February 02, 2003

Each time I think it's an elaborate joke, until I see it on TV.

Robot wisdom has some good links.

I can only guess what effect this will have on the space station (which one AP story called Mir. Jesus.).

Coincidentally, several years ago Columbia flew the AERCam Sprint that was featured in in the first batch of lisp porn on lemonodor. Also coincidentally, Sprint was a remote-controlled free-flying robot camera meant to make it possible to inspect the exterior of the Shuttle and the space station without requiring astronauts to perform an EVA. (NASA has some videos of AERCam in action.)

Another coincidence: The first time I ever heard the term "software" was during the very first Shuttle launch attempt in 1981. The software on Columbia failed to synchronize with software on the ground or something. I was 10 years old and I remember how odd I thought the word sounded and what a strange concept it was. Little did I know.

Posted by jjwiseman at February 02, 2003 03:07 PM

The first thing I saw when I got online on Saturday morning (8:15am CST)was a quote saying, "It's gone; Columbia is lost." I literally cried out. It is just such a fucking shame. I can't imagine the thoughts of the astronauts in those final moments.

I greatly fear where we go from here. As a worst case scenario, we could be looking at the begining of the end of any non-military controlled spaceflight. With the current gang of wacko-warheads running the govm'nt, anything could happen. They are all for militarization of space anyway.

There were very good reasons for Eisenhower to have created NASA. He was a general and well aware of the horrors of war. He was also outraged and disgusted by the wacko SAC generals like Curtis LeMay who had developed insane first strike contingencies against the USSR. Never forget the content of Eisenhower's egress speech from the presidency. A general, warning of the dangers of the military industrial complex. For him to feel it was appropriate to say such a thing is indicative of just how dangerous the triumphant US military had become.

At any rate, he did not found NASA as a civilian controlled organization as a whim. He did that to avoid the militarization of space and to get the Air Force out of spaceflight because he knew where it would lead.

I don't know what will happen. What won't happen is that the obvious be pointed out by the "media." That is: human spaceflight programs cannot be subject to same budget trimming, corner cutting, lets enrich our friends bullshit that charcterizes the bulk of industrial activity throughout the world today. We will not hear much about how the budget for NASA has stagnated, as was, in fact, cut by the Bushwacker, Jr. Instead, I prognosticate that we will hear all about how fucked up NASA is and that it must be privatized or militarized.

Please note that the same bean counters in control of NASA are promulgating a nuclear reactor based propulsion system. I really hope someone else is making the safety procedure decisions before they start launching radioactive shit from the Cape.

Maybe the best scenario will hold out: new LEO capable vehicles and a re-invirgoration in the interest in space among both geeks and pinks. The main thing I am sure of is that I would rather my offpsring and I were not on this orb anymore.

We can only sit back and watch, I guess.

Posted by: lenin on February 3, 2003 12:04 PM

you've listed a nice set of problems to solve ... don't give up and wish for a new 'orb' ... didn't Coolidge say that "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

It has always sounded good to me

Posted by: pegstar on February 4, 2003 10:20 PM

Well you know if boeing is in charge of the oversight of the project the Governement Nipple has a large circumfrence and has a lot of governmental regs attached to it. The shuttles days are numbered. Most of us wouldn't drive a car that was designed in 1972. Oh the software sync problem on the first launch was solved by rebooting the systems.

Posted by: Robert on February 28, 2003 04:23 PM
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