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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Chron defends NASA editorial with another one

Sigh. Last week, the Chron editorial board called the launch of space shuttle Discovery "nearly flawless," even after the Chron's news pages noted the debris that fell from the craft and its resulting damage. Today, the editors repeat the patently untrue claim that the launch was initially seen as perfect:

The celebration of a seemingly flawless launch faded with photographs of dangerous foam debris spinning off the craft's external fuel tank and the subsequent announcement of a freeze on future flights.

No one thought the launch went perfectly. As NASA operations manager John Shannon said on the day of the launch:

We're going frame-by-frame through the imagery," Shannon said. "I fully expected we would see things that we hadn't seen in the past."
I also thought this line from the Chron editorial was pretty funny:

Likewise, in the design of a new launch system, [NASA Administrator Michael Griffin] indicates that never again will NASA put crew members in a hazardous position below foam-crusted fuel tanks.
Gosh, where could NASA engineers find such an innovative design? Ooh, I know! They could just look out the window at the 30-year-old Saturn V rocket that's parked at the Johnson Space Center.

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