8 August 2005
Media - Vehicles (None)
The Environmental Impact of the Shuttle
The overview effect strikes again
by Carol Pinchefsky
The BBC has written an article on the environmental impact of the space shuttle.

When the solid rocket boosters of a rocketship ignite, they emit a cloud of exhaust. This cloud contains hydrochloric acid, a damaging substance that chips the paint off of cars and impact the local wildlife. However, NASA has recently taken steps to reduce the environmental impact of its launches with new fuel technology. The by-products of the Discovery shuttle's engines are both hydrogen and oxygen.

Better technology will aid protection of the environment. But nothing helps the cause of the environment as much as the sight of earth from space, known as the "overview effect."

According to the article, Discovery Commander Eileen Collins 'spoke about environmental destruction visible on Earth, likening the atmosphere to "an eggshell on an egg, it's so very thin". She added: "We know that we don't have much air - we need to protect what we have."'
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Carol Pinchefsky 8 August 2005
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