I have now completed some additional
calculations of the Columbia descent trajectory after loss of signal
(LOS) including the effects of air resistance. I have assumed
that Columbia initially broke up into large sections in much the same
way that Challenger disintegrated after the infamous post-launch
explosion back in 1986. Thus I have assumed that four main components
were first formed as the out-of-control shuttle plunged earthwards
just south of Dallas: the two wing sections, the payload bay and the
welded aluminum crew compartment.
As described on
your website, the Columbia crew compartment was found more or less
intact outside Hemphill near the Texas – Louisiana border, about 525
km from the official LOS point. However, the ground distance traveled
by Columbia after LOS becomes much less than 500 km if we take NASA’s
reported location for “the onset of vehicle main body breakup”, (near
Kerens, Texas), as our starting point. I estimate the distance from
Kerens to Hemphill to be just 240 km, which means that the crew
compartment descended 60 km with a forward travel of only 240 km,
giving a very steep descent angle of 14 degrees
NASA also give a
reference trajectory for a hypothetical object with a ballistic number
equal to 220 psf striking the ground near Oakdale Louisiana and
indicate a time to impact after LOS of about three and a half minutes.
I have tried a variety of input parameters in my calculation to
duplicate NASA’s 3 1/2 minute descent time and 200 – 500 km forward
distance traveled and simply cannot get close to these values!
In all my calculations I use the
following starting conditions: shuttle altitude = 60 km, forward
velocity = 5.5 km/s and descent velocity = 36 m/s. I set up two
equations of motion, one in the horizontal plane, and the other in the
vertical plane (with respect to the earth’s surface) and numerically
solve for altitude, time and ground distance using different (trial)
values for the coefficients of lift and drag. I have also used the US
Standard Atmosphere as published in J.D. Anderson’s Introduction to
Flight in the calculation of lift and drag effects. As a first
calculation I consider the space shuttle descending in one piece.
Based on published data on the shuttle I used a coefficient of lift
equal to 1, and a coefficient of drag equal to 0.7. The resulting
descent time is very close to 5 minutes with a forward distance
traveled of 850 km. Interestingly the calculation shows that the
descent velocity increases very rapidly at first because there is
almost no air resistance at 60 km. There is then a period of rapid
deceleration from 30 – 15 km, as air resistance kicks in, and the
shuttle slows to a terminal velocity ~ 75 m/s.
second, more meaningful, calculation I have considered just the crew
compartment. I assume it has a surface area of about 100 sq. m., and
1/3 the weight of the shuttle. I have taken the coefficients of lift
and drag to be both equal to 0.6 since this gives the correct descent
time for my calculation when applied to the Challenger crew
compartment crash – Challenger took 2 minutes and 45 seconds to
descend 16.5 km after the booster rocket explosion. With the above
input parameters the Columbia descent time is now reduced to 4 minutes
and 15 seconds and the forward distance traveled after LOS comes out
to about 800 km. This would put the LOS/breakup point near Lubbock,
Texas, well west of NASA’s reported LOS position near Dallas. So, I
agree, the shuttle was coming in too low!
First let me say that your web-site
I too have looked at the
Columbia trajectory in some detail and have noted that the flight path
for the first 900 seconds after the entry interface (EI) is
absolutely normal. Perhaps because of this I did not see any
problem with the debris field or conclude that the shuttle had to be
much lower than the ~ 200,000 ft altitude quoted by NASA for the LOS
point, which I assumed also had to be close to the
break-up point. The data I have put together show that the normal
trajectory, which Columbia would have followed for the final 15
minutes or so before landing (i.e. the time after the LOS
point), involved a more rapid rate of descent than for the first 15
minutes after transiting the EI. So, I am not convinced that a
linear extrapolation of the trajectory WITH A FIXED ANGLE OF
DESCENT ~ 1 degree is a valid approximation for Columbia's entire
re-entry. In addition, you, yourself, have suggested that early, light
weight, debris could have "fluttered" down almost
directly below the LOS point while other debris could
have followed a ballistic trajectory for a 100 miles or more
if it was heavy enough. This more or less corresponds with the
observed debris field, so I am not convinced the claimed 200,000
ft break up altitude is a problem. Anyway, interesting
Just something more specific about
the Columbia debris field:
Let's accept the official LOS
altitude as 200,767 ft = about 60 km and the forward velocity at LOS
to be Mach 18.16 = 5.6 km/s.
As a very simple approach to
calculating the point of impact of debris let's start with the
limiting case of a heavy streamlined fragment which experiences
negligible drag or lift. This will simply fall under gravity while
also moving forward at a velocity to be determined.
The time to fall to earth from an
altitude of 60 km is given very simply be the equation s = 1/2 g t^2.
Substituting 60,000 m for s, and 9.8 m/s/s for g, we find a fall time
of about 110 seconds.
Now the forward velocity of the
shuttle is normally retarded by about 0.9 km/s in 100 seconds at a 60
km altitude so we will take the average forward velocity of the
streamlined fragment during its 110 second descent to be about 5 km/s.
Hence, in 110 seconds the fragment would have moved "forward" (i.e. in
an approximately east- south-easterly direction) by about 550 km or
340 miles from the loss point in north-central Texas. Looking at the
normal ground track for a space shuttle descent this puts the impact
point for our hypothetical fragment a little south west of Alexandria,
Louisiana; this is almost precisely where the observed debris field
ends. Since no space shuttle debris could travel further east than the
calculated "free-fall" fragment, unless very light and carried by the
wind, all other Columbia debris should be west-north-west of
Alexandria, La, as is the case.
Hence, I would have to
conclude that the Columbia LOS altitude and the observed debris field
appear to be consistent.
After receiving these
two e-mails I explained that the method for using the straight
line trajectory as a model for Columbia's reentry on STS-107 was
given to me as a tool used to estimate the impact location for
crew capsules during the Apollo program. It is a method of
estimating the impact point of an unguided object reentering the
atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.
I have tried a few more calculations
on Columbia's trajectory and I thought I would pass the results on to
I have used a method published in
the American Journal of Physics for the motion of a projectile in a
gravitational field. Once again the formula I have used is for
trajectories IN A VACUUM. All that is required for the calculation
of the distance to impact is the initial altitude, velocity and angle
of descent. I have used 61 km and 5.5 km/s for the altitude
and velocity of Columbia at the NASA -reported LOS point. The angle of
descent for Columbia was about 0.4 degrees just before LOS which is
consistent with a value of 0.35 degrees I have seen for a standard
shuttle trajectory 900 seconds after EI. The result of the calculation is an impact point 838
km or 521 miles from the LOS point. This
is a very interesting result because it would put the main shuttle
debris impact point near Baton Rouge which is about 100 miles
further on from the most easterly observed debris. If you include
the effects of atmospheric lift on the descent of the Columbia after
LOS my result suggests that the observed debris field
for shuttle breakup at 200,000 ft is too far west , as
you are proposing !!! The only way to adjust this
result to match the observed debris field is to assume that the
altitude of Columbia was much lower than 200,000 ft at the LOS point;
also as you suggest...
This gentleman is
starting his trajectory at LOS with 200,000+ Feet of altitude and
a velocity of Mach 18. He has proven out that a much longer
debris field should result if the preliminary values from the
official report are used once the correct method for analysis is
The analysis on the website starts
at E.I. using it's corresponding altitude and velocity and an
angle of descent of 1°. The impact point for the shuttle
then would be near Fort Polk LA which is where the most
significant debris from Columbia, the SSME's, struck the ground at
a speed of Mach 2. This method agreed with the size and
shape of the debris field as well as eyewitness reports regarding
sonic booms etc.
Rebuttals to Original 8
From an e-mail dated 07/29/2004:
I'm Terry Wilson (
and have done my own detailed studies of the STS-107 disaster (primarily with
an eye on improving the safety of spacecraft concepts that I work on, especially
after Columbia's Delta Sprint (http://aftercolumbia.tripod.com/deltasprint)
but also for personal interest (technically it is all for personal interest
because Delta Sprint is mostly there for personal interest.)
I have also flown the simulator at
www.orbitersim.com. The "CNN"
animations (which are actually STK animations...you can tell from the
www.stk.com watermark) can
be painstakingly recreated in Orbiter, although the county/parish/state borders
and town names would need to be added in postproduction.So far, no one has done this.
I've read a lot of books, crunched a lot of
numbers and flown a lot of sims to gain an intuitive, as well as knowledge-base
sense of how entries work.
I've read far more
current information than your site concludes upon (i.e. the Crew Survivability
Report, Early Sightings Assessment Team Report, and the Rev. 19 Master Timeline,
all of which are CAIB report appendix material.)
I've come to conclude that the CAIB proper does not
have any interests to protect, and have striven as far as possible to present
the truth.I've also concluded that incomplete information is
primarily because of NASA's Shuttle interest (Read Greg Klerkx' "Lost in
Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age" by Pantheon
Books 2004 to best understand the Shuttle interest.)In a nutshell, the Shuttle interest is that
NASA wants to maintain control of piloted spacecraft operations indefinitely in
order to protect an ego belief of the Shuttle as an ideal spacecraft...NASA does not want
to admit that the Shuttle should never have been built.This, strangely, is not the desire of any
particular individual (except perhaps George Abbey, as nobody really knows
what's going on in his head, and at several points in NASA's administration,
has wielded more power than the Administrator by manipulating astronaut flight
assignments...this is from Bryan Burrough's "Dragonfly.")
It took a hell of a lot of research to come to this
conclusion, and I think that myself and Greg Klerkx may be the only people to
come to conclusions like these without ever having worked for NASA, Boeing, or Lockheed Martin.I had just come to the conclusion a couple of weeks prior to picking up
Lost in Space...at the time, the "Shuttle Interest" conclusion was tentative in my own
eyes...reading Lost in Space, followed by confirming over a dozen of his
references has cemented it in my head to the point of making my
introduction a heck of a lot more forceful (offensive?)
First...I'll answer the original eight questions in
my own terms, then respond to those presented by Columbia's Sacrifice:
"If the shuttle's skin was exposed to high reentry temperatures why didn't
the temperature sensors register much higher readings than they did?"
V09T9895A, a MADS sensor behind RCC Panel 9 in
between the WLE spar and Cerachrome insulation, and referred to in the CAIB
Report Chapter 3 as "Sensor 4" screamed to its off scale
high at 450degF and stayed there for several seconds before dropping to
off-scale low, indicating that the sensor was destroyed or cut off from the
recorder by a widening hole in the WLE spar just inboard of it.There is an error in the CAIB Report's graph
that puts off-scale-low in the wrong spot (the CAIB Report has a number of
irritating graph glitches.)
The answer as to why this was the only sensor to do
this is pretty simple...it was the only sensor smack dab in the breach plume
before its wire was lost.Everywhere
except the wheel well, the plume had better access to the wires than the
sensors, and burnt up the wires before the sensors could notice (i.e. the
hydraulic return temperatures discussed on the Flight loop.)Why the temperatures go up only modestly
despite the breach in the wheel well that the CAIB and the NASA working group
"contracted" to analyse that situation has two factors:
The low density of upper atmosphere air.While hot, an estimated 6000degF, the breach plume is thin and narrow at the
leading edge, and gets diffuse and wide inside the gear well interior,
especially after bouncing around all the trusses and stringers in the wing
interior.The actual heat is probably about the same as a
garden hose spraying boiling water at each sensor.
High heat capacity of the parts and fluids in the
wheel well.On just the outboard
tire:The temperature had a 2 bit flips
V51T0574A, the outboard left hand wheel at (EI+644 or 10:44) It's an aluminum wheel with a steel belted
tire that weighs somewhere on the order of 700 pounds and maintains a 300psi
pressure.The working group on this basis concluded, and reported to the press, that plasma had to have been blowing right at it.In the debris, they found what was left of
the tire, but never identified the wheel.Unlike on the almost intact right main landing gear,
the left gear tires were almost bald. (This is from looking at debris
So, you have a diffuse hot plasma with a very low
volumetric heat capacity probably ablating everything it hits, keeping its
enormous temperature from reaching the sensors, so those sensors read seemingly
benign 60-80degF, rather than a "realistic" 6000degF.To illustrate the principle (if you have big
enough balls and promise not to sue me for suggesting it), you can get a stove
burner red hot, dip your hand in cold water, and very gently and briefly smack
the burner, creating an angry hiss and a cloud of steam, and not feel the heat
on your hand. (I must confess that I do this only by accident and it scares the
crap out of me every time...when I touch a burner with a dry hand,
I get burnt.) Another thing you might notice is that
when you boil a pot of hot water on the stove, the bottom of the pot never
glows, even when the burner does...this is because the water is sucking the
heat out of the bottom of the pot.On a
school field trip when I was a kid, a scientist demonstrated the principle by
dipping his hand in liquid nitrogen...we were not invited to try.
"This has never been satisfactorily explained by
the official investigation and it has never been determined if the shuttle crew
was alerted to the increased temperatures.It has been concluded here that those sensors were not exposed to a high
temperature environment as stated in the official final report."
never alerted to the Shuttle crew that they had increased temperatures.The control surface positions were visible,
so they could have known that funny things were happening aerodynamically.Nothing happened to sufficiently alarm the
crew to talk to mission control prior to the first BFS tire fault message.This is a satisfactory answer to me.Even after the tire fault messages, no
further messages are related to temperatures!"
"If hot plasma entered the wing or wheel well, again, why didn't
temperature sensors respond to the problem?"
They did, as above.I had assumed you meant by temperature sensors in the wing that you
included wheel well temperatures.There
aren't very many OI temperature sensors in the wings aside from the wheel
idea of the super heated plasma entering the wing of the shuttle is virtually
impossible due to the nature of the boundary layer which exists at the surface
of the orbiter during hypersonic flight."
The breach put the boundary layer inside the WLE
cavity.There is also radiant heat from
the plasma going into the breach in the RCC.Once the WLE was breached, plasma begins to flow
freely through the wing, burning itself an exit in the dorsal surface.The shockwave advances towards the breach,
putting a shockwave interaction inside the RCC WLE cavity...there's your
6000degF+ plasma.The shockwave caused
the "knife edge" erosion seen in Panel 8/9 debris.
wing leading edge RCC material on the space shuttle has frequently been
observed to developed pinhole and larger openings during normal operation of
These pinholes have never penetrated completely
through the RCC, not allowing air to flow freely through.
"Why did witnesses see debris coming off the shuttle so early during
Telemetered (aerodynamic) and MADS sensor indications
show the WLE spar was breached between about EI+485 and EI+487, roughly one minute
before she crosses the California coast.Debris events start
happening as the breach plume burns holes in the dorsal surface of the wing.
"Excessive reentry heating after EI+203 caused by a grossly unsafe sink
rate probably caused the loss of thermal tiles while the shuttle was passing
over California where the debris shedding was witnessed."
The flight characteristics of the Shuttle are known
and fairly close to normal until just prior to loss of signal. Columbia's Sacrifice conclusions about guidance failure are
incorrect due to a misunderstanding of the beta angle concept.Altitudes can be confirmed visually by the
amateur tracking observations.Angular
passage rates for the stated altitudes in the videos would be far higher than
seen, and the horizons for the videos would also be far closer, resulting in
reduced coverage (on the basis of a 30,000ft altitude, amateur entry coverage
would be almost nonexistent.)
"Did the shuttle have strain gauges or other stress sensors attached to
critical structural members, as do many military and civilian aircraft, to
detect structural damage?"
Yup...and they were going nuts.The erratic strain readings were caused by
stresses due to thermal expansion.I
infer this from experience with throwing pop cans in fires and playing with
candles as a kid.One candle had its
wick off center in its glass dish, and the flame impinged on the edge of the
dish.A few minutes later a piece blew
off the side of the candle dish...it wasn't a shatter, but a single piece.That corner of the candle dish was trying to
expand, but the rest of the dish wasn't giving way, so it busted off
instead.In high school, teachers illustrated the concept by
using strips and holding them over bunsen burners, causing them to bend.I also recall one of my science teachers
putting a pyrex test tube from the flame of a bunsen burner directly into a
beaker of ice water, causing it to shatter.I was also warned by a hotel I briefly worked at never to dust a
lightbulb with a wet cloth for that reason.
"Strain measurements are referenced in the
official final report but none of the available literature indicates that this
information is provided to the shuttle crew or Mission Control during normal
flight." I concur.
"If the shuttle had sensors to detect structural damage why wasn't the
crew or mission control alerted to this problem prior to the final
It would seem to me that they don't monitor most of
the sensors in real time (the temperatures are a dead giveaway, with all those
elevated temperatures in the wheel well not even being mentioned by flight
controllers.)It may have been that so
much attention was given to figuring out the sensors that dropped off, that
they missed the elevated readings in the wheel well.I can think of dozens of ways of presenting
the information graphically that would have made it obvious they had a
problem.Most of these ideas, NASA did
not even include in their sensor diagrams after release (A
nice tactic would be to show a temperature sensor as a dot on a shuttle graphic
in a color dependent upon where it reads in relation to its expected nominal
value, with off-scales flashing.Green
would be normal, yellow and red would be hotter than normal, blue cooler than
normal, flashing red is off-scale-high, flashing blue is off-scale-low, and
flashing green would indicate an MDM failure (it has its own signature.)For MMACS, this would have painted the
butt-ugly picture of what was really happening on board, with greens in the
fuselage and right wing nothing but blinking blues and solid reds and yellows
in the left wing...it would have been so obvious! In reality, it is presented as a list of numbers,
with very little graphical output.
"What kind of protection does the shuttle have from collisions with space
debris and would the crew be alerted to an impact serious enough to cause
NASA and Space Command keep track of lots of debris,
and try to avoid it as much as they can...my guess is that unless it hit a
window, assessing the location and damage of such an impact would have been
nearly impossible.I've heard tales of
sounds on the ISS that no one could identify, which could have been orbital
debris collisions of little to no consequence on ISS, but might well breach the
Shuttle TPS enough for entry loads to destroy it.Amazingly, the CAIB found that the orbital
debris safety standards were higher for the Station than the Shuttle.
"These occur during virtually every shuttle flight and are often caused by
floating paint chips and other tiny debris from the Solid Rocket Boosters
brought into orbit by the shuttle itself."
This is a glaring technical hole...the SRBs never
make orbit...never have and never will!The little debris are usually shed by expendable vehicle upper stages
(I've observed some sheddings at
)These debris usually do not last
long.An example of an orbital debris
shedding of this type occurred during STS 107, when a piece titled 2003-B or
"Flight Day 2 object" shed from Columbia herself.It
lasted only two days. Longer lasting
little debris are those that are shed on higher energy orbits, like GTO.
"How much damage would the shuttle have to sustain to cause a catastrophic
failure of the thermal protection system during reentry?"
The answer is probably complex enough to fill a book,
but I do know that in the RCC, the design intent of the current WLE system is
to allow it to survive a 0.25in hole in RCC panels 8 and 9 (the hottest panels)
and a 1.0in hole anywhere else in the wing leading edge.It takes about a 10in hole through the entire
ventral HRSI, including the
densified layer down to, but not including, the
aluminum skin.It takes about a 15in
area of damage down to the densified layer.I don't know what the specs are for the dorsal areas of the ship, but do
recall that lots of tiles missing from the OMS pods on STS-1 had no effect on
Responding to: "On
the Columbia before the hot gasses could enter the wing through
the leading edge it would have to burn through at least 1/2" of solid
aluminum and then make its way through several sealed sections within the wing
before it could come close to attacking the avionics and other sensitive components,
that scenario is unlikely."
Two technical holes...RCC is a great thermal
protection material for keeping the hypersonic air away from your aluminum
structure, but a lousy insulator.The
inside of the RCC panels glow yellow during entry, radiating an enormous amount
of heat...enough to melt the WLE spar even without a breach!The WLE spar is therefore protected by a bulk
insulation material called Cerachrome (
Second technical hole: There are no sealed sections
in the wing, they are deliberately vented to prevent pressure gradiants that
would stress the structure.The closest
sealed compartment to the breach was the outboard main landing gear tire, which
was a small factor in protecting avionics and other sensitive systems.The sensitive systems around the tire are its
brake lines and wiring. Sensor's failed, indicating the wiring was
vulnerable.The hydraulics were normal
except for the elevated temperatures until the end of the 4 second
reconstructed period, indicating that a hydraulic line is thermally very tough
compared to a sensor wire.
Responding to: "The space shuttle was never designed to fly in such an
attitude and therefore would have broken up easily due to the aerodynamic
I have crunched a lot (a hell of a lot) of numbers on
this, and conclude that the aerodynamic loads as Columbia broke up were very weak compared to the thermal
loads, so you have an environment dominated by thermal effects until well after
break up.Orbiter simulation supports
this conclusion.At the speed that Columbia was going at breakup, it would need about half the
lift required to maintain altitude as it she would at subsonic speeds.Increasing angle of attack increases the lift
you can get from a given dynamic pressure (straight out of any basic pilot's
textbook.)The optimum angle of attack
for Shuttle is a bit lower than 40deg (about 30deg, I think).Delta wings are nearly impossible to stall
(books about the CF-105 Arrow describe how they determined the stall
speeds based on the landing sink rate rather than the wing actually stalling,
as it is nearly impossible to fully stall a CF-105!!)The result is that the dynamic pressure of
the Columbia loss of signal flight regime is about one tenth that
of the Challenger break up (which happened very close to ascent Max-Q, which is
higher than it is on entry.)Challenger's cabin was not destroyed by aerodyamic forces.
Due to the thermal effects of having hot air blowing
through the wing for 12 minutes, as the aerodynamic stresses built up on Columbia's left wing, the severely weakened wing could no
longer handle the mechanical loads.Trim
changes and RCS firings from about 5 seconds prior to 4 seconds after LOS (the
reconstructed telemetry) indicate that the area of the left wing in the Xo1040
to Xo1391 area is bending like Mackintosh toffee on a hot dog stick, causing a
massive increase in lift and drag.I
believe, that as the Shuttle left commanded attitude at , that the wing actually stalled.The reason for this is that as the Xo1040 to
Xo1391 area shed, becoming Debris A seen on video a couple seconds later, the
flat faced Xo1391 box spar became the leading edge, resulting in an angled flat
spin and the angle of attack plummetting (Columbia nosing over.)
Columbia's Sacrifice Answer: "This is generally unknown
but research reports done by NASA early during the shuttle program indicated a
few specific areas that if breached could result in "loss of vehicle and
crew".No shuttle mission has ever
experienced significant damage at any of these locations."
To me this answer does not connect directly to the
question, as it does not specify specifically an entry environment.It sounds like the definition of Criticality
1 in the Hazards Definition List or whatever they call it.This list was made famous by the Roger's
Commission when they discovered a change in the definition of the O- ring from
1R (redundant loss of vehicle/crew) to 1 (non-redundant loss of vehicle/crew)
"Why is it that other shuttle missions sustained moderate to severe damage
to the heat resistant tiles that resulted in no heat damage to the skin of the
The question is moot because no other shuttle mission
suffered damage anywhere near the level of STS-107, not even the analysis and
testing of damage resulting to HRSI from a piece of foam that big.
Responding to: "The
damage that was reportedly suffered by Columbia during launch on January 16th, 2003 was
neither more or less than that incurred on any other orbiter during any other
Only NASA management (not engineering) stated
conclusions during the mission ever said this.After the disaster, I never heard anyone anywhere say that the damage
suffered by STS-107 during ascent was not extraordinary, way beyond anything
that could be considered "in- family."The CAIB specifically and repeatedly
condemned the conclusions made by NASA management saying that this damage was in
any way normal.
"The location of the damage to the TPS system can also be a major factor if the
exposed part of the shuttle is near a flight critical system."
More critical to the location of damage than flight
critical systems (as structural damage resulting from a breach pretty much
anywhere will cause breakup) is the thermal loading experienced by that
location.On the basis of flight
critical systems, the worst place to put a breach is in the nose, where the
plasma has easy access to the volatile FRCS, nose landing gear, landing radar,
avionics, and crew cabin.On the
basis of thermal loading, the worst possible spot on the shuttle to put a hole
is right where it was...in the Panel 8/9 area.This is where the shockwave from the nose meets the shockwave from the
wing, resulting in the hottest plasma temperatures and thermal loads anywhere on
the Shuttle.Also on the basis of
flight critical systems, the OMS pods is a very bad location, where the plasma
would have access to the OMS, aft RCS, MPS, and most importantly the APUs for
the hydraulic system.From a
perspective of thermal loading, there are few places more benign than the OMS
pods. Observe TPS damage to STS-1 in this area.
"The report also seems to suspect a secondary debris hit somewhere on the
underside of the left wing."
I didn't read this anywhere in the Report or the
appendix/interim materials that I've read so far, I'd need a specific quote to
consider it credible.
"This also has never been satisfactorily explained by the official investigation
except in terms of damage done at the exact spot required to have fatal
The Report does describe some skin damage resulting
from debris damage on previous missions, but no actual burnthrough.The CAIB's answer as to how much damage
done at that exact spot required to have fatal consequences (0.25in), that
answer is buried well enough that I would have trouble finding it, so it seems a
little odd to me that you've mentioned it.
The CAIB report concentrated more around how much damage was actually caused
(6-10in hole based on sensor data analysis, corresponding to a 28-79in2 area.The 2003-B debris object's radar
signature would seem to indicate a large hole within this range.
"No other shuttle mission has experienced the extent of damage that is claimed
by the official investigation of STS-107."
This contradicts the first sentence in the commentary,
so it is unclear to me what the conclusion of Columbia's Sacrifice is, and what these two sentences are
trying to say.
Thanks for reading through this marathon of an email.
I certainly hope that you haven't taken any offense.
I look forward to hearing your reply.
to Various Conclusions Some
rebuttals are answered
I have to admit to you I have always
considered your theory to be 100% wrong and born out of wishful
thinking by you. The times I go to your website get my blood boiling
when you flat out deny that communications did in fact continue until
Rick's final words "Roger, uh..buh.." I have his voice recorded from
that morning. When you come up with the bizaar stuff about some
electromagnetic pulse or something at some HAARP facility knocking out
Laurel's camcorder from what 1500? 2000? miles away in Alaska, it's
almost scary being at your site. Did this pulse effect anything else,
like an airliner only 20 miles away? Would Columbia have even been
above the horizon from this HAARP facility? Those are rhetorical
So they planted the OEX box to cover up
some twisted experiment, yet they (NASA) all but laugh at the
speculation that foam brought the shuttle down. Let me follow this:
They need a fake cause for the crash, there is rather dramatic footage
of a violent foam strike on the wing, there is public footage of
debris coming off the orbiter 2000 miles before break up (I was there
and I saw it with my own eyes) and they don't just grab the foam
theory and run?
Stranger than that, according to you
Columbia was far too low when she broke up south of Dallas, yet the
professional cover-up guys at NASA who despite almost zero public
discussion or doubt that ET foam was to blame, go to the pointless
trouble to plant an OEX box...ok let's say they did. Then answer me
this; Why would they then miss position the start of the break-up 65
miles too far to the east and not change it until EOC2-4-0018
videographer pushes for the change? Something tells me you'll cook up
something that fits your dark theory...wishful and blinding thinking.
I've heard of HAARP for years. I don't know much about it. It
classically fits into that type of high-tech cutting edge government
research program that conspiracy theorist use for their evil or
uncaring government plot theories. I finally went to their site
today...pretty cool! Yeah, there's some kind of scary possibilities
pertaining to something or someone that might get in the way of one of
their big pulses or whatever they call them and I'm sure they conduct
some wilder experiments that might raise some eyebrows if they were
openly publicized, but come on!....
How many people knew that the OEX box had been removed from Columbia?
A 100? 500? Needless to say scores of people from agencies and
facilities would be well aware that the OEX box was not riding on
Columbia if that were the case. Furthermore, in the weeks after the
accident, nobody is clamoring for the vital data from the OEX box.
Yes, sure! It would be great to find it so that the "probably cause"
of the accident can be a higher percentage probability. But in your
theory, for some reason "they" need to plant the strong evidence that
the wing was breeched. So they took an OEX box, somehow laced it with
false data, put it in a bar-b-cue, then tossed it on a hillside in
Texas. Then have dozens of techs look at the faked/baked and shaked
data so that "they" (NASA?) look more assuredly dumb for not taking
the foam threat seriously...huh?! They do this knowing full well that
Columbia was actually felled by an ionospheric test or worse Columbia
and her crew were "sacrificed" for some twisted reason. Thousands of
NASA folks just bend over and take one for the team!...If you believe
that, you're in "O.J. Land".
They would have been seriously risking a "letting the cat out of the
bag" by planting. Think about it. Nobody is questioning...then they
get busted planting an OEX box that hundreds of people can testify WAS
NEVER ON THE SHUTTLE!
again... It didn't happen!
Re: Foam strike video
had saved one Space.com post and several replies to that post which
were from about 2 or 3 days after Columbia launched. I haven't
found them yet and I'm trying to get in contact with the guy who made
the original post (works at KSC aka "shuttle_guy"). In this post he
voices concern for the crew because a video showing a large piece of
foam strike the orbiter left wing, has been reported.
The foam strike
really happened, but still see references on your site expressing
doubt that it is real. If they faked it, why didn't they go all the
way and show before and after strike images of the wing that display
damage. You read and saw the CAIB report there were before and after
pictures and you couldn't make out a difference. Go ahead run with
that as evidence there was no damage (see: accept data that
works/dismiss data that doesn't), but again why did the cover-up
artists leave the wiggle room?
Re: Debris "A" adjusting
What seems the major cog to your theory is that Columbia according to
your numbers was at only 1/6th the altitude it should have been at
when break-up occurred. That somehow Columbia passed by Dallas at the
correct the correct time, which would mean the correct speed. When I
last saw it, it was where it was supposed to be when it was supposed
to be there...what happened over E. New Mexico? W. Texas? Did
it suddenly veer downward? Wouldn't a shuttle traveling at 14000mph
burn up very quickly if it were at say 100k ft?
This all begs the question, why would they go to all the trouble of
all the cover-up and move the first break-up event almost 65 miles to
far to the east?
They know Columbia was far far to low because HAARP rendered Columbia
a helpless chunk of TPS. It burns up killing the seven astronauts,
because it's screaming through the lower atmosphere and should this
fact slip out all bets are off as far as hiding the real reason.
anything if they held true to your cover-up theory they'd move it too
far west, but no it's way too far east.
This site does not claim that absolutely no voice transmissions were
made to Mission Control from the Columbia after 13:47:32. The
short transmissions from Rick Husband are acknowledged. The
statements regarding voice transmissions between the shuttle crew and
Mission Control are in
All the questions regarding HAARP are answered on the
and especially if one takes the time to read the U.S. Patent for the
system itself. And yes there is a rather large No-Fly zone
around the HAARP facility just for the purposes of avoiding possible
damage to a nearby airliner.