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Shuttle Endeavour Being Built (pics).  
User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7359 posts, RR: 85
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6766 times:
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Pretty cool article and slide show chronicling the build of Endeavour OV-105.   

article

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBeiaard From United States of America, joined May 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5599 times:

Very interesting! Perhaps I'm a little off (well, I am, but I digress), but I was surprised by how different the thing looked prior to final assembly. For instance, when most aircraft are partially disassembled, you can typically recognize the thing (c.f. 747s in the desert), but the nose section of this thing minus the radome (or whatever the equivalent structure is called on the Shuttle) as seen in photos 4 and 10 looks completely alien. Perhaps it's due to the fact that I am simply less familiar with the Shuttle versus most civil aircraft/airliners, but I wouldn't even have been able to guess what the thing was if I was only shown those two photos.
I was also shocked at how..."fake" some of the components look. The photo I'm thinking of specifically is 11, detailing the joining of the mid-fuselage to the empennage. It looks like it's made of cardboard or similar! You wouldn't think that something that looks like that would be able to stand up to the stresses and temperatures that it must be subjected to in routine use, but I guess 131 mission would stand to prove me wrong!



BONARUM ARTIUM RERUMQUE HUMANARUM AC DIVINARUM STUDIOSOS CONVOCAMUS
User currently offlineeksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1317 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5311 times:
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Quoting Beiaard (Reply 1):
(or whatever the equivalent structure is called on the Shuttle)

The entire structure i.e the vehicle is NOT a "shuttle but an orbiter. To be accurate, the word "shuttle" refers to orbiter + 2 SRBs + ET= shuttle transport system aka shuttle. People commonly refer to it as "the shuttle". Even the nomenclature on this database has it wrong  



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User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10930 posts, RR: 37
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5241 times:

Call them how you wish, Shuttles or Orbiters
only two more to fly

... soon to be grounded

they will be greatly missed.

        



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineTwinCommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5189 times:

I always wondered how the crew module was designed to seperate in case of an emergency. now that ive seen the pictures of it seperated from the rest of the machine and how its lowered into the lower fuselage section, it makes so much more sense.

User currently offlineeksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1317 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5185 times:
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Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 3):
they will be greatly missed.

Not by the American taxpayer   $10,000 per pound of payload into space is not good economics. Successive administrations kicked the can down the road hence the lessons learned were not applied to develop improved iterations. The STS program never lived up to the 40 launches/year initial design plan hence the cost continued to escalate. These turkey are done   I will miss working around them but it is time to let them go peacefully into the history books.



World Wide Aerospace Photography
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5176 times:
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Quoting TwinCommander (Reply 4):
I always wondered how the crew module was designed to seperate in case of an emergency

Let's be clear... There is no provision to seperate the crew module in an emergency... none.



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User currently offline328JET From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5101 times:

Thanks for sharing!!!

That is really interesting and makes me really sad.

The shuttle concept is still fascinating and un-reached by all other nations.


User currently offlineTwinCommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5066 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 6):
Let's be clear... There is no provision to seperate the crew module in an emergency... none.

i thought part of the rogers commission report stated that an explosive charge was to be added to the remaining shuttles so to seperate the crew module from the rest of the shuttle, if the situation was proper for it to be used?


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5058 times:

Quoting 328JET (Reply 7):
The shuttle concept is still fascinating and un-reached by all other nations.

It is.
At the same time it is an inherently flawed concept. The Space Shuttle was never the cash cow, the pay-as-you-go system it was intended to be. What's worse, the project has never been as safe as it could have been. Post-Apollo NASA was underfunded and understaffed; the agency had won the race to the moon, and the American Congress was willing to spend the billions of dollars NASA had been consuming elsewhere. The lack of an escape system, the position of the orbiter, which exposed it to fragments of the ET insulation falling down, as well as the SRB design, four segments sealed by eroding O-rings, were results of it.
When the Shuttle concept was introduced, it was basically designed as a space freight service, UPS for satellites - for which you don't necessarily need astronauts. The Shuttle would only pay off, would the new spaceship launch everything.
This 'we lauch everything with the Shuttle' unnecessarily exposed astronauts to situations that could easily kill them and ruin families. At best, those families would cry in relief after a mission went well.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5019 times:
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Quoting TwinCommander (Reply 8):
i thought part of the rogers commission report stated that an explosive charge was to be added to the remaining shuttles so to seperate the crew module from the rest of the shuttle, if the situation was proper for it to be used?

There is no provision for this.

What was added after Challenger was a telescoping pole that allowed the crew to bail out thru the crew hatch without impacting the wing. Only usuable when the orbiter was in unpowered, wing borne flight...

The Rogers Commission recommendation regarding crew escape:


VII
LAUNCH ABORT AND CREW ESCAPE
The Shuttle program management considered first-stage abort options
and crew escape options several times during the history of the
program, but because of limited utility, technical infeasibility, or
program cost and schedule, no systems were implemented. The
Commission recommends that NASA:

- Make all efforts to provide a crew escape system for use during
controlled gliding flight.

- Make every effort to increase the range of flight conditions under
which an emergency runway landing can be successfully conducted in the
event that two or three main engines fail early in ascent.


http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/...-commission/table-of-contents.html



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User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 4989 times:

Quoting eksath (Reply 5):
$10,000 per pound of payload into space is not good economics.

On some launches it's close to $60,000.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 9):
What's worse, the project has never been as safe as it could have been

While that's true, it's as safe as it was designed to be. NASA projected a "disaster" occuring once every 75 flights, and, so far, that seems to hold roughly true. Neither of them should have happened, however - Challenger should not have launched that day and the Columbia crew should have been told about the possible severity of the foam strike.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
What was added after Challenger was a telescoping pole that allowed the crew to bail out thru the crew hatch without impacting the wing. Only usuable when the orbiter was in unpowered, wing borne flight...

Yep. Can only be used in stable flight, too, and takes over 1 min for everyone to bail out.



It will be a mighty shame to watch them go, however.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4838 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 11):
Quoting eksath (Reply 5):$10,000 per pound of payload into space is not good economics.
On some launches it's close to $60,000.

Hopefully we can create a vehicle or craft that we can use to take our own cargo and personel into space withh sooner rather than later. At the rates other agencies will charge us, those 10k and 60k dollar values will look pretty good! I dont mean any disrespect to those agencies, but I'm sure every country would rather move their own stuff around.

I would also much perfer this new craft to be able to both cargo and personel together. Some of the new designs I have seen proposed justy dont seem feasable with the needs of the mission.



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4755 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 11):
Challenger should not have launched that day and the Columbia crew should have been told about the possible severity of the foam strike.

Challenger wasn't the first mission were bad O-rings caused trouble. There had been previous missions during which one of the inner O-rings (there are one inner and one outer ring sealing each joint) eroded to some extend or even completely. Challenger's last flight was the 64th Shuttle mission. The first mission that caused an O-ring to erode was the 9th mission, I believe. Hence, STS-9 should have rendered the Shuttle inoperable until a solution would be found. Instead NASA said 'they made it back so why bother'?

As for foam strikes: When NASA introduced the Shuttle concept, they did not have foam strikes on their radar - nor the eroding of rubber rings, but NASA allowed both 'normalizations of deviance' to happen. Against this background it is secondary whether the Shuttle could still make some 75 flights before a disaster would occur.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10930 posts, RR: 37
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4626 times:

Quoting eksath (Reply 5):
These turkey are done

Quite shocked to see such a comment coming from you.

 Wow!

Just wait and see how many years you will have to wait until a replacement comes up.
You can go to Kazakhstan in the mean time. I am sure Roscosmos will be happy to have you there.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1626 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4586 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 13):
As for foam strikes: When NASA introduced the Shuttle concept, they did not have foam strikes on their radar

I've always wondered if the foam would have came off (or if it would come off in as large of chunks) had we still been painting the tanks. Yes, the paint did seem to fall off the tank at times, but perhaps that would have kept the foam intact beneath it.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 14):
Just wait and see how many years you will have to wait until a replacement comes up.

So what. It's better than throwing billions of dollars at a program that has never performed on cost, never will, and has serious issues to overcome if the country desired to continue flying the craft. You don't have to pay for the thing, so I understand why you like it so much (as I like it too), but at some point, the costs become simply too great. Hopefully SpaceX can get some funding to get the crewed Dragon up and running quickly, as it seems they've got the best booster at this point to move on.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 6 days ago) and read 4458 times:

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 15):
Yes, the paint did seem to fall off the tank at times, but perhaps that would have kept the foam intact beneath it.

Good point but the fact that NASA didn't go back to paint the external fuel tank shows they think otherwise.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 14):
You can go to Kazakhstan in the mean time. I am sure Roscosmos will be happy to have you there.

Why so snappy? NASA is more than just the Shuttle program, and the ideology driven rooster fight between east and west, which seems to speak through your comment, has ended quite a while ago.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offline328JET From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4446 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 9):
What's worse, the project has never been as safe as it could have been

I am not sure if i can agree.

The US only had two complete losses in the whole time and that is a very high saftety rate.
We are not talking about transatlantic flights here...


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4427 times:

Quoting 328JET (Reply 17):
The US only had two complete losses in the whole time and that is a very high saftety rate.

No, that was luck - and a whole busload of it.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1626 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4392 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 16):
Good point but the fact that NASA didn't go back to paint the external fuel tank shows they think otherwise.

It's not only that, but the weight penalty is significant for painting the tank. IIRC, its in the neighborhood of 500 pounds.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineeksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1317 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4265 times:
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Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 14):
Just wait and see how many years you will have to wait until a replacement comes up.
You can go to Kazakhstan in the mean time. I am sure Roscosmos will be happy to have you ther

Frankly, I am not concerned. There was a 7 year gap between Apollo and the STS (1974 to 1981). The Russian are actually taking the the heat off NASA by keeping the US astronaut core active and occupied in the interim while an appropriate launch vehicle rises. The relationship is not based on 60 era Cold War politics but mature modern reality. I recommend you read and comprehend what Charlie Bolden (NASA boss) said recently:

"A & S: You weren’t completely positive about participating in STS-60 at first.

Bolden: (Laughs) When I was told that I was going to be assigned to fly one more time, and I said, okay, what is it, and I was told it was the first joint Russian-American mission, I told 'em right away, I said, “Forget it. I’m a Marine. I trained all my life to kill those guys. They’d have done the same thing to me, and I don’t want to fly with them.” A mentor of mine told me to relax a little, and said that these two [cosmonauts] were in town, have dinner with them tonight and talk to them, and then let me know what you think. And I had dinner with Sergei Krikalev and Vladimir Titov that evening here in Washington, and we talked about families, kids, and things we wanted in life. And by the time the dinner was over, I was sold. Even a Marine can change.


http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exp...iew-Charles-Bolden.html?c=y&page=3

I also have to point out the ISS would not be possible without the Russian components and joint support.

What the use of Russian metal to fly US astronauts to the ISS does is that allows the US to pursue all options and mae the next design or designs far more robust and SAFE compared to the STS program.

At the end of the day, the STS program is not safe as promised (originally a 1 in 7000 failure estimate but now it may 1 in 100 or higher) and not flexible (barely et 5 mission a year versus estimates of 40-52 per year). You can stick a fork in the turkey now  



World Wide Aerospace Photography
User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

Quoting 328JET (Reply 7):

The shuttle concept is still fascinating and un-reached by all other nations.

Except for that one that launched Buran...

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 13):
Challenger's last flight was the 64th Shuttle mission.

25th. Though it was listed as STS 51L...

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 15):
You don't have to pay for the thing,

Realistically, neither do we. I don't know what the breakdown actually is, but I would be willing to bet that less than a nickel out every hundred of your tax dollars supports the Program. We spend far more on far more ridiculous things, IMHO...

Not saying we shouldn't be cost conscious, but just that the STS Program is not the nightmare some make it out to be. I'm sure sure we could fly that "turkey" all the way to Epsilon Erudani and back for what the first year of the Iraq war cost, and what did that get us, right?

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 18):

No, that was luck - and a whole busload of it.

Yup. Lucky for NASA they had vendors who knew how to make and maintain (for a price, of course) better than world class equipment. Lucky they were able to round up some of what are literally the best dynamic engineers to walk the Earth to design said equipment.

If that's what you meant, then yes, they had a few busloads. But if you're trying to imply that it was a bunch of school kids blundering their way through space atop shoddy death machines, then I must tell you that you are quite mistaken.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4030 times:

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 21):
Except for that one that launched Buran...


Yes the "Buran" was a one of the greatest technological marvels of all time, as proven by that one (1) "unmanned" orbital flight.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3973 times:
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Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 15):
I've always wondered if the foam would have came off (or if it would come off in as large of chunks) had we still been painting the tanks. Yes, the paint did seem to fall off the tank at times, but perhaps that would have kept the foam intact beneath it.

If the foam is not adhering properly to the hull all you gain with paint (net, emebdded fibers, etc) is the added risk of an ENLARGED area of foam coming off. Not good.



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User currently offlineeksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1317 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3589 times:
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Quoting wn700driver (Reply 21):
If that's what you meant, then yes, they had a few busloads. But if you're trying to imply that it was a bunch of school kids blundering their way through space atop shoddy death machines, then I must tell you that you are quite mistaken.

i think what he means is that Challenger was preventable and so was Columbia. Each one had one or more engineers trying to warn NASA MMT. On Challenger it was prior to launch and it was an engineer on the SRB team. On Columbia, it was an engineer who predicted the mode of failure upon reentry from day 1 of mission. Both were ignored..repeatedly!

In retrospect, these types of failure had been staring NASA in the face but completely ignored hence the luck to get to 51L and 107.

As Rumsfeld said: "

There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. ”
—Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

In case of STS program, when you add all the knowns and unknowns, continued operation becomes a liability to NASA and the US gov. hence the retirement choice by two US administrations (Bush + Obama).



World Wide Aerospace Photography
User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3579 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 22):

Yes the "Buran" was a one of the greatest technological marvels of all time, as proven by that one (1) "unmanned" orbital flight.

And don't you forget it!  
Quoting eksath (Reply 24):

i think what he means is that Challenger was preventable and so was Columbia. Each one had one or more engineers trying to warn NASA MMT. On Challenger it was prior to launch and it was an engineer on the SRB team. On Columbia, it was an engineer who predicted the mode of failure upon reentry from day 1 of mission. Both were ignored..repeatedly!

Sure I understand that. But I was just saying that there was a lot more than luck behind the piles of successes that the NASA did enjoy. In truth there were probably whole other failure modes that never really had a chance to surface in the STS program too, the machines being as complex as they are. I think it's clear that the fact that there weren't more wrecks is testimony to the talent at hand.


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