Who's nervous about Wednesday's shuttle launch?

This is not encouraging

Probably nothing, but still…

Nervous? No. Excited? Yes!

I’m a bit of a Space Cadet, so I’m looking forward to our return to space.

Im glad you posted this. Maybe I’m just a scaredy cat, but I have a REAL bad feeling about this launch. :frowning:

Why? How many hundreds (thousands?) of launches have their been? And out of all of those, how many were bad? One. Just one launch ended in disaster. And one re-entry as well. Now, I’m no mathematician, but two out of many hundreds if not thousands is pretty good odds.

No more nervous than for any space launch I can remember. It’s inherently risky. It’s a problem in our culture that we have difficulty accepting risk as part of life in general, let alone in something that pushes the envelope as much as space travel does.

I think the real difficulty accepting risk as far as the space program is concerned comes from the fact that the only three deaths directly related to space travel happened on the ground in 1967. Up until the Challenger space travel was the safest thing we’d ever done and people just couldn’t believe we’d gotten it so wrong. The Columbia simply reinforced the belief that we’re not as infallible as everybody thought we were because of the previous 25 years.

The Space Shuttle, while a neat piece of technology, represents a step backwards. We sent people to the moon and all came back. We send them up in reusable, orbiting aircraft that was supposed to be durable and cheap and it turned out to be neither. Whatever we do next, we have to do better or the space program will come to a grinding halt.

For us. The Russians had someone die in space, though they’ve never admitted it.

Absolutely agreed.

There have been 2 disasters from 113 launches:


So its not impossible that the next launch will end in disaster but it isn’t very likely either.

The tile business doesn’t worry me. The fact that there’s a whole shitload of wiring which hasn’t been inspected and is covered in insulation that the FAA’s banned from use in aircraft because it’s prone to fraying and shorting out, bothers me.

I’m a little worried, mostly because the night before last, I had a nightmare about watching the Shuttle explode when booster seperation came(or didn’t. Something went very wrong when it was supposed to seperate). It was supposed to be the first launch after the Columbia disaster.

Though the really bizarre thing was that when they tried again, a year later, the only surviving part, the the shell of the nose, was hanging from a cable near the pad(though this one made orbit safely).

And that’s one of my more rational dreams.

I’m nervous. The dangers are reduced but can never be eliminated. I think one of the astronauts used to say that if you weren’t scared, you didn’t understand what was going on. Another disaster would be crippling to the space program, possibly killing manned flight for years. Sure, we need a new vehicle. Let’s get that developed before another shuttle crash sets us back a generation.

What worries me is that the NASA spokesman in that article looks like he hasn’t slept and is due for a shower. If the talking head is burning the candle at both ends, then what does that say about the rest of the organization?

Odds being 1 in 57 that a shuttle will be a complete loss don’t strike me as “isn’t very likely.”

No kidding. How many of us would play Russian Roulette even with one bullet in 57 chambers?

Incidentally, the mission details for the flights can be found in the NASA Space Shuttle Launch Archive.

Ever since I had to write a report based on the findings after the Challenger accident (accident? Ha. More like really REALLY bad management, if you ask me), I have been nervous before every launch.

… and every re-entry.

shudder After reading the interviews from the inquiry, let me tell ya, I wouldn’t want to play this lotto game…

You seem to think that there’s an independent variable here. But there isn’t. There’s only the monkeys at NASA, and they largely remain monkeys. I think it’s unlikely that there’ll be any problem with this launch, and within another couple years NASA will only care if events are “in family” again, not if they’re safe. And that’s going to lead to yet another disaster.

Yes, space travel is risky, but that’s a reason to do everything to minimize risk, not the NASA strategy of throwing the dice, closing your eyes and hoping for the best.


Agreed. As a former mechanical engineer, I’ve seen enough idiotic NASA “engineering” to wonder who the hell they have working there. My dad felt the same way. After the Challenger disaster he walked around for days shaking his head and muttering, “I can’t believe they used a rubber O-ring as a seal for burning gasses…”

As an engineer, I’d like to believe that the techies at NASA have gotten all the problems fixed. But then, when I hear that a panel fell off a window and damaged some tiles, I have to think “Hmm, that’s not a good omen.”

The latest report on CNN says that the shuttle may not launch due to bad weather: http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/07/13/space.shuttle/index.html