Re: Shuttle Columbia Lost????

From: Markus Mehring (
Date: Sat Feb 01 2003 - 16:16:32 EST

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    On Sat, 1 Feb 2003 09:39:16 -0800, you ("Dale Ireland"
    <>) wrote:
    >Maybe this is outdated info but this is what is currently displayed on the
    >NASA site
    >"At approximately 265,000 feet, the spacecraft enters a communications
    >blackout, which lasts until the orbiter reaches an altitude of approximately
    >162,000 feet. [...]
    This is indeed outdated to some degree, since, for a couple of years now,
    the TDRSs (that is, one of them specifically) usually provide a
    communication and data link for that blackout period, pretty much peeking
    into the blackout tunnel from above from its geostationary spot.
    Final and sudden loss of comm and telemetry on STS-107 was reported to
    having occured at a bit over 207.000 feet at Mach 18.3, well inside that
    ionization period formerly causing a blackout.
    >I would treat this as a "rumor" since it has not been repeated, but one of
    >the CNN guys said telemetry showed pressure rising in one of the Shuttle
    >tires before loss of communications.
    Well, by now it is certain that, in the minutes preceding loss of signals,
    apparently at least eight sensors in or around the starboard wing went out,
    coinciding with a change in tire temperature (or pressure?) and with a
    reported off-nominal structural heating in several parts of the left wing.
    The crew was aware of the tire issue and confirmed the message they saw,
    with their immediate next transmission being abruptly interrupted. On the
    timeline, this LOS coincides quite well with the reported times of first
    visual confirmation(s) of the Shuttle breaking up in major parts. There are
    other reports mentioning minor objects breaking off as early in the
    re-entry as over the West Coast, but that's admittedly from the rumor mill.
    Well, I must say I'm devastated. I don't know what else to say, other than
    that my thoughts are with the crew's families, and their friends and
    colleagues who know face the task of assembling the puzzle pieces. What a
    CU!	Markus
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