RE: Shuttle Columbia Lost????

From: Dale Ireland (
Date: Sat Feb 01 2003 - 12:39:16 EST

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    Maybe this is outdated info but this is what is currently displayed on the
    NASA site
    "At approximately 265,000 feet, the spacecraft enters a communications
    blackout, which lasts until the orbiter reaches an altitude of approximately
    162,000 feet. Between these altitudes, heat is generated as the spacecraft
    enters the atmosphere, ionizing atoms of air that form a layer of ionized
    gas particles around the spacecraft. Radio signals between the spacecraft
    and the ground cannot penetrate this sheath of ionized particles, and radio
    communications are blocked for approximately 16 minutes. "
    I would treat this as a "rumor" since it has not been repeated, but one of
    the CNN guys said telemetry showed pressure rising in one of the Shuttle
    tires before loss of communications.
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Jim Scotti []
    > There is no blackout period for the space shuttle.  They can communicate
    > through what used to be communication blackouts during Apollo, Gemini &
    > Mercury by transmitting up to the TDRSS satellites.  From what I've heard
    > (and that isn't much), they were in contact up to the moment it
    > was lost and
    > hopefully they will be able to use telemetry to figure out what happened
    > reasonably quickly.
    > My thoughts are with the 7 crewmembers and their families and friends.
    > Jim.
    > Jim Scotti
    > Lunar & Planetary Laboratory
    > University of Arizona
    > Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
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