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

Skip to comments.

A rescue of the crew was unlikely
Washington Times ^ | 2/03/03 | Marcia Dunn, AP

Posted on 02/02/2003 11:38:27 PM PST by kattracks

Edited on 07/12/2004 4:00:40 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. If liftoff damage to Columbia's thermal tiles caused the disaster, was the crew doomed from the start?

Or could the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have saved all or some of the seven astronauts by trying some Hollywood-style heroics a potentially suicidal spacewalk, perhaps, or a rescue mission by another shuttle?


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


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-85 next last

1 posted on 02/02/2003 11:38:27 PM PST by kattracks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: kattracks
The shuttle does not carry spare tiles

If the program continues, that's gonna change ...

2 posted on 02/02/2003 11:45:31 PM PST by JennysCool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
I've heard this and perhaps we can get some other comments ...

Why could not the crew have been offloaded to the space station with one taking a spare suit to the orbiter and then taking them back and repeating the process? ... obviously last man off the shuttle might present a drift problem but it seems to me the shuttle could have been evacuated ... maybe not save the orbiter, maybe put it in some sort of orbit (don't know how long it can stay up at altitude) ...

if this is true, it doesn't sound good for the next set of shuttle astronauts, if they can't evac to the space station, given it would be cramped and short on supplies ...
3 posted on 02/02/2003 11:46:19 PM PST by Bobby777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JennysCool
All N thousand of them? Each one is different.
4 posted on 02/02/2003 11:48:48 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
•NASA did not consider a spacewalk by the crew to inspect the left wing. The astronauts are not trained nor equipped to repair tile damage anywhere on the shuttle, Mr. Dittemore said.

this statement makes no sense to me ... we might have damage but since we can't repair let's not even take a look? ... hmmmm ....
5 posted on 02/02/2003 11:50:09 PM PST by Bobby777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
Does anyone have a copy of the STS107 press kit? I've tried several time to download it but it hasn't worked. I want to know the expected landing weight.

I did find several other missions that had landing weights from about 200,000 to 220,000 pounds for other orbiters. I also found a Columbia flight that came back essentially empty at 220,000 pounds. The Double Spacehab weighed almost 30,000 pounds, possible putting the landing weight of this mission at 250,000 pounds? That would make this the highest weight reentry ever, and the hottest.

Also I found that max heating is at 18.03 Mach, a very familar sounding speed.

Is it possible that Columbia was overloaded????


6 posted on 02/02/2003 11:50:28 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
Hmm...That WOULD pose a problem...
7 posted on 02/02/2003 11:50:52 PM PST by JennysCool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Bobby777
There was no provision to take a look either, sorry.
8 posted on 02/02/2003 11:51:33 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
yes, as you say they are all custom-fit ... but I thought they made some sort of repair kit at one time ... a temporary patch, as it were, better than nothing ... any FReepers have confirmation of this?
9 posted on 02/02/2003 11:53:21 PM PST by Bobby777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
Sure would be helpful in many situations, not just this one, to have a "camera on a rope" with a jet positioner. How complicated could such a thing be?
10 posted on 02/02/2003 11:54:35 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson; JennysCool
27,000 of them.
11 posted on 02/02/2003 11:55:25 PM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
What about the simple fact God wanted them to go ?
12 posted on 02/02/2003 11:55:50 PM PST by Crossbow Eel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bobby777
No way to reach the Space Station, which is in a much higher orbit and in an orbit at a much higher declination. Columbia's fuel tank was empty and thrown away 2 weeks earlier. The Space Station has no engines for moving to different orbits either.
13 posted on 02/02/2003 11:56:20 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
I don't have the numbers, but I have read somewhere on this forum that this was the heaviest reentry weight ever.
14 posted on 02/02/2003 11:56:28 PM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Bobby777
They considered such a kit and determined it was not possible.
15 posted on 02/02/2003 11:57:13 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Very. But even if it was easy, what would do after you decided you had major damage?

What about the other thousand things that can go wrong?
16 posted on 02/02/2003 11:59:26 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
When Columbia first went up they had it looked-over by spy satellites and ground telescopes and claimed it was safe for re-entry ... If they weren't lying in 1981, how could that same (or hopefully better) technology not be used today? (if EVA completely impossible)

further, could not they have met up with the space station and an astronaut from the space station take some sort of look? ... they have tethers and suits ... anything would be better than just leaving it up to chance (as we have seen) ...
17 posted on 02/03/2003 12:00:00 AM PST by Bobby777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Probably from me. Now I'm trying to calculate the possible affect on heating.
18 posted on 02/03/2003 12:00:55 AM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Normally, it takes four months to prepare a shuttle for launch. But in a crisis, shuttle managers say they might be able to put together a launch in less than a week if all testing were thrown out the window and a shuttle were on the pad. Columbia had enough fuel and supplies to remain in orbit until Wednesday, and the astronauts could have scrimped to stay up a few days beyond that.

If they had started a rescue plan the minute after reaching orbit, then there would have been at least 21 days to reach them. A Progress vehicle with supplies could have been sent to extend their time in orbit until another shuttle was dispatched.

19 posted on 02/03/2003 12:02:08 AM PST by Fitzcarraldo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
bummer ... how high is the Space Station? ... is it in an elliptical orbit? ... and what altitude was Columbia in? ... (I've heard the shuttle can only operate between 150-500 miles up, orbit-wise) ...
20 posted on 02/03/2003 12:03:04 AM PST by Bobby777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-85 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