What a depressing piece of news: “Even if flight controllers had known for certain that protective heat tiles on the underside of the space shuttle had sustained severe damage at launching, little or nothing could have been done to address the problem.” Of course, there’s part of me that hopes that, had NASA or the orbiter crew known about the damage, another option would have presented itself; after all, I can’t imagine that anyone would have been able to predict the sequence of events that led the Apollo 13 astronauts to survive their ordeal in space. Given the amount of national grief, it seems that had anyone known that the lives of the seven astronauts were at such risk, nothing would have been spared to get them down.


I don’t know, which option they could played,
if had anyone known that something is wrong at the shuttle. Maybe they could return to the ISS? But after beginning the return into the atmosphere of the earth, there was no chance! :(


• Posted by: Matthias on Feb 4, 2003, 7:01 PM

I just read in a newspaper, that a small piece of the big tank flight away during the start and hit the shuttle in the aria of the wing. Surely it destroyed there appr. 1 sqaremeter of the heating shields.

Experts mean that may be the reason.
But they thought after the analysis of this situation, there is no risk. A fatal failure…


• Posted by: Matthias on Feb 6, 2003, 7:32 AM

They couldn’t have returned to ISS because they hadn’t been there in the first place. And, from what I understand, a space shuttle in a non-ISS-docking orbit is somehow unable to change & dock with the ISS, if it wasn’t part of the mission plan. The missions are so tightly organized, there’s little room to move.
But I too would hope that they would’ve found a way if someone would have known.

• Posted by: Chloe on Feb 7, 2003, 1:45 PM
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