Thursday, February 27, 2014

The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia | Ars Technica

NASA has an incredible plan for a potential Space Shuttle rescue in the event of a problem that may have been able to save Columbia

Space Shuttle Columbia on the launchpad at night

When the space shuttle Columbia’s mission went bad, the shuttle Atlantis was already being prepped for its next mission. One of NASA’s viable, albeit far-fetched, plans was to rush prep Atlantis by working crews around the clock. On a normal timetable, Atlantis had at least a few weeks of work before it was flight-worthy, but NASA management felt that could be reduced to mere days.

However, time was against them and their assessments of how quickly they could prepare Atlantis fell far short of when Columbia would no longer be able to provide clean air, scrubbed of carbon dioxide, for the crew to survive. The sad end to Columbia was a great blow to NASA, the United States, and to the families of the crew. Later, many NASA management were reassigned and remaining staff dealt with survivor guilt and PTSD from the tragedy.

(This story via Arstechnica)

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