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Columbia Disaster, New Report To Be Released Today.

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Columbia Disaster, New Report To Be Released. Today 2008, Dec 30. Nasa is expected to release the final detailed and graphic report on the Columbia's demise. At approximaty 12:15 Pm eastern On CNN.

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The report: Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report


Some analyses:

From http://blogs.discovery.com/news_space/2008/12/the-columbia--1.html

“Clearly the accident was not survivable under any circumstances, but (the report) will probably help for designing things for future spacecraft -- and maybe even aircraft,” said David Mould, NASA’s assistant administrator for public affairs.


Keith Cowing (nasawatch.com) summarizes the report at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1314:

The report goes into excruciating detail about the events that led up to the breakup of Columbia and the crew's death. ... Of course, learning lessons from fatal accidents is nothing new. Often times, it is all that can be gleaned from loss of a vehicle and its crew - whether they be at sea, in the air, on the ground or in space. Indeed, sometimes virtually nothing can be learned due to the nature of how the accident occurred.


With regard to Columbia, as was the case with the loss of her sister ship and its crew, its loss was eventually attributable to both human and mechanical error albeit with two totally different portions of a Space Shuttle's mission. One happened at the very beginning of a mission, the other at the very end.


Accidents are things to be avoided. However, by the very nature of how we currently send humans into space and return them to Earth, there is a substantial amount of risk involved. Much of that risk has been identified and is manageable. But not all of it. Of course, when you hear this discussion, someone inevitably says that the only way to make these things risk free is not to do them.


Well, we have decided to do these risky things, now haven't we?


Inevitably, when the accidents happen, we need to work our way through them, pause and reflect on what happened, and then press ahead. To be certain there is never a good time for a bad thing to happen. But not to benefit from the information that can arise from studying an accident's cause only serves to remove value from the sacrifice that a crew has made.

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