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View Full Version : Off Topic, Not SB Related: Remembering



Dogberry2
2009-01-28, 07:56
This has nothing to do with SqueezeBoxes or Slim Devices, but I wanted to point out that today, 28 January, is the anniversary of the disaster that befell the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. It's been 23 years, and so it doesn't get any real attention in the general media anymore, but it's very personal to me. On that day, I was an engineer at Kennedy Space Center, working in the Launch Control Center. I didn't really know any of the astronauts (engineers don't move in the same circles they do), but I did get to meet a few of them during my time there, and I can tell you this: they were all good people who believed in what they were doing, who knew that going into space is a very dangerous business, but who truly believed it was worth the risk and the effort. Knowing just how real a danger is, and yet facing it and doing your job anyway, is what I believe defines true courage, and for their courage alone, I believe those seven people who died aboard Challenger that cold morning deserve to have their names remembered, even after 23 years. So I ask you to pause at some time during your day today, and just give a brief moment's thought to these brave people:

Dick Scobee
Mike Smith
Christa McAuliffe
Judy Resnik
Ron McNair
El Onizuka
Greg Jarvis

Thanks.

pippin
2009-01-28, 08:22
As forums go, do you know that one:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/
Probably the most cool spaceflight related site around.

And yes, I, too remember that event very well even though I was still pretty young at that time. But back then, Spaceflight was clearly my dominant "tech interest".

iPhone
2009-01-28, 10:32
This has nothing to do with SqueezeBoxes or Slim Devices, but I wanted to point out that today, 28 January, is the anniversary of the disaster that befell the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. It's been 23 years, and so it doesn't get any real attention in the general media anymore, but it's very personal to me. On that day, I was an engineer at Kennedy Space Center, working in the Launch Control Center. I didn't really know any of the astronauts (engineers don't move in the same circles they do), but I did get to meet a few of them during my time there, and I can tell you this: they were all good people who believed in what they were doing, who knew that going into space is a very dangerous business, but who truly believed it was worth the risk and the effort. Knowing just how real a danger is, and yet facing it and doing your job anyway, is what I believe defines true courage, and for their courage alone, I believe those seven people who died aboard Challenger that cold morning deserve to have their names remembered, even after 23 years. So I ask you to pause at some time during your day today, and just give a brief moment's thought to these brave people:

Dick Scobee
Mike Smith
Christa McAuliffe
Judy Resnik
Ron McNair
El Onizuka
Greg Jarvis

Thanks.

When I think of this unnecessary event, I always think of the song DREAMS by Van Halen. Many things lead up to this day and basically every one of them was known about and could have been prevented. All that lose of life and Billions of dollars worth of hardware were lost trying to save a few bucks, from making bad decisions, and not listening to the people that were warning them before hand.

Itís a sad state of affairs when something so important, costing so much, and carrying human life is often built by the lowest bidder because the government is involved.

On a final note, STA-099 Challenger was never meant to go into space. It was the test unit for stress, heat, and vibration because computers back in the 70ís couldnít tell us if building a lighter weight orbiter (that NASA now wanted) by using a lighter airframe could withstand all the stresses involved in launching then making a winged full glide re-entry. After being the test bed for future lighter orbiter, it was decided to retrofit and upgrade it to OV-099 instead of scraping it.

OV-099 made history with several firsts. The first shuttle space walk, the first American woman in space, and the first shuttle to launch and land at night as well as the first to land back where it was launched from Kennedy Space Center. Tragically it was also the first shuttle to be lost in a disaster that destroyed the shuttle and killed its crew.

Goodsounds
2009-01-28, 13:10
This was a sad accident. The incident, as well as the subsequent investigation, showed the worst side of government action and cover-up.



Itís a sad state of affairs when something so important, costing so much, and carrying human life is often built by the lowest bidder because the government is involved.

Are you suggesting government contracts should be awarded to the highest bidder? If a contract is properly spec'ed, isn't the lowest bidder the most appropriate choice for a fixed price contract? Do you know that the relevent NASA contracts were fixed price ones?


On a final note, STA-099 Challenger was never meant to go into space. It was the test unit for stress, heat, and vibration because computers back in the 70ís couldnít tell us if building a lighter weight orbiter (that NASA now wanted) by using a lighter airframe could withstand all the stresses involved in launching then making a winged full glide re-entry. After being the test bed for future lighter orbiter, it was decided to retrofit and upgrade it to OV-099 instead of scraping it.


Are you implying that the light construction contributed to the crash? I thought the explosion was caused by a O-ring failure on an outboard rocket engine and had nothing to do with the structural integrity of the shuttle unit. Perhaps our colleague who was there could weigh in.

Here's a web page with similar and additional info, for those interested:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/challenger-info.html