Discovery landed..

dsee8driver

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I was listening as they landed to the NASA channel. (I know, get a life) They were 45 miles at 81k at 1000knts. They were hauling butt. Nice view though...Welcome back..
 

crash-proof

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Gotta love msnbc.com! Saw it live, nite landing but clear as day to watch.

I tried looking it up but couldn't find the runway length used for landing. I know Edwards is 15,000 but how much of that does it need to land? They come down at around 190kts.
 

Whale Rider

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Congrates and welcome home Discovery!!!!!!!!!!:D
 

VampyreGTX

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crash-proof said:
Gotta love msnbc.com! Saw it live, nite landing but clear as day to watch.

I tried looking it up but couldn't find the runway length used for landing. I know Edwards is 15,000 but how much of that does it need to land? They come down at around 190kts.
They use up about 13K of the 15K of runway.... Talk about not much margin of error for landing long...
 

rvsm410

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Landing Length for Shuttle

VampyreGTX said:
They use up about 13K of the 15K of runway.... Talk about not much margin of error for landing long...

The length of the roll out has nothing to do with Margin, the shuttle is fully capable of stopping in much shorter distance if required and the touchdown point is very precise. As you recall a drag chute was added to the fleet after over 50 flight with out a chute, this was done as a method to reduce the wear and tear on the very expensive burillium (sp?) brakes and to minimize tire blow outs on landing which occured a few times.

By the way they do replace the rubber on every flight, and the tires are supplied by Good year, are nitrogen filled to over 600 psi, so they present quite a hazard to ground crews after wheel stop as well as damage to the tile.

Welcome home Discovery! we all can breath some relief for a little while.
 
B

bizijet

Has anyone ever imagined how many shuttles were damaged on launch and returned to earth with enough damage to disentigrate during return but didn't. The crew of Discovery was told that if the shuttle was damaged enough on lift-off, they will be rescued by Atlantis. Why wasn't the crew of Columbia offered the same advice even though the engineers knew the shuttle's wing was damaged during lift-off?

Columbia's crew was told of the problem while they were in orbit. The shuttle could have docked with the space station and another shuttle launched to rescue the crew. This was as much a possibility now as it was two years ago. NASA knows the world is watching.
 

Joseph II

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The problem with the space shuttle program is it makes me want to leave my job and take a stab at flying for a living.

I was impressed by the infra-red? cameras that tracked the shuttle when it was on approach. Nice.
JP
 

JonJohn82

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Then what happens if the standby shuttle is damaged too?
 
B

bizijet

If the standby shuttle is damaged also we lose 14 Astronauts instead of 7. Which begs the question. Can they configure the shuttle with 14 seats or does the rescue shuttle merely replace the rescued crew on the ISS. If they replace the rescued crew on the ISS then the rescuers become the stranded crew. Sounds like a dog chasing its tail.
 

minitour

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bizijet said:
If the standby shuttle is damaged also we lose 14 Astronauts instead of 7. Which begs the question. Can they configure the shuttle with 14 seats or does the rescue shuttle merely replace the rescued crew on the ISS. If they replace the rescued crew on the ISS then the rescuers become the stranded crew. Sounds like a dog chasing its tail.
I'd find it hard to believe that NASA couldn't send it up on "auto pilot" without anyone on board.

Anyone know?

-mini
 

VampyreGTX

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bizijet said:
Columbia's crew was told of the problem while they were in orbit. The shuttle could have docked with the space station and another shuttle launched to rescue the crew. This was as much a possibility now as it was two years ago. NASA knows the world is watching.
Nope, sorry, Columbia could not have docked with the ISS as they were not fitted for a station docking and they were also too heavy to acheive the orbit to reach the station on liftoff. The shuttles acheive orbit during liftoff and they don't have enough fuel or power to increase orbit once they are established.

It was the heaviest of the shuttles and was the only one not capable of reaching the station, even straight from launch. There was also not enough time to assemble a shuttle, clear it for launch and rescue the Columbia crew. They knew the risk, but they also knew at the time that all shuttles experience some tile loss during launch, space operations and landing. They never knew how big a hole there truly was in the wing.
 

NuGuy

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Heyas all,

Yup, the above was correct. Columbia was the 1st "production" orbiter, so it is quite a bit heavier than the others. Challenger was next, then Discovery, and finally Atlantis in the production line. Each are slightly different, but Discovery and Atlantis are basically the same. Endevour was built with spare parts and tooling, and was essentially identical at production to Atlantis. All have had various upgrades, but Columbia could never lose the weight, which is why it was always doing the low-orbit stuff.

Honestly, they have frakked the whole ISS program up beyond all recognition. The station was designed for 7, but is only currently rated for 3 due to the "lifeboat" issue. The 7 man emergency return vehicle was cancelled, with no replacement program (good thinking).

The ISS itself can only be sustained to a full capacity basis by the shuttle. The station can only be supported on a limited basis Soyutz, and that leaves it mostly in a caretaker status.

I've always been a fan of the space program, but I think it's moronic to have such an expensive asset have a single point of failure. To think we have the political gumption to go back to the moon or mars is absoultely laughable.

Sad part is that NASA's budget is a fart in a hurricane compared with the rest of the federal budget. You could quadruple it and it wouldn't even scare the decimal point in the whole budget.

That said, a lot of people are hailing Rutan as the Wright's of private space travel. I would like to add that while I respect what he and his crew have done GREATLY, there is a huge difference between a basically basllistic shot into "space" and earth orbit, to say nothing of escape velocity.

The only people who knew d!ck about really heavy hauling into space were the Russians, and they're broke.

Nu
 

VNugget

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minitour said:
I'd find it hard to believe that NASA couldn't send it up on "auto pilot" without anyone on board.

Anyone know?

-mini
I might be regurgitating some oversimplifid half-truth or BS, but I think it's because there is no automatic system in place for lowering the landing gear, which is the case because they didn't want to introduce the chance of it going off by itself (the gear is actuated by explosive charges and can not be raised.)
 

KigAir

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minitour said:
I'd find it hard to believe that NASA couldn't send it up on "auto pilot" without anyone on board.

Anyone know?

-mini
Good question. How much "flying" does the crew actually do?
 

flyboy

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If a retrieval flight was necessary it would be done with minimum crew I would think. If you'll recall the first shuttle flight was done with only commander and pilot, a crew of two. That would open up 5 seats or so in the back. I suppose they would have room to put two more seats in. As for repair, that would mean the original crew would have to do the repairs.
 

P-Dawg_QX

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KigAir said:
Good question. How much "flying" does the crew actually do?
All of it...raw data, I think. :rolleyes:

Actually, I heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone (read: no factual basis) that during the launch, the crew is mostly along for the ride. They throw a few switches, but it's almost completely automated. Again, that could be completely untrue.
 

EagleRJ

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bizijet said:
Has anyone ever imagined how many shuttles were damaged on launch and returned to earth with enough damage to disentigrate during return but didn't. The crew of Discovery was told that if the shuttle was damaged enough on lift-off, they will be rescued by Atlantis. Why wasn't the crew of Columbia offered the same advice even though the engineers knew the shuttle's wing was damaged during lift-off?
Every Shuttle mission has returned with some degree of tile damage. Most of it has been limited to small chips and dents from on-orbit debris. The damage to Columbia was unprecidented in its severity, and NASA definitely would have performed a spacewalk to repair it had they known about it. The trouble was, we weren't checking the tiles for damage in orbit, which was foolish.
Now that we're doing what we should have been doing all along, I doubt if we'll have any more problems from missing tiles.


Columbia's crew was told of the problem while they were in orbit. The shuttle could have docked with the space station and another shuttle launched to rescue the crew. This was as much a possibility now as it was two years ago. NASA knows the world is watching.
Columbia was not only too heavy to reach the station, it was in a different orbit. Columbia was launched into a 28 degree inclination (the maximum angle between the orbit and the equator), while the ISS was orbiting at 51 degrees. The orbit's inclination is decided at launch, and changing it just a little once in orbit requires a huge amount of fuel.
Sending a Shuttle to the ISS requires mission planning starting well before launch. You can't just decide to drop by once you are in orbit.
 

EagleRJ

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P-Dawg_QX said:
Actually, I heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone (read: no factual basis) that during the launch, the crew is mostly along for the ride. They throw a few switches, but it's almost completely automated. Again, that could be completely untrue.
True. The launch is mostly automated.

Some orbital maneuvering is hand-flown, but the rest is automated. During landing, I don't know the point at which the pilot "clicks off the autopilot", but the re-entry is automated, and the landing is hand-flown.
 
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