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Druss

Columbia was beyond help

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US space agency (Nasa) officials say there was probably nothing that could have been done to save the crew of Columbia, even if mission control had fully realised the jeopardy the astronauts were in.

A report to be handed to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board next week will say the crew were almost certainly doomed from the moment a chunk of foam from the external fuel tank struck the left wing shortly after launch.

View: Full Article | Source: BBC News

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Well, couldn't they have made an emergency dock with the space station and then another couple of shuttle missions planned to pick them up? Russians would have helped here, I am sure.

This sounds like CYA press releasing, if you ask me..

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yeah, this is not true- i agree with Sidhe. we could have hurried another space shuttle launch or something to rescue them. i find it very difficult to believe that we are completely helpless if something goes wrong on a launch. we would have had plenty of time to brainstorm as they were in no apparent danger floating in space. we have rockets, we could have sent supplies to them somehow.

this is just a cover for their incompetence.

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Sidhe, I think the Columbia wasn't structured to dock with ISS,

but don't quote me on that, I might be rememebering wrong.

But also, whatever they discovered, how do you know they

could have any more assurance of the one they send up will

be anymore reliable?

I don't think they are incompetent, they are human, therefore

fallible.

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Well we don't know, of course, whether another shuttle would or wouldn't make it, but we do know doing nothing certainly doomed them.

I liked the movie Apollo 13.. shows what kind of ingenuity you have (or had) at NASA for working out problems like this. I don't accept the "we couldn't have done anything" answer. I would accept "we did not think we had such a problem," which appears to be the truth.

By saying the former, they have all the appearance of shifting blame, which dishoners NASA and the ones lost. In my opinion, of course.

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Posted (edited)

KC, I'm always impressed by your knowlwdge of the space industry wub.gif

You are correct in that the Columbia could not have docked with the space station. Columbia did not have the necessary docking mechanism on board their flight since the mission did not involve a visit to the station. The docking mechanism is a module that is only used when the mission involves docking with the space station.

Edited by Homer

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Aw, thank you Homer, you know it is one of my passions,

and I try to keep up to date on all the missions, and all that's

involved. smile.gif

btw, tonight the crew from ISS will be landing in Russia.

I hope they have good coverage of it, so we can see.

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Posted (edited)

I can tell it's one of your passions, and I enjoy our discussions about it wub.gif

btw, thank you for informing me they made it back safely smile.gif

Edited by Homer

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You're welcome Homey. I was so happy with the news!

(could you hear me cheering?) biggrin.gif

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I sure did smile.gif

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Even if docking was impossible, space walks were not. I may be wrong, but i do belive there are enough EVA suits for the whole crew. It would be simple matter to ditch the shuttle and float the ISS. NASA screwed up big on this. But i think part of the screwup came from funding cutsand increased pressure and such..bad combo..

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sad.gif

This past weekend, members of CAIB visited The Cape to see for themselves, the tons of debris recovered to date. During their review, Chairman Gehman "hinted" at several new developments concerning the possibility that a Rescue Attempt could have been made.

Many aspects of this abound, too many to list here.

Bottom Line:

Those at Mission Control did NOT have accurate data to determine the extent of damage to Columbia's left wing (foam impact during liftoff 1/16/03). Therefore, their assessment that the foam strike would not constitute a "flight risk" was in error, BASED ON KNOWN DATA, to date.

Satellite images were DECLINED by Space Shuttle Program Manager.

Non- essential materials could have been 'tossed' from Columbia, to reduce weight.

Angle/Mode of reentry could have been altered to prevent less exposure to the left wing ... to heat ... and therefore, away from the Sun's relenting excessive heat, the left wing would have "chilled" thereby eliminating entrance of Plasma, that ultimately doomed the craft and Crew.

Columbia could have remained on-orbit for longer than the 'guestimated' 3 or 4 days, thus allowing more time to work out a plausible solution.

One other NOTE: Columbia, being the 'elder' shuttle was too large and bulky to dock successfully with Alpha (ISS). Her future missions had to be relegated to scientific/repair Missions.

CAIB's final report due July 2003.

Nancy

http://www.floridatoday.com/columbia/colum...ory2A52894A.htm

http://www.spacenstuff.com/Editorials/news.php?id=174

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Another new article that shows NASA has reversed the opinion that originally motivated this thread (and which got me irate):

Columbia rescue may have been possible, NASA says

May 24, 2003

BY MARCIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.--NASA could have launched another shuttle to rescue the Columbia astronauts if it had realized the severity of the wing damage early on and decided it was worth the extreme risk to the second ship and crew, the chief accident investigator said Friday.

Retired Navy Adm. Harold Gehman Jr., chairman of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, said the question was put to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration earlier this month and that the agency's preliminary findings show that such a rescue would have been technically feasible.

But he added: ''I've got no idea if it would have been successful or not.''

Gehman stressed that a rushed rescue mission by shuttle Atlantis and four of NASA's best and most seasoned astronauts would have been ''very, very risky--but not impossible.''

He said astronauts would have been ''standing out in the hallways to volunteer.''

In the days after the Feb. 1 tragedy, NASA managers insisted nothing could have been done to fix Columbia's wing and save its seven astronauts.

But earlier this week, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said he would have strongly considered sending Atlantis to the astronauts' rescue, even if it meant losing another shuttle and crew.

AP

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