May 23, 2003

Thought Experiment Redux

An answer has now been provided to the question I raised in “Thought Experiment” of February 24, 2003. NASA officials had insisted that the question of whether Columbia was fatally damaged was moot, as no rescue was possible. Associated Press reported today, however, that the board investigating the shuttle accident put my question to NASA, namely: had it been known that the shuttle was fatally damaged, could a rescue mission have been mounted? According to AP, “NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe said he would have strongly considered sending Atlantis to the astronauts’ rescue, even if it meant losing another shuttle and crew.”

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