Sunday, May 29, 2011

Concerns of Space Shuttle Endeavor's Final Launch

I like space travel. That's why I got chills on the morning of May 16th, while I listened to Space Shuttle Endeavor's launch on the way to work. Something made me uneasy, however, when I saw the launch footage today on YouTube:

If you look closely at the nose of the shuttle at 7:24, you will notice debris falling off of the ship:

I'm no expert, but after the catastrophic failure of Space Shuttle Columbia, this concerns me. In this previous incident, the damage was not noticed until it was too late. Maybe this separation was part of the launch plan, but if I had any control, I wouldn't take any chances. I just hope NASA finds any problems before sending the shuttle back through the atmosphere.

This isn't the only troubling event of the 2011 Endeavor launch. One of the Right SRB parachutes tears upon its final deployment stage, visible at 36:07 in the video:

What do you think? Does NASA have it all under control? Or is it a disaster waiting to happen?

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