N777UA
Topic Author
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Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 12:13 pm

The loss of Columbia made me aware of something that is really a shame...how routine we perceive space flight nowadays. While I know the loss of Columbia is a horrific national tragedy, I am so used to space shuttle flights as being "just another activity", that my mind still perceives it as no more serious than your run of the mill plane crash. Maybe it still hasn't set in.

What do you all think?
 
DIA
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:00 pm

You speak for many of us. The shuttle flights have become just another regular event in America, unless you are directly or indirectly involved with the missions, or you follow the program out of interest.

The shuttle flights are just amazing. . .the technological abilities and the astronauts involved to perform such a flight are amazing in and of themselves.

Respectfully, DIA
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MCOtoATL
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:11 pm

You raise a good point. But if space travel is not as routine as many think it is, than such accidents would be expected. Instead, they are totally shocking and unexpected. Just think - about a month ago, 19 people died when their B1900D crashed on takeoff at Charlotte. Yet life went on and most people never thought much of it (which is a shame.) And yet commercial air travel is far safer than any other mainstream mode of travel, so one could expect airline accidents to result in even more public outcry, and yet the opposite seems to hold true. Either way, may they feel God's presence in the midst of such tragic times,.
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:21 pm

I would like to compare it more actually with a military chopper going down with seven soldiers aboard. Both are a symbol of America.

But the wierd thing is there is a lot more focus on the space shuttle tragedy than even American Airlines A300 that crashed after take off from JFK with I forgot how many killed but at least 180.

This in saying, if there was a big sporting event on the otherside of the country would they have a moment of silence for an airplane crash like they did for the Columbia at the NHL allstar game and the Probowl?
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 2:08 pm

It annoys me how noone really pays much attention to things like the space shuttle and then all of a sudden when something happens it is headline news. This is what happened with Apollo 13- a mission which was largely ignored by the media until disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth. I mean come on regarding shuttle flights as routine i can understand but calling an Apollo flight to the moon routine is plain rediculous and shows how narrow minded some people are. I think shuttle flights are regarded as being so routine because 99.9% of the time the missions go very smoothly without any major hitches to speak of.
 
b757300
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 2:25 pm

Anyone who thinks it is routine is ignorant. Nothing is routine about getting into a system as complex as the space shuttle, being strapped onto hundred of thousands of pounds of high explosives and blasted into orbit.

It is sad that most people don't even know when the shuttle shuttle flies. Unless it goes boom, it is just a blurb on the news. I heard more people say "When did it blast off" or some variation like that. I guess I'm one of the few who always tries to watch it blast off and land unless I just can't be home. I didn't get to see Columbia blast off this time and I had planned to go outside and see if I could see it pass over even though I'm a little further south of the area of Texas where it passed over. I've seen one pass over several years ago on a night landing. It actually was Columbia and I'll never forget seeing it. I got up and turned on the T.V. and just before going outside, Fox News broke in saying that NASA had lost contact with Columbia. About the same time, I got a phone call from a friend who was up in East Texas telling me that he had just watched the shuttle explode in mid air. It was then I knew that we had lost Columbia and knowing how high it would have been, knowing the crew was lost as well.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Wed Feb 05, 2003 2:42 pm

A bit off the topic but a couple of missions ago NASA strapped a camera onto the main feul tank to view the launch. If such a camera had been mounted on STS-107 would it have been able to capture the foam debris striking the left wing or was that camera only used for looking down at the ground????
 
jhooper
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:51 am


99.9% of the time the missions go very smoothly without any major hitches to speak of.


I wish this was the case, but unfortunately it isn't. Almost every flight has problems to one degree or another, and only 98.2% of shuttle missions have returned to earth safely.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
bsergonomics
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 8:48 am

The major point here is PUBLIC RELATIONS.

JFK made a 'bet' that the US would send a person to the moon by the end of the sixties. That was achieved, for political reasons as much as anything. However, the infrequency of space mission means that, even now, while most launches and landings are not international headline news, a significant incident or accident is guaranteed to be.

We learn more from EVERY mission. As our experience grows, our ambitions grow. We are always pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and capabilities. Once we start frequent passenger-carrying trips, with the associated increase in knowledge of reliability etc, trips into space will become 'local newspaper' material. But we will still be shocked when the Pluto mission suffers problems and disintegrates 200 million miles from here.

We are still pushing the frontiers of our knowledge, and accidents happen. I saw a Suzuki Vitara take the entire front end off a Fiat Bravo last Saturday and wasn't in the least bit surprised or shocked. In 100 years' time, you'll be watching cable or satellite TV, waiting for "The Galaxy's Worst Space Accidents", or watching the Suzuki Alpha Centauri take the front end off a GM Io.

Space flight is routine. It's just not routine in the minds of the public when an accident happens.
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 10:17 am

Until millions of people all over the world are hopping on and off space ships each day, then I think that we can say spaceflight is NOT routine.

There have only been a handful of deaths related to space flight, which is probably one of the most dangerous things that mankind can do, and yet it's such a big deal and is headline news all over the world, because it is NOT routine and hardly anyone has done it.

But when a bus or plane or train crashes and kills hundreds, then it's no big deal as that IS routine and is more or less expected to happen at one time or another even though it is a much less dangerous activity and millions of people use those forms of transport every day.

I don't know if I explained myself properly, but I hope you can understand what I mean, that people are shocked and suprised that a spaceship explodes when it's hurtling along at 200,000ft and 12,500mph and 7 people die, but are not suprised and shocked when a bus or plane or train crashes and kills 100's.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 10:48 am

The media must find it routine when they don't show launches anymore on national networks and that I didn't even realize that the Columbia was up before the tragedy.
 
saxman66
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:05 am

Well I think space IS routine and should be routine. Now don't get me wrong, every bit of safety precautions should be taken. As a pilot in training it should become a routine to go through every checklist everytime. Same goes for space flight. It SHOULD be a routine if you see my point. I think some others are thinking routine as in, "Well i've never worn my seat belt and nothing has ever happened in the past. Why should anything bad happen now?" This is vicarious learning which should not become routine. And this opens up a whole new human factors aspect which I won't get in to.  Smile

Chris
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desert_dweller
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 1:11 pm

RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:14 am

can u stop posting stuff about columbia. go to nasa.com for that. what the hell i thought this was a damn civil aviation forum. wow 7 people died guess what buddy, thousands die elsewhere do u want me to make a post for them too?
 
rootsgirl
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:46 am

Of course it is not " routine" to be an explorer. Look at hundreds of years ago when man sailed wooden ships around the world and ventured off on journeys to places that they did not even dream existed. That is exploration. Time and progress has now brought us into space, but dangers were faced back then and the same dangers are upon us today in a much different and more sophisticated manner.

It is awful, just awful what happened but I tend to agree with a few others MCO-ATL, HLWDCAFT, there are other souls who perished in aviated related tragedies. Without disrespect to the crew of the Columbia, I have to ask why CNN barely mentioned or even gave tribute to the crews onboard 911. Their fates were equally horrific and terribly sad.

Aviation and flight will always have mishaps no matter if it is a single engine craft or a machine such as the space shuttle. We can only admire all aviators and keep them in our thoughts and prayers when something so terrible occurs.

 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 2:32 pm

Desert_Dweller the space shuttle is aviation related therefore it will be posted. It makes no difference whther you fly within the atmosphere or outside of it- aviation is aviation. Chill out buddy.
 
Admiral Ackbar
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Thu Feb 06, 2003 10:27 pm

If the Space Shuttle isn't the ultimate plane for you Desert_Dweller, it is for many people.
 
Trident
Posts: 477
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:25 am

NASA is a civilian organisation, therefore Shuttle accidents are civilian aircraft accidents. Ergo - they can be discussed on a civilan aviation forum.

Anyway, IT IS an interesting (if sad) topic.
 
desert_dweller
Posts: 89
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Fri Feb 07, 2003 5:25 am

my point is "CIVIL" aviation meaning, transportation of passengers, anyone.
not astronauts.
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
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RE: Space Flight....NOT Routine!

Sat Feb 08, 2003 4:30 am

So by that rationale, cargo flights/ a/c are not CIVIL then ????  Nuts

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"

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