Re: [SHALLOW] Shuttle Reentry Observations

From: Markus Mehring (m.m@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Feb 02 2003 - 17:20:04 EST

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    On Sun, 2 Feb 2003 16:01:38 -0500, you ("Woody Emanuel" <bwe@adelphia.net>)
    wrote:
    
    >The left wing elevon sensors are the ones that cut out.
    >But that gives about seven minutes until loss of contact
    >during which time NASA reports all flight characteristics
    >were perfectly normal. That doesn't jive with disintegration
    >starting seven minutes earllier over California.
    
    We know by now that flight data in terms of sensor readings certainly
    wasn't perfectly normal. Following the sensor reading loss at 8:53 EST, MCC
    saw several more sensors failing or reading off-nominal temperatures in the
    seven minutes up to final LOS. That's far from "perfectly normal",
    actually. They could see something was going on slowly but surely since :53
    (that's not to say they were fully aware at that time), and the crew was at
    least aware of the tire issue. Also we have pretty strong indication of
    visible yet minor debris parts in the re-entry path over California, and we
    can't easily dismiss those reports considering how numerous these reports
    are by now. Flight characteristics in terms of what NASA PAO reports live
    during the re-entry is trajectory and vehicle orientation data, all of
    which certainly appeared fairly normal up to the sudden major breakup. The
    elevons themselves don't play an overly significant role in the initial
    entry interface other than adding to the aerodynamic resistance of the
    wings and underbelly of the vehicle, all of the steering is done via RCS
    thrusters.
    
    
    CU!	Markus
    
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