Tag Archives: Columbia Accident

After Ten Years: the Fateful FRR

George Abbey never allowed a shuttle flight to be scheduled over the last days of January.  He was too steeped in the events of the Apollo 1 fire and the STS-51-L loss of Challenger and her crew to put another … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: STS-113, the Calm before the Storm

Of course the title is wrong; there was nothing calm about STS-113. I was the Ascent/Entry Flight Director as you can see in the picture of the mission control team. This ISS assembly and crew rotation flight was jam packed … Continue reading

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Ten Years After Columbia: STS-112, the Harbinger

“You will never remember the many times the launch slipped, but the on-time failures are with you always” – Walt W. Williams, NASA Program Manager for X-15 and Mercury In the summer of 2002, the word got out about the … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: A Few Words from Admiral Gehman

I’d like to interrupt my personal recollections of the Columbia accident and its aftermath to give a few words from Admiral Gehman.  You might as well know that there are still people out there who will tell you the CAIB … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: Flying A Mature Vehicle – Or Not

  “The Space Shuttle is an experimental vehicle with an operational mission” – NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Michael Kostelnik, 2004 The Space Shuttle system was under development for 13 years and then actually flew in space for over 30 years.  … Continue reading

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Ten Years After Columbia: Pennywise and Pound Foolish

“Relentless budget reduction pressures necessitate more dramatic program actions” – Brewster Shaw, Space Shuttle Program Manager, December 1994 Polls show that the general populace rates the Internal Revenue Service as the most disliked agency in the US Federal government.  Among … Continue reading

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After Ten Years: The Tyranny of Requirements

My good friend and colleague from the Flight Director’s office, Jeff Bantle, left the agency several years ago to head up Lockheed-Martin’s Presidential Helicopter project.  He now has a great presentation talk about how incrementally added requirements can sink a … Continue reading

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