NASA ignoring possible risks for Shuttle Launch?
The New York Times reported this Friday they have access to documents, which claims that NASA is playing down risks of damage from shuttle debris that led to the 2003 disintegration of Columbia. Reasons are to resume the launch procedure of the Space Shuttle quickly to get it back into operation.
The newspaper claims that they were given the document by an employee of the organization who declined to give his name. They claim that the document â€˜show at least three changes in the statistical methods used in assessing the risks of debris like ice and insulating foam striking the shuttle during the launchingâ€™.
They also report that the decision to ignore these prospective risks have triggered a debate within the organization about whether the changes are a reasonable reassessment of the risks of flight and if they should in fact ignore them to return to space faster. The basic idea is that NASA is taking the levels of safety standards down because they can no longer meet the traditional standards.
However, the space experts are still quite optimist that this document no way proves that the upcoming Space Shuttle program is unsafe. It is just an internal assessment, which seems to have leaked to press by an insider. The Space Shuttle is scheduled to take off on May 22.