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Making The Present Shuttle Safer!

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posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Well, it's more than that. The Columbia did not have a docking port for docking to the ISS. It was never intended to dock to the ISS. That's why it was the dedicated "science mission" shuttle. Also, the Columbia was heavier than the other shuttles, so there are some issues there as well.


Youve actually just reminded me, wasnt it impossible for Columbia to ever dock with the ISS?

Im sure Columbia was too heavy to dock!

I'll just check and edit if i find anything!





posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee

Originally posted by Valhall
Well, it's more than that. The Columbia did not have a docking port for docking to the ISS. It was never intended to dock to the ISS. That's why it was the dedicated "science mission" shuttle. Also, the Columbia was heavier than the other shuttles, so there are some issues there as well.


Youve actually just reminded me, wasnt it impossible for Columbia to ever dock with the ISS?

Im sure Columbia was too heavy to dock!

I'll just check and edit if i find anything!



Well, yeah, that's what I'm saying. But the heavy part isn't the major factor here. The Columbia couldn't dock to the ISS because it had no docking port...period. Wasn't there.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Well, yeah, that's what I'm saying. But the heavy part isn't the major factor here. The Columbia couldn't dock to the ISS because it had no docking port...period. Wasn't there.



So really NASA had no possible way of saving them!

With no shuttle ready to launch for a 'Hollywood Style' rescue mission, there was Nothing NASA could do but let them re-enter!

I know crews will be given materials to fix the underside in the future, but will NASA have a 2nd shuttle ready in the future incase there is too much damage?

I dont think they will!




posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee

So really NASA had no possible way of saving them!

With no shuttle ready to launch for a 'Hollywood Style' rescue mission, there was Nothing NASA could do but let them re-enter!




EXACTLY! And I've tried to bring home this point before in other threads, but people seem to just read over it. There was nothing else that could be done in the case of the Columbia incident. BUT, the crew did NOT know they were going to die. And that's why I thought murc was misunderstanding you. The severity of the problem was not known when Columbia re-entered. But even if the odds were clearly known and they were told "90% chance you won't make it back alive" - the odds would have still been best to try because they would have been facing a 100% chance of death if they didn't. And you are right to point out the "Hollywood-style" antics people seem to expect. Yeah, Bruce Willis and company can land a shuttle-type craft on an asteroid and save the world in make-believe land, but it aint happening just yet in real life.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee
I did say that they tried to land a wounded Columbia because they did!

And NASA had a very good idea that Columbia was damaged.

NASA found the video footage of the foam hitting the underside of the shuttle only a couple of days after launch and knew there was a risk of her burning up on re-entry!

The only reason Columbia was allowed to return is because there wasnt enough fuel on-board to take Columbia to the ISS, and there was no shuttle ready to attempt an in orbit rescue mission!

NASA also know that even if the Astronauts performed an unplanned spacewalk to investigate the tiles, there was no equipment on board to fix the leading edge of the wing!

I'll try and find some links to this because i know you wont believe me Murc!


Edit To Add Links:


Originally From Space.com
NASA knew from Day Two of Columbia's 16-day research mission that a piece of the insulating foam on the external fuel tank peeled off just after liftoff and struck the left wing, possibly ripping off some of the tiles that keep the ship from burning up when it re-enters Earth's atmosphere.

A frame-by-frame analysis of launch video and film clearly showed a clump of something streaking away from Columbia 80 seconds into the flight.


Link to Space.com


[edit on 1/6/2005 by MickeyDee]


foam has struck the shuttles leading edges on there wings dozens of times, and what happened to the shuttle after it happened? nothing, it always came back fine, and the ground crew fixes er up again.

I bolded the part of your link thats important. Yes of course the people on board new nothing of it, but the ground crew didn't know that it wouldn't make it back to earth either.

foam hitting the shuttle was a common occurence.



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 09:12 AM
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This may be a liitle off subject but do you's think that NASA were right not to warn the crew that the shuttle may be damaged???





posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 03:09 PM
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I am no expert, but I think the largest problem is the high temperature during the reentry causing severe problems (not only in security but also in maintance - the ceramic tiles). This is because the speed is too high - over 30Mach. But couldn/t they use the parachute (like capsules) to slow the speed down? I know it would be not enough for parachute landing but at least the speed would be much lower which means lower temperature. After the use the parachute could be dropped and the flight could continue normally. Now I think they only use the parachute during landing on runway.



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by longbow
But couldn/t they use the parachute (like capsules) to slow the speed down?


The problem with this would be the landing!

When the shuttle re-enters the Earth's atmosphere it has nearly no power at all and has to glide back to Earth.
If there was a parachute deployed it would make the shuttle fall straight down and it would be unable to level itself to land on the runway!




posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 05:19 PM
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Could small boosters like the ones used to change direction on re-entry not be used underneath to slow the shuttle down?

The slower the shuttle is going the less heat generates outside!




posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 05:24 PM
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it goes around mach 25, not 30.

Capsules use the parachutes later on, otherwise the parachute would rip off or be cooked, which then the capsule would hit the ground like a ton of bricks.

It has wings, so there no use for a parachute...except for after it lands on the runway.

When it hits our atmosphere its speed casuses friction, which causes heat, theres no air, so the parachute wouldn't do anything.



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee
This may be a liitle off subject but do you's think that NASA were right not to warn the crew that the shuttle may be damaged???




Okay, first off, the crew knew that there appeared to be some damage to the tiles. They weren't clueless. But I'm going to extrapolate your question out to where I think you meant it. Would NASA have been okay with not telling the crew that they were like 90% screwed blue'd and tattoo'd on their re-entry?

YES. Let's look at the facts again. There was no other alternative. To not try re-entry would have been 100% assured death. To try re-entry - even if NASA placed it as high as 90% against success, would still have been a significant increase in chances of survival.

So do you tell 7 people they have a 10% (or whatever) chance of living and let them emotionally suffer through the re-entry??? Or do you let them take the only chance they have and let them enjoy the last few minutes that could have turned out okay? I say - what is the positive in telling them? There is none.



[edit on 6-2-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by longbow
I am no expert, but I think the largest problem is the high temperature during the reentry causing severe problems (not only in security but also in maintance - the ceramic tiles). This is because the speed is too high - over 30Mach. But couldn/t they use the parachute (like capsules) to slow the speed down? I know it would be not enough for parachute landing but at least the speed would be much lower which means lower temperature. After the use the parachute could be dropped and the flight could continue normally. Now I think they only use the parachute during landing on runway.


There is no where that parachutes can be deployed prior to the runway. The shuttle uses a series of "S-banks" during the final stages of re-entry to burn off speed prior to coming in for the landing. The speed during re-entry is Mach 18 or lower...and don't be fooled by this number because NASA reports Mach as 1000 mph x M - so Mach 15 = 15,000 mph for a NASA statement of speed. That statement will be regardless of altitude and speed of sound at that altitude if the statement is made to the general public. So the true Mach number will deviate from the actual according to what altitude the craft is at - but the deviations aren't great enough to concern us here.

In LEO the orbital velocity is right at 17,000 mph. It's gradually slowing down from the moment it fires the retro-burn on orbit. - Hence re-entry. So you can count the shuttle's max velocity during re-entry no greater than Mach 18 - and that's at the point of least atmosphere.



[edit on 6-2-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 11:28 PM
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Valhall
I say - what is the positive in telling them? There is none.


First off, I dont think they had any idea of any damage.

But for your question: They could of each recorded themselves privetly and individualy, leaving a last message to there wifes and/or kids, and said there goodbye's. and then send it down to Nasa for them to just put it in a folder on there computer, and if they made, then the only people who knew about the message was a couple nasa emplotees and the astraunauts, and they would get deleted, if they didn't make it then Nasa would give each husband or wife (or I guess widdow now) there own tape.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 05:36 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

Valhall
I say - what is the positive in telling them? There is none.


First off, I dont think they had any idea of any damage.



Yeah, I believe there were on-orbit conferences between MCC and them about the launch video showing the impact and that there was concern it could have caused damage but no idea if it did or how much.

I'll review the report again and get back with you.

Points well taken on the statements to the family - that would have been a positive. Let's just keep clear though, that my situation was hypothetical. I do not believe any one involved knew 1. that there was damage for sure, and 2. definitely not that the astronauts were about to die.


[edit on 6-3-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 05:55 AM
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Okay, here is a series of emails uplinked/downlinked between Steve Stich and the crew on January 23rd letting them know of the impact seen on the video.

www.nasa.gov...

As you can see, at that time, at least Mr. Stich did not have any concerns. This may have been the only communication with the crew that took place on the issue.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 06:46 AM
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I believe NASA should have warned them there was a risk of burn up and like Murc said, they could have recorded personal messages for loved ones!

I do agree that NASA had to attempt re-entry as there was no other alternative, but the reason i am annoyed is because there SHOULD be an alternative!

Upcoming shuttle flights should have a backup plan incase of damage, but no doubt NASA will not!




posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 07:01 AM
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Originally posted by Identity_Unknown
I believe NASA should have warned them there was a risk of burn up and like Murc said, they could have recorded personal messages for loved ones!



Wait - already statements have been manipulated. Neither Murc nor I said that MCC knew for sure there was damage, how extensive that damage was, or that there was any real risk on re-entry. Just wanted to clear that up. Our conversation on that point was rhetorical.


I do agree that NASA had to attempt re-entry as there was no other alternative, but the reason i am annoyed is because there SHOULD be an alternative!

Upcoming shuttle flights should have a backup plan incase of damage, but no doubt NASA will not!


I agree there should be an alternative - if an alternative is feasible. Feasible has many facets to it:

1. Can it be done at all?
2. Can it be done reasonably?
3. Does the crew buy into it? And would their decision, once the alternative was presented (that means the impact to the program and the cost to the program and the odds it would work) buy into it?

Example:

After Challenger an alternative to allow crew to exit the shuttle cabin in case of catastrophic events during launch to orbit was devised and implemented. My personal opinion is that this "alternative" was done for no reason other than to appease the general populace and the ignorant politicians. I don't believe the crew buys that it is a feasible escape mechanism.

What is it? A telescoping pole that will be poked out the cabin door and on which the crew evacuates.

Yeah - if my "alternative" is to rely on a telescoping pole sticking out of a vehicle traveling at Mach 8, and me shimmy out on that pole and parachute off - my one good brain cell is telling me - I'm screwed, blue'd and tattoo'd...but I'll go with the "game".

[edit on 6-3-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by Identity_Unknown
Could small boosters like the ones used to change direction on re-entry not be used underneath to slow the shuttle down?

The slower the shuttle is going the less heat generates outside!




I have thought this before!

If the shuttle was slowed down to several hundred mph during re-entry then it wouldnt even need a heat shield.
Why cant NASA install boosters/thrusters that slow a shuttle down whilst coming through the atmosphere?



[edit on 8/6/2005 by MickeyDee]



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee

Originally posted by Identity_Unknown
Could small boosters like the ones used to change direction on re-entry not be used underneath to slow the shuttle down?

The slower the shuttle is going the less heat generates outside!




I have thought this before!

If the shuttle was slowed down to several hundred mph during re-entry then it wouldnt even need a heat shield.
Why cant NASA install boosters/thrusters that slow a shuttle down whilst coming through the atmosphere?



[edit on 8/6/2005 by MickeyDee]


Woa woa woa! If you slow the shuttle down faster you create more heat. They burn off their speed as quickly as they can right now. It is the slowing down part that creates the heat. You have to consider that the shuttle is still flying an orbiting path as it re-enters. If you use further propulsion burns to slow it more then it will drop in its orbital radius according to the speed it is at - because the slower the velocity the smaller the orbital radius has to be. So you would create a tremendously steep orbital descent that would cause major heating of the vehicle.

What I'm saying is - if you really want to do away with the need for heat shields, then you allow them to come in fast and gradually decrease their speed over several diminishing orbits. In other words, let their orbit decay slowly and let them "fall" in close to naturally.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 05:09 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
What I'm saying is - if you really want to do away with the need for heat shields, then you allow them to come in fast and gradually decrease their speed over several diminishing orbits. In other words, let their orbit decay slowly and let them "fall" in close to naturally.



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