Re: Estimated STS-110 lift-off time for 2002 April 04 UTC

Date: Wed Mar 20 2002 - 08:34:37 EST

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    While the "securing" of the launch time is debatable and probably not
    really worth while, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    Those saying that it is foolish to do this are not, as far as I'm aware,
    knowledgeable of terrorist tactics. It seems easy enough to keep ones
    mouth/keyboard quiet. Perhaps we can make a contest of it and submit times
    of launch about 25 hours in advance and see who's the closest when they are
    announced an hour later.
    One could make a case that the reason for the launch uncertainty is to
    prevent a hijacked aircraft from flying into the shuttle right at launch.
    To accomplish this, the launch time needs to be known sometime in the
    future to be able to know which aircraft to hijack so that it's not flying
    for hours waiting for a launch to occur. While hitting a shuttle on the
    ground would be a major event, hitting a shuttle right at launch would be
    much greater, since television coverage would be plentiful.
    While there may be those terrorists capable of calculating the launch time
    themselves, it is not a forgone conclusion and I do not wish to help them
    out. I heard one report that they had a copy of an atomic bomb plan that
    they thought was real but was from a parody web site.
    Bill Bard
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