By Michael Cabbage, William Harwood
Publish yr note: First released January twenty seventh 2004 by way of unfastened Press
On February 1, 2003, the unthinkable occurred. the distance commute Columbia disintegrated 37 miles above Texas, seven courageous astronauts have been killed and America's area application, regularly an eyeblink from catastrophe, suffered its moment catastrophic in-flight failure. in contrast to the Challenger catastrophe 17 years past, Columbia's destruction left the kingdom one failure clear of the capability abandonment of human area exploration.
Media assurance within the fast aftermath serious about the potential explanation for the catastrophe, and at the nation's grief. however the complete human tale, and the surprising info of NASA's an important error, have by no means been instructed -- in the past.
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Additional info for Comm Check...: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia
Some railroaders on the Missouri Pacific had gone west to work on the narrow gauge railroads built in the mountains of Colorado. After sampling the long hours, brutal work, and bitter winters, they had hurried back to the Missouri Pacific with tales of their experiences. Thirty-hour trips without rest were usual, they said. Open engine cabs with no protection from freezing blizzards, back-breaking labor shovelling coal or working the locomotives on steep grades, brakes that often didn't work, and trains that wrecked on the mountainsideall were part of the job.
49 percent grades, some of the sharpest curves and steepest grades in railroad history. No challenge had been too great for the builders of the DSP&P, and, in 1887, no obstacles seemed to stand in the way of a prosperous future as a feeder line in the Union Pacific system. Sam considered it a great stroke of luck to work for such a railroad, especially as an engineer. Engineers in my father's day considered themselves the aristocrats of the railroading world. They were in charge of the locomotives, a fact that made them indispensable.
Nothing endeared Colorado's railroads to the public like excursion trains. Before the railroad arrived, most people traveled no farther than a day's walk from home. A twenty-mile trip in a buggy or wagon took all day and was a major event in most lives. With excursion trains, people could climb into the coach for a day's outing, traveling almost 120 miles roundtrip. They pulled out of Denver in the morning and, four hours later, rode across the Loop and arrived at Graymont, a short distance above Silver Plume.