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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 15, 2007 4:55:53 GMT -6
The Shuttles are inherently flawed - Time to ground the remainder of the fleet
A personal Opinion:
We have another potentially deadly situation aboard the Shuttle once again, and it seems like theres damage to the vehicle during every mission. Unacceptable failure rate for any space faring craft.
Now, I like a good space travel vehicle like anyone else, but the Space Shuttle is inherently flawed, outdated and has kept the American Space program in low Earth orbit for too long.
What’s old is new, and the upcoming Orion C.E.V spacecraft proves that keeping the volatile and potentially dangerous parts of the vehicle below the crew is smart thinking, ala the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. Not a single tragedy occurred during those flights. (Apollo 1 was a ground mishap). Having tons of fuel practically next to the astronauts faces is so wrong in so many ways. There is not even an escape provison for the crew to bail out or detach from the main booster. Insane!
I have handled Shuttle tiles, and they are so light and fragile, it’s a wonder they all don’t crumble and disintegrate in re-entry. Confidence in the integrity of the STS’s is low...even by NASA - and we have lost two crafts/astronaut crews in this design failure. The Shuttle program was a political compromise during the Nixon administration at the expense of continuing Apollo and the next phase of manned space travel.
Let’s repair the Hubble before we lose another one, and place the remainder Shuttles (Space trucks), in museums and get on with the next stage of true space exploration.
The return to the Moon and onward to Mars.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail