Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Shuttle Takes Off and Raders Wife Does Too

Yesterday the Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off the launching pad in the first shuttle mission since the shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas in 2003.

It seems that I may have been right when I wrote about this on a previous post. As I said then, I have grave misgivings about the safety of the astronauts on board Discovery. I feel that the launch was hurried, in an effort to prove to the world that we will not let set-backs stop us from conquering space.

According to the AP, "NASA officials said Tuesday an object that may have been a 1 1/2-inch piece of thermal tile appeared to break off from the Discovery's belly during liftoff. It came from near a particularly vulnerable spot, close to the doors to the compartment containing the nose landing gear.

Also, a large object - perhaps a piece of foam insulation - seemed to fly off from the giant external fuel tank but did not hit the shuttle itself, NASA flight operations manager John Shannon said.

But Shannon stressed it was too early to say whether there was any danger to the shuttle or its crew."

Let's hope not.

But remember what took down the Columbia.

In other news, The wife of Dennis Rader, the notorious BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer, has divorced him. She got a special quickie divorce granted in cases of extreme psychological stress. Mr. Rader has admitted to the brutal murders of 10 people over a period of almost 20 years in Wichita, Kansas. They had been married 34 years, and she never had a clue as to what his extra curricular activities were. That seems incredible to me, but I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, since I know little about the mental processes of serial killers.

I have more than a passing interest in this case. I was living in Wichita when his killing spree began. I knew people who knew his first victims. I remember people locking their doors at night in a community that never felt the need to lock their doors before. It truly transformed the mindset of an entire city. No more do people of Wichita accept new acquaintances as completely innocent. There will forever be suspicion now.

How sad. How Tragic. Loss of innocence is never pretty.

Note: Laura Ingraham's lie of the day is not up on her web site yet. I will add her "lie of the day" feature via update later today. Fear not.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I believe it's not that uncommon at all for serial killers and serial rapists to live a normal family life and have their "extra-curricular activity" unbeknownst to friends and family. It's like leading two separate lives. Rapists can carry on a regular, normal relationship with the other sex and his girlfriend/spouse be completely oblivious to his secret life.

Well, I have no idea if the Shuttle is safe or not; of course, there will always be a level of risk in any endeavour like this. Do the risks and benefits outweigh the potential consequences?

It was nice to hear on the news children excited and dreaming of one day becoming astronauts. It just reminds me of the optimism of childhood and how important it is to have real-life heroes, apart from the Hollywood celebrities.

Etchen said...

I tend to believe his wife as well. I saw him speaking in court about his endeavors and he was calm and collected. He spoke as though it was just another trip to the grocery store when he recollected his raping and torturing of the women and children. In all ernstness, if I had been his neighbor, I would not have ever suspected him.

Mark said...

No one did, Etchen

FrenziedFeline said...

Not that it matches in severity, but my sister never suspected her husband of 21 years had been having affairs for 14 of those years. They had lived in Chicago for a long time, making it difficult to visit very often. However, he got transferred to Salt Lake, much more doable for visiting, so we headed up almost immediately. He treated her as he always had, but I noticed it wasn't very nice. I mentioned to DH that I wouldn't be surprised if he was cheating on her. It was only about 6 months after that trip that it all came to light. My sister couldn't believe I had pegged it.

Maybe the people close to the killer were just too close. Like it took me, after not seeing him for a long time, to see that my (now ex) brother-in-law was up to no good.

Francis Lynn said...

Serial killers all have the Ted Bundy personality. Bundy by all accounts was a charmer, a smooth talker, liked by all. Their pathology is such that they are the least suspected. The 2 lives they live are separate & distinct. Family & friends are meant to see only the one side of them. Thus the, "I would never have guessed..."

tugboatcapn said...

I was glad to see that the Judge granted her the divorce so quickly.
She was as much a victim as anyone in all of this. The main difference is that his other victims are dead, and she will have to live out her life wondering what telltale sign she missed, and trying to deal with the fact that she fed and nurtured this monster for years.
I cannot imagine what she must be going through...

tugboatcapn said...

As far as the Shuttle thing, Maybe they should wrap the stupid fuel tank with Duct tape.
It worked on my car bumper...

mlwhitt said...

I personally still are not sure they really know what caused the columbia to breakup like it did. I think they have had foam coming off all along but just haven't looked for it. Either way I really hate to see them ground the shuttle fleet again.

Lores Rizkalla said...

I, too, was concerned about how quickly they claimed the shuttle was ready. I realize that I can't help but remember the visuals of previous shuttle failures.

God help us.

Mary said...

Can you imagine being a famiy member of one of the astronauts aboard the shuttle right now?

Or, being one of the astronauts?

I have to believe NASA won't take any chances. If they suspect in the slightest that a disaster might occur upon reentry, I think they will take other measures to get the crew home safely. Drop them off at the space station--whatever.

There is no way NASA will allow another crew to be lost.