Sunday, January 22, 2006
For Want Of An Ejector Seat....
"'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."