“Really hateful”

Of the "Columbia"-Examination Report certificates the NASA management catastrophic misconduct

The many details, which after the crash of the spaces "Columbia" were in portion of the openness, suggested that the space workers NASA was played a restless role in the final report of the 13-headed inquiry commission.

Pictures: NASA

NASA boss Sean O’Keefe prepared his employees a few weeks ago "really hateful" Results before. Indeed "really hateful" is a well inaccurate description of the report presented yesterday, which deals on a coarse part of nearly 250 pages not only with technical analyzes, but also with Burocratic Irroads, communication problems, structural degrees developments and simple sloppiness within the space workers.

On the 1. February only minutes passed from the explosion of "Columbia" up to the first explanatory attempts and debt assignments that already believe that the death of seven astronauts could not be simply reduced to technical failure. Today you know that at the start of the room rip of 16. January an approximately 680 gram foam part of a tank solute and a strain of Columbia met. Through the hole in the heat shield, when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, which love melting the support surface from the inside, and then produced the explosion.

So far, so tragic, but the findings of the inquiry commission go far beyond the determination of a technical defect. Your research has shown that the NASA top was informed of the possibility of an upcoming catastrophe.

After filming from the start"accident" Templates, has been rejected several times on the danger of the current space mission. Experts demanded satellite images from the bottom of the Columbia to better the problematic situation. The corresponding mails were either not took note or not seriously. An email, which the chairman of the after all prompted expert group with the same request sent to satellite images, should never have reached their goal – and logically remained unlocked. The advances thus remind FATAL to the Challenger Disaster of 1986, as evidence of possible defects on the sealing rings of the drive missiles were ignored. About the embarrassing pitching and breakdown series, which accompanied the appreciation facilities according to the Columbia accident and the awkward skills to find suitable places for suitable mistresses can then almost be overwhelmed in view of such serious evidence.

The investigators come to the remarkable conclusion, "that physical and organizational factors have played a rough role in the Columbia accident – that the organizational culture of NASA had exactly so much to do with the accident as the foam part, which damaged the spaces." NASA gives himself learning in view of this criticism, but by no means guilty. The possibility of rescuing the astronaut vehemently is still denied, even if you had reacted locally directly to the warnings. However, that the space workers did not even try it will hardly serve them in the coming months.

The American Congress has already challenged a whole series of hearings, which were still unpleasant after this final report as it was to be expected in the face of the tense overall situation anyway. Finally, the Republican deputy is Vernon J. Ehlers, who promises much more effective scientific findings from the comparatively cost-minded Hubble telescope than from the space station ISS and the entire manned space travel, with its view not alone.

In any case, NASA will have to deal with a basic improvement of its internal communication, bureaucratic places and general security measures required by the Investigation Commission. Investigator Mike Wiskerchen of California Space Institute looks urgent need for action in this area:

The NASA is currently not organized so that you can water the room driving program. It must be completely restructured.

A lot of time does not remain. Because already in the spring of 2005 should be with the spaces "Atlantis" A new chapter will be written in space research.

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