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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 419
    More: Sad, NASA, Space Shuttle Columbia, re-entry, Columbia disaster, flight controls, TPS, Johnson Space Center  
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27025 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Feb 2013 at 12:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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
 
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