CAIB PA 37-03
Date: July 1, 2003
Col Woody Woodyard, 703-416-3532 or 713-301-2244
Brown, 703-416-3532 or 281-467-8657
Columbia Accident Investigation Board Issues Preliminary Recommendation Four:
Launch and Ascent Imaging
VA The Columbia Accident Investigation Board today issued its fourth preliminary
finding and recommendation to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
in advance of its appearance in the final report.
the imaging system to be capable of providing a minimum of three useful views
of the Space Shuttle from liftoff to at least Solid Rocket Booster separation,
along any expected ascent azimuth. The readiness of these assets should be
included in the Launch Commit Criteria for future launches.
should be given to using mobile assets (ships or aircraft) to provide additional
views of the vehicle during ascent.
the Space Shuttle vehicle during launch and ascent provides necessary engineering
data including the ability to examine the entire Space Shuttle system for
any unexpected debris or other anomalies during ascent.
- A variety
of assets are already in place at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and on the
Air Force Eastern Range (ER) to accomplish this task.
data from the optical assets at KSC and the ER are reported to the Mission
Management Team in the days following the launch. A quick look
report is available the day after launch, and a more detailed analysis is
available within a few days. For the most part, engineering quality ground-based
data is not available in real time.
the STS-107 ascent, two ground-based long-range camera sites provided data
that was usable for evaluating the foam strike against the vehicle. A third
camera that would have provided a better view was unusable.
- The current
long-range camera assets on the Kennedy Space Center and Eastern Range are
inadequate to provide best possible engineering data during Space Shuttle
of STS-107 debris impact was hampered by lack of high resolution, high speed
cameras (temporal and spatial imagery data).
- The Space
Shuttle is still a developmental vehicle, and engineering data from each launch
is essential to further understand the vehicle.
numerous ground-base imaging assets are available, they are often inadequate
to provide meaningful data to the program.
- The ability
to validate models on the effect of the TPS debris strikes has been hampered
by the lack of high quality ascent image data.
- The existing
camera sites suffer from a variety of readiness, obsolescence, and urban encroachment
(i.e., civilian buildings around the asset) problems.
- The imaging
systems have not been upgraded to reflect changes in launch patterns, primary
azimuths associated with International Space Station support missions.