Today, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe told a Congressional panel, among other things, that
flight controllers for the Columbia had received no data to indicate that the fragile thermal tiles lining its exterior might have been damaged on liftoff
data of such anomalies "likely would have showed up during that 16-day mission
the airframe and other systems of the Columbia, which had flown 28 missions, were inspected rigorously before each flight
This from a man with no scientific training whatsoever. How does he know whether the data indicated if tiles had been damaged? How does he know if data would have shown up during the mission? Who is he to decide whether airframe inspections are “rigorous”? Why should Congress, or anyone, trust his answers? Obviously, someone is telling him what to say, but he has no basis to judge whether his handlers are feeding him the truth or a bunch of malarkey.
Perhaps before we try to continue our space-related endeavors, we ought to put someone in charge of NASA who has the background to understand which end of the rocket the fire comes out of. Christ almighty.