[FPSPACE] BBC Horizon "Guide to the Space Shuttle"...could theColumbia have been saved?
James E Oberg
jeoberg at comcast.net
Mon Apr 23 13:37:21 EDT 2012
The leading 'repair' scenarios involved fixing the hole and redesigning entry to imbalance the heat load away from the wounded side -- and nobody even now knows if it might have worked, although the consensus is not. Also, rushing the next launch would have involved launching without being sure the flaw wasn't generic and might strike again. a middle course would be launching life-extension supplies on an Ariane within two weeks to give time for preparing the next launch better.
Anything wouyld have been better than doing nothing.
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Pesavento
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Cc: 'James E Oberg'
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2012 8:44 PM
Subject: [FPSPACE] BBC Horizon "Guide to the Space Shuttle"...could theColumbia have been saved?
On the local PBS station this evening they showed the BBC Horizon special "Guide to the Space Shuttle."
One thing completely jumped out at me (besides the error claiming that Salyut 1 was still up in space until Mir, when they intended to mean a series of Salyut stations), was a short clip of our own fpspacer JimO, when they were talking about the Columbia disaster.
The scenario that was explored was that if NASA had decided to investigate the impact of the external tank insulation on the orbiter wing while the mission was still on-going, and had they had some way of looking at it (they showed a terrestrial telescope somewhere..perhaps Palomar, perhaps something else), found out that the wing was compromised, could NASA have saved the Shuttle Columbia. They also brought up having a rescue mission by another Shuttle, or have an astronaut do a spacewalk to look at the bottom of the craft..
Now they had this very short clip of JimO appearing to say that Columbia could've side-slipped its way through re-entry and possibly survived, where the right side of the Shuttle could've borne the brunt of the re-entry (I believe it was the left wing that had the damage), and possibly could've saved the Shuttle from breaking up.
JimO, do you believe that this scenario is viable (the documentary was issued in 2010)? That they could've side-slipped (the term used by JimO in the video clip I believe was "crabbed") in? Was there more to your interview JimO that they left out?
Does this sound viable? Does this sound do-able?
I am putting this out there to those who may know more about this. Because that would have had to have been at least a good long while (not mere seconds or mere minutes, like two or three or even ten) to engage this proposed side-slip..
I find the suggestion by JimO interesting, but I don't know whether it could've possibly have been a viable method. Hence this inquiry to the assembled.
Hold forth with your opinions. I am willing to read what others think.
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