cartenz
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:55 pm

Has anyone seen a space shuttle mounted on the back of a 747? That would be quite a sight. Finally, the space shuttle Atlantis is on its way back to its launch site at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070701/...;_ylt=AsrVUibJsZmryBoGv0iqt.jMWM0F
 
EMBQA
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Je

Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:37 pm

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Photo © Brian Lockett


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Photo © AirNikon



They have been doing it this way for 30 years. I just keep wondering why every time they move the Shuttle this way it gets treated like the first time ever here on A.net. There is no less the 5 or 6 threads running right now asking the same questions that get asked every time they do this. I remember back in 1977 when they did this for the first time and it didn't get this much coverage as it does 30 years later and a hundred plus times later....

[Edited 2007-07-01 16:45:57]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:51 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 1):
I just keep wondering why every time they move the Shuttle this way it gets treated like the first time ever here on A.net.

You say this on a.net? Where every airline divert is news... Where there are literally hundreds of thousands of airliner takeoff and landing photos....

Shuttle moves by 747 are extremely rare by comparison.....
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EMBQA
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:59 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):

You say this on a.net? Where every airline divert is news..

Yea true... I know of dozens of diverts and emergency landings that never made A.net. Still don't get it though. If this was 1977 or 1978 I would.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
RHAnthony
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:09 am

I also think it has something to do with the fact that it may have been the last time ever for this to happen. I personally feel somehow it was not, but we'll see how that pans out in the next few months.

Also, you have alot of people that know very little about the entire scope of Shuttle's program and launch/landing options. It's not like everyone has been paying attention since the 70's  Smile or remembers that time clearly. You have alot of folks that are just now taking interest, or old enough to soak it all in, and the SCA ferry's aren't really that often. Most of the time it's up from KSC, down to KSC, barely even makes the news channels.

I work at JPL. Just a few hours south of Edwards, mainly because it's just slow going through the mountains. We're right next door practically, and a NASA complex. People HERE in my building were in shock that a 747 ride was possible, and simply could not comprehend that we've done it this way since the first flights.

Personally for me it's a big deal because Shuttle is the space program I grew up with, not the previous projects. Thats MY kid time fantasy of space flight on that 747. And, I'm a huge lover of the 747 itself, and all of the specialized versions out there from AF1 to our new SOFIA telescope. So, that bundle together, well... *wipes a tear*... it's just beautiful! hehe
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:12 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 3):
I know of dozens of diverts and emergency landings that never made A.net

Only because the resident rivet counters never got the word...  Smile

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 3):
Still don't get it though. If this was 1977 or 1978 I would.

Rare thing to see one aerospace vehicle atop another. I've only had a chance to see the SCA/Shuttle fly once (1983). If it were landing somewhere reasonably close to me I'd go see it again.....

The thing I don't get is how is it that Gordo Fullerton (one of the astronauts that flew Enterprise off the back of the 747 in 1977) is flying the SCA today... He must be pushing 70.... Experienced hand at the wheel is nice but geez... Maybe they want to keep him around until shuttle wraps up in 2010 and avoid training another SCA guy...
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RHAnthony
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:20 am

I'm sure he's got a younger capable crew there just incase, and maybe a personal bottle of O2 laying around, but knowledge and experience go a LONG way when dealing with the most expensive hardware ever.

Must be a wonderful thing to put on your resume though, flying both of those during your career. Carrying home what you helped develop decades ago... I'm sure that gives him a high like the younger guys may never experience in their careers!
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:35 am

Quoting RHAnthony (Reply 6):
I'm sure that gives him a high like the younger guys may never experience in their careers!

  

You can't buy or hire folks with Gordos experience... It's just amazing to me that he's still with the program....

edit: Gordo will be 71 in october...

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/fullerton-cg.html

[Edited 2007-07-01 17:38:53]
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eelonghorn
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:41 am

Looks like the folks in Amarillo are going to get a show.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:49 am

Quoting RHAnthony (Reply 4):
I also think it has something to do with the fact that it may have been the last time ever for this to happen. I personally feel somehow it was not, but we'll see how that pans out in the next few months.

The last time this will happen is when the orbiters leave KSC when the program shuts down.... They'll no doubt use the SCA to deliver the orbiters to their respective museums.

Speaking of which... Has anyone heard any chatter about who will get them? NASM I figure is at the top of the list.... JSC & KSC I bet would like to have one but... I don't believe either has an indoor location... The orbiters will not do well outdoors, would be a shame to see them collecting bird sh*t....
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Thorny
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:46 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 9):
Speaking of which... Has anyone heard any chatter about who will get them? NASM I figure is at the top of the list.... JSC & KSC I bet would like to have one but... I don't believe either has an indoor location... The orbiters will not do well outdoors, would be a shame to see them collecting bird sh*t....

Most likely...

Discovery: Nat'l Air & Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles Airport, Washington DC
Atlantis: Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton OH
Endeavour: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Enterprise: Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA, perhaps permanent display on 747 NASA 905

The Air Force Museum is campaigning hard for Discovery, but with the bad blood over the program between NASA and the Air Force, I don't think they'll get NASA's endorsement and the Smithsonian will almost certainly want Discovery in Washington. The Air Force will get Atlantis.

Houston JSC does not seem to be in the running, given the despicable care they gave to their Saturn V and the extreme difficulty they'll have getting an Orbiter to JSC (a bridge now blocks the path the Saturn V took.)

Kennedy is the sure-thing on the list. They've already got the plans drawn up and funding outline to build a Shuttle museum. They're just waiting for a Shuttle.

Another possibility is Enterprise not going back to Edwards, but somewhere else... Seattle's Museum of Flight has been mentioned as a dark horse candidate.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
The Air Force Museum is campaigning hard for Discovery, but with the bad blood over the program between NASA and the Air Force, I don't think they'll get NASA's endorsement and the Smithsonian will almost certainly want Discovery in Washington. The Air Force will get Atlantis.

Why does the Air Force want Discovery so bad? Just curious as to what difference it makes to them which shuttle they get with the exception of Enterprise, which I would understand since it was never a functioning vehicle.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 11):
Why does the Air Force want Discovery so bad?

Discovery was the "blue" orbiter the Air Force was supposed to have used out of Vandenburg. I don't see really where it makes a difference though since SLC6 never opened for shuttle business at Vandenburg.

I think the Air Force Museum would be lucky to get any flown orbiter......
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zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:15 am

Quoting EELonghorn (Reply 8):
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905

Out of Amarillo for Offutt now....
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Thorny
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:24 am

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 11):
Why does the Air Force want Discovery so bad? Just curious as to what difference it makes to them which shuttle they get with the exception of Enterprise, which I would understand since it was never a functioning vehicle.

Discovery flew the first military manned space mission, STS-51C in January, 1985. She also was planned to be dedicated to Vandenberg AFB, at least for the first few years of Vandenberg Shuttle Ops.

That said, Atlantis actually flew more military missions than Discovery, so I think they'll get her instead.

Military flights:
Columbia: 1 (STS-28)
Discovery: 4 (STS-51C, STS-33, STS-39, STS-53)
Atlantis: 5 (STS-51J, STS-27, STS-36, STS-38, STS-44)
Endeavour: 1 (STS-99)

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 12):
I think the Air Force Museum would be lucky to get any flown orbiter......

There aren't many choices. With the possible exception of Edwards, the Smithsonian is not going to allow an Orbiter to sit outdoors and rot the way JSC let their Saturn V rot (KSC had trouble too, but they kept theirs in somewhat better condition and then moved it indoors 12 years ago. JSC still isn't finished.) They'd prefer a space-flown Orbiter for the National Air & Space Museum (originally almost certainly to be Columbia, now Discovery is best available.) KSC already has a plan for indoor display, a'la the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The Air Force Museum can accomodate an Orbiter indoors (there's also just something right about having an Orbiter in the city that was the birthplace of aviation), as can the Seattle Museum of Flight. The list of prospects drops of markedly after that.

Discovery, the oldest surviving spaceflown Orbiter and with its history of twice being the Return-to-Flight vehicle and launching Hubble is the clear favorite for the Air & Space Museum.
 
Dash 80
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:27 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 13):
Out of Amarillo for Offutt now....

Of all the days to be working. Maybe I can see it from the middle of the field at OMA with binoculars.
...where the rubber hits the runway...
 
Dash 80
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:19 am

Well I went out to OFF and saw her. Last time I saw the shuttle on top of the SCA was 1989 so it was good to see it again before they retire the fleet.
...where the rubber hits the runway...
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:30 am

Looks like she might be at OFF for a while based on the weather in the southeast US now...
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OPNLguy
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 17):
Looks like she might be at OFF for a while based on the weather in the southeast US now...

They went OFF-HOP (Ft. Cambell, KY) early this morning. If I had to guess, it'd be that they go HOP to one of the military bases in NC or SC and stop there. The CCFP shows NC/SC clear of storms, and a NC/SC stop would put them close enough to the Cape where they can arrive there early enough Tuesday morning before the weather starts building...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:43 pm

Airborne out of HOP for KSC. Looks like they are going to pick there way thru the wx in the southeast. ETA: 0827 EDT
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halls120
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:31 pm

Quoting Thorny (Reply 14):
Discovery, the oldest surviving spaceflown Orbiter and with its history of twice being the Return-to-Flight vehicle and launching Hubble is the clear favorite for the Air & Space Museum.

What will happend to the prototype Enterprise currently displayed at the Udvar-Hazy center?
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:40 pm

Flight track is now just about 20 miles or so east of my location. Sky here is overcast... Hmmm I thought these guys were a bit more moisture averse than that....
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zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:24 pm

Doing low flybys in the KSC area now....

NASA TV is covering
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zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:28 pm

Seems to be low hanging clouds or fog in the KSC area...


On the deck!!
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Thorny
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:57 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 20):
What will happend to the prototype Enterprise currently displayed at the Udvar-Hazy center?

The current favorite is NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. Possibly together with NASA 905, the original Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The Seattle Museum of Flight might be able to make a good case for Enterprise, too.
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:53 am

Atlantis just after the SCA was towed into the MDD.. Note the gent with the sniffer on the right...

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/ima...h=520&fn=07pd1763&sn=KSC-07pd-1763
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EMBQA
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:36 am

You know..... I'll admit this morning at 0500 I checked my e-mails before heading out to work I also did my quick look at A.net to see what was new. Seeing that the Shuttle Transporter landed at Ft. Campbell last night I looked too see when it might be leaving to head south. It had just taken off and its route was right over BNA. I grabbed my keys and left for work. Major Bummer...... Low over cast.... no sky to look at.....!!!!!!
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
RichPhitzwell
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:48 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 25):
sniffer on the right

at this point what are they sniffing?
Nonav.com kinda like Whiners except the lights are on and the pimps been paid
 
zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:46 am

Quoting RichPhitzwell (Reply 27):
at this point what are they sniffing?

Given the area he's sniffing I suspect he's looking for trace amounts of nitrogen tetroxide (N204) or monomethyl hydrazine (MMH) the OMS propellants. Were he looking for anything other than trace amounts I suspect he'd be in a hazmat suit vs street clothes...  

[Edited 2007-07-04 03:47:49]
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zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:32 am

For those curious about SCA/Orbiter ops... Here's a cool shot of the SCA being backed out from underneath the orbiter...

Big version: Width: 722 Height: 480 File size: 59kb
SCA backing out from underneath Atlantis. Courtesy NASA


More recent shuttle photos available at:

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=4
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PC12Fan
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:51 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 1):
I remember back in 1977 when they did this for the first time and it didn't get this much coverage as it does 30 years later and a hundred plus times later....

That's because A.net wasn't around back then!!  laughing 

I thought as a kid, and still do think, that this was one one coolest aviation configurations ever scene. They actually look like they were designed to be together. I remember building one of my first models of the shuttle/747 carrier, I was giddy.
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
Corsair1107
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:14 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 24):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 20):
What will happend to the prototype Enterprise currently displayed at the Udvar-Hazy center?

The current favorite is NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. Possibly together with NASA 905, the original Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The Seattle Museum of Flight might be able to make a good case for Enterprise, too.

Why bother shuffling them around? Seems like a waste of money.
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Thorny
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:18 am

Quoting Corsair1107 (Reply 31):
The current favorite is NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. Possibly together with NASA 905, the original Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The Seattle Museum of Flight might be able to make a good case for Enterprise, too.

Why bother shuffling them around? Seems like a waste of money.

The Shuttles, like all surplus NASA hardware of historical significance, will belong to the Smithsonian Institution after NASA retires them. The Smithsonian will then farm them out to appropriate museums.

The Smithsonian, entrusted with the care of America's history, will be balancing several factors in choosing the Shuttle's final destinations: keeping the Shuttles in good condition for future generations and historians to see/access them (i.e., indoor, climate controlled display); ease/cost of transport to the destination; the most "bang for the buck" (large nearby populations); and not having them all in one place (so a hurricane, fire or earthquake can't destroy all of them at once.)
 
Corsair1107
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:08 am

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I mean why bother moving Enterprise? There's already a shuttle in the Udvar-Hazy center. Why move it out and bring in another?
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zanl188
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:07 am

Quoting Corsair1107 (Reply 33):
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I mean why bother moving Enterprise? There's already a shuttle in the Udvar-Hazy center. Why move it out and bring in another?

Historically speaking Enterprise (never flew a mission in space) isn't nearly as significant as Discovery or one of the other orbiters. As Americas Aerospace Showplace NASM should get the most significant artifacts and farm the rest out. It's the same reason NASM has the Apollo 11 command module and not one of the other CMs.

Would you expect NASM to have one of the later Wright Flyers instead of the one first flown at Kitty Hawk? Of course not....
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Thorny
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:30 am

Quoting Corsair1107 (Reply 33):
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I mean why bother moving Enterprise? There's already a shuttle in the Udvar-Hazy center. Why move it out and bring in another?

They might not, the Smithsonian hasn't made any decision yet. But the prevailing wisdom and scuttlebutt is that they really want a space-flown Shuttle for the NASM. For years, it was assumed they'd take Columbia and Discovery would go to Dayton. Now, the Air Force still wants Discovery for Dayton, but the Smithsonian will probably want her (oldest spaceflown Shuttle, most number of flights, two return to flight missions, launched Hubble, launched John Glenn) for the NASM. NASM might settle for Atlantis, though. I doubt they'll settle for the prototype Enterprise at the premiere aerospace museum in America when there are three 20+ spaceflight Shuttles to be had.

Once you make the decision to start moving the Shuttles around then putting Enterprise in the mix won't add much more to the total cost. They'll handle the shuffle as one big package.
 
RHAnthony
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:14 am

I just can't wait to see one in the NASM and be that close to one of these things. I'm bummed I can't pull any strings from here at JPL to get a cool upclose tour at KSC  Sad
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:07 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
The thing I don't get is how is it that Gordo Fullerton (one of the astronauts that flew Enterprise off the back of the 747 in 1977) is flying the SCA today... He must be pushing 70.... Experienced hand at the wheel is nice but geez... Maybe they want to keep him around until shuttle wraps up in 2010 and avoid training another SCA guy...

I didn't know Gordon Fullerton was still in the programme! That's excellent. I don't see what the issue is with his age - if he's still capable, then why the hell not? I plan to be working until I drop dead, so why shouldn't anyone else? The 60/65 retirement has gone out the door...

Quoting Thorny (Reply 35):
For years, it was assumed they'd take Columbia and Discovery would go to Dayton. Now, the Air Force still wants Discovery for Dayton, but the Smithsonian will probably want her (oldest spaceflown Shuttle, most number of flights, two return to flight missions, launched Hubble, launched John Glenn) for the NASM. NASM might settle for Atlantis, though.

Isn't it all semantics? I mean, why not be happy with Atlantis or Endeavour? Space Shuttles are a rare commodity - who wouldn't be happy to have one? I don't see why they'd pick and choose. It's not like Atlantis or Endeavour have had any less illustrious careers than Discovery.

A question if anyone knows though - why did Discovery "happen" to be the return to flight vehicle both times?
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Thorny
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RE: Space Shuttle Atlantis Leaves CA Atop Jumbo Jet

Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:25 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 37):
Isn't it all semantics? I mean, why not be happy with Atlantis or Endeavour? Space Shuttles are a rare commodity - who wouldn't be happy to have one? I don't see why they'd pick and choose. It's not like Atlantis or Endeavour have had any less illustrious careers than Discovery.

No. As ZANL suggested, the Smithsonian doesn't have, say Apollo 14's command module. It has Apollo 11. It doesn't have X-1 No.4, it has Glamorous Glennis. It doesn't have any old B-29, it has Enola Gay. Other museums can argue over who gets the also-rans, but the NASM gets the pick of the litter, And Discovery does have a more illustrious history than Atlantis or Discovery, and is much more widely known, for reasons stated previously. Only Columbia would have had higher priority with the Smithsonian, but she is gone.

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 37):
A question if anyone knows though - why did Discovery "happen" to be the return to flight vehicle both times?

Happenstance.

Discovery was essentially mothballed at the time of the Challenger disaster (she was parked in the VAB, powered down as a parts-donor for the other Shuttles) waiting to be transferred to Vandenberg AFB (there was no hurry, SLC-6 was far behind schedule.) So Discovery was in the best position to be first to get the myriad post-Challenger safety modifications.

Atlantis was the original Orbiter for STS-114 and for most of 2003 was planned to be the Return to Flight vehicle after the Columbia accident. Discovery was at the time about to start her every-7-flights Orbiter Major Modification (formerly OMDP) program. While working on Discovery and looking for other long-overlooked threats to the Shuttle, NASA discovered that the rudder actuator assembly was installed backward, and ordered Atlantis and Endeavour also be inspected and fixed, if necessary. It was. This threw the processing timeline out of whack and pushed Discovery ahead of Atlantis on the calendar (eventually rendered moot by other delays, but hindsight is 20/20.) In the spring of 2004, NASA announced that Discovery would be ready to fly first, and would be the Return to Flight vehicle.

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