Something's Loose

Does this latest NASA launch seem odd? Prior to even setting the date, NASA officials were giving press conferences about tiles coming off and the damge done when they do. The launch was postponed once when something came unglued on the side and they wondered what damage it would do. Then just prior to liftoff that was the primary topic; what if the tiles still come off? Then immediately following liftoff, NASA engineers and managers were viewing tiles or something flying off compliments of a hundred cameras. Now, the next day, all we hear are NASA officials wondering if this flight is in trouble. It's like, 'Hey, let's send this thing full of people up and see if we still have trouble with the tiles and the damage done by loose tiles.' 'We know we don't have it solved, but let's see just how bad it is.'

Rather than exploration and information gathering, NASA has become a series of billion dollar laboratory experiments using human rats.

Disclaimer: This message is not intended to offend or attack. It is posted as personal opinion. If you find yourself offended or uncomfortable, email me and let me know why.


  • 18 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I had the same thoughts as you and couldn't figure out for the life of me why NASA would send these people into space. Were they pressured into the launch for some reason? I only hope the astronauts come back to us safely.
  • NASA has someone new in charge, he was appointed just before this shuttle was supposed to take off earlier this spring. He grounded it then....but seems to be taking risks now...maybe there is some pressure.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 07-27-05 AT 01:24PM (CST)[/font][br][br]NASA operates under the philosophy of ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF RISK. I can’t operate that way in my industry, as I don’t feel putting ee’s in harms way with an acceptable level of risk is the right thing to do and OSHA doesn’t think so either. Where was the OSHA inspector before the lift off? Oh yea, the Feds are exempt from their own inspection agency.

    Remember the gasket leak years ago that caused a disaster, NASA knew it was there and overlooked it as an acceptable level of risk. For the life of me I can’t understand why they operate under this type of management. I believe in the space program but not at the cost of human life. There is something that needs to change within that organization and just a change in management won’t cut it. A complete culture change is needed and until then we can only hold our breath that there will not be another disaster.

  • Surely if the Astronauts thought it was a problem they wouldn't go. Or would they?

  • >
    >Rather than exploration and information
    >gathering, NASA has become a series of billion
    >dollar laboratory experiments using human rats.
    >It's interesting that if they used real rats PETA would probably be protesting, but since its humans, they are being quiet.

    In any case, my cynical response is that if NASA doesn't send people into space, a lot of the bureaucrats will lose their jobs (and which is more important).

  • This whole thing is nothing more than a pi**ing contest. As the most technologically advanced nation in the world, we simply cannot allow ourselves to take the necessary time to fix this program, no sir! We have to show the world (and our a**) that we can get another shuttle to outer space faster than anyone else.

  • 'Acceptable Level of Risk' is a term used in two American institutions. Government and marriage. In the latter the acceptable level is much lower.

    If any astronaut answered 'no' to the question of whether there might be something wrong, that would be an IQ test for sure.

  • In today's Washington Post:

    "shuttle program manager William W. Parsons's decision to postpone future flights indefinitely"

    So I guess we can all take a deep sigh of relief now, knowing that if anything tragic occurs, the idea to postpone future flights has already been contemplated.
  • Also on the news this morning (Thursday) the reporter actually said, "With this mission, safety is the main objective."

    I'm sure the families of these astronauts are comforted.

  • I thought the main objective of this mission was to get the shuttle back off the ground so NASA didn't lose their funding.
  • Haven't you heard? There's no real problem. If they do the space walk and then go to the space station and do an observatory rotation and find a problem, the shuttle gets parked and the astronauts get to stay at the space station until they fix another shuttle and lift this "grounding" thing, or until the Russians can take them off some time next year. Hope they brought enough crackers and peanut butter!

    (How did their families feel about this questionable flight? I'm having visions of Kathleen Quinlan in "Apollo 13" asking for a pre-flight divorce or extra life insurance.)
  • I hate to disagree with all of my esteemed Forum friends, but we all operate within the framework of acceptable risk. Do you suppose Columbus, Magellan, etc, etc, demanded that all risk be taken out of their voyages before they pushed off? Do you demand that there be NO risk before you drive to work in the morning?? (Did you even do a walk around of your vehicle before you started out this morning? Check your tire pressure, check oil and coolant levels, examine tread wear on your tires???) Good Grief, get your feet on the ground. There is going to be some risk in something as demanding as space exploration.

    I don't want to see the loss of life either, but there is some risk in things worth doing.
  • You must have been watching different news coverage from that I watched over the past two weeks. For almost two weeks the media said that NASA was still concerned about tiles coming off and damaging the craft and they HOPED they had solved it. Then tiles came off and damaged it pre-flight about 10 days ago and it was grounded for REVIEW. Then they said they hoped the tiles would not come off and damage it like the last one that blew apart over Texas. So, it lifted off and sure enough, almost as predicted, tiles flew off the craft and all they've really said is they hope the damage isn't significant. But, if it is, we can try to pick these guys up in a year or so at the space station. (Talk about waiting for the subway train to come back around).

    I don't view this at all as 'taking an acceptable level of risk'. Taking risk is knowing that something could go wrong, but probably assuming it won't and thinking things are safe. Stupidly taking risk is knowing precisely what it is that could go wrong, knowing it went wrong last time, knowing it's not corrected, watching it go wrong pre-flight, then, by gosh and by golly watching it go wrong again this time just like it did last time. I forgot how many billions have spent since the last disaster, 'looking at the problem'.

    I listened to some of the antique astronauts on a talk panel last night. John Glenn and Aldrin I think it was. Both said they would do lots of stuff differently and both intimated NASA is politically motivated. Both hinted that sh*t happens and some risk is always there. And both said they 'hope the craft comes back to earth'.

  • Based on this morning's news, it doesn't look good. Now they say pictures from the space station show the gap-filling fabric between the tiles is floating and coming out. I didn't see the panel Don refers to, but I have heard and read the same astronauts say the same things before. I second the rest of Don's last posting also. Doesn't sound like this one was really launched with an "acceptable level of risk", more like a political push to get it off the ground. Shuttle flights for a time were almost run-of-the-mill and folks lost interest. Looks like this flight after the Challenger and Columbia is bringing them back to the closely watched category. I just hope they make it back safely.
  • Some of us are born with that spirit of adventure and exploration. Admittedly, I don't have it...and I'm grateful that none of my family seems to either. BUT I am also grateful to those that do. Those whose desire for answers and knowledge is greater than their fear push our society forward to embrace new thoughts and realitites that we'd never acheive if we kept both feet firmly planted.

    We are a great mix of people...and we need that diverse mix to continue moving ahead and grow.

    I wish the astonauts well...and hope for a safe return...but if something goes wrong, I also know that they will be a peace with their choice and I hope their families will find that same peace.

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 08-01-05 AT 01:54PM (CST)[/font][br][br]I don't believe anyone on this site wishes anything but the best for the astronauts. Life is always a gamble. There is nothing to say that on the way home, I won't get in an accident. However, it is bizarre to think that NASA would knowingly put people in harm's way rather than make sure the Shuttle was in as good a condition as is humanly possible before launch.

  • Yep, it is sad and ANOTHER reason not to watch t.v. This stuff is crazy making. No tv, no newspapers, very little radio, try it, you might like it!


    Disclaimer: None of my posts are intended to discombobulate any persons. Should this happen, I would suggest taking a "mental health day" and getting over it.

  • Scorpio; I am mighty discombobulated by your post, which is pretty damned close to being offended. My problem is that I cannot take a mental health day to recover from the pain.

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