NASA has worst-case remedy for launch

June 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: ESA spaceplane a model for future reentry craft

Related Stories

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 ...

ESA space ferry moves Space Station to avoid debris

November 5, 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 harm's way.

Recommended for you

Exploring the physics of a chocolate fountain

November 24, 2015

A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight ...


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.