Now that Discovery is safely delivered to the Smithsonian, I think I can tell the story of how we nearly lost her in July of 2005, and how well intentioned, highly motivated, hard working, smart people can miss the most obvious.
It’s tough to know people who have died. Many of us knew the astronauts on Challenger and Columbia well. We had met with them daily, we had visited in their homes, we knew their families, their children. It is not an easy thing to lose a colleague; especially one who entrusted their safety to you. So don’t question whether we were motivated to prevent another loss.
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