Teachers are bad luck in space

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by johnee, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #1
    is it just me or has the presence of a teacher on a spacecraft been associated with problems?

    The first teacher died in the first space shuttle explosion, and now her backup is potentially in peril as the heat shield has been damaged.

    After many, many months of investigation, analysis, and modifications to the foam, the shuttle gets a major ding NOW, when a teacher is on board.

    Nasa should play it safe and leave teachers on the ground, just in case.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
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    #2
    Don't be so foolish. It's only a minor scratch and won't cause any problems. The last shuttle go to up before this one had a much more serious problem. :rolleyes:
     
  3. macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #3
    I think that this happens all the time, just after columbia blew up because of it they have been more careful and found the damage almost every time.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
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    #4
    Teachers+outer space=bad news.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #5
    actually its not a minor scratch, it's a hole which goes all the way to the aluminum frame.

    let's just say if i was an astronaut and a teacher was on my flight, i would ask them if they didn't mind sitting this one out.

    actually, i did apply to the astronaut program. there was a rare period where nasa put the application process on line. I think people like me took advantage of it (I was still in college at the time which made me instantly disqualified) because they stopped putting the apps on line. But I did it anyway to get the rejection letter, which I proudly display in my office :D
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
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    Chicago, IL
    #6
    This is not something minor. This probably would cause the shuttle to burn up upon re-entry. Don't be surprised if you hear of the spacewalk being done to repair the tiles.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
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    #7
    To quote the chairman of the mission management team, John Shannon:

    "We have really prepared for exactly this case, since Columbia," Shannon said. "We have spent a lot of money in the program and a lot of time and a lot of people's efforts to be ready to handle exactly this case." Shannon went on to say, "It's a little bit of a concern to us because this seems to be something that has happened frequently."

    It's no big deal and you are being alarmist in suggesting otherwise. I'm glad NASA's astronaut programme is so selective in choosing astronauts, or else astronauts would spend all their time chewing their nails and bickering over superstition. Nothing would ever get done.
     
  8. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #8
    Just wish they did a better job in choosing administrators the same was they choose astronauts.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #9
    I'm reading "Failure Is Not An Option" by Eugene Kranz who was a flight controller/director for the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo missions. It's an excellent book and provides blow-by-blow details on mission control for most flights.

    The thing I realized while reading it was how different NASA is today vs. the early days. Many of the early missions were "adventurous" to say the least, but one thing he always pointed to was the fact that all mission planners/controllers/directors were on top of their game every second of the mission. The risks they took back then were only possible because of those people. NASA doesn't seem to be like that anymore.

    Macnut is right, administrators (and congress) have torn NASA apart. Adding teachers to the mix only makes things worse! They're bad luck! :D
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #10
    Please, let us not throw luck into science ;):p
     
  11. Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
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    #11
    That is absurd. There are so many flaws in that argument that I wouldn't even know where to begin.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #12
    Its not an argument, its a spooky feeling.

    but statistically, each time a teach has gone up something dreadful has happened. that's a 100% correlation.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    SkyBell

    Joined:
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    #13
    This just means the shuttle's era is over. They've had problems almost everytime since columbia. I think it's time to put the shuttle down.
     
  14. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    They can't do that until the ISS is finished, plus they don't have the replacement craft built yet.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    echeck

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    Location:
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    #15
    Public interest isn't there anymore either. Back in the early days whenever there was a launch people all over the country would tune in and watch it. The launches were big national events. Nowadays they're just footnotes, the public just doesn't care about it as much as they used to.

    I absolutely agree. It's sad, but I think it's time NASA took a couple decades (and a few billion dollars:rolleyes:) and came up with a new space craft design.

    EDIT

    Do they have a new design already? I didn't think they had decided on one. I guess that shows the level of my interest. :eek:
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    Maybe, they should hold contractors and sub-contractors to higher standards and make certain that the heat shield tiles are stronger than the foam on the fuel tanks. I'm surprised that they didn't have some kind of flexible container around the fuel tanks, in order to keep fracturing foam away from the shuttle.

    They've finally decided to build the equivalent of a car port to keep hail away from a shuttle at the launch area.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Obviously :p
     
  18. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #18
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft)
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    Location:
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    #19
    NASA feels differently. John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team:

    “This is not a 'catastrophic loss of orbiter' case at all. This is a case where you want to do the prudent thing for the vehicle."

    "The damage is benign enough for Endeavour to fly safely home; it’s more a matter of avoiding extensive post-flight repairs to any possible structural damage."

    Link
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
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    #20
    A "spooky feeling", you say? Is that anything like a gut feeling?

    Statistically, you have a sample size of two, and only one of them resulted in something dreadful. But clearly, you already have your mind made up.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Washington DC
    #21
    Before Columbia, things like this happened all the time, and nothing was done to fix them. And out of over 100 missions, all of them (with the exception of Columbia) were able to enter the atmosphere without trouble. It's only now that we are actually searching for these cracks and dents...on earlier missions there was damage MUCH worse than this with no problem at all.

    In the early days of the shuttle, strips of tile literally would fall off during launch and yet they still came home safe. Saying this scratch would bring down the shuttle is a HUGE exaggeration.

    By the way, for your viewing pleasure...
    [​IMG]
    (Me with Endeavour the night before launch last week :cool: )
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #22
    I understand your point and you are completely correct wrt/ historical missions and the attitude taken by NASA about them.

    However we do have the glaring fact that 7 (?) astronauts died as a result of damaged tiles.

    The question is: when tile damage occurs, is it the lethal kind or not? Without definitive studies showing what type/location of tile damage leads to hull integrity deterioration, all tile damage situations must be treated as if they will lead to it.

    it's sad that many talented people had to die for tile damage to be taken seriously.

    a spooky feeling is completely different than a gut feeling. its like a ghost is sitting right next to you shouting and screaming future events right into your ear.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    jczubach

    Joined:
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    Location:
    northwest
    #23
    Yeah, and mobile home trailer parks attract tornados.
    I say let the astronauts drink, it works for the russians.;)
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #24
    That is why they pay engineers to assess the damage and make an engineering decision as to whether or not they need to fix the tiles before returning. They do not need definitive studies into all possible situations in order to make sound judgements about damage and safety.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
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    #25
    Ah, so you were there for the launch too? How far did you travel for it? I road tripped all the way from Montreal to see it, haha. My job hooked my friends and I up with launch passes and tours of the KSC, so we had a great time. We got to the 600-ft barrier the day before the launch and got some great shots of Endeavour on the pad, even though the shuttle itself was still in its protective housing.

    Yep, that's pretty creepy. I think you should see a psychologist if there are ghosts screaming in your ear and telling the future. :p
     

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