Friday, October 07, 2005

NASA Website Analysis:Tragedies and Dreams

The Challenger accident is something that even nearly two decades after it occured, everyone knows about it, or hears about it. But actually seeing it happen is another thing entirely. Its honestly difficult to watch. But I thought it was good that NASA doesn't try to hide or pretend that it never happened, by having the information up on the website.

As for Colombia, the website is definitely more modern and has more of a memorial feel to it than the analytical structure of the Challenger page. I found the timeline pretty interesting here, especially the part that mentioned that NASA noticed the foam striking the wing at liftoff, and decided to email Husband and McCool about it, mentioning there was "absolutely no concern for reentry". Reading things like that, in hindsight, is just chilling.

But as for the culture, and the climate of NASA, it remains a very optimistic organization. They continue to look to the future, not only in what they are attempting to accomplish (such as returning to the Moon and building there), but also towards who they want to attract to the company. After all, on the main page the first two menus on the left side are for Kids and Students. It seems like in spite of the two shuttle disasters, or perhaps even because of them, NASA wants to get back to the glory days of accomplishing impossible dreams.