NASA has worst-case remedy for launch

Jun 21, 2005

The re-launch of space shuttle Discovery is less than six weeks away and the U.S. space agency is readying itself for every scenario.
The launch will be the first time since Columbia disintegrated during re-entry in 2003.

As a precaution, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has drawn up every worse-case scenario so it can use daring maneuvers to help bring astronauts home on a damaged vehicle, the USA Today reported.

The most dramatic scenarios would require NASA to ignore long-standing flight rules, such as guidelines on when to start re-entry. The new procedures could be used if the shuttle's heat shield is damaged as Columbia's did, the report said.

Shuttle managers decided to develop such plans after the loss of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of seven crewmembers.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

Related Stories

Why can't we design the perfect spacesuit?

Feb 19, 2015

So far, every spacesuit humans have utilized has been designed with a specific mission and purpose in mind. As of yet, there's been no universal or "perfect" spacesuit that would fit every need. For example, ...

ESA space ferry moves Space Station to avoid debris

Nov 05, 2014

The International Space Station was threatened by space debris last week but ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle saved the day by firing its thrusters to push the orbital outpost and its six occupants out of ...

Tether solution for satellite de-orbiting and reentry

May 28, 2014

Satellite de-orbiting and re-entry is essential to halt the continuous increase in orbital space debris. The BETS project, which ends this month, is making waves with a new tether solution that is faster and more resistant ...

Recommended for you

Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

4 hours ago

The latest views of Ceres' enigmatic white spots are sharper and clearer, but it's obvious that Dawn will have to descend much lower before we'll see crucial details hidden in this overexposed splatter of ...

What are extrasolar planets?

4 hours ago

For countless generations, human beings have looked out at the night sky and wondered if they were alone in the universe. With the discovery of other planets in our solar system, the true extent of the Milky ...

Rosetta's view of a comet's "great divide"

4 hours ago

The latest image to be revealed of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comes from October 27, 2014, before the Philae lander even departed for its surface. Above we get a view of a dramatically-shadowed cliff ...

How long will our spacecraft survive?

5 hours ago

There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into space. How long can they survive to perform their important missions?

Why roundworms are ideal for space studies

5 hours ago

Humans have long been fascinated by the cosmos. Ancient cave paintings show that we've been thinking about space for much of the history of our species. The popularity of recent sci-fi movies suggest that ...

A curious family of giant exoplanets

5 hours ago

There are 565 exoplanets currently known that are as massive as Jupiter or bigger, about one third of the total known, confirmed exoplanet population. About one quarter of the massive population orbits very ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.