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This rescue was considered challenging but feasible.

The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia. As part of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's investigation, NASA devised a plan to save Columbia's crew had they known that the foam strike damaged the shuttle. Previously.
posted by thewumpusisdead on Feb 26, 2014 - 29 comments

Anniversary of 2nd shuttle disaster

10 years ago today, the flagship of the Space Shuttle fleet, Columbia, broke apart upon its return to earth. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 1, 2013 - 42 comments

Super slomo high-resolution space shuttle goodness

Each space shuttle launch was documented by 125 cameras aimed at its engines, solid rocket boosters, orbiter, and umbilicals. The 45-minute film Ascent compiles the "best of the best": astounding 400 fps footage from three missions (STS-114, STS-117, and STS-124), produced by NASA aerospace engineer Matt Melis, and narrated by Melis and photographer Kevin Burke.
posted by googly on Jan 28, 2013 - 27 comments

Space Shuttle Discovery arrives at its new home

The Space Shuttle Discovery, known for launching the Hubble telescope, as well as being the workhorse of the fleet, made a final flight today. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 17, 2012 - 55 comments

Dissecting OV's 103, 104 and 105.

Orbiter Autopsies "What NASA will learn from dissecting Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour" before they transition into retirement. (From the May 2012 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine.)
posted by zarq on Mar 23, 2012 - 13 comments

How many people traveled on the space shuttle?

How many people flew on the Space Shuttle?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 21, 2011 - 35 comments

Space, an expensive frontier

Can the free market save the space program?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 26, 2010 - 41 comments

Blink and you'll miss it

As the shuttle program winds down, astrophotographers like Thierry Legault are taking advantage of these last opportunities to capture absolutely incredible shots like this one, showing Atlantis' transit in front of the sun as it performs its inspection backflip before docking with the ISS. His other photography includes this magnificent series of the launch of STS-125. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on May 19, 2010 - 16 comments

For Arthur

A handful of pretty great spacewalk pix from last summer's Endeavour mission.
posted by CunningLinguist on Mar 19, 2008 - 59 comments

Space: 1989

Some photo galleries (and youtube video) of Buran, the USSR's space shuttle program (previously) from the 1980's, long since abandoned. Bonus: A comparison between Buran and the US space shuttle. Double Bonus: More on Buran from russianspaceweb.com, which is awesome. Combo breaker: An official page with NASA's take on Buran, (and their photos), frozen in time a decade ago.
posted by dersins on Sep 13, 2007 - 25 comments

"Go" for de-orbit burn...

Discovery is coming home... Around now (6.06am EDT) STS114 is due to commence firing its orbital maneuvering engines for 2 minutes and 42 seconds and commence its entry of the atmosphere to return home to Edwards Air Force base. Florida was declared a "no go" both yesterday and today due to weather conditions.

Weather at Edwards is good. Landing tracks from NASA available here.
BBC story with live video footage is here.
Pilot Jim Kelly is handling the de-orbit burn, according to commentary and mission commander Eileen Collins will make the final approach and touch down at Edwards.

Best of luck, Discovery, I'm sure I speak for all when I say that all of our thoughts are with you.
posted by tomcosgrave on Aug 9, 2005 - 130 comments

Columbia's Final Minutes

Columbia's Final Minutes A fascinating (if horrifying) account of the shuttle's destruction.
posted by jpoulos on Jan 27, 2004 - 12 comments

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board

"These are good people"...but changes must be made. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report was released on Tuesday. Putting technical answers aside for the moment, the report targets the organizational and behavioral issues that led to a breakdown in communication, safety and responsibility. While acknowledging the good will at NASA, the report holds no illusions that changing this culture will be very difficult and very necessary in order to return to flight. What types of management/behavioral obstacles have you encountered in home, work, school or social organizations? How did you try to effect change and what obstacles did you encounter in an effort to make it more effective, safe, productive or enjoyable?
posted by tgrundke on Aug 28, 2003 - 11 comments

"I imagine this is the last we will hear of this."

"I imagine this is the last we will hear of this." Or not. NASA releases email between NASA engineers leading up to the Columbia disaster documenting significant concerns regarding damage done to the shuttle on takeoff. Engineers calculated the likelihood of a 7" x 30" gouge in the heat shields, but when they let management know of their concerns, they weren't taken seriously, were forced to work "at night" to do simulations, and found that requests for additional information were "treated like the plague."
posted by insomnia_lj on Feb 22, 2003 - 33 comments

Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster

Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster - Scientists poring over 'infrasonic' sound waves Federal scientists are looking for evidence that a bolt of electricity in the upper atmosphere might have doomed the space shuttle Columbia as it streaked over California, The Chronicle has learned.
posted by y2karl on Feb 7, 2003 - 29 comments

Shuttle Achille's Hell ?

Shuttle "Achille's Hell" According to this article, Shuttle has one. Curiously it's in the area in which that piece of insulation hit during launch.Were the astronauts warned ? Did they do some space walk to see what was wrong ? I would stop my car to go out and see if I heard a loud "thump" coming from somewhere.
posted by elpapacito on Feb 3, 2003 - 38 comments

Trophy Boys

It's kind of weird how people in East Texas seem to have to "pose" with the debris, like it's a dead deer or a fishing trophy...
posted by sparky on Feb 3, 2003 - 53 comments

Liftoff with the Space Shuttle.

Liftoff with the Space Shuttle. NASA attached a small RocketCam to the side of the External Tank on the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis earlier this month. You can also download the full video.
posted by Mwongozi on Oct 23, 2002 - 3 comments

My house's windows just rattled from a sonic boom, so that means the space shuttle's home again. I kind of forget about these things until a little visceral something like that brings you back in touch. Int'l Space Station that much closer to completion. Living in the future is cooooool.
posted by logovisual on Jul 24, 2001 - 8 comments

The Space Shuttle team is having problems getting their email.

The Space Shuttle team is having problems getting their email. They wouldn't happen to be using Outlook, would they? :) (I didn't intend it, but today is looking to be 'Bash Microsoft Day' here at MetaFilter)
posted by mathowie on Dec 22, 1999 - 2 comments

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