Re: [MV] Columbia. Negligence there?

From: Bjorn Brandstedt (
Date: Mon Feb 03 2003 - 04:54:21 PST

To check the performance of the heatshield while in orbit, they might place
the shuttle in an attitude that allows the sun to heat the bottom of the
craft and then monitor temperature increases, which may be attributed to a
missing tile...

Just a thought.

>From: "Dave Ball" <>
>To: <> (Military Vehicles Mailing List)
>Subject: Re: [MV] Columbia. Negligence there?
>Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 01:10:41 -0800
>The real areas of trouble on reentry would be the leading edges and the
>bottom of the shuttle because it comes down with the nose slightly pitched
>up to deflect the heat over a larger surface area and to take advantage of
>dynamic braking with the delta wing.
>From the NASA description of the sensors going off line all in the left
>area connected to separate data collectors and the fact the sensors showed
>the heat rising in internal compartments in the left wing such as the left
>main gear bay and the tire pressure was rising from that heat as well will
>eventually be found to be the cause of the shuttle breaking up probably
>burn through of the outer titanium skin under the ceramic tiles after they
>fell off due to the damage sustained during launch.
>I had to explain to my 5 year old son today what happened and why we go to
>space he seemed to take it all in pretty well except that someone's Daddy
>and Mommy was not coming home from work I may keep him home tomorrow
>the Schools seem to have this need to over psycho analyze how the kids
>to this stuff.
>I think later in life my son will remember this as a tragic event in the
>gray cloud of youth.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Trish & Carla" <>
>To: "Military Vehicles Mailing List" <>
>Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 11:28 PM
>Subject: Re: [MV] Columbia. Negligence there?
> >
> > In a press conference today, NASA administrators had
> > passed the info that previous launches have had incidents
> > where debris from the booster rocket had hit the underside
> > of the space shuttle..
> >
> > One comment also elaborated that inspection after landing
> > indicated minor damage to tiles that needed to be repaired,
> > and other instances where "popcorning" of the insulation
> > from the main rocket booster would show up as pitting of
> > the tiles on the underside of the shuttle ..
> >
> > In both of these types of damage, the shuttle had no
> > problems with re-entry and landing..
> >
> > NASA also indicated that the loss of an entire tile would
> > not result in heat rise to an extent that the shuttle
> > would suffer major damage upon re-entry..
> >
> > Based on this past history, it seems that some minor scarring
> > of heat-shield tiles, or the absence of an entire tile was
> > found to not seriously effect the performance of the shuttle
> > on re-entry..
> >
> > This history would seem to be part of mission control's rationale
> > that what happened during launch was not felt to be a major problem.
> >
> > It is surprising, however, that while the shuttle was in orbit,
> > an EVA could not have been made in order to inspect the underside
> > of the shuttle. It is also surprising that some number of additional
> > tiles, and fastening media of some type is not kept on board in
> > order to replace one, or a few, if a few tiles were found to
> > be missing via an EVA inspection.
> > --
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