Columbia disaster

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:11 pm

Oops, I see Electrodogg beat me to that one. Should have read the whole thread before commenting...
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby Lloyd » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:35 pm

As [a] retired lawyer, I could find out how to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to NASA to release the photos to me. I doubt they can make a serious national security claim. Are you interested?

* In case it isn't clear yet, Electrodogg, I think the answer is YES, we'd love to have you do an FOIA.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby electrodogg1 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:18 am

Apparently each governmental agency has its own procedure under FOIA. Anyone who wants to can go to

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/FOIA/agency/

and file a request for documents. They can be filed by email, letter, etc. but must be in writing - no phone calls please. Be my guest. I assume it would be more appropriate for a US citizen to do the request.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby davesmith_au » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:31 pm

Not that I want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but an FOI request was submitted by Guy Cramer, though you'll have to check his page as to when, but at the time he wrote that page his request had been ignored for over six months. I don't know about the US, but here in Oz we have to pay a fee for each FOI enquiry regardless of outcome, so that's another factor for consideration.

David as a lawyer it could add some weight to the enquiry, perhaps you could email me privately and we'll discuss it further. A well thought out application via a lawyer would have more hope of results than a hasty one.

As an aside, I've had an interested party send me an enhanced copy of one of the images in which he was able to identify a good number of stars. Once my family matters are sorted, I'll be furthering that line of investigation as it looks quite promising. I'll be back into the swing of things in a week or so. I think the site will grow quite a bit from what it is now, if my private emails are anything to go by. I have not had one single negative response to the site yet, and many of the responses, some from well qualified individuals, have been very encouraging indeed.

Cheers, Dave.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby davesmith_au » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:35 pm

Brigit Bara wrote:If some of us aren't commenting, you can just take that as awed silence!


Thanks BB, I'll take that as a compliment.

Cheers, Dave.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby MattEU » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:49 pm

I was not able to find close up images of the wreckage to the shuttle on your site, if there is please direct me to them :)

I remember a few years ago (when this was being looked at on Rense or here) looking for photographs and finding some that seem to indicate an EDM / Arc Welding spotting type damage. Of course not able to find them now but I did see them! They were of multiple black small circles and pit holes.

This was enough to convince me that the EU Thoery was indeed on the right path.

Have you investigated the "Space Tether" experiment that also seemed to point to earths connection with the Electric Universe and may or may not have anything to do with Columbia but is always interesting to read about?
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby mharratsc » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:50 pm

On the same aside as the mention of the 'Space Tether' incident, have you heard that they are actually still pursuing the 'Space Elevator' concept??

Can you imagine what is going to happen the day they launch that balloon with the enormously-long grounding wire connected to it?? XD

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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby CharlesChandler » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:09 pm

Dave,

ColumbiaDisaster.info is 1st class scholarship. My sincerest compliments.

I have taken a little while to respond, in the interest of objectivity. One of the crew members on the Columbia, Capt. David Brown, rented a house from my dad when he was in the Test Pilot School at Patuxent River. Dad said that he was the nicest guy that he had ever met. Distinguished as a medical doctor AND as a naval aviator, among other things. But just as easy-going as somebody who never accomplished anything and never cared. ;) On the basis of their friendship, Dad got press-box passes to watch the launch of the Columbia, which he did. The loss of ship and crew was a deeply heart-felt tragedy for Dad.

I have also read, with great interest, the other replies. I agree a lot with Mike's post, and I'll join in with my own words. I have seen the US gov't do some really ignorant things over the years, and to be sure, covering up the possibility of an arc discharge that could have contributed to the Columbia's demise is not beyond them. It is easy to convince the general public that the foam problem can be fixed, but a tad harder to radiate confidence if the problem was with a poorly-understood fair weather lightning event. So foam it is.

Nevertheless, I still have a lot of faith in the US gov't, and though they might tell the public that they fixed the foam problem, they might still be feverishly working behind the scenes on the lightning "non-issue." After all (agreeing with Mike again) if one lightning strike is politically inconvenient, what about the next time this happens? Nobody told Mother Nature that this is not what Congress wants to hear.

Still, and despite my faith in the US gov't, or perhaps because of my understanding of how it was intended to work, I firmly maintain that it is the responsibility of the people to develop informed opinions. It is the diligence of the public that keeps gov'ts honest, and they know it. ;) If scholarship such as what you have done will put them in a position of hearing "I told you so" if they do not fix the problem, then they'll fix it.

So, expect to be dismissed, but don't think for a second that they didn't hear you loud and clear. The work that you have done is valuable. Again, my sincerest compliments.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby MarcusDrake » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:22 pm

ceramic is an excellent insulator, is it not? If so then perhaps we have a double whammy accident. A breach in the ceramic tiles allows superheated plasma to enter the ship. If plasma has a charge, then that charge is being transferred now to the titanium and aluminum structure of the shuttle, right? Once the airframe is sufficiently charged, a bolt of lightning arcs through the sky and intercepts the Columbia, blowing it to smithereens.

Hypothetically, it would take something radical to create a mega-bolt of lightning, correct? If it was as simple as plowing into the atmosphere at 17,000 mph then every re-entering vehicle would have been subjected to the same strikes. The fact that anything falling through the atmosphere at great speed produces a plasma around it suggests that it would take something else to create the destruction of the vehicle other than a bolt of lightning.

Maybe a mega-bolt contributed, but I don't think it could have been the sole culprit here.

And is it possible the bolt came FROM the shuttle instead?

Thoughts....
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby davesmith_au » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:22 pm

MarcusDrake, either you failed to even look at my thesis or you fail to realize his subject is posted on the "Planetary Science" thread, or both. This thread is nothing to do with wild speculation, and everything to do with a proper study of the evidence to hand for this event. Please restrict your comments (at least in this thread) to either support for or refutation of any of the points raised in my study, or any of the reliable related published works.

CharlesChandler, thanks for the kudos. My sincere condolences for you/your dad's loss, it's always difficult dealing with events which impact close to home, so to speak, regardless of the passage of time. I agree with your post, particularly the government's approach to the whole thing. Very interestingly, since adding the site to my PlasmaResources group at Quantcast, visits from businesses have soared, of particular note are many from Boeing and also NASA. Sitemeter statistics also reveal that visitors on average, are staying for around an hour, indicative that they're not just clicking in and out, but taking in the whole site. Some of the private emails I've received have been from folk involved with the aviation industry. I'm most encouraged by these results in particular. Also of note is that to my knowledge, on no reentry since Columbia's demise, have NASA brought home a shuttle in similar circumstances, that is with it crossing the coast as it's crossing the terminator at around that altitude. We must keep in mind that IF a megalightning strike was involved, there were a very specific set of circumstances which likely contributed to the event.

MattEU, I think a couple of the images you seek can be found in the CAIB report Volume 1 pages 74 to 76. There are others, of the damaged tiles, but I can't find them at present, but they're either in the report or one of the (many) appendices, there's a link on the site to the CAIB report from where you can download the entire report. I have not investigated the "tether incident" bar a cursory reading of some of the most obvious sources. It would be an interesting one to follow up, but I need a breather... LOL.

mharratsc, I slap myself on the forehead every time I read of a proposed space elevator. Everyday simple common sense says you don't built a many kilometers high lightning rod and not expect a few problems with it...

Cheers, Dave.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby MarcusDrake » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:06 pm

Dave, I have indeed read your thesis and I found it very thorough.

What you tackled by sifting through the mounds of data on the accident was laudable. When I read your thesis, however, I was struck by the idea that although you make a very clear and acceptable case for a lightning strike, you never once mention how this could have affected the shuttle in any way. Nor did you discuss at all the obvious thought that the shuttle is wrapped entirely in thermally and electrically insulated ceramic tiles and how a breach in this protection might lead to electrical discharge.

There is nothing wildly speculative about my post, I was merely stating what seemed to me obvious questions that one should ask when discussing the event, especially since it was your thesis that brought up the ideas to me in the first place. If it did seem wildly speculative to you, then obviously I touched upon a train of thought that hadn't occurred to you before this. I present an opportunity for expanded discussion of your work.

You have established that not did the orbiter sustain critical damage from a foam strike to the wing which could lead to catastrophic failure, but you also showed quite clearly how the unique atmospheric and solar activity at the time could combine to also cause a mega lightning strike. I take the case just a bit further. What would megalightning do to an intact orbiter if it were struck and is it even possible? Did the breach in the tiles provide a means for discharge? Did the lightning strike create any more problems for the already failing wing? This is called scientific inquiry, not wild speculation.

I see plenty of proof to support the idea of the lightning strike, so let's take it to the next level, shall we?
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby davesmith_au » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:29 pm

My apologies for misunderstanding your post Marcus. When I read "blowing it to smithereens" I assumed you had not read the material, as Columbia did not blow apart so much as disintegrate over a period of several minutes. Debris-shedding events happened frequently as witnessed and recorded by many folk over several states. Perhaps your bad for over-colorful language, and my bad for taking you too literally?...

As people lost their lives and there's any chance their loved ones may one day read the site and then perhaps this site, I have made a deliberate attempt to keep the language as factual and as un-offending as I can. And just as well I did, as Charles above notes a close family connection to the event. I'm sure his father would not appreciate the phrase used above, and frankly with a history of rescue work (including assisting with accident investigations) neither do I. Extricating a person from a serious car wreck requires the same attention to dignity whether they are deceased or not. This is especially important if their loved ones are nearby. Perhaps I'm over-sensitive to such matters...

MarcusDrake wrote: ... you never once mention how this could have affected the shuttle in any way. Nor did you discuss at all the obvious thought that the shuttle is wrapped entirely in thermally and electrically insulated ceramic tiles and how a breach in this protection might lead to electrical discharge.


I do not know what effect a lightning strike, mega or otherwise, would have on a shuttle in this condition. I can speculate, but to do so at least within the study would have lessened it's scholarly value somewhat, and left me open to accusations of bias.

MarcusDrake wrote: If it did seem wildly speculative to you, then obviously I touched upon a train of thought that hadn't occurred to you before this. I present an opportunity for expanded discussion of your work.


Perhaps "wildly" was harsh on my part, but again I was assuming you had not read the study as explained above. My bad. Of course I had many trains of thought including the ones you have mentioned, but the study itself had to remain objective and restricted to evidence, not speculation.

I should explain in case you were not involved with the forum back before the collapse of 1.0, that there was a long and arduous thread about the incident which got severely out of hand due to much speculation, including that the shuttle had been shot down by the government's secret laser... It was that discussion which 'set the parameters' for my own study, in that the available published evidence, and only the available published evidence, should be discussed.

MarcusDrake wrote: I take the case just a bit further. What would megalightning do to an intact orbiter if it were struck and is it even possible? Did the breach in the tiles provide a means for discharge? Did the lightning strike create any more problems for the already failing wing? This is called scientific inquiry, not wild speculation.


OK Marcus, I take your point, so long as the discussion remains appropriately constrained, I'm happy to discuss these possibilities, keeping in mind that what we don't have evidence for is purely speculation, so let's keep it as scholarly as we can.

Again, my apologies for misunderstanding you and for any offense this may have caused.

Cheers, Dave.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby junglelord » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:37 pm

Here is an interesting PDF on how to prevent a disaster with a charged leading edge.
http://www.etheric.com/Downloads/Columbia.pdf
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby davesmith_au » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:21 pm

Thanks JL, LaViolette's paper is interesting, but I see several potential problems which are not taken into account.

One being that the very act of braking requires the drag to be generated, and removing the source of drag would remove the braking effect... thus the same result could be obtained by lowering the angle of attack at which the shuttle reenters, which would (to my logic) mean several trips around the globe to slow it down with minimal heating, whichever system was used...

This would have the result of forcing the shuttle through the terminator (several times?), possibly coinciding with a coastal crossing, at a given altitude, when a rare solar wave has occurred ... ...

A second consideration would possibly be the result of increased ionization itself. One possibility with Columbia's reentry is that the sublimation of wing material contributed to a much higher ionizing of the plasma trail than would usually occur, thus attracting the megalightning bolt to the damaged part. By ionizing the complete leading edge of the wing, could this have the same effect and actually instigate a strike (to the whole leading edge of the wing?...) where one may not have occurred? Could even an undamaged wing withstand such an event? I don't know, but these things must be considered.

Regardless of these considerations, if the system LaViolette proposes is not yet (at least publically?) available, even testing same becomes a difficult ask.

Cheers, Dave.
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Re: Megalightning and the demise of STS-107 Columbia

Unread postby MarcusDrake » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:00 pm

We are good, Dave. No harm done.

I do apologize for the insensitivity of my "smithereens" remark, I hadn't given much thought to the astronauts and their friends and families, my thoughts were entirely on the ship itself. I apologize to anyone offended by that.

I read the paper on electrogravities as well and I see a couple things wrong with it as well.

First of all, the technology was designed for atmospheric vehicles traveling near or above the sound barrier. Speeds in excess of Mach 2 generate a great deal of heat on an airframe. The famous SR-71 Blackbird heated so much that the fuel tanks were only sealed at high speeds when the metal expanded from the heat, they leaked almost constantly otherwise. The space shuttle upon reentry is flying around Mach 25. Huge difference in heating.

As Dave stated previously, drag is essential in slowing a craft from orbit. The shuttle (or any reentering craft for that matter) has a narrow window in regards to angle of reentry. Too steep and the braking effect of the air heats the ship too rapidly and it burns up. Too shallow and it skips off the atmosphere and back out into space again like a rock across a pond. When the shuttle is deorbiting, the entire bottom of the ship is taking the brunt, unlike a jet which is traveling straight and level. Creating a charge on the leading edge of the wing would have little if any effect. Not to mention the fact I stated in an earlier post: Ceramic is an excellent insulator and it would be difficult to create a charge on it.

I tend to agree with Dave's idea of the sublimation of wing material increasing the ionization and perhaps instigating the strike as well.
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