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Very close-up, slo-mo of the Columbia launch debris.
Florida Today ^ | 02/01/03

Posted on 02/01/2003 5:03:21 PM PST by Prov1322

Edited on 05/07/2004 6:04:05 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]


(Excerpt) Read more at floridatoday.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: astronauts; columbia; columbiatragedy; debris; disaster; feb12003; nasa; orbit; shuttle; space; spacecenter; spaceshuttle; sts107; video
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FWIW
1 posted on 02/01/2003 5:03:21 PM PST by Prov1322
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To: Prov1322
GREAT! Supposed to read "Close-up"...
2 posted on 02/01/2003 5:04:21 PM PST by Prov1322 (Go Bucs!)
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To: Prov1322; Pete-R-Bilt; Lokibob
thank you... hadn't seen the actual footage.
3 posted on 02/01/2003 5:06:29 PM PST by glock rocks (God bless America)
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To: Prov1322; Alamo-Girl
Excellent. Thanks

Heads up AG.
4 posted on 02/01/2003 5:07:33 PM PST by amom
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To: Prov1322; Admin Moderator
Can you fix his title for this kind FReeper, oh Zotmaster?
5 posted on 02/01/2003 5:08:00 PM PST by petuniasevan (RIP Columbia crew - you were the "right stuff")
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To: Prov1322
Does anyone know how hard this insulating "foam" is? Is it a bit of fluff like polyurethane? Or does it have a hard structural member?
6 posted on 02/01/2003 5:08:37 PM PST by Redcloak (Join the Coalition to Prevent Unnecessarily Verbose and Nonsensical Tag Lines, eh)
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To: Prov1322; Dog; Howlin; rintense; cmsgop
Good find!

*ping*

7 posted on 02/01/2003 5:09:16 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: Prov1322
Didn't look like much of anything. Obviously fairly soft as it puffed into a cloud of frost(?) powder.
8 posted on 02/01/2003 5:09:23 PM PST by null and void (sic transit gloria mundi)
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To: Prov1322
BTTT
9 posted on 02/01/2003 5:11:05 PM PST by StriperSniper (Start heating the TAR, I'll go get the FEATHERS.)
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To: Prov1322
Thanks...good find.

BUMP!

10 posted on 02/01/2003 5:12:04 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: hole_n_one
I just saw video on Fox of a astronauts helmut missing its face shield.......scuffed up....looking like it went thru a fire.

*shudder*

11 posted on 02/01/2003 5:12:40 PM PST by Dog ( STS 107......They have slipped the surly bonds of earth..........to touch the face of God.)
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To: All
Given the speed that both the shuttle and the piece of debris would have been moving when this event occurred, how hard would debris have impacted the wing?
12 posted on 02/01/2003 5:13:21 PM PST by WillVoteForFood
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To: Prov1322
It almost looks as if it goes THROUGH the wing!

Like it hits the top and exits the bottom (underneath) as the spray we see.

But, I don't see how that could be considering the angle the orbiter sits on the ET. It would make more sense if it went in from the bottom and out the top part of the wing

13 posted on 02/01/2003 5:14:25 PM PST by FReepaholic
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To: Redcloak
During certain launches of the space shuttle, thermal protection tiles on the bottom of the shuttle were damaged by impacts from fragments of insulating foam material that broke away from the external liquid fuel tank. Under contract to NASA Johnson Space Center, SwRI researchers conducted a study to assess the effects of these impacts on the tiles so that the safety of the shuttle during reentry could be assessed. A small compressed-gas gun was modified to shoot pieces of the very low-density foam insulating material at the tile. Images of the impacts were recorded with a high-speed digital camera to better understand the damage process. -
LINK from 1999.
14 posted on 02/01/2003 5:16:01 PM PST by Senator Pardek
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To: null and void
Obviously fairly soft as it puffed into a cloud of frost(?) powder.

Butterfly flap it's wings in Brazil....
Hurricane in India.

Chaos Theory.

15 posted on 02/01/2003 5:16:42 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: null and void
I dont't know -- this was extreme slo-mo -- pretty big chunk and even tho' it "puffed" it looked nasty, seemed to me that it hit the leading edge of the wing and then pulverized as it passed under the wing area, I wonder how many tiles it may have damaged as it went under there ??
16 posted on 02/01/2003 5:17:04 PM PST by twyn1 (God Bless America !)
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To: null and void
>>...Didn't look like much of anything. Obviously fairly soft as it puffed into a cloud of frost(?) powder....<<

Unless that "frost" was what was left of dozens of tiles.

17 posted on 02/01/2003 5:20:41 PM PST by FReepaholic
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To: twyn1
Assuming the debris did cause damage, what then could've been done? Could they have docked with the space station and waited for another shuttle to pick them up? Just wondering......
18 posted on 02/01/2003 5:20:54 PM PST by b4its2late
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To: null and void
On this video, looks like more than one piece of debris. I have not heard that discussed.


At the altitude this happened, the shuttle must have been going how fast? 4-6 thousand miles an hour? Ever had a hailstone hit you on the head? Even relatively soft objects have a tremendous kinetic energy at that speed. KE=1/2MV2. So a ten pound piece of foam hitting one of those critical tiles on the leading edge of a wing could just split it like a crystal.

I think that this happened, and the tile was lost and the remaining tiles started to delaminate, and a hole burned into the wing...which would explain why they lost sensor data from the left wing.

19 posted on 02/01/2003 5:21:03 PM PST by Jesse
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To: Prov1322
Look closely at the frame of the debris coming out from under the wing. The shuttle seems to yaw. Camera jerk or a hard hit?
20 posted on 02/01/2003 5:21:26 PM PST by Vinnie
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To: b4its2late
Could they have docked with the space station and waited for another shuttle to pick them up?

I don't know how much oxygen and other consumables they would have stockpiled on the shuttle/space station, probably enough for 10 people to wait a couple weeks or so (did they say they have enough supplies for the 3-man crew until the summer??) -- not sure how long it takes to get another shuttle ready for launch, it has to be a few weeks at least -- also, I think they only have one docking port on the station -- they would have had to "dump" this shuttle to allow the other to dock -- could that be done ?? -- I do know there is nothing aboard available to repair the tiles, and they never really looked at any damge that may have been caused -- bad decision ?? yes, but hindsight is always 20/20

21 posted on 02/01/2003 5:27:04 PM PST by twyn1 (God Bless America !)
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To: Redcloak
" this insulating "foam" ...?

It's a low density ceramic. The ceramic is full of voids. The voids are not gas filled, but are empty space, that provides for the least thermally conductive material. I don't know exactly what the major ceramic component is for the tiles, but I'd guess it was aluminum oxide, because it has the highest emissivity, very low thermal conduction and is extremely inert. The high emissivity means it radiates whatever heat it picks up fast. Radiation is the only way to get rid of the heat. Any carbon in a composite structure is used as a very high melting thermal conductor to conduct heat to other radiating surfaces where the aluminum oxide that protects the carbon, radiates the heat.

22 posted on 02/01/2003 5:28:46 PM PST by spunkets
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To: twyn1
Yes, hindsight always 20/20.
23 posted on 02/01/2003 5:35:36 PM PST by b4its2late
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To: Redcloak
it is a relatively dense polyurethane, with a good protective/strong but light fiberglass like coating to protect it from the weather and keep hail from damaging it when it sits out in the weather.

Hurled at hundreds of mph, it probably could do some pretty good damage.
24 posted on 02/01/2003 5:37:58 PM PST by XBob
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To: Dog
Link?
25 posted on 02/01/2003 5:41:12 PM PST by Quietly
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To: spunkets; blackie
I am no expert in foam insulation. However, the pieces of external tank insulation I have examined seemed to be made of high density poly-urethane. It is designed only to keep the liquid oxygen and hydrogen insulated, not to resist re-entry.

The insulation on the shuttle was quite different, ceramics, varying from high density/temp (black on leading edges), medium density/tem (grey on bottom), very low density (white on top - like merangue on a pie), and then various types of woven and sewn 'blankets'. The holding a piece of the 'merangue' type between your fingers would put finger prints into it. I personally don't think that standing on one foot on a one foot square piece of the external tank insulation would damage it much. And the outside coating is tough.

Hurled at hundreds of mph, it probably could do some pretty good damage.
26 posted on 02/01/2003 5:51:30 PM PST by XBob
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To: Jesse
I agree with your thesis.
27 posted on 02/01/2003 5:53:46 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
Here's what I found about the tiles:
http://www.howstuffworks.com/question308.htm

The space shuttles are protected by special silica tiles. Silica (SiO2) is an incredible insulator. It is possible to hold a space shuttle tile by the edge and then heat up the center of the tile with a blow torch. The tile insulates so well that no heat makes it out to the edges. This page discusses the tiles:

Aerobraking tiles are produced from amorphous silica fibers which are pressed and sintered, with the resulting tile having as much as 93% porosity (i.e., very lightweight) and low thermal expansion, low thermal conductivity (e.g., the well known pictures of someone holding a Space Shuttle tile by the corners when the center is red hot), and good thermal shock properties. This process can be readily performed in space when we can produce silica of the required purity.

And from another site:
http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/r/8/r81/055/space_shuttle/shuttle.html

Shuttle orbiters use a system of 30,000 tiles made of a silica compound that does not ablate, but does rapidly radiate heat away from the orbiter. These tiles can be repaired in space. Major disadvantages are fragility (tiles easily damaged before launch and by orbital debris -- lots of tile damage due to debris since anti-satellite tests in mid-80's) and complexity (many people needed to manually attach tiles to orbiter in a tedious and time-consuming process, and to inspect them all before launch).

It's the easily damaged part that is of interest here. Note they can also be repaired. It would seem logical that every flight would include a space walk to ensure the integrity of the tiles.
28 posted on 02/01/2003 5:56:52 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: twyn1
I don't think the Colombia could reach the space station, too high. But, if they reacted quickly, they could have landed in Spain.
29 posted on 02/01/2003 5:56:54 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob; Redcloak; blackie
Some info on the thermal protection system NASA doc
30 posted on 02/01/2003 5:57:07 PM PST by spunkets
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To: Prov1322
Ice?

The thing the Challenger and Columbia have in common is the time of year...

31 posted on 02/01/2003 5:58:00 PM PST by SteveH
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To: b4its2late
>>...Could they have docked with the space station and waited for another shuttle to pick them up...<<

Nope. Columbia was too heavy for a mission to the ISS.

32 posted on 02/01/2003 5:59:22 PM PST by FReepaholic
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To: Jesse
I think that this happened, and the tile was lost and the remaining tiles started to delaminate, and a hole burned into the wing...which would explain why they lost sensor data from the left wing.

It also explains what the astronomers in CA saw. They were watching and saw debris comming off the aft end of the shuttle. Lightly at first then a chunk.

Either tiles were lost or breached (gouged) significantly by the impact of the debris from takeoff. Once the tiles either "zippered" off or the heat breached the damaged area the wing/hull was compromised since it cannot withstand much more than 300 degrees.

I think you are correct. Debugged that pretty well.

33 posted on 02/01/2003 6:01:50 PM PST by isthisnickcool
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To: XBob
The accident investigation will conclude that the probably cause is tile loss secondary to impact of ice or insulation, whatever it was. Question is, with film of the launch like this available, why didn't they do a walk to check the condition of the wing? Answer: wishful thinking on the part of mission control folks.

They would have had two weeks plus to mount a rescue mission of some sort. Obviously, lots of work to be done to plug the safety holes in our Space Transportation System.
34 posted on 02/01/2003 6:05:28 PM PST by Check6
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To: aimhigh
I used to work on the shuttle, and the various types of tiles are indeed amazing, and the insulating ability is amazing, but they are also amazingly fragile.

Repairing them, well, as each of the 30,000+ tiles is made individually, and is made in a different mold, and is hand fitted and glued onto the shuttle using a very special process, and re-manufacturing them has to be done at Rockwell in California, delaying the launch 'repairing' them was tried, though infrequently, depending on their position and the damage to them. But repairs were not normally made when I was there, 10+ years ago.
35 posted on 02/01/2003 6:06:12 PM PST by XBob
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To: aimhigh
The external tank is a whole different story, and is sort of like a gigantic thin, 2 liter soda bottle, with a thin film of insulation, and the insulation is sprayed on each tank where it is manufactured in Mississippi, before it is loaded on the covered barge which carries them, one at a time, to Kennedy Space Center.
36 posted on 02/01/2003 6:09:52 PM PST by XBob
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To: Check6
>>... why didn't they do a walk to check the condition of the wing...<<

No hand-holds under there. No robot arm on this mission either. They sometimes use the arm with it's camera to check tiles.

I'm not even sure there was an EVA suit onboard for this mission.

37 posted on 02/01/2003 6:10:17 PM PST by FReepaholic
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To: isthisnickcool; XBob
There seem to have been so many tile-related incidents with regard to the shuttles. Is the tech there now to replace tiling with, for example, a seamless covering for the entire vehicle, or am I straying into the realm of science-fiction?
38 posted on 02/01/2003 6:12:01 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: spunkets
thanks - very interesting. the TPS system was not my baliwick. Mine was the OHMS/RCS hypergolic systems (the poisons they are telling you to stay away from). One (fuel) will give you cancer, the other (oxidizer) will eat out your lungs.
39 posted on 02/01/2003 6:16:39 PM PST by XBob
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To: tscislaw
Thanks for the info.
40 posted on 02/01/2003 6:17:08 PM PST by Check6
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To: Senator Pardek
"The Institute has completed a multi-year research effort to develop a computational fracture mechanics capability for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The theory and appropriate algorithms were developed and implemented into an advanced computer program that calculates whether or not a crack will propagate, and, if it does propagate, the direction and speed of propagation"

Your link is interesting, but they seem to avoid answering the question raised -- how likely is it that a crack will form.
41 posted on 02/01/2003 6:18:50 PM PST by FR_addict
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To: Check6
34 - "The accident investigation will conclude that the probably cause is tile loss secondary to impact of ice or insulation, whatever it was. Question is, with film of the launch like this available, why didn't they do a walk to check the condition of the wing? Answer: wishful thinking on the part of mission control folks.

They would have had two weeks plus to mount a rescue mission of some sort. Obviously, lots of work to be done to plug the safety holes in our Space Transportation System."




I agree, or at least use our 'fancy' telescopes to check the condition of the tiles.

Were they equipped to do space walks? Did they do them? I don't know.
42 posted on 02/01/2003 6:21:37 PM PST by XBob
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To: Prov1322
I was looking at this thread, (not having paid too much attention to the title), and my whole computer crashes!

Took me 10 min to relocate it so I can watch the video again....!

Thanks, btw. Good catch. I'd been hearing about that insulation bump all day but saw nothing this good till now!
43 posted on 02/01/2003 6:25:04 PM PST by Humidston (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law)
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To: JennysCool
38 - "There seem to have been so many tile-related incidents with regard to the shuttles. Is the tech there now to replace tiling with, for example, a seamless covering for the entire vehicle, or am I straying into the realm of science-fiction?"

Not that I know of. I think you would have to repeal a few laws of physics and thermodynamics. (expansion and contraction) at different rates, and the 'gap filler' between the tiles.

If you remember, the one and only flight of the Russian 'shuttle', that was the reason why. It seems to me that the interior temperature got up to about 700 degrees or so because their thermal protection system didn't work properly.
44 posted on 02/01/2003 6:26:23 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
As I recall, someone on TV said they "could" do space walks, but weren't equipped to do so on this flight - or it wasn't on their schedule - something like that.

In short, no.
45 posted on 02/01/2003 6:27:59 PM PST by Humidston (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law)
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To: Jesse
I think that this happened, and the tile was lost and the remaining tiles started to delaminate, and a hole burned into the wing...which would explain why they lost sensor data from the left wing.

Maybe....Shards of ice and debrie have impacted shuttles leading edges repeatedly in the past...shuttles return with missing tiles..impact damage from space debrie and cosmic whatever all the time...do a run on the net..the data is there.

Info on STS 107 from SpaceRef.com

STS-107 Launch of Space Shuttle Columbia for Spacehab NASA, SPACEHAB, and members of the STARS Academy have been preparing for the STS-107 mission for over two years. Scheduled for launch on July 19, 2002, this research mission of sixteen days is sure to be an exciting event. With the debut of SPACEHAB’s Research Double Module on this flight, over 100 experiments are expected to take place onboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia. The flight inclination for this mission is 39 degrees and the flight altitude is 150 nautical miles. This mission will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida from launch pad 39B. Seven talented astronauts will be flying this critical research mission. They include Mission Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William "Willie" McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialist 1 Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist 2 David Brown, Mission Specialist 3 Laurel Clark, and Payload Specialist 1 Ilan Ramon. For the STARS Academy locker, Anderson, Chawla, and Ramon are the assigned crew. As the 111th shuttle mission and Columbia’s 28th flight, this shuttle just celebrated the 20th anniversary of its maiden voyage. Columbia returned to service, fresh from a year and a half of maintenance and upgrades that have made it better than ever. More than 100 modifications and improvements have been made to make Columbia ready for flight on STS-107. Highlights include a “glass cockpit” with nine full-color, flat-panel displays, reduced power needs, old wire removal, and a user-friendly interface.

Columbia's launch for July was scrubbed:****

June 24, 2002 Ed Campion Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1694) James Hartsfield Johnson Space Center, Houston (Phone: 281/483-5111) Bruce Buckingham Kennedy Space Center, Fla. (Phone: 321/867-2468) Release: #H02-117 NASA MANAGERS DELAY STS-107 LAUNCH NASA managers today temporarily suspended launch preparations for Space Shuttle Columbia until they have a better understanding of several small cracks found in metal liners used to direct the flow inside main propulsion-system propellant lines on other orbiters in the fleet. Columbia's launch on STS-107, previously planned for July 19, will be delayed a few weeks to allow inspections of its flow liners as part of an intensive analysis that is under way. Recent inspections of Space Shuttle Atlantis and Space Shuttle Discovery found cracks, measuring one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch, in one flow liner on each of those vehicles. Some of the cracks were not identifiable using standard visual inspections and were only discovered using more intensive inspection techniques. "These cracks may pose a safety concern and we have teams at work investigating all aspects of the situation," said Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore. "This is a very complex issue and it is early in the analysis. Right now there are more questions than answers. Our immediate interests are to inspect the hardware to identify cracks that exist, understand what has caused them and quantify the risk. I am confident the team will fully resolve this issue, but it may take some time. Until we have a better understanding, we will not move forward with the launch of STS-107." The impact of the investigation on other upcoming space shuttle launches has not been determined.

So...Columbia see's a complex re-fit...how many systems and alterations....what percentage of errors could occur from that...plus the known cracks in the flow liners.

Data is available on the net as to shuttles returning with missing tiles....with numerous impact damage from man made space debrie....and cosmic strike.

Yes...a burn thru or blowtorch effect could have occured..yes certainly.
But it could be something else...something in all that re-fit and weld repair.

46 posted on 02/01/2003 6:28:09 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: Humidston; Prov1322
yes, many thanks Prov1322
47 posted on 02/01/2003 6:28:22 PM PST by XBob
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To: JennysCool
There seem to have been so many tile-related incidents with regard to the shuttles. Is the tech there now to replace tiling with, for example, a seamless covering for the entire vehicle, or am I straying into the realm of science-fiction?

They should have made the shuttle out of titanium like I understand the original plans called for. If some estimates about what failed today are correct having titanium in lieu of aluminum would certainly have been a major plus if the failure was caused by heat spiking into the hull.

Overall, technology has really moved along since the shuttles were built. So, maybe it's time for looking at a whole new vehicle. Which is no big deal if money isn't either.

48 posted on 02/01/2003 6:29:11 PM PST by isthisnickcool
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To: Dog
I saw that Dog, it was charred up, sitting upright, but looked completely intact without the face shield, and far less damaged than I would have thought.

The interesting thing was that about 15 minutes before, some babe on FOX said their was a report of a thigh bone and skull that was found. My guess is that the info on the helmet find was magically turned into a skull after being transmitted a couple of times by the urinalists.
49 posted on 02/01/2003 6:29:36 PM PST by HighWheeler
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To: Quietly; Dog

A video image of a helmet that dropped into a yard in Norwood Community, Texas from the space shuttle Columbia is seen February 1, 2002. Many parts of the shuttle along with human remains were found in the area. NASA (news - web sites) officials later removed the helmet. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

50 posted on 02/01/2003 6:32:01 PM PST by hole_n_one
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