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Thursday, July 28, 2005


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I guess the word I was looking earlier for was 'cohesion'(in regards to the tiles to the ship). Looks like it may actually be the 'caulk'.

thomas riccardo

As far as India or China becoming the next Space Superpower Is stretching reality somewhat even though both countries are advancing.
Russia and Europe are the true competitors to the U.S. and have caught up to us and perhaps are passing us up with all the mismanagement of our Aerospace Industry from Boeing to Nasa.
The Europeans are building thier own space shuttle and other space projects are in the works.
Maybe If our press would cover what happens in the world more truthfully we would know these facts.
Instead of bashing France maybe tell the truth and let the public know that they are one of the top 3 aerospace countries of the world or the Russian Space agency who's program is again in Highgear.
Just like all the other industries that we have lost our lead in I guess It is just the same old pattern of lies while the rich take their money out of the country to other parts of the world and slowly (maybe quickly?!) destroy the country.


I would expect them to replace the tiles and inspect them.

Still, unless all tiles are replaced and the layer between the tiles and the hull is done over each time, it seems impractical.

Spot replacement would mean that while some tiles are new, some are older.

Any debris that might accumulate between the tiles and the hull is a potential disaster. Extremely high temps will do some crazy things to matter. Dust, air, polymers, causing micro expansions/explosions is possible, or more simply poor bonding.

Heat of reentry likely exceeds the temps at which the welding(if they are welded on) occurs, and as you have noted, tiles routinely fall off. Why does it happen?


Mark, all tiles are checked after the shuttle goes in for maintance. I believe they use a gamma ray machine to check for structual fatigue as well. If you've never seen some of the tiles some are thicker then a can of pop. Bad tiles are removed, cracked tiles are replaced, most of the tiles are good for many many runs however.

Every re-entry tiles are lost as well, it's a given. If however the tiles are lost or damaged on a critcal point, then the orbiter is in real trouble.

Privatizing NASA is a poor idea, just remember all the advancements that have directly come from it that would have taken much longer if this wasn't 'public' doman; rather then private. NASA, DARPA, and other programs exist for a reason. If you haven't figured out why, you are failing to understand how much of a spin-off government sponsored research into semi-private and pubic domain has paid off.


When I hear the word 'tiles', I inherently think of bath or shower tiles.

Over time though, that which kept them in place wears out, and they are no longer as strong.

Seems that the whole idea of tiles, implies that the tiles themselves are not part of the ship and subject to removal. I'm sure in their effort to make the shuttle resistant to heat, many layers, of varying substance are involved.

As the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, (and this is the hypothetical,) is it possible that there is a layer, or even a coat of heat resistant paint/'glue', or even solder/welding, that will over time degrade?

IT may not just be an issue of impact blowing the tiles off, but years of use, and weakened attachment to the shuttle, brought about by the intense heat of reentry?

I have an extremely bad feeling about their return, and hope this is the last (and SUCCESSFUL) flight of the shuttle.

let the warhawks fight the war

right. Privitize NASA and you'll have more safety problems. We learned our privitization lesson when we deregulated the airlines, didn't we?

The private sector has never shown any interest or inclination to further the American space program. Besides, why bother doing it here in the states when you can just outsource to India or China?

No Oil For Pacifists

The time has come to ground the shuttle and privatize NASA.

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