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I wish they'd just stop grasping at straws

I know after any major disaster there is a need to know "Why?" But this rabid need by the press to attach blame to the piece of foam insulation that impacted the Columbia wing on takeoff is just silly. Yesterday the NASA head said it was something they wouldn't rule out. This morning most of the news shows seem to think it was a major possibility. One of the astronauts interviewed this morning said it best. "Think of going down the highway at 70 mph in your car and a styrofoam cooler flies out of the back of a pickup and strikes your car. Are you going to be worried that it penetrated the steel covering or dented the fender? No, and that is why the (NASA) engineers were not concerned about this."

Geez folks, it was a piece of sprayed on insulating foam. Like that crap you spray between cracks on your house and it expands. It's mostly air and very light.

The other theory that gets me is the terrorism angle which I thought was handled very effectively yesterday by yet another astronaut. The Space Shuttle was 200,000 feet up and going Mach 18. The fastest ground based missle goes Mach 3 for one thing plus the atmosphere above 100,000 feet has so little air that the tail fins on missiles can not guide the missile to a stationary target much less hit something that's going Mach 18. No other aircraft can fly that high or that fast which rules out the theory of the shuttle striking another aircraft.

So stop asking about those things. I'd love for someone after the cause is found to hold a News conference and say "NBC Meet the Press, wasn't it your anchor that kept hounding the NASA director about the likelihood of a terrorist attack? How do you feel abou that theory now?"

And I knew it would happen but I'm still sickened by it. NBC reported yesterday that already debris was being offered for sale on Ebay (a Federal offense I might add. So I checked and sure enough it was there.


SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA DISASTER DEBRIS $14,999.00 10 6d 18h 17m

I don't know which disgusts me more. The fact that someone would offer what was essentially a piece of the coffin of 7 human beings or the fact that 10 people had bid on it to the tune of $14,999 before Ebay put a stop to it.

I hope the seller is now in a jail somewhere being question and the debris if it was for real has been handed over to the propper authorities.

It's things like this that make you wonder about the inherent good of people.

Peace,

Wander

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
ryl
Feb. 2nd, 2003 10:50 am (UTC)
People who steal debris from Columbia will be getting a good kick in the ass from Lady Karma. Those pieces are drenched in hydrazine. Someone who knows more about this may be along later to 'splain more, but hydrazine is very very toxic. It can be absorbed through the skin. It can cause serious liver problems. Therefore, picking up pieces of the shuttle will most likely kill you.

As for the terrorism, I'm getting right sick of that. People (and by that I mean "stupid people") started yapping about terrorism when that plane in Charlotte crashed a few weeks ago. The yapping started again last week when the pharmaceutical plant in Kinston caught fire. This is why I get my news from NPR. At least they're professional about it.

But the hydrazine angle warms my heart.
wander
Feb. 2nd, 2003 11:03 am (UTC)
Re:
8 people have already had to go to the hospitals in Texas because they handled pieces of the shuttle despite the warnings. Nothin like a little Instant Karma for you.

Wander
ryl
Feb. 2nd, 2003 11:08 am (UTC)
I love instant karma. Just add greed!
ex_dragonfly63
Feb. 2nd, 2003 12:11 pm (UTC)
It's really sickening when people cash in on a tragedy, hence my disgust with all the nationalist plastic crap on sale on street corners after 9-11.

As for 'terrorists' having a hand in this explosion... please. Does it really take a NASA scientist to figure out that 'space difficult/dangerous... stuff can go wrong'?
namaste21
Feb. 3rd, 2003 09:17 am (UTC)
Of course it's not a terrorist attack. It's the aliens...

(okay, bad taste, I know...but those conspiracy theories rival one another in silliness)
wander
Feb. 3rd, 2003 09:38 am (UTC)
Re:
I'm sure we will see that possibility advanced too. I saw this morning where some fanatic religious leader in the middle east was saying this was God's punishment for three evil nations (Israel, India and the US) cooperating in this endeavor and wasn't it telling that the event took place over an area of Texas known as Palestine?

The nuts come out of the woodwork for things like this.

Wander
moonvision
Feb. 3rd, 2003 09:21 am (UTC)
I haven't looked much more into it but doesn't one of those foam tiles protect the surface from heat? That could likely cause massive heat damage on one area that could spread maybe? I guess we'll have to wait until they could figure out what exactly happened. It's frustrating though to see so much speculation already. People are so impatient and excitable.
wander
Feb. 3rd, 2003 09:36 am (UTC)
Re:
The foam they were talking about striking the surface of the craft was sprayed-on foam insulation from one of the exterior fuel tanks that fell off and impacted the left wing on lift off. Not the ceramic tiles themselves coming off. Now yes if they show that some of the ceramic tiles came off that could definitely cause problems. Although it's apparently not uncommon for some of those tiles to come off on re-entry either. So who knows at this point.

Wander
moonvision
Feb. 3rd, 2003 10:56 am (UTC)
Re:
Thanks for the correction. I don't believe I have ever seen any damage before from a foam anything...
wander
Feb. 3rd, 2003 12:22 pm (UTC)
Re:
Which is why the NASA officials were getting a little flustered I think with continued questions about the foam from reporters.

Wander
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )