[FPSPACE] The Last Shuttle mission?[Scanned by MAIL]
Matula, Thomas L.
MATULAT at uhv.edu
Tue Jun 20 20:25:11 EDT 2006
Its been accepted since Columbia that if another orbiter is lost the program will be shut down.
However key was Dr. Griffins statement that he would not want to continue the program if there is another major incidence. A major incident is not the lost of vehicle, but something that could lead to its lost like the foam falling on the Discoverys last launch. And the political reality is that neither NASA or this administration are to risk another losing another Shuttle to a foam strike they are already taking heat because two of the board members dont feel it should fly. So if it looks like the foam problem is not solved expect the program to be shut down regardless of its impact on the ISS.
However we will know for sure in a few weeks.
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org on behalf of agzak at optonline.net
Sent: Tue 6/20/2006 3:30 PM
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] The Last Shuttle mission?[Scanned by MAIL]
I suspect strongly, it is not. The actual context of this pressconference was that the program would continue
unless the crew or the vehicle is lost.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matula, Thomas L." <MATULAT at uhv.edu>
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 3:53 pm
Subject: [FPSPACE] The Last Shuttle mission?
> Hi All,
> I suspect strongly this may be the last flight of the Space Shuttle.
> Note these recent statements by Dr. Griffin on the future of the
> shuttle past the current flight from the NASA Watch
> (http://wwww.nasawatch.com website
> [[["Griffin was rather clear about what would happen if there was a
> larger problem. "If we have another major incident with the launch
> of the shuttle I would not want to continue with the program."
> Griffin added later "If we lost another vehicle I will tell you
> right now that I would be moving to shut the program down. I am
> sorry if that sounds too blunt for some but that's where I am."]]]
> Given that foam strikes have always been a problem and are an
> inherent risk in the current design which is not correctable with
> current technology I feel that this may well be the shuttle's last
> flight. The reality is that foam will come off, and it will be
> filmed. Likely however no sever damage will be done. Dr. Girffin
> notes that the risk is about 1 in 100.
> Foam flaw needs fix now, 2 say
> NASA dissenters explain concerns about launch
> BY TODD HALVORSON
> FLORIDA TODAY
> I expect that after the images come back from the launch showing
> falling foam the decision will be made to retire the Shuttle early.
> Politically the loss of foam on two flights even after NASA major
> effort in the last 3 years to prevent it will be used to show that
> the problem is not solvable and make retiring the shuttle now
> instead of 2010 politically feasible. The ISS construction will be
> frozen at it current point and NASA will switch 100% to developing
> the CEV and VSE.
> This makes a great deal of sense politically and economically. The
> money saved (15-20 billion USD) from not operating the shuttle
> anymore could be used to accelerate the CEV development, while a
> smaller ISS will be much easier to support with CEV and COTS, and
> even to deorbit when its mission is finished.
> So it makes a great deal of sense to stop the shuttle program now
> and freeze ISS at its current levels. All that is needed is a
> justification that is politically acceptable and defensible to the
> American public and the ISS partners, And that is what the next
> flight will provide, demonstrating that its impossible to fix the
> foam problem and its too risky to fly the Shuttle with it.
> This is good as it will allow NASA to disengage from the shuttle
> and ISS under the current administration and make enough progress
> on the CEV before the next one to ensure its completion since it
> will be the only option left for human spaceflight at NASA.
> This gives me hope that VSE will succeed since the greatest risk to
> it is the potential for the shuttle and ISS to continue to drain
> NASA's limited resources. This will even be good for the space
> science community as the shuttle/ISS funds freed up will be
> available to continue funding in this area as well.
> So I for one hope that Dr. Griffin will have the courage to make
> this tough decision and say enough is enough on shuttle/ISS. Its
> time to move on with the future.
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