Q:Can you put your review under a cut please? People in the superman tag don't want to be spoiled. Thank you!
All the story details are under a cut. Apologies if the tag search is showing the full piece.
Man of Steel Review
I should make it clear up front: I’m not a fan of Zack Snyder’s work. I’ve been skeptical of the upcoming Man of Steelfor this reason, as well as the repeated insistence that this would be a “grittier” and “realistic” take on Superman. However, the trailers looked promising. There was a sense of hope evident, an interesting cast and more than a little action, something previous Superman films had lacked. So, how does the movie stack up?
It’s a mixed bag.
It was better than I was expecting, but David Goyer and Christopher Nolan shank the ending. (A problem all three of their Batman movies had.)
(Warning as general story details follow.)
[The top image is from Columbia’s first mission. The lower is a photo taken by the crew on the last.]
Ten years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew, Rick Husband, William McCool, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon, were lost as the orbiter broke up during reentry.
I’ve been doing this for a few years now— marking the loss of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia— and without fail, this one is always the hardest.
The reason it’s so hard is I remember this so clearly. Challenger exploded when I was four and the Apollo 1 fire was fifteen years before I was born, but I remember this day.
Columbia was lost because a piece of foam broke off during the launch and damaged on of the heat tiles. This wasn’t unusual and it was decided that the orbiter would probably be okay. Plans for repair were considered and dismissed as the shuttle wasn’t carrying pieces of equipment that were needed to safely inspect the damage, let alone perform the EVA necessary to carry them out. (Not to say that it couldn’t have been done, but repairs would have been made with scavenged materials held onto the wing with ice.)
Escape wasn’t an option. The ISS was on a different orbital inclination that Columbia couldn’t have reached. A second shuttle isn’t normally an option, but in this case, it could have been arranged.
STS-107 had been delayed many times and as such, the next mission was already prepping for launch. Columbia was carrying enough supplies to sustain the crew for two more weeks, five more days than Atlantis needed to finish launch prep. If everything went right, those five days were left for rescue operations. Mission control would then deorbit Columbia, crashing the shuttle into the ocean. (Later shuttle missions were modified— Mission control could remotely guide an irreparable bird into reentry and safely land the shuttle.)
As with Challenger, the shuttle fleet was grounded for over two years while the accident was investigated. However, all future missions (except STS-125, to service the Hubble) were to the ISS to prevent any further losses. Should a shuttle be damaged and unable to safely reenter Earth’s atmosphere, the crew could stay on the ISS and be ferried home via the Soyuz.
The loss of Columbia arguably crippled manned American space exploration. We are still going to space, taking the Soyuz to the ISS, but it’s not the same. It’s not right.
I can’t say it loud enough or enough times: We belong in space. We are a race of explorers, curious and wandering and learning ad in order to do that, we need to push ourselves and stray from the comfort of our home.
Twenty seven years ago today, the Space Shuttle Challenger and all hands— Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe— were lost 73 seconds after lift-off.
The accident was caused when an O-ring failed in the right solid rocket booster (SRB). Structural failure of the eternal tank followed and Challenger began to break up on ascent. The night before the launch, temperatures dropped to 18 degrees Fahrenheit with ice forming on the launch tower. The launch proceeded despite the shuttle only being rated at temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the loss of Challenger, the fleet was grounded for thirty two months while the accident was investigated and changes were made to the remaining shuttles.
Unfortunately, all of the crew escape systems NASA had were not feasible in this instance. Prior to this, SR-71-style ejection seats were installed, as well as full pressure suits, but they were removed by the time the shuttle program moved into the operational phase. (Indeed, the pilot of STS-1 believed that the ejection seats would have been useless, as the fire from the SRBs would have incinerated the parachute, if not the astronaut.)
Forty six years ago today, Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Edward White were killed in an accident during a launch pad test. Their mission would have been the first of the manned Apollo lunar missions.
A fire in the cockpit created a pressure differential the prevented the cabin’s hatch from opening without the cabin being vented. After the accident, NASA redesigned the hatch, as well as removing all flammable materials from the cockpit, replacing nearly 1500 wires, changing insulation, the pressure and atmosphere were also changed. The astronauts’ suits were also replaced with better, more fire-resistant suits.
Out of respect for the crew’s loss, the first successful manned Apollo mission was designated Apollo 4 (Apollos 2 and 3 were unmanned).
Ad astra per aspera.
With paper bags.
Judging from the comments on this clip, I’m not the only one who thinks that Bane sounds a lot like Doctor Dugong.
(Greg’s opinion; your mileage may vary.)
The first trailer for the RZA’s upcoming kung fu movie, The Man With the Iron Fists.