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July 13, 2005

Some Thoughts About the Scrub

This comment from Fox News caught my eye:

>>The plastic cover on one of Discovery's cockpit windows came loose Tuesday while the spaceship was on the launch pad, falling more than 60 feet and striking a bulge in the fuselage...No one knows why the cover — held in place with tape and weighing less than 2 pounds — fell off<<

Suspicion #1: Whoever placed the cover will be fired soon.
Question #1: I'm not a physics major, but how much force a two-pound object would have, falling from the cockpit window to the Shuttle's mid-fuselage? Figure 5kg, 10m/s/s, falling about 15-20m.

Question #2: Is such force equivalent to the foam strike that took down Columbia?

Question #3, unrelated to the previous two: How many tries did it take to launch Columbia after the Challenger disaster?

I appreciate Mr. Griffin supporting the Shuttle--for gosh sakes, we need to have SOMETHING flying--but there's no quicker way to professional (read: political) suicide in DC than backing a losing horse. I don't envy Griffin. From what I've heard, he's a true believer in an organization where "Not-invented-here-ism" is running rampant, and he's got to fight to keep the locals happy by running the current program when he not-so-secretly wants to do something bigger and bolder.

Posted by bart_leahy at July 13, 2005 09:02 PM



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