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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kamikazenauts on final ride for Emperor Bush

Kamikazenauts after ceremony for Emperor
Bush. Banzai, Banzai, Banzai

NASA, despite dissent, sets shuttle date

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer Sat Jun 17, 7:19 PM ET

NASA managers on Saturday picked July 1 to launch the first space shuttle in almost a year, despite recommendations against a liftoff attempt by the space agency's chief engineer and safety offices.

The decision to launch Discovery on a trip to the international space station was made after two days of meetings by NASA's top managers and engineers at the
Kennedy Space Center. The flight would be only the second shuttle mission since the Columbia disaster in 2003.

During a poll of top managers, representatives from NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Office of the Chief Engineer recommended against flying until further design changes are made to the external fuel tank. Despite their recommendations, the dissenting managers didn't object to making a launch, NASA officials said.

The ultimate decision to fly was made by NASA administrator Michael Griffin, who said he would shut down the space shuttle program if there was another vehicle lost like space shuttles Challenger and Columbia.

"The administrator ... has the obligation to decide. That's what I do," Griffin said. "Our staff offices ... have the right, have the obligation, have the utter necessity to tell us exactly what they think. But all of that is advice."

The most contentious debate focused on whether the shuttle's external tank should undergo further changes in 34 areas called ice-frost ramps. About 35 pounds of foam already have been removed from an area of the tank where a 1-pound piece fell off during last July's launch of Discovery. NASA described it as the biggest aerodynamic change ever made to the shuttle's launch system.

Representatives from NASA's safety and chief engineer offices said at the meeting that the shuttle shouldn't fly until the ice-frost ramps are redesigned.

A large piece of flying foam from where the external tank connects to the shuttle, not the ice-frost ramps, struck a wing of Columbia during its launch in 2003, allowing fiery gases to enter the shuttle and kill the seven-member crew during descent.

"I think it is acceptable for a number of reasons to go fly for a limited number of flights until we come up with a new design," said Wayne Hale, shuttle program manager
"I don't want to get us into a situation where by being more cautious than I think technically is necessary today, we wind up having to execute six flights in the last year," Griffin said. "That's not smart."

They're gonna die.

Once upon a time, before Bush, the techinical concerns would have mattered. But everything is politcs. Rove wants a distraction, we will be given a distraction. Of course, when the kamikazenauts die in a ball of flame, they will not be around to accept the blame.

So what is saying the Shuttle shouldn't fly? Sounds like an objection to me. Maybe I'm confused. Maybe the aging shuttle is a modern day Zero, about to burn up for Emperor Bush.

posted by Steve @ 12:03:00 AM

12:03:00 AM

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