I want to write some concluding remarks for this thread.
On February 1st, 2003, at precisely 9:04 AM EST (14:04 GMT), the Mission Status Center logged the following: “We're getting reports from Texas of
debris behind the shuttle's plasma trail during reentry.” See here
report, which chronicles the mundane last hours prior just to the shuttle's fateful disintegration.
Five years later, tomorrow, is the anniversary of this event. I contend that we still don’t know what really happened, or whether we can trust an
organization so venerable as NASA. We don’t know whether we can rely on this group, charged with seeking the truth, to actually tell us the
Most of us have accepted the official story. I guess everyone wants to move on. The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection
interprets it. That may be best.
At the edge of Kennedy Space Center in Florida is a wall of polished black granite slabs, over forty feet tall. The wall is built on massive
mechanical gimbals, designed to continuously rotate and tilt the wall so that it always faces directly into the Florida sun.
This is the “Space Mirror Memorial”. It is called this because, behind the black granite wall, is a giant mirror, which reflects the sunlight
through the carved names of all the astronauts who have died in service to the US space program. Seven of those names are from STS-107.
There are ninety granite panels in the memorial. Unhappily, twenty-four panels have already been used, each with the name of a departed astronaut.
There is room for an additional sixty-six more astronaut fatalities, anticipated in the future.
In a bitter irony, the Space Mirror Memorial broke in 1997, when a slewing ring failed in the sun tracking gimbals. This mechanical failure of the
memorial was never fixed. Rather than making the repairs necessary to allow the massive memorial to continuously track the sun, it was decided to lock
the memorial gimbals in a single position, facing the highway and the stream of tourists coming to the KSC visitor’s center.
Pictures of this unique memorial are available here.
It seems a sad allegory to the other parts of the USA space program. Once, NASA represented the pinnacle of human achievement, and our dreams of human
manifest destiny. It was a brief time in our history.
Now, NASA engenders threads such as this. Something is very dysfunctional. That should be clear from this thread, and many others here on ATS that
make allegations about NASA cover-ups. We should always be prepared to be surprised, yet again.
[edit on 31-1-2008 by Buck Division]