This Week’s Book Review – The Father, Son, and Holy Shuttle

Looking for a good read? Here is a recommendation. I have an unusual approach to reviewing books. I review books I feel merit a review. Each review is an opportunity to recommend a book. If I do not think a book is worth reading, I find another book to review. You do not have to agree with everything every author has written (I do not), but the fiction I review is entertaining (and often thought-provoking) and the non-fiction contain ideas worth reading.... [Read More]

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Close Call: STS-93

Space Shuttle mission STS-93 in July 1999 launched the Chandra X-ray Observatory which, with its upper stage rocket, was the heaviest payload ever launched by a shuttle mission.  The first attempt to launch STS-93 was aborted seven seconds before liftoff, just a moment before the main engines were to start, due to an warning about hydrogen build-up which was subsequently determined to be erroneous.

Three days later, after an uneventful countdown, the mission launched on 1999-07-23.  Seconds after liftoff, problems were apparent.  The Master Alarm went off on board Columbia, and messages indicated a water pump failure and potassium hydroxide leak in fuel cell number one (of three).  A potassium hydroxide leak could potentially cause the fuel cell to explode, which would be bad.... [Read More]

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