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Guru
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Should the Space Shuttle Fly?

06/22/2006 8:24 AM

NASA's top safety official and the agency's chief engineer said today they opposed the shuttle Discovery's launch July 1 because of concern about so-called ice-frost ramps on the ship's external tank that could shed foam and cause catastrophic impact damage. In fact, Discovery's flight will be the first in shuttle history with a system formally classified in the "unacceptable risk" category. They do however agree that the risk to the crew is acceptable, due to the safe haven offered by the Space Station, says Spaceflight Now. Full report in CBS NEWS.
What do you say?

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Guru
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#1

Dangerous

06/22/2006 5:07 PM

If the mission poses a danger to the shuttle, then why not resign in protest? My sense is that thes officials would like to protect their jobs in case of disaster by being able to say, "I told you so". Also, this distinction between a danger to the ship and a danger to the crew is an artifical one. An emergency landing - or just the possibility of one - at the space station would sure be good for publicity, though.

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Guru
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#4
In reply to #1

Re:Dangerous

06/25/2006 9:00 AM

I think America is a bit embarrassed by not being able to field a manned space flight. Further, we need the Shuttle fleet to enable the ISS to function at full capacity. My vote: let's go fly!

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#2

Nutshell

06/22/2006 10:49 PM

I can sum up this situation in one word...Politics. My comment would take up considerably more space and time than I actually have. Suffice to say that the whole situation is disgusting. If the equipment is defective then it needs to be fixed. Just because it takes more time and money than some program administrator or other career bureaucrat wants to spend is no reason to put people at more risk than they are already exposed to. Those astronouts and other mission specialists are taking their lives in their hands every time they go up! There's no excuse for not taking every precaution possible to make sure the chances for a safe return are as good as we can make them. If those decision makers are so concerned about cost they should look at trying to cut down on the bureaucratic BS and other red tape and then maybe it wouldn't be so expensive and we could put the safety of the crew first. I could go on but I think I have made my point.

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Anonymous Poster
#3
In reply to #2

Re:Nutshell

06/23/2006 11:33 AM

EASY ANSWER! After reviewing the technical issues, let the crew decide by secret ballot if the shuttle is flight worthy. All crew members must vote yea. Otherwise, give reason (typed for anonymity, otherwise political pressure may sway or remove them).

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Guru

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#5

Shuttle flight

09/07/2006 2:12 PM

What worries me is exactly how much of the upper atomsphere gases are lost each time the shuttle breaks out into space. Seems like a lot of weather changes have happened only since humans have been monkyeeing around out there.

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