Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

NASA: Gases Breached Shuttle Wing in 2000
Associated Press ^ | 7/8/03 | TED BRIDIS

Posted on 07/08/2003 12:20:26 PM PDT by anymouse

Superheated gases breached the left wing of shuttle Atlantis during its fiery return to earth in hauntingly similar fashion to the demise of Columbia nearly three years later, according to internal NASA documents.

Unlike Columbia, Atlantis suffered no irreparable damage during the May 2000 episode and, after repairs, returned to flight just four months later. NASA ordered fleetwide changes in how employees install protective wing panels and sealant materials.

The small leak through a seam in Atlantis' wing during its return from the International Space Station was disclosed in documents sought by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. The mission commander was James Halsell, a shuttle veteran who is coordinating NASA's effort to return the shuttles to flight.

One of the seven Atlantis astronauts, Mary Ellen Weber, said NASA never told her about the breach, which was not discovered until the shuttle had landed.

"There are thousands and thousands of things that can go wrong, and the crew is very much aware this can happen," Weber said. "Certainly, when you learn about this, if it had progressed, it could have been much more dire."

Weber operated the robotic arm aboard Atlantis and flew aboard Discovery in July 1995. She said NASA may have reported the wing damage to other crew members. Attempts by AP to reach the other astronauts by telephone through family members and NASA offices in Houston and Washington were unsuccessful; one Atlantis crewman was a Russian cosmonaut and another has left NASA to return to the Air Force.

NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said crews and engineers generally participate in two months of meetings to discuss their experiences and spacecraft conditions. He could not say whether the shuttle's commander or pilot was told about the wing breach, which NASA blamed on incorrectly installed sealant material.

Some experts expressed surprise that superheated gases ever had leaked inside a shuttle's wing. Although protective wing panels have been found damaged, even cracked, the Columbia disaster was widely believed outside NASA to have been the first such breach.

"Very little information about the flaws of the tile system ever make it into the open literature, so those of us who work on this ... seldom hear much about serious problems such as this one," said Steven P. Schneider, an associate professor at Purdue University's Aerospace Sciences Lab. "I've never heard this sort of leak occurred."

NASA said it later determined Atlantis' exterior wing panels were not damaged by the overheating despite being discolored from the high temperatures. Aluminum structures inside the wing "looked outstanding," NASA said. Other parts immediately behind the wing panels were covered with a glassy material, apparently from melted insulating tile and other sealant material.

Hartsfield said all damaged parts were replaced.

The space agency formally reported the damage to its Program Requirements Control Board, an internal safety oversight body, which ordered fleetwide improvements in the installation of sealant materials before Atlantis was allowed to launch for its mission in September 2000. Atlantis is expected to be the next shuttle into space when NASA is cleared to resume flights.

Weber, now an associate vice president at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, described Atlantis' return to Earth as mostly routine and remembered seeing an orange glow from hot gases dancing outside the shuttle windows.

Although damage inside Atlantis' left wing was detected post-flight, NASA worried about the shuttle's return even before the discovery.

During liftoff, a 6-inch chunk of ice had smashed against the back edge of the right wing; so experts deemed it prudent to adjust Atlantis' flight to rapidly cool its wings prior to the fiery trip through the atmosphere, NASA documents showed.

It was impossible to know whether this cooling technique, called a thermal conditioning maneuver, also helped minimize heat damage inside Atlantis' defective left wing. NASA later determined damage on the right wing was relatively minor.

The board investigating Columbia's Feb. 1 breakup determined that superheated gases penetrated protective wing panels that had been loosened by insulating foam that broke off its external fuel tank on liftoff and smashed against the shuttle. Investigators believe searing re-entry temperatures melted key structures inside until Columbia tumbled out of control and broke apart at close to 13,000 miles per hour, killing its seven astronauts.

NASA did not consider ordering the thermal conditioning maneuver on Columbia because it believed such a move would have interfered with efforts to warm Columbia's landing gear tires for a safe landing.

NASA blamed the Atlantis damage on improper installation of a seal between two protective panels on the shuttle's left wing, "called a butterfly gap filler," at the Boeing Co. plant in Palmdale, Calif., during an overhaul of Atlantis in late 1997. The mistake went unnoticed during subsequent inspections because the part could not be seen without removing protective panels, NASA said.

Engineers found the damage on Atlantis while investigating the mystery of a partially melted insulating tile. Removing two protective wing panels nearby and peering inside the wing structure, they determined the dislodged seal had created "a substantial flow path," according to NASA's internal reports. The gap measured just over one-quarter inch, about the width of a paperclip or a No. 2 pencil.

The protective panels, insulators and other hardware inside the left wing "shows various signs of overheating," NASA reported. Photographs showed charred and scorched components, including parts made from titanium and inconel, two of the most heat-resistant materials on the shuttle. Titanium melts about 3,000 degrees; inconel melts about 2,550 degrees.

Investigators examining Columbia's breakup remain uncertain over the size of the gap that permitted hot gases to penetrate that shuttle's wing. But they believe it was as small as a one-inch slit running vertically up the wing for nearly 30 inches. In a test Monday, a chunk of foam blew open a dramatic 16-inch hole in parts of a mock-up of a shuttle wing.

Temperatures during a shuttle's return can climb to almost 3,000 degrees — nearly one-third as hot as the surface of the sun — along parts of the spacecraft, especially the leading edges of its wings. Damage there is considerably more likely to doom a shuttle than anywhere else. NASA requires immediate repairs when damage to the wing's protective panels exceeds four-hundredths of an inch, about the thickness of a dime.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Government; Technical; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: 2000; atlantis; columbia; goliath; nasa; shuttle; space; sts107
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-83 next last
Not looking good for NASA's openess WRT to safety issues.
1 posted on 07/08/2003 12:20:27 PM PDT by anymouse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: *Space
Space ping
2 posted on 07/08/2003 12:20:48 PM PDT by anymouse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

God Bless America!
God Bless This Man!

Keep Our Republic Free

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at Jimrob@psnw.com

STOP BY AND BUMP THE FUNDRAISER THREAD-
It is in the breaking news sidebar!



3 posted on 07/08/2003 12:21:09 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
Wow -- that's a biggie. I wonder if this was disclosed during the anomaly assessment briefings. And if not, would the mission managers have decided differently if they'd known about it?
4 posted on 07/08/2003 12:22:51 PM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
Was this before or after the new eco-friendly foam was used?
5 posted on 07/08/2003 12:24:44 PM PDT by Monty22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
This is the first I've heard of this. This is BAD! This means NASA safety knew about this hazard, and did nothing.
6 posted on 07/08/2003 12:25:16 PM PDT by The_Victor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
If we launch another of those damned shuttles, we WILL be committing human sacrifice on the altar of Federal Lifetime Employment for Impotent Technocrats.
7 posted on 07/08/2003 12:25:30 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis
ping
8 posted on 07/08/2003 12:29:06 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Free Miguel and Priscilla!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fred Mertz
ping
9 posted on 07/08/2003 12:32:40 PM PDT by MrConfettiMan (Brain tumor survivor since August 19, 2001. Striving, thriving and surviving each and every day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: phasma proeliator
Pingo Senior
10 posted on 07/08/2003 12:45:07 PM PDT by da_toolman (Don't tread on me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

"Certainly, when you learn about this, if it had progressed, it could have been much more dire."


ummm how much more dire do you get than dead???
11 posted on 07/08/2003 12:51:03 PM PDT by paladinkc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: anymouse; XBob
This is really sad. Time was, the astronauts were briefed on every little thing that went wrong or was unexplained.

I guess this must be the "faster, better, cheaper" paradigm...

12 posted on 07/08/2003 12:53:05 PM PDT by snopercod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bonesmccoy
Ahem...
NASA blamed the Atlantis damage on improper installation of a seal between two protective panels on the shuttle's left wing, "called a butterfly gap filler," at the Boeing Co. plant in Palmdale, Calif., during an overhaul of Atlantis in late 1997. The mistake went unnoticed during subsequent inspections because the part could not be seen without removing protective panels, NASA said.

13 posted on 07/08/2003 12:56:19 PM PDT by snopercod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
While I'm generally pretty quick to damn NASA, and I think deservedly so, this entry of super-heated gases needs to be quantified. Was it a minor event with only a small tell-tail sign, or was it significant.

I will admit that any leak at all has the potention to become a larger leak, so I don't seek to minimize this too much. It is serious. And the fact that it was kept secret bothers me.

NASA doesn't seem to have much if any credibility left as far as I am concerned.
14 posted on 07/08/2003 1:00:37 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
Remember the good old days when the crew was sitting on top of the rocket with no chance of getting slammed by any falling debris...?
15 posted on 07/08/2003 1:00:42 PM PDT by RoughDobermann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bvw
I'd like to argue stridently against your arguement, but I have very little confidence in the shuttle any longer, and none in NASA management.

This has been a CYA effort since the first moments after the shuttle broke up. That first news conference sealed NASA's fate for me.

When they admitted the foam strike, dismissed it as relevant and proceded to keep a straight face, I just shook my head and thought, "Here we go again."
16 posted on 07/08/2003 1:04:33 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
Isn't hindsight wonderful. The fact is that since there had been a breach without serious consequences there was a false sense that there would be NO dire consequences in the future.
17 posted on 07/08/2003 1:18:39 PM PDT by OldFriend ((BUSH/CHENEY 2004))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
I can understand if kids grow up not wanting to be astronauts.
18 posted on 07/08/2003 1:19:51 PM PDT by PatrioticAmerican (When the government controls all information, they control you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Well, well, well. Given the fact that NASA totally denied any possibility of wing damage after the crash and arrogantly refused to check for wing damage after the launch shows criminal negligence that should lead to the prosecution of top NASA officials.

Don't hold your breath.


Erik
19 posted on 07/08/2003 1:21:52 PM PDT by Erik Latranyi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldFriend
The fact is that since there had been a breach without serious consequences there was a false sense that there would be NO dire consequences in the future.

Would NASA have done the following if they believed that there would be NO dire consequences of such a reoccurance?

"The space agency formally reported the damage to its Program Requirements Control Board, an internal safety oversight body, which ordered fleetwide improvements in the installation of sealant materials before Atlantis was allowed to launch for its mission in September 2000."

20 posted on 07/08/2003 1:25:23 PM PDT by RoughDobermann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
They had "burn-thru" on previous missions.

I recall photographing several over the years from 1988 to 1998 when I worked at the Cape. They were minor, yet they did "slag" the aluminum structure in places.

As I recall, the ones I shot occurred in the gap-filler area of the tiles. Perhaps missing or damaged gap-filler.

21 posted on 07/08/2003 1:53:06 PM PDT by FReepaholic (Freepers, a fierce warlike tribe from FreeRepublic.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The_Victor
"Did nothing?" Did you read the article??
22 posted on 07/08/2003 1:56:50 PM PDT by ironman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Erik Latranyi
"NASA totally denied any possibility of wing damage after the crash"

I don't believe that is a true statement.
23 posted on 07/08/2003 1:58:17 PM PDT by ironman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ironman
There's a transcript of the original press conference around here somewhere, in which NASA officials did address the foam problem. They pretty well dismissed it. Then later they even went so far as to float a meteorite hit as an alternative theory.
24 posted on 07/08/2003 2:01:56 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Erik Latranyi
If NASA "totally denied" the possibility of wing damage, then why are they now focusing on wing damage?
25 posted on 07/08/2003 2:05:19 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
If "they pretty well dismissed it [foam damage]" by saying they will look at all possibilities, then your statement is accurate. In fact, that's the only way your statement is accurate.
26 posted on 07/08/2003 2:08:05 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
The Rogers Commission's report should have been papering the walls over there. This is so sad.
27 posted on 07/08/2003 2:43:20 PM PDT by mewzilla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy
To: DoughtyOne

If "they pretty well dismissed it [foam damage]" by saying they will look at all possibilities, then your statement is accurate. In fact, that's the only way your statement is accurate.
26 posted on 07/08/2003 2:08 PM PDT by 1rudeboy


Well Rudeboy, for your version to be correct NASA officials would have to have been saying, "We thought the foam strike could have resulted in mission failure but didn't do a damned thing about it."  If that's your point of view, you're welcome to it.  I specificly remember them saying, we considered this and dismissed it as a danger to the mission.  That's what I said and I believe it to be accurate.

28 posted on 07/08/2003 3:37:57 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
I'm sorry, I thought you meant after the disaster. Before the disaster, your original statement is correct.
29 posted on 07/08/2003 4:02:25 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: snopercod; bonesmccoy
Well, SC, thanks for the ping. it appears that your theory of the Palmdale rebuild problem, and flying w/o crashing, has some proof in some pudding - 1997-2000 vs 1999-2003.

Flying with unknown internal damage.

It seems to me, we don't know what is inside of any of the orbiters, sort of like cancer before the days of the x-ray.

How many more places have plasma leaks eaten up interior componenents?
30 posted on 07/08/2003 4:20:00 PM PDT by XBob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
Best summary so far, the only problem with the article is that it neglects to mention that the Vice President (Al - Wolfman - Gore) is in charge of the space program...


Did PC Science Cause Shuttle Disaster?


Friday, February 07, 2003
By Steven Milloy
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,77832,00.html

NASA is reconsidering whether tank foam debris caused the Columbia disaster. That’s quite a shift from days earlier when the foam was the "leading candidate" -- an explanation that quickly became embarrassing.

We may never know precisely what happened to Columbia, but one thing should be clear -- NASA should not be in charge of investigating itself.

A chunk of foam insulation broke off the external fuel tank during launch, perhaps damaging Columbia’s heat-protecting tiles. “We’re making the assumption that the external tank was the root cause of the accident,” said shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore in the immediate aftermath.

It seemed a very reasonable assumption based on Columbia’s history.

Until 1997, Columbia’s external fuel tanks were insulated with a Freon-based foam. Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) supposedly linked with ozone depletion and phased out of widespread use under the international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol.

Despite that the Freon-based foam worked well and that an exemption from the CFC phase-out could have been obtained, NASA succumbed to political correctness. The agency substituted an allegedly more eco-friendly foam for the Freon-based foam.

PC-foam was an immediate problem.

The first mission with PC-foam resulted in 11 times more damaged thermal tiles on Columbia than the previous mission with the Freon-based foam.

A Dec. 23, 1997, diary entry on the NASA Web site reported: “308 hits were counted during the inspection, 132 were greater than 1-inch. Some of the hits measured 15 inches long, with depths measuring up to 1.5 inches. Considering that the depth of a tile is 2 inches, a 75 percent penetration depth had been reached.”

More than 100 tiles were damaged beyond repair, well over the normal count of 40. Flaking PC-foam was the chief suspect.

In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency exempted NASA from the CFC phase-out. Even assuming for the sake of argument that widespread use of CFCs might significantly damage the ozone layer, the relatively small amount used by NASA would have no measurable impact. The bulk of CFC use, after all, was in consumer products such as air conditioners, refrigerators and aerosol cans.

But contrary to the exercise of common sense, NASA didn’t return to the safer Freon-based foam. Instead, NASA knowingly continued to risk tile damage -- and disaster -- with reformulated PC-foam.

This is obviously a potentially embarrassing situation for NASA.

In what smacks of an effort to avoid blame, NASA is now claiming the disintegration of Columbia has turned into a scientific mystery.

NASA says computer modeling fails to show how foam insulation striking the thermal tiles could do enough damage to cause catastrophe -- apparently ignoring that flaking foam substantially penetrated thermal tiles on an earlier flight.

NASA has even offered up the ultimate exculpatory theory -- that space junk or even a meteor could have hit the wing and damage the thermal tiles.

It’s certainly possible that a force majeure could have caused the disaster. But I’d like to see qualified independent experts come to that improbable conclusion.

Instead, NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe has activated the Space Shuttle Mishap Interagency Investigation Board. The board is a standing panel created by NASA in the mid-1990s. Its members are generals and other senior bureaucrats from the Department of Transportation -- except that no one from the National Transportation Safety Board is on the panel.

The appearance of independence is lacking. The board is a NASA creation. Its senior government bureaucrats may be reluctant to blame fellow senior bureaucrats. I also wonder whether the panel members personally possess the requisite technical expertise to investigate the accident.

The combination of NASA’s “lone meteor theory” and self-anointed commission strikes me as eerily similar to the Warren Commission and its controversial, if not dubious “lone gunman theory” for the assassination of President Kennedy.

Further, NASA previously dismantled its supposedly “independent” Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel after it questioned the agency’s long-term plans for safety.

NASA is not above pulling the wool over the public’s eyes for its own benefit.

Facing significant budget cuts in 1997, NASA produced the “Mars rock” -- a softball-sized meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984 containing complex organic molecules. Hoping to boost interest in the agency’s mission -- and its budget -- NASA boasted the rock was “evidence of primitive life on early Mars.”

Mars rock soon turned out to be Mars crock. Independent scientists arrived at a much more plausible Earth-bound explanation for the presence of the organic molecules.

NASA is an agency under pressure -- its mission is unclear and its budget demands are high. The last thing NASA needs is for its political correctness or other avoidable errors on the part of the agency to be the cause of the Columbia disaster.

The investigation into what happened to Columbia needs to be turned over to a truly independent and qualified commission -- and before the evidentiary trail starts to disappear.
31 posted on 07/08/2003 4:33:10 PM PDT by max_rpf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The_Victor
This is the first I've heard of this. This is BAD! This means NASA safety knew about this hazard, and did nothing.

It also means they don't seem to have a database of all incidents that is quickly searchable. This type of information should have been quickly accessable by any of the astronauts and engineers responsible for the safety of the shuttles.

32 posted on 07/08/2003 4:50:50 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: anymouse
The shuttle is a death trap.
33 posted on 07/08/2003 5:57:43 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ironman
NASA director denied any possible link on the day of the accident stating that it was looked at and ruled impossible.

I even remember him stating that it was only a 2lb chunk of foam, so it could not cause any damage, etc.
34 posted on 07/08/2003 6:55:20 PM PDT by Erik Latranyi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
This has been a CYA effort since the first moments after the shuttle broke up. That first news conference sealed NASA's fate for me.

Give DoughtyOne a prize. He (or She) has hit this issue directly on the head. NASA's immediate denial that the foam caused the accident was the most unscientific statement I have ever heard. The fact that it came from an agency devoted to science tells you that politicians are firmly in charge of this organization (probably always were).

In short...NASA suffers from having no clear-cut goals and is stagnating as a result. The time has come to privatize space exploration and introduce a new goal. PROFIT! The heights we will soar to (physically and economically) will be unimaginable.
35 posted on 07/08/2003 6:59:16 PM PDT by F. dAnconia (We say: "It is, therefore, I want it. They say: "I want it, therefore it is")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
We musn't forget the top guy (O'Keefe) with his dismissive reference to "foamologists."
36 posted on 07/08/2003 7:38:48 PM PDT by Resolute
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Erik Latranyi; DoughtyOne
First of all I don't think the NASA Director made any such statements the day of the disaster. The Shuttle Flight Director was highly skeptical that the foam incident was the "root cause." But I think you will find that the analysis that was done did indicate some damage was likely to have ocurred.
37 posted on 07/08/2003 7:41:19 PM PDT by ironman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Resolute
Well after the guy during the first interview stated you couldn't rescue the astronauts, so they didn't even consider it, it was O'Keef that said that wasn't true.

That first guy was hanging out on a number of issues that day.
38 posted on 07/08/2003 7:43:16 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: ironman
I'll try to look into this later. There seems to be some conflicting memories of that and I'm not always dead on, so I'll take another look.
39 posted on 07/08/2003 7:44:47 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: bvw
Ever since Challenger, the Shuttle should have been used only for military missions. Risking lives for "science" missions where many of the "experiments" would be considered lame in a 7th grade science fair is criminal.
40 posted on 07/08/2003 8:03:21 PM PDT by eno_
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

bump to read later
41 posted on 07/08/2003 8:10:59 PM PDT by meema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MrConfettiMan; aristeides; TLBSHOW; Jael
Thanks for the ping, MCM. Looks like NASA is quietly trying to sweep this under the rug. I don't blame them for that.
42 posted on 07/08/2003 8:30:55 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Normal4me; RightWhale; demlosers; Prof Engineer; BlazingArizona; ThreePuttinDude; Brett66; ...
Space Ping! This is the space ping list! Let me know if you want on or off this list!
43 posted on 07/08/2003 8:50:53 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us will explore the stars!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fred Mertz
TLBSHOW and Jael are banned.
44 posted on 07/08/2003 9:01:02 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (BREAKING: Supreme Court Finds Right to Sodomy, Sammy & Frodo elated.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: ironman; Erik Latranyi; DoughtyOne
what crap - "First of all I don't think the NASA Director made any such statements the day of the disaster. The Shuttle Flight Director was highly skeptical that the foam incident was the "root cause." But I think you will find that the analysis that was done did indicate some damage was likely to have ocurred."

We have an engineering/science project here - not a clinton political lying press conference. He stood up there plain as day and dismissed the foam as a cause in the very first press conference.
45 posted on 07/08/2003 9:02:24 PM PDT by XBob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Jhoffa_
I know. But they can lurk and read anyways.
46 posted on 07/08/2003 9:02:47 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: eno_
40 - "Ever since Challenger, the Shuttle should have been used only for military missions. Risking lives for "science" missions where many of the "experiments" would be considered lame in a 7th grade science fair is criminal."

LOL - how true - lame even for a 7th grade science fair - I really liked the 'perfume scent from space' experiment.
47 posted on 07/08/2003 9:05:47 PM PDT by XBob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Fred Mertz
Well, yes.. I suppose that's true.

I hated to see TLB go.

He made me REALLY mad sometimes, but the one thing I can say about him is I always got the impression that he was trying his best.

No hidden agendas or motivations or anything like that.

I can't however, honestly say the same thing about some of his detractors.

I liked Jael also. I dunno what problems others had with her, but she was nice to me.

48 posted on 07/08/2003 9:07:28 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (BREAKING: Supreme Court Finds Right to Sodomy, Sammy & Frodo elated.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Jhoffa_; TLBSHOW
I spent a day with TLB in late May. He is perfectly normal and has a beautiful family and home.
49 posted on 07/08/2003 9:11:12 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: Fred Mertz
That's good. I am glad he's happy.

Our squabbles mainly centered around American Muslims and a difference of opinion as to what should or should not be done to them, post 9/11.

Pretty small stuff actually, far as FR goes.

50 posted on 07/08/2003 9:19:49 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (BREAKING: Supreme Court Finds Right to Sodomy, Sammy & Frodo elated.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-83 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson