Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

We Have A Problem
by Lee

I wonder how you are able to clean yourself up when you shit your pants in zero gravity.

NASA officials said Wednesday they would ground future space shuttle flights because foam debris that brought down Columbia is still a risk.

A sizable chunk of foam insulation flew off the shuttle Discovery’s fuel tank during liftoff on Tuesday, NASA officials said. They do not believe it hit the orbiter, posing a threat to the seven astronauts when they return to Earth. But they plan a closer inspection of the shuttle to be sure.

The loss of a chunk of debris, a vexing problem NASA thought had been fixed, represents a tremendous setback to a space program that has spent 2 1/2 years and more than $1 billion trying to make the 20-year-old shuttles safe to fly.

“We won’t be able to fly again” until the hazard is removed, Bill Parsons, shuttle program manager, told reporters in a briefing Wednesday evening. “Obviously we have some more work to do.”

Perhaps the “Damn the torpedoes” attitude they took forcing the launch at all costs wasn’t the brightest idea after all.

Posted by Lee on 07/27/05 at 06:37 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/27/05 at 07:58 PM from United States

In space, nobody can hear you crap.

Posted by on 07/27/05 at 08:02 PM from United States

I’ve been saying since the last time the piece fell off that NASA should get with Tupperware.  They make stuff that can go from freezer to microwave to dishwasher and that stuff doesn’t even warp or anything.  I’m serious!

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/27/05 at 08:06 PM from United States

I think they should shield the shuttle in old Christmas fruitcakes. Those are damned near indestructable.

{/silly suggestion}

Posted by Vincent on 07/27/05 at 08:39 PM from United States

Manned space flight is finished, and not a moment too soon. What a waste of money. Hubble and the Mars Rovers have provided exponentially more useful than any manned flight in recent memory Yes, yes, I know Hubble required astronauts to fly up and fix it, but aside from missions like that, with our current capabilities, manned space flights just don’t make much sense.

Posted by The Fly on 07/27/05 at 09:01 PM from United States

I love how this never happened with the old foam, which wasn’t CFC/global warming moonbat compliant.  NASA even had an exemption since the shuttle’s foam had such a negligible impact on the supposed phenomenon of global warming.

Welcome to politically correct bureaucratic crap.

Posted by Aaron on 07/27/05 at 09:02 PM from United States

Manned space flight is finished, and not a moment too soon.

GOVERNMENT manned space flight is pretty much finished, yes.

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/27/05 at 09:08 PM from United States

manned space flights just don’t make much sense.

I suppose you think we can pull all that off with the double handful of men and women that are already up there, eh?

Not to mention that opening space up to the average Joe is the only thing that would save any kind of space program.

Colonies on Luna or Mars require civilian populations, whether (as what happened to Australia and Georgia) those civilians are prisoners undergoing exile, or volunteers looking for new horizons. Or the occasional scientist or tourist…

Any way you look at it, there HAS to be some way to safely and reliably carry humans into space, or we might as well not even bother.

Posted by on 07/27/05 at 09:14 PM from United States

NASA is nothing more than a giant wasteful government bureaucracy that has far to much money. This huge welfare organization needs to be abandoned to save the Billions of Taxpayer dollars they squander each and every day.

Teast flying is not and never will be safe

NASA went to hell when they forgot one basic fact,

Test flying is inherently dangerous and people are giong to lose their lives just like the test pilots who put their lives on the line before them. Flying these types of missions are never going to be like taking an airline flight to grandmas house.

The atempt to make space flight today as safe as taking an airline flight is wishful thinking and has cost the taxpayer billions and billions of tax dollars

Posted by Lee on 07/27/05 at 09:19 PM from United States

Colonies on Luna or Mars require civilian populations, whether (as what happened to Australia and Georgia) those civilians are prisoners undergoing exile, or volunteers looking for new horizons. Or the occasional scientist or tourist…

Jimmy:  Do you think that things will be a lot different on the moon, Dad?
Dad:  Oh, it’s gonna be terrific. Whole new world, new kids to play with.
Jimmy:  Does that mean no more headlines about the rape trial?
Dad:  How many kids get the chance to like on another planet?
Jimmy:  No more kids shouting: “Your old man’s a psychopathic sex pervert”?

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/27/05 at 09:23 PM from United States

I’d also like to point out that space flight IS technically safer than flying in an airplane, when measured in ‘deaths per million passenger miles’…

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/27/05 at 09:27 PM from United States

I think I just placed the quotes, Lee.

Airplane 2, right?

Posted by Lee on 07/27/05 at 09:27 PM from United States

Airplane 2, right?

Bingo!

Posted by on 07/27/05 at 10:03 PM from Canada

The Shuttle is WAY past its intended lifetime.  There are too many chiefs at NASA and not enough Indians. They are trying to do too much, and there comes a point when you have to decide to do some experiments well and abandon everything else.  The space station is cute but it costs too much and the other nations with their names on it are not helping (yea Russia I am looking at you).  NASA should abandon the shuttle program and the station and focus on the Moon (perhaps a Moon base) and Mars missions.  As it is they have the Moon, the station the shuttle and Mars on their agenda as well as an array of unmanned missions.  I have a saying in my lab; I would rather do a few experiments well than a whole bunch of experiments poorly.

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/27/05 at 10:31 PM from United States

Up until just a year or two ago, the Shuttles had less computing capacity than the average home desktop computer, and most of that was on 1970’s technology.

Posted by on 07/27/05 at 10:47 PM from United States

Jimmy: Dad never slaps me around at home, must be his coffee.
Jimmy’s Mom: No, I’ve been serving him decafe. Maybe he’s just an asshole.

Posted by on 07/27/05 at 11:08 PM from United States

SnowDawg (and disturbingly enough, Drumwaster) has it right… the shuttle was past its lifetime when it flew it’s first flight. NASA promised a re-usable craft, and instead delivered the worst of both worlds. Our space program lags way behind Russia when looked at from the POV of payload cost and manned flight safety record.

The shuttle is still based nearly ALL on 1970s tech (except for the aforementioned recent computer replacements. “Oooh! Touch screens! Oh shit I’m dying in a spiraling fireball of doom!").

NASA kicks a lot of ass in some areas. The europeans turned a MARS lander into a hockey puck when they made the attempt. Ours are still wandering around getting stuck (and unstuck) in red sand and cutting up alien rocks. Pretty cool if you ask me, but I’m one of those sci-fi loving humans-need-a-frontier wackos.

And I think our choice is to cut manned missions altogether or push for the moon and mars. How the fuck we get there on an extra billion over seven years remains to be seen. Perhaps this is No Astronaut Left Behind?

When the Chinese turn Mars into a true Red Planet then we’ll get our asses in gear…

Posted by Akula on 07/27/05 at 11:17 PM from United States

We seriously should just liscence the Soyuz design from Russia until we can get a new Orbiter designed and operational.

Soyuz has a great track record, and is more reusable then the shuttle.

Posted by on 07/27/05 at 11:23 PM from United States

Soyuz is just as bad in terms of reusability, those rockets are built for each launch, the Soyuz capsule is just the tip. **Let’s play a game called ‘Just the Tip’**

But its track record is much better.

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/27/05 at 11:33 PM from United States

Posted by hazehead on 07/27 at 09:08 PM

SnowDawg (and disturbingly enough, Drumwaster) has it right…

Given his track record, maybe I should rethink things…

Then again, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Posted by HARLEY on 07/27/05 at 11:34 PM from United States

possable shuttle replacement.

Posted by HARLEY on 07/27/05 at 11:55 PM from United States

space travel will not be easy of safe for a long time, especially using the methods were are using today. However it is foolish to say that because of a few disasters we should turn our backs on it…
how many hundreds or thousands of ships were lost exploring the oceans from the old world? How many airplanes and crews were lost in the early days of flight, and even today?

NASA’s problem is many fold , from the bureaucracy to the budget woes and having policy that is changed with every admistration.....
With private efforts getting off the ground NASA should encourage this and give them any help they need and continue with the scientific research and plans for bases on the moon and Mars, by then the commercial/private sector business should be able to take up from there ..and let NASA fade away..

The Shuttle is Way past its prime, a small replacement vehicle to moves crews back and fort from earth, and a dedicated base of operation to maintain our prescience in space should be the goal of NASA in the next few years, however considering the problems with the ISS and the Shuttle now.. I’m not really encouraged....

Posted by Aaron on 07/28/05 at 12:59 AM from United States

how many hundreds or thousands of ships were lost exploring the oceans from the old world? How many airplanes and crews were lost in the early days of flight, and even today?

If liberals had been around in the early 19th century, they would’ve banned the railroads, which were a downright murder pit.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 02:07 AM from United States

I doubt manned space travel is gone for good.  A Probe is nice but a human can still do quite a bit more and...though it is probably far, far in the future...the whole point of space travel is the realization that earth will eventually run out of space. 

That said, I agree with everyone here in that the Space Shuttle has to go.  Now that 40% of them have blown up I’ve lost my faith in the damn thing.  That is, I’d lost my faith even BEFORE they announced that, if not for luck sheer luck, the Discovery would have sustained the same damage that caused the Columbia disaster. 

I think its long past time to privatize space travel.

Posted by Loud on 07/28/05 at 02:17 AM from United States

NASA is nothing more than a giant wasteful government bureaucracy that has far to much money. This huge welfare organization needs to be abandoned to save the Billions of Taxpayer dollars they squander each and every day.

NASA’s budget makes up about 0.17%, as in 17/100ths of 1 percent, of the federal budget.  It’s like #15 on the list of the crap the federal government spends money on.  If you siphoned NASA’s budget into the welfare budget, the effect would be negligible.  NASA is most certainly NOT over-funded.  The MSM likes to emphasize how much a mission costs without explaining that the cost is over a period of many years.  Though, I do agree that private corporations would be able to put civilians on the moon faster than NASA will (gotta love free-market capitalism), NASA is not a waste of money.  I just fear the Fight Club vision of a “Microsoft Galaxy” and “Planet Starbucks.”

Posted by Galt1138 on 07/28/05 at 06:25 AM from United States

I love how this never happened with the old foam, which wasn’t CFC/global warming moonbat compliant.  NASA even had an exemption since the shuttle’s foam had such a negligible impact on the supposed phenomenon of global warming.

Welcome to politically correct bureaucratic crap.

I think Shipman’s right about this. After the Columbia tragedy, I recall reading a handful of articles that addressed this very issue. But, those disappeared very soon thereafter. We wouldn’t want to expose the Wizard of Oz standing behind the environmentalist movement curtain, would we?

Posted by HARLEY on 07/28/05 at 09:47 AM from United States

shipman is right, they are using the refomulated foam, that was mandated by Clintions EPA maniaics.

The orgional faom did not have this problem,, but teh EPA demanded teh change sine that orginal foam uses CFC"S tinthe mfg, and application process.
the brittle ness and teandasy for breakaways was brought up sewveral times.
NASA WATCH is a good place to keep up on things

Posted by HARLEY on 07/28/05 at 09:48 AM from United States

crsap.. hard to type with your son in your arms…

Posted by HARLEY on 07/28/05 at 10:13 AM from United States

foam flaking report
FOX news Report

some more infomation

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 10:18 AM from United States

Two words.  Low bid.  No assembly required.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 11:10 AM from United States

If liberals had been around in the early 19th century, they would’ve banned the railroads, which were a downright murder pit.

Don’t forget the air pollution from burning coal and wood, the deforestation and mining needed just to lay tracks.  Destruction of the envirnment. 

Pretty sad state of the world when we can still kick ass in space with 1970s elcetronics.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 01:06 PM from United States

"Did PC Science Cause Shuttle Disaster?”

Wonder why CNN won’t ever cover that one… hmmm.

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