Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Achieving Orbit

We woke up early thanks to our daughter's special interest in NASA's program, today the launching of a space shuttle. The events were well timed and exceptions minimal. NASA still does great control room. We watched it with Bob Schieffer, a CBS anchor I've always liked.

This is two years after the tragic loss of the previous shuttle, owing to exceptions at launch. This shuttle trip is all about repairing that damage, which many said was evidence of a loss of safety- consciousness at NASA. If true, or even if not, we might use this opportunity to remind ourselves that loss of safety-consciousness is not a phenomenon limited to NASA. Please drive safely.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Followup, July 28, 2005: Per today's New York Times front page, exceptions were not minimal as I'd earlier surmised: a big piece of foam broke away from the fuel tank, like last time (although this time it missed hitting the shuttle). So a root cause of the last shuttle disaster hasn't been fixed. The launch process is still unacceptably dangerous.