Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Transcript

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MMACS (Maintenance, Mechanical, Arm and Crew Systems Officer Jeff Kling): Flight, MMACS.

CAIN: Go ahead, MMACS.

KLING: FYI I've just lost four separate temperature transducers on the left side of the vehicle, hydraulic return temperatures. (pause) Two of them on system one and one in each of systems 2 and 3.

CAIN: Four hyd return temps?

KLING: To the left outboard and left inboard elevons.

CAIN: OK, is there anything common to them, DSC or MDM or anything? I mean, you're telling me you lost them all at exactly the same time?

KLING: No, not exactly. They were within probably four or five seconds of each other.

CAIN: OK, where are those? Where is that instrumentation located?

KLING: All four of them are located in the aft part of the left wing, right in front of the elevons, elevon actuators. And there is no commonality.

CAIN: No commonality.

(long pause)

CAIN: MMACS, tell me again which systems they are for.

KLING: That's all three hydraulic systems, it's, two of them are to the left outboard elevon and two of them to the left inboard

CAIN: OK, I've got you.

SARAFIN: Flight, Guidance, we're processing drag with good residual.

CAIN: Copy. Thank you.

(long pause, silence)

GC (Ground Control Bill Foster): Flight, GC.

CAIN: Go.

FOSTER: Your air to grounds are enabled for the landing count.

CAIN: Thank you. GNC, Flight.

SARAFIN: Flight, GNC.

CAIN: Everything look good to you, control and rates and everything is nominal, right?

SARAFIN: Control's been stable through the rolls that we've done so far, Flight, we have good trims. I don't see anything out of the ordinary.

CAIN: OK. MMACS, Flight.

KLING: Flight, MMACS.

CAIN: All other indications for your hydraulic system indications are good?

KLING: They're all good, we've had good quantities all the way across.

CAIN: And the other temps are normal?

KLING: The other temps are normal, yes sir.

CAIN: And when you say you lost these, are you saying that they went to zero (illegible text).

KLING: All four of them are offscale low.

CAIN: Four offscale low.

KLING: And they were all staggered, they were, like I said, within several seconds of each other.

CAIN: OK.

(long pause)

JONES: Flight, FDO.

(illegible text)

CAIN: FDO, Flight.

JONES: We have the balloon, it is being run through DDS right now.

KLING: Flight, MMACS.

CAIN: Go.

KLING: We just lost tire pressure on left outboard and left inboard, both tires.

HOBAUGH: And Columbia, Houston, we see your tire pressure messages and we did not copy your last.

CAIN, interrupting: Copy. Is it instrumentation, MMACS?

KLING: Flight, MMACS, those are also off, off-(illegible text)

COLUMBIA (Commander Rick Husband): ``Roger, buh.

(long pause)

INCO (Instrumentation and Communications Officer Laura Hoppe): Flight, INCO.

CAIN: Go.

HOPPE: (illegible text), just taking a few hits here, we're right up on top of the tail, not too bad.

CAIN: MMACS, Flight.

KLING: Flight, MMACS.

CAIN: And there's no commonality between all these tire pressure instrumentations and the hydraulic return instrumentations?

KLING: No, sir, there's not. We've also lost the nose gear down talkback and the right main gear talkback.

CAIN: Nose gear and right main gear down talkbacks?

KLING: Yes, sir.

EECOM (Emergency, environmental and consumables operation manager Katie Rogers): And Flight, EECOM.

CAIN: EECOM?

ROGERS: I've got four temperature sensors on the bottom line data that are offscale low.

(long pause)

HOPPE: Flight, INCO, I didn't expect this bad of a hit on comm.

(pause)

CAIN: GC, how far are we from UHF, is that two-minute clock good?

FOSTER: Affirmative Flight.

(pause)

SARAFIN: Flight, GNC.

CAIN: Go.

SARAFIN: If we have any reason to suspect any sort of controllability issue I would keep the control cards handy on page four dash 13.

CAIN: Copy.

CAIN: INCO, we were rolled left, last data we had, and you weren't expecting a little bit of ratty comm, but not this long?

HOPPE: That's correct, Flight. I expected to be a little bit intermittent and this is pretty solid right here.

CAIN: No onboard system config changes right before we lost data?

HOPPE: That's correct, Flight, all looked good.

CAIN: Still all on string two and everything looked good?

HOPPE: String two looking good.

(pause)

HOPPE: Two minutes to MILA. (Merritt Island tracking station.)

HOBAUGH: Columbia, Houston, comm check.

JONES: Flight, FDO?

CAIN: Go.

JONES: Closing end point with the one-hour balloon shows us touching down at 1496, 1,500 feet down the runway. Our crosswind right now is on the left, from the left, on the 33-end. (Referring to 33-end of runway.)

HOBAUGH: Columbia, Houston, UHF comm check.

JONES: Flight, I'd like to stay where we're at.

CAIN: Copy.

KLING: Flight, MMACS.

CAIN: MMACS?

KLING: On the tire pressures, we did see them go erratic for a little bit before they went away, so I do believe it's instrumentation.

CAIN: OK.

HOBAUGH: Columbia, Houston, UHF comm check.

(pause)

JONES: Flight, FDO.

CAIN: Go.

JONES: I know this data is a little late. The one-hour balloon protects us for wind (illegible text)

HOBAUGH: Columbia, Houston, UHF comm check.

JONES: I think we're in a smaller wind persistence case than that. In other words, we shouldn't expect to have that big of a change. I'm comfortable with 1,500 feet down the runway.

FOSTER: Flight, GC.

CAIN: Go.

FOSTER: MILA's not reporting any RF at this time. (radio frequency.)

HOPPE: Flight, INCO, SPC's (signal processor conditioners) just should have taken (illegible text) and low.

CAIN: OK.

CAIN: FDO, when you expecting tracking?

JONES: One minute ago, Flight.

(pause)

HOBAUGH: Columbia, Houston, UHF comm check.

(long, long pause)

JONES: No C-band yet.

CAIN: Copy.

(long, long pause)

HOBAUGH: Columbia, Houston, UHF comm check.

(pause)

HOPPE: Flight, INCO.

CAIN: Go.

HOPPE: I could swap strings in the blind. (switch to backup communication system)

(pause)

CAIN: OK, command us over.

HOPPE: In work, Flight.

(pause)

HOPPE: Flight, INCO, commanded string one in the blind.

CAIN: INCO?

HOPPE: I commanded string one in the blind, Flight.

CAIN: Copy.

(long pause)

FOSTER: (illegible text)

CAIN: Go.

FOSTER: MILA's taking one of their antennas off into a search mode.

CAIN: Copy. FDO, Flight.

JONES: Go ahead, Flight.

CAIN: Did we get, have we gotten any tracking data?

JONES: We got a blip of tracking data, it was a bad data point, Flight. Uh, we do not believe that was the orbiter. We are in a search pattern with our C-bands at this time. We do not have any valid data at this time.

CAIN: OK. Any other trackers that we can go to?

JONES: Let me start talking, Flight? I know we'll get it.

(long, long pause)

CAIN: GC, Flight. GC, Flight.

FOSTER: Flight, GC.

CAIN: Lock the doors. (Make sure no data enters or leaves the room. This is the first sign of a realization something was wrong)

FOSTER: Copy.

CAIN: FDO, do you have any tracking.

JONES: No, sir.

MOD (Mission Operations Representative Phil Engelauf): Flight, MOD. On the flight loop.

JONES: Flight, FDO.

CAIN: Go.

JONES: My C-bands have not acquired anything, we are only acquiring false locks at this time.

CAIN: I copy, FDO.

(pause)

CAIN: OK, all flight controllers on the flight loop, we need to kick off the FCOH (flight control operations handbook) contingency plan procedure. FCOH checklist, page two, point eight, dash five.

CAIN: FDO, Flight. FDO, Flight.

JONES: Go ahead.

CAIN: Do you have any information or reports from Space Command?

(pause)

UNKNOWN: OK.

(long pause)

CAIN: OK, and all flight controllers on page nine of the FCOH procedure. You need to make sure you step through the actions required in step 20. That's for your work station logs, display printouts, there's a whole list of data collection items that we need to make sure we log through.

CAIN: GC, flight.

FOSTER: Flight, GC.

CAIN: FDO, Flight. We need to take the equivalent of a command server, TSU checkpoint.

UNKNOWN: Yes, sir.

CAIN: We don't have the old DFC checkpoint, but we've got an equivalent capability that we need to do.

UNKNOWN: We'll get that done.

CAIN: GC, Flight.

FOSTER: Flight, GC.

CAIN: You understand how to do the end of file log tapes that we need in the checklist.

FOSTER: Yes, sir.

CAIN: OK.

CAIN: "And folks, listen up again on the flight loop, no, no phone calls off site, outside of this room, our discussions are on these loops on the recorded DVS (digital voice communications system) loops only. No data, no phone calls, no transmissions anywhere into or out."