Re: [MV] Columbia. No negligence there. (LONG)

From: Dave Ball (
Date: Mon Feb 03 2003 - 16:06:20 PST

Never take a problem to the dinner table unless you have some solutions in
mind and since your also a part of the problem what do you suggest?
Sounds like were all ants in a bee hive to me.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ronzo" <>
To: "Military Vehicles Mailing List" <>
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 2:22 PM
Subject: Re: [MV] Columbia. No negligence there. (LONG)

> There was and is negligence involved....but it is here, and it is we
> were, and still are, negligent.
> We as US citizens have become complacent about the world. We pay our
> taxes, and figure someone else is keeping watch. We sit back while our
> elected representatives (who most of us couldn't name if our lives
> on it) make decisions that not only affect us, but folks we don't know or
> aren't even born yet.
> Senators and Representatives that fund 'pork barrel ' politics and non
> sensical programs. Oversize locks on the Mississippi that can only be
> reached if the locks above and below are also replaced. Highway projects
> that have good reasons to be built, but run amuck as contributors swarm to
> get a piece of the action. EPA regs relaxed due to money, not science.
> Paying conglomerates millions not to grow something on land they purchase
> just so they can be paid money for growing nothing.
> Our soldiers get killed in some back assward dust bowl because the
> 'Civilian' appointed to run the DoD wouldn't know a tank from a can of
> beans, and feels the proffesional military man appointed to run the op is
> being a little too 'pushy and bellicose' in his demands for dedicated
> in a peace keeping mission. They can't survive this type of civilian
> oversight.
> Pentagon programs flash into existance and dissapear just as fast. GAO
> stated in the early 90's the FMTV was a non starter since the program
> savings were projected on 1984 prices of 120 K trucks delivered over 15
> years, not 100K over 30 years as the program is now envisoned. GAO stated
> should keep the present trucks for the forseeable future until the program
> was re evaluated. But that didn't stop it.
> Stryker system is being manufactured to specs that are based on the
> C141's cargo bay...except the C141 won't be around then.
> The present STS is being operated on a shoe string... it was expected
> be replaced in the early 90's by modern technology. Think of it as a
> Unimog... can do lots of things with the right attachments, but only one
> thing at a time. It can't carry all the attachments all the time, just
> it needs for the job.
> The planning for a trip in the STS is like the mother of all
> camping trips to the arctic. Finite amount of gas, and once in orbit,
> committed to direction. It ain't a swiss army knife, more like a batery
> powered drill, which can drill metal or wood, drive screws, or use a hole
> saw. But you have to decide before ya leave the basement and drive to the
> job site 800 miles away.
> The STS can dock with the space station if you put the docking module
> the cargo bay. Ditto the robotic arm. Want to do an EVA? Load in an EMU.
> that means that if you take them, then ya gotta leave something else at
> home. Like experiments and people.
> Wanna dock with the Station? You have to decide before you launch,
> the station goes SW to NE, which means the shuttle has to be launched up
> east coast. This mission wasn't a dock mission, so it was launched to the
> east, across the Atlantic towards the Med. Why? Has something to do with
> orbital mechanics and fuelsavings that mean more lbs of payload per lb of
> fuel.
> The orbiter carries enough fuel for the deorbit burn only, not major
> changes in altitude and attitude. Kind of an ICBM with loiter capability.
> But still just a low powered rock. Slow down a little and you fall out of
> the sky due to gravity. Too early a burn, and you come down in Edwards
> (maybe) too late and you miss Florida.
> No electromagnetic or gravity drive powered by a nuclear reactor like
> Star Trek. Just a system not too different from a fire extingusher. One
> to get it right. Get it right and the fire goes out, Screw up a little, ya
> loose your truck. They have redundant systems on everything in the
> cause AAA ain't an option. The tiles work for multiple missions because
> are OVERENGINEERED for one use and resist heat, not impact. They weren't
> building the tiles the same way they do the ceramics on the Abrahms.
> Different applications, purposes and results.
> The folks who do the job are doing what they FIGHT to do. It is a
> competition. The cream of the cream. Not pay, not glory. Just the
> to be allowed to go out THERE.
> We have allowed our so called representatives to kill these
> because we don't pay attention to what they are doing. They put bills
> together to suck funds from legitimate projects. And we let them, because
> not enough people care to change the system.
> The Columbia crew died knowing full well the risks involved. They went
> because if NASA doesn't cut corners, the program dies. If the program
> so does their chance to leave the planet. So they plug on with what they
> given, and hope this one won't be the inevitable statistic that they know
> out there somewhere.
> And with any technology that is Gee Whiz, the Ahhhh, shit usually isn't
> too far behind.
> If you really want to know who is ultimately responsible for Saturdays
> tragedy, just look in a mirror. Truth is a bitch, ain't it.....
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