Shuttle Disaster Series

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 17, 2014
Hello there,

I meant to post this much sooner.

There is a series on TV about the history of the Space Shuttle which is very interesting. It talks about all the people involved as well as their families and what took place before and after the Shuttle breakup over Texas that day, as well as the problems with the craft itself and how they were handling it before and after and during. They even had shown what some of the people on the ground saw and experienced.

It's amazing all the things that could go wrong, but it was a very complicated vehicle so maybe it was not a big surprise that it failed.
For one thing, the estimated failure probability was just 1 in 100, which is really bad, when a commercial airliner is maybe 1 in a million or higher, and a military aircraft is 1 in 100000. That gives us an idea how bad it really was. As it turned out in real life, the failure rate was just around 1 in 70. That's just nuts.
I can't figure out why they allowed that, or who would be nuts enough to want to fly in that thing. It turns out it is mostly about social inertia. Once you start out doing something, you just don't want to stop no matter how bad it sounds. For example, once they start out on the journey to the actual Shuttle just before launch, they can't abort. One of the crew can't say, "Hey, wait a minute, I changed my mind I don't want to go". That's because they are all have an important job to do, and they went through hours and hours of training to get to that point.

Anyway, the series started this past Sunday April 7th 2024 on CNN at 9pm Eastern Time (two parts), and the final two parts will be shown starting at 9pm ET this next Sunday April 14th 2024.
The first two parts will probably repeat at some point also.

It's amazing on reentry they are going around 17000 miles per hour. Since the failure was burn-through, once it started they probably had a second or less to realize it before they would have been, at a minimum, knocked out due to the abrupt change in speed and/or direction. They probably never had time to realize what happened.