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eksath
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Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:52 pm

As mentioned in the thread title. I wanted to bring attention to this milestone.


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu



Will post some more pics shortly.

[Edited 2009-09-19 12:58:48]
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zanl188
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39A. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:57 pm

The last shuttle to leave Pad 39A won't be until next year or perhaps sometime after that.

I think you mean Pad 39B...
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eksath
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:00 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
I think you mean Pad 39B...

You are correct. My typo.
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zanl188
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:31 pm

Nice photo BTW. Looks to be just before dawn. Thanks for posting it...
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Tiger119
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:36 am

According to NASA's Website, STS-129 (Atlantis OV-104) is planned for November 12th from Launch Pad 39A:

http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html

I would really like to go see a night launch before they retire the fleet.

A question slightly off topic but is or was Vandenberg AFB ever an option for landing a Shuttle if both Edwards and Kennedy were covered by weather? 15,000 foot X 200 foot long runaway and not too far from Edwards.

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zanl188
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:21 pm



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 4):
A question slightly off topic but is or was Vandenberg AFB ever an option for landing a Shuttle if both Edwards and Kennedy were covered by weather? 15,000 foot X 200 foot long runaway and not too far from Edwards.

Vandenberg was the primary recovery location for flights that would have originated there. One must remember that USAF was very close, only months away, from being able to launch shuttles from Vandenberg at the time of the Challenger accident.

Only USAFs post-Challenger switch to expendables and a launch exhaust duct design problem (which would have been solved IMHO) prevented Vandenberg from being stood up as a shuttle launch site.

So certainly Vandenberg was an option for landing.
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Tiger119
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:20 pm



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 4):
15,000 foot X 200 foot long runaway and not too far from Edwards.



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
So certainly Vandenberg was an option for landing

- I would think the fact of its proximity to Edwards and the fact their runways are at different angles would make it a good option for divert. My question is weather and whether weather conditions at VBG would be the same as EDW at the same time?

- Also, when the flight director and team decide on the landing location, what happens if something (weather comes to mind) to primary? Would the shuttle be able to divert from landing at EDW to VBG or KSC after they begin deorbit proceedures begin?

- What airports are the primary diverts for the Shuttle Program?

David
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zanl188
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RE: Last Shuttle To Leave Pad 39B. Bring On Ares 1-x

Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:51 pm



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 6):
- I would think the fact of its proximity to Edwards and the fact their runways are at different angles would make it a good option for divert. My question is weather and whether weather conditions at VBG would be the same as EDW at the same time?

The decision of where to land is made before the deorbit burn (an hour prior to landing). Once the deorbit burn is made they're committed, from an operational standpoint if not aerodynamic. USAF insisted on a cross range capability and that's why shuttle has a big delta wing vs a lifting body or other solution. Given that Vandenberg is on the coast and Edwards is an inland desert I suspect that respective weather conditions are rather different. Runway changes can be made late in the entry if winds should change.

There are lots of variables that go into picking a landing sites, weather is but one.....

Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 6):
- Also, when the flight director and team decide on the landing location, what happens if something (weather comes to mind) to primary? Would the shuttle be able to divert from landing at EDW to VBG or KSC after they begin deorbit proceedures begin?

The weather is well studied and acceptable prior to the burn or they stay in orbit. As mentioned above shuttle does have a cross range capability, I don't know if Mission Control would order it be used post deorbit burn or not - they haven't yet.

Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 6):
- What airports are the primary diverts for the Shuttle Program?

Edwards and White Sands
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