These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Better Re-Check Those Numbers
Here is a lesson in how placing total faith in
computer simulations can be utter folly - and deadly! As part of NASA's investigation into the shuttle Columbia's
breakup over TX last winter, Boeing, builder of the wing leading edge (LE) sections, presented simulations
proving that the dislodged chunk of main fuel tank insulating foam that struck the LE could not possibly have
compromised the structure and therefore precipitate the disaster. Later, NASA engineers fired a similarly-sized
real chunk of foam at a real wing LE, and were shocked to witness the resulting 16" hole! Boeing's detailed
report, complete with tables, graphs and charts from their simulations, insists the hole isn't really there.