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BREAKING: NBC News finds Jan 30 NASA Memo showing serious concern about tile damage!
NBC News | February 3, 2003 | Jay Barbree

Posted on 02/03/2003 6:03:22 AM PST by Timesink

Developing. Watch MSNBC for latest. Internal memo shows some engineers believe there was up to a 7 1/2-inch gash from the foam breakoff at launch. Memo was serious enough to go out to all NASA centers two days before disaster.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: columbia; columbiatragedy; feb12003; msnbc; nasa; nbcnews; shuttle; shuttletragedy; spaceshuttle; sts107
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1 posted on 02/03/2003 6:03:22 AM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/834673/posts?page=
2 posted on 02/03/2003 6:04:26 AM PST by TLBSHOW (God Speed as Angels trending upward dare to fly Tribute to the Risk Takers)
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To: Timesink
Sadly...even if true, there is almost nothing that could have been done once launched. I hope we can learn for the future.
3 posted on 02/03/2003 6:05:02 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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Jay Barbree emphasizes that there would still have been nothing that could have been done, even if the gash was that big, no matter how much of a ruckus would have been made.
4 posted on 02/03/2003 6:05:08 AM PST by Timesink (They're the Dissociated Press)
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To: TLBSHOW
Ooh, thanks for that link. I never saw that one. That's a nasty looking photo.
5 posted on 02/03/2003 6:06:20 AM PST by Timesink (They're the Dissociated Press)
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To: anniegetyourgun
Don A. Nelson

NASAProblems.com

http://www.nasaproblems.com/

In a letter to the White House, Don Nelson, who served with NASA for 36 years until he retired in 1999, wrote to President George W. Bush warning that his "intervention" was necessary to "prevent another catastrophic space shuttle accident."




6 posted on 02/03/2003 6:06:38 AM PST by TLBSHOW (God Speed as Angels trending upward dare to fly Tribute to the Risk Takers)
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To: Timesink
Gash possibly 7 1/2 FEET long, 7 1/2 INCHES wide.
7 posted on 02/03/2003 6:07:03 AM PST by Timesink (They're the Dissociated Press)
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To: Timesink
This could of been prevented.
8 posted on 02/03/2003 6:07:38 AM PST by TLBSHOW (God Speed as Angels trending upward dare to fly Tribute to the Risk Takers)
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To: Timesink
This is so sad. These poor people were dead just seconds after liftoff.....they just didn't know it. My heart is just breaking. I grew up on the space coast and I am just aching over this.
9 posted on 02/03/2003 6:07:38 AM PST by volchef (Peace through strength!)
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To: Timesink
Feet or inches? Is the posting wrong?
10 posted on 02/03/2003 6:09:36 AM PST by TLBSHOW (God Speed as Angels trending upward dare to fly Tribute to the Risk Takers)
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To: Timesink
WOW!
11 posted on 02/03/2003 6:10:13 AM PST by Iwentsouth
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To: Timesink
BREAKING: NBC News finds Jan 27 NASA Memo showing serious concern about tile damage!

Another prime example of big government working toward the benefit of us all.

Funded by the taxpayers of the United States of America.

12 posted on 02/03/2003 6:12:29 AM PST by BureaucratusMaximus (if we're not going to act like a constitutional republic...lets be the best empire we can be...)
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To: Timesink
If there were serious concerns they should have left them in orbit until they were able to send up some kind of rescue vehicle, whether it be another shuttle or a russian caspule, whetever. The non-military people could have been evacuated. They could have squeezed them into the space station. There was no need to bring the shuttle back until they were convinced that it was safe.

If anyone in authority on the ground knew this was going to be a problem and did not notify the crew members, then he or she should be prosecuted for murder.

Let us hope that this is not true.

13 posted on 02/03/2003 6:12:48 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: TLBSHOW
OK if NASA did try to make the astronauts aware of their pending demise and also us on Earth, what good would have came out of that. I cant even imagine the horror of having another Apollo 13 type event in which the outcome is death.

And for all you who think Nasa could have done something lets go through possible scenarios....:

14 posted on 02/03/2003 6:12:49 AM PST by alisasny
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To: Timesink
My question is: Was Columbia's crew told about this? Is it routine to tell orbiter crews about strikes on the outside of the vessel during launch? A careful review of all comms during the mission might be in order.
15 posted on 02/03/2003 6:13:03 AM PST by strela (You could look it up ...)
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To: Timesink
Let's all remember it's easy to Monday morning quarterback. Could they have done something? Perhaps not, with their non-existent tile repair kit. "They knew," and "why didn't they fix it?" are not productive comments right now.
16 posted on 02/03/2003 6:13:03 AM PST by July 4th
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To: TLBSHOW
Well, at least the Democrats don't control the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee anymore.
17 posted on 02/03/2003 6:13:41 AM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: All
Isn't there still the option to abort the flight after launch before the shuttle leaves the earths atmosphere? I know that time is short in that margin but it seems there would be some sort of contingency or emergency procedures that would apply.
18 posted on 02/03/2003 6:14:49 AM PST by Cynderbean
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To: Timesink

Is that the Wing? That doesn't look like a wing.

19 posted on 02/03/2003 6:14:57 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: Timesink
Were there not 2-3 delays, did the Columbia take off when it was suppose to?
20 posted on 02/03/2003 6:15:10 AM PST by JustPiper
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To: TLBSHOW
I'm pretty sure Barbree said up to 7 1/2 feet LONG, but only 7 1/2 inches WIDE. But don't hold me to that 100%, I may have misheard slightly.
21 posted on 02/03/2003 6:15:16 AM PST by Timesink
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To: TLBSHOW
It was widely reported yesterday that NASA's budget was severely gutted during the Clinton administration. I believe it was reported that President Bush increased NASA's budget (but the phone rang and I missed that section). Additionally President Bush has had his hands full since 9/11.
22 posted on 02/03/2003 6:15:54 AM PST by Peach
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To: OXENinFLA
What's that thing that looks like a top hat?
23 posted on 02/03/2003 6:16:02 AM PST by Timesink
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To: BureaucratusMaximus
BREAKING: NBC News finds Jan 27 NASA Memo showing serious concern about tile damage!

Correction: Memo is from Jan 30. I've asked the Admin Moderator to fix the title, which s/he has done.

24 posted on 02/03/2003 6:16:52 AM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Apparent minor damage to the protective tiles on Columbia's left wing shouldn't affect the procedure for landing, entry flight director Leroy Cain said Friday. "All of the analysis says we have plenty of margin in that regard," he said.
Click here

This was from an article online before the disaster.

25 posted on 02/03/2003 6:18:54 AM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult ("Read Hillary's hips. I never had sex with that woman.")
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To: Timesink
That picture sure looks like it is in feet.
26 posted on 02/03/2003 6:19:36 AM PST by TLBSHOW (God Speed as Angels trending upward dare to fly Tribute to the Risk Takers)
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To: TLBSHOW
Reading through all these posts I see a bunch of pessimists. Of course, SOMETHING could have been done, but it wasn't "deemed" an emergency. I can think of two or three things that could have saved human lives. 1) we could have sent up Atlantis to get them, which would have been capable of launch, 2) we could have kept them up there an additional week or so until a contingency plan was developed, or 3) we could have developed a plan to hitch them a ride on the international space station. All three, albeit, remote, would have given them a hopes chance of surviving. Instead, it was deemed to be of non-inportance by NASA and the excuse I heard yesterday was utterly incomprehensible: "ALthough we expected tile damage, there was absolutely nothing we could do about it". I don't know about you, but that excuse doesn't fly in my book.
27 posted on 02/03/2003 6:19:41 AM PST by rs79bm
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To: Timesink
Did anyone else see the FoxNews Channel report from a guy in Nevada that has video of the reentry...and there is something following the shuttle? I walked into the room at the very end of the report.

There are two bright lights in a dark sky...suddenly, the one that is following looks as if it suffers an explosion and then you can see a contrail. Did anyone else see the report who can explain it to me?

28 posted on 02/03/2003 6:20:32 AM PST by ResistorSister
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To: anniegetyourgun
Sadly...even if true, there is almost nothing that could have been done once launched. I hope we can learn for the future.

Sure there was. Dock at the space station and return on the Soyuz capsule.

29 posted on 02/03/2003 6:20:37 AM PST by al_c
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To: volchef; Rodney King
Just because the consensus view is that "nothing could have been", I don't think we should accept that until all the evidence is in. Obviously, if NASA was or should have been aware of the problem prior to the landing attempt, it is in NASA interest to spread the word that the vessel's fate was sealed at takeoff. Time will tell whether that is true.
30 posted on 02/03/2003 6:20:42 AM PST by Stingray51
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To: July 4th
Let's all remember it's easy to Monday morning quarterback. Could they have done something? Perhaps not, with their non-existent tile repair kit. "They knew," and "why didn't they fix it?" are not productive comments right now.

BUZZZZT....wrong answer...when human life is at stake its your honor and duty to do ANYTHING to save it. Saving human life goes beyond "regulations and procedures". This is negligence plain and simple.

31 posted on 02/03/2003 6:20:59 AM PST by BureaucratusMaximus (if we're not going to act like a constitutional republic...lets be the best empire we can be...)
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To: Timesink
Yeah, What is that?
32 posted on 02/03/2003 6:21:01 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: P-Marlowe
>>...They could have squeezed them into the space station....<<

Could not. Columbia could not reach the ISS. Columbia needed major mods to be able to do that.

33 posted on 02/03/2003 6:21:52 AM PST by FReepaholic
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To: Peach
I think the NASA budget is the same as it was many years ago-- under budgets from both Bush and Clinton. It hasn't even kept pace with inflation.

This could turn into a big Enron-life CF if Dems were still chairs of the Senate oversight committees.
34 posted on 02/03/2003 6:22:02 AM PST by GraniteStateConservative
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To: Timesink
this morning they were discussing that some NASA engineers suggested trying to fly the shuttle in at an angle to better protect the damaged area , if that is even possible.
35 posted on 02/03/2003 6:22:54 AM PST by finnman69
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To: anniegetyourgun
Sadly...even if true, there is almost nothing that could have been done once launched. I hope we can learn for the future.

Agreed. All of the carrion birds are screeching and fighting and picking.

Now they found a memo. Of course there was a memo warning of what might happened. *What* pray tell, do we suppose they were talking about when they were meeting on the risk and effects of possible damage? Obviously there were warnings and scenarios discussed, obviously they stewed and figured, and obviously they made a judgment call. Every single decision in this business has serious implications. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong. When they are wrong, there is a disaster, but no matter how high-tech, this will always be a very human process, with very human errors.

Those people at NASA have value too. It gives me a vicious pit in my stomach to hear instant know-it-alls on the news and here who not only think they know better, but are willing to destroy the people who really had their heart in this. We ask these folks for their judgment. We ask them to take these risks, and shame on us if we kick them while they are down. We can learn from this without ruining people, I hope they remember that.

36 posted on 02/03/2003 6:22:59 AM PST by HairOfTheDog (I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.)
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To: P-Marlowe
If there were serious concerns they should have left them in orbit until they were able to send up some kind of rescue vehicle, whether it be another shuttle or a russian caspule, whetever. The non-military people could have been evacuated. They could have squeezed them into the space station. There was no need to bring the shuttle back until they were convinced that it was safe.

I've read that the Columbia was the only shuttle incapable of docking with with the ISS, and they simply didn't have enough oxygen on board to last them as long as they'd have to wait for a hastily-thrown-together rescue mission. If the gash was for real, and was the cause, they were simply doomed from liftoff. The only possibility would have been to abort during liftoff, and I don't even know if they noticed the foam that quickly.

The only possiblity I've heard of is an emergency spacewalk, and everything I've heard about that is that it would be beyond dangerous, might save the shuttle but cost the life of whichever astronaut went outside, and just in general would have required NASA to be granted a level of divine luck a couple of orders of magnitude above what it took to save Apollo XIII.

37 posted on 02/03/2003 6:23:02 AM PST by Timesink
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To: anniegetyourgun
Sadly...even if true, there is almost nothing that could have been done once launched

True

38 posted on 02/03/2003 6:23:43 AM PST by Mo1 (I Hate The Party of Bill Clinton)
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To: OXENinFLA
It looks like a faked picture to me.
39 posted on 02/03/2003 6:23:43 AM PST by AppyPappy (Will Code COBOL For Food)
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To: al_c
>>...Sure there was. Dock at the space station and return on the Soyuz capsule...<<

Nope. Not possible.

40 posted on 02/03/2003 6:23:53 AM PST by FReepaholic
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To: Peach
It was widely reported yesterday that NASA's budget was severely gutted during the Clinton administration. I believe it was reported that President Bush increased NASA's budget (but the phone rang and I missed that section). Additionally President Bush has had his hands full since 9/11.

I heard the part about Clinton, and at least when I heard "someone" saying something, they went on to say that things got no better under Bush. Maybe we saw different programs....

41 posted on 02/03/2003 6:24:11 AM PST by need_a_screen_name
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To: alisasny
Re : And for all you who think Nasa could have done something lets go through possible scenarios....:

NASA Options to Save Doomed Columbia Vary

42 posted on 02/03/2003 6:24:42 AM PST by csvset
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To: ResistorSister
There are two bright lights in a dark sky...suddenly, the one that is following looks as if it suffers an explosion and then you can see a contrail. Did anyone else see the report who can explain it to me?

My barely-informed speculation would be simply that some piece of the shuttle broke off and thus of course, immediately lost most of its forward thrust and ended up behind the rest of the craft.

43 posted on 02/03/2003 6:25:00 AM PST by Timesink
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To: Cynderbean
I would imagine there is such an option as you mentioned. Yet, looking at the photo, it appears that the shuttle was past the earth's atmosphere.
44 posted on 02/03/2003 6:25:33 AM PST by Quilla
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To: Timesink
Yep...gash will get you into trouble every time.
45 posted on 02/03/2003 6:25:39 AM PST by szweig
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To: TLBSHOW
How in the hell...after all these advances in technology, are the insulation tiles *STILL* glued on with silicone?

Why isn't the entire Orbiter's belly ONE PIECE??

46 posted on 02/03/2003 6:27:09 AM PST by DCPatriot
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To: BureaucratusMaximus
I wouldn't go so far as to call it negligence. Even educated, informed people can disagree about whether something is a serious problem or not.
But I, like many others, are frustrated by the "We couldn't fix it so why bother" attitude. These are guys that could do pre-natal heart surgery on a goat in orbit around Saturn, fer cryin out loud. They routinely do significant, complex repairs on HST.
47 posted on 02/03/2003 6:27:32 AM PST by djf
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To: ResistorSister
Yes, I saw a report of an amatuer photographer taking pictures of what he explained as: "L-shaped lightning bolts coming from the back of the shuttle". Obviously, this indicates a major heat-related problem. Of course, if there was tile damage of any sort, it would have caused the orbiter to improperly absorb the heat upon re-entry.
48 posted on 02/03/2003 6:27:37 AM PST by rs79bm
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To: Cynderbean
In this case they didn't know until after they reviewed the tapes of the launch. That was the next day so too late.
49 posted on 02/03/2003 6:27:48 AM PST by Iwentsouth
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To: anniegetyourgun
This may sound like a very stupid question, and I don't believe blame can/should be put on anyone. Things happen. But could the shuttle have stayed at the space station and another be sent with something to repair it with, before trying to come back. Have I been watching too much Star Trek? Is something like that possible yet?

Becky

50 posted on 02/03/2003 6:28:10 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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