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The difference in speed between the foam and the shuttle was about 800kph at the time of impact.
Originally posted by Angelic Resurrection
while i agree with you that nasa was unaware of the danger to the astronauts,
but by the same token, as an engnr, i can safely say, that piece of falling foam just couldnt have managed to
hole the leading edge, regardless of the later lab expt reports.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by TheOriginalMolonLabe
It wasn't possible. The orbits were completely different and the shuttle didn't carry enough fuel to get anywhere near the ISS.
Originally posted by ausername
reply to post by Arbitrageur
What is more interesting is the helmet in the cover image of that video, is that one that was actually on someone aboard that doomed shuttle?
What I found most disturbing in that account, is that engineers at NASA wanted to make satellite photos of the shuttle to assess if there was any damage. The NASA managers actively resisted efforts to make such photographs. So without those photos they didn't know the condition...but had they made the photos, it's possible they might have seen the hole, and then they would be faced with the situation falsely described in the OP...but that never happened...they just didn't know there was a hole.
As for the topic here, deep down inside of most people, if they are truly doomed, and can be informed of that impending doom most would rather not know. I believe that unless you can actually save people, it is better to withhold that information.
Originally posted by SlightlyAbovePar
Look ladies and gents, in the real world you just cant spread magic sauce on a problem and make it go away. Space flight isn't brain surgery; it's harder.
Prep a shuttle to go rescue them? This takes months and months, not hours.
While it was theoretically possible to launch the shuttle Atlantis on a rescue mission, it would have required an almost instant awareness of the severity of the problem with Columbia, a decision to commit a second shuttle to flight before the cause of the first failure was known and a willingness to cut corners to get Atlantis off the ground before Columbia ran out of power and air.
And even then, it would have required an enormous amount of luck, with no delays due to technical snags or even bad weather.
But it was theoretically possible, and many within the program regret to this day that NASA did not at least make an attempt.
Engelauf: "I will say that crew did send down a note last night asking if anybody is talking about extension days or going to go with that and we sent up to the crew about a 15 second video clip of the strike just so they are armed if they get any questions at the press conferences or that sort of thing, but we made it very clear to them no, no concerns."
If Program managers had un-derstood the threat that the bipod foam strike posed and were able to unequivocally determine before Flight Day Seven that there was potentially catastrophic damage to the left wing, these repair and rescue plans would most likely have been developed, and a rescue would have been conceivable.