Category Archives: Uncategorized

STS-121 The Hardest Launch Part 4: Damage to the Heatshield

The ultimate controversy at the STS-121 Flight Readiness Review was the potential of fatal damage to the space shuttle during launch from foam loss from the External Tank.  The possibility of a replay of the loss of Columbia was the … Continue reading

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Blood and Money

“The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across the Atlantic carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our modern steam ships . . . it seems safe to say that such ideas are wholly visionary and even … Continue reading

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Advising NASA

I’ve been passionate about space exploration from my earliest memories.  According to my mother, Sputnik was event that captured my imagination when I was 3.  Well before Apollo I had decided the only career for me was in the space … Continue reading

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STS-121: The Hardest Launch – Part 3 Wing Leading Edge

Returning to the history of the hardest shuttle launch I ever participated in, we earlier visited with the circumstances leading to the delayed launch of STS-121, the second test flight after the loss of Columbia and with the electrical sensor … Continue reading

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Miracle Workers

Scotty : Oh, you didn’t tell the captain how long it would really take, ya?  Oh, laddie. You’ve got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker. In July of 2005 we … Continue reading

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Launch Fever

My entire professional career I have heard warnings about ‘launch fever’.  When a team works on a space project for a long time – months, years sometimes – pouring heart and sweat into it, launch day is the worst time.  … Continue reading

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Careful What You Ask For

Roy Estess was one of the smartest and best that I have ever met.  He spent most of his career testing large rocket engines at the NASA installation now known as the Stennis Space Center.  In fact, he became the … Continue reading

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STS-121: The Hardest Launch: Part 2 – Electrical Problems

  Now to return to a subject I have left pending for too long:  The STS-121 launch. We had three major problems to solve to get approval for the launch. I hate intermittent electrical problems.  It doesn’t matter whether they … Continue reading

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Memory Overload

Digging through my files I recently found an email which caught my attention: ===================================================================== From:  Larry A. Sent:  Thursday October 21, 2004 7:18 AM TO:  A whole bunch of people who are probably retired now Subject:  SMS Issue – SMS … Continue reading

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Fifteen Years

Two weeks ago, I participated in the NASA Remembrance Day and lessons learned activities which happen every year around February 1.  I believe it is very important to remember Dick Scobee, Gus Grissom, and Rick Husband and their crews; to … Continue reading

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