re: bad news - space shuttle
1 feb 2003
> damnit. can't we have just *one* science mission without something going
> horribly, horribly wrong?
1. challenger flight surgeon/psychiatrist pat santi implied that that
disaster improved "grieving procedures"--some challenger families kept
wondering if those astronauts had managed to bail out and parachute down,
even though they had no parachutes...
2. we may rethink the cost and safety of manned vs machine space missions.
one former science astronaut said "the experiments we have done in space
could not have been done by machines," citing observations of spiders, but
were those spiders worth watching in person vs on a tv? another said:
"why build cathedrals, when there are more cost-effective demonstrations
of faith?" these days, cathedrals are not supported by taxes...
3. citing the loss of personal notebooks and other non-electronic records,
someone said better telemetry could help justify future disasters, in that
everything seen or observed could be relayed to earth and preserved even
after explosions. in that case, why send astronauts? having designed one
of the shuttle computers (a fast floating-point telemetry processor), i'd
vote for improved telemetry...
4. this could lead to better remote fighting machines and drones vs drones
vs people vs people. after working on remotely-piloted tanks for the army
in the 60's and hearing about the results of the gulf war and others, i'd
vote for unmanned battle...
5. according to one npr person, today's event may make dubya dubya iii
less inclined to go on the tee vee next week and solemnly say "mah fellow
'mericans: let us now put this great tragedy behind us and prepare to go
kill several hundred thousand more eyerackys."