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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its bad enough they run on a shoe-string budget, but even when they say up-front that its a dangerous business they, the NASA safety people, get treated so poorly.


I find it difficult to believe that politicians have the nerve to think that they could do a better job.
 

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wow, i hope this doesn't hurt their current mission of "weaponizing space" or any of the other NASA "military stool pigeon" agendas.:p Lets face it, the glory days ended with the moon-shots of the 60s. That started out as a proproganda battle of the cold-war and then looked like it held so much promise for the future of man-kind exploring space. Unfortunately,it turned into another fat, wasteful, misguided government boondogle. It's just too bad, but if you really want the excitement of space exploration it will have to be fictional and in front of the big screen in your HT, "dare to dream":D
 

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Very ,very bad news since the excitement of space for me doesn't come from space telescopes or probes but in "us going there". If the 60's space flight did not make you feel great nothing will. Seventy five percent of the American public believes we should keep our manned space program( a staggering percentage by any stretch). Who can get any real joy from watching a space film when it represents total fantasy rather than what might be?


The kind of feeling I get seeing a shuttle lift off or when I saw a Saturn V has not been matched in my life. I think the expectation that NASA could hold out until funding for a heavy lift vehicle or a manned Mars project could be realistically planned ,on a shoe string, didn't work out.


I just think that calling one of this nations greatest achievements a boondoggle is a low blow. NASA has done it's best to keep the space program going despite having no money. So much of the overruns on the space station have come from revisions in design 20 astronauts full time,10 full time, six full time, now three ! It was going to be a staging point for other missions that's been dropped. It was supposed to be completed in 1995 initially. I believe that it still only represents a toe hold but one I think we need.


Our space program has been a feel good part of America for 40 years I think we need it.


Art
 

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me thinks you misinterperted my post, yes the 60s space program was one of the greatest accomplishments of man-kind. It's what came after that was a total waste, namely the shuttle. As far as what the "American public" think, that would be a pathetic barometer of any national venture. After all, the vast majority believed we had to invade Iraq to protect ourselves from WMD. The shuttle cost a fortune and was never intended for anything but filling near Earth orbit with military and commerical satellites. Yes, science fiction is more interesting than watching another trajic shutle disaster and the future looks grim so i'll stick to sci-fi:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would force every politician to a mandated 2-months/year tour of duty as a second pair of eyes to the Safety crew. That way, if the sh!t hits the fan, it gets on them too.
 

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!!

In my opinion, “Good Riddance to the lot of ‘emâ€. They all failed to do their jobs – and “heads should rollâ€!


I arrived at KSC a couple of months after Grissom, White and Chaffee died in the 1967 Apollo fire on Pad 34 and I recall Gene Kranz’s words at that time:

"We are the cause. We were not ready. We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice hoping that things would come together by launch day when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle," "From this day forward, flight control will be known by two words: 'tough' and 'competent.' Tough means we will forever be accountable for what we do or what we fail to do," he said. "We will never again compromise our responsibilities."


I was part of the KSC launch team for all Saturn-V Apollo launches through Apollo 11, sending men into Lunar orbit, working with launch equipment designed back in the 1950's, and probably relegated to the status of museum pieces by today's standards.


During my time at KSC, from assembly thru launch, both Ground and Flight Safety was incessantly pounded into us and we were told ALWAYS, if we had any concerns about flight safety we were EXPECTED to yell long & loud to get attention. I don’t ever recall an atmosphere of timidity or fear of bureaucratic retaliation during all the launches I was part of.


So, after the “fire†of 1967, the “Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel†was created to oversee NASA operations and slowly, almost unperceptively, the commission seemingly morphed into just another bureaucracy – either complacent or impotent or both.


Then comes the fatal “blow-by†of O-Rings in the Challenger boosters back in 1986. From paragraph-one of the “Findings†of the “Contributing Cause of the Accidentâ€. Quote:

“The Commission concluded that there was a serious flaw in the decision making process leading up to the launch of flight 51-L. A well structured and managed system emphasizing safety would have flagged the rising doubts about the Solid Rocket Booster joint sealâ€


Or, as Commissioner Feynman of the Presidential Commission of the Challenger Accident stated:

“NASA and Thiokol accepted escalating risk apparently because they "got away with it last time." As Commissioner Feynman observed, the decision-making was, "a kind of Russian roulette. ... (The Shuttle) flies (with O-ring erosion) and nothing happens. Then it is suggested, therefore, that the risk is no longer so high for the next flights. We can lower our standards a little bit because we got away with it last time. ...â€


Then comes the flawed launch of “Columbia†and loss of seven astronauts on Feb 1st. Again another Accident Investigation Board Report is delivered to the American people. I’ll not go into more details but Section 5.2 describes the NASA “culture†and the ominous point that it was much the same as when “Challenger†blew up in 1986.


Yes, budgets have been cut, management has seemingly become even more political, and the pressure of Shuttle launches is probably comparable to the pressure of beating the Russians to the Moon, but something more seems to have been lost since Apollo. To quote the AIB report:

“The Apollo era created at NASA an exceptional “can do†culture marked by tenacity in the face of seemingly impossible challenges. This culture valued the interaction among research and testing, hands-on engineering experience, and dependence on the exceptional quality of its workforce and leadership that provided in-house technical capability to oversee the work of contractors. The culture also accepted risk and failure as inevitable aspects of operating in space, even as it held as its highest value attention to detail in order to lower the chances of failure….. …[This] Apollo-era organizational culture came to be in tension with the more bureaucratic space agency of the 1970’s…â€


I love the space program and I have memories of KSC launches I’ll treasure always. It’s my dream that someday we’ll live to see astronauts regularly commuting between KSC and “Tranquility Baseâ€, with an occasional side trip to the “4th Rock from the Sunâ€.


So I say, if the rascals in blue-suits and white-shirts are not doing their job, replace ‘em!


Now I’m going to watch a movie on my HT… :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You know, I fail to understand why all of America EXCEPT those going into space cannot accept that one rolls the dice going into space regardless of how they get there. Everyone that have died in space travel rolled the dicing knowing this. This isn't some luxury vacation. Still, i find it impossible to accept Congress liknig to make themselves look better by pointing fingers. Accidents DO happen (we're human), and when accidents happen in a dangerous profession people die.


I'd still take the chance and travel into space if given the chance.
 

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As the saying goes, “S*** Happensâ€, as evidenced by the Apollo 13 blown liquid oxygen tank – wherein we were very lucky that three lives were saved by some heroic NASA efforts.


But when we don’t pay attention to the “red flags†or we “play the odds†so that we can squeeze another flight instead of “fixing the problem†beforehand – that is not a “roll of the dice†we should ask our astronauts to take casually – they deserve our very best effort, before they leave Mother Earth, to keep them alive - and schedules "be damned".


I’m done…
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Congress seems to forget that Space is a dangerous business and anyone attempting to get there has a 50-50 chancing of getting killed in the process. They also seem to forget that we are human, which means we make mistakes and as a result that 50-50 moves closer to the death option. Lastly, Congress seems to forget that these first two points are understood by those space travelers and knowingly and willingly accepted the risks.


Now, we have a condition in which a review panel says that the Safety Panel was ineffective and did not have the influence. If I report the turd is going to hit the fan and I'm ignored, brushed aside, etc., then its not the reporting person's fault, but the flight director's fault for ignoring or waiving off said warnings.
 

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Sorry all. We do not have an off topic area on this site, nor do we want one. So I will respectfully close this thread now.
 
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