The shuttle had foam problems already! And then while take-off debris fell again like the ill-fated journey of Kalpana Chawla and friends! Are we seeing a repeat of the last time? Read Griffin’s response which is more jingoism – specially given the launch date – July 4th!
NASA’s first-ever Fourth of July manned launch came after two weather delays and a new crack in foam insulation on the fuel tank. Shuttle managers said early video images showing small pieces of debris breaking away — and one even striking the shuttle — were not troubling.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said of the launch: “They don’t get much better than this.”
It was Griffin who chose to go ahead with the launch over concerns from the space agency’s safety officer and chief engineer about foam problems that have dogged the agency since Columbia was doomed by a flyaway chunk of insulation 3 1/2 years ago.
Discovery thundered away from its seaside pad at 2:38 p.m EDT.
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