posted on Jun, 22 2003 @ 07:29 AM
Let's take a look at the physics involved here concerning whether a mini-tape could survive.
In the videos, from day 1, it is very discernible what is happening as the shuttle disintegrates. Just as in the Challenger disaster, the shuttle
lifting body disintegrates from around the cabin. The cabin can be clearly seen as it emerges from the disintegrating lifting body in pristine
condition, unheated and then you watch it heat up itself and debris come from the back side of the cabin. In fact, in the video, it gives you a very
odd feeling because as you watch it it seems you are watching the cabin actually "pass" the shuttle's main plasma ball...as if it is traveling
faster. What you are really seeing is the lifting body disintegrate backward from the nose (in fact you can still see the nose cone separated from
the lifting body traveling just ahead of the point where the crew cabin emerges) and from around the cabin, giving the since that the cabin just
passed the shuttle.
Let's review the structure a minute. A titanium cabin, surrounded by an aluminum lifting body, the two of which are integrated by attachment points,
and not much more. Just as in the Challenger disaster, as the lifting body disintegrates, the cabin, remaining intact, travels on due its imparted
velocity until gravity gets the best of it.
Now let's look at the aerodynamics at the point the cabin emerges. Prior to this point not much trauma has happened to this cabin. At some point
during the disintegration of the foreward section of the lifting body (the nose), there was probably enough breach to cause airflow back into the
cabin which could have caused a number of scenarios (of course, the oxygen bags probably deployed...but there are just seconds involved so we can't
fit too much in there), but as far as physical damage to the cabin, the disintegrating nose of the lifting body is consuming enough energy to protect
the cabin from any destructive forces due extremely high air velocity. In addition, up to the point of the cabin emerging, the cabin is protected by
the low pressure drag wake of the nose section.
At the point the cabin emerges, it is evident it is NOT heated...go rewatch the video. And you see it start heating up and eventually it cannot be
seen due to its own "plasma" shield, if you will. Okay, when the extreme velocity air hits the cabin, odds are most of what was in there got pushed
through the back side of the cabin (sudden full frontal impact of probably about Mach 12-15 at that point). So now you have all these pieces/parts
(including the crew) being protectively drug along in the low pressure drag wake of the cabin. And you can see this on the video. You can see the
lighter pieces of debris, which would not have the momentum required to keep their path, waft OUT of the drag wake and flash disintegrate. (This same
phenomena is evident if you follow a 18 wheeler. The truck, traveling at a sufficient speed can actually pull your car along, but if it travels past
a piece of paper on the highway, it will kick up the paper and the paper will waft OUT of the truck's wake...the paper doesn't have enough inertia
to maintain an even semi-linear travel path behind the truck. This is due to the fact that an object of insufficient mass will be effected by the
turbulent eddies within the drag wake and be spit out by them, while an object of sufficient mass will be able to maintain its linear travel with
little effect from these eddies.)
So the first point is, YES, just about anything in that cabin could have made it to the ground without disintegrating due to HEAT. Now, let's look
at the mini-tape itself. It is my understanding that there was a minitape for EACH crewmember to record their specific comments. I assume they were
voice-activated. The question becomes, where were the recording devices, because the tape had to be in a recording device IF it contained last
comments of crewmembers, right? So where were the recording devices located? Were they on the crewmember's suit??? Were they somehow attached to
the crewmember's seat??? I haven't read anything detailed enough to tell me this. BUT, if they were "attached" either to the seat, or the
crewmember themselves, YES, any given tape most definitely could have survived.
And I am having a hard time accepting this woman's "Oh I feel so bad...I don't have it, I never did. It was just a bad joke." Yeah, right.
There was something said in that original voice message that got NASA's hopes up enough to do an APB on this lady. You can't tell me some
middle-aged woman in BFE Texas knew enough to insert that kind of information in a voice message as "a joke".
Aint buyin' it...and I bet NASA isn't either.
[Edited on 22-6-2003 by Valhall]