Saturday, July 01, 2006

Shuttle 'cable' controlled?

This must be a case of a journalist (most of them know next to nothing about anything) misunderstanding what an actual smart person has said to him. The Washington Post is reporting that if the Shuttle Discovery is damaged on the way into orbit later today, it could be flown back remotely -- by a cable control system.

Emphasis mine:

    Up until recently, Discovery's fate likely would have ended with a watery crash into the Pacific Ocean. But now NASA has a new plan using a remote-controlled orbiter cable that can be attached to control systems in the shuttle by astronauts.

The STS, or Shuttle Transport System, is easily the most sophisticated machine human beings have ever created, and we're going to land it, if an emergency requires, with a cable system? The bird flies at around 17,000 miles per hour and gets nearly as hot as the sun. The guy who invented a cable (and the bloody reel) that can stay attached to a Space Shuttle surely deserves a Nobel prize.

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