[quote]Originally posted by pscates:
<strong>On that video that keeps replaying, you see this large white thing break off and wall downward, away from the streaking shuttle. Is that the tail? A wing? Part of a wing?
Just seconds after that is that initial bright flare and then you start to see other pieces break away and eventually the large flare breaks into several smaller streaking chunks, each with their own smoke trail.
plasma bloom and vapourization combine with contrail to make all the pieces "white" as they re-enter... don't think it's possible to label any fragments as particular colour or component from the video i've seen so far
Freakier even is the closeness in time to the Challenger explosion (which, by the way, was memorialized by this crew in space a few days ago). Add to THAT, the 1967 Apollo launchpad fire that killed astronauts White, Chaffe and Grissom during a training exercise. That happend January 27.
The three worst things that have ever happened to our nation's space program have all happened within a 5 day span. Think about that: of all the decades this has been going on, of all the days in a single year, of all the flights, of all the training exercises, of all the other missions, etc. Could've happened any other time on any other missions. This one-week cluster of horrible events.
If I ran NASA, just to avoid tempting fate and "asking for it", I don't think I'd ever schedule another mission for January.</strong><hr></blockquote>
this exact coincidence of Jan 27/28 disasters was raised recently... mariners are superstitious folk at times... spacefarers ride the sky in ships... the bell on the ISS is tolling
surreal to hear the replay of Columbia's Tribute to Challenger/Apollo from earlier this mission
it's not that NASA won't fly this week in future, but i'd bet the january shift is double staffed for a few years
hopefully the result of this tragedy is a commitment to develop new technologies for spaceflight that INCREASE our explorations
the best memorial and method of recovery is a renewed vow to safely go back to space, go farther and stay longer, and go more often
ad luna, ad ares, ad astra
a sad week, but a chance to change the future
[ 02-01-2003: Message edited by: curiousuburb ]</p>