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NASA Acknowledges shuttle problems - but doesn't really care!

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posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 11:12 AM

Muratore said assessing the danger from foam and other launch debris is an extremely complicated engineering problem made even more uncertain by the fact that computer models show little pieces of foam could cause catastrophic damage. NASA's flight experience over the decades has proven otherwise.

Alright, I know space travel is dangerous by its very nature, but I am surprised that if they have had these computer models all along that they haven't been working on developing new protective measures rather than just saying "well, it'd cost a lot of money to fix, so let's just hope nothing bad happen"


posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 11:28 AM
No surprise. After all, this is the agency that knew there could be a problem with the O-rings in cold weather, but launched the Challenger that cold day anyway. NASA is still operating in their "Better, Faster, Cheaper" mode, with the emphasis on "Cheaper", I'm afraid.

The Shuttle system is nothing but a kludge anyway. It was a cheap "space truck" meant to last a few years until a better system was built with more advanced technology. Unfortunately, that never happened and we can expect to see an aging shuttle fleet develop more unexpected problems.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 11:46 AM
If NASA had any sense at all they would ground Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavor, put them into museums and never let them leave the ground again.

The whole shuttle program should have been scrapped before it began.

Both shuttle accidents were due to human error.
Challenger because NASA ignored engineers telling them not to launch in freezing conditions.
And Columbia because NASA knew there was a possibility the tiles had been damaged during launch and they still allowed those poor seven astrounauts re-enter the earths atmosphere with a chance of burning up.

The rest of the shuttle fleet should only be allowed to re-enter service if:

1.The astronauts are given neccasary training and equiipment to repair damaged tiles whilst in orbit.

2.During each mission, the shuttle is given enough fuel to reach the ISS incase of damage to the tiles which cannot be repaired by someone on board.

3.There is a second shuttle on stand by,ready to launch within a couple of hours. The second shuttle could either rescue the astronauts from the ISS or even a shuttle to shuttle rescue!

I have posted this link before but im posting it again because it gives so much info on why the shuttles are useless.
The article was written in 1980, one year before Columbia flew the first shuttle mission, and yet it describes the exact way that Columbia would burn up on re-entry. (Not a prediction just someone realising how badly designed the shuttles heatshield is.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 12:07 PM
Yeah, I tend to agree that the Shuttles should be grounded. There really isn't anything NASA can do with them anymore, but as has been pointed out, nothing new has come up. We're stuck in a rut with old space technology. That's why I'm betting on Scaled Composites being there to greet the NASA astronauts on Mars when they arrive.

The Shuttles, in hindsight, have been a huge success, but it is just time to move on.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 12:11 PM
I think the shuttle should be used to complete the ISS and maybe one should eventually stay up there in case of an emergency, as long as it is inspected to make sure it made it up there without any damage.

The Delta 4 heavy is powerful enough to get an orbiter with a payload to the ISS and beyond. Either an old school capsule or a new glider like vehicle to attach to the Delta 4 configuration should not be a problem for engineers to come up with. The Delta 4 heavy had a problem that needs to be worked out though.

[edit on 6-4-2005 by jrod]

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 12:19 PM
For one, I can bet anything that the recent overhaul of the shuttle technology and safety cost enough money to buy a load of Progress-M vehicles from the Russians. After all, these are mass-produced, while the shuttle has always been a one-off kind of a system (I know a few were built, but still a handfull).

Losing two STS vehicles and crews is an indication that this is one cranky system indeed. I admire the technology and all, but hey. Even that O-ring problem -- they should have designed it for a wider temperature range. It's not quite even hindsight -- just check the weather history.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 12:22 PM
The shuttles are no longer of much consequence anyway, and they will soon be grounded. They have served their purposes of which, one, was to show our prowess as an aviation leader and the other, we needed them to launch very secret satelittes. Now the space budget is being cut and the pentagon is taking-on more responsibility to build secret spacecraft. Our government would rather we didn't know what was happening in space.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 04:33 PM

maybe one should eventually stay up there in case of an emergency, as long as it is inspected to make sure it made it up there without any damage.

Excellent idea!
Id never thought of that. Leave a shuttle in orbit so any failed missions in the future have a means of returning to earth.


posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 05:57 PM

As with most of the response I also some 25 years ago wrote Nasa about seeing challenger type disaster.

I believe that if Nasa had like the commercial aircraft shared what they built then those "White Knights" willing to seek out their dreams could have taken the design of the Shuttle and turned it into a design we all would be proud of.

I believe Nasa has too many chiefs and politics that it will never become what most of us see in movies.


posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 07:37 PM
One of the problems that has plagued manned space missions is "Go fever" often something is overlooked or blind spots are created that allow for things to be overlooked. THere is just too much complexity and scope of the Shuttle to fully cover every possibility. It is like driving a car. THere is a chance that a drunk driver is going to cross lanes and have a high-speed head on collision with you, but you dont let it worry you otherwise you will never do anyhting. Risks have to be taken for there to be any meaningful accoplishments.

Were the Mecruary flights safe? Not by a long shot there were many unknowns and ever attempt was made to make it as safe as possible, yet we still sent them up. It is the same with shuttle flights.

But honestly, there has to be better ways of brining heavy payloads into orbit.. which the shuttle was designed to do. Yet it seems there has never been much of an effort in the US budget to do anyhting and the private sector will need to start taking the risks, and doing what obviously the government is no longer wanting to commit to

posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 12:58 AM
Its funny how we engineers go to school for many years and are still over ruled by a bunch of political appointees. Maybe engineers should have the final say as to launch or not launch instead of a politically motivated appointee. The buck should stop at the engineers, the people for God's sake built the damn thing.


posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 01:36 AM
NASA doesn't have the funding it once did,unfortuneatly. since the end of the cold war there has not been much emphasis on developing better methods of space transit from the government. Hence spaceshipone. it was a private contest to see who could construct space worthy vehicles relativly cheaply.

[edit on 10-4-2005 by Trustnone]

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