Re: [dsat] A sewed and crumpled canvas cover !

From: Markus Mehring (
Date: Tue Feb 04 2003 - 14:17:45 EST

  • Next message: Steven Rogers: "Re: A sewed and crumpled canvas cover !"

    On Tue, 04 Feb 2003 09:33:46 -0600, you (paul <>) wrote:
    >I re-watched the ABC TV News segment re the tile
    >situation from the west coast feed, to clarify, ABC did
    >not relate or refer the video image to the wing or crack,
    >why it was played is unclear; however...
    Because, unfortunately, it seems to be all over the place by now. They
    can't afford not to show it, it's "news"... I've seen it in most major news
    programs, and some have adopted terms along the line of "the investigation
    now concentrates on the crack in the wing" as if that was a fact. Makes you
    wonder about the state of today's journalist ethics...
    I agree that footage of course shows the edge of the front bulkhead.
    Nothing noteworthy.
    >and perhaps the most curious, ABC claims that the US Air Force
    >did take high resolution photos of STS-107 from two different sites,
    >and in ABC words, NASA got a "gag order" and those
    >photos have not been released.  will they be released? && what
    >do they show?
    According to Bill Readdy, it was briefly considered during the
    investigation of the ET debris incident to ask for DoD assistance in
    imaging Columbia in orbit, but the idea was dismissed since they didn't
    expect too much from it (which I would agree to). They sure did refer to
    such means before, so they know what could be expected from such images.
    Three things to note, at the risk of repeating myself:
    First, _if_ the USAF has produced such images, they would reveal quite
    significant information about their imaging technology and capabilities,
    and DoD circles usually are extremely paranoid when it comes to that. Those
    images simply are classified and can't easily be published, or their
    existance admitted to. That's not a "gag order" in any special way, that
    simply would be classified material until it gets declassified. In other
    terms, release it prematurely _before_ declassification only if you're keen
    on spending some years in jail. I would expect a major news program to be
    aware if this, but I guess I'm expecting too much.
    Second, bear in mind that it's quite hard to take such images at a
    reasonable quality as required in a case like this, both from ground-based
    telescopes and also from reconnaissance satellites (which really is hefty
    technology-wise - you can't "just pick some spybird and take a snapshot of
    the Shuttle", that's not how it works). Very special conditions have to be
    met, to the point that you need pure luck to come up with just anything,
    let alone anything meaningful. Also consider that the Shuttle spends most
    of it's orbit time in a heads-down attitude, almost never would the
    underbelly be visible from the ground.
    Third, there is not really a point in taking such images, which would also
    be why the idea reportedly was disregarded. You gain nothing in knowing
    what kind of damage you have to the heat-shield, because there is
    absolutely nothing you could do about it. You can't repair it on orbit,
    that's simply not possible. You also can't re-enter extra carefully,
    because the re-entry profile and trajectory, as it is now, already is the
    least stressful and most cautious profile you can fly. All you can do is
    take your chance and ride it out.
    I'm beginning to sense a notion in the news media to the effect of accusing
    NASA management of a too careless attitude towards the ET debris incident.
    Still no one seems to understand how well the issue was dealt with, and how
    nothing could have been done about it during the mission anyway. Sorry for
    the strong words, but this really begins to piss me off. I guess today's
    journalism is mostly based on pointing fingers.
    A few minutes ago in Houston, they flew the Missing Man. That was tough.
    CU!	Markus
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Feb 04 2003 - 15:16:52 EST