It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by ambushrocks
I do believe that flightcontrol and all the people directly involved do care a lot for the welbeing of the astronauts but you never know how it works in the other layers of this agencie. I think they (or at least part of them) act totally irresponsible towards the astronauts which lives lay in their hands
Originally posted by Now_Then
People have said that shuttles have come back missing entire tiles - is there any general consensus on when the tiles were lost?
STS-103 (December 1999)
Upon close inspection of the orbiter following touchdown, engineers noted that a black tile was missing on the right inboard elevon, next to the fuselage. The missing tile measures 9 inches by 41/2 inches. No significant damage to the orbiter was found and the flight crew was never in any danger due to the missing tile. Initial indications are the tile came off sometime just prior to final approach.
After each flight, the orbiter's surface is carefully inspected and all damaged or missing tiles are repaired or replaced. The insulation that fills the gaps between the tiles is also replaced as necessary. Following the flight of STS-1, the heat-resistant tiles were replaced and the Shuttle became the first space vehicle to be reused. Since then, the Shuttle thermal protection system has flown more than a hundred astronaut crews safely. Throughout the Space Shuttle's career, there have been problems with the heat shield tiles. On STS-1, astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen noticed that several tiles had fallen off the orbiter's skin sometime after liftoff. Though STS-1, and countless other shuttle missions returned safely to Earth, heat shield tile loss was a constant occurrence. Heat shield tiles were also often easily knocked off by foam falling from the external tank during liftoff.
Originally posted by Areal51
The shuttle is old and it needs to be retired, but given the cumulative knowledge of all those directly involved with the shuttle returning safely to Earth, I think the chances are still pretty high for a safe return. The percentage is lower, for sure, but it must be pretty high for NASA to have made the call it did. NASA wants and needs for the shuttle to return safely. There's seems to be a good chance that it will.
Originally posted by roadgravel
Given mankind's space technology versus the forces of nature there is always a chance of disaster. I hope that if another shuttle is ever lost, fingers can't be pointed to a poor or indifferent decision.