Space shuttle

Bryan Breen Bryan.C.Breen.1 at gsfc.nasa.gov
Wed Feb 5 17:30:35 PST 2003


>Criminally stupid. If I was a member of the astronauts family, I'd sue.

"Criminally stupid" is holding an agency who's actions are dictated by the
penny pinching public responsible for not spending the funding they don't
have on impractical solutions, and then reiterating the ignorantly
litigious USA Citizen motto of "I'd sue".

Why can't NASA afford better shuttles with even MORE backup systems and
contingency plans? Because the criminally stupid USA Citizens vote
criminally stupid USA Citizens into office, who are then in charge of
dictating the ridiculously minuscule budget of the USA Space Science and
Exploration.

Place the DOD's budget next to NASA's, and you'll get a feel for what a
criminally stupid society is capable of.

>Unfortunate. skimping on fuel. typical.

Have you ever flown in a private plane or in a very small commercial
commuter plane, and been asked "how much do you weigh"? Aircraft and
Spacecraft have only a fixed amount of weight they can put aloft. To carry
extra cargo, it *often* comes down to reducing the amount of fuel carried.
This is an *incredibly* simplified example. But I hope one is capable of
extrapolating how, in the efforts to maximize the cargo capable of being
sent aloft into space, concessions on the exact amount of fuel (and other
supplies) to be carried *must* be made. Yes, you could load the shuttle up
with enough fuel, food, and oxygen for the astronauts to happily sit up
there and await a rescue (if it was dreamed necessary), but you'd be lucky
to send up so much as a calculator for them to do experiments on since you
wasted all the mass restrictions on spare fuel and supplies that in all
probability are not necessary.

>> 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.
>
>Interesting about the 'glue' problem. I wonder why they dont come up
>with something that can set in a vacuum? its not like we cant test
>compounds in a vacuum down here on earth...

Those tiles are precision milled ceramic blocks. Every single one is unique
in size and shape from all the others on a shuttle. There is absolutely no
way a spare for each one could be carried on board. This isn't like
spackling the sheet rock in your kitchen. You can't just have a "tile in a
tube" and give that and trowel to an astronaut in a clunky EVA suit and
send them out to fix it. They have to be precisely shaped, else they fail
to perform their job. And *if* several were damaged at launch, there's a
high probability that there was nothing left of those particular tiles once
orbit was obtained (they would likely have been stripped off during the
ascent). So there would have been nothing to "patch" even if the "glue"
existed.



A NASA shuttle is THE, hands down, nothing even comes close, most complex
device ever created by humankind. BILLIONS of man-hours have been spent on
these devices. Simplistic drivel such as "why didn't they take some glue"
is an insult to all that NASA has strived for, and produced.

</rant towards my ignorant fellow citizens>
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