NASA managers decided last night not to send astronauts on a spacewalk to repair a gouge on the bottom of the space shuttle Endeavour.
My brother, dad (who worked for NASA), and I were discussing this last night. Why on earth (or in space) would one not go ahead and repair the gouge? No one seemed to be arguing that a space walk would cause more damage or be more dangerous than leaving the divot, so why not do it? This strikes me as particularly nearsighted. My (least) favorite quote?
“We don’t clear anything until we have the data to clear it,” John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team, said last night at a news conference.
Great, so a computer simulation says it will be OK. Just a bit of melting, but otherwise things will be OK. It’s not like NASA has ever had computer simulations go wrong before…
Pray for astronauts as the begin their return next week.
For those who travel on land, on water, or in the air, or through outer space, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
(Via NYT > Home Page.)