NASA Freudian slip?
NASA admitted it did not know if the protruding strips were a danger to the shuttle, but after 2 1/2 years of work and $1 billion spent on safety upgrades since the Columbia disaster, the agency was taking no chances it could lose another shuttle to heat damage.
Am I overanalyzing here, or does NASA appear to care first about lost manhours (and cashola), and lost human beings second? I know "another shuttle" stands here for the entire mission, crew included -- and I realize the crew chooses to accept the mission -- but the phraseology attributed to NASA seems to indicate an ongoing willingness to keep sending up people in rickety white death boxes that can't endure being grazed by some foam.
And no one has told me what on earth (sic) the shuttle missions actually accomplish besides the occasional human fireworks.