Re: OT: The Columbia
| I understand that there's no other alternate
| procedure for re-entry.
In principle, there are variosu alternate procedures:
- Repairing the damage in space
- Taking refuge in the ISS
- Transferring to another shuttle
In this concrete case, however, none of these procedures would have been available:
- None of the astronauts was trained in working outside the shuttle, and there weren't any thermal tiles on board anyway.
- The Columbia couldn't dock at the ISS. (Don't know if it would have been reachable with available fuel.)
(1) The ISS is at a different altitude and the shuttles can't
maneuver once they've been shoved to their desired altitude.
They can only go down.
(2) They didn't have a docking ring for the ISS.
- As far as I know, no emergency shuttle was available. (But maybe they could have prepared one had the seriousness of the damage been known right after the start?)
Even beside the fact that they probably wouldn't have had
time to prep another shuttle and put together another crew,
see your previous point about having to be trained in an
EVA maneuver. A specific maneuver takes a really long
time to practice.
Requiescat in pace.
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