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Guest blogger veteran Shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane weighs in on the severe impact damage to Atlantis on his own 1988 flight (STS-27) and to Columbia's disastrous flight in 2003 (STS-107)
As with Apollo 13, NASA "can do amazing things when they've got their back against the wall". But for Space Shuttle Columbia they didn't try.
Our Shuttle flight software team had the “distinction” of hearing Walter Cronkite describe, live and on national television, whether we’d done our work correctly.
The true cost of space exploration cannot be measured in dollars. It must be measured in human lives. For those who paid the ultimate price, we thank you and salute you. Those who understand the importance of your sacrifice will not forget. Godspeed on your next adventure.