Space shuttle

Dan Osterrath do3 at
Wed Feb 5 10:13:23 PST 2003

Hash: SHA1

OK, as I promised here are some more information:

1. There were no space suits at all at the Columbia.
2. There was no docking module at the Columbia.
3. There was no air lock at the Columbia.
4. The Columbia had a speed of Mach 6 so an escape through the rescue door or 
a "shoot away" via the rescue seats would be no real solution. ;-)
5. The Columbia had a angle of 20° relative to the declination. The ISS has 
about 50°. The fuel of the shuttle is estimated for small corrections and 
could change the angle for a mxaimum of 3°. Not to mention the different 
height of Columbia and ISS.
6. The "accident" at the start recognized was quite late so there was no 
chance to cancel it anymore - the shuttle was in space already.
7. As there were no space suits and no material for repairing the wing at the 
shuttle trying to land was the only possible solution.
8. The thermal stress was not the problem as the maximal value of it was 
accomplished. But then the physical stress on the structure is at maximum. 
The crew could contact to nasa again (the hot plasma blocked any 
communication) but then the connection breaks up. Probably because the 
structure of the shuttle failed and broke into several parts. That's why 
there are so many undestroyed parts of the shuttle and the ground. Otherwise 
they would have been burned, too. But it is still possible that the thermal 
stress (the sensors alarmed too high temperature at the left wheel) damaged 
the structure so that it broke later.
9. The nasa said that the part of the outer tanks had a weight of about 2.5 
pounds and a diameter of about 50cm. That part hit the left wing and produced 
a kinf of dust after hitting the wing. It is not clear how much this part 
damaged the thermal shield of the wing and whether this damage was the reason 
for the desaster.

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