By Bruce GriersonPosted 05.10.2004 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments
If California is the nursery of the alternative space agenda, Mojave is the crib. Here—just a few miles from Edwards Air Force Base, where the remnants of Lockheed Martin’s ill-fated, billion-dollar X-33 orbital space plane sit mothballed—seven private rocket companies have set up shop. Most famous is of course Scaled Composites, whose majordomo, Burt Rutan, is widely expected to capture the $10 million X Prize for the first private vehicle to travel to space twice in two weeks. But at the lesser-known XCOR Aerospace, work proceeds apace.
"When Columbia disintegrated, killing all seven astronauts, it was shades of Challenger. Will NASA be undone by its obsessive focus on the shuttle?
By Dawn StoverPosted 01.22.2004 at 12:00 pm 0 Comments
Six months after the space shuttle Columbia broke apart over Texas, experts concluded that the immediate cause of the February 1 disaster was an errant piece of insulating foam—but that the fundamental fault lay with the space agency itself. “NASA’s organizational culture had as much to do with this accident as foam did,” the Columbia Accident Investigation Board declared in its 248-page report, released in August.