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Don Locke: Looking Through Bifocals

There are two sides to a flap-jack . . . but you knew that. However, sometimes we never see the other side, or sometimes we discover it on down the road . . . maybe way-down the road. The liberal media is good, very good, at hiding the other side . . . the true side.

Most of us remember the NASA shuttle disaster twenty-plus years ago, when the shuttle rocket booster blew-up just after lift-off . . . killing all the crew. When it happened we only heard the media-side of the flapjack. Years later we learned the other side.

A company by the name of Morton Thiokol, now ATK Thiokol, manufactured the o-rings that joined the sections of the rocket-booster body together where the fuel . . . hundreds of gallons of it . . . was stored to feed the rocket motors which lifted the shuttle into space; also which was jettisoned when it was spent.

"The o-rings failed," so said the media. We accepted that and went on our own merry way . . . end of story . . . we thought. MEAN-OLE-MORTON THOIKOL - THEIR FAULT!

A few days ago I watched the whole story on the History Channel. I learned the other side of the flap-jack. The weather in Florida the morning of the attempted launch was cool. Morton Thoikol time-after-time had warned NASA never to launch when the temperature was 53 degrees or lower. The o-rings would not properly seal below 53 degrees. The temperature that morning was lower. Despite the warnings from the manufacturer NASA was determined to go ahead with the launch . . . "We wear the brass hats; what do engineers know? Besides, if we don't launch on schedule we may lose some budget money." Politics is always lurking around somewhere in every government undertaking--believe that beloved.

The Morton Thoikol folks sat up most of the night before with the NASA heads, begging them not to attempt to launch. "The o-rings would not seal properly and safely at that temperature." The NASA people said, "It's our way or the highway." They were intractable; they knew best. Witnesses say that when the count-down for lift-off started, one of the Morton Thoikol engineers lay his head over on his desk and wept. Twelve seconds after lift-off the whole thing exploded in a tremendous fireball, killing all aboard.

The History Channel video showed a still shot of one of the bottom o-rings just after the rocket motors were started and before the lift-off began. You could clearly see fuel spewing out around the bottom o-ring.

"A MAN WHO WILL NOT HEED THE WISDOM OF OTHERS IS A FOOL." So say the proverbs.

Kindest regards . . .


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