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While the agency hopes that commercial companies such as Boeing and SpaceX will allow them to resume flights to the International Space Station within the next couple of years — it is unclear when these flights will actually take place.

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Leinbach noted that there wee plans in place to keep the shuttles flying until at least — but it was not to be. So with that out of the way — how glowing is our praise of this book? It simply cannot be higher. This book needs to be required reading in high schools and colleges across the United States. There is far too much ignorance on this subject and it is critical that the general public grasp just how difficult the business of space flight is — and the high cost incurred when that lesson is forgotten.

I say that as NASA had concrete plans to keep the program operational until at least Sadly, Columbia ended those ambitions and all these years later Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour as well as Enterprise are static reminders of what might have been. Could they not have done a spacewalk and actually examine the damage? Any aircrew should always know the complete situation and their odds in such a dynamic and unforgiving business.

May we never forget and Godspeed. I found this book the most provocatively told story of an American tragedy. The detail and open-ness of information and thought were incredible. The prideful ownership of the writers soared in my eyes because I was one of those 25, We responded to Hemphill, Texas as a team to support the searchers. Mine and our first impression were hospitality, warm welcome, and a genuine thank you for coming!.

Next impressions were the air of respectful loss. Not much talking going among the searchers when they returned. But, if there was, it was about how they wished they had found something that would help, in ANY possible way. You are already here for OUR people. I remember an Astronaut giving out autographed photos and talking with us as though we were an integral part of the space mission. She sat down with on the ground and showed us how to watch the ISS go by, pretty cool event, considering our environment. Conditions those days were pretty miserable, but a major effort by all us was to welcome the searchers back from the more miserable; the cold, damp, and difficult terrain to camp with smiles and embraces.

Overall what I felt at Hemphill and the Dive Site on the Toledo Bend was what is portrayed in this book, people, people, and people were as important as any mission. A remarkable job in ALL considerations of this incident and this book. The crew would have been extremely proud and appreciative. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in space, engineering, incident command, working or helping people with loss, and management. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy.

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  7. Book Review: Our Wake Up Call COMM CHECK: The Final Flight of the Shuttle Columbia.
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    Comm Check The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia

    Preview — Comm Check Comm Check William Harwood. On February 1, , the unthinkable happened. The space shuttle Columbia disintegrated 37 miles above Texas, seven brave astronauts were killed and America's space program, always an eyeblink from disaster, suffered its second catastrophic in-flight failure.

    Unlike the Challenger disaster 17 years earlier, Columbia's destruction left the nation one failure away from the p On February 1, , the unthinkable happened. Unlike the Challenger disaster 17 years earlier, Columbia's destruction left the nation one failure away from the potential abandonment of human space exploration. Media coverage in the immediate aftermath focused on the possible cause of the disaster, and on the nation's grief. But the full human story, and the shocking details of NASA's crucial mistakes, have never been told -- until now.

    Based on dozens of exclusive interviews, never-before-published documents and recordings of key meetings obtained by the authors, "Comm Check" takes the reader inside the conference rooms and offices where NASA's best and brightest managed the nation's multi-billion-dollar shuttle program -- and where they failed to recognize the signs of an impending disaster. It is the story of a space program pushed to the brink of failure by relentless political pressure, shrinking budgets and flawed decision making.

    The independent investigation into the disaster uncovered why Columbia broke apart in the sky above Texas. Michael Cabbage and William Harwood, two of America's most respected space journalists, are veterans of all but a handful of NASA's shuttle missions. Tapping a network of sources and bringing a combined three decades of experience to bear, the authors provide a rare glimpse into NASA's inner circles, chronicling the agency's most devastating failure andthe challenges that face NASA as it struggles to return America to space.

    Book Review: Comm Check

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    Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Comm Check Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Two things draw us to disasters. The first and most obvious is empathy. As humans, we care about what happens to other humans.

    When something goes horribly wrong, we feel a need to learn about the people involved; stories of heroism and resolve amidst the tragedy gives meaning to something that is otherwise senseless. The other attraction is analytical.

    Comm check-- : the final flight of Shuttle Columbia

    Most disasters — be it a sinking ship, a downed airliner, a collapsed bridge — can be traced back to human error, rather than force majeure. Lin Two things draw us to disasters. Linking the missteps, shortcuts, hairline fractures, and faulty judgments attendant to every catastrophe is irresistibly fascinating. Comm Check is focused on the second of the two elements I mentioned above.

    It is a forensic look at the accident, focused on things like risk identification and management.

    Comm Check The Final Flight Of Shuttle Columbia -

    This is not to say the human side is ignored. Not at all. Rather, the focus is on the humans on the ground, not in the Shuttle. To be sure, there is a brief biography of the crewmembers high-achieving, marvelous people, all , but their lives and deaths are not center stage. The main reason is that they were victims in the truest sense. Moreover, NASA has kept their final moments a close-kept secret, in much the same way they initially did with the Challenger of course, it was eventually revealed that the Challenger crew survived the initial failure of the solid rocket booster, only to die on impact with the ocean.

    Instead, the two authors spend almost the entire book with NASA engineers and technicians as they try to determine whether Columbia was fatally injured during liftoff. Their purpose was to protect the Shuttle — and her crew — as she reentered the Earth at such high speeds that she was literally enveloped in a fireball.

    When Columbia lifted off, a piece of insulation came loose and struck the Shuttle.

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    It was left to the people on the ground to determine whether Columbia had been damaged; if so, how badly; and if badly, what could be done. What follows is kind of a bureaucratic thriller, in which working groups of extremely talented, intelligent, and high-functioning individuals get together to hash out the problem before Columbia ran out of air and was forced to reenter the atmosphere.

    The Director of Missions Operations, for one, believed that if the Columbia really was doomed, it was better for the crew not to know. In all, this is the kind of book that should probably be required reading for any entity or organization that deals with risk-management and risk-tolerance. Unfortunately, though, the high-throttle, novelistic, dialogue-laden style has its drawbacks. Chiefly, the meat of the book creates false heroes and false villains.

    In real life, things are not nearly so stark, so black and white. Later on, in a more sober section of the book, the authors actually seem to agree with the assessment of upper management: that nothing could have been done to save the Columbia. The astronauts were not equipped for a space walk and did not have the necessary tools to repair the heat tiles.

    Comm Check ends with a final chapter on the future of the Shuttle Program. In , when this book was published, that was still an open issue. Today, of course, it is moot. The Space Shuttle was retired in The program has been relegated to a Toyota commercial, where a pickup truck drags the husk of Endeavor down the road.

    Part of me wants to say no, of course not. At least not funded by the government. Space travel is a first-world luxury, inappropriate during times of slashed budgets and crumbling infrastructure and failing schools. Any space travel should be done with robots and with the sole purpose of ensuring that I continue to receive hundreds of television channels. Another part of me mourns the idea that we would forgo this last frontier.

    It is not a rational feeling, based on economic realities. View all 4 comments. May 09, Michael Chaddock rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: space nerds, managers at large companies. Book has great structure and jumps around in time in a logical and compelling way. Disturbingly similar to Challenger accident. Comm Check describes her role on the CAIB - she's a sociologist who previously analyzed the dysfunctional management at NASA and its con Book has great structure and jumps around in time in a logical and compelling way.

    Sep 13, Doug Page rated it liked it Shelves: astronomy-space , non-fiction. On February 1, , not long before it was scheduled to land, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas and Louisiana. Michael Cabbage and William Harwood, two long-time space journalists, wrote this book to chronicle this tragic event, how it happened, why it happened, and the results of the investigation that followed.

    Detailed look at a tragic space incident A clear, organized look at how the Columbia shuttle accident was investigated and the layers of issues it uncovered in NASA and the shuttle program. Apr 24, Lee added it. Life stories of the seven brave astronauts of the crew of STS, and the story of the tragic mission.

    Apr 03, Peg Price rated it it was amazing. Outstanding and possibly the best book detailing what happened to Columbia. Oct 11, Paul rated it really liked it. Excellent detail about the end of the shuttle Columbia and the shuttle program in general. Aug 05, Ross rated it really liked it.