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Faith in NASA?? Neither does NASA!

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posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:25 PM
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I just read this article... seems amazing that they are already thinking of a contingencey plan that something would happen.

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The shuttle Endeavour is on standby in case the seven astronauts who go up on Atlantis next month need a safer ride home.


All the other missions since the Columbia tragedy have been to the space station, so they could stay there for upto two months if there were any problems.

The way I see it... they should have had back-up plans on every trip before... who knows what could happen on a normal flight and they still couldnt get to the space station.

Just thought it was kinda odd.




posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:48 PM
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That's one thing I don't understand, why didn't they bring up a rescue pod similar to the space capsules the Russians use, and dock it or attach it to the space station years ago for emergencies? Now if there were a real emergency with the space shuttle, and they were to use another space shuttle for rescue, doesn't that add a huge percentage of something going wrong with the second shuttle launch? After all their safety record relatively speaking is not great.

Maybe it has something to do with Russia not being our pets anymore.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by 38181
That's one thing I don't understand, why didn't they bring up a rescue pod similar to the space capsules the Russians use, and dock it or attach it to the space station years ago for emergencies?


There is a Soyuz craft docked to the space station at all times in case of an emergency. It only has enough room for the 3 astronauts though, not nearly enough for the shuttle's crew.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by simon_alex0327
The way I see it... they should have had back-up plans on every trip before... who knows what could happen on a normal flight and they still couldnt get to the space station.

Every post-columbia shuttle mission has had an STS-3XX contengiency mission on standby. Naturally those missions have always counted on the orbiter being able to reach the station as a safe haven, giving the rescue mission time to finish preparing. The only way that wouldn't be possible is in case of a launch abort. RTLS does not require an intact heat shield per se, but is very risky by nature. TAL aborts require an intact heat shield, but if that is not the case there is nothing anyone can do anyway. AOA requires an intact heat shield, but again, there is no time for a rescue mission even if it were launched immediately. ATO is the one abort where I can see you might have a point to be made, and indeed this abort mode has been used once before in the shuttle's flight history (STS-51F Challenger).

If the shuttle must abort to orbit it will not acheive the pre-planned altitude and will most likely not be able to dock with the station unless drastic measures are taken. They might be able to squeeze out a little more delta-V by dumping whatever cargo they're carrying in the payload bay immediately after reaching orbit and by using every last bit of OMS fuel since they have no intention of flying it back to earth afterwards (the rescue shuttle could deorbit it to dispose of it later). Whether that's enough to make up the gap would be determined by how prematurely their engine or engines shut down. I could run it through orbiter simulator, but I think it should be enough to make up the difference in nearly all cases.

[edit on 19-9-2008 by ngchunter]


jra

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 04:38 PM
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NASA has always had a backup Shuttle ready for every mission post Columbia, incase anything were to go wrong. The only difference this time is that both Shuttles will be on the launch pads at the same time, due to the fact that Atlantis won't have the ability to stay at the ISS, so the backup needs to be ready to go ASAP.

You can see a list of them here under "Special missions".

This has nothing to do with NASA having a lack of faith in themselves or there equipment. They're just playing it safe.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:36 PM
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ok... But with the track record of the shuttle... Columbia/Challenger AND with the problems on every flight it seems.... problems of the foam issue, the tiles etc. Why wouldnt they have some plan in place for the safe return of the astronauts??

I would have thought that the shuttles would be prepared and ready to go out on both launch pads on every trip.... not just this one time.

Its an option that is available, but has never been used before. Surely... "ready to go asap" would be primed and on the pad ready to go.... sounds like policy has changed at NASA??
If I was an astronaut, my wife would be pushing for every contingency plan going ( shes fallen behind on the life insurance policy! ), so why hasent NASA ever looked into this before???



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by simon_alex0327
ok... But with the track record of the shuttle... Columbia/Challenger AND with the problems on every flight it seems.... problems of the foam issue, the tiles etc. Why wouldnt they have some plan in place for the safe return of the astronauts??

That's just it though, this plan has always been in place. This is just the first mission post-columbia where they have had to alter the plan because the station cannot serve as a safe haven. Other than that the plan is basically the same (though the shuttle-to-shuttle transfer requirement is also new). The time constraints of this mission just make the previously-existing backup option more visible.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 02:58 PM
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hmm , they are dammed if they do , dammed if they do not - having a contingency plan = common sense , not ` lack of faith `

if they had no contingency , idiots would lambast them for being ` unprepared ` if something did occur



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