'I think they would rather not know. (Crew of Columbia Shuttle)


Full Title: ‘I think they would rather not know. Wouldn’t it be better to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than know there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?’ How Columbia crew died in ignorance

NASA has revealed that the Columbia crew were not told that the shuttle had been damaged and they might not survive re-entry.

The seven astronauts who died will be remembered at a public memorial service on the 10th anniversary of the disaster this Friday at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

The shuttle was headed home from a 16-day science mission when it broke apart over Texas on February 1, 2003, because of damage to its left wing.

Ten years ago, experts at NASA’s mission control faced the terrible decision over whether to let the astronauts know that they may die on re-entry or face orbiting in space until the oxygen ran out.

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It was better for them to die unexpectedly: Columbia Shuttle Crew Not Told of Possible Problem With Reentry | Mail Online


> Daily Mail

This isn’t true. The only source they have is a blog. Though the damaging of the heat panels during lift off was a known problem of the space shuttle, but NASA refused to address the problem, thinking it as minor, until it was too late. The shuttle was originally designed to go to space and stay at a space station for long periods of time, resulting in less launches overall, meaning less damage to the heat panels. However, the space station didn’t happen, and instead the shuttle became a cargo hauler launching many times over what they were originally intended to fly. It was a recipe for disaster, and it finally happened with Columbia.

I recommend this documentary:


If you don’t want to watch the documentary, they sent a message to the astronauts telling them about the foam the day after the launch.

EDIT: And the shuttle can stay up there for up to two weeks. Not to mention in 2003 you could already stay at the ISS for long periods of time.