Columbia astronauts weren't told of malfunction - Israel News, Ynetnews
 
ynetnews
web


   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Jewish
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
Disaster Decennial

Ilan Ramon Photo: Reuters
Ilan Ramon Photo: Reuters
 
Wayne Hale Photo: gettyimages
Wayne Hale Photo: gettyimages
 
 

Columbia astronauts weren't told of malfunction

Decade after Columbia Shuttle disaster, ABC reveals NASA hid slim re-entry chances from astronauts. Flight Director: Crew would rather not know

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 02.01.13, 09:17 / Israel News

WASHINGTON - At the 10th anniversary of the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) admitted that it did not reveal to the seven astronauts on-board, among them Israeli Ilan Ramon, that there was a considerable chance they will not successfully finish their journey.

 

Video courtesy of jn1.tv

 

ABC news exposed Friday that NASA considered whether to notify the astronauts of the severity of their situation, but that the decision was made to allow the astronauts to enjoy their mission while they can.

 

Related stories:

 

Wayne Hale, a Mission Control member, disclosed that as the ground team discussed the damage caused to the shuttle at its launch Flight Director Jon Harpold told him:

 

"I think the crew would rather not know. Don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay on orbit, knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?"


צוות ה"קולומביה". עומד מימין: אילן רמון (צילום: AFP PHOTO / NASA)

Columbia crew. Ilan Ramon (R) (Photo: AFP / NASA)


גאווה ישראלית. אילן רמון בהכנות לשיגור לחלל (צילום: נאס"א)

Ilan Ramon preparing for blast-off (Photo: NASA)


"הנזק נגרם למעבורת בעת המראתה". ה"קולומביה" ב-16 בינואר 2003 (צילום: MCT)

January 16, 2003. Blast-off (Photo: MCT)


המעבורת התפרקה מעל שמי טקסס. 1 בפברואר 2003 (צילום: AP)

The disintegration upon re-entry (Photo: AP)

 

At the time no one knew for sure whether the shuttle sustained any damage when foam from an external fuel tank broke off and hit the shuttle's left wing during blast off.

 

Even if they did, NASA had no option for repair, as the crew was far from the International Space Station, had no robotic arm to examine the wing and it would have taken too long for launch a rescue mission. 

 

On February 1, 2003, the Columbia Space Shuttle disintegrated over the Texan skies killing all seven astronauts on board.

 

In the wake of the disaster, a probe revealed that it was indeed the foam, the size of a briefcase weighing less than a kilogram, which hit Columbia's left wing and damaged the shuttle's thermal protection system, exposing the shuttle to the intense heat of atmospheric re-entry, causing the disaster.

 

 

  • Receive Ynetnews updates directly to your desktop

 

 

commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Del.icio.us Bookmark to del.icio.us



 
12 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load

 

RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions