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August 23rd, 2003
02:30 pm
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Another blow to dreams of the stars
Space shuttle Columbia: 7 dead.

Launch accident in Brazil: At least 21 dead.

One of the four main motors of the VLS-3 rocket accidentally ignited for reasons still unknown, Defense Minster Jose Veigas Filho said.
 
An explosion followed that decimated the launch pad, a box-like structure that surrounded the white rocket on three sides. ...
 
"We had just done two days of tests and everything went well - 100 per cent. Everybody is devastated," said air force Colonel Romeo Brasileiro. ...
 
Presidential spokesman Andre Singer said Brazil was committed to continuing with its space program. ... "Brazil's space program is an important scientific and technological project of our country, today is a day of mourning."

Good for them for pledging to continue. And my sympathy in their mourning. My heart goes out to the brave men and women -- almost all civilian technicians -- who lost their lives.

Incidentally, this seems to have gotten practically zero news coverage in the U.S.

Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Current Music: Orbital - "Halcyon + On + On"

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From:ngarewyrd
Date:August 23rd, 2003 02:46 pm (UTC)
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likely it wasn't 'americocentric' enough for the US news services, lets face it, if it doesn't directly affect America, it's apparently never shown (can't say I know this for certain, but I have heard that it's the truth)
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From:sinboy
Date:August 23rd, 2003 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Who was sneering?
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From:mithent
Date:August 23rd, 2003 04:17 pm (UTC)
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There was a headline news story on AOL about it, which was where I saw it... at the time it was 19 dead, 20 injured. The only thing was that they seemed more interested in reporting that the satellite was destroyed than anything else.

I'm also glad that they're continuing.
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From:lysana
Date:August 23rd, 2003 06:56 pm (UTC)
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It made the front page of at least one San Francisco Bay Area newspaper.
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From:arcturax
Date:August 23rd, 2003 07:53 pm (UTC)
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It was on CNN today and was on news websites last night. I tend to get most of my news from the web anymore as it is as you can pick and choose what to read about and not have to sit through commercials and other crap to see the stories you want :P

Hoping that the space shuttle will start launching again soon.

One news omission that really has me upset right now is that after the shuttle tragedy, they talked about alternatives to the shuttle and they totally ignored the fact that we had one BUILT and ready for actual flight testing and that after spending BILLIONS on it, congress killed the project and ordered NASA to dismantle the craft!

Remember the X-33!
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From:nolly
Date:August 23rd, 2003 07:57 pm (UTC)
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I didn't even know Brazil had a space program.
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From:arcturax
Date:August 23rd, 2003 08:06 pm (UTC)
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Oh and while we are on this topic, China will put their first man in space this November.

Check out their space program!. That is the unofficial site, but it has tons of images and information about their program. Definately check out the Shenzhou gallery!

As you can see, their new modern facilities put the aging Kennedy Space Center to shame. Sadly, the current administration would rather fritter away our money on the Middle East oil instead of pushing new technological frontiers. A lot of the really usefull modern niceties we have today came out of the space program and much more is out there waiting to be discovered. The problem is we won't discover it until we face the problems in space that require us to think up the ways around it, many of which will ultimately find use back on Earth.

One big thing that actually came out of the Apollo program of the 1960's is the fuel cell, which is our best bet at ending our dependance on mideast oil. Another benefit is modern jet travel, which actually started in the 1940's with the German Me-262 fighter, but later was used in space and rocketry research. Most astronauts have been jet pilots and their work helped lead to the research which made jet travel for the masses possible (due to things such as testing new aircraft materials, pressurized cabins, fly by wire and other small but important advances). We would have had jet travel without the space program, but research into both jets, high altitude aircraft and eventually space vehicles brought forth technologies which made it possible a lot sooner than it otherwise would have happened.

A pity that congress doens't take this more seriously. The space program is more than just about exploring space, it provides us with a better life back here at home, even if just indirectly through development of new technologies.

Maybe Brazil, China, India and some other countries getting into space will light a fire under the ass of the US government and get us serious about space again.
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From:sebboi
Date:August 24th, 2003 03:57 am (UTC)

*sigh*

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I heard about this on the bus this morning. Mentioned in the same breath as the Northwest being some kind of testing ground to top edge pharmacuticals which promote large breasts.

Oh, and according to the above dubious source, the CIA has been sabotaging Space Programs around the world for generations. Including, but not limited to MIR.
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