Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Space Shuttle Disaster
1,Feb.03 | Sthrnldytn

Posted on 02/01/2003 5:09:36 PM PST by Sthrnldytn

I know they said the shuttle was too high for a terrorist to take it down with a rocket. Think on this theory. Couldn’t a hacker do it by computer? They did say the re-entry was done by computer. That is assuming there is a terrorist hacker out there smart enough.


TOPICS: Conspiracy
KEYWORDS: columbiatragedy; feb12003; nasa; spaceshuttle

1 posted on 02/01/2003 5:09:36 PM PST by Sthrnldytn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
Jesus. Go to bed already.
2 posted on 02/01/2003 5:10:54 PM PST by ShadowDancer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowDancer
It's not nice to make fun of other people's questions. Really I don't think they could have, but I'm sure that it is something that they will look into.
3 posted on 02/01/2003 5:11:55 PM PST by Jewels1091
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
I think someone needs a nap.
4 posted on 02/01/2003 5:12:15 PM PST by Asclepius (hater of poets)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
I doubt it. Reentry seemed to be normal, and NASA reported sensors going out on the left wing 7 minutes before it broke up.

5 posted on 02/01/2003 5:12:55 PM PST by eabinga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jewels1091
Okay, you have my apology. Really, I sincerely mean that.
6 posted on 02/01/2003 5:14:13 PM PST by ShadowDancer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ShadowDancer; Sthrnldytn
Despite the snipes, I think this is a valid question and WILL be looked into -- particularly since half the internet was stymied by some sort of hacking just days ago.
7 posted on 02/01/2003 5:20:15 PM PST by JennysCool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
Forget the "Nay sayers"
(No Names Mentoined)
It Is a Valid Question!
8 posted on 02/01/2003 5:24:30 PM PST by Fiddlstix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
It was the UFO that Saddam has. Made of tinfoil
9 posted on 02/01/2003 5:24:46 PM PST by eclectic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JennysCool
Look, a computer that is not connected to the internet has no path a hacker could use
to get to it. It's impossible. Forget it.
10 posted on 02/01/2003 5:26:08 PM PST by MrNatural
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MrNatural
Didn't mean a computer connected to the internet, vis a vis the shuttle; was just pointing out that digital sabotage is hardly an unthinkable concept.
11 posted on 02/01/2003 5:32:27 PM PST by JennysCool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
One of the things that bothered me a little was when the media reports began stressing that "terrorism is not suspected -- the spacecraft was flying far beyond the range of any known missile -- no nation in the world has the means to do this from space -- etc."

If terrorism were a consideration, those would have been the last things I would have suspected. My first suspicion would relate to sabotage of some sort.

12 posted on 02/01/2003 5:32:39 PM PST by Alberta's Child
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
There is no remote access to the on-board computers from what I understand. The code on the machines cannot be modified except in specific ways that require hardware and hands-on access to the systems themselves. The code is very tightly controlled with numerous fail-safe techniques. Any modification to the code to instruct for something so radical to occur during re-entry would likely not have been allowed to be added to the code and found almost immediately. So, for example, a command to move control surfaces in a way that would be dangerous would likely setoff red flags.

Hopefully, that the way things worked.

Looks to me like there was some kind of failure that breached the tiles under the left wing. And once the wing was breached the heat cut the metal like a hot knife thru butter. As soon as the vehicle pitched at the loss of the wing that was it. At that speed and given the physical forces involved catastrophic failure occurred instantly.

13 posted on 02/01/2003 5:33:01 PM PST by isthisnickcool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JennysCool
And I actually meant my reply to all, not you in particular. But still, you have
to be able make input to the computer in question to be able to interfere with it.

A potential hacker just has no way to make input. Or do you mean someone inside NASA
with the right software priveleges sabotaged the code before liftoff?

14 posted on 02/01/2003 5:52:27 PM PST by MrNatural
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: isthisnickcool
Right now I would say you live up to your name. And I would say your suppositions are correct or a correct as we can know now and I was at KSC when it happened.

Ravenstar
15 posted on 02/01/2003 5:52:38 PM PST by Ravenstar (I am not very Ravenstar tonight)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
IF it was sabotage by computer... why wait until re-entry? All seemed to be normal, until the last few minutes of flight. Wouldn't it be much more stunning to have it happen in space? Then, we could start the conspiracy ball rolling about the little men from Mars!
16 posted on 02/01/2003 5:53:12 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: isthisnickcool
Since the likely culprit was the insulation that came off and hit the wing and tiles, how could the insulation just have come off on launch?
17 posted on 02/01/2003 5:54:55 PM PST by PhiKapMom (Bush/Cheney 2004)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MrNatural
Well, when you consider the "modern world," who knows what can happen? My whole point was that it was a valid question asked in this dangerous time. FReegards.
18 posted on 02/01/2003 5:55:04 PM PST by JennysCool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: isthisnickcool
I agree with you that this software terrorism idea is very unlikely, especially because the shuttle wasn't, of course, running on the internet. But I was reminded today by talk radio of the software firm in Massachusetts that did a lot of work for the Defense Department and other areas of the government, and was busted for being some sort of Islamist front.

Certainly, if there was a dangerous code switch, we (or at least, the authorities) will find it. But it's not impossible. Especially as, at 200,000 feet (and 12,000 MPH) the shuttle needs constant attitude control by computer; even a bug that just crashed a piece of software for a few seconds could cause the shuttle to break up. Complex software can be impossible to test fully except in a real use situation, and maybe a saboteur could put some loop in a program that would remain hidden until its one-time usefulness.

19 posted on 02/01/2003 6:00:32 PM PST by DWPittelli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
how could the insulation just have come off on launch?

Since the main fuel is liquid hydrogen, ice buildup is common on the tanks; the ice breaks off in chunks due to the vibration and/or wind early in the launch.

20 posted on 02/01/2003 6:02:36 PM PST by DWPittelli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
IF it was sabotage by computer... why wait until re-entry? All seemed to be normal, until the last few minutes of flight. Wouldn't it be much more stunning to have it happen in space?

It's during reentry that even a minor bug delaying the software that keeps the plane oriented would quickly lead to breakup -- and no human could fly the plane or otherwise override. In space there is no such action that a bug could perform that would quickly destroy the craft. That said, I'd say the sabotage software theory is unlikely.

21 posted on 02/01/2003 6:05:27 PM PST by DWPittelli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
Since the likely culprit was the insulation that came off and hit the wing and tiles, how could the insulation just have come off on launch?

I don't know the answer to that. But no matter the technical explanation the bottom line is human error. Faulty design, inadequate maintenance or a reaction to previously unidentified environmental problems such as cold or moisture may have been factors. Somebody put something together that was not supposed to fall apart an hit something that was not supposed to be hit by it. IE: The left wing.

No matter the cause of the insulation coming off the botom line is that debris hit the left wing and hit it hard. If all I had to debug this problem is the following video I might not look a heck of a lot further. See for yourself:

Slow Motion Video

22 posted on 02/01/2003 6:16:31 PM PST by isthisnickcool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: DWPittelli
I agree with you that this software terrorism idea is very unlikely, especially because the shuttle wasn't, of course, running on the internet.

Please see this article -

http://www.washingtontechnology.com/news/1_1/emergingtech/19926-1.html

I think the foam hitting the left wing at takeoff is the most likely cause of the disaster, but computer sabotage cannot be ruled out yet.

23 posted on 02/01/2003 6:22:26 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: MrNatural
Isn't there something called a pulse bomb?
24 posted on 02/01/2003 6:35:22 PM PST by knarf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
A terrorist hacker?

Is that Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker, or someone from the "All your shuttles are belong to us" crowd?

I sure hope it wasn't a terrorist hacker. If Osama Bin Hacking can bring down the shuttle from 200,000 feet with a computer, then he can launch our own missiles with the damn thing and start WWIII.

Somehow I don't think I'll lose too much sleeping worrying about it.


25 posted on 02/01/2003 6:37:14 PM PST by You Dirty Rats
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DWPittelli
Just changing the code on one computer won't do it.

I'm not sure what exact configuration they're using now, since I left NASA in 1987, and the shuttles have been upgraded several times, but in the past, the shuttles had 5 flight computers on board. At any one time 3 computers ran in parallel, checking with each other to be sure they all agreed on the commands. If one of them started to disagreed with the others, it would taken off-line and one of the remaining two would be brought into the voting.

4 of the computers were identical, with identical software. 1 of the computers was a completely different design with completely different software. Designed by different people at a different company with the software written by different people at another different company.

This was to eliminate the problem of a built-in error in the computer or software design causing unexpected problems.

With the 5th computer a different design with different software, it was thought that this would cancel any errors in hardware or software.

Also the software loaded in the 4 identical computers was not the same. Each computer has its own software load, with separate storage and separate compiling.

That way a random error in one computer's software load would not be duplicated thru all 4 computers.

BTW when the shuttle first flew, the flight computer was about the power of an Apple II.
26 posted on 02/01/2003 7:12:18 PM PST by chaosagent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: knarf
There is an 'EMP' device (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) that will put out such a (relatively)
large pulse of EM that all unshielded electronics will be burned out. But it does work like
a bomb, not a beam. If something like that had been used, there would have been more
knocked out than the shuttle :)

And it would have registered on instruments all over the continent. On radios or TVs it would
have registered as a blast of static, or they would have just gone dead.

27 posted on 02/01/2003 7:23:51 PM PST by MrNatural
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: chaosagent
What about primitive time-bomb?
28 posted on 02/01/2003 8:46:07 PM PST by Rover Young
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Rover Young
Well, I was talking about computer hacking into the flight computers.

But, sure a bomb would work. Either time or temperature initiated.

Temperature would be better, especially if you're trying to take the Shuttle out on re-entry. You'd never know ahead of time when the Shuttle was going to land. It might come back early due to other problems, or come back late (1 or more days or orbits) due to weather.

The interior of the wing would be much warmer on re-entry than any other time during the flight. This could be the trigger to set off the bomb. The only problem would be getting the bomb into the wing area.

It would have to be done by the 'close-out' guy for that particular panel/area. It would have to be placed onboard as the area was being closed up. Before this point, the areas are inspected repeatedly by different people for anything that doesn't belong.

I guess you could try to disguise it as something that did belong, but then it would have also perform that function so that it wouldn't be noticed.

Early this morning, before NASA released any telemetry data, I told my wife that I thought the two most likely causes were a stuck or miscontrolled steering thruster, or a thermal burnthru.

This was also before I heard about the tank insulation striking the left wing during the launch phase.

This, plus the telemetry data about sensors progressively dying in the left wing, along with Occam's Razor, would lead me to believe that they had a burnthru due to missing/damaged tiles on the wing. But I could be wrong. It could just be coincidence.

And even if they had known on-orbit that they had a tile problem, it wouldn't have made any difference. With no Arm and no EVA suits, they couldn't have done any thing about it anyway. At one time there was talk about having some sort of tile repair kit onboard, but I don't think they ever did anything. One problem is that each one of the 30,000 time is pretty much custom-cut and shaped for where it is supposed to go. And getting an adhesive that would work in vaccum and the cold of space, and then survive the heat of re-entry wouldn't be easy either.

Seems like I remember that during one of the very early flights (STS-3? The one that landed at White Sands), they were worried about damage to some belly tiles. Without telling the public, they apparently had the Shuttle turn its bottom to space and looked at it with one of the KH-11 spy satellites. With no further explaination, they later said they had determined there was no problem with the tiles.
29 posted on 02/01/2003 10:07:03 PM PST by chaosagent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: chaosagent
Thanks for answer. I think, you are right.

What you prognosis about future of Shuttle program? And ISS too? Have NASA now any idea to deliver cargo on orbit by another ways? And what about programs which researches new manners for jump out our “gravitational well”?
30 posted on 02/01/2003 10:45:07 PM PST by Rover Young
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Sthrnldytn
You didn't deserve what I said to you and I really am sorry for saying that. I was tense and I took it out on you and I shouldn't have.
31 posted on 02/02/2003 3:43:05 AM PST by ShadowDancer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chaosagent
SDI satellites watched the Columbia Re-entry and recorded the breakup. I received this info from a non-kook who received it from a non-governmental employee (also a non-kook) who watched it real time from an SDI control facility. Right after the incident they told him "I don't think you are supposed to be here".

He said that the video clearly shows the wing coming off.

Wait for the news media to pick up on this angle.
32 posted on 02/03/2003 9:25:30 PM PST by UNGN (I've been here since '98 but had nothing to say until now)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

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
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

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