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Photographer
Peter Claver
Posts: 26,657
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4JOjcDFtBE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shut … r_disaster

Greg Jarvis
Christa McAuliffe
Ronald McNair
Ellison Onizuka
Judith Resnik
Michael J. Smith
Dick Scobee

27 years ago today 7 American explorers died in the pursuit of one of the fundamental human goals: exploration of the unknown.

I remember quite vividly where I was when I heard the Challenger had exploded.  I had just gotten home for lunch.. I was 14, in grade 8 and completely fascinated by everything to do with space. A friend called and told me that the shuttle had exploded.. I was incredulous. I didn't believe him. I thought he was just playing a joke.  He told me to just go turn on the TV.  I did and sat there in rapt attention as the explosion was played over and over again on the news.  It was incredibly sad to watch.

Every time I watched the shuttle go up after that I would cringe when I heard the words "Go with throttle up..."
Jan 28 13 05:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,471
Laguna Beach, California, US


Peter Claver wrote:
Every time I watched the shuttle go up after that I would cringe when I heard the words "Go with throttle up..."

absolutely. it was like a mini ptsd episode every time i heard those words in subsequent launches. i was home recovering from back surgery that day. i was--of course--glued to the screen in shock and mild despair.

every time they show the footage of those poor souls walking to get in the shuttle (smiling and laughing) it makes me sad. or the poor family members looking skyward, a bit dazed,  wondering what was going on.

in the aftermath (immediate, and after), it may have been reagan's finest hour too. he handled it better than most anything else he did in his presidency.

Jan 28 13 06:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,357
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Omg I remember that. I was working in a plant nursery at the time but found out when I woke up with the early morning TV......

I was a rambunctious 19 yr old.... But that scene of the shuttle going up stayed with me.... The creepy shape of the explosion too...... Did anyone else feel that way?
Jan 28 13 06:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EdwardKristopher
Posts: 3,348
Tempe, Arizona, US


I was watching it on TV down in Miami, FL.  I saw it live and still didn't believe it!
Jan 28 13 06:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,466
San Diego, California, US


It's a sad fact that solid rocket boosters were used on the shuttle to save money. No other manned mission ever used solid rocket booster due to the danger yet the decision was made to use them on the shuttle program despite the risks and it costs 7 astronauts their lives.

I followed the shuttle program from before the first launch and have even held a heat shield tile in my hand and also felt the amazing insulating properties as a 1/2" thick tile had a propane torch burning on one side of the tile turning it bright red while the other side was cool to the touch. I also went up to Edwards AFB to watch the shuttle land after one of the early missions and years later toured Kennedy and saw a shuttle in the assembly building and Columbia on the launch pad before it's tragic last mission.

It's hard to believe it's been 27 years I certainly have vivid memories from that day that I will never forget.

RIP
Jan 28 13 06:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
joeyk
Posts: 14,587
Seminole, Florida, US


Peter Claver wrote:
I remember quite vividly where I was when I heard the Challenger had exploded.

I was at work, didn't have a tv, but listening to the launch on the radio. When I told the co-workers, they thought I was kidding too.

We "listened" to it over and over in disbelief...

Jan 28 13 06:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


It's also appropriate to remember Roger Boisjoly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Boisjoly

After President Ronald Reagan ordered a presidential commission to review the disaster, Boisjoly was one of the witnesses called. He gave accounts of how and why he felt the O-rings had failed. After the commission gave its findings, Boisjoly found himself shunned by colleagues and managers and he resigned from the company.

Boisjoly became a speaker on workplace ethics. He argued that the caucus called by Morton Thiokol managers, which resulted in a recommendation to launch, "constituted the unethical decision-making forum resulting from intense customer intimidation."

For his honesty and integrity leading up to and directly following the shuttle disaster, Boisjoly was awarded the Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1988.

He predicted the disaster a year before it happened, but the heads of his company ignored him and were more interested in keeping their contracts with the government secure. As a result, the Challenger crew died needlessly.

Jan 28 13 06:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,357
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Russian Katarina II wrote:
It's also appropriate to remember Roger Boisjoly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Boisjoly


He predicted the disaster a year before it happened, but the heads of his company ignored him and were more interested in keeping their contracts with the government secure. As a result, the Challenger crew died needlessly.

OMG that's something I didn't know Thanks Katarina

Jan 28 13 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,471
Laguna Beach, California, US


Russian Katarina II wrote:
It's also appropriate to remember Roger Boisjoly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Boisjoly

it's also pertinent to remember that the rockwell engineers (the old complex is right down the street from me) also laid into nasa about not launching that morning.

it was senseless. i've often wondered to myself if that mission would have flown that day if not for christa  mcauliffe being on the flight. it had been delayed a few times, and nasa was antsy to get it under way...mistakenly.

Instinct Images wrote:
I also went up to Edwards AFB to watch the shuttle land after one of the early missions and years later toured Kennedy and saw a shuttle in the assembly building and Columbia on the launch pad before it's tragic last mission.

i went and saw columbia land at edwards years ago, the other ill-fated shuttle. i don't know if it was it's initial flight, but it was early. maybe '83 or '84. it was quite cool to watch that thing land.

Jan 28 13 06:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


GK photo wrote:

it's also pertinent to remember that the rockwell engineers (the old complex is right down the street from me) also laid into nasa about not launching that morning.

it was senseless. i've often wondered to myself if that mission would have flown that day if not for christa  mcauliffe being on the flight. it had been delayed a few times, and nasa was antsy to get it under way...mistakenly.

Russia sacrificed a great many more men to keep up with the US in the space race, it was a matter of proving which ideology was superior over the other. Yuri Gagarin's chances of making it back were calculated to be 50 / 50 for instance, I doubt NASA would have risked one of their finest with these chances.

Jan 28 13 06:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,471
Laguna Beach, California, US


Russian Katarina II wrote:
Russia sacrificed a great many more men to keep up with the US in the space race, it was a matter of proving which ideology was superior over the other. Yuri Gagarin's chances of making it back were calculated to be 50 / 50 for instance, I doubt NASA would have risked one of their finest with these chances.

yeah, no offense, but russia's early space program was a bit of a crap shoot. the challenger disaster was definitely nasa's worst work. they usually went to great pains to make sure safety was of the utmost importance, but they seriously failed on that one.

all in all, the manned us space program was pretty fucking marvelous.

the apollo 1 fire was a bad one too, but that was on the ground.

i don't know enough about the columbia breakup to know if that was preventable, or more importantly, not necessary. it always amazed me what those tiles had to withstand anyway.

a couple months ago when they were flying endeavor around la and so cal, it was a very moving, emotional day. all the local news hacks were blubbering as they saw it fly over! smile

Jan 28 13 06:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


GK photo wrote:

yeah, no offense, but russia's early space program was a bit of a crap shoot. the challenger disaster was definitely nasa's worst work. they usually went to great pains to make sure safety was of the utmost importance, but they seriously failed on that one.

all in all, the manned us space program was pretty fucking marvelous.

the apollo 1 fire was a bad one too, but that was on the ground.

i don't know enough about the columbia breakup to know if that was preventable, or more importantly, not necessary. it always amazed me what those tiles had to withstand anyway.

a couple months ago when they were flying endeavor around la and so cal, it was a very moving, emotional day.

There was an accident with one rocket that killed 126 scientists and technicians alone - the rocket exploded on the landing pad when they were running tests and everyone was standing merrily around it.

Naturally Russians didn't even learn about this until the USSR collapsed. They were proficient in keeping the "failures" out of public knowledge.

Jan 28 13 06:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,471
Laguna Beach, California, US


Russian Katarina II wrote:

There was an accident with one rocket that killed 126 scientists and technicians alone - the rocket exploded on the landing pad when they were running tests and everyone was standing merrily around it.

Naturally Russians didn't even learn about this until the USSR collapsed. They were proficient in keeping the "failures" out of public knowledge.

tass..all the news that was fit to shroud in secrecy.

Jan 28 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tropic Light
Posts: 7,201
Kailua, Hawaii, US


The shuttle design was largely driven by DOD and intelligence agencies desires.  We could have built a smaller, safer and more dependable spacecraft for civilian scientific and commercial pursuits.  That huge cargo bay and the solid boosters were designed for massive payloads, which made the whole system exceedingly complex and expensive to operate.

http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2012/11/1 … f-defense/
Jan 28 13 08:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Top Level Studio
Posts: 3,232
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Instinct Images wrote:
It's a sad fact that solid rocket boosters were used on the shuttle to save money. No other manned mission ever used solid rocket booster due to the danger yet the decision was made to use them on the shuttle program despite the risks and it costs 7 astronauts their lives.

The solid fuel was not the issue.  The boosters were originally meant to be built in one piece in Florida and brought to Kennedy Space Center by barge.

When the decision was made to build them in Utah, it was obvious they'd have to be made in sections, so they could be transported to Cape Canaveral by rail.

That's where the O-rings came in.  They were not part of the original design.  The design was compromised for political reasons.


Scroll down to 'Trains and the Shuttle':

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1 … tle_crash/



The investigation conclusion:

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/mis … pter-4.txt

Jan 28 13 09:14 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,008
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Nasa bought into their own PR about the Shuttle being a reuseable, reliable, flying F-150.

It was widely known as 'The Last Battlestar' for its immense size.

It had the worst payload to weight ratio of any system ever developed, since 75% of the payload/weight it carried into orbit was itself.

Russia built a beautiful copy of the shuttle, but with huge improvements - it was all liquid fueled, and the orbiter had no main engines, allowing for greater flexibility. It only flew once before the fall of the Soviet Union. Its only flight was unmanned, and flawless. The US remains the only nation to launch men into space on an untested, solid-propellant fueled rocket.

Designed to save money, the shuttle concept was so flawed that it was the most expensive way ever devised to get to orbit.

Rest in peace. Everyone who made the ultimate sacrifice flying in this now retired space vehicle.
Jan 28 13 09:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,594
Sun City, California, US


I watched as many launches as I could.  I have been a space geek since the Apollo Days.

..........

And I always had a gulp and choked up second, when they would use the phrase "Go at throttle up" in launches after Challenger.

That phrase and that image - are seared into my memories

And I feel so damned old sad
Jan 28 13 09:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,466
San Diego, California, US


Tropic Light wrote:
The shuttle design was largely driven by DOD and intelligence agencies desires.  We could have built a smaller, safer and more dependable spacecraft for civilian scientific and commercial pursuits.  That huge cargo bay and the solid boosters were designed for massive payloads, which made the whole system exceedingly complex and expensive to operate.

http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2012/11/1 … f-defense/

That's also why they wasted over a billion dollars building a launch facility at Vandenberg AFB in California that was never used.

Only the government - and really the military - can get away with waste on such a massive scale.

Jan 28 13 09:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,594
Sun City, California, US


GK photo wrote:
a couple months ago when they were flying endeavor around la and so cal, it was a very moving, emotional day. all the local news hacks were blubbering as they saw it fly over! smile

Agreed - The sadness of losing manned US flight capabilities.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/183228_535703516455035_1013341675_n.jpg

And the future of a return of the US to Space - in Dragons - in 2015 - and not have to ride like Hobos on Russian rockets.
Dragon mission to the ISS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwDCWTqNceQ

Jan 28 13 10:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sophistocles
Posts: 21,320
Seattle, Washington, US


Russian Katarina II wrote:
There was an accident with one rocket that killed 126 scientists and technicians alone - the rocket exploded on the landing pad when they were running tests and everyone was standing merrily around it.

Naturally Russians didn't even learn about this until the USSR collapsed. They were proficient in keeping the "failures" out of public knowledge.

The N1 explosion - the largest non-nuclear man-made explosion, ever.

Jan 28 13 10:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,471
Laguna Beach, California, US


Sophistocles wrote:
The N1 explosion - the largest non-nuclear man-made explosion, ever.

wtf? what was the fuel, and what was the tonnage equivalent?

nothing like ivy king on a launching pad.

Jan 28 13 11:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


GK photo wrote:
wtf? what was the fuel, and what was the tonnage equivalent?

Refined kerosene and liquid oxygen.

Roughly the equivalent of 7 kilotons of TNT.

Jan 29 13 12:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,474
Salinas, California, US


Russian Katarina II wrote:
There was an accident with one rocket that killed 126 scientists and technicians alone - the rocket exploded on the landing pad when they were running tests and everyone was standing merrily around it.

Naturally Russians didn't even learn about this until the USSR collapsed. They were proficient in keeping the "failures" out of public knowledge.

Some one had posted a link to an excellent movie regarding the space race between Russia and the USA on the forum here a couple years ago.  I'm not sure, but I think it's this one;  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST4emxOd9Qo  I'll watch this one and see if it is it.

Yes, this seems to be it!  smile

Start watching it when you've got a couple hours or more ... it's a long movie!

Jan 29 13 12:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,357
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Tropic Light wrote:
The shuttle design was largely driven by DOD and intelligence agencies desires.  We could have built a smaller, safer and more dependable spacecraft for civilian scientific and commercial pursuits.  That huge cargo bay and the solid boosters were designed for massive payloads, which made the whole system exceedingly complex and expensive to operate.

http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2012/11/1 … f-defense/

Then why didn't the military make more use of the shuttle? Didn't they have any toys they wanted in orbit?

Jan 30 13 05:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,357
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Vintagevista wrote:

Agreed - The sadness of losing manned US flight capabilities.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/183228_535703516455035_1013341675_n.jpg

And the future of a return of the US to Space - in Dragons - in 2015 - and not have to ride like Hobos on Russian rockets.
Dragon mission to the ISS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwDCWTqNceQ

Thank you. That video is very inspiring. Fills me with hope that we can get into space without government or the USA.  If private enterprise can do this who needs governments.

Jan 30 13 05:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,357
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Wasn't there a design for something like a huge capsule shape that could lift off on its own without a huge rocket?
Jan 30 13 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peter Claver
Posts: 26,657
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:

Thank you. That video is very inspiring. Fills me with hope that we can get into space without government or the USA.  If private enterprise can do this who needs governments.

private enterprise can only do it because government did it first.

Jan 30 13 05:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:
Wasn't there a design for something like a huge capsule shape that could lift off on its own without a huge rocket?

That's a very energy-intensive and inefficient design.

Jan 30 13 07:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tropic Light
Posts: 7,201
Kailua, Hawaii, US


AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:

Then why didn't the military make more use of the shuttle? Didn't they have any toys they wanted in orbit?

They deployed and retrieved satellites, and conducted experimental work, with cover stories for some of the missions.

Jan 30 13 11:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,922
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Instinct Images wrote:
That's also why they wasted over a billion dollars building a launch facility at Vandenberg AFB in California that was never used.

Only the government - and really the military - can get away with waste on such a massive scale.

Vandenburg AFB is used for secret military launches.  These were unmanned rockets.

From Wikipedia:
"Vandenberg AFB is a Department of Defense space and missile testing base, with a mission of placing satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast, using expendable boosters (Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur, Atlas V and Delta IV). Wing personnel also support the Service's LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force Development Evaluation program."

Jan 31 13 04:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,594
Sun City, California, US


Jerry Nemeth wrote:
Vandenburg AFB is used for secret military launches.  These were unmanned rockets.

From Wikipedia:
"Vandenberg AFB is a Department of Defense space and missile testing base, with a mission of placing satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast, using expendable boosters (Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur, Atlas V and Delta IV). Wing personnel also support the Service's LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force Development Evaluation program."

Well, they are not exactly "secret"  The next launch is the 11th of Feb.  A Landsat satellite - launch page -  http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av035/status.html

They kind of gave up the whole project of sending the shuttles from Vandenburg after Challenger.

This was a Vandenburg launch
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/534609_494900793868641_989633625_n.jpg

What I'm really waiting for, is the Delta - Heavy mission in August - massive photo-op

Jan 31 13 08:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,471
Laguna Beach, California, US


Vintagevista wrote:
This was a Vandenburg launch
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/534609_494900793868641_989633625_n.jpg

What I'm really waiting for, is the Delta - Heavy mission in August - massive photo-op

nice shot. no way you got that from sun city though, right? where you in like 1000 oaks or ventura? that's only the santa ynez/los padres in front of you, right?

Jan 31 13 09:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,594
Sun City, California, US


Sorry - Sun City it was.

When the Heavy goes in August - I may go up to Santa Barbara to get some shots.

That's like a flying building

It's just a nice testament to the idea of manned space travel that people can still get so worked up and excited - I can't wait for the Falcon 9's to start moving people.  There was that whole undercurrent of "it's too dangerous - we shouldn't risk manned flight after Challenger" -  I'm glad that we have not succumbed to that timid mindset.
Jan 31 13 09:27 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,008
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Columbia and its crew of 7 were lost 10 year ago today.
Feb 01 13 08:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
hbutz New York
Posts: 3,147
New York, New York, US


6.  The ambient temperature at time of launch was 36 degrees
     Fahrenheit, or 15 degrees lower than the next coldest previous launch.

I remember this day well.  It was so cold here in NY.  Ice everywhere.  You can imagine if it was 36 degrees in Florida how frigid it was here.  Up until then, the shuttle launches were routine.  Later at work the news was going around that the shuttle blew up.  We didn't believe it.  In a way, I will never believe it.
Feb 01 13 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Bots
Posts: 5,539
Kingston, Ontario, Canada


Robb Mann wrote:
Columbia and its crew of 7 were lost 10 year ago today.

They knew.


"NASA employee Wayne Hale said mission control made decision not to tell crew of danger"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … entry.html

"Mr Hale writes: 'After one of the MMTs (Mission Management Team) when possible damage to the orbiter was discussed, he (Flight Director Jon Harpold) gave me his opinion: ''You know, there is nothing we can do about damage to the TPS (Thermal Protection System).'
'"If it has been damaged it's probably better not to know. I think the crew would rather not know. Don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay on orbit, knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?"'"

Feb 01 13 09:05 am  Link  Quote 
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