Shuttle crew expresses surprise at foam shedding

From CNN.com:

Foam may have struck wing

NASA officials said Thursday that analysis of camera footage from the launch showed a small piece of foam may have struck the wing of the orbiter — a scenario eerily similar to the accident that doomed the shuttle Columbia in February 2003. That chunk of foam left a crack in Columbia’s wing, causing it to disintegrate during the heat of re-entry and killing seven astronauts aboard.
[Officials] also said a thermal blanket under one of the orbiter’s windows appears to have been slightly damaged, which may need to be further evaluated.”

What must it be like to be in space orbiting the earth at 18,000 mph knowing that your only means of returning home is a vessel that may be damaged in the same way that caused the destruction during re-entry of the previous space shuttle?
To know that you have no choice but be baptised with fire?

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mysterioso

I play bass, I cook, I look out the window. Sometimes I prefer wondering what's out there to going out and looking. But not all the time. I only recently learned that leaving two spaces after a full stop is obsolete.

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