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Space Shuttle Columbia Breaks Up Over Texas

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the not-looking-good dept.

Space 2398

An anonymous reader writes "NASA lost communication with space shuttle Columbia shortly before its scheduled landing on Saturday. It was unclear whether there were any other problems." Various news programs have been showing debris falling from the sky, and NASA has declared an emergency.Update: 02/01 15:29 GMT by H : Confirmation has come - the shuttle has broken up over Texas while coming in for landing Florida.

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2398 comments

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203258)

asdasdjaklsrjddklqwdeqw

figures (-1, Flamebait)

DSL-Admin (597132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203259)

I sent this in and they rejected it... figures.. I think this site is a scam, where only people who know they writers get posted

Re:figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203275)

Get a fucking life. Seven people just probably died and all you can do is make jokes.

Re:figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203291)

Insensitive ass. Respect explorers.

Re:figures (1)

stwrtpj (518864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203343)

I sent this in and they rejected it... figures.. I think this site is a scam, where only people who know they writers get posted

You were probably the 2,386th Slashdot reader to submit this story, considering that I first heard about this story via OT posts on other threads demanding that I TURN [MY] TV ON.

Grow up, and get a fucking life.

[This post pre-modded -1 Flamebait for your convenience.]

Re:figures (-1, Flamebait)

sjanich (431789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203356)

You shithead.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203263)

I hope micheals finally gone to bed, because he is one insomanic fucknut.

I hope kde 3.1 compiles soon, it sucks to use lynx+twm.

God rest their souls (4, Insightful)

black_widow (41044) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203265)

God rest their souls...

Re:God rest their souls (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203311)

I was just about to post this...

Does anyone know if the video has been released on the net yet? My kids are watching cartoons and won't let me change the channel. :(

Re:God rest their souls (1)

.com b4 .storm (581701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203324)

You might want to tell them history is being made, and it would be worthwhile to change the channel for 2 damn minutes. :)

Re:God rest their souls (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203357)

Not a time to be smiling. You smile at a concert or a peaceful anti-war protest, when history is being made, not when a disastor occurs.

Re:God rest their souls - Here is the Crew profile (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203367)

This is sad, sad day. Here's CNNs profile [cnn.com] of the crew of the Columbia.

Space Shuttle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203268)

Not again. Jesus Christ, not again...

Re:Space Shuttle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203303)


It seems like there may have been some insulation missing from one of the wings which may have hampered the shuttles entry. Or maybe the shuttle entered the earth's atmosphere too fast.

Looks like we Need Another Seven Astronauts (-1, Flamebait)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203269)

Finally, I can reuse my Challenger jokes!

Re:Looks like we Need Another Seven Astronauts (1, Insightful)

pergamon (4359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203280)

mod parent poor taste

i can't believe slashdot sometimes

Re:Looks like we Need Another Seven Astronauts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203287)

lol! qualitaet

Re:Looks like we Need Another Seven Astronauts (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203294)

Fuck you. This is no time for jokes.

Re:Looks like we Need Another Seven Astronauts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203295)

Fucking Jackass

Hrmmm... mars? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203270)


Does this mean we won't be going to Mars?

Our prayers are with (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203271)

the friends and family of the crew. This is a terrible tragidy.

oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203272)

this is awful. i fear this may be the end of the us human spaceflight program for a long while. :( what's to become of iss?

god be with the crew.

Fuck (-1, Troll)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203273)

All I can say - fuck. Not that we know anything yet, since the fucking press is slinging shit around like the monkeys they are with absolutely no evidence one way or another. But if this is in fact what we hope it's not, now we've lost more good people, and now we effectively have no space program. Keep it up bush - pax americana is one step closer for you.

Re:Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203341)

You are one classy moron.

Re:Fuck (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203358)

the video of the shuttel over texas shows it breaking up.

Re:Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203365)

Please mod down this troll trash. I can't believe how many assholes there are on slashdot.

Re:Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203380)

You have got some very real and very disturbing problems.. suggest you get help, or an education, or both.

BTW, this particular program started in 1998, that's when they started training the Israeli for it at least.

Grow the fuck up.

Very sad... (2)

Ponty (15710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203274)

Is there any chance that people could survive? I know the shuttle has emergency abilities, but it's traveling at what, six times the speed of sound?

Re:Very sad... (1)

LedZeplin (41206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203302)

not on launch or reentry. all you can do is hang on to your seat

Re:Very sad... (1)

spybreak (636509) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203317)

At 400 000 ft. survival is sadly unlikely.

Re:Very sad... (3, Informative)

Bandman (86149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203318)

well, the guy on CBS (some NASA spokesman) said that while they have the door they can exit out of, he couldn't imagine a situation where that would be feasable. So probably not, no. :-(

20 times speed of sound (1)

ToKsUri (608742) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203322)

At the moment of entrance in the atmosphere it travels around Mach20... or 20 times the speed of sound. I hope they had any emergency systems prepared, but I sadly think that at that speed there can hardly be any way of surviving. :(

Re:Very sad... (1)

photonic (584757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203332)

Not even a remote chance i guess. They have parachutes and a 10 foot boom to slide out the vehicle. No chance of using that at mach 6 and a desintigrating vehicle. Condolances to NASA....

Re:Very sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203336)

There is a way for them to "eject" so to speak during re-entry. However, it was lost around 207,000 feet up, at which point there is no option. They'd have to make it to around 30,000 feet up in order to use any of the emergency egress systems

Re:Very sad... (4, Informative)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203342)

Impossible.

The emergency exit business is the hatch on the side, astronauts hook to a pole and slide out. Only if they have time. Parachute down.

They made no indication that they knew anything was wrong before contact was lost.

There was a report on FOX that a tile or some piece had come off on launch and hit a wing, was not supposed to be a problem. Not sure if that was this missions launch or not.

Re:Very sad... (1)

Ponty (15710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203374)

It says that there was a garbled communication at 9:00, then nothing.

I had always assumed that the front compartment would be highly reinforced and could remain intact longer than the rest of it. It seems that is not the case.

Re:Very sad... (5, Insightful)

smasherbob (634806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203349)

Apparently it happened around 12,000 mph or thereabouts, at something like 200,000 feet. If something could be done, I pray that it was done.

This is terrible news; it feels like the Challenger all over. Just as senseless, just as disturbing. These people risked their lives to better mankind, and it's terrible that this could happen to such noble people.

I keep switching stations, and I'm tired of hearing about "6 Americans and 1 Israeli". 7 people were in that shuttle. It's frustrating that the media can't let go of war sensationalism even now, at a time like this.

Re:Very sad... (4, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203366)

Well, it couldn't be a SAM due to the altitude of the Shuttle on breakup.

At 200,000 feet, there'd be no way to survive.

All I can say is . . . (1, Interesting)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203276)

That looks NASTY. Glad I am not in North Texas.

My feelings go out to the families, the people of the USA and the people of Israel.

Re:All I can say is . . . (1)

Kentamanos (320208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203376)

They're saying debris is falling in OK :(

CNN is slow (1)

LedZeplin (41206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203277)

It has broken up on re-entry. I don't know where they got the there was a blip, but all is fine now story.

it happend at 8am CST

Columbia is down! (1)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203281)

Sorry to say that but Columbia is down and all 7 Astronauts are dead!

NSG

I heard it (2, Informative)

revscat (35618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203282)

I live in the Dallas area. Around 8 AM CST we were making breakfast when we heard what sounded like the distant sound of thunder, loud enough for me to hear over the crackling of bacon. 30 minutes later we turn on the TV and are told that NASA lost contact with Columbia at around 8AM CST somewhere south of Dallas.

Now they're speculating about the presence of an Israeli on board.

Not again.

Re:I heard it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203359)

There was an Israeli on board, but they're simply speculating that there might have been an act of terrorisim because of that. The sound you heard was most likely the sonic booms that normally occur, and are not abnormal at all.

Speculating?! (1)

ajf (7321) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203370)

You make it sound like he's the first stowaway in space or something.

Re:I heard it (2, Informative)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203373)

Now they're speculating about the presence of an Israeli on board

Um, not speculation. The first Israeli astronaut was on board

NASA site mission STS-107 (5, Informative)

EaglesNest (524150) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203283)

Here's the yet not-updated NASA site for mission STS-107. [nasa.gov]

Re:NASA site mission STS-107 (3, Informative)

AgentUSA (251620) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203313)

It's updated:

Deorbit burn occured at 8:15 a.m. EST (1315 GMT). Communication lost with Columbia at 9:00am EST while Columbia was at approximately 200,000ft over Central Texas.

More links and info (4, Informative)

ke4roh (590577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203286)

This was my submission, seconds later than this story post:

The U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia, flying STS 107 [nasa.gov] apparently dissentegrated over north Texas during re-entry according to CNN [cnn.com] , CBS [cbsnews.com] , and NBC [msnbc.com] TV reports. Columbia launched on January 16 for that orbiter's 28th journey. Communication was lost at 8:00 Central Time (14:00 GMT), 16 minutes prior to the scheduled landing, at an altitude of 200,000 feet (61km) and velocity of 12,000 miles per hour (19,000 km/h). NASA advises people to report and avoid debris in the area because it may inlude toxic propellants.

Toxic Substances (3, Informative)

hughk (248126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203363)

Red Fuming Nitric Acid + Hydrazine, I think are on board. These are hypergolic (recting spontaneously don't need an igniter) which is why they are ideal for manouvering jets. They are also exemptionally nasty.

Under normal circumstances, the shuttle is checked and astronauts don't leave for a good 15 to 30 minutes after the shuttle has landed.

It's all a conspiracy... (-1, Flamebait)

gspr (602968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203288)

OMG a conspiracy between Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, that north korean guy, and Cowboy Neal! Ok maybe not so nice to joke about it... but still.

Re:It's all a conspiracy... (1)

gspr (602968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203362)

Sorry for posting that... I wrote it before I had heard anything but "contact lost". Post was inproper, sorry.

Only waiting for confirmation (2, Informative)

Fideaux! (44069) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203290)

Reports have them at 2x the speed of sound, and altitude of 200,000 ft. Not very good conditions for a bailout.

CBS seems to have the most hi-res footage of the breakup.

Analyist on NBC discusses launch/pre-launch dammage to heat sheild on the leading edge of the wing, that was deemed safe by NASA.

Photos (5, Informative)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203292)

I have my photos on my website:

www.pdrap.org [pdrap.org] , link from the front page.

The actual photo page is here [pdrap.org]

I didn't actually see the space shuttle until it had exploded, so all my photos are of the shuttle as it burns and breaks up. The instant that the shuttle exploded was dramatic. One second I'm looking for it, the next, it was a bright burning ball of fire.

Very sad. Columbia was my favorite shuttle.

HOLY.... (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203293)

That is NOT cool. Here's to hoping that everyone onboard is ok.. but going by that picture they may well not be.

Oh, FYI on CNN that picture is subtitled as 'The shuttle Columbia was captured by TV cameras as it flew over Dallas, Texas, on Saturday morning, on its way to a planned 9:16 a.m EST landing at the Kennedy Center' So I dont know what to believe at the moment.

Re:HOLY.... (2, Informative)

stevew (4845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203352)

The pictures look pretty conclusive. Well - I'm now brought back to 1986 when I heard the news of Challenger. That wasn't a pleasant day either.

They just announced that they lost contact with shuttle at 200K feet as it was heading to Kennedy. They've warned that any debris should be avoided since it could be toxic.

We've lost 7 valiant explorers. God rest their souls.

1986 all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203296)

Will the shuttle program survive this one? I don't know. I feel just as sick as I did in '86. I couldn't believe it then.

I cant beleive it (0)

DinZy (513280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203297)

This sucks

And to the loser who mentioned the Challenger Jokes: Go To Hell!

Original CNN article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203298)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- NASA lost communication with space shuttle Columbia shortly before its scheduled landing on Saturday. It was unclear whether there were any other problems.

Mission Control reported no communication with the shuttle after 9 a.m. EST.

The shuttle was carrying the first Israeli astronaut and six Americans, and authorities had feared it would be a terrorist target.

Fifteen minutes after the expected landing time, and with no word from the shuttle, NASA announced that search and rescue teams were being mobilized in Dallas and Fort Worth areas.

NASA, while not saying the shuttle had exploded, broken up or crashed, warned that any debris found in the area should be avoided and could be hazardous.

Inside Mission Control, flight controller hovered in front of their computers, staring at the screens. The wives, husbands and children of the astronauts who had been waiting at the landing strip were gathered together by NASA and taken to separate place.

Columbia was at an altitude of 200,700 feet over north-central Texas at a 9 a.m., traveling at 12,500 mph when mission control lost contact and tracking data.

Reporters at the landing strip were ordered away 7 minutes after the scheduled touchdown with still no sign of the shuttle.

In 42 years of human space flight, NASA has never lost a space crew during landing or the ride back to orbit. In 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff.

Security had been tight for the 16-day scientific research mission that included the first Israeli astronaut.

The shuttle Columbia was captured by TV cameras as it flew over Dallas, Texas, on Saturday morning, on its way to a planned 9:16 a.m EST landing at the Kennedy Center.

Ilan Ramon, a colonel in Israel's air force and former fighter pilot, became the first man from his country to fly in space, and his presence resulted in an increase in security, not only for Columbia's January 16 launch, but also for its landing. Space agency officials feared his presence might make the shuttle more of a terrorist target.

On launch day, a piece of insulating foam on the external fuel tank came off during liftoff and was believed to have struck the left wing of the shuttle. NASA said as late as Friday that the damage to the thermal tiles was believed to be minor and posed no safety concern during the fiery decent through the atmosphere.

Science mission

Columbia's crew -- Ramon and six Americans -- completed all of their 80-plus experiments in orbit.

They studied ant, bee and spider behavior in weightlessness as well as changes in flames and flower scents, and took measurements of atmospheric dust with a pair of Israeli cameras.

The 13 lab rats on board -- part of a brain and heart study -- faced the guillotine following the flight so researchers could see up-close the effects of so much time in weightlessness.

The insects and other animals had a brighter, longer future: the student experimenters were going to get them back and many of the youngsters planned to keep them, almost like pets.

All of the scientific objectives were accomplished during the round-the-clock laboratory mission, and some of the work may be continued aboard the international space station, researchers said.

The only problem of note was a pair of malfunctioning dehumidifiers, which temporarily raised temperatures inside the laboratory to the low 80s, 10 degrees higher than desired.

Some of Columbia's crew members didn't want their time in space to end.

"Do we really have to come back?" astronaut David Brown jokingly asked Mission Control before the ride home.

Someone already is making jokes about this... (1)

brianjcain (622084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203300)

The knuckleheads at MSNBC put someone on the air claiming to be from NASA who proceeded to say that the Columbia had been shot down by Jackie Martley because he believed Howard Stern was onboard. How can this be fair games for jokes already? Seven people probably lost their lives this morning, and that person thought it was time to poke fun?

This is terrible (4, Insightful)

march (215947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203301)

This is terrible. Obviously, it is terrible for the team members on board and their families.

But once we are done with the grief and morning for these great people, the space program will be severely hampered from further progress. We need this program to continue, and I'm afraid we've just killed it for twenty years.

Very sad all around.

talking with the autoclave guy (2, Interesting)

chloroquine (642737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203307)

I was talking with the guy who repairs the autoclaves at my building yesterday about the challenger disaster. Our autoclave had a compromised O-ring. It turned out that he had done some electronics work for the Challenger and the Discovery back in the day. He ended up getting downsized and remembers thinking how his life was going badly, but at least there was the Challenger that he could point to proudly and say, "I was part of that." Obviously the disaster was both a national and personal tragedy for him. So this morning, looking at the news on the lab computer, it was a little eerie to read that NASA had lost contact with Discovery.

Re:talking with the autoclave guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203379)

If the repair guy had worked on the O-rings of Challenger's booster rockets then yeah, it was a disaster for him.

I'm feeling really horrible right now... (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203308)

...for this comment [slashdot.org] I made yesterday.

My condolences to the families of the astronauts.

Israeli (1, Troll)

GQuon (643387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203309)

Was there not an Israeli astronaut on that Shuttle?

P.S. Australians please spare the jokes untill tomorrow. No student homes or workshops were destroyed, but people actually died here.

Unbelievable (1)

RaboKrabekian (461040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203310)

If you haven't seen the video of this, go turn on CNN right now. This is a tragedy, and I'm sure all our thoughts are with the families of the 7 astronauts on board.

How far will this set the US space program back? Is this going to hae the same debilitating impact that Challenger did 17 years ago?

Holy fuck (1)

plastic_grass (529934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203312)

I never would have thought this could happen. God rest their souls.

Terrorism? (-1, Interesting)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203315)

The first thing that came to my mind was this: Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda have attacked us by air (WTC 9/11), by sea (Yemen, USS Cole) and by land (Embassy Bombings) -- now, he has finally gone into the final frontier and attacked space. It is no coincidence that there was an Israeli astronaut aboard and the space shuttle blew up.

According just now to Fox News, around the area where it broke up in space, electronics were reported shorted out -- meaning the space shuttle was hit with an EMP bomb!

Re:Terrorism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203348)

Very Unlikely. It sounds as if the accident happened around 200,000 feet. It is doubtful that any government could shoot down a craft at that altitude.

Plutonium on board? (1)

CowardAnonymous (66879) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203316)

This is tragic.

Does anyone know if there was any plutonium/highly radioactive material on board?

I fear this could be just the tip of a very horrible iceburg......

I guess we can have a minute of silence :-( (1)

alexandre (53) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203319)

I dont think they could recover those poor people from a crashing piece of debris... I just hope no one gets hurts on the ground!

Pieces? (2, Interesting)

farnham (160656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203321)

Is there any info on where the debris is landing? It look slike it could be from mid texas to misissippi. Do any of you have knowledge of where this stuff is landing?

May god bless the souls of the brave men and women on board.

Who ever said.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203323)

Who ever said linux [slashdot.org] doesn't crash?

we must bomb iraq now! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203325)

let not the deaths of our astronauts go unavenged!

Media (1)

mc_wilson (619464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203326)

This is a very tragic event but I cannot stand the news coverage. "Could you explain 'sensory data' for the people not involved in this field?" well, sensory and data...

BBCTV and NASA TV (5, Informative)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203327)


BBC news live (needs Real/Helix player)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsa/n5ctrl/live/now2.ram [bbc.co.uk]

Story
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/2716369.stm [bbc.co.uk]

NASA TV Live (Real/Helix Player)
http://quest.nasa.gov/ltc/ram/nasalive-v.ram [nasa.gov]

Re:BBCTV and NASA TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203338)

.ram sorry i refuse to run realcrapplayer. Got any other formats?

Re:BBCTV and NASA TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203381)

he did say Helix which afaik is Open source or just use Mplayer on linux they both play RAM streams

Other links.. (0, Flamebait)

thedude (13214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203328)

http://www.space.com/shuttlemissions/ [space.com]
http://www.msnbc.com/news/857733.asp?0cv=CA00 [msnbc.com]

And apple has already changed their homepage.. How long till our President blames this on a certian Middle Eastern country? My thoughts go to NASA and the families of the crew.

Palestinian Terrorist ??? Sadam ??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203329)

How much time do we need before someone blame it on... ?

Nasa TV feed (2, Informative)

EvilBastard (77954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203331)

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Web.h tml

Voiceover says (paraphrased) Declared a contingency over central america. If you find debris, inform law enforcment and do not touch as it may be hazardous

one of the screens showing what looks like a debris trail

Use the Dial up 55kb, not the 225 kb please

Please (1, Insightful)

wirefarm (18470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203333)

Say a small prayer.

Don't Panic (4, Insightful)

doggo (34827) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203334)

Sorry to lose the crew and shuttle. But I hope we don't suddenly halt the manned space program like we did after Challenger.

Space exploration is a dangerous undertaking, and every astronaut is taking a huge risk every time they go up. We have to expect casualties, we've been very lucky throughout the history of the US space program. Not to minimize the loss of the crew, they're heroes, but we can't stop the program because of this. Surely investigation, but not a halt.

Say a prayer for the crew, if you believe in such stuff.

Just read about it on BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203340)

BBC didn't have much info (about the same as CNN) I really hope that nothing serious has happened and that they arrive safely. Otherwise, it'll be very sad indeed.

NASA= Need Another Seven Astronauts (-1, Troll)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203344)

NASA= Need Another Seven Astronauts

NSG

Space flight is Dangerous (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203345)

Space travel is dangerous. It is risky, people might die.

Just because it happens often doesn't mean it is safe.

Now we have a stranded ISS crew... (4, Interesting)

black_widow (41044) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203346)

Remember how long it took to reinstate the STS program after the Challenger Incident?

What are the chances NASA will send up STS 108 on schedule?

Will they use the soyuz emergency capsule to return earthside?

Teacher in space (1)

brianjcain (622084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203347)

I'll bet that revived Teacher in Space [slashdot.org] program gets grounded again.

CBC has the story too (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203351)

The CBC story [www.cbc.ca] is up as well, and seems much more certain about what happened, though they don't mention the Israeli that was on board.

This is a staggering tragedy. Hopefully NASA can find out what really happened soon.

--Dan

Several Comments (5, Informative)

p_trekkie (597206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203355)

1. No Surface to Air missile can reach above 100k feet.

2. There is almost no fuel on the space shuttle during reentry.

3. Most likely cause of destruction was damage to heat shield.

4. Survival is possible... space shuttle was relatively slow, already mostly throught the atmosphere the crew may have been able to bail out, and they do have parachutes.

5. This does not bode well for manned space exploration

Apparently, a tile on the left wing was damaged... (1)

PrimeWaveZ (513534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203360)

During launch. Insulation from the external tank hit the left wing and caused possible damage. They should have aborted, as they have options to return to launch site (RTLS), transatlantic landing options in Morocco, Spain, and other locations depending on the trajectory, as well as the AOA, or abort once around. Apparently there were no risks forseen from continuing. :(

Lets all pray and hold our breath...

Sigh (1, Insightful)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203361)

Looks like we've witnessed the end of the American (and maybe International) space program. Although I was still really young when Challenger exploded I remember that they didn't launch another mission for a long while after that. I suspect now that with the age of the current orbiters that it's gonna be put on hold indefinately.

Anyways, there's already speculation that a piece of insulating foam from the fuel tank fell off on liftoff and hit the left wing and damaged the heat shield. NASA officially declared that the shuttle is lost.

Post AC story submission and not mine will you! (0)

andymoe (449502) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203364)

So how many shuttles do we have left?

This is why we need suborbital launch and return (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203368)

The most dangerous phases of any mission are currently launching from the ground and trying to land

suborbital platforms enable you to do this in near space therefore avoiding the stresses incurred through gravity and atmosphere

TERRORISM!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203369)

This is as good an excuse as any to attack Iraq!!

damaged tiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5203372)

they've been talking about the tiles on the left wing that were damaged during the launch...coincidence? wait and see.

It made my house shake (2, Insightful)

usurper_ii (306966) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203375)

I live about an hour and a half from Dallas and my house shook around 8:00. I called my mother, who lives close by, and my dad said it was the space shuttle. About 5 minutes later my mother called back and said it had exploded. My wife was at a gas station getting gas. She said she saw it happen, but didn't hear anything.

Usurper_ii

update (2, Informative)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203377)

Palestine TX reports hearing and feeling "massive impact". Possibly the vehicle itself has crashed in that area...

NASA has issued a statement for the DFW \ Palestine region advised to keep clear of any shuttle debris for toxic fumes and chemicals used in the shuttle's propellant systems.

While you are reading the posts, lets send a prayer up for the crew members of the mission...

rc

Freaky (4, Interesting)

hoagieslapper (593527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5203378)

The freaky part is this week was the 17th aniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

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