The Columbia


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As an avid fan and supporter of the space program, I want to extend my condolences to everyone effected by the loss of our beloved astronauts.

Perhaps in some way, we will gain a new and better understanding of space flight.

I'll second that, Carol. :agree:

Since a rocket is basically just a controlled bomb, I always thought of the launch as the most critical part of space travel. You just never know, do you? Right now it's blindingly obvious that space travel is a dangerous business at best, but that's the price humans must pay for using cutting edge technology. Accidents will happen. At least I hope this one was mercifully quick.



My prayers to the families as well. I too am a fan of the space program, and hope the cause is identified and corrected, and the program continues.

Just out of speculation, let's say the incident on take off did contribute to this catastrophe. How can anyone, or small group of experts make a call such as they did from where they were standing? It is so easy to give a go-ahead command in order to keep a schedule. It is done everyday in many manufacturing businesses. In many of our businesses when we make "premature judgements", we receive a customer complaint, which may include an injury, but rarely do we suffer a consequence such as this.

On the other hand, let's say they did determine this to be a critical factor on re-entry? What would they have done to save the astronauts? I think there is now an evacuation plan (eject) system that has been put in place since the Challenger incident. If used, it would mean they would have to lose the spacecraft. No doubt, it's a tough call to make.

The closest thing I can relate to "riding a rocket" would be autroracing. These drivers know the dangers everytime they climb aboard. No one ever dreams of it being their last race, but they know the possibility does exist for something to go wrong that could cost them their life.


Super Moderator
Machines break and things happen. After a successful career of performing maintenance test flights mainly in military helicopters I can tell you guys that no matter how well you plan & check the unexpected still occurs, sometimes with catastrophic results. I have between 4000 and 4500 flight hours on crew status and I cannot count the number of emergencies I was involved in. The key thing we learned was to press on. Learn from the mistakes and occurances and do the best we can to keep them from happening again.

The Shuttles will fly again. Those 7 folks would not have it any other way.


American history is full lost lives. The willingness of the American people to fight the hard fight and bounce back is one of the finest qualities of the American people.

We are quick to offer our life, and do so with pride!

I believe that every crew member of the Columbia was proud of their accomplishments.

We will mourn their loss, examine what evidence we have, and continue to develop the program.

I would be first in line if asked to participate in such a flight.

Which risks you are willing to take and how you face those risks, defines the type of person you are.

I pray for the crew of Columbia and their families and also pray for strength for the families.


Quite Involved in Discussions
My thoughts go out to the families and friends of those that remain. It is a shame that our space program has turned into a business rather than research and exploration. I know that they were all aware of the risk and would want us to go on. Space and the Ocean are our frontiers.
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