Xah Lee's Unixism

Larry Elmore ljelmore_ at _comcast_._net
Sat Sep 4 01:52:14 CEST 2004

Alan Balmer wrote:
> On Fri, 03 Sep 2004 16:12:52 GMT, "John W. Kennedy"
> <jwkenne at attglobal.net> wrote:
>>Anne & Lynn Wheeler wrote:
>>>i have some recollection of competing bids building single unit
>>>assemblies at sea coast sites allowing them to be barged to
>>>florida. supposedly the shuttle boosters were sectioned specifically
>>>because they were being fabricated in utah and there were
>>>transportation constraints.
>>Yes.  A vastly inferior design was used, which ended up killing seven 
>>astronauts, because Orrin Hatch had to be appeased with boodle for Utah.
> The first disaster was due to (possibly inferior) gaskets and inferior
> judgment on launch day. The second was falling foam, and inferior
> realization of the gravity of the problem. I'm not clear on what
> either had to do with Utah.

The gaskets wouldn't have been necessary if the SRBs had been built in a 
single piece instead of having to be assembled from seven sections. The 
problem was that one-piece SRBs are too big for land transport, and for 
political reasons (i.e., buying support), the SRBs were to be built in 
Utah by Morton-Thiokol. Ergo, multi-section SRBs with gaskets "required".


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