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Comm Check...: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia by Michael Cabbage, William Harwood

By Michael Cabbage, William Harwood

Publish yr note: First released January twenty seventh 2004 via loose Press

On February 1, 2003, the unthinkable occurred. the distance go back and forth Columbia disintegrated 37 miles above Texas, seven courageous astronauts have been killed and America's house application, constantly an eyeblink from catastrophe, suffered its moment catastrophic in-flight failure. not like the Challenger catastrophe 17 years past, Columbia's destruction left the state one failure clear of the capability abandonment of human house exploration.

Media assurance within the quick aftermath keen on the prospective reason 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 informed -- in the past.

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259). Over just the past 10 years, rail-car capacity has grown by more than 5 percent. The average capacity reflects changes in the kinds of cars in service and how they need to be used. The mix of freight traveling by rail has changed over time and so have the needs for different kinds of rail cars. 3 shows that coal traffic has doubled since 1970 and mixedfreight traffic has exploded from 10 million tons in 1970 to 120 million tons in 2005 (AAR, 1982, p. 6). 7 Coal, mineral, and ore rail cars need to have a large capacity because these commodities are dense and transported in very large volumes.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which is responsible for enforcing rail safety, has made implementing a new generation of signaling technology called positive train control (PTC) a priority since 1997. In addition, “this issue has been on the National Transportation Safety Board’s Most Wanted List since the list’s inception in 1990” (Price and Southwick, 2006, p. 75). PTC systems are comprised of a multitude of advanced computing and communication equipment to improve the monitoring of trains on a railroad network.

2 difficulty of relying on publicly available aggregate railroad-mile data to analyze railroad capacity; even after 50 years of track abandonment, most traffic travels over a third of the network. Track mileage statistics account for the total length of track, including the length of track in rail yards. One mile of triple-track road is counted as three miles of track. 5 For instance, it would be relevant to this analysis to know the percentage of main-line track that is double-tracked or how rail-yard capacity has grown or decreased over time.

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