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(The Raw Story)   NASA reveals that it knew ahead of time that Columbia's re-entry was probably going to end badly   (rawstory.com) divider line 418
    More: Sad, NASA, Space Shuttle Columbia, re-entry, Columbia disaster, flight controls, TPS, Johnson Space Center  
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27042 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Feb 2013 at 12:14 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-01 09:00:37 PM  
Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks
 
2013-02-01 09:13:26 PM  
Wasn't most, if not all, of this known soon after the disaster?

/because I know I read about it somewhere
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-01 09:17:33 PM  
The blog is better reading than the metablog: http://waynehale.wordpress.com/.
 
2013-02-01 09:40:56 PM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


I would just like a warning so I can come to terms about pleasing my wife.
 
2013-02-01 09:45:44 PM  

AlwaysRightBoy: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would just like a warning so I can come to terms about pleasing my wife.



Please her anyway.

Why take chances?


;-)
 
2013-02-01 09:51:58 PM  
Ummm... I seem to remember telling us of this risk. Like, before re-entry. Maybe not NASA, but NASA-type people.

The risk was there. They all knew the risk. That is why Astronauts are some bad motherf*ckers and many of us wanted to be one as a kid.

It's not because it is boring and without risk.
 
2013-02-01 10:07:31 PM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.
 
2013-02-01 10:53:15 PM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?



I'd rather read about it first on Fark.
 
2013-02-01 11:35:59 PM  
There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.
 
2013-02-01 11:59:02 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?

I'd rather read about it first on Fark.


Meh. That'd just be a half dozen or so Farkers trying to blame the asteroid on Obama.
 
2013-02-02 12:01:26 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


The impending doom is so sad, though. So many people knew they wouldn't make it. :(
 
2013-02-02 12:05:29 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

The impending doom is so sad, though. So many people knew they wouldn't make it. :(


There was no guarantee they were doomed, there wasn't enough information.  It was likely, but there was no absolute proof.
 
2013-02-02 12:06:07 AM  
The story's been update (+ read the Weeners). NASA did not know that Columbia would break up (or that it had been seriously damaged).
 
2013-02-02 12:08:00 AM  
best/worst surprise party ever.
 
2013-02-02 12:09:13 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


It's a real hard call, if they knew what the odds were, it's rather disturbing that they wouldn't let them have a last conversation with their loved ones.

/very sad
 
2013-02-02 12:16:31 AM  

usernameguy: The story's been update (+ read the Weeners). NASA did not know that Columbia would break up (or that it had been seriously damaged).


Nah, it's true, I saw it on Fark.
 
2013-02-02 12:17:59 AM  
What's the over / under for Fox News blaming this on The Blah One?  Tomorrow morning? Tomorrow Afternoon? Tomorrow night?
 
2013-02-02 12:18:40 AM  

usernameguy: The story's been update (+ read the Weeners). NASA did not know that Columbia would break up (or that it had been seriously damaged).


Thanks for pointing that out.
 
2013-02-02 12:23:02 AM  
Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?
 
2013-02-02 12:23:09 AM  
Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.
 
2013-02-02 12:23:11 AM  

usernameguy: The story's been update (+ read the Weeners). NASA did not know that Columbia would break up (or that it had been seriously damaged).


Imagine that. A headline that's a sensational loaf of crap on Fark. That has to be a first.
 
2013-02-02 12:24:22 AM  
Need Another Seven Astronauts
 
2013-02-02 12:24:32 AM  

Amos Quito: I would just like a warning so I can come to terms about pleasing my wife.


Please her anyway.

Why take chances?


Why start now?
 
2013-02-02 12:26:11 AM  

davidphogan: Imagine that. A headline that's a sensational loaf of crap on Fark.


At least this time they didn't use, "Smoking-Hot" in the headline.
 
2013-02-02 12:26:34 AM  
I don't buy it.  There's an escape capsule at the Space Station.  Some could have come back on it while the others either waited for rescue or attempted re-entry.  And if that kind of decision was made, it wouldn't be some big consensus that was discussed amongst a large group - 1 or 2 very high ranking people would have made that call in secret.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-02 12:27:57 AM  
Shuttle has to launch to the right orbit to reach ISS.  it cannot get there unless that was the original launch plan.
 
2013-02-02 12:28:39 AM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


Yeah, but there were seven highly intelligent engineers on board that would be VERY motivated to think of a solution that, perhaps, the ground had overlooked.  This does not seem legit.

/didnt they see apollo 13?
 
2013-02-02 12:28:43 AM  

Saturn5: I don't buy it.  There's an escape capsule at the Space Station.  Some could have come back on it while the others either waited for rescue or attempted re-entry.  And if that kind of decision was made, it wouldn't be some big consensus that was discussed amongst a large group - 1 or 2 very high ranking people would have made that call in secret.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 323x416]


My bad - it wasn't a mission to the ISS.  Oops.  Still, that's not the kind of decision that's made with common knowledge.
 
2013-02-02 12:29:06 AM  
fusillade762: Meh. That'd just be a half dozen or so Farkers trying to blame the asteroid on Obama.

Nah, the asteroids were Jimmy Carter's fault but he got an operation to cure them.
 
2013-02-02 12:29:25 AM  

zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?


IIRC the trajectory was wrong and there wasn't enough fuel to do anything even if they knew for sure that it wasn't going to make it. In addition there wasn't a shuttle that could be made ready soon enough to go get them without seriously risking both crews. That's why they always had a backup ready before the launches after the Columbia crash and one of the reasons why the costs went so high afterwards which ultimately led to the program being canceled before its replacement was even close to being ready.
 
2013-02-02 12:30:31 AM  

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.


Actually they couldn't.  The station was in a  totally different orbit than the shuttle.  After the main engines go off, and the big fuel tank the shuttle rides up on is jettisoned, there's no way to significantly alter it's orbit.  They can make minor corrections, and burn to de orbit, but moving to a completely different orbital path is beyond it's capabilities.

This is one of the reasons  that we almost didn't get the last Hubble servicing mission.  It's not possible for the shuttle to make it to the ISS from the Hubble, due to the differences in orbit.  The shuttle just doesn't carry the fuel to do that kind of maneuver.
 
2013-02-02 12:30:31 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


Bullshiat

content.answcdn.com

Don't you farking tell me that they would not have at least tried SOMETHING if they knew people were gonna die.
 
2013-02-02 12:32:33 AM  
They bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting into.
 
2013-02-02 12:32:40 AM  
Citation needed.
 
2013-02-02 12:32:41 AM  
I say, let 'em crash.
 
2013-02-02 12:34:11 AM  
Apparently, failure was an option after all.

/someone should have called Clint Howard.
 
2013-02-02 12:34:11 AM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


because you farking asshole
they had families and children and friends
they could have spent their last hours saying their goodbyes
instead the nasa pukes "killed" them ....

so sad
 
2013-02-02 12:34:46 AM  
Do we know that the damage to the wing caused the explosion on re-entry? Where was Secretary Clinton at the time? Taxbongo?

/worst tragedy since 9/11, and I really mean that
 
2013-02-02 12:34:47 AM  

I sound fat: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

Yeah, but there were seven highly intelligent engineers on board that would be VERY motivated to think of a solution that, perhaps, the ground had overlooked.  This does not seem legit.

/didnt they see apollo 13?


Didn't they also suspect the heat shield might have been damaged by the explosion that crippled the command module but chose not to mention it to the astronauts?
 
2013-02-02 12:35:52 AM  
I don't buy this story...last understanding I had was that the frontline engineers thought there might be a problem, but management was incredulous at the idea a piece of foam could cause damage.
 
2013-02-02 12:36:37 AM  

ng2810: Don't you farking tell me that they would not have at least tried SOMETHING if they knew people were gonna die.


Letting them die quickly instead of prolonged suffering was something.
 
2013-02-02 12:37:20 AM  
I admit I chuckled sadly to myself when they said that their spacesuits and helmets wouldn't adequately protect them from the craft exploding and then falling to earth. I mean, that's awful... but... uh... duh.
 
2013-02-02 12:39:44 AM  
too bad that technology has advanced so much that we can't just fake it anymore, and we had to send real people into space knowing that they'd die.

on the other hand, we have 3-d lcd hdtv tvs. and i'd totally bet that more people care about that, even tho it kinda sucks, than care about space monkeys dying. so, maybe technology isn't so bad after all. as long as we can fake caring about astronauts, knowing that people launched on rockets are gonna die, and then pretend to be all surprised and sad when they do.
 
2013-02-02 12:40:28 AM  
Shenanigans.
 
2013-02-02 12:40:56 AM  
The choice between certain death (running out of air) versus the possibility of death upon re-entry.  I would have gone with re-entry, too.

That said, could Columbia have docked with the ISS until rescue?
 
2013-02-02 12:41:36 AM  

DrPainMD: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.



I would like the opportunity to rampage, fornicate, steal some really expensive booze, do a bunch of heroin, and set some really big fireworks off sideways.
 
2013-02-02 12:41:47 AM  

the801: too bad that technology has advanced so much that we can't just fake it anymore, and we had to send real people into space knowing that they'd die.

on the other hand, we have 3-d lcd hdtv tvs. and i'd totally bet that more people care about that, even tho it kinda sucks, than care about space monkeys dying. so, maybe technology isn't so bad after all. as long as we can fake caring about astronauts, knowing that people launched on rockets are gonna die, and then pretend to be all surprised and sad when they do.


-2/10
 
2013-02-02 12:42:23 AM  
I have often wondered why they did not try to get them to the International Space Station.  At that time it had been manned for nearly 3 years.  Surely there was enough air on board to keep all of them alive long enough to retrieve them or at the very least get them supplies?
 
2013-02-02 12:42:47 AM  

zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?


No. Totally different orbit. It barely has enough fuel to do a retro burn to get back to Earth.
 
2013-02-02 12:42:54 AM  

zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?


I guess I should read other comments before posting, eh?
 
2013-02-02 12:42:55 AM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


except, there was another shuttle almost done prepping for a future flight, and the columbia had extra consumables because it was a long duration mission.
 
2013-02-02 12:43:00 AM  
I thought that Linda Ham, who was some kind of Flight Director, told worried engineers to shut the fark up or something to that effect, then plead ignorance after the breakup.
 
2013-02-02 12:43:02 AM  

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.


Wrong orbit IIRC.  They didn't plan on docking with ISS that trip, and weren't going to get close enough to burn to it
 
2013-02-02 12:44:11 AM  
I've no clue is this bullshiat or not.

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home.  Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

How many of you can honestly say your family would choose to die bravely and nobly, going out in a blaze of glory.   On the other hand, how many would panic, lose their shiat, and try to claw out the throats of everybody else in the place to buy themselves a couple hours of air

Worse, how many would you say would choose to do something Pants on head retarded, and open the door, killing everybody, because damned if -they- were going to go out like a punk.


Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.
 
2013-02-02 12:45:24 AM  

AlwaysRightBoy: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would just like a warning so I can come to terms about pleasing my wife.


Just make sure your re-entry shields are in working order.  :P
 
2013-02-02 12:46:05 AM  
To everyone asking/saying could they have docked with the ISS until rescue that was answered over and over again 10 years ago. NO NO NO, they did not have the fuel and were no where near the same orbit as the ISS.

Believe it or not space is big.
 
2013-02-02 12:46:11 AM  
fark it. It's Dick Cheney's America
 
2013-02-02 12:46:17 AM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: I sound fat: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

Yeah, but there were seven highly intelligent engineers on board that would be VERY motivated to think of a solution that, perhaps, the ground had overlooked.  This does not seem legit.

/didnt they see apollo 13?

Didn't they also suspect the heat shield might have been damaged by the explosion that crippled the command module but chose not to mention it to the astronauts?


The astronauts pointed out the possibility, not ground control...
 
2013-02-02 12:46:22 AM  

FizixJunkee: That said, could Columbia have docked with the ISS until rescue?


Nope. Orbits don't work that way.
 
2013-02-02 12:46:38 AM  

FizixJunkee: The choice between certain death (running out of air) versus the possibility of death upon re-entry. I would have gone with re-entry, too.


Yeah, the most painless death versus the most painful, I would go with the most painful too.
 
2013-02-02 12:46:56 AM  

FizixJunkee: The choice between certain death (running out of air) versus the possibility of death upon re-entry.  I would have gone with re-entry, too.

That said, could Columbia have docked with the ISS until rescue?


 
2013-02-02 12:47:38 AM  

impaler: FizixJunkee: The choice between certain death (running out of air) versus the possibility of death upon re-entry. I would have gone with re-entry, too.

Yeah, the most painless death versus the most painful, I would go with the most painful too.


I would go with whatever is fastest.
 
2013-02-02 12:47:57 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


That's how I see it, also.  Besides, there was no certainty of loss.

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.


No.  Columbia was at 191 mi/39 degrees.  The ISS is at 250..263 mi/51.6 degrees.

If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr.  It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr.  Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v.  Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

The OMS engines (all that still work at that point--while the mains are still there they have no fuel nor do they have any ignition system even if they did have fuel) only have 681 mi/hr of delta-v when sitting on the pad and some of that is used to circularize their orbit.
 
2013-02-02 12:48:37 AM  

Mock26: I have often wondered why they did not try to get them to the International Space Station.  At that time it had been manned for nearly 3 years.  Surely there was enough air on board to keep all of them alive long enough to retrieve them or at the very least get them supplies?


Do you people not read before posting? You know this is Fark. Good and bad questions are likely to have been answered by the time you arrive in the thread.
 
2013-02-02 12:49:21 AM  
Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.  The first delivery they could make to the ISS could be a new pod to accommodate emergency passengers.

/Sucks it couldn't have ever worked for these guys though
 
2013-02-02 12:49:37 AM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: Believe it or not space is big.


It's not the size so much as the energy. They're going around 7000 m/s in one direction. A different orbit is basically a different direction. They not only have to "get close" they also have to be going the same direction.
 
2013-02-02 12:49:37 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Wasn't most, if not all, of this known soon after the disaster?

/because I know I read about it somewhere


Yes.

Old news is really really old.
 
2013-02-02 12:49:49 AM  

relcec: there was another shuttle almost done prepping for a future flight, and the columbia had extra consumables because it was a long duration mission


So you're saying NASA killed them for laughs.
 
2013-02-02 12:50:23 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


Except allowing them to say goodbye to their families and not be treated as children.
 
2013-02-02 12:50:29 AM  

Rreal: I've no clue is this bullshiat or not.

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home.  Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

How many of you can honestly say your family would choose to die bravely and nobly, going out in a blaze of glory.   On the other hand, how many would panic, lose their shiat, and try to claw out the throats of everybody else in the place to buy themselves a couple hours of air

Worse, how many would you say would choose to do something Pants on head retarded, and open the door, killing everybody, because damned if -they- were going to go out like a punk.


Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.


I'd suggest that if there's any group that could be told 'there's a good chance what you're about to do will kill you' and  not freak the fark out and do something stupid, it's a group of astronauts.

That said, no point in telling them if there wasn't anything they could do either way.
 
2013-02-02 12:50:56 AM  
Why hasn't anyone brought up the idea of docking the shuttle with the ISS? Nobody?
 
2013-02-02 12:51:17 AM  

Loren: If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr. It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr. Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v. Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.


yeah, but you didn't factor in Daylight Savings Time.

FAIL
 
2013-02-02 12:52:15 AM  

Radioactive Ass: zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

IIRC the trajectory was wrong and there wasn't enough fuel to do anything even if they knew for sure that it wasn't going to make it. In addition there wasn't a shuttle that could be made ready soon enough to go get them without seriously risking both crews. That's why they always had a backup ready before the launches after the Columbia crash and one of the reasons why the costs went so high afterwards which ultimately led to the program being canceled before its replacement was even close to being ready.


I knew I should have read the entire thread before making my above post.

Now, with that being said, NASA should start launching some "satellites" that contain oxygen tanks and food and some maneuvering jets and these should be put up into an orbit close to that which the shuttles usually take.  Start seeding these now and then in the future if there is ever a situation similar to this then we can at least keep whatever crew on whatever vehicle alive until we can get them down.  Or, maybe even put up some re-entry "pods" for use in emergencies.
 
2013-02-02 12:52:41 AM  
pbfcomics.com
 
2013-02-02 12:53:59 AM  
Sure, if true, NASA couldn't save the astronauts so why inform them. Well there's a good reason... to not have flaming debris rain down over a populated area. Luckily no one on the ground was killed but it certainly was a possibility. If the shuttle had to come back in, it would be better to let them break up over the Pacific. It'd make recovery of the debris much more difficult but would eliminate most of the possibility of someone elementary school getting creamed by a flaming toilet seat.
 
2013-02-02 12:54:36 AM  

CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.


Um, I don't know how to break this to you, but there are no more Shuttle missions.
 
2013-02-02 12:54:46 AM  

DrPainMD: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.




You would want your family tormented by worry?
 
2013-02-02 12:57:16 AM  
I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?
 
2013-02-02 12:57:37 AM  

CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.  The first delivery they could make to the ISS could be a new pod to accommodate emergency passengers.


There are no more missions. The shuttle program was cancelled and all the spacecraft mothballed in museums. All of our manned flights now are on Russian hardware and go to ISS.
 
2013-02-02 12:59:52 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: DrPainMD: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.

You would want your family tormented by worry?


I would want the opportunity to say goodbye to my spouse and child, absolutely. If NASA did know, and kept the astronauts in the dark, that's farking cold.
 
2013-02-02 01:00:53 AM  

EngineerAU: Sure, if true, NASA couldn't save the astronauts so why inform them. Well there's a good reason... to not have flaming debris rain down over a populated area. Luckily no one on the ground was killed but it certainly was a possibility. If the shuttle had to come back in, it would be better to let them break up over the Pacific. It'd make recovery of the debris much more difficult but would eliminate most of the possibility of someone elementary school getting creamed by a flaming toilet seat.


That would certainly be an interesting call to make. "Hey guys, try to steer your badly damaged craft over the water so you don't explode over people. Thanks a bunch. Byeeee."
 
2013-02-02 01:01:03 AM  

Mock26: NASA should start launching some "satellites" that contain oxygen tanks and food and some maneuvering jets and these should be put up into an orbit close to that which the shuttles usually take. Start seeding these now and then in the future if there is ever a situation similar to this then we can at least keep whatever crew on whatever vehicle alive until we can get them down. Or, maybe even put up some re-entry "pods" for use in emergencies.



Ummmm excuse me but will there be locks on these "satellites" or keypads with security codes for the astronauts?

sheesh.
 
2013-02-02 01:01:04 AM  

Loren: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

That's how I see it, also.  Besides, there was no certainty of loss.

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.

No.  Columbia was at 191 mi/39 degrees.  The ISS is at 250..263 mi/51.6 degrees.

If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr.  It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr.  Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v.  Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

The OMS engines (all that still work at that point--while the mains are still there they have no fuel nor do they have any ignition system even if they did have fuel) only have 681 mi/hr of delta-v when sitting on the pad and some of that is used to circularize their orbit.


Darnit, you beat me to it.  I used different numbers, though.  I thought Columbia was on a Hubble service mission so I used the difference between 28.5 and 51.6 as the Delta-i and the ISS's orbital speed.  I came out with a Delta-V of 3085 meters/sec, well beyond the 1000 meters/second the fully fuels OMS engines can do.

I may be completely batshiat wrong, though.  Orbital mechanics makes my head hurt.
 
2013-02-02 01:02:14 AM  

Triumph: CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.

Um, I don't know how to break this to you, but there are no more Shuttle missions.


I feel really farking bad for all the people living in the ISS then.  I was speaking in general.

I'm sure at SOME point the US will send something else to space.  When that occurs I'm sure that that object will comply to the laws of physics that the current objects out there do.
 
2013-02-02 01:02:53 AM  

zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?


That is part of the contreversy. They were warned about the heat sheild being knocked off shortly after launch - and they sat on their asses twiddle farting when they had the time to figure out how to get them there or home, and by the time they went 'Oh shiat! This is serious!' it was too late.
 
2013-02-02 01:03:24 AM  

impaler: Science_Guy_3.14159: Believe it or not space is big.

It's not the size so much as the energy. They're going around 7000 m/s in one direction. A different orbit is basically a different direction. They not only have to "get close" they also have to be going the same direction.


It's more complicated then that, they they are going 7000 m/s but not in one direction they are in orbit so they are not traveling in one direction but in 3 directions as they maintain angular momentum. If the ISS shared the same orbital path just was at a higher orbit I suppose technically the shuttle could have gotten there using very little OMS burn.
 
2013-02-02 01:03:33 AM  

jaytkay: relcec: there was another shuttle almost done prepping for a future flight, and the columbia had extra consumables because it was a long duration mission

So you're saying NASA killed them for laughs.


No. they never knew it was going to be destroyed.
they thought it was a unlikely possibility that type of strike could cause a critical failure (because it had happened to often but never been critical), and had never developed contingency plans because a second orbiter wadn't normally gonna be close to ready in time in case there ever was a serious structural breach that would prevent deorbit.

there was a culture of *better not to know because there is no solution*, so even though there possibly uring this rare mission because of delays to the columbia take off, the culture took over. momentum took over.
astronauts themselves knew of the danger to the tiles and had always said they would rather die during reentry rather than of asphixiation in orbit so it was better to never even check for the damage. it wasn't intentional malfeasance, just an ingrained pattern of thinking that salvation was an impossiblity. except in this case salvation was at least theorectically possible. get it?
 
2013-02-02 01:03:59 AM  

EngineerAU: CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.  The first delivery they could make to the ISS could be a new pod to accommodate emergency passengers.

There are no more missions. The shuttle program was cancelled and all the spacecraft mothballed in museums. All of our manned flights now are on Russian hardware and go to ISS.


I was aware of the cancellation.  I was just speaking of space flight in general regardless of nationality.
 
2013-02-02 01:03:59 AM  

rickythepenguin: Mock26: NASA should start launching some "satellites" that contain oxygen tanks and food and some maneuvering jets and these should be put up into an orbit close to that which the shuttles usually take. Start seeding these now and then in the future if there is ever a situation similar to this then we can at least keep whatever crew on whatever vehicle alive until we can get them down. Or, maybe even put up some re-entry "pods" for use in emergencies.


Ummmm excuse me but will there be locks on these "satellites" or keypads with security codes for the astronauts?

sheesh.


We certainly wouldn't want the Ruskies to go up there and huff all our O2 like schoolchildren.
 
2013-02-02 01:04:18 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?


Launches are extremely expensive per pound.  Every pound of cargo that goes up takes more fuel.
 
2013-02-02 01:04:21 AM  

ng2810: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Bullshiat

[content.answcdn.com image 500x456]

Don't you farking tell me that they would not have at least tried SOMETHING if they knew people were gonna die.


Here's the thing. Even on Apollo 13, they were worried about heat shield damage. (In the movie the issue isn't mentioned until shortly before reentry, but IIRC NASA knew of that risk long before then.)

You know what they did about that particular threat? Nothing.

I can't speak to what options they may or may not have had, but I can certainly believe they had basically none.

Biner: Why hasn't anyone brought up the idea of docking the shuttle with the ISS? Nobody?


Not enough fuel to get to it, and no docking equipment. The latter could probably have been hacked around Apollo 13 style, but not the former.
 
2013-02-02 01:04:22 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?


The correct terminology is "Spacenician".

/what? it's perfectly cromulent
 
2013-02-02 01:04:29 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Wasn't most, if not all, of this known soon after the disaster?

/because I know I read about it somewhere


No, it wasn't.  What was released was that it was known that a camera had shown the impact of the icy foam on launch, which wasn't considered serious at the time and then proven gravely wrong in hindsight.  And the issue wasn't pressed.

If management KNEW the impact could plausibly be disastrous and didn't further the investigation because they thought nothing could be done and it was better off that they die not knowing, well, that'd be a whole different thing.
 
2013-02-02 01:05:22 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?


Oh it's certainly technically feasible, but it's just more weight to carry up and back and the shuttle wasn't exactly looking to pack on more pounds.
 
2013-02-02 01:05:48 AM  

Enuratique: [pbfcomics.com image 850x283]


I laughed way too hard at that
 
2013-02-02 01:05:56 AM  

CJHardin: EngineerAU: CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.  The first delivery they could make to the ISS could be a new pod to accommodate emergency passengers.

There are no more missions. The shuttle program was cancelled and all the spacecraft mothballed in museums. All of our manned flights now are on Russian hardware and go to ISS.

I was aware of the cancellation.  I was just speaking of space flight in general regardless of nationality.


Because not every flight is tolerant of the orbital parameters needed to pit stop at the ISS.
 
2013-02-02 01:05:58 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?


Let's put it this way.

You know about the "conservation of energy" right? Now remember when they lifted off? All that big explosions and shat going off (the rockets)? That was to give the velocity.

To get back, they have to get rid of that velocity, and it takes the same amount of energy to slow down as speed up. So basically, the bottom of the shuttle has to take the same amount of energy that was coming out of the rockets in the form of heat energy from friction.

Obviously, you might see how parachutes in this situation could be a problem.
 
2013-02-02 01:06:50 AM  
There might have been some things they could have done. It will, of course, never be known now. The issue at the time was that nobody knew for sure, because the engineers who thought there MIGHT have been a problem were put into the Catch-22 position of proving the situation was bad enough to need to get the data that would prove things were bad enough to warrant getting the confirming data...data without which they couldn't prove things were that bad. For a good non-technical summary, see "Flirting With Disaster" by Marc Gerstein.

Essentially, it came down to needing to either have a spacewalk authorized to inspect the damage, or request images from a CIA or other military satellite that was in a close orbit, but which would have meant crossing the usual chains of command; something that rarely happens. Ultimately, Flight Director Linda Ham chose to do neither, because the engineers could not prove that there was even any damage to the Columbia's heat shield that would warrant such extraordinary measures. Of course, without examining the heat shield, there was no way to prove if there was any damage...so it all came down to "Let's hope there isn't any damage and you are wrong." They weren't wrong, but nobody will ever know exactly how right they were.

Now it is possible, though unlikely, that had a thorough inspection been done, there might have been a way to tweak the reentry to protect the damaged tiles; or a chance of delaying the landing until a second shuttle could have been launched or a rescue planned. Perhaps not. But the astronauts deserved to know that they were making a landing off the charts and to have a say in any strange maneuvers that might have been attempted or rescues that might have been suggested. And if there was no hope, they at least deserved an opportunity to say good bye to their families. However, NASA's response seems to have been that "probably nothing is wrong," and not a callous dismissal of the astronauts' lives. Not that that's any better in the end.
 
2013-02-02 01:07:42 AM  

DarthBart: Loren: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

That's how I see it, also.  Besides, there was no certainty of loss.

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.

No.  Columbia was at 191 mi/39 degrees.  The ISS is at 250..263 mi/51.6 degrees.

If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr.  It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr.  Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v.  Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

The OMS engines (all that still work at that point--while the mains are still there they have no fuel nor do they have any ignition system even if they did have fuel) only have 681 mi/hr of delta-v when sitting on the pad and some of that is used to circularize their orbit.

Darnit, you beat me to it.  I used different numbers, though.  I thought Columbia was on a Hubble service mission so I used the difference between 28.5 and 51.6 as the Delta-i and the ISS's orbital speed.  I came out with a Delta-V of 3085 meters/sec, well beyond the 1000 meters/second the fully fuels OMS engines can do.

I may be completely batshiat wrong, though.  Orbital mechanics makes my head hurt.


Do you realize what you've done.... you have the final units in metric but did the calculation in US standard... this is a NASA no no
 
2013-02-02 01:07:53 AM  

FizixJunkee: zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

I guess I should read other comments before posting, eh?



i don't expect every person to understand orbits and stuff.  But if you know this stuff, saying "why don't they just dock with ISS?"  is like saying "Why didn't the Titanic just dock with some boat in the Pacific? they are both in the ocean."

That is why people seem to get testy.  it is a nonsensical question.
 
2013-02-02 01:08:54 AM  

DarthBart: Launches are extremely expensive per pound.  Every pound of cargo that goes up takes more fuel.


Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.
 
2013-02-02 01:08:55 AM  

Oznog: No, it wasn't.  What was released was that it was known that a camera had shown the impact of the icy foam on launch, which wasn't considered serious at the time and then proven gravely wrong in hindsight.  And the issue wasn't pressed.If management KNEW the impact could plausibly be disastrous and didn't further the investigation because they thought nothing could be done and it was better off that they die not knowing, well, that'd be a whole different thing.


Well, NASA folks ran simulations while Columbia was in orbit to see what damage that foam might have done, but their simulation results (more or less correct in the end, IIRC) were tossed out by higher management basically because "no way, that can't be right." They even torpedoed request to get the DoD to point some fancy secret cameras at Columbia to take a look, because 'nothing could be done'.
 
2013-02-02 01:09:21 AM  

evaned: You know what they did about that particular threat? Nothing.


Actually now that I think about it some more I'm not sure that's true. I think they may have kept the service module attached for longer in part to decrease the risk, but they may have had to do that anyway. I forget.
 
2013-02-02 01:09:26 AM  

costermonger: I'd suggest that if there's any group that could be told 'there's a good chance what you're about to do will kill you' and not freak the fark out and do something stupid, it's a group of astronauts.


Don't be too sure (Not safe for fark picture):

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-cra sh ed-into-earth-crying-in-rage
 
2013-02-02 01:10:10 AM  

mxwjs: FizixJunkee: zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

I guess I should read other comments before posting, eh?


i don't expect every person to understand orbits and stuff.  But if you know this stuff, saying "why don't they just dock with ISS?"  is like saying "Why didn't the Titanic just dock with some boat in the Pacific? they are both in the ocean."

That is why people seem to get testy.  it is a nonsensical question.


I didn't remember the details of the mission (e.g., whether it had visited the ISS or not), and I'm too lazy to look it up.   Feel free to sue me.
 
2013-02-02 01:10:24 AM  

EngineerAU: Sure, if true, NASA couldn't save the astronauts so why inform them. Well there's a good reason... to not have flaming debris rain down over a populated area. Luckily no one on the ground was killed but it certainly was a possibility. If the shuttle had to come back in, it would be better to let them break up over the Pacific. It'd make recovery of the debris much more difficult but would eliminate most of the possibility of someone elementary school getting creamed by a flaming toilet seat.




i291.photobucket.com

aw shiat
 
2013-02-02 01:10:25 AM  
There was no way to rescue the shuttle (not enough fuel or air to get to the ISS or wait for a rescue shuttle), so regardless of how much damage they thought they had, they would have had to try to re-enter, or die when the air ran out.

So even if they thought the shuttle was 99% doomed, you try re-entry anyway.  Would a crew told they are 99% dead not perform as well with that kind of mental stress?

Of course, in reality it wasn't 99% for sure, or 100%, no one really knew if it would survive or not, no definitive % chance of survival could be given, and there are about a 100 things that could cause you to randomly blow up during a shuttle trip.

So imagine they call up the crew and say, "well we think you may have damage to the TPS and you might burn up, but we cant be for sure and we can't rescue you, want to leave a message for your family?".  If they did that over a "maybe" like that they'd probably be leaving family messages every other shuttle trip! (perhaps they should have astronauts just do that on every flight?).

Reminds me of a scene in Apollo 13 where the flight director makes the decision to not tell the crew they were coming in shallow and, if they were too shallow, would bounce off the atmosphere into space and never be heard from again (and die in a few hours as the air ran out).  At the time, there wasnt a darn thing they could do about it, and they had enough mental stress dealing with every other issue.  A normal re-entry is very stressful and complicated, don't want someone farking up thinking about their odds too much IMO
 
2013-02-02 01:11:26 AM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: Didn't they also suspect the heat shield might have been damaged by the explosion that crippled the command module but chose not to mention it to the astronauts?


The Apollo heat shield was pretty much a thick piece of fiber glass designed to slowly burn away.  You could have run it over with a dump truck. I'm sure they considered it, but had no way of knowing. Might have been more concerned about failure of the Service Module to separate from the Command Module.  Deal with Columbia is management knew there could be a problem, and they chose to deal with it by sticking their head up their ass.  And then by saying nothing could have been done, which is of course bullshait. They probably would have dealt with Apollo 13 by cutting off radio contact with the crew and telling the press that crew died in the explosion.
 
2013-02-02 01:11:40 AM  

impaler: Obviously, you might see how parachutes in this situation could be a problem.


Yeah, I get that.  I just feel like there must be SOME kind of solution here.  I am all for space exploration and technology.  But it seems like there must be a way to figure out how to get them back safely in case of catastrophic failure, and that should be built into the price.
 
2013-02-02 01:12:10 AM  
I remember the instant poll they did that showed most people thought Saddam Hussein had shot it down over the southwestern US.
 
2013-02-02 01:12:21 AM  
I remember that day.

I was living in Tyler, Texas, at the time, about 20 miles north of where Columbia broke up. I thought my neighbor was watching some disaster movie when my apartment rattled. I was waiting for that morning's "Whad'ya know" which was to come from Ft Worth when the radio announced the break up.

My mom called me around the time it made the news and I remember picking paint off the door hinges while talking about it.

Then the next year I had a physics course that used a book that had a dedication to the loss of Columbia.

It had the wrong date.
 
2013-02-02 01:12:37 AM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: impaler: Science_Guy_3.14159: Believe it or not space is big.

It's not the size so much as the energy. They're going around 7000 m/s in one direction. A different orbit is basically a different direction. They not only have to "get close" they also have to be going the same direction.

It's more complicated then that, they they are going 7000 m/s but not in one direction they are in orbit so they are not traveling in one direction but in 3 directions as they maintain angular momentum. If the ISS shared the same orbital path just was at a higher orbit I suppose technically the shuttle could have gotten there using very little OMS burn.


If they were in the same orbital plane at around 250km, they should be able to get to the ISS with less than 100m/s DV. Changing altitude isn't so hard. It's mostly about direction.
 
2013-02-02 01:13:14 AM  

MissFeasance: Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.


All that heat that is generated during re-entry is due to compressive heating - because things in orbit have to go almost nonsensically fast (to us on the ground) to stay in orbit. If you want to jump out an re-enter, your body is going to generate the exact same compression heating as you work your way down. So it's not really 'taking your chances' as much as 'human meteorite'.
 
2013-02-02 01:13:15 AM  
There should've been some way to jettison some weight so they could've made a rendezvous with the ISS: Empty the cargo bay, dump the cargo bay doors, flush the sewage tank, something.
 
2013-02-02 01:15:32 AM  

costermonger: MissFeasance: Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.

All that heat that is generated during re-entry is due to compressive heating - because things in orbit have to go almost nonsensically fast (to us on the ground) to stay in orbit. If you want to jump out an re-enter, your body is going to generate the exact same compression heating as you work your way down. So it's not really 'taking your chances' as much as 'human meteorite'.


Yeah, but if it was a pod sort of thing with the same exterior protection, just... smaller, and that had been protected inside the larger craft?  I'm not saying "hey, jump out with your parachute"
 
2013-02-02 01:15:41 AM  

Dezilith: zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

That is part of the contreversy.


No it wasn't. The ISS was always out of the question.
 
2013-02-02 01:15:48 AM  

aerojockey: costermonger: I'd suggest that if there's any group that could be told 'there's a good chance what you're about to do will kill you' and not freak the fark out and do something stupid, it's a group of astronauts.

Don't be too sure (Not safe for fark picture):

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-cra sh ed-into-earth-crying-in-rage


Granted, but didn't Komarov volunteer to fly that POS just so his friend didn't have to, because he knew it to be a deathtrap?

Could create something of a different mentality than 'there's been an accident...'
 
2013-02-02 01:15:51 AM  

CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.  The first delivery they could make to the ISS could be a new pod to accommodate emergency passengers.

/Sucks it couldn't have ever worked for these guys though


They did, right up until the last Shuttle flight, specifically BECAUSE of Columbia
 
2013-02-02 01:16:29 AM  

Dezilith: zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

That is part of the contreversy. They were warned about the heat sheild being knocked off shortly after launch - and they sat on their asses twiddle farting when they had the time to figure out how to get them there or home, and by the time they went 'Oh shiat! This is serious!' it was too late.


not true at all. mission control knew a strike had occurred, and they knew that every time this had occurred before there was some damage, but not a breach. mission control decided not to have satellites check for damage because if it was extensive this time, normally there was no way to save them and previous crews had said they would not want to know.
so what mission control knew was there was possibility it could explode, but they never verified because of a fatalistic attitude. that in turn meant they would never explore the possibility of the second orbiter rescuing them because as far as they knew everything was fine.
it was an organizational failure due to bureaucratic momentum, not lethargy and malfeasance.


"The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures
 
2013-02-02 01:16:45 AM  
Hmm...break apart on reentry or suffocate.  Break apart on reentry or suffocate. Firey ball of doom or gasping and purple while that other asshole over there farts in the last bit of air and goes out  laughing.  That really would be a hard one, but I think I'd go with the break apart too.
 
2013-02-02 01:17:31 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?


Space is too big.  The ISS was only 12 degrees from their orbit and yet *WAY* too far to get to.

DarthBart: Darnit, you beat me to it. I used different numbers, though. I thought Columbia was on a Hubble service mission so I used the difference between 28.5 and 51.6 as the Delta-i and the ISS's orbital speed. I came out with a Delta-V of 3085 meters/sec, well beyond the 1000 meters/second the fully fuels OMS engines can do.

I may be completely batshiat wrong, though. Orbital mechanics makes my head hurt.


Where do you work, NASA?  You've got a doozy of a metric/American unit error there!

The OMS engines are good for 1000 ft/s, not 1000 m/s!

(And I didn't recall anything of what it was doing on that flight, I simply looked up the orbit.)

rickythepenguin: Loren: If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr. It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr. Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v. Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

yeah, but you didn't factor in Daylight Savings Time.

FAIL


Fail what?  That was an honest attempt to show why it couldn't be done, not trolling.  I simply did the orbital plane match and then a climb to the ISS's perigee.  The climb numbers were small enough I didn't concern myself with figuring out how much more is needed to match the fact that the ISS's orbit isn't circular.

It's also not perfect as climb then shift would use less fuel than shift then climb but the difference is small and I had the orbital speed at Columbia's altitude, I didn't need to try to figure it out at the ISS's altitude that way.
 
2013-02-02 01:18:10 AM  

MissFeasance: till crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?



Quit using my tax money for rescue the government, Teabagmittermisstress.
 
2013-02-02 01:18:50 AM  

MissFeasance: Yeah, but if it was a pod sort of thing with the same exterior protection, just... smaller, and that had been protected inside the larger craft?  I'm not saying "hey, jump out with your parachute"


Like a double-hull dealy? Module within the shuttle? That'd still be weight they didn't want to add to the design, and unless you can somehow eject it to clear the tumbling wreckage, it probably doesn't save you from all the g-forces and such associated with in-flight breakup at those kinds of speeds. Even if it could maintain a livable atmosphere.
 
2013-02-02 01:18:59 AM  

gadian: Hmm...break apart on reentry or suffocate.  Break apart on reentry or suffocate. Firey ball of doom or gasping and purple while that other asshole over there farts in the last bit of air and goes out  laughing.  That really would be a hard one, but I think I'd go with the break apart too.


or get picked up by the Atlantis during the most publicized and dramatic rescue mission in the history of human civilization.
that was an actual possibility.
 
2013-02-02 01:20:19 AM  

gadian: Hmm...break apart on reentry or suffocate.  Break apart on reentry or suffocate. Firey ball of doom or gasping and purple while that other asshole over there farts in the last bit of air and goes out  laughing.  That really would be a hard one, but I think I'd go with the break apart too.


That just made me think, when astronauts fart in space do they go flying across the space station from the thrust they just produced?
 
2013-02-02 01:20:30 AM  

Loren: MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?

Space is too big.  The ISS was only 12 degrees from their orbit and yet *WAY* too far to get to.


*sigh*

Again, I'm not talking about them getting to the ISS.  I'm talking about there having been an escape pod inside the shuttle.  Enough that the people can get down to earth and send the broken shuttle towards the sun or whatever.
 
2013-02-02 01:20:40 AM  

MissFeasance: Yeah, but if it was a pod sort of thing with the same exterior protection, just... smaller, and that had been protected inside the larger craft? I'm not saying "hey, jump out with your parachute"


Technically it's possible to put Gemini style escape pods for the crew, but then the shuttle couldn't carry much payload.
 
2013-02-02 01:20:59 AM  
To the 'we should've let them say goodbye crowd':

One would imagine these astronauts would be prepared, in advance, so that sobbing good byes of 'we're all going to die' are probably unnecessary. Anyone doing something so potentially deadly should get their affairs in order before hand.

Also, I was under the impression, that at the time, there were enough people involved who thought it might be ok anyway.

/Would rather die attempting re-entry then suffocate.
//Would also not want my famiy's last memory of me be my doomed goodbye.
///Those being said, why not give the guys the opportunity to try and make some halfassed attempt at fixing it with chewing gum?
 
2013-02-02 01:21:06 AM  

DrPainMD: I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.


THIS!

I would have wanted to orbit until my air ran out.  Make peace with people, etc.
 
2013-02-02 01:21:39 AM  
I wonder how many of you ok with NASA saying nothing also scream the loudest when someone disagrees with assisted suicide being legal?

Its all about choice biatches and NASA took that from those people.
 
2013-02-02 01:21:57 AM  

Loren: Fail what? That was an honest attempt to show why it couldn't be done, not trolling. I simply did the orbital plane match and then a climb to the ISS's perigee. The climb numbers were small enough I didn't concern myself with figuring out how much more is needed to match the fact that the ISS's orbit isn't circular.

It's also not perfect as climb then shift would use less fuel than shift then climb but the difference is small and I had the orbital speed at Columbia's altitude, I didn't need to try to figure it out at the ISS's altitude that way.



you factored in the plane match but the apogee at the ISS perigee didn't account for the gravitational reduction of the apogee of the shuttle at syzyzgy (I mean, DERRRRRRRRR it was a full moon that night) so aside from that and the Daylight Savings Time it is a complete catastrophe.
 
2013-02-02 01:21:58 AM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: DarthBart: Loren: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

That's how I see it, also.  Besides, there was no certainty of loss.

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.

No.  Columbia was at 191 mi/39 degrees.  The ISS is at 250..263 mi/51.6 degrees.

If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr.  It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr.  Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v.  Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

The OMS engines (all that still work at that point--while the mains are still there they have no fuel nor do they have any ignition system even if they did have fuel) only have 681 mi/hr of delta-v when sitting on the pad and some of that is used to circularize their orbit.

Darnit, you beat me to it.  I used different numbers, though.  I thought Columbia was on a Hubble service mission so I used the difference between 28.5 and 51.6 as the Delta-i and the ISS's orbital speed.  I came out with a Delta-V of 3085 meters/sec, well beyond the 1000 meters/second the fully fuels OMS engines can do.

I may be completely batshiat wrong, though.  Orbital mechanics makes my head hurt.

Do you realize what you've done.... you have the final units in metric but did the calculation in US standard... this is a NASA no no


Huh?  I used 7700m/s for the orbital speed, 23.1 degrees as Delta-i.  And came out with 3085 m/s delta v.
 
2013-02-02 01:23:25 AM  

costermonger: That'd still be weight they didn't want to add to the design, and unless you can somehow eject it to clear the tumbling wreckage


I get that the weight would be a shiatload of added cost, but I'm not even talking about something out of like, Fifth Element where they all jet away.  Just a pod that can take the crew and just enough power to avoid landing in like,  Tokyo or something.  

rickythepenguin: Quit using my tax money for rescue the government, Teabagmittermisstress.

*spends all of rickys money all willy nilly on bags and mascara*
 
2013-02-02 01:24:29 AM  

impaler: Dezilith: zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

That is part of the contreversy.

No it wasn't. The ISS was always out of the question.



Sorry. I meant more of...they could of figured out some way to get them back alive, ISS or not.

If they managed to fit a square peg in a round hole in 13, there had to of been something they could of tried.
 
2013-02-02 01:25:23 AM  

evaned: evaned: You know what they did about that particular threat? Nothing.

Actually now that I think about it some more I'm not sure that's true. I think they may have kept the service module attached for longer in part to decrease the risk, but they may have had to do that anyway. I forget.


OK, one more comment on this topic.

In  Lost Moon Lovell describes a meeting a ton of people had after the accident to plan a broad strategy for return. The plans varied the length of the PC+2 burn that is mentioned but not shown in the movie. (That's not the burn that  is shown, with the craft under manual control; that came a while later. PC+2 means "two hours after the pericynthion", where pericynthion  is the closest point to the moon.) The longest burn would get the craft back to Earth 36 hours after the burn (the fastest they could get back); the middle would be ~40 hours later (almost as fast, but with a better landing spot); the longest, about 64 hours after the burn.

The benefit of the last burn (which was ultimately chosen) was that the first two would require ditching the SM before the burn -- way back near the moon -- and that would expose the heat shield to colder temperatures which could possibly damage it during the trip back. NASA wasn't even sure that this would be a good idea even for a heat shield in good condition, so they were even more hesitant to do it for Apollo 13.

So I'm part right and part wrong. Lovell's account certainly paints the picture that NASA decided to go with the long burn in order to minimize the damage to the heat shield. At the same time, if they had actually known that it was damaged -- there's no real proactive measures they took or could have taken to fix it.
 
2013-02-02 01:25:35 AM  

gadian: Hmm...break apart on reentry or suffocate.  Break apart on reentry or suffocate. Firey ball of doom or gasping and purple while that other asshole over there farts in the last bit of air and goes out  laughing. That really would be a hard one, but I think I'd go with the break apart too.


There are reasons why people like you do not make the final cut of astronaut training.
 
2013-02-02 01:25:48 AM  

Rreal: I've no clue is this bullshiat or not.

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home.  Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

How many of you can honestly say your family would choose to die bravely and nobly, going out in a blaze of glory.   On the other hand, how many would panic, lose their shiat, and try to claw out the throats of everybody else in the place to buy themselves a couple hours of air

Worse, how many would you say would choose to do something Pants on head retarded, and open the door, killing everybody, because damned if -they- were going to go out like a punk.


Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.


1. It wan't going to be a slow, messy death.
2. These people weren't your average neighbors.  They were highly-trained professionals and were expected, by society and themselves, to act with nobility until the end.
 
2013-02-02 01:27:50 AM  

MissFeasance: DarthBart: Launches are extremely expensive per pound.  Every pound of cargo that goes up takes more fuel.

Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.


What the hell do you think is going to get that pod up there?  Magic?
 
2013-02-02 01:27:51 AM  

aerojockey: costermonger: I'd suggest that if there's any group that could be told 'there's a good chance what you're about to do will kill you' and not freak the fark out and do something stupid, it's a group of astronauts.

Don't be too sure (Not safe for fark picture):

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-cra sh ed-into-earth-crying-in-rage


There was more going on there -- He knew the craft was doomed before he even got off the ground but the russian government basicly said "if you dont go we will shoot you, maybe your family, and we will force your best friend yuri to go instead."

Yeah i would have lost my shiat. He had beefs in life that deserved airing.
 
2013-02-02 01:28:17 AM  

MissFeasance: Loren: MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?

Space is too big.  The ISS was only 12 degrees from their orbit and yet *WAY* too far to get to.

*sigh*

Again, I'm not talking about them getting to the ISS.  I'm talking about there having been an escape pod inside the shuttle.  Enough that the people can get down to earth and send the broken shuttle towards the sun or whatever.


too much weight.
too much overhead.
profitability.
it's like having 1/3 your quicky mart completely devoid of items for purchase.
it was designed to be competitive with traditional rockets in the satellite delivery service.
 
2013-02-02 01:28:30 AM  

backtothemusic.files.wordpress.com

MissFeasance:
I'm talking about there having been an escape pod inside the shuttle. Enough that the people can get down to earth and send the broken shuttle towards the sun or whatever.



Wow....a magical "pod" in which the principals "escape" while in outer space?  Is this a scarab-shaped "pod" by any chance?

I see you, Neil Schon and Steve Perry mittermistress.
 
2013-02-02 01:28:38 AM  
During their reentry the person on NASA TV stated they were 71 statute miles up in altitude with a speed of 17,000MPH.
I don't know what orientation and speed they were at relative to the ISS but I'd imagine maneuvering there and slowing down to dock with little thruster fuel would be impossible.
Heck, it was probably an impossibility to even get to the ISS in the first place.

/not a rocket scientist.
 
2013-02-02 01:28:56 AM  

MissFeasance: I get that the weight would be a shiatload of added cost, but I'm not even talking about something out of like, Fifth Element where they all jet away.  Just a pod that can take the crew and just enough power to avoid landing in like,  Tokyo or something.


Oh yeah, it's definitely technically feasible, but based on Mercury, Gemini and Soyuz capsules, you're talking ~2000-3000lbs of capsule per person. The shuttle could haul that much weight around all the time, and it had the room in the cargo bay, but there'd be basically no capacity left for it to do it's job.
 
2013-02-02 01:29:10 AM  
I thought i recalled that they had the astronaughts drift with the hole facing away from the sun for some time so that it would freeze, and be more able to withstand the re-entry.
 
2013-02-02 01:29:19 AM  

DarthBart: CJHardin: EngineerAU: CJHardin: Perhaps they can plan every mission from now on with a couple of possible layovers at the ISS just in case shiat.  The first delivery they could make to the ISS could be a new pod to accommodate emergency passengers.

There are no more missions. The shuttle program was cancelled and all the spacecraft mothballed in museums. All of our manned flights now are on Russian hardware and go to ISS.

I was aware of the cancellation.  I was just speaking of space flight in general regardless of nationality.

Because not every flight is tolerant of the orbital parameters needed to pit stop at the ISS.


I'm feverish and tired so I'll leave this:

I'm aware that mission sometimes dictates other orbits that are not conducive to an ISS intercept.  Those orbits should be now considered extreme high risk and only missions that require that amount of attention should be authorized.  An example of this type of mission would be to stop an extraterrestrial being from dry humping it which is making it return to earth.

Saying that, I think that any aircraft regardless of nationality leaving the atmosphere and attaining orbit would be wise to plan a stop by the only piece of livable real estate up there.  You know, in case shiat.

If such a contingiency plan was implemented then it would be a wise idea that one of the upcoming missions of whatever, be it a manned or unmanned flight, from WHATEVER country, take some extra blankets and shiat up there to the space tree house in case unplanned guests show up for dinner.

I used to work for Boeing, I am INTENTLY aware that the NASA manned space program has been discontinued.

/I ain't mad
//Noravirus sucks
 
2013-02-02 01:29:43 AM  
They could have docked with Skylab and then rendezvoused with Hubble. It would have bought them the time to disarm the nuke.
 
2013-02-02 01:30:00 AM  
Why didn't they just fly down to the ISS?
 
2013-02-02 01:30:21 AM  

relcec: too much weight.
too much overhead.
profitability.
it's like having 1/3 your quicky mart completely devoid of items for purchase.


Yeah, I get that.  But if NASA was like, "hey, we need an extra zillion dollars so they can escape if necessary" I wouldn't be like, "oh jeez, now I can't afford to buy organic veggies this week."
 
2013-02-02 01:31:13 AM  
How long would they have had before they ran out of air? More to the point, how long would they have lived if, from the moment someone on the ground had the "oh, shiat!" moment, they'd done everything they could to extend the time that human beings could survive inside the orbiter?

I get that they couldn't make it to the ISS (or could they? has anybody asked?), and I get that not every problem has an Apollo 13-style solution. But are we talking extra hours, or extra months?

Obviously, that's not a calculation you bother making unless you're awfully damn sure that they're DEFINITELY going to blow up. And NASA has some practice being coldhearted motherfarkers about this stuff. Remember the plan if the Apollo 11 lander wouldn't start, and Armstrong and Aldrin were stranded on the moon? It went like this:

1:00 Priest administers last rites via radio.
1:05 Nixon makes a touching speech.
1:10 Mournful military music.
1:11 Radio receivers turned right the fark off so nobody has to listen to those guys screaming about how they're not dead yet.
 
2013-02-02 01:31:32 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?


There are some questions you really don't WANT the real answer to...

i.crackedcdn.com

Held air for one hour, was NOT heat (or worse, cold) resistant, and was pretty much put there as a "sure we can save you" sop.  I think they were removed LONG before STS107
 
2013-02-02 01:31:50 AM  

MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?



After the first disaster they did install some additional safety features, unfortunately there is just so much room to work with when you're redesigning something. You can't make it bigger by much and you still have to leave room for the experiments / payload.
Jets don't work in space.
What's a rocket jet? Is that like a rocket?
/Sorry, it appears my snark limiter is busted.
//NASA should've told me before I reentered the thread.
 
2013-02-02 01:31:52 AM  
I would of tried r-eentry if you had told me. So, ya
 
2013-02-02 01:32:16 AM  
The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one
 
2013-02-02 01:32:37 AM  

Dezilith: If they managed to fit a square peg in a round hole in 13, there had to of been something they could of tried.


That was all about keeping them alive long enough to find out whether their heat shield had been damaged. There was never anything they could've done to address that potential damage.
 
2013-02-02 01:32:58 AM  
Alien dry humping the Hubble that is.  Jeez.
 
2013-02-02 01:34:14 AM  

gadian: Hmm...break apart on reentry or suffocate.  Break apart on reentry or suffocate. Firey ball of doom or gasping and purple while that other asshole over there farts in the last bit of air and goes out  laughing.  That really would be a hard one, but I think I'd go with the break apart too.


They wouldn't gasp - as the air re-circulation system steadily ran out of fresh oxygen and couldn't scrub carbon dioxide from the air, they'd just fall asleep and then die.  Similar to how coal miners pass away when trapped underground.
 
2013-02-02 01:34:32 AM  

Loren: MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?

Space is too big.  The ISS was only 12 degrees from their orbit and yet *WAY* too far to get to.

DarthBart: Darnit, you beat me to it. I used different numbers, though. I thought Columbia was on a Hubble service mission so I used the difference between 28.5 and 51.6 as the Delta-i and the ISS's orbital speed. I came out with a Delta-V of 3085 meters/sec, well beyond the 1000 meters/second the fully fuels OMS engines can do.

I may be completely batshiat wrong, though. Orbital mechanics makes my head hurt.

Where do you work, NASA?  You've got a doozy of a metric/American unit error there!

The OMS engines are good for 1000 ft/s, not 1000 m/s!

(And I didn't recall anything of what it was doing on that flight, I simply looked up the orbit.)

rickythepenguin: Loren: If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr. It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr. Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v. Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

yeah, but you didn't factor in Daylight Savings Time.

FAIL

Fail what?  That was an honest attempt to show why it couldn't be done, not trolling.  I simply did the orbital plane match and then a climb to the ISS's perigee.  The climb numbers were small enough I didn't concern myself with figuring out how much more is needed to match the fact that the ISS's orbit isn't circular.

It's also not perfect as climb then shift would use less fuel than shift then climb but the difference is small and I had the orbital speed at Columbia's altitude, I didn't need to try to figure it out at the ISS's altitude that way.


Oh Bob-damnit. I read 1000 ft/sec (300 m/s) and got stuff all jacked up.

Put me on the next Mars probe team.
 
2013-02-02 01:35:02 AM  
www.wearysloth.com

"He's a pilot. You tell him the condition of his craft!"
 
2013-02-02 01:35:19 AM  

T.rex: I thought i recalled that they had the astronaughts drift with the hole facing away from the sun for some time so that it would freeze, and be more able to withstand the re-entry.



at Mach 16 or 18, the sheer frictive force vs. a few inches of ice would have bought them oh, about 13 extra seconds of protection.

reentry is no joke.
 
2013-02-02 01:36:05 AM  
So I distinctly remember them saying they were extremely worried before they attempted re-entry, because that made it extra upsetting to me; they were out of options, and how goddamned awful a situation is that.  Why is this news now?  I'm so confused.
 
2013-02-02 01:37:09 AM  

Treygreen13: That would certainly be an interesting call to make. "Hey guys, try to steer your badly damaged craft over the water so you don't explode over people. Thanks a bunch. Byeeee."


I'm going to guess that similar scenarios are a standard part of astronaut training.
 
2013-02-02 01:37:20 AM  

impaler: Yeah, the most painless death versus the most painful, I would go with the most painful too.


'Running out of air' - or, more accurately, dying of carbon dioxide poisoning as the scrubbers slowly fail and toxic CO2 levels build up slowly - would be long and excruciatingly agonizing.  An explosion would be relatively painless - you'd rapidly lose consciousness.
 
2013-02-02 01:37:30 AM  
I recall in the weeks after, some space boffin did in fact cobble together a series of improbable events that could have resulted in a rescue.  My recollection is faulty now, but I think it had to do with a European cargo supply rocket almost ready to launch, that could have been re-purposed and programmed to rendezvous with the Columbia to bring additional air and some kind of repair kit. The ideas for on-orbit repair were creative; one proposed filling the hole with water ice which would boil off carrying away heat until they could get lower and slower. Other ideas involved slapping extra carbon-carbon over the break and using shuttle tile sealant or bits of spare tiles jammed in there. That trick might have been possible for the crew to do themselves by stealing tiles off a less vital section, though I don't know that they would have had the tile repair kit and glue gun later shuttles had.   The list of improbables assumed that the ATV launch would buy the crew time for the next shuttle to speed thru checkout and launch with one volunteer pilot to go get them. The Columbia would have then been scuttled, as it had no on-orbit refuel capability, something NASA is just this year experimenting with.

I'll tell you this: I think the crew should have been told.  The messages they would have composed for their families and the world would have moved and inspired this planet for a generation. Next to getting to live some more, that's not bad for the consolation prize.
 
2013-02-02 01:38:42 AM  

MissFeasance: DarthBart: Launches are extremely expensive per pound.  Every pound of cargo that goes up takes more fuel.

Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.


And now you know the purpose of the Stratos jump.

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: Why didn't they just fly down to the ISS?


If you really want an answer to this question, you can go back and read earlier in the threat, but think of the scale we're talking here:

Earth is New York City.  You leave New York City for an expedition to the North Pole.  You notice a problem that will prevent you from making it back to New York.  There is one other place you could stop, the ISS, which we'll call London.  That's great and all that you have another option, but you're not going to be able to make it there either.

Space is a big place, and transferring orbits is no trivial thing.  They wouldn't have had the fuel to reach ISS.
 
2013-02-02 01:39:26 AM  

Saturn5: I don't buy it.  There's an escape capsule at the Space Station.  Some could have come back on it while the others either waited for rescue or attempted re-entry.  And if that kind of decision was made, it wouldn't be some big consensus that was discussed amongst a large group - 1 or 2 very high ranking people would have made that call in secret.


That wasn't an ISS mission, and orbits don't work that way. They were in a different orbit than ISS, which is why a non ISS mission to fix Hubble a fifth time had been nearly ruled out.
 
2013-02-02 01:39:34 AM  

rickythepenguin: T.rex: I thought i recalled that they had the astronaughts drift with the hole facing away from the sun for some time so that it would freeze, and be more able to withstand the re-entry.


at Mach 16 or 18, the sheer frictive force vs. a few inches of ice would have bought them oh, about 13 extra seconds of protection.

reentry is no joke.


I don't doubt that... I'm just saying, that the astronauts knew there was an issue at hand, and they were given tasks to try and counter it.... NASA must've known how futile it was, though perhaps this manuveur was attempted to try and placate the astronauts fears.
 
2013-02-02 01:39:53 AM  
"when faced with the choice of letting the astronauts die trying to come home or leaving them to orbit until their air ran out "

Or (c) DOCK AT THE FARKING INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION!!!!!
 
2013-02-02 01:40:40 AM  

BKITU: [www.wearysloth.com image 320x240]

"He's a pilot. You tell him the condition of his craft!"


That's just it, Shuttle pilots weren't pilots, they were truckers, according to NASA.  Ghods forbid we EVER have such a farked up program as the Shuttle again.  "ad astra per asperam" and all that crap
 
2013-02-02 01:41:15 AM  

Loucifer: They could have docked with Skylab and then rendezvoused with Hubble. It would have bought them the time to disarm the nuke.


Don't be silly. They should have docked with  Daedalus and then landed in White Plains, NY.
 
2013-02-02 01:42:00 AM  

CmndrFish: And now you know the purpose of the Stratos jump.


emotibot.net
 
2013-02-02 01:42:07 AM  
The might have been able to disassemble the thrusters from the shuttle, go outside, point them in the opposite direction they were going, light'em up and hang on for dear life. free fall to earth.
 
2013-02-02 01:42:10 AM  

Lsherm: They wouldn't gasp - as the air re-circulation system steadily ran out of fresh oxygen and couldn't scrub carbon dioxide from the air, they'd just fall asleep and then die. Similar to how coal miners pass away when trapped underground.


My way was funnier.
 
2013-02-02 01:42:10 AM  

MissFeasance: relcec: too much weight.
too much overhead.
profitability.
it's like having 1/3 your quicky mart completely devoid of items for purchase.

Yeah, I get that.  But if NASA was like, "hey, we need an extra zillion dollars so they can escape if necessary" I wouldn't be like, "oh jeez, now I can't afford to buy organic veggies this week."


you couldn't even make a go of it. it would be useless for a not insignificant percentage of the missions it was designed to serve. its very purpose was to be a highly efficient means of dropping stuff off and coming back home. that's why its shaped like a plane and has solid rocket boosters that are parachuted back to earth, so they can save money and get back in space quick. never would have been built.
 
2013-02-02 01:42:12 AM  

impaler: MissFeasance: I'll admit right now that I am not a spaceologist, but shouldn't there have been a way to put a pod on there for emergencies?  Something where they could get in a pod and float back down to earth with parachutes and stuff?  Maybe a couple extra jets so they didn't land in the middle of a city, but not the huge rocket jets?

Let's put it this way.

You know about the "conservation of energy" right? Now remember when they lifted off? All that big explosions and shat going off (the rockets)? That was to give the velocity.

To get back, they have to get rid of that velocity, and it takes the same amount of energy to slow down as speed up. So basically, the bottom of the shuttle has to take the same amount of energy that was coming out of the rockets in the form of heat energy from friction.

Obviously, you might see how parachutes in this situation could be a problem.


Yup.  Not just the heat but being blasted with wind at >17,000 mph tends to rip things apart.  This is where amateur balloon launches "to the edge of space" and SpaceShip One are nothing like orbital flight.  They just go up and come down.

You might think "well, just skirt where the atmosphere starts at first, so you can take it slow and deceleration, heat, and friction aren't bad".  But seeming weightless only happens because of orbital velocity.  Once you start slowing down, you start falling, and there's no staying on the "edge of space" anymore.

How fast is that?  Well, 17,000 mph would require 1g of deceleration for a straight 13 minutes to bleed off.  A long, long braking period is required and the amount of energy that needs to be lost smoothly is staggering.
 
2013-02-02 01:42:25 AM  

Any Pie Left: I recall in the weeks after, some space boffin did in fact cobble together a series of improbable events that could have resulted in a rescue.


I wasn't all up on the possibilities, but damn.  If you told the world the shuttle probably couldn't get back, and asked for help, and China scrambled and got up there?  Damn.
 
2013-02-02 01:43:45 AM  

TV's Vinnie: "when faced with the choice of letting the astronauts die trying to come home or leaving them to orbit until their air ran out "

Or (c) DOCK AT THE FARKING INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION!!!!!


with what reaction mass?  THE ISS WAS OVER 30,000 MILES AWAY.
 
2013-02-02 01:43:52 AM  

Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one


ugh.  never thought abotu that.

but yeah....i guess that was the dilemma.  let 7 people turn into popsicles (by the way, one of an israeli, which would have spurred outrage) versus, "hey.....what if we get lucky?"  who knows.

check this out (researching if the indian lady was a citizen):  Luarel Clark's wiki:


The STS-107 mission ended abruptly on February 1, 2003, when Columbia and her crew perished during re-entry, 16 minutes before scheduled landing.

According to the on-board videotape recovered in the debris,Mission Control asked Clark just before her death to perform some small task. She replied that she was currently occupied but would get to it in a minute. "Don't worry about it," she was told. "You have all the time in the world. "



YEEEEEEEEEEEEESH.
 
2013-02-02 01:44:29 AM  

wildcardjack:

I remember that day.

I was living in Tyler, Texas, at the time, about 20 miles north of where Columbia broke up. I thought my neighbor was watching some disaster movie when my apartment rattled. I was waiting for that morning's "Whad'ya know" which was to come from Ft Worth when the radio announced the break up.

My mom called me around the time it made the news and I remember picking paint off the door hinges while talking about it.

Then the next year I had a physics course that used a book that had a dedication to the loss of Columbia.

It had the wrong date.



I'm from Tyler. Was out of town that day, but had friends that reported similar experiences. Scary stuff. Mom lives out in the country near there and people were searching for debris to turn in.
 
2013-02-02 01:45:38 AM  

Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.

Hey Westboro douchebags, go protest that.


/...and don't come back.
//Burn up in the atmosphere or run out of oxygen, I don't care.

On a more serious note it is disheartening to rewatch the Mission Control video while they are not aware what's happening the instant Columbia doesn't respond, we are, in hindsight.
 
2013-02-02 01:45:59 AM  
I agree with the people who say they should have used the ISS's boosters to lower it to match Columbia's orbit. The two escape pods on the ISS had more than enough oxygen for all the cosmonauts.
 
2013-02-02 01:46:31 AM  
Any Pie Left:

I'll tell you this: I think the crew should have been told.  The messages they would have composed for their families and the world would have moved and inspired this planet for a generation. Next to getting to live some more, that's not bad for the consolation prize.

I'd agree....I for one would like a chance to tell my family that I loved them, and seeing as I'll die above them, I will always be able to watch over them.

That and 'Go Avs!'
 
2013-02-02 01:46:33 AM  

rickythepenguin: According to the on-board videotape recovered in the debris,Mission Control asked Clark just before her death to perform some small task. She replied that she was currently occupied but would get to it in a minute. "Don't worry about it," she was told. "You have all the time in the world. "


YEEEEEEEEEEEEESH.


I can't even.
 
2013-02-02 01:46:51 AM  
no shiat, really?
durr

MissFeasance: Any Pie Left: I recall in the weeks after, some space boffin did in fact cobble together a series of improbable events that could have resulted in a rescue.

I wasn't all up on the possibilities, but damn.  If you told the world the shuttle probably couldn't get back, and asked for help, and China scrambled and got up there?  Damn.


China, at the time, wasn't able to launch a rocket without killing fifty thousand people on the ground...
 
2013-02-02 01:46:56 AM  

Sum Dum Gai: 'Running out of air' - or, more accurately, dying of carbon dioxide poisoning


No, more accurately, running out of air. They can decide to turn the O2 off.

But between the choice of 100% death, and less than 100% death, the choice is obvious.
 
2013-02-02 01:47:12 AM  

EngineerAU: I'm going to guess that similar scenarios are a standard part of astronaut training.


McCool was an avid runner, and in the aftermath of his death, Runner's World or Runner magazine wrote an article (hand on my heart i haven't googled this, this is pure memory) wrote a piece about him with various interviews with his high school and USNA XC/track coaches, and at one point, the author related a story about how as  a young Navy pilot, McCool somehow recovered his jet from a tailspin in a way that had never been done.  as of the wrting of the article, it was being taught as the "McCool Protocol" for recovering a tailspinning jet.

dude was apparently The Real Motherfarking Deal.
 
2013-02-02 01:47:43 AM  

DrPainMD: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.


I would rather have the opportunity to go to said huge, dark space rock, blow it up and then have sexy time with Liv Tyler while her dad serenades us.
 
2013-02-02 01:47:54 AM  

costermonger: CmndrFish: And now you know the purpose of the Stratos jump.

[emotibot.net image 222x222]


Psh, don't give me that.  The Stratos jump got us closer to jumping out of LEO spaceships in nothing but a suit.  That was the scientific point of the whole ordeal.
 
2013-02-02 01:48:11 AM  

Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one



except for the entire part about The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) saying the crew could have been saved by the shuttle Atlantis. nevermind that your idea that they couldn't retrieve bodies or anything similarly sized from orbit at a later date is incredibly asinine. if you aren't even cognizant of the fact that the shuttle can pick shiat up in space, really wtf are you doing in here? you know most nine year old boys are probably aware of that.


"The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures
 
2013-02-02 01:49:00 AM  

MissFeasance: DarthBart: Launches are extremely expensive per pound.  Every pound of cargo that goes up takes more fuel.

Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.


And what good will a parachute do you?  Ever see what happens to unshielded objects that plow into our atmosphere?  Smaller spacecraft are completely destroyed, when big stuff such as Skylab came down some of the densest bits survived the plunge.

You go out in your spacesuit with a chute on your back and you'll simply burn.

The minimum possible re-entry vehicle I can conceive of would be an ablative saucer something like 8' across that you were strapped to the back of.  Guiding it would be a major problem, it's not merely a matter of landing in the middle of nowhere but surviving the ride at all.  If your angle is too shallow you will skip like a stone on water and you'll use up a lot of air before you get back down.  (It wouldn't be the doom it was in the Apollo era as they were coming much faster and thus would skip much higher.)  If your angle is too steep you'll be crushed.  I don't know what the safety range is for coming down from orbit, for Apollo the window was only two degrees across.

The Russians lost a cosmonaut apparently from a failed guidance system--he knew it was out and therefore spun his capsule to neutralize the effects of the shape of the shield and keep it going basically straight.  He took more G's than planned, whether he lived through them is unknown.  He certainly blacked out and didn't wake up in time--his capsule was still spinning when the chutes came out.

Coelacanth: There should've been some way to jettison some weight so they could've made a rendezvous with the ISS: Empty the cargo bay, dump the cargo bay doors, flush the sewage tank, something.


Jettison what?  5/6 of the spacecraft?  (And that's assuming they used no OMS fuel on the way up.  In reality they do--the tank is blow off while they're on a path into the atmosphere and then they use OMS fuel to circularize.)

About the only way they could have done it is pull out the OMS engines/tanks and ride them bare.  That obviously would be impossible.
 
2013-02-02 01:50:03 AM  

MissFeasance: rickythepenguin: According to the on-board videotape recovered in the debris,Mission Control asked Clark just before her death to perform some small task. She replied that she was currently occupied but would get to it in a minute. "Don't worry about it," she was told. "You have all the time in the world. "


YEEEEEEEEEEEEESH.

I can't even.


I know, right? All that fancy NASA technology and they were still recording video on tape!
 
2013-02-02 01:50:11 AM  

T.rex: NASA must've known how futile it was, though perhaps this manuveur was attempted to try and placate the astronauts fears.



They're all PhDs.  if in fact that happened, they knew it was a fool's quest.  hell, 12 inches of ice won't mean dick at Mach 16 reentry.

i mean, comets that have spent 250 million years in the freaking Oort Cloud, the size of a schoolbus, blaze into pebbles the size of your pinky nail when they enter.

shiat is real, sonnnnnnn.
 
2013-02-02 01:50:31 AM  

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched?


To paraphrase a notorious space adventurer, "Δv  is a biatch."
 
2013-02-02 01:50:45 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: I say, let 'em crash.


i.ytimg.com

...beat me to it.
 
2013-02-02 01:50:53 AM  

prjindigo: MissFeasance: Any Pie Left: I recall in the weeks after, some space boffin did in fact cobble together a series of improbable events that could have resulted in a rescue.

I wasn't all up on the possibilities, but damn.  If you told the world the shuttle probably couldn't get back, and asked for help, and China scrambled and got up there?  Damn.

China, at the time, wasn't able to launch a rocket without killing fifty thousand people on the ground...


Fair enough.  But seriously.  If there was any way for ANY country to get up there... if anyone had a way to get up there and rescue those people, that would have been like 10000000+ points with the US.
 
2013-02-02 01:51:20 AM  

EngineerAU: Loucifer: They could have docked with Skylab and then rendezvoused with Hubble. It would have bought them the time to disarm the nuke.

Don't be silly. They should have docked with  Daedalus and then landed in White Plains, NY.


encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2013-02-02 01:52:50 AM  

Loren: And what good will a parachute do you?


Read the entire thread next time.
 
2013-02-02 01:52:59 AM  

Any Pie Left: I'll tell you this: I think the crew should have been told. The messages they would have composed for their families and the world would have moved and inspired this planet for a generation. Next to getting to live some more, that's not bad for the consolation prize.


but mission control didn't know.
I feel like I'm cleaning the augean stables here.
 
2013-02-02 01:54:12 AM  
Actually, interesting fact: What is the primary cause of the heat that the heat shield/thermal tiles are designed to protect against? Common wisdom says it is friction with the spacecraft, but this is not true.

Pbzcerffvba bs gur nve va sebag bs gur fcnprpensg .
 
2013-02-02 01:54:13 AM  

rickythepenguin: EngineerAU: I'm going to guess that similar scenarios are a standard part of astronaut training.

McCool was an avid runner, and in the aftermath of his death, Runner's World or Runner magazine wrote an article (hand on my heart i haven't googled this, this is pure memory) wrote a piece about him with various interviews with his high school and USNA XC/track coaches, and at one point, the author related a story about how as  a young Navy pilot, McCool somehow recovered his jet from a tailspin in a way that had never been done.  as of the wrting of the article, it was being taught as the "McCool Protocol" for recovering a tailspinning jet.

dude was apparently The Real Motherfarking Deal.


farking hell. the shiat i remember.

http://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/16-minutes-home?page=sin gl e

Willie and Lani and the boys spent most of the next decade in Washington State, in the town of Anacortes, just a short drive from the naval base on Whidbey Island, where McCool flew the Prowler, a four-person aircraft used for jamming radar and other electronic warfare tactics. Once, at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, he pulled a Prowler out of a spiral, or a "death spin." No one had ever done it before. Today, every Prowler pilot and would-be pilot studies what McCool did that day; it's the official Navy procedure for pulling a Prowler out of a spiral.
 
2013-02-02 01:55:04 AM  

relcec: Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one


except for the entire part about The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) saying the crew could have been saved by the shuttle Atlantis. nevermind that your idea that they couldn't retrieve bodies or anything similarly sized from orbit at a later date is incredibly asinine. if you aren't even cognizant of the fact that the shuttle can pick shiat up in space, really wtf are you doing in here? you know most nine year old boys are probably aware of that.


"The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures


You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20
 
2013-02-02 01:56:19 AM  
The next time Texas whines about not getting a Space Shuttle, remind them that they got the Columbia.
 
2013-02-02 01:56:40 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


Usually, I appreciate your "defense of government" posts on this site, but in this case you need to go fark yourself raw.

There's the standard risk inherent in space travel, then there is "you will probably die shortly, would you like to wait it out, get yourself in order (spiritually) record any last words now that you know it's likely etc.

Even if there's nothing that can be done, you give the heroes the choice. They are trained to handle it. You don't make the choice for them. NASA farked up here, and none of the people who made this choice deserve to hold a government job ever again.
 
2013-02-02 02:00:35 AM  

evaned: Actually, interesting fact: What is the primary cause of the heat that the heat shield/thermal tiles are designed to protect against? Common wisdom says it is friction with the spacecraft, but this is not true.

Pbzcerffvba bs gur nve va sebag bs gur fcnprpensg .


That was covered almost an hour ago slowpoke.
 
2013-02-02 02:01:06 AM  

CmndrFish: Psh, don't give me that.  The Stratos jump got us closer to jumping out of LEO spaceships in nothing but a suit.  That was the scientific point of the whole ordeal.


Spaceship One type sub-orbital vehicles, maybe, but Stratos was to re-entering from LEO as stepping off a curb is to ejecting from a Mach 2 fighter.
 
2013-02-02 02:01:09 AM  

mr lawson: The might have been able to disassemble the thrusters from the shuttle, go outside, point them in the opposite direction they were going, light'em up and hang on for dear life. free fall to earth.


i46.tinypic.com
 
2013-02-02 02:03:37 AM  
Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?


You'd think that NASA would select mentally sound people for their missions, who would be aware of the risks they're taking, wouldn't you?

If the article's true, it shows a distinct lack of balls all round. People going on the orbiter should understand the risk, and those putting them up there should be prepared to tell them they're dead.

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?

Well, if it's true, we should be thankful that NASA does not have a monopoly on space.

Even better than the fact that other nations and space agencies have big telescopes is the fact that amateur astronomy ensures that millions - at least - have their eyes on the sky every night. It's very likely that any asteroid, KBO or whatever, on a collision course with us would be detected by amateurs first.

/RIP Sir Patrick Moore.
 
2013-02-02 02:05:42 AM  

Jensaarai: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Usually, I appreciate your "defense of government" posts on this site, but in this case you need to go fark yourself raw.

There's the standard risk inherent in space travel, then there is "you will probably die shortly, would you like to wait it out, get yourself in order (spiritually) record any last words now that you know it's likely etc.

Even if there's nothing that can be done, you give the heroes the choice. They are trained to handle it. You don't make the choice for them. NASA farked up here, and none of the people who made this choice deserve to hold a government job ever again.



I agree (with the last 2/3 of your post, anyway).
 
2013-02-02 02:06:23 AM  
www.feoamante.com
Shoulda been standard issue...
 
2013-02-02 02:06:39 AM  

C18H27NO3: evaned: Actually, interesting fact: What is the primary cause of the heat that the heat shield/thermal tiles are designed to protect against? Common wisdom says it is friction with the spacecraft, but this is not true.

Pbzcerffvba bs gur nve va sebag bs gur fcnprpensg .

That was covered almost an hour ago slowpoke.


Well whaddya know. I was too busy trying to figure out what the story was behind the Apollo 13 heat shield and skipped those posts, but I recently learned that fact (or maybe relearned? I forget) so it was fresh on my mind.
 
2013-02-02 02:07:46 AM  

g4lt: relcec: Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one


except for the entire part about The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) saying the crew could have been saved by the shuttle Atlantis. nevermind that your idea that they couldn't retrieve bodies or anything similarly sized from orbit at a later date is incredibly asinine. if you aren't even cognizant of the fact that the shuttle can pick shiat up in space, really wtf are you doing in here? you know most nine year old boys are probably aware of that.


"The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20


that's not hindsight.
it's not like there was a chance they could have survived reentry and nasa just happened to pick the worst of a set of equally bad options.
there was a clearly wrong answer, which was to assume if a problem was found that there was no hope, and therefore no point even checking.
it's like saying you know you are going to fail so why bother studying.
if you don't even attempt something it is impossible not to fail. criticizing mission control for letting an ignorance is bliss attitude develop is not second guessing, and to suggest otherwise is almost insane.
according to the accident investigation board if nasa control had checked the shuttle when they first became aware that there might been a problem the second orbiter would have had five days after lift off to get to the columbia.
 
2013-02-02 02:08:52 AM  
I think for future missions, it would be wise to take a crew vote beforehand. If NASA has information like this, would you prefer to be informed or not? Then go off of that.
 
2013-02-02 02:09:10 AM  

TV's Vinnie: mr lawson: The might have been able to disassemble the thrusters from the shuttle, go outside, point them in the opposite direction they were going, light'em up and hang on for dear life. free fall to earth.

[i46.tinypic.com image 263x200]


I literally lol'd at that picture.
 
2013-02-02 02:10:47 AM  

Jensaarai: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Usually, I appreciate your "defense of government" posts on this site, but in this case you need to go fark yourself raw.

There's the standard risk inherent in space travel, then there is "you will probably die shortly, would you like to wait it out, get yourself in order (spiritually) record any last words now that you know it's likely etc.

Even if there's nothing that can be done, you give the heroes the choice. They are trained to handle it. You don't make the choice for them. NASA farked up here, and none of the people who made this choice deserve to hold a government job ever again.


NASA farked up in 1981 on this point, when the rookie Crippen was the pilot and Young was the mission commander.  Ever since then, the Shuttle pilots have been considered less pilots and more truck drivers.  Eventually, it got to the point where the Mission Commander wasn't necessarily a trained astronaut.  At least with Apollo, Apollo 1 provided a HUGE wakeup call, that this shiat was still dangerous.  It took a bit longer for the Shuttles to try to teach that lesson, and then, it was easily blamed on an O-ring, so the lesson really never got learned as well as it should have.
 
2013-02-02 02:11:03 AM  
Don't astronauts have to undergo psychological screening?  So they might have been asked what they would want to happen in different scenarios - like someone with a DNR?  NASA wouldn't be able to reveal that information would they, because of privacy?

I wouldn't want to know & I wouldn't want my family to know.  If the re-entry option was quick and meant I wouldn't really have time to process what was happening, that would be my choice over the Major Tom deal.  My knowledge of space type stuff is virtually nil, so please don't bite [or at least make it enjoyable] if the uneducated guesses are wrong.
 
2013-02-02 02:11:11 AM  

zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?


That particular shuttle never went to ISS or Mir. Being the first operational orbiter, Columbia was heavier due to an over-engineered airframe and extra monitoring equipment throughout. Columbia's inferior cargo lifting capacity put it at the bottom of the list for space station missions. If it had not been destroyed, it had one ISS mission planned for when one of the other orbiters had a months-long overhaul scheduled.
 
2013-02-02 02:11:29 AM  

Jensaarai: I think for future missions, it would be wise to take a crew vote beforehand. If NASA has information like this, would you prefer to be informed or not? Then go off of that.



obligatory "well, ok, but, the black guy's vote only counts for 3/5ths" joke.....
 
2013-02-02 02:12:00 AM  
As has been pointed out, heading to the ISS wasn't possible, despite what Spacecamp would tell us about being able to alter a shuttle's orbit.  The other thing was Columbia itself did not have the hardware for docking to the ISS, and even then was deemed too heavy to dock there anyhow.  Oh sure if they could've made it to the ISS they could've probably risked spacewalking into one of the airlocks, but both the shuttle and ISS only carried so many spacesuits.

One possibility I thought of (since I have Orbiter) was trying to set the shuttle to splashdown (pretty much kill all orbital speed and let it freefall from space) since I *think* the shuttle was a lifting body design.  Best I could do was slow it down to 7.05 KM/s from a higher orbit than what Columbia was at, since all it had to slow it down after launch was the OMS, and that had just enough thrust and fuel for standard re-entry.

Another, more realistic possibility I've read about over the years was crash-preparing Atlantis for launch since Columbia had enough supplies to make it to flight day 30, and Atlantis was being prepped for a March 1 launch, but there was only a five-day window to launch without knowing how to fix the problem that doomed Columbia; you'd probably have nine dead astronauts instead of seven (why not fourteen?  because a rescue mission would've consited of a pilot and commander), not to mention terminating the entire shuttle program because you lost half the fleet in one shot.

Had it been caught on launch instead of on replay, a TAL abort could've been called, but then again you're flying Mach 2+ at that point with a hole in your wing.  Cutting the main engines, jettisoning the SRBs but leaving the ET hooked up would probably slow you down to subsonic speeds a lot quicker than jettisoning the ET right away, good enough to bail out.  But again, that's assuming the hole in the wing didn't severely alter the aerodynamic profile, rendering it pointless to try.
 
2013-02-02 02:12:27 AM  
In seriousness, personally I would rather my family's last image of me be shooting off into space on a rocket, not a tearful and confused, maybe sortof good bye message because the whole shooting off into space on a rocket didn't work out as well as I'd hoped.
 
2013-02-02 02:12:51 AM  
Either some of you watch way too much TV, or you are epically trolling.

I'll just leave this here:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheColdEquations

// can't believe I'm the first.
 
2013-02-02 02:13:21 AM  

relcec: g4lt: relcec: Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one


except for the entire part about The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) saying the crew could have been saved by the shuttle Atlantis. nevermind that your idea that they couldn't retrieve bodies or anything similarly sized from orbit at a later date is incredibly asinine. if you aren't even cognizant of the fact that the shuttle can pick shiat up in space, really wtf are you doing in here? you know most nine year old boys are probably aware of that.


"The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...


And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?
 
2013-02-02 02:14:14 AM  

Jensaarai: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Usually, I appreciate your "defense of government" posts on this site, but in this case you need to go fark yourself raw.

There's the standard risk inherent in space travel, then there is "you will probably die shortly, would you like to wait it out, get yourself in order (spiritually) record any last words now that you know it's likely etc.

Even if there's nothing that can be done, you give the heroes the choice. They are trained to handle it. You don't make the choice for them. NASA farked up here, and none of the people who made this choice deserve to hold a government job ever again.


mission control did not KNOW THE SHUTTLE HAD A F*CKING PROBLEM.
they knew there was the potential for one, but they never knew god damit.
they refused an engineer request to get a NSA satellite to take photos of the shuttle because a fatalistic momentum with regard to serious problems developed, BUT STILL THEY DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING WAS WRONG. they knew it was but a possibility.
I'm gonna stay here all night until you f*ckwits get that basic fact into your brains.
 
2013-02-02 02:15:21 AM  

bluorangefyre: As has been pointed out, heading to the ISS wasn't possible, despite what Spacecamp would tell us about being able to alter a shuttle's orbit.  The other thing was Columbia itself did not have the hardware for docking to the ISS, and even then was deemed too heavy to dock there anyhow.  Oh sure if they could've made it to the ISS they could've probably risked spacewalking into one of the airlocks, but both the shuttle and ISS only carried so many spacesuits.

One possibility I thought of (since I have Orbiter) was trying to set the shuttle to splashdown (pretty much kill all orbital speed and let it freefall from space) since I *think* the shuttle was a lifting body design.  Best I could do was slow it down to 7.05 KM/s from a higher orbit than what Columbia was at, since all it had to slow it down after launch was the OMS, and that had just enough thrust and fuel for standard re-entry.

Another, more realistic possibility I've read about over the years was crash-preparing Atlantis for launch since Columbia had enough supplies to make it to flight day 30, and Atlantis was being prepped for a March 1 launch, but there was only a five-day window to launch without knowing how to fix the problem that doomed Columbia; you'd probably have nine dead astronauts instead of seven (why not fourteen?  because a rescue mission would've consited of a pilot and commander), not to mention terminating the entire shuttle program because you lost half the fleet in one shot.

Had it been caught on launch instead of on replay, a TAL abort could've been called, but then again you're flying Mach 2+ at that point with a hole in your wing.  Cutting the main engines, jettisoning the SRBs but leaving the ET hooked up would probably slow you down to subsonic speeds a lot quicker than jettisoning the ET right away, good enough to bail out.  But again, that's assuming the hole in the wing didn't severely alter the aerodynamic profile, rendering it pointless to try.


I still think they should have at least tried to make it to the ISS.
 
2013-02-02 02:15:22 AM  

Amos Quito: So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


Should NASA and other worthies do the right thing, keeping their chins up and their terror to themselves to spare all of us the chaos and mayhem, or should they do the right thing and tell us about our impending doom?
 
2013-02-02 02:16:12 AM  

g4lt: Ever since then, the Shuttle pilots have been considered less pilots and more truck drivers.


reminds me a thread where I posted this:

http://www.fark.com/comments/4521923/Astronauts-perform-spacewalk-on -A pollo-11-anniversary-since-moonwalk-would-have-been-tacky-too-soon#new

Contrabulous Flabtraption: At least the moonwalk was part of a useful mission and not to unclog the crapper on an orbiting piece of shiat.


gotta love getting through postgrad school, usually getting a Ph.D., logging thousands of hours of flight time, then being the 1 in 400 or whatever people that apply for and complete NASA training, then of that pool of people, become one of the maybe 35-40 that get into outer space per year, all to become the functional equivalent of Uncle Eddie shouting, "shiatTER'S FULL!" 85 miles above the earth.
 
2013-02-02 02:17:50 AM  

CmndrFish: Psh, don't give me that. The Stratos jump got us closer to jumping out of LEO spaceships in nothing but a suit. That was the scientific point of the whole ordeal.


1. He jumped from about 25 miles, not the 200+ miles that an actual astronaut would be.

2. If Baumgardner could have reached the same height as a real spacecraft like Columbia, the spacecraft would have shot by Felix at more than 17,000 miles per hour.  It's that velocity that makes it hard to bring a spacecraft (or person) to the ground safely.  You somehow need to decelerate by tens of thousands of miles per hour.
 
2013-02-02 02:18:01 AM  

Mad_Season: Either some of you watch way too much TV, or you are epically trolling.

I'll just leave this here:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheColdEquations

// can't believe I'm the first.


Way to Godwin the thread, dude.
 
2013-02-02 02:18:09 AM  
Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows"

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you....

"Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do."
 
2013-02-02 02:19:13 AM  

rickythepenguin: dude was apparently The Real Motherfarking Deal.


With a name like McCool, you'd pretty much have to be.
 
2013-02-02 02:19:26 AM  
Sad story is sad.
 
2013-02-02 02:19:33 AM  

EngineerAU: Sure, if true, NASA couldn't save the astronauts so why inform them. Well there's a good reason... to not have flaming debris rain down over a populated area. Luckily no one on the ground was killed but it certainly was a possibility. If the shuttle had to come back in, it would be better to let them break up over the Pacific. It'd make recovery of the debris much more difficult but would eliminate most of the possibility of someone elementary school getting creamed by a flaming toilet seat.


Which is why this story is Bull:

"Hey Ted, should we tell them they're doomed?"

"Nah, let's just let it break up and rain flaming debris and human remains over a populated area."

"Yeah, you're right, Good Call!"
 
2013-02-02 02:20:12 AM  

Jensaarai: I think for future missions, it would be wise to take a crew vote beforehand. If NASA has information like this, would you prefer to be informed or not? Then go off of that.


I'm more of the "Okay people, take the blue pill. That feeling you're feeling now is scopalomine. You'll do anything I say and farking love it because you're tripping too many balls. Now let's record a farewell message and start the landing sequence."
 
2013-02-02 02:21:46 AM  

rickythepenguin: gotta love getting through postgrad school, usually getting a Ph.D., logging thousands of hours of flight time, then being the 1 in 400 or whatever people that apply for and complete NASA training, then of that pool of people, become one of the maybe 35-40 that get into outer space per year, all to become the functional equivalent of Uncle Eddie shouting, "shiatTER'S FULL!" 85 miles above the earth.


Blurb from NASA Astronaut Selection Office:

Applications were accepted for two months with the deadline expiring on January 27, 2012. This year the response to the announcement was tremendous with NASA receiving 6,372 applications. This is the largest number of applications since 1978 which had more than 8,000 submissions.

I just saw the word apply and thought I'd throw that in here.
 
2013-02-02 02:21:53 AM  
Geez, NASA didn't send up seven monkeys who pushed buttons to receive peanuts... they put seven highly intelligent and clever problem-solving humans up there who should not have had information withheld from them by bureaucrats.
 
2013-02-02 02:23:15 AM  

g4lt: "The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...

And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?


how about they go out the f*cking door like normal people you nitwit!

http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html

www.aero-news.net
 
2013-02-02 02:24:13 AM  

Gyrfalcon: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Wasn't most, if not all, of this known soon after the disaster?

/because I know I read about it somewhere

Yes.

Old news is really really old.


Like, the day of.  Hell even the astronauts had a pretty damn good idea.

They're flying old tech in shiat conditions because you can only get funding for shiat when you can make it jingoistic.
 
2013-02-02 02:24:49 AM  

Alleyoop: bureaucrats


This is the real problem.
 
2013-02-02 02:24:55 AM  

Sum Dum Gai: impaler: Yeah, the most painless death versus the most painful, I would go with the most painful too.

'Running out of air' - or, more accurately, dying of carbon dioxide poisoning as the scrubbers slowly fail and toxic CO2 levels build up slowly - would be long and excruciatingly agonizing.  An explosion would be relatively painless - you'd rapidly lose consciousness.


Where is this belief that CO2 poisoning is painful coming from?  They'd lose consciousness and die.  They still wouldn't know they were going to die - they'd just pass out.  Death would come later.
 
2013-02-02 02:26:17 AM  
Cowboy Bebop (one episode at least) is hard to watch now...

yayreallifeison.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-02-02 02:26:54 AM  

C18H27NO3: rickythepenguin: gotta love getting through postgrad school, usually getting a Ph.D., logging thousands of hours of flight time, then being the 1 in 400 or whatever people that apply for and complete NASA training, then of that pool of people, become one of the maybe 35-40 that get into outer space per year, all to become the functional equivalent of Uncle Eddie shouting, "shiatTER'S FULL!" 85 miles above the earth.

Blurb from NASA Astronaut Selection Office:

Applications were accepted for two months with the deadline expiring on January 27, 2012. This year the response to the announcement was tremendous with NASA receiving 6,372 applications. This is the largest number of applications since 1978 which had more than 8,000 submissions.

I just saw the word apply and thought I'd throw that in here.


Interesting. 1978 was also during a long hiatus in U.S. launch capability (post-Apollo, pre-shuttle).
 
2013-02-02 02:29:03 AM  
placing myself in the role of commander of the mission, I'd rather have known. "There's certain, slow death in orbit, there's probable painful death in re-entry. The situation sucks, but let's attempt re-entry. Make your peace with your various deities now, and maybe call home, say your goodbyes, because we meet back on the flight deck (which i would imagine they had, fark you, it's my fantasy) in twenty minutes. Good luck, and godspeed."

Phrozen
 
2013-02-02 02:29:45 AM  

MissFeasance: costermonger: MissFeasance: Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.

All that heat that is generated during re-entry is due to compressive heating - because things in orbit have to go almost nonsensically fast (to us on the ground) to stay in orbit. If you want to jump out an re-enter, your body is going to generate the exact same compression heating as you work your way down. So it's not really 'taking your chances' as much as 'human meteorite'.

Yeah, but if it was a pod sort of thing with the same exterior protection, just... smaller, and that had been protected inside the larger craft?  I'm not saying "hey, jump out with your parachute"


But what about that red bull guy, the one who supposedly jumped from space this summer...
/he lived?
 
2013-02-02 02:30:10 AM  

johnperkins: Cowboy Bebop (one episode at least) is hard to watch now...

[yayreallifeison.files.wordpress.com image 850x660]


I like to think he pieced it back together.
 
2013-02-02 02:31:00 AM  
If they drifted off into space instead of attempting reentry it would have been ok because 500 years from now Princess Ardala would have found the ship and sent them to Earth to hang out with Erin Gray.
 
2013-02-02 02:32:09 AM  

PhrozenStar: placing myself in the role of commander of the mission, I'd rather have known. "There's certain, slow death in orbit, there's probable painful death in re-entry. The situation sucks, but let's attempt re-entry. Make your peace with your various deities now, and maybe call home, say your goodbyes, because we meet back on the flight deck (which i would imagine they had, fark you, it's my fantasy) in twenty minutes. Good luck, and godspeed."

Phrozen


or they could have been picked up by atlantis and come home an lived happily ever after, and in all event mission control did not know there was problem so it is in a sense moot.
 
2013-02-02 02:32:35 AM  

faeriefay: But what about that red bull guy, the one who supposedly jumped from space this summer...
/he lived?


He jumped from 1/8th the distance above Earth than that of the Space Shuttle.
 
2013-02-02 02:33:26 AM  

ng2810: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Bullshiat

[content.answcdn.com image 500x456]

Don't you farking tell me that they would not have at least tried SOMETHING if they knew people were gonna die.


 This.

/Heading out of this thread. It's more of a clusterfark of ignorance than usual.
 
2013-02-02 02:34:13 AM  
This is what happens when NASA hires engineers at GS-7/9/11 pay grade. They get the C grade students, and then things like this and Discovery happen. NASA could get by with low wages in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo days because they had the cool factor going for them, but post-Skylab that had worn off. And if NASA, i.e. the ground crew, was really that concerned about getting the astronauts back safely they could have always sent up a Soyuz to retrieve them.
 
2013-02-02 02:36:59 AM  

faeriefay: But what about that red bull guy, the one who supposedly jumped from space this summer...
/he lived?


He was in a special suit and not in orbit.

Orbiting bodies are going so fast iron catches on fire.
 
2013-02-02 02:40:07 AM  

zekeburger: ISS


That's not now orbital flight paths work!
 
2013-02-02 02:40:40 AM  
they could have always sent up a Soyuz to retrieve them.

Soyuz only holds three. You wanted them to draw straws for the two empty seats?
 
2013-02-02 02:45:17 AM  
Just to beat the dead horse a little more, Columbia was the one shuttle that could not reach the ISS, let alone dock with it. It was too heavy and had not been fitted with ISS docking hardware, although there were plans to upgrade Columbia to allow it.
 
2013-02-02 02:51:09 AM  

MissFeasance: DarthBart: Launches are extremely expensive per pound.  Every pound of cargo that goes up takes more fuel.

Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.


cdni.wired.co.uk

?
 
2013-02-02 02:51:26 AM  
Before bed, I'll re-state that NASA's Max Faget had a better shuttle design in every way that counts. It perched atop the booster so it could abort and fly away from the explosion under it.  But due to mission creep and the DOD adding too many requirements for space warefare scenarios, the design went from a sort of spacegoing Porche to a space-going mack truck. From a titanium airframe around the size of a Grumman G-6 Gulfstream, with an all steel and alloy thermal protection system to a ship the size of a commercial jetliner, with the aluminum airframe with ceramic bricks on it.   The Smaller Faget styled ship had  amore vertical, fully-stalled decent profile, very similar to what Rutan's Space Ship One used, which was slower and less hot and safer. But DOD wanted huge cross-range and the ability to launch and retrieve  spy sats, not necessarily just our own, and land any farking where with enough runway.  Original shuttle even had jet engines for self-ferrying and go-around capability on the landing approach, deleted to save weight.

The Rockwell design was a camel, you know, the horse as designed by committee. Only more like a camel after a ride in a blender.

The HL-20-like private commercial shuttle design in development will be more like Max's original idea and it will work better.
 
2013-02-02 02:51:59 AM  

relcec: g4lt: "The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...

And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?

how about they go out the f*cking door like normal people you nitwit!

http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html

[www.aero-news.net image 300x225]


That door doesn't open in vacuum.  The only way out in space is through the Airlock (woah, you need to use an airlock to go from pressure to vacuum?   who knew!), WHICH HAPPENED TO BE OCCUPIED BY SPACEHAB.  There wasn't an EVA scheduled on STS107, BECAUSE IT WASN'T POSSIBLE TO DO, THE AIRLOCK WAS BLOCKED IN.
 
2013-02-02 02:52:54 AM  
 
2013-02-02 02:56:05 AM  

zekeburger: Couldn't the shuttle dock

at the ISS

I seem to recall something at the time that Columbia (being the oldest shuttle) was not designed for high orbits, so it had never been retrofit with the proper collar to dock with the ISS. Though that could have just been part of all the talk that came after the accident.
 
2013-02-02 02:57:47 AM  

Nem Wan: C18H27NO3: rickythepenguin: gotta love getting through postgrad school, usually getting a Ph.D., logging thousands of hours of flight time, then being the 1 in 400 or whatever people that apply for and complete NASA training, then of that pool of people, become one of the maybe 35-40 that get into outer space per year, all to become the functional equivalent of Uncle Eddie shouting, "shiatTER'S FULL!" 85 miles above the earth.

Blurb from NASA Astronaut Selection Office:

Applications were accepted for two months with the deadline expiring on January 27, 2012. This year the response to the announcement was tremendous with NASA receiving 6,372 applications. This is the largest number of applications since 1978 which had more than 8,000 submissions.

I just saw the word apply and thought I'd throw that in here.

Interesting. 1978 was also during a long hiatus in U.S. launch capability (post-Apollo, pre-shuttle).


Enterprise tests ended in March, '78
 
2013-02-02 03:02:11 AM  

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: I still think they should have at least tried to make it to the ISS.


My understanding is that the Columbia, being the first Shuttle, was just too damn heavy to get up to the altitude of the ISS with a decent sized payload. The other Shuttles took lessons learned from building Columbia and were built lighter. Once NASA started building the ISS, Columbia got all the oddball missions like Hubble servicing flights and deploying Chandra. With the SAPCEHAB inside, Columbia probably couldn't have made it to the ISS even if they were specifically trying to get there (not to mention SPACEHAB  being installed meant they didn't have the right airlock for the ISS).

Basically, if any other Shuttle had had been hit by the ice, it would have been no problem, because it would have been an ISS mission. Send up a few extra Progress capsules with supplies until a new Shuttle could be dispatched or a couple of empty Soyuz capsules could be sent up to retrieve the crew, and it's all good. For Columbia, it meant its doom.

The really sad part of it all is that Columbia's last mission was basically just busy work because Columbia wasn't really worth the trouble to fly once the ISS missions were in full swing. Because of the heavier weight, the other Shuttles could haul a lot more cargo. Outside of the occasional Hubble servicing mission, it was basically the fat kid who got picked last (they were only planning to use it for the ISS mission STS-118 because one of the better Shuttles was in the shop). If they just retired Columbia around 2000 and stuck with ISS missions only (with a Hubble mission here and there), we might not have lost any crew.
 
2013-02-02 03:05:51 AM  

Lsherm: Where is this belief that CO2 poisoning is painful coming from?


From medical science. I think you're thinking of CO poisoning - carbon monoxide causes rapid unconsciousness.  CO2, however, does not.

They'd lose consciousness and die.

At extremely high levels, yes.  Levels need to get up to about 10% for 15 minutes to cause unconsciousness.  Shortness of breath starts at around 2%, headache around 4%, tachycardia around 5%, shortness of breath and mental problems around 8%, etc.

The cabin is around 74 cubic meters (74,000 L) of air.  One person produces about 300 mL of CO2 per minute, so seven people produce a little over 2 liters per minute.  To reach the level where unconsciousness occurs (7400 L) takes about sixty hours of exhalation.  They would start feeling symptoms about six hours after CO2 scrubbers have failed.  They then have 54 hours before losing consciousness.
 
2013-02-02 03:06:31 AM  

g4lt: relcec: g4lt: "The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...

And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?

how about they go out the f*cking door like normal people you nitwit!

http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html

[www.aero-news.net image 300x225]

That door doesn't open in vacuum.  The only way out in space is through the Airlock (woah, you need to use an airlock to go from pressure to vacuum?   who knew!), WHICH HAPPENED TO BE OCCUPIED BY SPACEHAB.  There wasn't an EVA scheduled on STS107, BECAUSE IT WASN'T POSSIBLE TO DO, THE AIRLOCK WAS BLOCKED IN.


CAIB, the official Columbia Accident Investigation Board, determined that it was possible to send a rescue mission, <i>and</i> that it was possible to do an EVA to try to MacGyver together some repairs. I assume that the NASA engineers were aware of whether or not the astronauts could have gotten outside.
 
2013-02-02 03:07:25 AM  
Or they could have gone out in style -- like that guy in SPACE COWBOYS!

Loaded into space suits and hot wired the engines to fire them at the moooooon......

Go big or go home right?
 
2013-02-02 03:15:16 AM  

fusillade762: BarkingUnicorn: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?

I'd rather read about it first on Fark.

Meh. That'd just be a half dozen or so Farkers trying to blame the asteroid on Obama.


But...but...but...Bush?!!!?
 
2013-02-02 03:16:32 AM  
Didn't NASA give the very first generation of astronauts cyanide capsules...In case of a scenario akin to this?
Why would they not do the same in this case and let them choose?

They could have made their peace with their families, at least...
 
2013-02-02 03:19:10 AM  
i.imgur.com
I don't want another god damn estimate!
 
2013-02-02 03:20:09 AM  
Is death like that really instantaneous and so quick so the person really doesn't know what's happening? I've been in a horrific car wreck, and i can still remember every second of it, and it felt like it lasted an eternity. After that, I don't ever believe it when people say "oh, they didn't know what hit them."
 
2013-02-02 03:22:46 AM  

NOLA_farkette: Didn't NASA give the very first generation of astronauts cyanide capsules...In case of a scenario akin to this?
Why would they not do the same in this case and let them choose?


Carl Sagan insisted it was true but the astronauts said there were no pills since they could simply vent the air from the cabin for a quick death.
 
2013-02-02 03:25:02 AM  

parahaps: g4lt: relcec: g4lt: "The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...

And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?

how about they go out the f*cking door like normal people you nitwit!

http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html

[www.aero-news.net image 300x225]

That door doesn't open in vacuum.  The only way out in space is through the Airlock (woah, you need to use an airlock to go from pressure to vacuum?   who knew!), WHICH HAPPENED TO BE OCCUPIED BY SPACEHAB.  There wasn't an EVA scheduled on STS107, BECAUSE IT WASN'T POSSIBLE TO DO, THE AIRLOCK WAS BLOCKED IN.

CAIB, the official Columbia Accident Investigation Board, determined that it was possible to send a rescue mission, <i>and</i> that it was possible to do an EVA to try to MacG ...


Great, now we have TWO idjits that think they know more about bringing in a Shuttle than LeRoy Cain.
itsfanart.com
 
2013-02-02 03:26:01 AM  

TV's Vinnie: The next time Texas whines about not getting a Space Shuttle, remind them that they got the Columbia.


Oh for farks sake don't make me laugh at something like that.
 
2013-02-02 03:31:18 AM  
I think I'd rather know than not. We could poke around out there with some spiffy suits and hoses, maybe get Click and Clack on the line while we're troubleshooting.. HAHAHAHAHA. And then say some prayers and tell my mom to take care of my dogs if anything happens.

Astronauts know the risk and I think they should know what is going on with their spacecraft. "Just... let me look at this beautiful planet a little longer, and then we'll give it a go."
 
2013-02-02 03:34:24 AM  

rfenster: But...but...but...Bush?!!!?


I actually have a totally insane theory that I came up with blaming Bush for creating the bad karma that led to the Columbia disaster. As I explained above, the other Shuttles were doing ISS missions, and a similar accident there would have been easily identified (possibly fixed) and the crew would would been easily rescued. The Columbia was rarely flown at that point in time because it was not ideal for ISS missions, so there must have been some really bad mojo at work to have a debris strike during the ONE mission where it would have doomed both the vehicle and crew. So why did this bad mojo happen?

My weird theory is that the gods needed to send us an ill omen to try to warn us of the folly of the Iraq War. You typically had comets act as ill omens in the past, and the Columbia coming apart looked much like a comet in the sky. Columbia is also named after the female personification of USA, and to have it explode over the home state of President Bush right before the Iraq War seems to be a clear portent that it is not going to work out well.

So clearly, it is Bush's fault that the Columbia disaster happened. If he had not invaded Iraq, the gods would not have needed to send us the bad omen ahead of time.

/Totally NOT serious, just a crazy theory occurred to me one day
 
2013-02-02 03:36:27 AM  
 
2013-02-02 03:38:24 AM  

parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr

DERP

itsfanart.com
 
2013-02-02 03:40:07 AM  

Treygreen13: I admit I chuckled sadly to myself when they said that their spacesuits and helmets wouldn't adequately protect them from the craft exploding and then falling to earth. I mean, that's awful... but... uh... duh.


When the Challenger blew up back in the 80's, the crew cabin survived the explosion and several crew members were found to have manually turned on their emergency oxygen supplies, so they did survive the shuttle breaking up.

The impact with the ocean is what killed them.
 
2013-02-02 04:09:07 AM  

g4lt: parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr
DERP


So NASA's own investigation says they could have mounted a rescue operation, but you want to claim it isn't true?

Aren't you the most special kind of idiot of all?

The problem here is that NASA threw up it's hands and didn't even try to see if there was a problem when they knew there was a very large chance that the shuttle had suffered damage in the launch.

They intentionally didn't even try to find out how bad it was.

If they had known the truth of the situation, then they could have kicked into Apollo 13 mode and prepped Atlantis  for a rescue mission in record time.
 
2013-02-02 04:13:17 AM  

parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr

CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.

dl.dropbox.com
 
2013-02-02 04:26:25 AM  
relcec:

mission control did not KNOW THE SHUTTLE HAD A F*CKING PROBLEM.
they knew there was the potential for one, but they never knew god damit.
they refused an engineer request to get a NSA satellite to take photos of the shuttle because a fatalistic momentum with regard to serious problems developed, BUT STILL THEY DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING WAS WRONG. they knew it was but a possibility.
I'm gonna stay here all night until you f*ckwits get that basic fact into your brains.


They didn't know because they didn't want to know.  They had very good reasons to want to know (like the shuttle might farking disintegrate), but they were criminally incurious and/or lazy.  It's sad really.  The greatest minds the country has to offer and the decision that was made was "fark it, we can't fix it if there's a problem, so why find out if there's a problem ... or even consider ways to fix it."  Embarrassing and depressing, the more I read about it.
 
2013-02-02 04:28:23 AM  

Rreal: I've no clue is this bullshiat or not.

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home.  Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

How many of you can honestly say your family would choose to die bravely and nobly, going out in a blaze of glory.   On the other hand, how many would panic, lose their shiat, and try to claw out the throats of everybody else in the place to buy themselves a couple hours of air

Worse, how many would you say would choose to do something Pants on head retarded, and open the door, killing everybody, because damned if -they- were going to go out like a punk.


Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.




As someone who came extremely close to death once... closer than anyone I know, I can honestly say that's complete bullshiat and almost borderline offensive. While you do feel mildly sorry for yourself, when confronted with death that you have absolutely no control over, in my experience you become extremely accepting of it... and while you certainly don't want to die, a great comfort is found in having dignity in death, which to someone who sees the writing on the wall, is very important.

Id come up with some very special words for my loved ones, and probably say something inspirational about continuing the space program even after we all died... its why we were there, to explore space at the risk of our lives.

These are trained astronauts for farks sake... not walmart employees. They even carry cynide pills.
 
2013-02-02 04:35:25 AM  

parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr

CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.


It was determined that by accelerating the schedule for the above areas, a launch of Atlantis on February 10, 11, or 12 was possible. All three launch dates could have provided a rendezvous and EVA transfer of the crew prior to the depletion of consumables. Two major assumptions, apart from the already stated assumption that the damage had to be visible, have to be recognized - the first is that there were no problems during the preparation and rollout of Atlantis, and the second is the question of whether NASA and the government would have deemed it acceptable to launch Atlantis with exposure to the same events that had damaged Columbia. At this point, at least two of the last three flights (STS-112 and STS-107) had bipod ramp foam problems, and the flight in-between these two, STS-113, was a night launch without adequate imaging of the External Tank during ascent. This new risk to the Orbiter would weigh heavily in the decision process on launching another shuttle and crew. Based on CAIB direction, it was assumed that the Atlantis would have been launched without processing time added to modify the External Tank.

That is from the CAIB report. So yes they could have scrambled together a rescue mission, but it seems that they didn't think it was safe to send the Atlantis because what had happened with the Columbia wasn't fully understood, and something else on the Atlantis needed to be modified because of another issue.
 
2013-02-02 04:45:33 AM  
"Not enough air"?

Meanwhile, how much H and 02 did they use up for the de-orbital rocket firing?

"Roger that explosion Apollo 13 - everything's fine".

The Columbia crew were alive until the cabin hit the ocean surface.

I think NASA didn't want to lose the SHIP and the crew was expendable. The Space Orbiter was lost with 100% certainty if abandoned without a de-orbital burn capability.

Disgusting if what I'm thinking is true.
 
2013-02-02 04:51:46 AM  
I didn't think the strike looked that bad.


STS-107 Columbia Debris Strike and Foam Strike Tests
 
2013-02-02 04:57:56 AM  

Loren: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

That's how I see it, also.  Besides, there was no certainty of loss.

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.

No.  Columbia was at 191 mi/39 degrees.  The ISS is at 250..263 mi/51.6 degrees.

If I didn't fark up too badly googling for the formulas the delta-v just to move to the ISS's orbital plane is 3783mi/hr.  It's going to be another 120 ft/sec to climb to the ISS's altitude, 81 mi/hr.  Thus we are up to 3867 mi/hr of delta-v.  Changing orbital planes is an extremely expensive maneuver, you simply don't do it to any substantial degree.

The OMS engines (all that still work at that point--while the mains are still there they have no fuel nor do they have any ignition system even if they did have fuel) only have 681 mi/hr of delta-v when sitting on the pad and some of that is used to circularize their orbit.


nice farking post dude.  Thank you.
 
2013-02-02 04:58:08 AM  

acanuck: I think NASA didn't want to lose the SHIP and the crew was expendable. The Space Orbiter was lost with 100% certainty if abandoned without a de-orbital burn capability.

Disgusting if what I'm thinking is true.




This actually seems very plausible.
 
2013-02-02 05:03:44 AM  
"At what point did we forget that the Space Shuttle was, essentially, a program that strapped human beings to an explosion and tried to stab through the sky with fire and math?"

Maybe from Robert Brockway.
 
2013-02-02 05:08:30 AM  
Um, not to put to fine a point on it:

1. Literally everyone on the ground knew it was going to end badly, that shiat was in the news basically from launch day unless you lived under a rock.

2. The implication of sinister conspiracy is somewhat undermined by the fact that anything that happens after launch time minus five minutes or so  literally cannot be dealt with because the farking shuttle is already in space, you insufferable douchebag.
 
2013-02-02 05:12:49 AM  

NOLA_farkette: Didn't NASA give the very first generation of astronauts cyanide capsules...In case of a scenario akin to this?
Why would they not do the same in this case and let them choose?

They could have made their peace with their families, at least...


I believe I read that the capsule era craft had USAF bomber crew survival kit in it which would have had cyanide pills, enough morphine to od on, and a M1911 .45 calibre handgun so I guess its literally pick your poison.
 
2013-02-02 05:17:26 AM  

BullBearMS: g4lt: parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr
DERP

So NASA's own investigation says they could have mounted a rescue operation, but you want to claim it isn't true?

Aren't you the most special kind of idiot of all?

The problem here is that NASA threw up it's hands and didn't even try to see if there was a problem when they knew there was a very large chance that the shuttle had suffered damage in the launch.

They intentionally didn't even try to find out how bad it was.

If they had known the truth of the situation, then they could have kicked into Apollo 13 mode and prepped Atlantis  for a rescue mission in record time.


coulda, woulda, shoulda, DIDN'T.  It farking happened a decade ago, LET IT GO ALREADY
 
2013-02-02 05:20:49 AM  

ongbok: parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr

CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.

It was determined that by accelerating the schedule for the above areas, a launch of Atlantis on February 10, 11, or 12 was possible. All three launch dates could have provided a rendezvous and EVA transfer of the crew prior to the depletion of consumables. Two major assumptions, apart from the already stated assumption that the damage had to be visible, have to be recognized - the first is that there were no problems during the preparation and rollout of Atlantis, and the second is the question of whether NASA and the government would have deemed it acceptable to launch Atlantis with exposure to the same events that had damaged Columbia. At this point, at least two of the last three flights (STS-112 and STS-107) had bipod ramp foam problems, and the flight in-between these two, STS-113, was a night launch without adequate imaging of the External Tank during ascent. This new risk to the Orbiter would weigh heavily in the decision process on launching another shuttle and crew. Based on CAIB direction, it was assumed that the Atlantis would have been launched without processing time added to modify the External Tank.

That is from the CAIB report. So yes they could have scrambled together a rescue mission, but it seems that they didn't think it was safe to send the Atlantis because what had happened with the Columbia wasn't fully understood, and something else on the Atlantis needed to be modified because of another issue.


And what, the crew is going to resurrect because someone might have actually had more information on the scene than the 101st keyboard brigade?
 
2013-02-02 05:24:51 AM  

BullBearMS: g4lt: parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr
DERP

So NASA's own investigation says they could have mounted a rescue operation, but you want to claim it isn't true?

Aren't you the most special kind of idiot of all?

The problem here is that NASA threw up it's hands and didn't even try to see if there was a problem when they knew there was a very large chance that the shuttle had suffered damage in the launch.

They intentionally didn't even try to find out how bad it was.

If they had known the truth of the situation, then they could have kicked into Apollo 13 mode and prepped Atlantis  for a rescue mission in record time.


The CAIB CLEARED THE GROUND CREW.  You all are forgetting that part.
 
2013-02-02 05:25:48 AM  

g4lt: LET IT GO ALREADY


I'm not the asshat trying to convince everyone that NASA's own investigation into the matter showing that a rescue was entirely possible is just a load of derp.

If anyone needs to let it go and quit making excuses for a decade old failure, that would be you.

They knew right from the start of the mission that damage to the leading edge of the wing had occurred, but actively shut down any attempts to see how bad it was.

That's a pretty massive cockup.
 
2013-02-02 05:29:33 AM  

BullBearMS: g4lt: LET IT GO ALREADY

I'm not the asshat trying to convince everyone that NASA's own investigation into the matter showing that a rescue was entirely possible is just a load of derp.

If anyone needs to let it go and quit making excuses for a decade old failure, that would be you.

They knew right from the start of the mission that damage to the leading edge of the wing had occurred, but actively shut down any attempts to see how bad it was.

That's a pretty massive cockup.


Yet, the CAIB recommended no charges, and the people involved got promotions.  Almost as if THE CAIB DIDN'T FIND ANYONE AT FAULT
 
2013-02-02 05:39:31 AM  

g4lt: ongbok: parahaps: g4lt: Hurrrrrrrrrrr

CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.
CAIB determined that a rescue mission was possible.

It was determined that by accelerating the schedule for the above areas, a launch of Atlantis on February 10, 11, or 12 was possible. All three launch dates could have provided a rendezvous and EVA transfer of the crew prior to the depletion of consumables. Two major assumptions, apart from the already stated assumption that the damage had to be visible, have to be recognized - the first is that there were no problems during the preparation and rollout of Atlantis, and the second is the question of whether NASA and the government would have deemed it acceptable to launch Atlantis with exposure to the same events that had damaged Columbia. At this point, at least two of the last three flights (STS-112 and STS-107) had bipod ramp foam problems, and the flight in-between these two, STS-113, was a night launch without adequate imaging of the External Tank during ascent. This new risk to the Orbiter would weigh heavily in the decision process on launching another shuttle and crew. Based on CAIB direction, it was assumed that the Atlantis would have been launched without processing time added to modify the External Tank.

That is from the CAIB report. So yes they could have scrambled together a rescue mission, but it seems that they didn't think it was safe to send the Atlantis because what had happened with the Columbia wasn't fully understood, and something else on the Atlantis needed to be modified because of another issue.

And what, the crew is going to resurrect because someone might have actually had more information on the scene than the 101st keyboard brigade?


Uhh, I'm agreeing with you, well in most part. A rescue mission was feasibly possible, but the risk was to great to attempt it.

I just think it is funny how some people want to believe there was some great conspiracy involved or that the people involved were incompetent, and that they know what could have been done. It is even funnier that these people keep pointing to the CAIB report to support their claims a rescue mission could have been done and should have been attempted, when the CAIB itself points out major concerns that would make anybody involved rethink sending anybody else up in those conditions. It seems these people don't understand risk assessment and they think real life space travel is what they see in Star Wars.
 
2013-02-02 05:40:15 AM  

relcec: Jensaarai: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Usually, I appreciate your "defense of government" posts on this site, but in this case you need to go fark yourself raw.

There's the standard risk inherent in space travel, then there is "you will probably die shortly, would you like to wait it out, get yourself in order (spiritually) record any last words now that you know it's likely etc.

Even if there's nothing that can be done, you give the heroes the choice. They are trained to handle it. You don't make the choice for them. NASA farked up here, and none of the people who made this choice deserve to hold a government job ever again.

mission control did not KNOW THE SHUTTLE HAD A F*CKING PROBLEM.
they knew there was the potential for one, but they never knew god damit.
they refused an engineer request to get a NSA satellite to take photos of the shuttle because a fatalistic momentum with regard to serious problems developed, BUT STILL THEY DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING WAS WRONG. they knew it was but a possibility.
I'm gonna stay here all night until you f*ckwits get that basic fact into your brains.


Dude, nobody is going to get that into their heads. There have been at least two books written about the subject and still nobody has gotten the basic idea that the engineers had to convince the top brass that there was enough of  a problem to get photos that would have confirmed there was a problem before they could get the photos that would have convinced the brass there was a problem.

Anything after that (i.e. "They could have attempted a rescue") is Tuesday-evening rehashing of Monday-morning quarterbacking at this point, because without those photos, there's no way to know what might have been seen, let alone done.
 
2013-02-02 05:42:40 AM  
Stuff like this is the main reason I don't work for NASA.  That and the fact I can barely count to potato.  But mostly the former.
 
2013-02-02 05:55:26 AM  
Idiots, Take One:  It was impossible to mount a rescue mission no matter what, so it doesn't matter that NASA actively shut down any attempt to see how much damage the shuttle took in the launch.

NASA:  It wasn't impossible to mount a rescue mission.

Idiots, Take Two:  It still doesn't matter that NASA actively shut down any attempt to see how much damage the shuttle took in the launch.
 
2013-02-02 06:01:07 AM  

Gyrfalcon: There have been at least two books written about the subject and still nobody has gotten the basic idea that the engineers had to convince the top brass that there was enough of a problem to get photos that would have confirmed there was a problem before they could get the photos that would have convinced the brass there was a problem.


It's been long enough so it's difficult to remember what was happening at the time and what has been conflated since then and now but I seem to remember something about them wanting to get a view from inside the shuttle and/or doing a spacewalk to have a look.
I can't recall specifically but I vaguely remember them having ideas on how to see potential damage but something was causing an issue with it so they couldn't, or not as well as desired.
Though as I typed that last sentence it occurred to me that I may be confusing it with a post-Columbia mission that they were taking preventative steps with because of a different anomaly during launch.

Now I'm more confused than when I first started commenting.
 
2013-02-02 06:04:44 AM  

costermonger: Rreal: I've no clue is this bullshiat or not.

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home.  Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

How many of you can honestly say your family would choose to die bravely and nobly, going out in a blaze of glory.   On the other hand, how many would panic, lose their shiat, and try to claw out the throats of everybody else in the place to buy themselves a couple hours of air

Worse, how many would you say would choose to do something Pants on head retarded, and open the door, killing everybody, because damned if -they- were going to go out like a punk.


Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.

I'd suggest that if there's any group that could be told 'there's a good chance what you're about to do will kill you' and  not freak the fark out and do something stupid, it's a group of astronauts.

That said, no point in telling them if there wasn't anything they could do either way.


These people go through an arduous screening process with hours and hours of psychological testing. It's not like they fill out a one page application and are on the space shuttle 10 days later. Either way, it was a terrible thing. I think I would have wanted a chance to say my goodbyes.
 
2013-02-02 06:04:47 AM  
A lot of people are mentioning they would have wanted the chance to say good bye to their families. Personally, I think they made those goodbyes before launch. Looking at the odds of dying on a space ship. I'll bet they would have assumed if they are gonna die, it will be during launch; obviously preventing the opportunity for one last good bye. I have to believe that whatever they would have said with those last few hours, they had already said before the launch.
 
2013-02-02 06:07:23 AM  
As many said, Columbia wasn't in the proper orbit to make it to the ISS.  However, and I may have missed it, there was another thing.

Columbia couldn't dock with the ISS.  As the oldest (And heaviest) shuttle, it wasn't planned for Columbia to be making that trip, so it was never fitted with the External Airlock/Docking Adapter required to dock with ISS. (Ironically, it was planned to fit this into Columbia for it's next mission as the other shuttles would not be available for an ISS construction mission).

One thing someone brought up, is that Atlantis was well along in processing for a March 1 launch and Columbia carried more consumables than usual, which would have allowed them to stay in orbit until Day 30 (Feb. 15).  The CAIB report indicated that NASA investigators determined that Atlantis could have been sped through processing with no skipped safety checks and launched on Feb 10, giving them 5 days to catch up to Columbia and effect a rescue.

NASA should have used the DoD resources and checked that wing, why they didn't is anybody's guess (Like them not listening to the Morton Thiokol Engineers telling them not to launch Challenger because they knew the O-Rings were affected by cold weather)
 
2013-02-02 06:07:26 AM  

Soulcatcher: These people go through an arduous screening process with hours and hours of psychological testing. It's not like they fill out a one page application and are on the space shuttle 10 days later.


From what I've read, NASA astronauts train for 2 years before considered mission-ready.
 
2013-02-02 06:19:50 AM  

Rreal: Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.


Astronauts are chosen for NOT having those qualities.
 
2013-02-02 06:22:37 AM  

acanuck: I think NASA didn't want to lose the SHIP and the crew was expendable.


I think you're a farking moron.
 
2013-02-02 06:30:13 AM  
I know I'm late to the thread (and perhaps it's been mentioned), but to everyone saying they should have had the opportunity to say goodbye to their family...  I would think that as an astronaut, one would know that all missions are fraught with potential danger and death.  Sure NASA had a decent track record, but I would think that saying goodbye to family/friends, making amends, etc would be SOP before any mission.

Personally I think the psychological trauma of helplessness- knowing I was going to die and there was nothing I could do about it- for a long period of time would be worse than the relatively "speedy" death which they encountered.  But of course I hope that I am never in a position where either option exists.
 
2013-02-02 06:33:48 AM  

Gyrfalcon: relcec: Jensaarai: GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.

Usually, I appreciate your "defense of government" posts on this site, but in this case you need to go fark yourself raw.

There's the standard risk inherent in space travel, then there is "you will probably die shortly, would you like to wait it out, get yourself in order (spiritually) record any last words now that you know it's likely etc.

Even if there's nothing that can be done, you give the heroes the choice. They are trained to handle it. You don't make the choice for them. NASA farked up here, and none of the people who made this choice deserve to hold a government job ever again.

mission control did not KNOW THE SHUTTLE HAD A F*CKING PROBLEM.
they knew there was the potential for one, but they never knew god damit.
they refused an engineer request to get a NSA satellite to take photos of the shuttle because a fatalistic momentum with regard to serious problems developed, BUT STILL THEY DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING WAS WRONG. they knew it was but a possibility.
I'm gonna stay here all night until you f*ckwits get that basic fact into your brains.

Dude, nobody is going to get that into their heads. There have been at least two books written about the subject and still nobody has gotten the basic idea that the engineers had to convince the top brass that there was enough of  a problem to get photos that would have confirmed there was a problem before they could get the photos that would have convinced the brass there was a problem.

Anything after that (i.e. "They could have attempted a rescue") is Tuesday-evening rehashing of Monday-morning quarterbacking at this point, because without those photos, there's no way to know what might have been seen, let alone done.


The problem with the masses, and I included, is we just couldn't seem to grasp that there isn't SOMETHING that they could of done, something that we could accept. This is my generations Challenger, it'll always be a shock to us and we will always try to read something into it and attempt to find some reasoning into this even though it is a risk that these seven astronauts have accepted.

We can't wrap our heads around it, just like 9-11. We just want to believe that there was something that could of been done that would of prevented the tragedies and deaths involved and we're happy to nitpick the details even after the fact going 'what if?'.

I have to admit...I'm happy that even after 10 years, this is something we all still remember and talk about. We haven't forgotten.
 
2013-02-02 06:35:41 AM  

Smgth: To the 'we should've let them say goodbye crowd':

One would imagine these astronauts would be prepared, in advance, so that sobbing good byes of 'we're all going to die' are probably unnecessary. Anyone doing something so potentially deadly should get their affairs in order before hand.

Also, I was under the impression, that at the time, there were enough people involved who thought it might be ok anyway.

/Would rather die attempting re-entry then suffocate.
//Would also not want my famiy's last memory of me be my doomed goodbye.
///Those being said, why not give the guys the opportunity to try and make some halfassed attempt at fixing it with chewing gum?


And as I kept reading, looks like SMGTH beat me to it.
 
2013-02-02 06:39:58 AM  
At least if they had been told, I'll bet one of the 'right stuff' boys on board woulda clamped a cigar in their teeth, switched to manual override, and cross-controlled that buckin' bronco to protect the hole in the skin, takin' 'er right on down for a dramatic three pointer smack in front of the hangar doors, with melted slag metal dripping off on the tarmac, and the wing finally fallin' off, right as the smokin' wheels stopped rollin'.


(admit I perhaps watched too many WWII movies as a kid)
 
2013-02-02 06:58:33 AM  

kev_dog: Smgth: To the 'we should've let them say goodbye crowd':

One would imagine these astronauts would be prepared, in advance, so that sobbing good byes of 'we're all going to die' are probably unnecessary. Anyone doing something so potentially deadly should get their affairs in order before hand.

Also, I was under the impression, that at the time, there were enough people involved who thought it might be ok anyway.

/Would rather die attempting re-entry then suffocate.
//Would also not want my famiy's last memory of me be my doomed goodbye.
///Those being said, why not give the guys the opportunity to try and make some halfassed attempt at fixing it with chewing gum?

And as I kept reading, looks like SMGTH beat me to it.


Lol, it's all good. It's a loooooong thread. I mean, just look how many times someone suggested the ISS! Every couple of posts!

/Although I suspect after awhile a degree of trolling snuck in.
 
2013-02-02 07:00:48 AM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


oi49.tinypic.com
 
2013-02-02 07:01:09 AM  

BullBearMS: Idiots, Take One:  It was impossible to mount a rescue mission no matter what, so it doesn't matter that NASA actively shut down any attempt to see how much damage the shuttle took in the launch.

NASA:  It wasn't impossible to mount a rescue mission.

Idiots, Take Two:  It still doesn't matter that NASA actively shut down any attempt to see how much damage the shuttle took in the launch.


No, the middle part wasn't NASA, it was YOU, [mis]quoting the CAIB report THAT CLEARED THE GROUND CREW OF WRONGDOING.  You seem to say that the CAIB report is a "smoking gun", well, then where's the prosecutions?   Get this: when you say that the CAIB report said that a rescue was possible, you forget that the CAIB took great pains to say "but the rescue was unfeasable for other reasons, thus the decision was right".  Not only that, but the "half-vast conspiracy" side can't even get which door is which right, trying to tell me once that the access/egress door was the one used in space (that door would open ONCE in space, then anyone on the flight deck not in a space suit (and they typically didn't carry enough for the entire crew) would not be needing a rescue any more).  Yeah, can't get the door right, in one case can't even get the SHUTTLE right (Challenger is the one that had an intact crew compartment in '86, at least for a few minutes after it blew up), but CAN know that it HAD to be human error, without actually naming any human (because that would be something provable, and we all know that you can't actually prove wrongdoing, all you can do is prove that you're an ass)
 
2013-02-02 07:02:04 AM  

faeriefay: MissFeasance: costermonger: MissFeasance: Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.

All that heat that is generated during re-entry is due to compressive heating - because things in orbit have to go almost nonsensically fast (to us on the ground) to stay in orbit. If you want to jump out an re-enter, your body is going to generate the exact same compression heating as you work your way down. So it's not really 'taking your chances' as much as 'human meteorite'.

Yeah, but if it was a pod sort of thing with the same exterior protection, just... smaller, and that had been protected inside the larger craft?  I'm not saying "hey, jump out with your parachute"

But what about that red bull guy, the one who supposedly jumped from space this summer...
/he lived?



While he did jump from a long way up, and he briefly was able to edge past mach 1, the space shuttle goes up to mach 17 or somesuch during reentry. Very different speeds and problems with a jump from those altitudes.
 
2013-02-02 07:05:42 AM  

RacySmurff: faeriefay: MissFeasance: costermonger: MissFeasance: Yeah, but what I said was have a pod to bring them back, not something to launch.  Still crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?  It still wouldn't be a guarantee, but geez.  Given the choice of being in a craft that is probably going to fail and taking my chances with parachutes and possibly landing in the middle of nowhere, I'd take the latter.

All that heat that is generated during re-entry is due to compressive heating - because things in orbit have to go almost nonsensically fast (to us on the ground) to stay in orbit. If you want to jump out an re-enter, your body is going to generate the exact same compression heating as you work your way down. So it's not really 'taking your chances' as much as 'human meteorite'.

Yeah, but if it was a pod sort of thing with the same exterior protection, just... smaller, and that had been protected inside the larger craft?  I'm not saying "hey, jump out with your parachute"

But what about that red bull guy, the one who supposedly jumped from space this summer...
/he lived?


While he did jump from a long way up, and he briefly was able to edge past mach 1, the space shuttle goes up to mach 17 or somesuch during reentry. Very different speeds and problems with a jump from those altitudes.


You opened that door....

0.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com
 
2013-02-02 07:11:00 AM  

Amos Quito: So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


NASA isn't really in charge of stuff like that. They are involved, but it's mostly academic observatories and "professional amateurs" that locate and track asteroids.

Even if NASA did spot something, it would not be easily kept a secret.
=Smidge=
 
2013-02-02 07:15:21 AM  

g4lt: the CAIB report THAT CLEARED THE GROUND CREW OF WRONGDOING


Holy FSM, tardman!

Where did it clear NASA's leadership of responsibility for their decision to actively shut down any attempt by the ground crew to discover how extensive the damage to the shuttle was?
 
2013-02-02 07:27:58 AM  

BullBearMS: g4lt: the CAIB report THAT CLEARED THE GROUND CREW OF WRONGDOING

Holy FSM, tardman!

Where did it clear NASA's leadership of responsibility for their decision to actively shut down any attempt by the ground crew to discover how extensive the damage to the shuttle was?


Nowhere, BECAUSE IT NEVER MENTIONED THAT THERE WAS ANY DECISION TO ACTIVELY SHUT DOWN ANY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT.  It also never mentioned that they didn't ensure that Jack the Ripper wasn't a stowaway, so does the prove that he was one?
 
2013-02-02 07:30:44 AM  
The one thing I haven't heard anyone mention is the landing gear...

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but...

I seem to remember reading that what ultimately caused the breakup was the heating of the main tires. They heated to the point of exploding, and that sheared the wing clean off, causing tumbling and breakup and such... 

I'm wondering if that tire had been deflated, maybe the structure would have held together just long enough to make it through the deceleration and then maybe they could have bailed (I think shuttles had an in-atmosphere escape system) or just landed on deflated gear and hoped for the best.

Of course, this is all hindsight, and deflating the main gear would have been adding tons of danger to what might have been a non-problematic landing... Also, maybe you can't get to the tires in space... Might only open those doors in atmosphere... 

And also maybe you can't deflate them without special tools, and I doubt you're gonna want to just slash them...

Also, maybe the air venting would screw up their attitutude due to venting...

WHO KNOWS! CONSPIRACY~!¿!?!
 "W?
 
2013-02-02 07:35:33 AM  

g4lt: BullBearMS: g4lt: the CAIB report THAT CLEARED THE GROUND CREW OF WRONGDOING

Holy FSM, tardman!

Where did it clear NASA's leadership of responsibility for their decision to actively shut down any attempt by the ground crew to discover how extensive the damage to the shuttle was?

Nowhere, BECAUSE IT NEVER MENTIONED THAT THERE WAS ANY DECISION TO ACTIVELY SHUT DOWN ANY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT.


You know how everyone knows you didn't read TFA?
 
2013-02-02 07:36:54 AM  
When it became clear that the orbiter was seriously damaged and likely wouldn't survive re-entry, Flight Director Jon Harpold said to Hale and others at the meeting, "You know, there is nothing we can do about damage to the TPS (Thermal Protection System). If it has been damaged it's probably better not to know. I think the crew would rather not know. Don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay on orbit, knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?"

/No asshole, it would have been better for them to get the chance to come to grips with their deaths, say goodbye to their loved ones, and take care of any business they had to take care of before they died. Should have just let them suffocate. Hypoxia is not a bad way to go, you just fall asleep. Then you could launch another shuttle and recover them. But no, better to just let them farking burn up on reentry in terror. farking assholes.
 
2013-02-02 07:37:07 AM  

acanuck: "Not enough air"?

Meanwhile, how much H and 02 did they use up for the de-orbital rocket firing?



Zero. The OMS engines burn Monomethylhydrazine and Nitrogen Tetroxide. Venting those into the cabin would, in the words of a character from Space Camp, "dry-clean our lungs."
 
2013-02-02 07:39:47 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: DrPainMD: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.

You would want your family tormented by worry?


They already were. I'm sure they started worrying as soon as the news of the broken foam hitting the wing made the news.
 
2013-02-02 07:41:20 AM  
I call BS.

The ending might have been inevitable but it's in NASA's and America's DNA to go down fighting. There are a slew of things that could have been attempted before just sending them home on schedule.

Guy must be writing a book.
 
2013-02-02 07:44:53 AM  

Saturn5: I don't buy it.  There's an escape capsule at the Space Station.  Some could have come back on it while the others either waited for rescue or attempted re-entry.  And if that kind of decision was made, it wouldn't be some big consensus that was discussed amongst a large group - 1 or 2 very high ranking people would have made that call in secret.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 323x416]


It doesn't matter what was available on the international space station.  Columbia was too heavy to reach it, and their orbits were too different for the two to meet, anyway.
 
2013-02-02 08:19:30 AM  

BullBearMS: g4lt: BullBearMS: g4lt: the CAIB report THAT CLEARED THE GROUND CREW OF WRONGDOING

Holy FSM, tardman!

Where did it clear NASA's leadership of responsibility for their decision to actively shut down any attempt by the ground crew to discover how extensive the damage to the shuttle was?

Nowhere, BECAUSE IT NEVER MENTIONED THAT THERE WAS ANY DECISION TO ACTIVELY SHUT DOWN ANY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT.

You know how everyone knows you didn't read TFA?


What does TFA have to do with the CAIR?  TFA was written last week, CAIR was written a decade ago.
 
2013-02-02 08:26:42 AM  
C is for CHALLENGER
C IS FOR COLUMBINE

U KNOW WHAT ELSE STARTS WITH THE LETTER C!!!!

CCOOOOOKIES!!
 encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2013-02-02 08:43:53 AM  

Amos Quito: So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


Considering we have the technology both to:

A) Spot them at great distances- years out, in fact- and...
B) Alter their course so they don't hit us?

I'd say they'd let us know.  You may resume eating, drinking and being merry.


And as to the article itself.  Well, in fairness, suffocation isn't a very fun death, if one had a choice of ways to die.
 
2013-02-02 08:51:49 AM  
FTFA: Video of Columbia's takeoff showed a briefcase-sized chunk of foam breaking off an engine

I'm not sure how much I trust this article, given that they don't seem to know the difference between the external tank and "an engine"
 
2013-02-02 08:54:57 AM  
oi50.tinypic.com
 
2013-02-02 09:22:09 AM  

coeyagi: Blah


They'd blame Challenger on him too, you know that.
 
2013-02-02 09:29:42 AM  
Major Tom?
 
2013-02-02 09:46:24 AM  

Rreal: I've no clue is this bullshiat or not.

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home.  Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

How many of you can honestly say your family would choose to die bravely and nobly, going out in a blaze of glory.   On the other hand, how many would panic, lose their shiat, and try to claw out the throats of everybody else in the place to buy themselves a couple hours of air

Worse, how many would you say would choose to do something Pants on head retarded, and open the door, killing everybody, because damned if -they- were going to go out like a punk.


Given the capacity of the human animal for self destructive panic, I would argue that letting them die quickly and ignorant of their fate would be merciful.


If the mobile home were full of people that volunteered to be strapped to the back of a giant bomb which would propel them into the most dangerous environment man can experience with only the knowledge that the explosion wouldn't blast them so hard they would drift off into space but instead they would eventually plummet back to Earth so fast that the air ignites around them...

Yeah, I kind of doubt that those people are the type prone to panic.
 
2013-02-02 09:50:15 AM  

Treygreen13: EngineerAU: Sure, if true, NASA couldn't save the astronauts so why inform them. Well there's a good reason... to not have flaming debris rain down over a populated area. Luckily no one on the ground was killed but it certainly was a possibility. If the shuttle had to come back in, it would be better to let them break up over the Pacific. It'd make recovery of the debris much more difficult but would eliminate most of the possibility of someone elementary school getting creamed by a flaming toilet seat.

That would certainly be an interesting call to make. "Hey guys, try to steer your badly damaged craft over the water so you don't explode over people. Thanks a bunch. Byeeee."


Happens all the time.  Lookup a few airshow crashes, the pilot will often try to guide the aircraft away from crowds homes before ejecting.
 
2013-02-02 09:55:37 AM  

kev_dog: I know I'm late to the thread (and perhaps it's been mentioned), but to everyone saying they should have had the opportunity to say goodbye to their family...  I would think that as an astronaut, one would know that all missions are fraught with potential danger and death.  Sure NASA had a decent track record, but I would think that saying goodbye to family/friends, making amends, etc would be SOP before any mission.

Personally I think the psychological trauma of helplessness- knowing I was going to die and there was nothing I could do about it- for a long period of time would be worse than the relatively "speedy" death which they encountered.  But of course I hope that I am never in a position where either option exists.


I used to do flight testing for the Navy.  No way in hell would I not want to be told.  You also don't do 'goodbyes' before every mission.
 
2013-02-02 10:05:27 AM  
www.popsci.com
Ice and foam had always been falling off that tank.  They could never figure out how to stop it.  The damage had always been a few tiles here and there.  They examined the launch video and determined that there wasn't damage.   This guy that is blogging is full of crap.  They came to the conclusion that there wasn't any damage.  These guys just hate to admit they were wrong.  By making up this crap he's basically saying 'we knew there was damage'  we weren't wrong.  Notice he says this now,  AFTER his boss died.  Because his boss would have called him on the BS.
 
2013-02-02 10:19:12 AM  

First I said this months ago ... I'll not hold my breath for the apology from the tools that said I was wrong.

Second... gat is F.O.S. as usual...

GAT_00

There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing. I don't blame them for that.


1) Abort the assent. They saw the impact DURING launch and immediately knew it would was a terminal event.
Yes, launches can be aborted mid flight
Ask an Astronomer at Cornell University
space-shuttle.com
I know some have claimed otherwise. The same liars that will now have to admit they were lying all this time.

2) Resuce was possible.
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board ("the Board") Report Volumes II through VI, containing Appendices D through H, will be made public in the coming weeks. Appendix D.13 in Volume II will contain Board technical documents covering the rescue mission that NASA, completely reversing course, finally admitted was feasible


--and --

Pages 173-176 of Volume I (Section 6.4) summarize the Board's conclusion that an attempt to rescue the Columbia crew by using Atlantis was indeed feasible, contradicting the numerous previous statements by NASA.

Much like previous statement from NASA saying "we didn't know" were a lie.

Sink in yet? Rescue WAS POSSIBLE. NASA decided to murder those 7 instead.

13 parents got to bury their children due to NASA administrators purposeful actions.
If karma exists at all, karma will grant those responsible the same privilege.
 
2013-02-02 10:20:03 AM  
...There was another reason that Columbia couldn't make it to the ISS - it was too heavy.   Columbia was the first operational shuttle (Enterprise was strictly an atmospheric test vehicle) and as such was built with materials, equipment, and designs that made her heavier by some distance (something like three or four tons) than the others.  Alone of the shuttles in service when the ISS went up, only Columbia never visited.  There was a plan to give her an airlock that would have enabled her to dock at the ISS but that installation was planned for late '03.  Even if somehow she could have made it to the ISS' orbit, there was no way for Columbia to dock with it - the crew would have had to spacewalked over, and that would have been a problem in and of itself.

My dad had just retired from NASA Lewis-Glenn in September of '02, and he was supposed to have received an award for some experiment support equipment he had designed that was aboard Columbia when she went down - IIRC one of the crew members was to have presented the award.
 
2013-02-02 10:20:32 AM  
"There's not any doubt about it all these things contributed to allow these foam pieces to continue to come off the external fuel tanks over the years -- until it finally did catastrophic damage."

-- Air Force Brig. Gen. Duane Deal, a board* member.
*shuttle disaster board

Yay nasa!

/// fark 'em.
 
2013-02-02 10:22:01 AM  
I sound fat:
Yeah, but there were seven highly intelligent engineers on board that would be VERY motivated to think of a solution that, perhaps, the ground had overlooked.  This does not seem legit.

/didnt they see apollo 13?


Yeah, even if the solution was someone getting in a space suit and strapping his ass over the hole in the shielding on the outside just for the off hand chance that the rest manage to make it while he's incinerated totally, it would at least be doing something.
 
2013-02-02 10:22:59 AM  
zekeburger

Couldn't the shuttle dock at the ISS?

Not on that flight, no. There was no way to make the orbits work out. You have to launch at the right time, etc...
 
2013-02-02 10:24:17 AM  

Ishidan: coeyagi: Blah

They'd blame Challenger on him too, you know that.


Too late.  HuffPo is already announcing that George W "Hitler" Bush and Darth Cheney used a secret Halliburton spacecraft, the Koch Brothers I, to shoot down the Challenger and the Columbia and stop their missions of international brotherhood.
 
2013-02-02 10:25:58 AM  

OnlyM3: 1) Abort the assent. They saw the impact DURING launch and immediately knew it would was a terminal event.


Don't know if troll, or if you're fuking retarded.

-They didn't detect it realtime.
-Aborting during launch is more dangerous than what they could determine from a quick blurry video of a possible strike in realtime
-They never knew it was terminal, until it was.
 
2013-02-02 10:31:58 AM  
ng2810

>>> GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.
>>> I don't blame them for that.


BullshiatYes, gat is Full of B.S.

ng2810
apollo-13.gif
Don't you farking tell me that they would not have at least tried SOMETHING if they knew people were gonna die.

What you claim here is incorrect at that is exactly what happened. They knew these 7 were going to die the second that camera caught the impact and NASA leadership allowed them to carry on.

What you meant to say was "Bullshiat, they could have (as opposed to "would have") at least tried SOMETHING since they knew people were gonna die."
As the accident board clearly shows... they could have done things to save those lives. Instead, NASA chose to deny everything, cover their eyes and do nothing. Fark them, fark their families.
 
2013-02-02 10:34:32 AM  

impaler: Don't know if troll, or if you're fuking retarded.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-02 10:41:01 AM  

GAT_00: There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing.  I don't blame them for that.


Nothing they could've done?  This happened about 5 years ago.  We put a man on the moon 40 years ago.  You're telling me what is supposed to be the greatest nation in the world couldn't scrap something together to save them?
 
2013-02-02 10:43:56 AM  
FizixJunkee

The choice between certain death (running out of air) versus the possibility of death upon re-entry. I would have gone with re-entry, too.
It wasn't certain death. The craft was doomed, the people, were not -if not for the NASA murderers err administrators.


Rreal

Honestly though? think about your neighbors or even your family for a while, think of seven of them locked into something the size of a mobile home. Now imagine how they'd react if you told them they were going to all die within, say six hours, it was going to be a slow messy death, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.


Well we certainly have folks proving ignorance is bliss this morning.

FizixJunkee

>>>Yeah, the most painless death versus the most painful, I would go with the most painful too.

I would go with whatever is fastest.

To slowly go to sleep from o2 dep. or die "quickly" in a fire. . . Yeah, tough choice, go for the "quick" one! *rolls eyes*


StoPPeRmobile
>>> I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.

You would want your family tormented by worry?
Which is why people with terminal diseases never tell their families goodbye. They don't want them to worry. Better to have them stand by the runway waiting for mommy and daddy for an hour after their flight was due as the craft rained down in flaming chunks on populated areas.
 
2013-02-02 10:44:06 AM  

Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [www.popsci.com image 525x394]
Ice and foam had always been falling off that tank.  They could never figure out how to stop it.  The damage had always been a few tiles here and there.  They examined the launch video and determined that there wasn't damage.   This guy that is blogging is full of crap.  They came to the conclusion that there wasn't any damage.  These guys just hate to admit they were wrong.  By making up this crap he's basically saying 'we knew there was damage'  we weren't wrong.  Notice he says this now,  AFTER his boss died.  Because his boss would have called him on the BS.



Wrong.
 
2013-02-02 10:50:41 AM  
The Big H

There was no way to rescue the shuttle (not enough fuel or air to get to the ISS or wait for a rescue shuttle), so regardless of how much damage they thought they had, they would have had to try to re-enter, or die when the air ran out.

I'm impressed with how many farkers know better than the disaster board that ruled otherwise. Can you folks start pointing out the flaws in the 9/11 commission report to? Was it bush who flew the planes into the towers, or was it the reptilians?!
 
2013-02-02 10:51:57 AM  
This article oversimplifies a complex problem.

It also suffers from a common problem with the media.  Anything that begins "NASA says" should be viewed with a particularly skeptical eye.

NASA is not a thing, it certainly isn't an individual person, NASA is a lot of people.  Some engineers had been concerned about this possibility for years, some did not agree.

They didn't know for sure that this fragile foam was capable of causing so much damage until a sample was launched at a similar leading edge segment of similar material, construction and age.  That segment was borrowed from Enterprise.  Other tests showed each time that a perfect hole would be created.

http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts107/030604foamtest/
 
2013-02-02 11:00:48 AM  
rickythepenguin Smartest Funniest
2013-02-02 01:18:10 AM

MissFeasance: till crazy expensive, yeah, but why is there no bailout procedure?


Quit using my tax money for rescue the government, Teabagmittermisstress.

Derp derp derp
Shuttle -with zero rescue options- was put into production by the carter admin
The one and only upgrade project to add astronaut safety/recovery options was passed and implemented during a Republican admin.
 
2013-02-02 11:03:00 AM  
costermonger
Like a double-hull dealy? Module within the shuttle? That'd still be weight they didn't want to add to the design, and unless you can somehow eject it to clear the tumbling wreckage, it probably doesn't save you from all the g-forces and such associated with in-flight breakup at those kinds of speeds. Even if it could maintain a livable atmosphere.
Your weight comment is certainly on the money, but you are aware that the Challenger astronauts survived the explosion and decent, right? (It was the impact w/ the Atlantic that killed them all).
 
2013-02-02 11:06:24 AM  

Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks


There's too many other agencies and amateur astronomers for this to go undetected and kept silent.
 
2013-02-02 11:10:26 AM  
I have no issue with this decision.
 
2013-02-02 11:14:16 AM  

StokeyBob: STS-107 Columbia Debris Strike and Foam Strike Tests


Holy fark.
 
2013-02-02 11:15:58 AM  

OnlyM3: costermonger
Like a double-hull dealy? Module within the shuttle? That'd still be weight they didn't want to add to the design, and unless you can somehow eject it to clear the tumbling wreckage, it probably doesn't save you from all the g-forces and such associated with in-flight breakup at those kinds of speeds. Even if it could maintain a livable atmosphere. Your weight comment is certainly on the money, but you are aware that the Challenger astronauts survived the explosion and decent, right? (It was the impact w/ the Atlantic that killed them all).


The challenger accident involved lower speeds and less heat/stresses on the crew compartment, which continued on an upward trajectory. There was not an "explosion" and the cabin followed a ballistic trajectory to it's initial impact with the ocean.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE1Xl5BtqbU for more info)
 
2013-02-02 11:19:52 AM  
Quite frankly I'm not sure what the issue is. Astronauts are quite aware of the risk and compensated accordingly.  Everything relating to the mission is to serve the interests of the State on behalf of the tax payers.  While their lives are a tragedy, the shuttle is arguably more valuable than lives of the astronauts. Their controllers thought there were more important considerations than communicating every detail solely for personal reasons, the importance of the mission comes first.
 
2013-02-02 11:26:04 AM  

The Snow Dog: DrPainMD: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.


I would like the opportunity to rampage, fornicate, steal some really expensive booze, do a bunch of heroin, and set some really big fireworks off sideways.


This is precisely why, if a planet-killing asteroid were inbound, those in the know (if we're not blindsided) would choose not to tell us. There'd be pure chaos in our final hours and mankind would be wiped out, less what little dignity we have.
 
2013-02-02 11:27:23 AM  

bluorangefyre: Oh sure if they could've made it to the ISS they could've probably risked spacewalking into one of the airlocks, but both the shuttle and ISS only carried so many spacesuits.


If the choice is walk or fry you do the transfer even without suits.  Get the airlock to airlock and have someone in a suit there stuff them in the ISS lock as they'll probably pass out before they make it on their own.

bluorangefyre: Had it been caught on launch instead of on replay, a TAL abort could've been called, but then again you're flying Mach 2+ at that point with a hole in your wing. Cutting the main engines, jettisoning the SRBs but leaving the ET hooked up would probably slow you down to subsonic speeds a lot quicker than jettisoning the ET right away, good enough to bail out. But again, that's assuming the hole in the wing didn't severely alter the aerodynamic profile, rendering it pointless to try.


If it were caught on launch why jump?  (And was jumping even an option on Columbia??)  The damage didn't render the shuttle unairworthy.  Just fly it back.  The hard part here is the timeframe--even if they saw it how long would it take them to figure out that the strike was enough to scrub the mission?

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: I still think they should have at least tried to make it to the ISS.


Some of us have already worked out the delta-v requirements--they were horribly short on fuel to make it.  They would come nowhere near the ISS and they would burn their re-entry fuel in the process.  That means they wouldn't even be able to try to come down, it would be certain death.

Lsherm: Where is this belief that CO2 poisoning is painful coming from? They'd lose consciousness and die. They still wouldn't know they were going to die - they'd just pass out. Death would come later.


Dying of CO2 buildup isn't fun especially if it's slow.  What you are thinking of is dying of oxygen depletion--that is entirely painless and you're likely not even aware of it.
 
2013-02-02 11:28:04 AM  

Ed Willy: Obviously this has been updated, but theoretically no way they couldn't move over to the International Space Station as a life line and an international rescue mission be launched? I assume there could be a Space Walk to fix the panels, or at worst jettison it and send it out or orbit, or as a dead satellite until repairs could be made.


There's also limited oxygen on the ISS that's calculated for the assigned needs of the crew and their duration.  Adding 7 more bodies which generate heat individually and who must metabolize oxygen themselves with an already limited supply would put the others in danger if the systems can't keep up.  So instead of 7 possible dead bodies, you now have 10.
 
2013-02-02 11:30:19 AM  
g4lt
Yet, the CAIB recommended no charges, and the people involved got promotions. Almost as if THE CAIB DIDN'T FIND ANYONE AT FAULT
Because accountability is the hallmark of government.
 
2013-02-02 11:32:35 AM  

OnlyM3: First I said this months ago ... I'll not hold my breath for the apology from the tools that said I was wrong.


13 parents got to bury their children due to NASA administrators purposeful actions.
If karma exists at all, karma will grant those responsible the same privilege.


In all fairness, there wasn't much to bury.
 
2013-02-02 11:44:22 AM  
This just in: Space travel is kind of dangerous. Next up: Lowering the danger is expensive, and later on, no new taxes? It's your call.
 
2013-02-02 11:47:41 AM  

edmo: The ending might have been inevitable but it's in NASA's and America's DNA to go down fighting. There are a slew of things that could have been attempted before just sending them home on schedule.


QFT. Without going into details, I have personally kept swinging as I went down fighting, thinking I had no chance, and was lucky enough to grab death by the balls on the way down and yank myself back up.

impaler: But between the choice of 100% death, and less than 100% death, the choice is obvious.


You use Mudd's logic, of course...

Spock: The guilty party has his choice. Death by electrocution, death by gas, death by phaser, death by hanging.

kingtheory.xomba.com 
Mudd: The key word in your entire peroration, Mister Spock, was, death. Barbarians. Well, of course, I left.


 
2013-02-02 12:00:53 PM  

aerojockey: costermonger: I'd suggest that if there's any group that could be told 'there's a good chance what you're about to do will kill you' and not freak the fark out and do something stupid, it's a group of astronauts.

Don't be too sure (Not safe for fark picture):

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-cra sh ed-into-earth-crying-in-rage


yeah, but that guy was a cosmonaut.
 
2013-02-02 12:02:54 PM  

OnlyM3: First I said this months ago ... I'll not hold my breath for the apology from the tools that said I was wrong.

Second... gat is F.O.S. as usual...
GAT_00

There was nothing they could have done to fix it and telling them would have done nothing. I don't blame them for that.

1) Abort the assent. They saw the impact DURING launch and immediately knew it would was a terminal event.
Yes, launches can be aborted mid flight
Ask an Astronomer at Cornell University
space-shuttle.com
I know some have claimed otherwise. The same liars that will now have to admit they were lying all this time.

2) Resuce was possible.
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board ("the Board") Report Volumes II through VI, containing Appendices D through H, will be made public in the coming weeks. Appendix D.13 in Volume II will contain Board technical documents covering the rescue mission that NASA, completely reversing course, finally admitted was feasible

--and --

Pages 173-176 of Volume I (Section 6.4) summarize the Board's conclusion that an attempt to rescue the Columbia crew by using Atlantis was indeed feasible, contradicting the numerous previous statements by NASA.
Much like previous statement from NASA saying "we didn't know" were a lie.

Sink in yet? Rescue WAS POSSIBLE. NASA decided to murder those 7 instead.

13 parents got to bury their children due to NASA administrators purposeful actions.
If karma exists at all, karma will grant those responsible the same privilege.


cdn.smosh.com
 
2013-02-02 12:16:12 PM  
That decision strikes me as disrespectful and undignified. They should have told them so they had the opportunity to close out their life properly, saying goodbye and anything else they needed to say to their loved ones. They could have received a warm flood of thank you for your sacrifice from the world.

These people were highly trained, highly disciplined, courageous individuals. They could have handled it and probably would have appreciated the respect. Then, they could still TRY to make it anyway, knowing the likely outcome.

\had a summer internship at NASA JSC doing research on the heat resistant tiles in the nineties
 
2013-02-02 12:18:50 PM  

LewDux: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

[oi49.tinypic.com image 320x214]



i1121.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-02 12:44:26 PM  

OnlyM3: Your weight comment is certainly on the money, but you are aware that the Challenger astronauts survived the explosion and decent, right? (It was the impact w/ the Atlantic that killed them all).


Yeah, the Challenger didn't actually explode either, it was just water vapour that made it look like it did. The Challenger was broken up by the off-axis airflow it experienced after the stack started to fail. The thing that made it's breakup relatively survivable was that it occurred at relatively (compared to re-entry) slow speed and in thicker atmosphere, so heat wasn't really a concern and the denser air broke the shuttle apart very quickly, separating the crew module. Columbia was a lot faster and a lot higher, so it was less of an aerodynamic failure than a thermal one - so it failed a lot more gradually and could conceivably induce a lot more physical strain on the crew because the crew module wouldn't get spat out the front neatly like Challenger. Interestingly (sadly, maybe) the Columbia's crew module did remain intact remarkably long too (something like a minute after the breakup started).

The problem for some kind of escape capsule for use in re-entry vehicle failure is that if it's flight is anything other than stable, it's useless. It needs to orient it's heat shield into the oncoming air *and* not induce physiologically unacceptable g-forces while doing so.

Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [www.popsci.com image 525x394]
Ice and foam had always been falling off that tank.  They could never figure out how to stop it.  The damage had always been a few tiles here and there.  They examined the launch video and determined that there wasn't damage.   This guy that is blogging is full of crap.  They came to the conclusion that there wasn't any damage.  These guys just hate to admit they were wrong.  By making up this crap he's basically saying 'we knew there was damage'  we weren't wrong.  Notice he says this now,  AFTER his boss died.  Because his boss would have called him on the BS.


Columbia happened because NASA management allowed 'that isn't behaving the way it was designed to, but it didn't hurt anything important' to turn into - over the length of the shuttle program - 'it's not supposed to do that, but it can't do any real damage'. They knew there was potential for some damage - in fact their simulations said it might be so bad that they actually believed there was some error in the simulation - but they effectively brushed it off because none of the previous 105 cycles had led to serious problems.

From a safety management perspective, it's fascinating. So many smart people making so many false assumptions.
 
2013-02-02 12:44:27 PM  
For anyone wondering why they just didn't bailout and parachute like the red bull guy did from the balloon, it's because the shuttle was moving at Mach 17 and like the shuttle, you would simply burn up from the heat generated by friction and/or be torn apart by the Mach 17 speed.

Or you could try this suit on I guess...

images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Happy Landings.

A Rescue Shuttle was their only chance and I didn't see that addressed in the article.
 
2013-02-02 12:47:57 PM  

Amos Quito: LewDux: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

[oi49.tinypic.com image 320x214]


[i1121.photobucket.com image 426x452]


profile.ak.fbcdn.net
 
2013-02-02 01:53:01 PM  
fark nasa...and all of their lies.
 
2013-02-02 01:57:20 PM  
i know they are liars....about everything.

i have seen our future.

"nasa"...is not invited.
 
2013-02-02 02:26:54 PM  
AlwaysRightBoy:
It's a real hard call, if they knew what the odds were, it's rather disturbing that they wouldn't let them have a last conversation with their loved ones.

Isn't that something to be done before taking off?
 
2013-02-02 02:27:00 PM  
... getting in a space suit and strapping his ass over the hole in the shielding on the outside just for the off hand chance that the rest manage to make it while he's incinerated totally, it would at least be doing something.

cache.wists.com

Obligatory.
 
2013-02-02 02:37:02 PM  

namatad: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


/Eat, drink, Fark and be merry, folks

because you farking asshole
they had families and children and friends
they could have spent their last hours saying their goodbyes
instead the nasa pukes "killed" them ....

so sad


This isn't "Armageddon," idiot
 
2013-02-02 02:43:39 PM  
On the early Shuttle missions, there was the recurring problem of the insulation tiles falling off. During those missions, one of the crew would space walk and replace the missing heat resistant tiles with some type of Space Shuttle "Bondo".

Why couldn't that have been done with Columbia?
 
2013-02-02 02:48:14 PM  

EngineerAU: faeriefay: But what about that red bull guy, the one who supposedly jumped from space this summer...
/he lived?

He jumped from 1/8th the distance above Earth than that of the Space Shuttle.


From effective standstill, not orbital velocity.

I'd think that if you jumped out of anything in orbit, it would take you a LOOOONG time to come down, what with also being in orbit and all.
 
2013-02-02 02:49:04 PM  
Maestro1701

>>> they had families and children and friends
>>> they could have spent their last hours saying their goodbyes
>>> instead the nasa pukes "killed" them ....
>>> so sad

This isn't "Armageddon," idiot
he didn't say it was. Why is lying the only way you know to refute a point?
 
2013-02-02 03:12:27 PM  

pedrop357: DrPainMD: I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.

THIS!

I would have wanted to orbit until my air ran out.  Make peace with people, etc.


You wouldn't have done that before you left?

You're going into space, not down the road to the chemist.
 
2013-02-02 03:16:54 PM  

Nayman: The one thing I haven't heard anyone mention is the landing gear...

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but...

I seem to remember reading that what ultimately caused the breakup was the heating of the main tires. They heated to the point of exploding, and that sheared the wing clean off, causing tumbling and breakup and such...

I'm wondering if that tire had been deflated, maybe the structure would have held together just long enough to make it through the deceleration and then maybe they could have bailed (I think shuttles had an in-atmosphere escape system) or just landed on deflated gear and hoped for the best.

Of course, this is all hindsight, and deflating the main gear would have been adding tons of danger to what might have been a non-problematic landing... Also, maybe you can't get to the tires in space... Might only open those doors in atmosphere...

And also maybe you can't deflate them without special tools, and I doubt you're gonna want to just slash them...

Also, maybe the air venting would screw up their attitutude due to venting...

WHO KNOWS! CONSPIRACY~!¿!?!
 "W?



It was apparently the increased drag from the damaged wing which caused Columbia to yaw off-axis beyond the capacity of the attitude-control thrusters to compensate for. The shuttle was then no longer stable and started to tumble, and at Mach 17 the aerodynamic forces literally tore the shuttle apart.

If the tires did actually burst (instead of leaking air gradually), the crew would have heard and/or felt it. No mention was made of anything like that before communications were lost, and by that time the shuttle was already yawing at the maximum rate the sensors could read out (10 deg/sec, IIRC)
 
2013-02-02 03:26:50 PM  

namegoeshere: pedrop357: DrPainMD: I would rather have the opportunity to say good-bye to my family.

THIS!

I would have wanted to orbit until my air ran out.  Make peace with people, etc.

You wouldn't have done that before you left?

You're going into space, not down the road to the chemist.


No no, going into space is perfectly safe!  You're not strapping yourself to a giant tube of combustibles specifically made to be JUST not fragile enough to fall apart, and flicking your Bic.

Why, if you told the astronauts that it might be dangerous, they might refuse to go!
 
2013-02-02 03:27:25 PM  
couldn't they have sent up bruce willis and ben afflack to rescue them? surely no?
 
2013-02-02 03:47:54 PM  
Everyone knew. I did.

"Sir, the heat shield is damaged, part fell off."

"Oh, what do they need that for?"

"Re-entery sir"

"Oh, well they probably don't really need it, tell em to come back in anyhow."

"Sir?"
 
2013-02-02 03:50:25 PM  

C18H27NO3: It's been long enough so it's difficult to remember what was happening at the time and what has been conflated since then and now but I seem to remember something about them wanting to get a view from inside the shuttle and/or doing a spacewalk to have a look.
I can't recall specifically but I vaguely remember them having ideas on how to see potential damage but something was causing an issue with it so they couldn't, or not as well as desired.


I have this same memory. I also am not 100% sure about it though.
 
2013-02-02 03:52:57 PM  

C18H27NO3: Soulcatcher: These people go through an arduous screening process with hours and hours of psychological testing. It's not like they fill out a one page application and are on the space shuttle 10 days later.

From what I've read, NASA astronauts train for 2 years before considered mission-ready.


And they still occasionally end up driving cross country in diapers to try (and fail) to kill their pretend-lover's lover.
 
2013-02-02 04:02:32 PM  
If the tires did actually burst (instead of leaking air gradually), the crew would have heard and/or felt it. No mention was made of anything like that before communications were lost, and by that time the shuttle was already yawing at the maximum rate the sensors could read out (10 deg/sec, IIRC)

Actually, the tire pressure sensors DID indicate increased pressures (heat) then failed....well documented in the transcripts and in the board's final report in telemetry sections. And there is no indicator that the crew felt or heard a burst, just the sensor data they were sharing with ground.  They did know that something major was wrong causing [apparently] anomalous readings in multiple systems -- never a good thing.

Keeping them in the dark about the probabilities and theories -- a HORRIBLY wrong thing, on every level.
 
2013-02-02 04:39:25 PM  

jerrytaylor: If the tires did actually burst (instead of leaking air gradually), the crew would have heard and/or felt it. No mention was made of anything like that before communications were lost, and by that time the shuttle was already yawing at the maximum rate the sensors could read out (10 deg/sec, IIRC)

Actually, the tire pressure sensors DID indicate increased pressures (heat) then failed....well documented in the transcripts and in the board's final report in telemetry sections. And there is no indicator that the crew felt or heard a burst, just the sensor data they were sharing with ground.  They did know that something major was wrong causing [apparently] anomalous readings in multiple systems -- never a good thing.

Keeping them in the dark about the probabilities and theories -- a HORRIBLY wrong thing, on every level.



Yes, the tires were being heated, but that wasn't the cause of the shuttle's breakup. And (again, IIRC from the CAIB report) the specific cluster of anomalous readings, including the tire pressures, pointed to overheating of the left wing. Given the known foam strike to the wing, at least some of the NASA people on the ground knew exactly what was happening as the catastrophe developed.

I agree that keeping the astronauts ignorant was wrong. After all, nobody was more aware of the fact that they were putting their lives on the line with every flight. In this case, they would have had several minutes after the telemetry pattern became clear to say their good-byes, but that's about all they could have done.
 
2013-02-02 04:43:53 PM  

g4lt: relcec: g4lt: "The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...

And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?

how about they go out the f*cking door like normal people you nitwit!

http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html

[www.aero-news.net image 300x225]

That door doesn't open in vacuum. The only way out in space is through the Airlock (woah, you need to use an airlock to go from pressure to vacuum? who knew!), WHICH HAPPENED TO BE OCCUPIED BY SPACEHAB. There wasn't an EVA scheduled on STS107, BECAUSE IT WASN'T POSSIBLE TO DO, THE AIRLOCK WAS BLOCKED IN.


that's a lie.

according to the article about the door and escape scenarios the it faces out and is pyrotechnically ejected.
the door is literally blown off the shuttle with explosives you lying sob. if anything the presence of a vacuum in space would make it easier, not harder, and obviously not impossible, to blow off the door. that said they astronauts need to get in their suits and equalize pressure between the inside and outside before blowing the hatch so they don't get blown out with the atmosphere inside the shuttle.
it was in the first link I posted. here it is again.
http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html


first you lie about there being no way out because of a lack of a door on the shuttle besides in the cargo bay, then you make up a ridiculous lie about the hatch not opening in a vacuum.

seriously, wtf do you get out of spending 6 hours of your time dissembling, misinforming, and straight creating fantastic and incredible fabrications out of whole cloth about the Columbia disaster and the death of 7 of our finest on this forum?

wtf is wrong with you?
 
2013-02-02 05:04:13 PM  

jerrytaylor: If the tires did actually burst (instead of leaking air gradually), the crew would have heard and/or felt it. No mention was made of anything like that before communications were lost, and by that time the shuttle was already yawing at the maximum rate the sensors could read out (10 deg/sec, IIRC)

Actually, the tire pressure sensors DID indicate increased pressures (heat) then failed....well documented in the transcripts and in the board's final report in telemetry sections. And there is no indicator that the crew felt or heard a burst, just the sensor data they were sharing with ground.  They did know that something major was wrong causing [apparently] anomalous readings in multiple systems -- never a good thing.

Keeping them in the dark about the probabilities and theories -- a HORRIBLY wrong thing, on every level.



the theory was that nothing was wrong.
the shuttle had never experienced life threatening damage in 100 missions even though those foam strikes on the tiles happen quite often and tiles had even been knocked off.

the assumptions, theories, and estimations of mission control proved faulty, and perhaps with a different organizational structure these problems would have gotten worked out prior to a disaster, but I think that also means there absolutely wasn't an active decision taken to withhold information from the crew. they knew that there was a possibility of serious structural damage, but they thought it was extremely unlikely, and this affected the decision making all down the line.

it's just an unfortunate example of how bad humans can be at rating risk, especially after a long series of examples of successfully avoiding it are presented, and the tendency of groups of people to reinforce their bad decisions or something.
 
2013-02-02 05:32:17 PM  

relcec: g4lt: relcec: g4lt: "The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possibl e_ emergency_procedures

You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20

that's not hindsight.
it's not ...

And how in FARK were you going to get off the SPACEHAB module without a VAB so they could dock?

how about they go out the f*cking door like normal people you nitwit!

http://mfwright.com/shuttlejump.html

[www.aero-news.net image 300x225]

That door doesn't open in vacuum. The only way out in space is through the Airlock (woah, you need to use an airlock to go from pressure to vacuum? who knew!), WHICH HAPPENED TO BE OCCUPIED BY SPACEHAB. There wasn't an EVA scheduled on STS107, BECAUSE IT WASN'T POSSIBLE TO DO, THE AIRLOCK WAS BLOCKED IN.

that's a lie.

according to the article about the door and escape scenarios the it faces out and is pyrotechnically ejected.
the door is literally blown off the shuttle with explosives you ly ...


C'mon, farking REALLY?!  Are you that stupid?  Hatches that have to get blown off aren't meant to be resealed in space, nor are they airlocked.  Opening that hatch was a one-way trip, and if anyone wasn't suited up, they're a casualty.  But of course, go rightafarkinghead and say that in 20/20 hindsight, it was plausible to pop that hatch and walk the hell over to the ISS.  Physics, how does it farking work? At reentry, that shuttle crew cabin was literally the only 15PSI air within thousands of miles, yet you wanted to blow that out a hatch, yet it's *NASA* that was irresponsible?  Dipshiat.
 
2013-02-02 06:08:34 PM  

g4lt: according to the article about the door and escape scenarios the it faces out and is pyrotechnically ejected.
the door is literally blown off the shuttle with explosives you ly ...

C'mon, farking REALLY?! Are you that stupid? Hatches that have to get blown off aren't meant to be resealed in space, nor are they airlocked. Opening that hatch was a one-way trip, and if anyone wasn't suited up, they're a casualty. But of course, go rightafarkinghead and say that in 20/20 hindsight, it was plausible to pop that hatch and walk the hell over to the ISS. Physics, how does it farking work? At reentry, that shuttle crew cabin was literally the only 15PSI air within thousands of miles, yet you wanted to blow that out a hatch, yet it's *NASA* that was irresponsible? Dipshiat.



exactly, a one way trip to the SHUTTLE ATLANTIS which is the only rescue mission I've mentioned in about 20 posts now. the columbia could never reach the ISS anyway - too far sway. why are you lying about the shuttle not having a hatch and a hatch that doesn't open in space? are you really this dumb, or are you one something?
 

this was your Weeners to me, to a reply I sent someone else:


http://www.fark.com/comments/7570363/Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one


relcec: except for the entire part about The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) saying the crew could have been saved by the shuttle Atlantis. nevermind that your idea that they couldn't retrieve bodies or anything similarly sized from orbit at a later date is incredibly asinine. if you aren't even cognizant of the fact that the shuttle can pick shiat up in space, really wtf are you doing in here? you know most nine year old boys are probably aware of that.


"The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough.[48][49] They stated that had NASA management acted in time, two possible contingency procedures were available: a rescue mission by shuttle , and an emergency Normally a rescue mission is not possible, due to the time required to prepare a shuttle for launch, and the limited consumables (power, water, air) of an orbiting shuttle. However, Atlantis was well along in processing for a planned March 1 launch on Columbia carried an unusually large quantity of consumables due to an Columbia to stay in orbit until flight day 30 (February 15). NASA investigators determined that Atlantis processing could have been expedited with no skipped safety checks for a February 10 launch. Hence if nothing went wrong there was a five-day overlap for a possible rescue. As mission control could deorbit an empty shuttle but could not control the orbiter's reentry and landing, it would likely have sent Columbia into the Pacific Ocean;[48]"


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster#Possi bl e_ emergency_procedures

g4lt: You have AMAZING hindsight, almost 20/20
 
2013-02-02 06:45:15 PM  

relcec: g4lt: according to the article about the door and escape scenarios the it faces out and is pyrotechnically ejected.
the door is literally blown off the shuttle with explosives you ly ...

C'mon, farking REALLY?! Are you that stupid? Hatches that have to get blown off aren't meant to be resealed in space, nor are they airlocked. Opening that hatch was a one-way trip, and if anyone wasn't suited up, they're a casualty. But of course, go rightafarkinghead and say that in 20/20 hindsight, it was plausible to pop that hatch and walk the hell over to the ISS. Physics, how does it farking work? At reentry, that shuttle crew cabin was literally the only 15PSI air within thousands of miles, yet you wanted to blow that out a hatch, yet it's *NASA* that was irresponsible? Dipshiat.


exactly, a one way trip to the SHUTTLE ATLANTIS which is the only rescue mission I've mentioned in about 20 posts now. the columbia could never reach the ISS anyway - too far sway. why are you lying about the shuttle not having a hatch and a hatch that doesn't open in space? are you really this dumb, or are you one something?


this was your Weeners to me, to a reply I sent someone else:


http://www.fark.com/comments/7570363/Watubi: The choice wasn't how they were to die, it was whether or not NASA wanted to have a permanent grave floating in space.  The public would have demanded they retrieved the bodies and NASA, not being able to do it, would have to deal with two publicity disasters instead of one


relcec: except for the entire part about The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) saying the crew could have been saved by the shuttle Atlantis. nevermind that your idea that they couldn't retrieve bodies or anything similarly sized from orbit at a later date is incredibly asinine. if you aren't even cognizant of the fact that the shuttle can pick shiat up in space, really wtf are you doing in here? you know most nine year old boys are probably aware of that.


"The CAIB determined that ...


Yeah, be cause you would have farking solved the problem, amirite?  Farking ITG
 
2013-02-02 07:12:35 PM  

acanuck: The Columbia crew were alive until the cabin hit the ocean surface.


You're thinking of Challenger.
 
2013-02-02 07:55:31 PM  
I wonder if the Russians could have had a capsule or two ready quicker, and if they could even dock with the space shuttle.

I wonder how much longer they could have stayed up there, I have to think that they would have been able to survive for a week or two.  I would have to think that they could have launched a mission with a shuttle to get them in that time to get the astronauts.   And then once you figure out how to fix the problem, figure out who would go back up there to pilot it back down.
 
2013-02-02 08:33:15 PM  

Witness99: That decision strikes me as disrespectful and undignified. They should have told them so they had the opportunity to close out their life properly, saying goodbye and anything else they needed to say to their loved ones. They could have received a warm flood of thank you for your sacrifice from the world.

These people were highly trained, highly disciplined, courageous individuals. They could have handled it and probably would have appreciated the respect. Then, they could still TRY to make it anyway, knowing the likely outcome.

\had a summer internship at NASA JSC doing research on the heat resistant tiles in the nineties


As has been clarified in the thread, NASA did NOT know ahead of time.

As far as the whole argument that the crew should be told in a situation like this in order to allow them to say their goodbyes, etc...I will leave you with this thought:

I'm rather sure that these highly trained, highly disciplined and courageous individuals were smart enough to get their emotional and personal affairs in order LONG BEFORE they strapped their asses to a thousands of gallons of highly flammable material and rode it into space.  Astronauts and their families ARE prepared for these types of situations in every way possible.
 
2013-02-02 08:44:49 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: jerrytaylor: If the tires did actually burst (instead of leaking air gradually), the crew would have heard and/or felt it. No mention was made of anything like that before communications were lost, and by that time the shuttle was already yawing at the maximum rate the sensors could read out (10 deg/sec, IIRC)

Actually, the tire pressure sensors DID indicate increased pressures (heat) then failed....well documented in the transcripts and in the board's final report in telemetry sections. And there is no indicator that the crew felt or heard a burst, just the sensor data they were sharing with ground.  They did know that something major was wrong causing [apparently] anomalous readings in multiple systems -- never a good thing.

Keeping them in the dark about the probabilities and theories -- a HORRIBLY wrong thing, on every level.


Yes, the tires were being heated, but that wasn't the cause of the shuttle's breakup. And (again, IIRC from the CAIB report) the specific cluster of anomalous readings, including the tire pressures, pointed to overheating of the left wing. Given the known foam strike to the wing, at least some of the NASA people on the ground knew exactly what was happening as the catastrophe developed.

I agree that keeping the astronauts ignorant was wrong. After all, nobody was more aware of the fact that they were putting their lives on the line with every flight. In this case, they would have had several minutes after the telemetry pattern became clear to say their good-byes, but that's about all they could have done.


The tire was destroyed (what was left was found in the debris) but the wjng broke up because the hot air going in the hole in the RCC acted like a plasma cutting torch and cut through some of the structure.
 
2013-02-02 09:01:27 PM  

SarcasticFark: Witness99: That decision strikes me as disrespectful and undignified. They should have told them so they had the opportunity to close out their life properly, saying goodbye and anything else they needed to say to their loved ones. They could have received a warm flood of thank you for your sacrifice from the world.

These people were highly trained, highly disciplined, courageous individuals. They could have handled it and probably would have appreciated the respect. Then, they could still TRY to make it anyway, knowing the likely outcome.

\had a summer internship at NASA JSC doing research on the heat resistant tiles in the nineties

As has been clarified in the thread, NASA did NOT know ahead of time.

As far as the whole argument that the crew should be told in a situation like this in order to allow them to say their goodbyes, etc...I will leave you with this thought:

I'm rather sure that these highly trained, highly disciplined and courageous individuals were smart enough to get their emotional and personal affairs in order LONG BEFORE they strapped their asses to a thousands of gallons of highly flammable material and rode it into space.  Astronauts and their families ARE prepared for these types of situations in every way possible.


Also, I'd be shocked if NASA, a highly regimented, risk analysis oriented organization didn't already have policy in place on whether or not to tell the crew of a hopeless situation, and the astronauts would know the policy and the reasoning behind it.

/whether or not that policy would've been relevant in this case is irrelevant to this point
 
2013-02-02 09:31:47 PM  
If this is truly what happened, that's a total BS dick move from whomever made the decision.  These are astronauts we're talking about, they know taking a ride on a rocket to outer space, then falling back down to Earth is risky business.  I sincerely hope they would not freak out if they were given the bad news, if so, we really need to review the entire Astronaut selection process.  I'm fairly certain they would be logical enough to know they're nothing that could be done and there best chance of survival was still re-entry, but they could of delayed re-entry at least until everyone had a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Here's how you break the news to them:

"Challenger, we have reports that some significant damage was sustained to the ship during take-off.  We have looked into the possibility of launching a rescue mission, but as you know, by the time the shuttle is prepared and ready for take-off your ship would have been starved for oxygen for over a week.  Our recommendation is that you take your chances with re-entry.  We think you'll be alright, but wanted to give you the opportunity to say goodbye to your loved ones incase we're wrong."

Don't say:

"Challenger, this is NASA... ha ha, of course it's us, who else can call you?  Okay, but seriously, the heat shield on the ship has been severly damaged, you're all probably going to die.  Sorry for the bad news, just wanted to give you a heads up"
 
2013-02-02 10:37:41 PM  
When we were kids, we used to ask "what's the worst death".  I'm not sure what happened up there on that day, but I hope it was quick.
/godspeed
 
2013-02-02 10:39:05 PM  

GRCooper: As far as the whole argument that the crew should be told in a situation like this in order to allow them to say their goodbyes, etc...I will leave you with this thought:

I'm rather sure that these highly trained, highly disciplined and courageous individuals were smart enough to get their emotional and personal affairs in order LONG BEFORE they strapped their asses to a thousands of gallons of highly flammable material and rode it into space. Astronauts and their families ARE prepared for these types of situations in every way possible.

Also, I'd be shocked if NASA, a highly regimented, risk analysis oriented organization didn't already have policy in place on whether or not to tell the crew of a hopeless situation, and the astronauts would know the policy and the reasoning behind it.

/whether or not that policy would've been relevant in this case is irrelevant to this point


QFT
 
2013-02-02 10:41:33 PM  
Part of me is mad at the US for spending billions on weapons but just letting the astronauts burn up. I guess corporations are people, so why not put a price tag on human lives?
 
2013-02-02 10:57:27 PM  
You couldn't have just had them change orbit to get to the ISS, could you, NASA? Sure it might have been cramped there but at least they wouldn't have died, and could have been useful while awaiting rescue.
 
2013-02-02 11:20:24 PM  

khyberkitsune: You couldn't have just had them change orbit to get to the ISS, could you, NASA? Sure it might have been cramped there but at least they wouldn't have died, and could have been useful while awaiting rescue.


Two of us gave the numbers on why this was utterly impossible.  (DarthBart pulled a NASA with the units on the OMS Δv which understated the problem by a factor of 3.)
 
2013-02-03 12:23:14 AM  

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: common sense is an oxymoron: jerrytaylor: If the tires did actually burst (instead of leaking air gradually), the crew would have heard and/or felt it. No mention was made of anything like that before communications were lost, and by that time the shuttle was already yawing at the maximum rate the sensors could read out (10 deg/sec, IIRC)

Actually, the tire pressure sensors DID indicate increased pressures (heat) then failed....well documented in the transcripts and in the board's final report in telemetry sections. And there is no indicator that the crew felt or heard a burst, just the sensor data they were sharing with ground.  They did know that something major was wrong causing [apparently] anomalous readings in multiple systems -- never a good thing.

Keeping them in the dark about the probabilities and theories -- a HORRIBLY wrong thing, on every level.


Yes, the tires were being heated, but that wasn't the cause of the shuttle's breakup. And (again, IIRC from the CAIB report) the specific cluster of anomalous readings, including the tire pressures, pointed to overheating of the left wing. Given the known foam strike to the wing, at least some of the NASA people on the ground knew exactly what was happening as the catastrophe developed.

I agree that keeping the astronauts ignorant was wrong. After all, nobody was more aware of the fact that they were putting their lives on the line with every flight. In this case, they would have had several minutes after the telemetry pattern became clear to say their good-byes, but that's about all they could have done.

The tire was destroyed (what was left was found in the debris) but the wjng broke up because the hot air going in the hole in the RCC acted like a plasma cutting torch and cut through some of the structure.



Both were occurring: The wing was being eroded from within (causing the telemetry anomalies) and asymmetric drag was slewing the shuttle (causing the attitude anomalies). At some point, the shuttle's attitude-control system was unable to cope with the increasing aerodynamic asymmetry. It is certainly plausible that the damaged wing was the first major structure to break up, but it is unknown whether this occurred before or after the shuttle went from aerodynamic flight to uncontrolled tumbling.

This seems to be a difference which makes no difference.

The wheel-well telemetry showed a gradual temperature increase, followed by a pressure drop, suggesting a nonexplosive venting as the tire overheated and softened. Frictional and/or aerodynamic heating post-breakup did the rest of the damage.
 
2013-02-03 12:49:09 AM  
Columbia was UNDOUBTEDLY destroyed by a bolt of what is know called "Megalightning" during re-entry.  This event was even captured on video and by photographers during the re-entry phase.  NASA attempted to debunk this possibility although many NASA scientists have since recanted and have even released further evidence to show that they now support this theory for the event.  At the time, this for of lightning was poorly understood but has since been captured by the ISS.  It's a strange turn of events because Columbia's mission was to study "Sprites"... which are in fact related to Megalightning.  How's that for a turn of events?  Even the AUDIO of the stike was recorded by other scientists attempting to capture sound from Megalightning at the precise moment that Columbia was hit, proving wrong NASA's original decree that camera-blur might be the cause of the lightning strike that showed up on the pictures (one of which I have linked below). The camera was on a tripod so there was no blur.  Reminds me of the FBI claiming Flight 800 blew up due to a problem with the fuel pumps, even though law enforcement gave written testimony of a "flare-like rocket launching from the surface of the ocean to rise up and strike the aircraft, triggering an explosion".   I don't understand America's need to alter eyewitness testimony when major events are involved.  Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

www.holoscience.com
An image (above) showing visible "etching" from the powerful lightning strike on the heat shield of Columbia after the crash.  This is how we know for certain that the bolt eventually struck the shuttle.  It was witnessed and even captured on camera.

There are THOUSANDS of webpages, many from recognized scientific groups, which detail the events leading to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia from this event and at the time, NASA refused to even consider that such lightning could occur without matching weather conditions (now debunked).

http://www.columbiadisaster.info/index.html#that_photo

www.holoscience.com

www.columbiadisaster.info

The image aboe shows Megalighning drawn to and then striking the ion-plasma contrail from the Shuttle (the grey streak) as it enters the atmosphere.  The breakup and destruction of the shuttle took place and the precise moment of contact from the Megalightning strike.  Note how the plasma streak brightens where the Megalightning enters the contrail and follows it along to make contact with the shuttle.  There's a very interesting documentary on this event which can be viewed on YouTube.

I'm personally very surprised that out of all the posts in this thread, this hasn't even been mentioned because it's now considered to be the most likely cause of the Columbia's demise.  Even many prominent and respect NASA physicists agree  (you'll find their quotes in the various links).  For a LOT MORE on this subject, take a look at the bottom of the link below.

http://www.superforce.com/shuttle/index.htm
 
2013-02-03 02:07:32 AM  
I remember being totally shocked the morning that this happened.

I'm a big space nut and have spent way too much time using Orbiter Spaceflight Simulator. I remember this mission really well even before the disaster because Columbia was in such little use after ISS construction started. I'm really puzzled by all the claims of "Ohhh I TOTALLY remember that everyone knew during the whole mission that this crew was doomed."

Can anybody post any contemporaneous links to Fark threads or news articles from before the disaster showing that there was real concern that Columbia's re-entry was facing serious danger. I don't recall people in churches praying for a safe outcome before re-entry and I don't remember anyone huddled around their TVs with their fingers crossed for a safe outcome.

Watching LeRoy Cain in Mission Control as the disaster unfolds, everyone looks totally bewildered by the loss of temperature transducers in the left wing. As they lost contact during Columbia's break-up the look on people's faces in Mission Control seems far more to say "WTF IS GOING ON??" than to say "Here comes that disaster we were all expecting."

Even after the disaster, senior NASA engineers were saying that they didn't see HOW the foam could have damaged the tiles or RCC panels. They compared it to running into an empty styrofoam cooler on the highway with your car.

There was even a few weeks after the accident where there were suggestions that the accident might have been caused by high altitude plasma, sprites or lightning strikes. There was also speculation about terrorism because of the Israeli astronaut and the lead-up to the Iraq war.

It wasn't until months later when they collected the debris they could find and CAIB was well into its work that they took the same RCC panels off the Enterprise and fired foam blocks at it that everyone realized how wrong their assumptions were.

A few other things:

Those people who compare the Red Bull balloon jump from a craft going less than 100 knots IAS with jumping from a shuttle at 17,000 knots don't have a clue what they are talking about. Ain 't the same ballpark, ain't the same league, ain't even the same farkin' sport.

Also, the foam strike was NOT detected in real-time. NASA's long-range tracking cameras used film and were not digital or video. If that is how you remember it then your memory is faulty.

"Video taken during lift-off of STS-107 was routinely reviewed two hours later and revealed nothing unusual. The following day, higher-resolution film that had been processed overnight revealed the foam debris striking the left wing, potentially damaging the thermal protection on the Space Shuttle. At the time, the exact location where the foam struck the wing could not be determined due to the low resolution of the tracking camera footage."

The disaster had the same root causes as the Apollo 1 fire and Challenger; A lack of imagination and complacency.

Nobody really stopped to consider that there was real danger in putting shoddy wiring and astronauts in a pressurized, pure oxygen environment, or that sub-freezing temperatures would render a rubber O-ring ineffective or that suitcase-sized chunks of icy-foam ripping off in a Mach 2.5 slipstream could punch a hole in RCC shuttle wing panels.

All three NASA disasters also suffered from prior success of risky behavior. AKA "We've done this a bunch of times before and nothing bad happened. That must mean it's safe."

And for the sake of beating a dead horse, no, there was no possibility for the shuttle or ISS to change their orbital velocity or inclination nearly enough for the crew to use the ISS as a lifeboat. If you don't want to believe me or the CAIB then go set-up a spaceflight simulator and show us how it's done. Orbiter Sim is free and excellent. The analogy about the how the Titanic should have just docked with a ship in the Pacific Ocean is a great example of how impossible the just-go-to-the-ISS scenario was.

No on-orbit tile repair had ever been attempted. NASA never even bothered to survey the black tile areas for damage until after Columbia. That's when the laser-camera inspection boom and pre-docking backflip were added to the shiattle's bag of tricks. Before that NASA just hoped for the best because they couldn't do anything to fix any damage that might be found which in hindsight was incredibly careless and stupid.

Regarding the crew not being told about the foam strike, that is not accurate.

http://www.iasa.com.au/folders/Safety_Issues/RiskManagement/columbiat o ld.html

"On Thursday, Jan. 23, flight director Steve Stich sent a personal e-mail to Columbia's commander, Rick Husband, and pilot, William McCool.

Stich's e-mail said he wanted to notify the crew that a piece of foam had fallen off the external fuel tank during launch Jan. 16 and hit the shuttle's left wing.

The event, Stich said in the e-mail, ''is not even worth mentioning'' except that there was a news conference with the crew in a few days. He told Husband and McCool that he wanted ''to make sure that you are not surprised by it in a question from a reporter.'' The e-mail said, ''Experts have reviewed the high speed photography, and there is no concern for RCC or tile damage. . . . there is absolutely no concern for entry.''

While NASA's damage assessment in this email turned out not to be accurate, it seems far more an indication of how NASA was fooling themselves than that the whole world knew about impending disaster and wanted to keep the crew in the dark.

All that being said, it seems pretty unlikely that NASA, Space X or any other American launch entity will produce a manned orbital system again without full abort capability through all phases of launch. I'm pretty sure everybody has learned that lesson.

It also seems unlikely that they will go into space without being able to survey the craft for damage prior to re-entry.
 
2013-02-03 02:36:50 AM  
Okay, what's more likely?

1.) An icy chunk of external tank foam the size of a suitcase rips loose 90 seconds into launch in Mach 2.5 slipstream and smashes into the RCC panels on the left wing punching a hole and fatally wounding Columbia's thermal protection system. This impact is recorded on long-range tracking cameras. The potential for damage is discussed between NASA engineers and management during the mission. Columbia's telemetry on re-entry shows high temperatures inside the length of the left wing behind the foam impact point and excessive yawing from the assymetric drag. The shuttle tumbles out of control and breaks up with the recovered debris all being consistent with the foam-strike being the root-cause.

2.) High-Altitude sprites or megalightning struck Columbia and destroyed it out of the blue in a manner totally consistent with foam-strike damage while NASA was coincidentally concerned about a left-wing foam-strike damage.

Might as well just blame it on HAARP, North Korean remote viewing psychics and reverse-vampires.
 
2013-02-03 02:46:11 AM  

The Snow Dog: Mock26: I have often wondered why they did not try to get them to the International Space Station.  At that time it had been manned for nearly 3 years.  Surely there was enough air on board to keep all of them alive long enough to retrieve them or at the very least get them supplies?

Do you people not read before posting? You know this is Fark. Good and bad questions are likely to have been answered by the time you arrive in the thread.


Fark off, asshat.
 
2013-02-03 02:52:11 AM  

nero_design: There are THOUSANDS of webpages, many from recognized scientific groups, which detail the events leading to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia from this event and at the time, NASA refused to even consider that such lightning could occur without matching weather conditions (now debunked).


There are thousands of websites proclaiming god is real. That does not automatically mean they are true.
 
2013-02-03 03:02:28 AM  
1440 GMT (9:40 a.m. EST)
During a mission status news conference yesterday, Entry Flight Director Leroy Cain was asked about any possible damage to the shuttle's thermal tiles during launch. The tiles are what protect the shuttle during the fiery reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

Tracking video of launch shows what appears to be a piece of foam insulation from the shuttle's external tank falling away during ascent and hitting the shuttle's left wing near its leading edge.

But Cain said engineers "took a very thorough look at the situation with the tile on the left wing and we have no concerns whatsoever. We haven't changed anything with respect to our trajectory design. It will be a nominal, standard trajectory."


That was from the first Fark thread about the disaster here followed immediately by this main thread.
 
2013-02-03 03:13:53 AM  
There is also an STS-107 mission summary here that gives a timeline of events from deorbit burn to loss.
 
2013-02-03 04:17:16 AM  
Thanks for posting those links C18.

In the first Fark thread about the accident, only one comment in the first 50 mentioned the foam strike and nobody in the comments said anything along the lines of "Oh we totally saw this coming" or "We knew this crew was doomed."

I was happy to also see that there were no comments about why didn't Columbia dock with ISS.

The comment about how Columbia should have had fighters escorting it during re-entry was pretty funny though.
 
2013-02-03 07:32:05 AM  

nero_design: Columbia was UNDOUBTEDLY destroyed by a bolt of what is know called "Megalightning" during re-entry.


Not sure if serious.
 
2013-02-03 09:26:45 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Amos Quito: Yeah, that's sad, but I suppose that sometimes ignorance is bliss - comparitively.

Apparently their fate was sealed, and nothing could have been done to change the probable outcome. Why make them live their last few hours freaking out?

So given their decision in this case, do you suppose NASA would bother to tell us if they spotted a huge, dark space rock on a collision course for Earth, or just let it be a "surprise"?


I'd rather read about it first on Fark.


or at least give me the chance to log off first.
 
2013-02-03 01:13:01 PM  
I laugh at all the armchair scientist in this thread. Your IQ is below 140, your arguments are invalid here.
 
2013-02-03 02:31:55 PM  

Treygreen13: the801: too bad that technology has advanced so much that we can't just fake it anymore, and we had to send real people into space knowing that they'd die.

on the other hand, we have 3-d lcd hdtv tvs. and i'd totally bet that more people care about that, even tho it kinda sucks, than care about space monkeys dying. so, maybe technology isn't so bad after all. as long as we can fake caring about astronauts, knowing that people launched on rockets are gonna die, and then pretend to be all surprised and sad when they do.

-2/10


best score ever.
 
2013-02-03 02:58:54 PM  

nero_design: Columbia was UNDOUBTEDLY destroyed by a bolt of what is know called "Megalightning" during re-entry.  This event was even captured on video and by photographers during the re-entry phase.  NASA attempted to debunk this possibility although many NASA scientists have since recanted and have even released further evidence to show that they now support this theory for the event.  At the time, this for of lightning was poorly understood but has since been captured by the ISS.  It's a strange turn of events because Columbia's mission was to study "Sprites"... which are in fact related to Megalightning.  How's that for a turn of events?  Even the AUDIO of the stike was recorded by other scientists attempting to capture sound from Megalightning at the precise moment that Columbia was hit, proving wrong NASA's original decree that camera-blur might be the cause of the lightning strike that showed up on the pictures (one of which I have linked below). The camera was on a tripod so there was no blur.  Reminds me of the FBI claiming Flight 800 blew up due to a problem with the fuel pumps, even though law enforcement gave written testimony of a "flare-like rocket launching from the surface of the ocean to rise up and strike the aircraft, triggering an explosion".   I don't understand America's need to alter eyewitness testimony when major events are involved.  Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

[www.holoscience.com image 398x299]
An image (above) showing visible "etching" from the powerful lightning strike on the heat shield of Columbia after the crash.  This is how we know for certain that the bolt eventually struck the shuttle.  It was witnessed and even captured on camera.

There are THOUSANDS of webpages, many from recognized scientific groups, which detail the events leading to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia from this event and at the time, NASA refused to even consider that such lightning could occur without matching weather conditions (now debunked).

h ...



This is, to put it as politely as possible, an urban legend.

There was no lightning strike, mega or otherwise. There were no thunderstorms along the re-entry track. The "lightning" in the image was caused by the camera moving when the button was pushed to begin the time exposure.

As for your link...um. Even if there had been a coronal mass ejection from the sun reaching the earth during shuttle re-entry, such an event does NOT cause a "shock wave" in the atmosphere, since a CME a) is not a sharply defined wavefront and b) is far less dense than the earth's atmosphere, even at LEO. The increased drag on orbiting objects occurs gradually as the energy from the CME heats the uppermost atmosphere. The charged particles in the CME do energize the Van Allen belts, but these are at a much higher altitude than the shuttle, and this energy is then channeled along magnetic field lines to the earth's magnetic poles, which are nowhere near the shuttle's re-entry track.

I'll trust the CAIB report over some self-proclaimed "experts," tyvm.
 
2013-02-03 03:12:37 PM  

acefox1: remote viewing psychics and reverse-vampires.



When it comes to remote viewing reverse vampire psychics, DNT.

That is all.
 
2013-02-03 03:21:36 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: nero_design: Columbia was UNDOUBTEDLY destroyed by a bolt of what is know called "Megalightning" during re-entry.  This event was even captured on video and by photographers during the re-entry phase.  NASA attempted to debunk this possibility although many NASA scientists have since recanted and have even released further evidence to show that they now support this theory for the event.  At the time, this for of lightning was poorly understood but has since been captured by the ISS.  It's a strange turn of events because Columbia's mission was to study "Sprites"... which are in fact related to Megalightning.  How's that for a turn of events?  Even the AUDIO of the stike was recorded by other scientists attempting to capture sound from Megalightning at the precise moment that Columbia was hit, proving wrong NASA's original decree that camera-blur might be the cause of the lightning strike that showed up on the pictures (one of which I have linked below). The camera was on a tripod so there was no blur.  Reminds me of the FBI claiming Flight 800 blew up due to a problem with the fuel pumps, even though law enforcement gave written testimony of a "flare-like rocket launching from the surface of the ocean to rise up and strike the aircraft, triggering an explosion".   I don't understand America's need to alter eyewitness testimony when major events are involved.  Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

[www.holoscience.com image 398x299]
An image (above) showing visible "etching" from the powerful lightning strike on the heat shield of Columbia after the crash.  This is how we know for certain that the bolt eventually struck the shuttle.  It was witnessed and even captured on camera.

There are THOUSANDS of webpages, many from recognized scientific groups, which detail the events leading to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia from this event and at the time, NASA refused to even consider that such lightning could occur without matching weather conditions (now debunked).

h ...


This is, to put it as politely as possible, an urban legend.

There was no lightning strike, mega or otherwise. There were no thunderstorms along the re-entry track. The "lightning" in the image was caused by the camera moving when the button was pushed to begin the time exposure.

As for your link...um. Even if there had been a coronal mass ejection from the sun reaching the earth during shuttle re-entry, such an event does NOT cause a "shock wave" in the atmosphere, since a CME a) is not a sharply defined wavefront and b) is far less dense than the earth's atmosphere, even at LEO. The increased drag on orbiting objects occurs gradually as the energy from the CME heats the uppermost atmosphere. The charged particles in the CME do energize the Van Allen belts, but these are at a much higher altitude than the shuttle, and this energy is then channeled along magnetic field lines to the earth's magnetic poles, which are nowhere near the shuttle's re-entry track.

I'll trust the CAIB report over some self-proclaimed "experts," tyvm.



But, he said that there were thousands of web pages saying it was true!  If it is on the internet it must be true, right?  I wonder if he believes the moon landings were fake?  After all, there are thousands of web pages saying it was fake!
 
2013-02-03 03:52:46 PM  

Mock26: But, he said that there were thousands of web pages saying it was true!  If it is on the internet it must be true, right?  I wonder if he believes the moon landings were fake?  After all, there are thousands of web pages saying it was fake!



OMG! And THEY'RE written by "experts," too!
 
2013-02-04 03:24:42 AM  

acefox1: It wasn't until months later when they collected the debris they could find and CAIB was well into its work that they took the same RCC panels off the Enterprise and fired foam blocks at it that everyone realized how wrong their assumptions were.


Slight correction:  Enterprise, never actually needing reentry protection, doesn't have RCC panels but fiberglass, which are actually more impact resistant than RCC. Enterprise's panels were used to practice the foam-impact test procedure before valuable, space-flown RCC panels taken from Discovery and Atlantis were destructively tested. (Not sure if NASA had spares or had new ones fabricated to return those orbiters to flight.) The RCC panels famously suffered catastrophic, "holy shiat" damage during the tests. Enterprise's tougher panels got scuffed and maybe bent a little. Enterprise also had some of its polyurethane simulated tiles replaced with spaceworthy silica thermal protection tiles to test foam impact against the left landing gear door, which the investigation had looked at before focusing on the leading edge.
 
2013-02-05 12:31:30 AM  

Nem Wan: acefox1: It wasn't until months later when they collected the debris they could find and CAIB was well into its work that they took the same RCC panels off the Enterprise and fired foam blocks at it that everyone realized how wrong their assumptions were.

Slight correction:  Enterprise, never actually needing reentry protection, doesn't have RCC panels but fiberglass, which are actually more impact resistant than RCC. Enterprise's panels were used to practice the foam-impact test procedure before valuable, space-flown RCC panels taken from Discovery and Atlantis were destructively tested. (Not sure if NASA had spares or had new ones fabricated to return those orbiters to flight.) The RCC panels famously suffered catastrophic, "holy shiat" damage during the tests. Enterprise's tougher panels got scuffed and maybe bent a little. Enterprise also had some of its polyurethane simulated tiles replaced with spaceworthy silica thermal protection tiles to test foam impact against the left landing gear door, which the investigation had looked at before focusing on the leading edge.


Well bust my buttons. I don't know if I ever knew that. I remember seeing Enterprise at Udvar Hazy a few years back with the left wing leading edge panels missing. I guess that tainted my memory of the foam-block testing process. Thanks for clarifying that.
 
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