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SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA - How and why the tragic accident happened.

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Old 02-01-2003, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for the clarification.

I got confused after watching the ISS on the NASA channel.
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:08 PM
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It would be hard to speculate on what happend. At 12,500 MPH it wouldn't take much to make a disaster.

If you wanted to focus on the tiles, there are about 28,000 of which about 5,000 are considered critical and the loss of one of those 5,000 are consided to make reentry impossible. If I remeber they are made of some kind of silica compound and glued to the skin of the shuttle.

Also in years past a guy in North Dakota or Minnesota claimed to have intercepted a reenntry conversation in which the crew was concerned about cabin temperature on reentry.
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:20 PM
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Re-entry is very dangerous:

Imagine: 90 tons...

...traveling @12500mph...

...virtually "burning" itsself through the atmosphere.

It's almost not possible to imagine these forces.

Then add a minor damage of the heat shield...
 
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:30 PM
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Tragic, YES.....Godspeed to all 7....Lets don`t forget the human factor. We are learning everyday of are lives. These machines are as complex as anything on earth and lives will be lost as we move forward. I`m a fanatic of space exploration,but there is a price we must pay to move forward with technalogy and new frontiers. It will never be easy or a given,and they the astronauts know the risks. I salute them and their passion for knowledge.
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:34 PM
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Debris field
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:38 PM
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Default Here Columbia lost part of fuel-tank isolation at lift-off

The isolation hit the left wing.
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:40 PM
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Without words...
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gdfatha
A reasonable question: Why NO EVA to verify no damage when they were docked with the ISS??
I think it's already been mentioned, but this mission was purely a scientific mission. No ISS, just gathering data and doing experiments. Appearently they were heading home a little early. They could have stayed in orbit until Wednesday. Sounds like it wouldn't have mattered when, it still had to make re-entry. Once they launched, there is an abort procedure (I had the pleasure of taking the controls of the simulator at JSC that they use for training and the guy running it ran us through a launch abort procedure) but they would still have re-entry and manuvering to get it back into landing position. It goes to show just how critical preperation and the first 8 minutes of the mission are.

God bless their families.

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Old 02-01-2003, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gdfatha
A reasonable question: Why NO EVA to verify no damage when they were docked with the ISS??
O.K. And when you do the EVA and find damage, what do you do then? Let everyone say goodbye to their families? The nearest Mr. Goodwrench is a pretty good hike. EVA's are dangerous in themselves. I suspect they weighed the risks and decided not to.
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Old 02-01-2003, 01:03 PM
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"O.K. And when you do the EVA and find damage, what do you do then?"

That's a good one!

That would have felt quite lonely "HELP!" ..but can you imagine the dream-ratings on TV worldwide for over 1 week?

That would have been good for the global economy...
(Sorry...not the right moment I know, but couln't resist).

But really: imagine they do EVA, they find that the wing is damaged and tiles are lost... then what? Only chance would be to dock on the ISS for survival.
 
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