Killer Foam

I’m having a little trouble wrapping my mind around the problem with foam insulation on the shuttle. I know that the Columbia tragedy was blamed on a wing damaged during takeoff by flyaway foam. Maybe the physics involved is beyond me, but come on: It’s foam.

Chunks of foam have been flying off the shuttles during takeoff since the program started, and now it’s a life-threatening problem? If so, why is NASA considering a launch at all?


2 responses to “Killer Foam

  1. Right there with you man.

    I’ve heard that it’s not the fact it’s foam,
    it’s the fact that the tiles the foam collided with are just that delicate.


  2. There was a guy on MSNBC over the weekend who blamed the whole foam problem / Columbia tragedy on the EPA. He said that prior missions used foam mixed with a chemical cocktail that included freon. After the EPA banned freon, NASA chemists haven’t been able to replicate the consistency they need to produce a safe, effective foam.

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