Columbia may come home tomorrow....

From: Ted A. Nichols II (
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 16:19:56 EST

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    There's a problem with Columbia, which may force it to return home early
    tomorrow morning, and cancel its planned refit of the Hubble Telescope.
    On Columbia and all space shuttles, there are 2 coolant lines/loops which
    are crucial for cooling during reentry, one of those coolant lines has a
    partial and possible full failure, these lines carry away heat generated by
    the Columbia's electronics systems. A Mission Management meeting will meet
    at 5 PM today and make a decision whether or not to keep Columbia aloft,
    flight rules dictate a return to earth as soon as possible in the case one
    of the coolant lines has failed...
    So this mission may be a bust :( But then again NASA would like to keep it
    up if they can, I'm sure they're crunching all sorts of numbers now... I
    guess we'll know soon what will happen...
    Ted A. Nichols II
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