Space Shuttle Documentary (Narrated by William Shatner) Part 5/6

Uploaded by basvg1 on 02.07.2011

on the space shuttle’s launch schedule. Columbia’s crew commander, Rick Husband,
pilot Willie McCool, and mission specialists Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla,
Dave Brown, Laurel Clark, and Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon would not go to the
International Space Station. Their flight would require nothing more risky than orbiting the Earth.
Booster ignition and liftoff of Space Shuttle Columbia
with a multitude of national and international space research experiments.
82 seconds after launch what was later described as a suitcase sized chunk
of frozen foam insulation breaks off Columbia’s external tank
and strikes the leading edge of the orbiter’s left wing.
A routine same day video review of the launch would reveal nothing unusual.
However, higher resolution tracking camera film, processed over night and
reviewed on flight day 2 by the mission’s ascent team showed otherwise.
You saw this little thing float toward the leading edge of the wing and “puff”.
It was like a snowball hitting and then being pulverized.
When we sit it hit, we just winced because we the vehicle’s going 500 miles
an hour or better. It was inconceivable in hindsight that you could have that kind
of inpactt at the speed the vehicle was going and assume there was no damage.
That’s what we allowed ourselves to feel we were right and we were dead wrong.
Due to limitations in the visual clarity, the exact point of impact and extent of any damage
could not be determined. If the foam strike had compromised Columbia’s integrity,
little if anything could be done to repair the orbiter in space.
One week after launch, mission control emails the crew informing them of the debris strike.
Save for a relatively minor problem with a leaky refrigeration unit, STS-107 had been
without further incident. As scheduled, the order was given on the morning of Feb. 1,
for the Columbia crew to begin the landing procedure and come home to Florida.
Traveling in excess of 12,000 miles per hour, the orbiter’s belly begins to glow red
as it descends into Earth’s atmosphere.
FYI, I’ve just lost 4 separate temperature transducers on the left side of the vehicle—
hydraulic return temperatures.
As reentry started and as the ground track went across the states,
the ground track of course changes color. You can tell where the shuttle is,
over what part of the country it is. Well, that display stopped updating.
In other words that display froze in a certain position.
Well, sometimes you have loss of data, sometimes you have some problem
with a system on the ground to where you’ll have those kinds of outages temporarily.
Well, this latest a bit longer. Then the call went up to the crew.
The call went up and no response. I don’t know. I just began to feel uneasy.
Columbia, Houston UHF comm check.
At speeds above mach 20 the stress becomes too much for the orbiter.
We do not have any data at this time.
The suitcase-sized chunk of foam had indeed punched a bowling ball-sized hole
in the leading edge of Columbia’s left wing. Within seconds, internal temperatures spike,
signaling the cascade of structural disintegration.
Only 16 minutes from home space shuttle Columbia breaks apart
in the skies over East Texas. All 7 crew members were lost.
At that moment I knew we lost them.
our grief is heavy. Our Nation shares in your sorrow and in your pride.
And today we remember, not only one moment of tragedy,
but 7 lives of great purpose and achievement.
Within days, hundreds of professionals from federal and state agencies arrive in East Texas.
They are joined by local volunteers to help NASA recover and catalog debris
from Columbia in the hopes of literally piecing together an answer to the accident’s cause.
This is one of the many obstacles investigators are up against.
It was really heartwarming and very emotional for me to see all of these people
from around the country to come into the piney woods of East Texas and spend days
and weeks there marching out through these woods looking out for bits and pieces
of the orbiter and so forth. If anyone ever wonders about the strength and backbone
of this country then they ought to have the privilege, like I do,
to meet these people who have come here to do this.
It shows you the fabric of what this country’s made of.
Determined to return to flight stronger and safer, the grounded shuttle program
had taken a fresh look at itself.
During my watch, during my watch, we lost the Columbia crew and clearly
as a flight director back in Challenger we lost that crew.
I think about those every day, every day I come to work.
I need to be very vigilant. I need to pay attention and I need the people
that work for us in this business to pay attention to what we’ve done because
this is hard stuff that we do. it’s very dangerous.
We have not figured out a way to do a ‘beam me up, Scotty”.
Right now, it takes a lot of hydrocarbons moving at very high speeds to fuel pumps,
very high pressures to get into space and a tremendous amount
of effort to get out of space back in the atmosphere and get home.
I was sent to David Brown’s parent home and I will never forget the moment
when Judge Brown looked at me and said ‘Leland, my son is gone.
There’s nothing you can do to bring him back.
But the biggest tragedy would be if you don’t continue to fly and carry on his legacy.’
Each of the remaining 3 orbiters was pulled apart and refurbished.
New capabilities were devised for the crew and mission controllers to assess
and repair damage while on orbit. Processes and procedures were also
reexamined and reinvigorated. Crew safety would never again be taken for granted.
Nearly 2 and a half years would pass before the nation would see
another orbiter poised for launch from the Kennedy Space Center.
By the time that we fly the flight, it feels like we have flown many times.
So if things don’t go well, it becomes very, very natural for us to know at
certain times during the mission that if this doesn’t go well or if this system
breaks or we have this type of emergency, what’s the most important we
need to do now because we’ve been rehearsing it. And it makes it look really easy.
You don’t really get the full effect of how much real preparation,
how much real studying went into making it look that easy.
Of all the changes accompanying the shuttle’s return to flight none was
more significant than to one announced in early 2004 at NASA Headquarters by President Bush.
Our first goal is to complete the International Space Station by 2010.
We will finish what we have started. We will meet our obligations to our 15
international partners on this project. The shuttle’s chief purpose over the next several years
will be to help finish assembly of the International space Station.
In 2010, after nearly 30 years of duty, the shuttle will be retired from service.
Even though each shuttle was designed to fly nearly 100 missions,
the Columbia Accident Investigation Board called the shuttle an aging spacecraft
with the odds of loosing another orbiter and crew increasing with each subsequent flight.
NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program was faced with several basic challenges,
including coming up with a successor to the shuttle fleet.
However, with an impending cancellation of the shuttle program looming
shuttle managers recommitted themselves to the paramount task of safely
completing the International Space Station. It would becomes the program’s mantra—
to be repeated over and over and over again not only to the media but
also for every worker in the shuttle program.
No launch schedule was too tight and no mission too important to be rushed.
We ought to treat every flight in a sense as a return to flight.
This is truly a test program. We go back, we make sure everything is right.
We double check and then we go commit in a flight readiness review that
we’re actually ready to go fly. On July 26, 2005,
Discovery gets the Shuttle Program flying again.
Mission control: this is shuttle launch control at T-3 hours
LRD. LRD is go. SLF is go.
On behalf of the millions of people who believe in what we do,
Good luck, godspeed, and have a little fun up there.
Our thanks to you, the launch team and everyone in the shuttle program.
The crew is go for launch.
T minus ten seconds. Go for main engine start.
7, 6, 5, three engines up and burning, 3, 2, 1 and liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery
Beginning America's new journey. And the vehicle has cleared the tower.
Among the many changes instituted -- the new R-bar pitch maneuver, or backflip...
Station, Discovery. Initiating RPM in 3, 2, 1, Mark.
Will be used in by each mission to the International Space Station.
At arrival, the end to end flip allows the station crew to
visually document the condition of the shuttle's belly and nose.
Discovery and the STS-114 crew safely began the final phase
of the shuttle's program historic journey with a
smooth pre-dawn landing on August 9, 2005 at the Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Stevie-Ray, Soichi, Andy, Vegas, Charlie, Wendy, and Eileen, Welcome home friends.
With this practically rebuilt space transportation system,
each remaining shuttle mission would be safer than the one before.
And it's final flight the safest.
It's almost like we had three different space shuttle programs.
The first ten years, we were off learning how to fly the thing,
deploying satellites, and flying laboratories in the back.
The next ten years, we're doing more of that, and we're going out on
more and more spacewalks and we fly up to the Mir space station.
And in the last ten years, we use it to build a million pound space station in orbit,
which wouldn't have been possible without shuttle. It's a heck of a machine.
When you look at the Hubble Space Telescope,
which would not have been possible without shuttle,
and you look as the International Space Station
which wouldn't have been possible without shuttle.
Every launch it's an emotional experience watching
what this nation has done, what NASA has done,
what the NASA contractor team -- it's awesome. It's wonderful.
We didn't spend a dime in space. Not one single penny has been spent in space.
Every single penny that went into the space shuttle program over its thirty plus years
was spent right here on Earth. One -- creating jobs, growing our economy,
creating technological development of which we've never dreamed.
Advancing science, technology, even advancing the field of aeronautics.
It just impresses me what people can do. What people can do.
It's a big machine. It's a nice machine.
It's a fantastic engineering marvel, in my opinion -- the whole space shuttle.
But what's the real marvel are the people behind it who make it go.
Having a space shuttle enabled us to be able to complete our science
and do some really neat things to advance the field of metallurgy.
Without the space shuttle, an experiment like this could not have been conducted.
The shuttle is very important to us to learn and to conduct long period experiments.
Out of the 50 states, 48 of them have vendors that provide parts or equipment
to the space shuttle program. So it's a vast cross-section of America
that makes the American space program what it is.
Change is inevitable. As much as people don't like change,
it's the only thing that's constant in our lives. We have to change.
We have to transition from Shuttle to a new future which we're going to define --
which can be even better. A future that allows us to explore beyond Earth,
our planet, to seek our destiny , to learn what we couldn't possibly
learn if we were stuck in low Earth orbit.
And since its return to flight the shuttle program has been almost