imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Pentagon Refused to Take Photos of Damaged Columbia Space Shuttle For Analysis

by Varlet Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003 at 8:18 PM

The Pentagon and NASA honchos refused to allow NASA engineers' request that high-resolution photos be taken of the damaged, ill-fated Columbia mission so they could see extent of damage to wing of Shuttle.

Why should we leftists care about this? We all know that the Space Shuttle has been used to place Dept of Defense spy satellites in orbit. A great many of the Shuttle missions have been classified military operations, not anything like the "Teacher in Space" public relations scam that was the Challenger mission.

I believe that it is because the Challenger and Columbia "disasters" as well as the Apollo 11 debacle, show quite clearly the callous disregard that the US government has for even its' most staunch defenders. As we are seeing once again in Gulf War II, where the declaration that "the war is over" by the Bush administration was just an excuse to deny the soldiers in the field, and their families, the benefit of "hazard pay".

The official inquiry on the Columbia "disaster" has submitted its report. To me, it reveals that the Columbia crew, while carrying out a mission that was at least partly related to the soon-to-come Gulf War II (the first Israeli astronaut? Studying dust storms?) were about to become the first victims of that war, sacrificed by the Pentagon brass, who refused urgent requests by NASA's "Intercenter Photo Working Group" "that a high-resolution image of the Orbiter on-orbit be obtained by the Department of Defense" after it became clear to this group that the impact of a large chunk of insulation from the shuttle's External Fuel Tank may very well have caused severe damage to the shuttle's left wing. The official report continues: "By the Board's count, this would be the first of three distinct requests [by the Intercenter Photo Working Group to NASA supervisors and the Pentagon ---Varlet] to image Columbia

on-orbit. The exact chain of events and circumstances surrounding the movement of each of these requests through Shuttle Program Management, *AS WELL AS THE ULTIMATE DENIAL OF THESE REQUESTS* [my emphasis---Varlet]

is a topic of Chapter 6."

Why wasn't the Pentagon "able" to redirect its spy satellites to take pictures of the crippled Columbia? Was it because they were too busy imaging every Iraqi tank and sand dune in preparation for Gulf War II? Was it because they didn't want the folks in NASA's "Intercenter Photo Working Group", who didn't have the 'necessary' security clearances, to know what kind of satellites the DoD has?

In this way the Pentagon treats its most stalwart defenders. Ask any veteran alive today about the treatment he has recieved by the they close down VA hospitals, and cut soldiers' pay and benefits.


The following are excerpts from the official "Columbia Accident Investigation Board - Report Volume I" as transcribed by your humble reporter, Varlet, who is responsible for all misquotes and typos...I have only read 55 pages of this tome, so sequels may follow, or not, if the rest of it deserves no sequel...

----------------------------------------------------------- Columbia Shuttle Disaster -

P. 36 - "Flight Day 8

"Mission Control e-mailed Husband and McCool that post-launch analysis showed foam from the External Tank had struck the Orbiter's left wing during ascent. Mission Control relayed that there was "no concern for RCC or tile damage" and because the phenomenon had been seen before, there was "absolutely no concern for entry." Mission Control also e-mailed a short video clip of the debris strike, which Husband forwarded to the rest of the crew.

P.37 - "Debris Strike Analysis and Requests for Imagery

"As is done after every launch, within two hours of the lift-off the Intercenter Photo Working Group examined video from tracking cameras. An initial review did not reveal any unusual events. The next day, when the Intercenter Photo Working Group personnel recieved much higher resolution film that had been processed overnight, they noticed a debris strike at 81.9 seconds after launch.

"A large object from the left bipod area of the External Tank struck the Orbiter, apparently impacting the underside of the left wing near RCC panels 5 through 9. The object's large size and the apparent momentum transfer concerned Intercenter Photo Working Group personnel, who were worried that Columbia had sustained damage not detectable in the limited number of views their tracking cameras captured. This concern led the Intercenter Photo Working Group Chair to request, in anticipation of analysts' needs, that a high-resolution image of the Orbiter on-orbit be obtained by the Department of Defense. By the Board's count, this would be the first of three distinct requests to image Columbia

on-orbit. The exact chain of events and circumstances surrounding the movement of each of these requests through Shuttle Program Management, *AS WELL AS THE ULTIMATE DENIAL OF THESE REQUESTS* [my emphasis---Varlet]

is a topic of Chapter 6."

P 53;

"Foam loss has occurred on more than 80 percent of the 79 missions for which imagery is available, and foam was lost from the left bipod ramp on nearly 10 percent of missions where the left bipod ramp was visible during External Tank separation. For about 30 percent of all missions, there is no way to determine if foam was lost; these were either night launches, or the External Tank bipod ramp areas were not in view when the images were taken. The External Tank was not designed to be instrumented or recovered after separation, which deprives NASA of physical evidence that could help pinpoint why foam separates from it."

P 54;


"The Board has concluded that the physical cause of the breakup of Columbia upon re-entry was the result of damage to the Orbiter's Thermal Protection System, which occurred when a large piece of BX-250 foam insulation fell from the left (-Y) bipod assembly 81.7 seconds after launch and struck the leading edge of the left wing. As the External Tank is covered with insulating foam, it seemed to me essential that we understand the mechanisms that could cause foam to shed.

"Many if not most of the systems in the three components of the Shuttle stack (Orbiter, External Tank, and Solid Rocket Boosters) are by themselves complex, *AND OFTEN OPERATE NEAR THE LIMITS OF THEIR PERFORMANCE.* Douglas Osheroff, Board Member [My emphasis added between asterisks --- Varlet]

P.53 and 55;

"The precise reasons why the left bipod foam ramp was lost from the External Tank during STS-107 may never be known. The specific initiating event may likewise remain a mystery. However, it is evident that a combination of variable and pre-existing factors, such as insufficient testing and analysis in the early design stages, resulted in a highly variable and complex foam material, defects induced by an imperfect and variable application, and the results of that imperfect process, as well as severe load, thermal, pressure, vibration, acoustic, and structural launch and ascent conditions.


"F3.2-1 NASA does not fully understand the mechanisms that cause foam loss *ON ALMOST ALL FLIGHTS* [my emphasis ---Varlet] from larger areas of foam coverage and from areas that are sculpted by hand.



"F3.2-5 The Board found instances of left bipod ramp shedding on launch *THAT NASA WAS NOT AWARE OF,* bringing the total of known left bipod ramp shedding events to 7 out of 72 missions for which imagery of the launch or External Tank separation is available.

"F3.2-6 Subsurface defects were found during the dissection of three bipod foam ramps [I assume they mean belonging to other active Shuttles --- Varlet] suggesting that similar defects were likely present in the left bipod ramp of External Tank 93 used on STS-107.



Full report:

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
CORRECTION: Apollo 11 should read "Apollo 1" Varlet Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003 at 8:24 PM
What good would it have done? Rational Normal Person Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003 at 8:41 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy