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  Columbia debris has new mission at NASA

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Author Topic:   Columbia debris has new mission at NASA
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38794
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2018 12:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Debris from fallen space shuttle Columbia has new mission 15 years after tragedy

Fifteen years after the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven were lost returning home from a 16-day mission, pieces of the winged orbiter are still being found and the debris is now being used by NASA to educate and inspire a new generation of space workers.

On Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia broke apart during its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere after sustaining damage during its launch. A strike from a piece of insulating foam that fell off the shuttle's external fuel tank left a hole in the orbiter's left wing leading edge that went unaddressed during the flight. On Columbia's return, hot plasma entered through the hole and tore the wing apart. The resulting loss of control led to Columbia's disintegration over the state of Texas.

cspg
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Posts: 5810
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 02-01-2018 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No cameras allowed. Why?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38794
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2018 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Out of respect to the families' wishes and to avoid the misappropriation of the debris.

Media (with cameras) were allowed in the Columbia Preservation Office only once, on Feb. 1, 2004, the day it opened.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 731
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 02-01-2018 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I'm sure the room helps people in some technical ways, I sure hope there's a sign in there somewhere that says it was the willingness of NASA management to continue usage of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia when there were known serious issues that should have been addressed that realistically caused the disasters.

Clearly with Apollo 1 there were too many issues to even list one, but with both Challenger and Columbia management knew about O ring issues and foam strike issues and thought it was just fine to continue. The proverbial "deviance becomes the norm" problem.

MrSpace86
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Posts: 1579
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 02-01-2018 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Meanwhile, in the missile silos a few miles away, Challenger continues to decay and not serve any purpose. Sad.

Spacepsycho
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Posts: 802
From: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Registered: Aug 2004

posted 02-01-2018 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
The proverbial "deviance becomes the norm" problem.
I've done school presentations on the space program since 2006. The lack of basic knowledge concerning the loss of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia among the teachers and adults in the room is frightening. The press has done a magnificent job at not reporting the causes of these disasters.

I don't expect the average person to know much about the space program but when history or STEM teachers ask me, "Did we really go to the moon?" while holding a lunar soil sample lucite, it's obvious they didn't get their money's worth for that diploma.

Bottom line, all of these disasters were easily preventable but management refused to take it seriously, even when confronted by the people who built the machines.

Regardless, it's a shame that the wreckage from these disasters isn't on public display and that NASA chooses to gloss over these events, rather than use it to teach about the dangers of space exploration.

David C
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Posts: 701
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 02-01-2018 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
While I'm sure the room helps people in some technical ways...
I think that perhaps the largest effect it can have is to bring home the reality of the mishap, especially for new staff who may be too young to remember Columbia, and earlier disasters. A feeling for safety and consequences needs to be with you in your gut at all times, not just abstract words and comforting theories.

Not to say that the specific causes were unimportant, just that you have to be vigilant always and not just fight the last battle.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38794
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2018 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
I sure hope there's a sign in there...
Not a sign, but as mentioned in the article, those who tour the the room do so now as part of a guided presentation that directly covers the causes of the tragedy and the lessons learned.
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
Challenger continues to decay and not serve any purpose.
Challenger isn't decaying; it is inventoried and stored in the silos, not buried. And it has, at times, served a purpose, albeit quietly. NASA retrieved pieces of Challenger to help analyze problems it encountered with the active orbiters.

That is not to say more couldn't be done, but it is not forgotten. Mike Ciannilli, who manages Columbia, is also in charge of Challenger.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38794
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-01-2018 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spacepsycho:
...it's a shame that the wreckage from these disasters isn't on public display and that NASA chooses to gloss over these events, rather than use it to teach about the dangers of space exploration.
Debris from space shuttles Challenger and Columbia is on public display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, as are the hatches from the Apollo 1 command module. There are also recovered artifacts from Challenger and Columbia at the National Air and Space Museum and the Remembering Columbia Museum in Hemphill, Texas, among other institutions.

NASA's Apollo, Challenger, Columbia Lessons Learned Program is an agency-wide effort to make sure the dangers of space exploration are not dismissed and are forefront in space workers' minds today and in the future.

oly
Member

Posts: 259
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 02-01-2018 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The lessons learnt from Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia are continuing to be passed along today within management courses, engineering courses, accident investigation courses and many other fields.

Not having the debris on public display does not mean it is of no use as this thread indicates. Many trends that were identified including deviation from normal are important to remember from the investigations and reviews of these events.

When the new displays of Challenger and Columbia debris were opened at KSC it touched a nerve and got many talking. The result I believe was that as long as the debris was displayed in a tasteful manner it was deemed acceptable to display these items.

I feel NASA should hold the items recovered from these tragedies if for no other reason than to prevent them from being parted out, cut up and set in plastic to be sold for profit. If future generations can learn anything from these items, perhaps when new technologies are developed to do testing that cannot be done today this would be a good thing.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 3290
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-02-2018 12:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spacepsycho:
The press has done a magnificent job at not reporting the causes of these disasters.
Here we go. Blame the press for everything. Growing up, I knew about the Apollo 1 crew fire but didn't know the cause of it (and if you want to get technical, didn't the review board figure out a probable but not exact cause?) Should I get back my money for my high school and college education? Which media outlet do I blame for this?

The Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia accidents this year I'm almost certain went unnoticed in my local paper, unless it made it into the USAT insert. Why? Because there are more important, more local things to be concerned about. This is a specialized group; not everyone cares about space to the extent that this group does.

The Hindenburg disaster is local to us, but we don't cover it every year. Maybe when there's a "round" anniversary (e.g., an anniversary ending in 0 or 5), or when something significant happens (such as an eyewitness dying).

p51
Member

Posts: 1520
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-02-2018 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Simply put, people remember stuff as long as it's personally relevant. We consider space history important because we're into it. But there are plenty of historical events I doubt we all would know. I know someone who went nuts when I told him I had no idea on what date John Lennon got shot. It was important to him, but not so much to me. We have to collectively accept the reverse will also be true.
quote:
Originally posted by Spacepsycho:
...but when history or STEM teachers ask me, "Did we really go to the moon?" while holding a lunar soil sample lucite, it's obvious they didn't get their money's worth for that diploma.
It's not ignorance, it's the huge push from what I call, "anti-history" which is the huge movement to say black is white, up is down, and nothing you've been taught is correct (I thought the resurgence of flat earthers was a joke until I started reading further, to my horror).

Against any concept of evidence, logic or scientific fact, people make the most insane declarations, post them online, shoot down any word to the contrary (using buzz words like, "sheeple" and the like) and invite others to read only similar things. This is how this stuff spreads.

So, in a world like this, how can you blame educated people who maybe lack the skepticism to not just accept any nutty idea, to wonder?

I always counter this with my "400,000" theory. We all know all the people who worked on Apollo, and how many got laid off after Apollo 17. So, not one death bed confession almost 50 years later, not one tell-all book to put their grandkids through college?

But put like that, I've pulled a few from the brink of accepting such nutty anti-history theories. Yeah, they reply, that makes no sense at all, does it?

All times are CT (US)

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