Analysis Hints at Shuttle's Last Seconds

The article is worth reading, but I’m quoting from the “Procedures for Shuttle Bailout” box at the bottom: “Although no formal requirements or plans exist for crewmembers to bail out of the orbiter during uncontrolled flight, they may be able to do so under certain circumstances. The hatch jettison pyrotechnics do not require orbiter power to function and can be activated even if orbiter power is lost. Each crewmember is wearing his or her own emergency oxygen bottles and parachute, and if the crew cabin were not spinning rapidly, at least some of the crewmembers should be able to get to the side hatch and get out.” NASA

Analysis Hints at Shuttle’s Last SecondsM$NBC)

The phrasing is clearly designed to give the crew confidence in a hopeless situation. There’s something almost touching about “uncontrolled flight” as a euphemism for “tumbling out of control”. And note the positive phrasing of “at least some…should be able to…get out” as opposed to “all may die, and some certainly will”. For cryin’ out loud, these instructions are for bailing out at 40,000 feet!