and fix it (in orbit) next time it comes around. Hard job probably. But hey, they're not NASA for nothing.

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