February 7, 2003 |
In a seeming rebuke to one of his own top administrators, NASA chief Sean O'Keefe yesterday kept open the possibility that falling debris on liftoff may have doomed the space shuttle Columbia. On Wednesday, shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore all but dismissed foam debris impact as the probable cause. But yesterday O'Keefe said only an independent panel has the authority to draw any definitive conclusions. "We will not have competing positions on this," O'Keefe said. "We will be guided by the board's findings.
February 5, 2003 |
In 2001, after years of warnings about foam insulation breaking free from the space shuttle's external fuel tanks, a NASA team urged the space agency to use laser technology to find loose insulation before launch. But NASA did not act on the recommendation, an agency source said. Peeling foam insulation is considered a prime suspect in Saturday's destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. A 2 1/2-pound, 20-inch chunk of insulation broke off from the shuttle's big external fuel tank during liftoff Jan. 16. Experts theorize the falling insulation may have damaged thermal tiles that protect the shuttle from burning up on reentry, setting off a chain of events that killed the seven astronauts.
February 4, 2003 |
NASA engineers and managers blew it when they downplayed the effects of a 2.67-pound chunk of foam hitting the shuttle Columbia during launch, a retired NASA tile chief and a former deputy shuttle program manager said yesterday. While NASA is trying to find precisely why the Columbia disintegrated during reentry Saturday, experts say management's don't-worry-about-what-we-can't-fix attitude may have been a contributing factor. NASA officials said yesterday that engineering analyses and computer models told them Columbia had withstood a smack from a 20-by-16-by-6-inch flying chunk of frozen insulation from its external fuel tank.
June 30, 2002 |
Question: We are planning to build an efficient house. We are considering one made primarily of concrete for its strength against tornadoes and fire. Does this make sense, and what are our options? - Sam W. Answer: Building a concrete-framed house makes a lot of sense for many reasons. The final structure is extremely strong and can withstand tornadoes and hurricanes. Using concrete construction also gives your architect more flexibility, creating a unique house design in both the exterior and interior.
February 18, 2001 |
Question: My tennis club just added a section, and it has foam insulation sprayed on the ceiling. It makes the workout room very quiet and warm. Can I buy this type of foam, and spray it on my garage ceiling? Answer: This type of spray-on foam insulation is extremely efficient because it adds insulation value and seals any air leaks. As you have noticed, it also has excellent soundproofing properties. Unfortunately, it is not a do-it-yourself process. You will have to have an insulation contractor apply it. Also, check local building codes to see what types of exposed insulation materials are approved for homes.
November 1, 2000 |
Four Philadelphia numbers: About 582,000 women 18 and older live here. More than 12,000 people participate on the street and behind the scenes in the Mummers Parade. Conservative estimates are that 2,500 residents consider themselves visual artists. And a last estimate that about 250 men and women work as martial arts teachers. And then there is the singular Cathy Hopkins, the one person who fits into all of these categories: Woman, artist, karate teacher, Mummers' sculptor.
May 18, 1999 |
Gazing across a congressional meeting room jam-packed with the latest, greatest and most far-out technology developed in the labs of the Department of Energy to counter weapons of mass destruction, it was hard to avoid the basic, red-face sort of question: Is this the stuff China doesn't want? The Department of Energy yesterday began its two-day technology trade show-cum-science fair in the midst of a massive security scandal that alleges pervasive Chinese espionage at the nation's most advanced nuclear weapons labs - administered and funded by DOE. But no one was talking about that.
March 10, 1999 |
This is no paddywackery - the term native Irish use for such ludicrous (in their minds) shenanigans as green beer, shamrocks run amok and leprechaun fixation. No, this is truth, unembellished and (probably) unsurprising: The Irish love affair with spirits, often a topic of jest, spills into the kitchen. No joke. The Irish not only invite Guinness, Irish Mist and Bushmills to bolster their resolve at the stove, they pour them into their food, depend on them for flavor, for preservative power, for marinating magic.
July 1, 1998 |
The driver of a chemical truck yesterday noticed smoke coming from the rig's trailer around 2 p.m. and pulled into the driveway of Lankenau Hospital on Lancaster Avenue. Emergency units planned to shoot foam into the trailer but air rushed in and ignited the materials. The fire was allowed to burn itself out.
May 13, 1998 |
Me and my big mouth. Joe Sixpack writes a few stories about the great beer rip-off at Veterans Stadium, and the next thing I know my e-mail service nearly crashes from the outrage of the nation's ballpark boozers. The folks at Philly Online, the Daily News Web site, have been soliciting questions for Joe Sixpack, which I've dutifully answered (despite cutting into the time I must devote to professional beer-drinking). Some excerpts: Q. What's the beef? It doesn't help that I don't like beer, but what's the problem?