Shuttle News: October 2004 Archives

Wayne Hale on "Risk"

26 October 2004: Letter to the NASA Space Shuttle Team From Wayne Hale on Risk

"Everybody knows that there are ultimate risks in space flight. Some among us believe so strongly in the benefits that they put their lives on the line. Others of us believe so strongly that we do something harder to live with: we send our colleagues into danger. Why should we do it? Because the consequences of not taking the risk are unthinkable. The choice of turning back and giving up would affect the rest of history in ways that are immeasurable. Somebody recently said that what we are engaged in is like high stakes poker. That comment trivializes space flight to a parlor game where the only risk is money or pride or career or other cheap consideration. To push back the frontier incurs a price that sometimes must be paid in a currency more dear than mere dollars. It takes courage."

Extending Human Presence into the Solar System: An Independent Study for The Planetary Society

"Stage 1 features the development of a new crew exploration vehicle (CEV), the completion of the International Space Station (ISS), and an early retirement of the Shuttle Orbiter. Orbiter retirement would be made as soon as the ISS U.S. Core is completed (perhaps only 6 or 7 flights) and the smallest number of additional flights necessary to satisfy our international partners' ISS requirements. Money saved by early Orbiter retirement would be used to accelerate the CEV development schedule to minimize or eliminate any hiatus in U.S. capability to reach and return from LEO."

Editor's note: Stories continue to circulate around Washington that NASA is planning to limit the number of remaining space shuttle flights to 10 and that it is considering even further cuts to the Shuttle program. The stories can be traced back to representatives of the Kerry campaign - the most notable being Lori Garver from DFI International. Garver is going around town telling people that she has spoken with people inside OMB and NASA and that there is a plan under development by the Bush Administration to limit shuttle flights.

There is one problem with Garver's story: it is not true.

Slipping Shuttle Schedules

1 October 2004: NASA PRCB CR: S042013EW Update the Launch Dates, NASA JSC

Editor's note: Wayne Hale signed this CR (Change Request) on 1 October 2004 and forwarded it to the JPRCB which met on 14 October 2004. The JPRCB said they had no authority to approve launch date changes without Space Flight LeadershipCouncil (SFLC) concurrence or prior approval.

6 October 2004: Former NASA Inspector Accused of Lying About Shuttle Checks Before and After Columbia Disaster, AP

"Billy T. Thornton falsified records about 83 Discovery inspections over nine days from Oct. 24, 2002, to May 14, 2003, according to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday. NASA fired him in September 2003. Agents of NASA's Inspector General's Office arrested Thornton at his home late Monday. Arraignment was scheduled for Friday."

28 September 2004: NASA OIG: Final Memorandum on Government Mandatory Inspections for Solid Rocket Booster Bolt Catchers Assignment Number A-04-003-00 Number IG-04-024

"We found that the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) did not perform mandatory hardware inspections on bolt catchers used in Space Shuttle operations. Specifically, we found that DCMA Quality Assurance Representatives (QAR) either (a) removed the requirement for mandatory inspections without obtaining NASAs authorization or approval, or (b) gave final approval for manufactured bolt catchers although not all inspections required throughout the bolt catcher manufacturing process were performed."

3 October 2004: STS-300 Flight Requirements Document

"This document defines explicitly, or by reference, the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) authorized requirements to be implemented on the STS-300 Launch on Need (LON) Crew Rescue flight. Products generated to satisfy these requirements shall meet the schedules defined in the Flight Definition and Requirements Directive (FDRD), NSTS 07700 Volume III, and in the appropriate Integration Plans (IP's)."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Shuttle News category from October 2004.

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