[meteorite-list] Space Shuttle "Columbia" Explosion...
From: Greg Redfern <gredfern_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:18:24 2004
First let me say I respect, but totally disagree with your stated opinion.
Throughout the history of mankind, including our very first ancestors, if
they had not had the courage, drive and or curiosity to venture into the
unknown, we would not be where we are today.
The STS-107 astronauts, more than any one else, knew the dangers
represented in each flight. They know them, confront them as best as
possible, and fly knowing that all that can be done regarding safety has
been done. THERE WILL NEVER BE A TOTALLY SAFE WAY TO ENTER AND RETURN FROM
SPACE....NEVER. Escape systems to operate at 39 miles altitude and 12,500
MPH just aren't feasible, period.
Consider Mark the number of airline crashes and resultant fatalities
that have occurred since Challenger on 1/28/86; consider the number of
crashes and fatalities that have occurred in vehicles. By comparison the
shuttles have a pretty impressive record of safety and reliability. Whatever
happened on Columbia will probably be pinpointed (I hope enough telemetry,
photographic evidence and relevant debris can be found to aid in the
inquiry), analyzed and corrected so that the Discovery, Endeavour and
Atlantis can fly once more.
Mark, the destiny of humanity will be determined ultimately in our ability
to live, work, populate and inhabit space. The only way the human race will
be assured of survival is to send representatives to the other planets of
the solar system and beyond. We on this List know of the dangers and
consequences of impacts. The ONLY way to protect ourselves against the
catastrophic effects of a Chicxulub event is to learn all we can about the
adversary AND populate other worlds. We can't do that from the comfort and
safety of our observatories and unmanned spacecraft - we have to fly into
I will admit that NASA needs to go beyond the space shuttle and low Earth
orbit. We need a replacement for the shuttle fleet and need to be going to
the Moon and Mars. But this is more of a political challenge than a
technical one. No bucks, no Buck Rogers. I doubt that Congress has the will
in these turbulent times to appropriate more money to NASA. The Viet Nam war
forced the cancellation of three Apollo missions due to budget cuts (and the
ho-hum attitude of the American public about going to the Moon again and
again). Our current war footing will have the same effect as does the
general attitude of the American public - many people did not even know a
shuttle mission was ongoing.
To close, when we stop exploring and pushing ourselves to understand the
unknown we are taking the first steps towards our own oblivion. Evolution
has a way of eradicating life forms that cannot adapt...without manned and
unmanned exploration of space we will have taken the first steps towards
May God bless the STS-107 crew and their families. They went to space for
all of us to try and
make our world a better place through their scientific explorations. They
represent the best and brightest in the human species.
[mailto:meteorite-list-admin_at_meteoritecentral.com]On Behalf Of Mark Fox
Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 10:05 AM
Subject: [meteorite-list] Space Shuttle "Columbia" Explosion...
Feb. 1, 2003
Dear Meteorite Enthusiasts,
I just listened to the news right after the post
from Mr. John Gwilliam. This is just terrible!!!!!!
Why must we keep sending people up there? Space
travel, no matter how breathtaking and awesome, is
still too hazardous and not well thought out yet.
People's lives in space are at stake every minute, and
there is still no good way for them to escape to earth
when a fateful problem arises!
It is at all comprehensible that a tiny meteoroid sent
the shuttle to earth as a fireball?
Newaygo, MI USA
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Received on Sat 01 Feb 2003 03:15:36 PM PST