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No Rescue Would Be Coming

Rand Simberg comments on the latest outbreak of the “We could have saved Columbia” meme.

He makes a good point regarding the notion of using Atlantis for a rescue mission. Sure, the launch preparation procedures could have been junked and Atlantis fired off, if the necessity had been recognized early enough and the order to do so had been given. But there would have been as much or more of a chance of losing both orbiters thereby as there would have been of successfully rescuing the Columbia crew before time ran out. And had that happened, it could have easily meant the end of the U.S. manned space program (at least for a good long while).

Which makes me all the more concerned that the accident will have no serious, positive impact on the “quest” for a replacement for the Shuttle…that business-as-usual will continue at NASA until we lose yet another orbiter.

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