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?