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Last Known Photo of Left Wing of Columbia
Posted on 02/02/2003 12:51:56 PM PST by Robe
Here is the last known ( published ) photo of Space Shuttle Columbia's Left wing while in orbit.
TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: columbia; michaeldobbs; spaceshuttle
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The link brings you to the "Gallery" section of NASA's site.
You can get a High Resolution look at the left wing from about midway outboard. Other that some old scorch marks it looks fine.
From what I can gather this is the only view the crew could have had to evaluate any damage to the wing.
Posted for your comments and research.
Sorry I don't know how to set this up as a link and get the HI-RES photo....I'll leave that to the experts
posted on 02/02/2003 12:51:56 PM PST
The "NASA" link works fine... just select HI or LOW resolution
posted on 02/02/2003 12:54:17 PM PST
Thanks for the link. I agree that it shows no visible flaws other than a little scorching. But then the problem might have been at some point in the wings that this shot doesn't capture.
posted on 02/02/2003 1:09:41 PM PST
(Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
That's a nice photograph, particularly in the high-res. You can see part of the leading edge of the left wing, but you can't see it head-on, nor the part that is closest to the shuttle, since it is hidden by the cargo bay door. The leading edge of the wing is made of reenforced carbon-carbon because the leading edges of the wings and the front tip of the shuttle are exposed to the highest stresses and temperatures. These edges are made up of segments that are much larger than individual tiles, so if it was nicked, it could have been fine. Perhaps tiles above or underneath the edges were damaged by the falling insulation. It was above, it would have been fine. If it was below, then there could be a lot of trouble. Other things may have been the cause though, obviously.
posted on 02/02/2003 1:12:38 PM PST
(+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
I agree. Who knows what the underside looked like
I was interested to see if there was a bump or a crease, where the foam struck.
posted on 02/02/2003 1:14:06 PM PST
You can't really see the entire wing. Who knows if something was dislodged or cracked that would have caused the problem.
posted on 02/02/2003 1:20:20 PM PST
They can use one of numerous imaging satellites to look at the shuttle. They have done it before.
Thing is did they do it this time?
Is this the image and links ya need?
|STS-107 Shuttle Mission Imagery
STS107-E-05359 (22 January 2003) --- SPACEHAB Research Double Module as seen from Columbia's aft flight deck.
high res (0.9 M) low res (59 K)
posted on 02/02/2003 1:25:14 PM PST
To: Robe; *all
AEDC Performs Shuttle Materials Test for NASA/Lockheed Martin
ARNOLD AFB, Tenn.
-Arnold Engineering Development Center is assisting the National Aeronautics Space Administration with improvements in existing Space Shuttle materials. According to NASA, during several previous Space Shuttle flights, including the shuttle launched Nov. 29, 1998, the shuttle external tank experienced a significant loss of foam from the intertank. The material lost caused damage to the thermal protection high-temperature tiles on the lower surface of the shuttle orbiter.
The loss of external tank foam material and subsequent damage to reentry tiles is a concern because it causes tile replacement costs to significantly increase,,u. however, it is not a flight safety issue. As a result, NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center selected AEDC to perform flight hardware materials tests on the shuttle's external tank panels in the center's von Karman Facility Supersonic Tunnel A.
The purpose was to establish the cause of failure for the tank thermal protection materials at specified simulated flight conditions. "NASA chose AEDC due to its technical expertise and historical program successes," Steve Holmes, a NASA-MSFC technical coordinator, said
(From another article)
A review of the records of the STS-86 records revealed that a change to the type of foam was used on the external tank.
This event is significant because the pattern of damage on this flight was similar to STS-87 but to a much lesser degree. The reason for the change in the type of foam is due to the desire of NASA to use "environmentally friendly" materials in the space program.
Freon was used in the production of the previous foam. This method was eliminated in favor of foam that did not require freon for its production. MSFC is investigating the consideration that some characteristics of the new foam may not be known for the ascent environment."
posted on 02/02/2003 1:26:36 PM PST
Wouldn't the underside (( heat shield // re-entry )) be more critical ?
posted on 02/02/2003 1:36:01 PM PST
(( Orcs of the world : : : Take note and beware. ))
The best evidence is visible on the engine nacelles.
Both nacelles show evidence of some sort of impact and the port nacelle appears to have two tiles that have lost significant parts, leaving jagged, black areas.
I would be very interested in comparing this view to one from an earlier flight of Columbia.
Here is a link to the video of the impact.
The last few frames CLEARLY show an OBJECT that has deflected off the wing.
The size and acceleration of the object before it impacts will give you the mass of the object, and the angle of deflection and velocity before and after the impact will give you an idea of how much work (damage) was done on the wing. I presume NASA has already done this and seen haw foolish they were. That would explain the shameful obfuscation in their briefings.
I am sensing GROSS NEGLIGENCE.
First point of negligence:
If this video had been analyzed by a competent engineer, they would have freaked. The alarm would have been rung.
Second point of negligence:
Tile inspection should have been a standard operation for all flights. All they would have needed to do is place an off the shelf video camera out the payload bay, and turn the shuttle in front of it. God! A $50 X-10 camera with eight double "A" batteries would have worked!
The Congressmen, who are ultimatly responsible, should be publicly chastised.
- NASA did not attempt to examine Columbia's left wing with high-powered telescopes on the ground, 180 miles below, or with spy satellites. The last time NASA tried that, to check Discovery's drag-chute compartment during John Glenn's shuttle flight in 1998, the pictures were of little use, Dittemore said. Besides, he said, "there was zero we could have done about it."
- Similarly, NASA did not ask the crew of international space station to use its cameras to examine the wing when the two ships passed within a few hundred miles of each other several times over the past two weeks.
- NASA did not consider a spacewalk by the crew to inspect the left wing. The astronauts are not trained or equipped to repair tile damage anywhere on the shuttle, least of all on a relatively inaccessible area like the underside of a wing, Dittemore said.
Could NASA have sent another shuttle to rescue Columbia's five men and two women?
In theory, yes.
Does every shuttle have that robotic arm Canada designed? If so, is/was it jointed and extendable enough it could have positioned a camera out there for a better look?
To: Born to Conserve
I don't know what the ultimate outcome of the Columbia investigation will be and and neither do you. You have every right to be curious about the events surrounding the tragedy, but its too early to have serious doubts since insufficient evidence has been produced so far. Your speculation is okay, but pointing fingers and placing blame based on that flimsy video, is wrong.
Let's see what actually transpires and what the experts have to say. At this point, jumping to conclusions, solves nothing.
To: Born to Conserve
The size and acceleration of the object before it impacts will give you the mass of the object, and the angle of deflection and velocity before and after the impact will give you an idea of how much work (damage) was done on the wing.
Even if the conservation-of-energy study could be accurately done in the way you have suggested, it wouldn't reveal anything about damage done to the wing. (Determining the amount of energy transfered to the wing wouldn't tell us anything very useful.)
I presume NASA has already done this and seen how foolish they were. That would explain the shameful obfuscation in their briefings...I am sensing GROSS NEGLIGENCE...First point of negligence: If this video had been analyzed by a competent engineer, they would have freaked.
I don't think so. I would urge you to leave it to the engineers.
posted on 02/02/2003 3:05:28 PM PST
After comparing the image from STS-107 and Columbia's earlier STS-93 mission, the same damage is visible in the earlier mission. There does not appear to be any new damage visible in this image.
To: Born to Conserve; CCWoody
By way of further explanation, let me point out that we don't know the shape of the surface
of the chunk of insulation (which I assume is calcium silicate or something similar). Nor can we tell what points on that surface actually contacted the wing surface.
This matters a great deal, because elastic-collision energy conservation equations depend on knowing the coefficients for the involved materials. And for deformable (non-elastic) materials, the coefficients are geometry-dependent.
We also don't know the exact angle of contact with the wing surface in the collision, because we don't the exact point of contact with wing surface. That makes the calculation of the skidding friction energy transfer--which could be considerable--essentially impossible. (Besides, it would probably take a laboratory study to determine that dynamic friction coefficient for the insulation-to-tile collision model anyway. This would be inordinately complicated, by the way, due to the effects of deformations on the less-than-rigid insulation.)
As a related matter, we don't know how fast the insulation was spinning when it hit the wing or how much that changed as a result of the collusion with the wing. (The video's resolution is not good enough.)
With these unknowns, I don't think we can calculate how non-elastic the behavior of the wing itself was. And that is what we would need to calculate if we want to estimate the potential that it was damaged.
posted on 02/02/2003 4:24:29 PM PST
The NASA management said that the engineers who looked at the video said that the object disintegrated into a puff of dust. The video shows clearly that the object is intact after the collision. They were wrong. What does that say about NASA engineering managment?
I would speculate that the engineers are burdened by "management" to the point of being incapacitated. I would speculate that most critical engineers have moved on in disgust, leaving the easily cowed engineers to engineer what the management wants them to engineer.
When this investigation is done, they will have to admit what everyone knows: that the left wing tiles were damaged by an object observed during launch, that there was no attempt to determine the extent of the damage, and that seven people died unnecessarily.
I'm sure you'll say that we can't know these things for certain, and we should therfore let the people who made the mistakes run the investigation.
By the way, do you work for NASA?
That is not the wing. It is the rear stabilizer.
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