Re: It's about government control
> Repeated attempts to get DoD assets to inspect Columbia for damage, while in orbit... ...on this occasion there was another bird (Atlantis I believe) well advanced in the launch process that could have rescued Columbia's crew.
Only just. Possibly. It would have meant eeking out the Columbia's life support resources to the limit, and completing the Atlantis refit in faster than record time.
Just out of interest, if we had had SpaceX then, would we have been able to get a suitable crew reentry vehicle to the Columbia?