[Admin} Topics

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Feb 06 2003 - 08:59:40 EST

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    I agree with Stephen Bolton and others that it is time to move the debate
    about human vs robotic space exploration elsewhere. It is an interesting and
    important topic, but there are many other suitable forums.
    Discussion of the loss of Columbia may continue for now. 
    I am particularly interested in the early signs of break-up, west of Texas.
    Several people obtained video showing one or more objects leave Columbia and
    rapidly fall behind. Rick Baldridge's video has an accurate time track. (I
    imagine that accurate times will determined for the other videos, as long as
    their owners have not messed with their clocks.)
    Could the detached objects' rate of deceleration help determine either what
    they could have been or could not have been? Do we know enough about the
    environment they were in to accurately estimate their drag co-efficients?
    Can we estimate their size from their brightness?
    Was the shuttle in eclipse when the objects detached? If so, could the rate at
    which they faded in brightness help reveal what they could or could not have
    been? We have all seen the demonstrations in which glowing tiles rapidly cool
    after removal of the heat source.
    Ted Molczan
    Admin, SeeSat-L
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