Sunday, January 22, 2006

For Want Of An Ejector Seat....

A British newspaper reports that Astronaut Mike Mullane described the space shuttle as a "deathtrap." (Story here.)
"'It's the most dangerous manned spacecraft ever flown,' said Mullane, who took part on three shuttle missions before retiring in 1990. 'It has no powered-flight escape system... Basically the bail-out system we have on the shuttle is the same bail-out system a B-17 bomber pilot had in World War II.' It was this lack of ejector seats that ensured the deaths of Challenger's astronauts. Such a powered escape system could have blasted them from their stricken ship and saved them."
Mullane also says that
"'Columbia was a repeat of Challenger, where people had a known design problem and launched anyway.' Mullane added that astronauts deserved some share of responsibility for not pursuing safety issues more doggedly."


A rebuttle from a Shuttle sub-contractor here.
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