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Posted by Bowser on February 02, 2003 at 20:08:30:
In Reply to: Re: Space Shuttle Columbia Disintegrates Over Texas; 7 on board posted by Spaceman on February 01, 2003 at 16:00:28:
The risk analysis generally for the programme suggested a 1% failure rate - one per hundred missions - and this is roughly the failure rate so far. It's like mountain climbing or other dangerous pursuits - it is risky and dangerous. These people were extremely bright, knew the risks but took them anyway.
NASA has not been funded properly for years so it will be interesting to see whether this is the death knell of manned US flight or whether it will stimulate renewed support. Some interesting science going on on board - crystallisation of proteins in zeroG etc. The space station will obviously suffer too in that much of its assembly must have depended on shuttle transport. A major rescheduling will be required no doubt. Of course Europe has its own troubles with the Ariane 5 problems recently delaying a comet rendezvous among other things.