The hypothetical rescue of the Columbia - and its effects on NASA's future missions

in space on (#3EY)
story imageArs Technica writer Lee Hutchinson , who worked for NASA during the Columbia incident , writes about the 2003 destruction of the shuttle Columbia, and the questions asked afterwards. Could the disaster have been anticipated? If so, could a rescue have been performed before the shuttle's incredibly destructive re-entry? The answers to those questions hatched an incredible plan - and changed the way NASA handles shuttle missions to this day. It's worth a read not only for the historical perspective, but also for the account of practical project planning and the immense scope of such an endeavor. He calls it the untold story of the rescue mission that could have been NASA's finest hour .

Re: Historyical footnote only (Score: 4, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-27 15:31 (#7J)

I feel like if they had attempted the rescue with so many corners cut for expediency, they would have most likely lost 2 shuttles instead of one.

Maybe, maybe not. TFA makes it sound like it was feasible because of the launch schedule for Atlantis . In any case, I think this kind of "what we could have done" review could be useful in making safety plans for future missions.
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Nine + four is what?