Monday, June 26, 2006

OMG, you mean NASA told them!

How brain-dead do you have to be to come up with the following headline:
Shuttle Crew Aware of Spaceflight Risks

By SETH BORENSTEIN
Associated Press Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The seven crew members of the space shuttle Discovery will arrive at Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday to take one of the biggest risks of their lives. They have a 1-in-100 chance of dying during their spaceflight next month. Those, at least, are the official odds that NASA has long given.

Exactly what the real odds are is a question that looms larger than normal this time.

That is because two top officials at NASA took the unusual step of dissenting from the space agency's decision to go ahead with the launch without fixing the potentially catastrophic problem of foam falling off the external fuel tank - the very problem that doomed Columbia 3 1/2 years ago.

The agency's safety director and chief engineer wanted to wait and fix the problem. But NASA Administrator Michael Griffin decided a July 1 launch is worth the added risk for a variety of reasons…

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