Thursday, June 30, 2005

NASA Sets July 13 Shuttle Launch Date

"Earlier in the week, an advisory panel concluded that NASA failed to meet three of the 15 safety recommendations issued by the Columbia accident investigators in 2003. Despite many improvements, the shuttle is still vulnerable to pieces of foam or ice falling off the external fuel at liftoff, and the astronauts still have no reliable way of fixing damage to their ship's thermal shielding once in orbit, the group said.

"But Griffin and others at NASA believe those risks have been reduced to an acceptable level."

Fuck "acceptable." I think astronauts should strike -- simply refuse to consider going into space until we have a launch vehicle that's up to technological standards of at least, say, the mid-1980s.


Kyle said...

Ok, so we put together a board of review after Columbia, and they build a laundry list of problems to be solved before another launch. Why? To reduce risks determined by the board to have been causitive vis a vis Columbia.

So, NASA takes the recommendations, fixes all the little piddly things, all but ignores the biggest problems, and declares that the "risks have been reduced to an acceptable level".

I am very glad that I am not planning any shuttle rides this month.

The question is...what will NASA do oif this mission ends in tragedy due to any of the 3 issues left unaddressed?

Jail time? Not hardly. A new, pliable, obedient director perhaps, and bidness as usual, more likely.

And the astronauts trust these beaurocrats to know the "risks"? Well, not to be redundant, but track records being what they are...


W.M. Bear said...

NASA kind of has its astronauts by the sensitive portions of their anatomy, since they're pretty much forced to parrot the party line on these things or they won't get assigned to a mission. I don't think I've EVER heard a working astronaut utter a negative statement about NASA or even hint that he or she might not be anything other than the most gung-ho team player imaginable.

JEFM said...


This whole issue makes me think. Was the US goverment so crazy to send astronauts on the Apollo program to the moon? I mean ... look at the technology they had ... and we are not talking about Earth-orbiting systems ... I do agree with you, "acceptable" is too much when it comes to human lives being at stake ... however ... how can they develop a space program that's competent and up to today standards ... it would mean a halt to everything we know as "human-space faring" and maybe ... MAYBE ... a ride back to the stratosphere by 2010 ...

Kyle said...

I think Apollo succeeded because there was a unifying force at work. America wasn't sending men to the moon for a photo op...we were trying to beat the COMMIES! so famously described by NASA mission chief Gene Krantz...was "not an option".

Every bolt on every part of every system of the apollo missions was placed there by a patriot. This unifying force resulted in true synergy...the whole was far greater than the sum of its parts.

Even though Apollo was not without its tragedies, the program never lost a soul in space, or even on the way.

Since the end of the Cold War, we have gone to space to further science and other reasons, but there's no similar unifying force to keep everyone's head "in the game". More mistakes are made.

Since space flight is now considered routine by politicians, rushing to space for political capital trumps the reasoned "careful" approach of the past. Hence we've lost 14 astronauts with far more advanced tech than that of Apollo.

Godspeed to the crew of the shuttle...thay are far more brave than their Apollo counterparts in my opinion.


muebles en malaga said...

The chap is absolutely just, and there is no question.