KPDX From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2777 posts, RR: 2 Posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2771 times:
Sorry if this has been posted before but I just came along this video. Its pretty interesting and then pretty emotional at times. For the video they take the audio transcripts and put them at the same time during the home videos. http://www.2bdfilms.com/features/rtr_afop.wmv
View my aviation videos on Youtube by searching for zildjiandrummr12
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2435 times:
An interesting point that very few ever mention is had Columbia not broken up, the additional drag created by the whole in her wing would have not allowed them to reach the Kennedy Space Center Runway. They would have had to ditch off the coast.
SCEagle From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2431 times:
An excellent reconstruction video...
About the ditching... when they (pilots and Mission Control) started realizing the damage (perhaps another minute or two and they'd have pieced it together) to the wing and performance, could they have made an alternate landing site?
I have read the opposite. I think most shuttle landings are done at around 200kts. If you were to "fudge" a little and suppose they were to touch down at minimum flying speed, they might still be doing 170kts. That's a lot of energy to get rid of.
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
Thorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2386 times:
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2): An interesting point that very few ever mention is had Columbia not broken up, the additional drag created by the whole in her wing would have not allowed them to reach the Kennedy Space Center Runway. They would have had to ditch off the coast.
That, most likely would have been survivable.
The devil is in the details. If the vehicle couldn't make the Cape, there would be a sporting chance of making Orlando International or MacDill AFB, depending on how short on energy the vehicle was. Also, the vehicle flies itself based on how much energy it has. If it is slowing down more than it expects to be, the S-turns to dissipate speed would be made smaller in order to stretch the energy to reach the destination.
If the vehicle is still controllable but without enough energy to reach the runway, that would be a bail out situation. Columbia didn't last long enough for that to happen, but I've heard reports (i.e., rumors) that the guys in the back rooms were preparing a bail out recommendation when Mission Control lost contact with Columbia. (This was mostly because they thought the tires were blown and no longer reliable for landing.)