PDA

View Full Version : Alarming shuttle information.


Uncommon Sense
02-03-2003, 09:05 AM
What bit of information about this weekends shuttle disaster caused you to say, "I would have never thought that", or "I can`t believe that`s true".

For me, it was the fact that the cooling tiles on the outside of the shuttle are actually somewhat brittle. They can`t be dropped or nicked during installation and they can`t launch during rain for fear that the rain drops could damage them too!?!

I always assumed that they were like bricks with heat treated material on them, and indestructable, considering the violent forces subject to the shuttle during re-entry.

Lets hear some facts or thoughts that you thought were unbelieveable or alarming.

lieu
02-03-2003, 09:19 AM
One participant in an earlier mission mentioned that as the craft is re-entering the atmosphere and heat is building up on the tiles that the experience is akin to trying to look out from the inside of a lightbulb. So much light is emitted from the hot, glowing tiles that it's difficult to see out from the craft.

racekarl
02-03-2003, 10:18 AM
This is what shocked me the most:
In the 1986 Challenger explosion, an external fuel tank explosion ripped apart the spacecraft 73 seconds after liftoff from the Florida coast. Questions about the demise of the Challenger crew persisted during the investigation that followed.

Challenger's nose section, with the crew cabin inside, was blown free from the explosion and plummeted 8.7 miles from the sky. NASA learned from on-board voice recorders that the astronauts lived through much of the capsule's death plunge. The capsule shattered after hitting the ocean at 140 to 180 mph.

from here:
CNN Story (http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/02/02/shuttle.remains.ap/index.html)

I wonder if CNN was letting an urban legend creep into their story or if some new info has come to light and that really happened?

Reuben
02-03-2003, 10:43 AM
According to http://www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/challeng.htm it's a *possibility* that some or all of the Challenger crew survived much of the descent to Earth, but certainly not impact. And there's certainly no tapes of it.

racekarl
02-03-2003, 10:54 AM
Right I've seen the snopes site, but it was written in 2000, so I suppose it's possible that info has come to light since then.

I doubt it very much though, especially considering that on CNN they were flashing those idiotic "news" snippets across the screen and one read: "Shuttle was traveling 18 times the speed of light" (emphasis mine)

Gatopescado
02-03-2003, 11:14 AM
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

Uncommon Sense
02-03-2003, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

You forgot to provide a source for that quote.:p

I put money on Peter Jennings.:D :p

Amp
02-03-2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

Hey, come on now, the Space Program has given us velcro and Tang. Can you imagine a world without Tang? I know I wouldn't want to.

kasuo
02-03-2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Amp
Hey, come on now, the Space Program has given us velcro and Tang. Can you imagine a world without Tang? I know I wouldn't want to.

Yeah man.. I mean c'mon.. NO TANG!? How would have the movie Full Metal Jacket been made? :D

World Eater
02-03-2003, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by racekarl
This is what shocked me the most:


from here:
CNN Story (http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/02/02/shuttle.remains.ap/index.html)

I wonder if CNN was letting an urban legend creep into their story or if some new info has come to light and that really happened?

Well Fox is saying the same (http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,77351,00.html) thing. I was going to post exactly what you said, but it looks like I'm too slow.

Jonathan Chance
02-03-2003, 12:55 PM
The Master Speaks (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_024b.html)

Philster
02-03-2003, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

Why don't you start a thread over in Great Debates?


It'd be quite an arguement.

Archergal
02-03-2003, 02:17 PM
Anybody remember Dan Simmons' story Two Minutes Forty-Five Seconds? I read it in The Year's Best Fantasy Second Annual Collection by Datlow and Windling.

Johnny L.A.
02-03-2003, 02:25 PM
Archergal: Was that the one about the guilt-ridden Rocket Scientist and the bomb?

sunfish
02-03-2003, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

Pssst... why don't you have a look at this page here, for starters:

NASA - Space Prodcut Development (http://spd.nasa.gov/index.html)

Please note that there is info directly pertaining to Columbia's last mission mentioned here.

Rick
02-03-2003, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

One advantages of growing up in the Los Angeles Unified School district during the 60's was the chance to take what were called enrichment classes at the County museum of Science and Industry. These classes were taught by people who were working in industry.
I took several of these classes that BTW were taught by rocket scientists.
One story I will never forget was about the development of computers. IIRC correctly it went like this:
At the beginning of the manned space program a computer was about the size of a three bedroom house. This was too large. The computer guys were told to make it smaller. They came back with a unit about the size of a 2 car garage. Still too large. BAck to the drawing board. Came back with a unit about the size of a bread box. Still a little too large. The final unit was about the size of a toaster.
Why do I tell this story? Well without the push from the space program, computers might not be small enough or cheap enough for you to own one and be able to post on this message board. That is just one example, the list goes on and on.

Johnny L.A.
02-03-2003, 08:58 PM
quote]Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.[/quote]
Well, there's VelcroŽ. Here are some more (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/home95.html).

I'm sure there are other things, but I don't have time to look right now.

royjwood
02-03-2003, 09:16 PM
However, I think the most interesting information pertaining to the shuttle were these words from one of the crew:

"We have enough memories to last us a lifetime."

Unfortunately, I can not seem to find it on CNN today, but it was there yesterday!

CrankyAsAnOldMan
02-03-2003, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by gatopescado
I can't believe we waste so much money (and lives) on these missions to do stupid experiments that yield little or no real-world benefit.

One of the experiments being performed on this mission was designed to help engineers plan cleaner factories and other fuel-burning buildings that have smokestacks. I know that because it was being done for a scholar here. As I understand it, hundreds of experiments are performed on the missions; earthbound scientists send their projects up. Some of them are pure science, others applied, but it doesn't sound like they yield little real-world benefit.

ratatoskK
02-04-2003, 06:04 AM
The thing that got me was that even if the crew had known during the mission that there had been damage, they had no way of repairing it. No "mechanical arm," no spacewalk on the underside of the craft, no space parts...

ratatoskK
02-04-2003, 06:05 AM
oops, that should have said "spare parts..."