Skip to comments.Columbia Shuttle Crew Not Told of Possible Problem With Reentry
Posted on 01/31/2013 8:35:29 PM PST by chessplayer
What would you tell seven astronauts if you knew their space shuttle was crippled on orbit?
It was a question that faced NASA's Mission Control considered after initial suspicions that something might be wrong with the shuttle Columbia as it was making its doomed reentry in 2003.
Wayne Hale, who later became space shuttle program manager, struggled with this question after the deaths of the Columbia crew 10 years ago. Recently he wrote about the debate in his blog, recalling a meeting to discuss the dilemma:
"After one of the MMTs (Mission Management Team) when possible damage to the orbiter was discussed, he (Flight Director Jon Harpold) gave me his opinion: 'You know, there is nothing we can do about damage to the TPS (Thermal Protection System). If it has been damaged it's probably better not to know. I think the crew would rather not know. Don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay on orbit, knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?"
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
If it was me, I would rather know and stay in orbit than merrily come back only to be blown apart and spread all over the Southwest.
You have to tell them. Let them make the decision.
I would have preferred not to know. A quick death on re-ntry is preferable to slow suffocation.
Wild ass guess..You've never been in the Military?...right?
They might have thought of something to do...
Beauraucrats want us all to die.
How insulting that these humps decided what these extraordinarily capable and brave adults were allowed to know about their own fate.
You tell them the risks and wish them luck.
I think you have to tell them. What if they wanted to communicate with a friend or family member? What if something could have been done, some how? What if they wanted to pray before attempting reentry?
I wait for your insight with bated breath......
Not being a smart arse, just wondering what other choices there could have been. Send the Russians up?
Don’t get me started about the truth
Wild ass guess..You’ve never been in the Military?...right?
If you had a aortic aneurysm and surgery was impossible, would you want to know, or just let it burst and drop down dead one day?
Never crossed anyone’s mind that someone on the crew may have a particular faith, and would have wanted the time to contemplate their eternity?
Easy decision to me, confirm damage, attempt repair if unable to repair keep space craft in orbit. Shuttle could at some point be repaired and safely returned to Earth. Crew is doomed, but space craft is not.
If they are not praying prior to re-entry I'm not sure what their prayers are worth anyway.
I believe that qualifies as a non-sequitor.....
One of my Mom's friends was in exactly that situation...she lived 8 or 10 years after she knew about it.
But, having come up with solutions when I have been in impossible desperate situations, I believe they could have, might have, too.
‘Neccessity is the mother of invention’ would apply. Maybe they could not have helped themselves but at least they could have tried.
I would want the chance.
*G*..answer the 7th post to ya...you'll get to see *W*
This was not the same NASA that saved Apollo 13.
My thought is that they know the risks going in. They would have reconciled this with their loved ones prior to the mission. WIth no ability to alter their fate onboard I agree with the decision.