posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 01:24 AM
Originally posted by Angelic Resurrection
visually it didn;t appear to be 500 mph and the nasa engineers
too did not think that strike was of any great consequence
Nothing was traveling at 500mph relative to the ground based cameras so visual
appearance from the camera's perspective is misleading. The velocities at the time of impact were about 1870mph for the shuttle and 1370mph for the
foam block, relative to the ground where the camera was located.
And had the block struck two sections over, the NASA engineers would have been right, it wouldn't have been of any significant consequence...because
that's where they did their first test and the damage was so small, it wouldn't have created any problems with re-entry. In that test there was no
hole, just some micro-fractures.
Unfortunately the section that got struck on Columbia's flight was more vulnerable. This varying vulnerability by section might also explain why so
many shuttle flights before had experienced foam strikes without serious problems, some may have simply struck less vulnerable areas, or the foam
pieces weren't as large. So they actually thought they had some basis for coming to the conclusion they did (They did have a basis, but it was