Re: TSS - Dumb Question

J Varney (
Tue, 5 Mar 1996 21:28:56 +0000

Philip Chien wrote:

>Jim Varney  <> said:
>>The astronauts reported, and I saw on NASA TV, that the end of the tether
>>appeared "charred."  It did have a black, burned appearance.
>>Dumb question: how does something "char" in space when there is no oxygen
>>present to oxidize the material?
>Recall what Mission Operations Directorate representative Lee Briscoe
>cautioned the press about speculating afterwards:
>the description of a discolored jacket for the tether, similar to how the
>end of a rope might look after you've melted it with a match to prevent it
>from unravelling, is an observation.
>concluding that it was due to charing, or an electrical short, is a
>conclusion without having all of the facts in hand.

Good advice for the general news media.

We SeeSatters, however, are amateurs and as such have license to do some 
speculating.  I think we're all guessing about the cause of the tether
break because, well, it's kind of fun to play the game...

When you posted your list of ten possible failure modes for the tether,
you did have some fun doing that, didn't you? ;)

 -- Jim