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Fraser
2003-Jul-09, 05:05 PM
SUMMARY: NASA has released photographs that show how the space shuttle Atlantis suffered damage from hot gases back in May 2000 when it returned through the atmosphere on a mission. The damage wasn't permanent and repaired in time for its next mission four months later. NASA blamed the damage on improper installation of a seal between protective panels on the shuttle's left wing. Atlantis is expected to be the first shuttle to return to space when NASA begins launches again in early 2004.


What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Trumpdumper
2003-Jul-09, 07:58 PM
IMHO, I still believe NASA should have never abandoned the Moon. NASA ceased being a truly science based organization and became a political one after Apollo. Okay, so that was political too but at least it accomplished something. Now what do we have? A stupid space station inhabitated by Space Janitors. The majority of their day is spent on upkeep and not real science. From what I've read, all they are is glorified button pushers. What a waste of money/time. The only thing NASA has done that gives me any payback are those wonderful Hubble images. And they even screwed that up. How in the world could you have such an expensive instrument ordered and then not do any testing on the manufacturing process and just shrug your shoulders and say, "well, lets fire it off into space".? Astronaut Story Musgrave did a wonderful repair job on Hubble. His spacewalk is one to remember.

The space business needs to get out of Government hands and into the private sector. Maybe the private sector will know when to convert metric into standard.

NASA Sucks!!!

Robert McClelland
2003-Jul-09, 08:08 PM
Only after Challenger was destroyed did the public become aware of the alarms that were raised about the O-rings. Only after Columbia was destroyed did the public become aware of the possible damage to the wing caused by the foam insulation.

It's enough to make a person wonder what other secrets NASA is withholding from the public and how many shuttles NASA is willing to lose before they start disclosing these problems to the public.


PS. The forum is a great addition.

Rocketa
2003-Jul-09, 08:25 PM
Another example of how the seapation between technical and administrative causes problems with hi-tech endeavors.

All started back with JPL in the forties when it was deemed advisable to put an "Administrator" at the head of technical acitivities to tame the wild beasties.

Sando
2003-Jul-09, 08:25 PM
NASA does not suck. Some employees that maintain a bureaucratic attitude who work for NASA suck.

Trumpdumper
2003-Jul-09, 08:40 PM
NASA is not needed anymore. They only have three Shuttles left, and with a catastrophic failure rate of 1 /57 I can't imagine anyone even wanting to be an astronaut anymore. There is nothing NASA can do that rockets can't. There's no need for humans in sub-orbital flight. Computers can run the experiments just as well and they don't require food and water. I don't buy the argument about learning about living in zero-g as credible either. If we want to know why don't we ask the Russians? Why duplicate the research? This landing on Mars talk is a joke, too. It's way to early in human spaceflight to contrive. It's just a way to get increased funding. I think NASA is just trying to find a way to survive. I hope they don't. We need something better.

Guest
2003-Jul-09, 09:33 PM
For those of you who wish to know what happened to NASA, just read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! The Ministry is much too involved.

On a different but related subject:

To my discredit, I have not researched the numbers but I find if difficult to accept that the foam struck the wing with such velocity. Could someone
put up the numbers for us (shuttle velocity at the point of foam separation, shuttle acceleration at the point of foam separation, etc.)?

Thanks.

Fraser
2003-Jul-09, 09:43 PM
Investigators believe that a 0.76 kilogram (1.67 pounds) chunk of foam dislodged from the fuel tank and struck the wing going more than 800 kph (500 mph). In the recent tests, they measured an impact force of more than a ton.

So, it seems pretty forceful to me.

Fraser

Ray Bauernhuber
2003-Jul-10, 01:22 AM
I believe the current shuttles should be replaced as soon as possible. They've been repaired and repaired until I think they have been used enough. Also, there are certan people at NASA that keep too many things to themselves or flat out lie to the public. Let's see a more open and honest NASA in the future. And Fraser, I think this discussion forum is a terrific idea.

Fraser
2003-Jul-10, 04:14 AM
Thanks Ray, it's actually pretty fun. :-)

Steve Bromley
2003-Jul-10, 12:44 PM
How many surviving space shuttles are there?
Best wishes Steve Bromley

Guest
2003-Jul-10, 01:49 PM
I live in Australia and watch the "clunky" effort to blast around into space. It begs the question why doesn't NASA park a spare shuttle at the international space station in case it's needed? .....i really don't think any parking inspector could get up there in any hurry to give it a parking ticket!!

Fraser
2003-Jul-10, 03:50 PM
There are three remaining shuttles. Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis. There's a great article over on SpaceDaily that goes into a lot of detail about why the shuttles need to be replaced - and how a spaceplane probably isn't the best way to go.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/rocketscien...ence-03zj1.html (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/rocketscience-03zj1.html)

Karen M.
2003-Jul-10, 08:35 PM
I am enjoying this "Dicuss the topic" section, Fraser.

It is really a releif to see NASA getting back on its feet so quickly after the Columbia accident. With them looking to launch again in January 2004, less than a year after. I think that NASA delayed way too long in getting back into space after the Challenger. But in loosing 2/5 of thier fleet, they do need to think about replacing Shuttles with possibly an updated design.

Given the accident rate of NASA, I would still give just about anything to be an astronaut. One of my earliest memories is man landing on the Moon - I was only 2, but I remember it.

Thanks again for this forum!

Karen M.

Richie
2003-Jul-11, 05:43 AM
Originally posted by Karen M.@Jul 10 2003, 08:35 PM
I am enjoying this "Dicuss the topic" section, Fraser.

It is really a releif to see NASA getting back on its feet so quickly after the Columbia accident. With them looking to launch again in January 2004, less than a year after. I think that NASA delayed way too long in getting back into space after the Challenger. But in loosing 2/5 of thier fleet, they do need to think about replacing Shuttles with possibly an updated design.

Given the accident rate of NASA, I would still give just about anything to be an astronaut. One of my earliest memories is man landing on the Moon - I was only 2, but I remember it.

Thanks again for this forum!

Karen M.
Challenger n Columbia were both disasters that everybody deeply mourns, but is it right to crucify NASA for that, i think not! i agree we lost great men n women in the two missions..but they were a part of the countless sacrifices that mankind has made for the betterment of human race...and even with such disasters behind us, I, for one, would give anything to be onboard the next shuttle...that is, if they'd let me :)

it would be better if we pay our respects to those who are the space-age martrys n look forward to expandin our horizons n aim at unfolding,for ourselves, the magnificence of the expanse beyond...which was the whole point of the entering the space-age anyway.

Bjarne
2003-Jul-11, 03:18 PM
The ISS isn't configured to have a shuttle "parked" on in. Though that's not to say the in the future that this might change. There IS, however, as part of the Russian portion of the station a permanently parked capsual which is swapped out every 3 or 6 months (I think that's the time limit on them and was set by the Russians).

Fraser, I too like this "new thing" you've got going! It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun :blink:

old-mx
2003-Jul-22, 05:31 PM
Can any one tell me why the foam was shot at the wing at over 500 mph?

If the foam on the tank was traveling at the same speed as the shuttle before dis-lodgeing then the impact speed would be the difference between the deceleration rate of the foam and the acceleration rate of the shuttle over what - a one second time frame?

Seems like 500 mph is an awful big differential.

Kevin Milburn
2003-Jul-23, 06:44 PM
After reading about all the flaws in the shuttle system, I for one wouldn't ride it...

Those astronauts who do fly the shuttle system must be either very courageous or very stupid, and I don't think that they are stupid.

I would love to experience space flight, but I'd be constantly thinking, "Is this the moment the whole thing goes BOOM?"

The shuttle tile system alone leaves one wondering how such a system got authorized in the first place? One tile falls off and the whole crew goes down with the ship, it's nuts! Wouldn't you think that at the very least the crew should be able to either make a repair or be able to get themselves either up to Alpha or orbit long enough to effect a rescue? I think the crews have a right to at least that much.

I'd also have to agree with others that the space station is a bit of a boondoggle from the average citizens point of view. But I suspect that the glory of going to the moon could be re-engineered by sending astronauts to Mars. NASA needs to get back into the business of hands on discovery and exploration. If all we do as humans is to send out robots, why do we need astronauts or cosmonauts?