Space Shuttle Columbia Explosion Conspiracy
There are bound to be a lot of Conspiracy Theories flying around soon as to why the Columbia disaster happened.
Here's one from an Anonymous Source claiming to be a NASA Scientist. According to him:
The Space Shuttle is obsolete technology, being propped up NASA's attempt at showbiz
There is no scientific reason why people should be sent into Space, and are only sent for Showbiz reasons.
Cost cutting and inefficiency probably led to the disaster.
Given the usual way these thing happen - some 'mess' is made, a scapegoat is blamed, and everything gets covered up as much as possible. i.e. standard methodology of Conspiracy goes into operation.
The article follows:
Why the Space Shuttle should never fly again,
by Anonymous - a NASA scientist who has serious doubts about the Shuttle programme
Mail on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2003
I HAVE had grave reservations about the Space Shuttle programme for some time because it has always been based on very dubious science.
But what is so astonishing is that the success of the massively expensive space station project has come to rest on a single assumption: that NASA can get a number of ageing vehicles to fly safely.
For more than two decades, NASA has been piling the work on to a rather fragile branch of the programme and that branch has now started to crack.
Put simply, the Shuttles are too old for the job. They are well past their sell-by date and that is a fact that NASA has been aware of for the past decade. They know that they have been running risks in sending them into space.
But NASA has not just continued to run them into the ground; they have been increasing the shuttles' complexity and making them carry out functions which are beyond their basic capabilities.
There have been six Shuttles in total, and Columbia, built in 1981, was the oldest. It has been refurbished many times and its engine casings are just too old to remain safe.
NASA has refurbished the electronics and replaced the engines and; to a certain extent, they can be re-used. But there comes a stage when it is pointless to continue this refurbishment programme.
But because NASA takes out the whole of the inside, it is very difficult to know when that point has come. I guess they have just discovered they have passed that danger point.
The Shuttles take a massive hammering when they re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. They are subject to huge vibrations and it makes sense that after a while 20 years in this case - they begin to show signs of wear.
Many people, myself included, have thought that the Shuttle programme should be replaced.
NASA has very little justification in sending human beings into space and they all know that almost every experiment they carry out is one that can be done robotically.
Scientifically, the Shuttle programme has little worth. What interests genuine science is deep space, the kind of space that can be studied through a telescope and with a computer
The scientific community also believes the money could have been better spent on satellites to observe the world.
If we had, we'd now be much better equipped to deal with the thinning of the ozone layer and global warming
We know very little about both and yet they pose very real dangers.
In many ways, space is not a good place for human beings. Apart from the obvious dangers, there are the health risks. Because of microgravity, astronauts suffer from osteoporosis.
The only real reason astronauts have been used is simply national prestige. NASA wants the publicity of boasting the first woman, the First Afro-American, the first Israeli, the first Hispanic in space.
NASA needs the humans to publicise and justify its Shuttle programme.
It needs to impress its customers, the politicians in Congress and the White House, both of which have been putting NASA under pressure to deliver headlines and high-profile projects that will tell the world that Americans are still in charge of the space programme. So every year NASA goes to Congress for money and every year the experiments conducted have become ever more flamboyant . . . but ever more pointless.
NASA has a replacement programme for the Shuttles, but it has over-run and has been' delayed because of the historic inability of the organisation to control its costs. NASA is billions of dollars overspent and has been desperately trying 'to cut costs.
The man who did that was Dan Goldin, the ninth administrator who pushed NASA into being what he called `a faster, better, cheaper' organisation and reduced the agency workforce from 25,000 to 18,000.
He has been much criticised by many scientists for endangering the Shuttle and other NASA programmes with his cutbacks, while at the same time massively increasing its programme. Goldin's cutbacks undoubtedly are hugely relevant to today's tragic events. But despite them, Goldin still managed to spend $23 billion on a variety of space programmes, which; in pure scientific terms, have very little to show for them. He was also a huge backer of the ill-fated Missions to Mars in 1999. It was his life's ambition, he said, to land a man - and he specified an American man - on Mars. .
It is this disastrous, sentimental thinking which has got NASA into the trouble it is in today
Certainly, in Goldin's ten years heading up the organisation, serious science has been backing off. NASA has become an organisation of showbiz and engineers.
There has been a brain drain with some of the brightest scientists from the earlier space missions feeling forced to resign or move on because they were uncomfortable with the Disney-style approach NASA was taking.
Goldin resigned 15 months ago and President Bush has replaced him with Sean O'Keefe. He comes from the Office of Management and Budget, where he managed the federal budget.
But what NASA needs desperately is a scientist as well as a money man.
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