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Prediction time.

Posted by: TerraMrs - Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:33 pm
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Prediction time. 

What will happen to the Shuttle?
Poll ended at Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:33 pm
Another bug will be found and the launch will be delayed until Sept. 23%  23%  [ 5 ]
The shuttle will be destroyed on launch. 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
The launch will be successful, but a glitch will be found at the ISS, forcing the astronauts to be rescued by Atlantis. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
The launch and mission will be successful, but the shuttle will either be destroyed or damaged on reentry. 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
The launch and mission will be successful, and the shuttle safely lands. 45%  45%  [ 10 ]
While docked at the ISS, aliens steal the shuttle. 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
All NASA employees are aliens, and therefore they already own the shuttle. 14%  14%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 22

Prediction time. 
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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:50 pm
I agree that foam shedding has probably been going on all along unnoticed. I always though that the side mounted shuttle looked like a kludge. The trouble is now that they have all their resources tied up in it and no easy way out. NASA is in the unenviable position of needing to throw out most of what they have been using and start almost from scratch to build a LEO capability, but not having the time or money to do it.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:46 am
Mike Griffin still seems to be viewing the debri as a minor issue indicating that he's confident that the problem will be fixed quickly and the shuttle will be flying again. Can't say I share his confidence.
I think I'll stand by my previous statements and say that this problem is unfixable using the current NASA approaches unless they get a better glue. Maybe they need DIY glue from the hareware store like the other stuff they're using for tile repairs. Guess that wasn't too nice. That said, I'll go back to my original point and think that the shuttle is headed for early retirement and that means reliance on other countries to get US astronauts into space. Apparently that's not an easy pill for the USA to swallow and I can understand that.
In order to retrieve the situation, NASA is going to have to do something original and potentially risky (dangerous word for NASA) otherwise its Human Spaceflight program is finished and, dare I say it, probably not recoverable. Too much depends on public confidence and I'd think that's going downhill rapidly.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:51 am
Early retirement? The shuttle missed that boat long ago. I think it's exceeded it's originally planned period of employment by two fold?

Perhaps you mean that maybe it will be retired before a US replacement becomes available?

I doubt it. They'll most likely keep tinkering along and launching it whenever they feel it's good to go.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:06 am
Quote:
Perhaps you mean that maybe it will be retired before a US replacement becomes available?

I doubt it. They'll most likely keep tinkering along and launching it whenever they feel it's good to go.


Totally agree with you DKH, as long as they can fix/tinker with it, it will keep launching until they get something new.
Can't really retire it now with nothing really set in works to replace it, as DKH said.

But they defiently need a replacement SOON!

Iain


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:44 am
Yes I did actually mean before they had a replacement and although there's certainly the pressure to keep flying there also seems to be increasing pressure to adopt an increasingly stringent safety regime.
NASA keep saying that the shuttle flights are all 'test flights'. That seems to me to be a problem because while there's more and more safety inspections and the like, the reason that the shuttle is required to fly is to allow the ISS to be completed. That reason would appear to be more like a routine flight ie. cargo / passenger flight. Perhaps that's where the problem lies for NASA - they haven't managed to develop a mature vehicle in terms reliablity, maintenance, cost, routine flights, etc, and yet they have made agreements as if they had - hence conflict both within NASA and externally.
The other issue that seems to indicate conflict within NASA is that for the first time to my knowledge, astronauts are actually questioning publically, the safety / cost regime of the shuttle program. Is this because they view the program as routine and not test :!: :!: :?: :?:
We all know that space is an inhospitable environment. That the space business is inherently risky - very risky really. Yet look at the current crop of astronauts. Some are pilots but a decent number are scientists first. Are they really the sort of person to be flying test vehicles and do they actually have the 'right stuff' :!: :!: :?: :?: Yeh I know they do all the psychological testing and mobs of training and stuff but that doesn't mean they necessarily end up with the right people.
Got to say that for a chance to fly into space and maybe not return in one piece, I'd still go for it but I wouldn't whinge about the risk. Starting to think that NASA is getting soft but then that could just be an outcome of the current litigious society that the USA appears to be and to be fair, Australia is following. :( I've noticed that in Australia, there's a trend toward not accepting personal responsibility for one's actions. Could this be the case in USA this wanting to blame everyone else :shock:
Come on you lot, argue with me. :lol:

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:08 am
I dont think there is a problem with having non-pilots as astronauts, after all not all 7 of the shuttle crew fliy it and specialists in other fields are needed. If you have an electronics failure while in space being a pilot wont help you fix it.

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Yeh I know they do all the psychological testing and mobs of training and stuff but that doesn't mean they necessarily end up with the right people.


I think it means that they do their best to make sure they end up with the right people, I believe that crews are chosen to compliment each other and that a mixture of personalities are needed to enable them to work together with the least amount of friction.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:53 am
Hi Andy Hill
Your right in what you say but I was referring more to the 'disappointment' expressed by the Commander as well as the comment made about the lack of examination of certain sections of the external tank suggested as due to cost cutting.
I believe this indicates a certain mindset on the part of the shuttle crew hence my comment re: the right stuff. Apollo 13 astronauts didn't whinge about things not being done properly, they just got on with the job and accepted that things go wrong from time to time.
Speaking of things going wrong, I seem to remember reading about the statistical probability of a major failure for the shuttle program and that the program had actually done better than it statistically should have. Perhaps someone has some info' on that as I can't find my sources at the moment.
By the way, I also hope that the shuttle continues to fly. What a buzz that lauch was. I was on the edge of my seat watching it go up and I'm pretty sure I beat my old 'holding my breath' record by miles.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:30 am
beancounter wrote:
Your right in what you say but I was referring more to the 'disappointment' expressed by the Commander as well as the comment made about the lack of examination of certain sections of the external tank suggested as due to cost cutting.


I'd be pretty fed up as well if I'd waited 2 1/2 years to get into space because of repairs and then find that exactly the same problem happens and foam drops off from the same point. Afterall its her neck that is being risked, I think I would find it hard not to make a comment if I thought that risk was increased because someone was trying to save a buck.

beancounter wrote:
I believe this indicates a certain mindset on the part of the shuttle crew hence my comment re: the right stuff. Apollo 13 astronauts didn't whinge about things not being done properly, they just got on with the job and accepted that things go wrong from time to time.


The crew probably accept that the shuttle is a flawed vehicle and the stress of flying it
is greater than apollo which never lost anyone in space and was much simpler in design (less things to go wrong). I do not think you can compare the minds of Apollo astronauts to shuttle crew, it was a different world 40 years ago and given the same circumstances today they would probably behave in a similar way. During the 1960's no one would have said that they were dissappointed because it would have made them look bad infront of the Russians. Today the shuttle is making NASA look incompetant, its easy to not say anything when you have a vehicle that works OK.

Even with the Apollo 13 failure there was obvious tension due to lack of sleep etc and you can bet that NASA really investigated the problem and solved the cause of it afterwards, the same can not be said of the shuttle's woes. Also the problem on Apollo 13 was a one off freak accident and not something that had happened before and supposedly cured at a huge cost in time and money.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:40 am
A by-comment only: all or most of all these points are arguments for the way t/Space is proposing - to launch crew and cargo separately. They propsed that regarding lunar missions and the CEV but it could be modified for orbital missions. There could be a vehicle permanently left in space which could take over launched cargo and the crew arriving by the CXV.



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