If Space Shuttle is Doomed, Do You Tell Crew?

When Harpold raised the question with Hale in 2003, managers had already concluded that Columbia’s heat shield was fine. They told astronauts they weren’t worried about damage from foam insulation coming off the massive shuttle fuel tank during launch, hitting a wing that allowed superheated gases in when the shuttle re-entered the atmosphere. No one was aware of the seriousness of the damage at the time. Imagine knowing that astronauts will die and you don’t tell them anything that’s fucked up. Let me know so I can say my goodbyes and prepare to pee my pants for the very last time.

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Updated: February 1, 2013 — 8:17 pm
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