• Planetary Times Newsletter
  • Opinion Corner
  • Message Board
  • Space Calendar
  • Featured Classes
  • Testimonials
  • Press Kit
  • Classroom Publicity Kit
  • Release Forms
  • Archived Online Chats
  • Contests
  • Space Fun
  • Trivia Corner
  • Orbital Laboratory® Payload III
  • Marslink®
  • Moonlink®
  • Space Explorers
  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (hubbard2005 Chat Log)During this online chat, 198 questions were asked by 24 schools. There were 31 adults and 82 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Scott Hubbard of NASA Ames Research Center

    Brooke Jacques - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    What were some of the experiments the astronauts of the Columbia were working on?

    Much of the flight was dedicated to Life Sciences experiments.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Welcome to Space Explorers, Inc.’s live online chat. Please welcome today’s chat host: Scott Hubbard, director of NASA Ames Research Center.

    Steven - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    What was the cause of the spacecraft Columbia exploding?

    A piece of external tank foam came off and hit the wing leading edge of the orbiter 82 seconds after launch, putting an ~ 10 inch hole into the left wing edge. Upon re-entry this hole allowed hot gasses to enter the wing and cause increasing heating as re-entry progressed. The wing began to melt from the inside and as re-entry heating increased the wing began to fall apart. Eventually, the wing was lost and the entire orbiter broke up and was lost.

    Brooke Jacques - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    Have you talked to the families of the astronauts affected by this tragedy? If so how are they doing two years later?

    Various CAIb members have visited with the Columbia Astronauts' families during the past 2 years. The families continue to support the cause for space exploration and look forward to Return to Flight.

    Anjelica - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Do you want to go into space one day?

    Given the timing and the amount of training involved in going into space, I probably won't have that chance, but it would sure be fun to take a ride into space someday.

    Sean - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How long have you worked for NASA and do you enjoy your job?

    18 years and you bet! I love my job and can't imagine doing anything more exciting or worthwhile.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 02/01/05 at 13:00.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    Could the explosion been caused by sabotage?

    No. The CAIB conducted a thorough fault tree analysis that included thousands of possibilities, including sabotage. We were assisted by the FBI in eliminating this as a possibility.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    Will they still use the name 'Colombia' on future shuttles or retire it?

    Based on history, I suspect not. The name Challenger has not been reused to date.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    when will you be launching again

    Return to Flight is scheduled for May/June.

    Cindy Byers - Teacher at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    What was you first instinct to what happened to the Columbia?

    The first instinct was that there had been some damage to the thermal protection system, but it was not at all clear where or how extensive that damge might have been or what had really caused it.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    how much did it cost to clean up the columbia?

    The cost for recovering the debris was very labor intensive (some 20,000 people) in the 10's of millions of dollars.

    Blake - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    What is the CAIB?

    Columbia Accident Investigation Board. THe general make-up of the Board was defined after the Challenger accident.

    John - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    When did you start working at Nasa?

    1987.

    David - Chat Guest at Bowler from Wittenburg, WI asks:
    Do you think that the atmosphere caused the crash?

    During re-entry, the speed of the vehicle heated the atmosphere to more than 3000° F. THis super heated air entered the hole int he wing leading edge and began the process of disintegration.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    How many pieces were found

    ~ 40 % of the total mass of the orbiter was recovered. This was close to 45,000 pieces of debris.

    paul - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What made you want to work at NASA.

    I loved space as a kid. I have read science fiction all my life. And, I was enthralled by the early space missions like Sputnik and Explorer 1.

    Devonja - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Did you see the explotion?

    I saw the initial television reports, as did the rest of the country.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    How many people were on the shuttle

    Seven astronauts lost their lives on Columbia.

    Heather - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How long did it take to clean up the Columbia accident?

    The investigation lasted over 7 months.

    Kevin Pressley - Chat Guest at SIATech Charter Schools from Vista, CA asks:
    What changes have been made to the upcoming shuttle missions/vehicles to increase the safety of the mission?

    Many, many changes have been made. A critical change is the re-design of the external tank bi-pod connection --this is the palce from which the critical piece of foam fell.

    John - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What do you need to do to make Columbia safer

    The shuttle is a developmental vehicle that carries far greated risk than commercial aircraft. The Board made 15 recommendations regarding shuttle safety. Evedry recommendation will be addressed before Return to Flight.

    Brenda - Chat Guest at West Milwaukee Middle School from West Allis, Wisconsin asks:
    What does NASA stand for?

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    Heather - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How many states recovered debris from the shuttle?

    The debris was spread primarily across Texas and Louisiana.

    Rebecca - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What are the astronauts doing while this delay is taking place?

    Training and assisting with Return to Flight and explaining the NASA Exploration Vision.

    dominique - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    what is your goal for your next mission

    STS 114 will focus on carrying logistics to the International Space Station and testing the implentation of the Return to Flight recommendations.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    Were Most of th erecovered pieces isolated to one area?

    The debris was speard across a wide area from mid-Texas to Western Louisiana.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    what was the long term effect from the crash of the Columbia.

    As with the Cahllenger accident, the fleet has been grounded during re-design activites. In each case, the grounding has been roughly 2 years.

    Blake - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How bad was NASA affected by this tragedy?

    The NASA family was profoundly shaken by the loss of human life. On a brighter side, though, the agency safety culture has been transformed, and the Vision for Space Exploration was created and is being implemented.

    Rainer - Chat Guest at Bowler Elementry from , asks:
    Explain why the reentry is in Texas.

    The initial entry into the atmosphere is roughly over Hawaii. The flight path is across California, the western US, across Texas toward a Florida landing. The bulk of the recovered debris fell over East Texas.

    Anatalia - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How old are you?

    56.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    After the chat has ended, you may view the entire chat transcript online at http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/viewlog.html?hubbard2005.

    John - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How many hours do they train a day?

    It varies widely, depending ont he phase of training, but generally, astronauts are dedicated, hard workers.

    Lydi - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What will the next space ships name be?

    The next Shuttle to fly will be Atlantis. The next generation Crew Exploration Vehicle has not been named.

    scott - Chat Guest at hover middle school from albuquerque, new mexico asks:
    was there any way to fix the problem in space

    No, not that we knew of.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    We are speaking with Scott Hubbard, Director of NASA Ames Research Center and member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

    Jordan - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Where you able to learn anyhting from the mission before the crash?

    Data was downlinked from the various experiments in materials and Life Sciences.

    thomas - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Were there any injuries from the falling debris?

    Amazingly, no, although pieces did fall on a few buildings.

    John - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How many astronuats will be on the next mission? Have they already been chosen?

    The Return to Flight mission crew has been selected and will be a small crew.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How long was the investigation?

    Over 7 months.

    Nikki - Chat Guest at WEST MILWAUKEE from , asks:
    Where do you live?

    Northern California.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How many space crafts have been launched in space?

    Since the beginning of the space age there have been about 4,500 launches.

    Susan Bigham - Teacher at Brown Deer Middle School from Brown Deer, Wisconsin asks:
    How fast does the new spaceship go?

    Earth escape velocity is 17,500 miles per hour. This is the speed of any spacecraft leaving Earth.

    Brooke Jacques - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    Did the astronauts know about the hole while they were in space?

    No.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How high were they when they crashed?

    The destruction of the orbiter began around 200,000 feet up and continued until the break-up over East Texas.

    fred - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    have you been to space?

    No.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How big was the piece of foam?

    1.7 pounds and ~ the size of a briefcase.

    Devon - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    When did NASA first start?

    The space act that created NASA was passed in 1958.

    Randi - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How many people are at the space station right now .

    2

    Steven - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How much does a space shuttle cost and how long does it take to build one?

    After the Challenger, the replacement shuttle cost ~ 2 billion dollars. It takes years to design and build a space vehicle of any kind.

    Korean - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    What happened to the Discovery and the Atlantis Space Shuttles?

    They are waiting for Return to Flight.

    John - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What are the astronats name's?

    There are over 100 astronauts, both men and women, currently active

    Rebecca - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What contrys are they form?

    They are mostly Americans, although there have been a number of international crew such as the Israeli, Ilan Ramon, on Columbia.

    David - Chat Guest at Bowler from Wittenburg, WI asks:
    what do you do all day

    I make policy decisions, I meet with people and I am briefed by people. As a Center Director I am concerned with everything from research to budget to center operations.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Is there different numbers and letters for each mission?

    Yes. Every mission has a unique designation.

    Jonathon - Chat Guest at West Milwaukee Middle School from West Allis, Wisconsin asks:
    What time did the space shuttle blow up?

    The break-up occurred over about 10 minutes early in the morning Central Time.

    Tanya - Chat Guest at West Milwaukee Middle School from , asks:
    How many people can go to space at a one time?

    The shuttle carries a maximum crew of 7.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    If the astronauts would have known about the hole, could another shuttle rondeavu with the 'Columbia'?

    This scenario was investigated. If a series of critical events could happen flawlessly, a rescue mission is theoretically possible. It would have been extremely risky.

    Shelly Clark - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    When will Barbara Morgan go up, the next teacher in space?

    I'm not certain this has been determined. Barbara is a fully trained astronaut in addition to being a teacher.

    Jordan - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How has food been taken up to the astronats in the space station?

    On Russian launched "Progress" modules.

    Dan Moore - Chat Guest at UWGB from Green Bay, WI asks:
    The shuttle has been in operation for almost 25 years, in an ideals world, is it time for a new vehicle? What capabilities would you like to see a vehicle have?

    NASA is designing a new "Crew Exploration Vehicle" that is slated to have its first test in 2008.

    Devon - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Was it hard to get your five medals?

    It took a lot of work and the medals represent not just my accomplishment but also that of the teams I led.

    Devon - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Did a spaceship ever have problems at take off and the ship shut down?

    Yes. Several times. This can only be done with the main engine.Once the solid rocket boosters are lit, you are committed.

    Nikki - Chat Guest at WEST MILWAUKEE from , asks:
    Did you meet the astronauts that were in the explotion?

    Yes. 2 of the Columbia astronauts spent time at my Center.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    What did the foam hit?

    The left wing leading edge of the orbiter.

    Tyler - Chat Guest at Bowler elementary school from , asks:
    is the ISS up and going?

    yes - the crew has been doing maintenance and experiments

    John - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What are the 2 astronauts doing?

    Astronauts in sapce are kept very busy. Their days are quite structured. They are maintaining the health of the Space Station and doing some experiments.

    Kim Chapman - Teacher at St. Philips School from Uvalde, Texas asks:
    How did this tragedy affect NASA financially

    The cost of the debris collection and Return to Flight has been very high. The Exploration Vision has led to an increase in NASA's budget.

    Lydi - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Do you like your job?

    Yes. I love it.

    Heather - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    What do you have to do to get a job at NASA?

    Apply. NASA offers jobs in an enormous range of fields, including, engineering, science, imagery, writing, office support, computers--the list is endless.

    Jordan - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Are the two rovers from Mars going to come back to Earth?

    No.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    What's the ISS?

    International Space Station

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    What will the "Crew Exploration Vehicle" do? Will it perform as the shuttles do?

    THe CEV will probably be focussed oon crew only and won't carry cargo.

    Raho - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What do you do for fun in the space ship?

    Look out the window. All astronauts have said this!

    NIkki - Chat Guest at wset milwaukee from WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN asks:
    What school did you go to?

    Vanderbilt and University of California at Berkeley.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    Why do some things like rovers stay on the moon and Mars?

    It takes energy and cost to return vehicles or even samples.

    Kelen Panec - Teacher at Central Middle School from Waterloo, Iowa asks:
    Is the space race between countries ended?

    We are partners today.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in approximately five minutes. At this time, we would like to thank everyone for joining us for this special event. We would especially like to thank Scott Hubbard for being our chat host today.

    Anjelica - Chat Guest at Langston Magnet School from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    how long does it take to get in space?

    Escape from Earth's gravity well happens quickly. Arrival at any given destination varies widely.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    What do you need to be an astronaut?

    Many astronauts are military test pilots, but many are scientists.

    David - Chat Guest at Bowler from Wittenburg, WI asks:
    What kinds of food do you send up?

    mainly packaged and dehydrated.

    Ellie - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What kind of degree do you have to have to be an astronaut?

    The scientists have PhD's. The pilots have other degrees and lots of training and experience.

    Virginia - Chat Guest at Langston Magneat from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    When you go to college what academy do you go to so you can learn how to become a astronaut?

    Astronauts come from an enormous variety of university and colleges. They usually study the experimental sciences.

    stephen - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    how old do you have to be if you what to be a astronaut.

    You have to be out of school and spend time in the astronaut training program.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Did you ever want to go in space?

    Sure.

    dominique - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What vissiondoes NASAhave for future years

    Human and Robotic exploration of the solar system and beyond.

    andrew - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    if youve been to space what does it look like comeing back to earth?

    Beautiful

    Devonja - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How many times do you check the spaceshuttle?

    A lot. More thaqn 20,000 people work on an orbiter.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How big was the Columbia space shuttle?

    about the size of a small airplane like a Boeing 737

    John - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How hot can it get when coming back?

    the superheated air from friction can reach 3000 degrees F

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Are the same people making the next shuttle?

    the new vehicle will be built by a contractor that has not yet been selected

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again next month for a chat with Cassini engineer Mike Bushroe. For the most up to date listing of future chat events, please visit http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/chats.html . We look forward to seeing you all again!

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    2/1/2005 2:09:55 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
    Site MapPrivacy Policy