zanl188
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STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:53 pm

Thought some of you might be interested in the final shuttle launch.

Saw the press kit online today:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/566071main_STS-135_Press_Kit.pdf

It has crew pix of every shuttle crewmember & History of the Shuttle Program...
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TUGMASTER
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:30 am

Flying out tomorrow
LHR-MIA-MCO
Hope there's not a scrub....
Any advice much appreciated...

rgds
 
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eksath
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:33 pm

I took these pictures of the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the pad for STS-135 (the very last time if there are no rollback) . Enjoy.

1. Arrival at the pad as seen at night from the shuttle landing facility which is about 3.5 miles away. I was waiting for the return of Endeavour from STS-134 at the SLF (the runway can be seen at the bottom). In the dark, i was also watching the STS-135 stack climbing the pad 39A mound for the very last time. That is what the picture below depicts.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2a.jpg

2. Workers hook the vent pipes on ET.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2b.jpg

3.Clear view of orbiter access arm.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2c.jpg

4.Orbiter access arm in a Florida thunderstorm

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2d.jpg

5.pad level view of the stack on the MLP. Taken by the flame trench.
http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2e.jpg

6.Top down view

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2verticala.jpg

7. Workers putting the vent arm into place.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540S2verticalb.jpg
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TheSonntag
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:59 pm

Awesome pictures. Welcome on my RU list  
 
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Bruce
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:15 pm

The weather doesn't look too good. I might be on the causeway.....depending on the weather.

bruce
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HaveBlue
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:17 pm

Flew over the complex, well at least above it but over the river on the way down to and back from Ft Peirce today in a Glassair 3... am looking forward to the launch Friday. I go to the Miracle City Mall to park, and walk across US1 on the river to watch it. Its a few miles due west of the VAB/39A but its easy in, easy out.
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Sinlock
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:33 pm

I'm glad that I'll be able to see the launch on TV. AT&T U-Verse finaly added NASATV to mid-tier level of programing.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:32 pm

I am here in Orlando waiting for the news.

The weather looks extremely uncertain, muggy and hot.
One or even two weather scrubs would not surprise me on this one.

I see oiur VIP space shuttle photographer -- old turkeys he called them -- has posted some very nice pictures of my most favourite orbiter.

This end of Shuttle flights is not without reminding me of the end of Concorde fights.
Something extraordinary created by the genius of humans is about to end - once more.

Say what you will, Space X and Dragons and whatever else, plans to go back to the Moon and to Mars, Low Earth Orbit being boring and having to end... I will believe it when I see it.

We have something fantastic, something that works, these Space Shuttles.
They are going to be grounded and decommissioned for somthing to come that we don't know about and are not even certain of, as it does not yet exist.

I only know one thing... I will be missing them Space Shuttles!!!!!

Go Atlantis!!!! For the very last time!!!!

I only wish somebody high up in the US government/congress had a strike of intelligence and would decide to keep the necessary infrastructure and man power to keep one Space Shuttle flying a couple of times a year until something new and efficient and 100% safe comes up to replace them.

The Soyuz are good, they work like swiss clocks they never fail but they will never be comparable to the Spâce Shuttles.

They may be old turkeys or penguins or whatever else you might want to name them but they have done fabulously wel allowing to build the International Space Station and Hubble repairs and other such extraordinary missions.

When Atlantis lifts off for the very last time I will not cheer, I will not smile.
I will reflect on how great the last 50 years have been and what good things they have brought us.

What after that???
Not much good it seems - at least at this point in time.
Let's see what the future brings. All seems so uncertain.

   

Go Atlantis!!!
Fly off to the Skies and to the ISS and bring back the 4 Last to Fly astronauts safely back to the ground.

Space Shuttles, Royal Orbiters,
You will be so greatly missed!!!! I will forever be seeing you flying in my imagination.


  
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TheSonntag
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:37 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 7):
They are going to be grounded and decommissioned for somthing to come that we don't know about and are not even certain of, as it does not yet exist.

Each end is a beginning. I am sure they will develop the SLS. Shuttle was nice, but its time to move on.
 
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eksath
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:13 am

Remember that the USAF has calculated that the STS system is 100X MORE dangerous than the Apollo system.

That reason is alone should be justification for the retirement hence the decision by the precious and current administrations.

1.
http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2verticald.jpg

2.

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540SttUWEB.jpg

3.

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540SttWEB.jpg

4.


http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540SttWEB2.jpg

5.
http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540Sweb135a.jpg

6.
http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540Sweb135b.jpg

7.
http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540Sweb135c.jpg

8.

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540Sweb135d.jpg

9.
SOS for help.
http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540Sweba3.jpg

[Edited 2011-07-06 21:17:29]
World Wide Aerospace Photography
 
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Bruce
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:58 am

I see in those pictures on the launch pad, there are protective plates over Atlantis's windows. With the access tower to the left of the orbiter, how do they remove the plate from the right side cockpit window before launch?

Also, where on the SRB is the camera located that provides the great p.o.v. video during launch? Is it visible in any of those pics?

Bruce
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TUGMASTER
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:49 pm

Hey Madame Concorde
I'm here in MCO too, and Cedarjet is arriving in the next couple of hours....
get in touch if you can, will meet up for a beer.
rgds
 
redflyer
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:01 pm

MSNBC has a nice time-lapse of Atlantis' final preparations:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/43659943#43659943
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MadameConcorde
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:39 pm

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 11):
Hey Madame Concorde
I'm here in MCO too, and Cedarjet is arriving in the next couple of hours....
get in touch if you can, will meet up for a beer.
rgds

Such crappy weather today at MCO

Had one bitchy lightning strike right overhead
it shook the hell out of me... don't think I have ever been that close

landed here on the roof
good thing I was inside

looks like they changed the take off and landing paths I don't see any planes
I am up on the 10th floor in my hotel with a 180 degree view - hard to believe they want to fly the ship in such weather

RSS now retracted - Atlantis is visible

Will definitely be most happy to meet up
Send me a PM and let me know where you are
we can certainly arrange a meet-up
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MadameConcorde
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Thunderstorms

NASA managers may be able to get an additional launch opportunity Monday if the Air Force agrees to delay launch of a navigation satellite next week. If so, and assuming no damage from the lightning strike, NASA's mission management team could opt to press ahead for a Friday launch or stand down in favor of two attempts between Saturday and Monday when the weather should be improving.

Magnetic field readings at the pad exceeded normal limits in four locations, sources said, prompting engineers to schedule a review board meeting at 4:30 p.m. to make sure no sensitive systems were affected. How long the review might take and what impact, if any, it might have on launch preparations was not immediately clear.

An engineering review board meeting about the lightning strike to launch pad 39A is taking place right now.
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NoUFO
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:06 pm

Man, I could kill somebody to see the launch.

Quoting redflyer (Reply 12):
MSNBC has a nice time-lapse of Atlantis' final preparations:

Thanks, really a nice video.
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KPDX
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 15):
Man, I could kill somebody to see the launch.

And if you were in Florida, you'd probably get away with it.   
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eksath
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:45 am

Bruce.

1.The RSS when rotated into position allows a person to take the covers off.They were taken off a few hours ago.The RSS is now in the park position.I was on the pad for it and will post the pics post launch.

2.I will also post pics of the cameras on the SRBs.you can see one one left SRB in atleast one pic above.
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zanl188
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:57 am

Quoting Bruce (Reply 10):
I see in those pictures on the launch pad, there are protective plates over Atlantis's windows. With the access tower to the left of the orbiter, how do they remove the plate from the right side cockpit window before launch?

The Rotating Service Structure (RSS) can be rotated around to completely enclose the orbiter at the pad for weather protection and service work. See reply #2 pix 5, RSS is on the left.

Quoting Bruce (Reply 10):
Also, where on the SRB is the camera located that provides the great p.o.v. video during launch? Is it visible in any of those pics?

The video during launch is provided by a camera on the External Tank, not the SRB. It's located in the LOX feedline fairing. The fairing is the dark grey object on the tank slightly up and to the left of the orbiters nose cap in reply 9 pix 5.

Quoting eksath (Reply 9):
SOS for help.

Very cool!! Most unique shuttle pix I have seen in some time.
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Bruce
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:16 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 18):
The Rotating Service Structure (RSS) can be rotated around to completely enclose the orbiter at the pad for weather protection and service work. See reply #2 pix 5, RSS is on the left.

Oh. ok. That makes sense now.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 18):
The video during launch is provided by a camera on the External Tank, not the SRB. It's located in the LOX feedline fairing. The fairing is the dark grey object on the tank slightly up and to the left of the orbiters nose cap in reply 9 pix 5.

Ok, so its only on one side of the orbiter then. The feedline must be that black strip that runs all the way to the tip of the tank. Well, there must be SRB cameras too because they capture the separation and fall back to earth of each one. But I recall seeing the tank camera video too.

That's another thing that has dramatically changed from the early launches in 1981: the video. Cameras are smaller now so they can be everywhere and send back video that the STS-1 astronauts could only dream of. If only they had SRB cameras on Challenger! I think it would be neat to see a re-entry video feed but I guess technology hasn't gotten there yet where a camera could be mounted in a tiny port on a non-critical surface. The PPOV (pilots point of view) cameras don't send back that great a picture.

Bruce
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alberchico
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:36 am

So after this when will the next NASA manned mission be launched ?
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flyAUA
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:48 am

Just read about this in the news! Sad story I guess, but I understand why they took this decision  

Thanks for sharing those pictures. Looks very interesting from up close!

My question is: What happens to US space missions now? Unless I misinterpreted something, there is no successor flying yet! How will the US sends its astronauts on their missions without any vehicles?
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Bruce
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:56 am

Easy. I guess you could say we are "outsourcing" the flying to the Russians, on their Soyuz capsules. They'll get people up and back, but no more heavy lifting.

Think of it this way - for the last 30 years we've been driving a Chevy Suburban but now that its worn out we can't afford a new one, so we have to get a ride to work with the neighbor who drives a Ford Focus. No more towing the boat to the lake.  


Bruce
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flyAUA
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:00 am

Quoting Bruce (Reply 22):

Well for quite a while you guys have been the space pioneers (with all due respect)... now I guess we need to wait for "better times". I hope they come up with something soon. I used to keep reading about more friendly spacecraft that can be re-used and so on, and so forth. It's probably just a matter of funding - or for that sake, time!
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lhr380
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:27 pm

Watching CNN and the shuttle launch here in the UK. Looks like blue skies are on their way.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
zanl188
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:56 pm

Quoting Bruce (Reply 19):
The feedline must be that black strip that runs all the way to the tip of the tank. Well, there must be SRB cameras too because they capture the separation and fall back to earth of each one. But I recall seeing the tank camera video too.

The black strip that runs to the top of the tank is a pressurization line. The feedline exits the bottom of the LOX tank, goes thru the hull of the ET, thru the feedline fairing and then down the side of the ET before it connects to the orbiter.

The SRB cameras do not provide live video. SRB camera footage is recovered several days after launch when the SRBs are brought into Port Canaveral.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 15):
Man, I could kill somebody to see the launch.

That makes 2.

Quoting alberchico (Reply 20):
o after this when will the next NASA manned mission be launched ?

Well, it's the end of the Shuttle Program; the rest of our men will go up in Russian ship....
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zanl188
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:16 pm

Go for launch! T minus 9 minutes and counting!
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Braniff747SP
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:27 pm

A failure at T-30 sec...
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zanl188
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:29 pm

Hold! at T-31 seconds.

Problem with vent hood retraction.. fixed


and count restarted!!
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Braniff747SP
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:30 pm

And there she goes!

Filler...
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Braniff747SP
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:34 pm

By the way, if anyone wants to watch, NASA TV here:

http://www.livestation.com/channels/40-nasa-tv-english
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NoUFO
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:37 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 29):
Hold! at T-31 seconds.

I think my heart just had an unscheduled hold as well.   
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zanl188
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:42 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 32):
I think my heart just had an unscheduled hold as well

Yeah that was a heart stopper for sure....
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KPDX
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:43 pm

Flawless launch! Way to go STS-135. Definitely a bittersweet sight.  
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Mir
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:44 pm

Looks like the GLS wasn't quite ready to say goodbye.... Godspeed, Atlantis.  
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 33):
Yeah that was a heart stopper for sure....

Is it bad when you notice that your heart is going in sync with the APUs?

-Mir
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fbgdavidson
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:04 pm

Am here in Titusville as well, for the second rime having come to see Endeavour's scrubbed launches in April.

Very relieved to see it rise from the pad. Was out on the Indian River and my watch ticked quite a bit past 11.26!!

Slightly coincidental that MadameConcorde and I were both at the last Concorde landings at LHR and the last Shuttle launch...
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GDB
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:07 pm

It looked, as ever, spectacular, I too would have loved to be there.
(I had intended to see the penultimate launch, when that was pushed right back it ended up clashing with something much closer to home I could not/would not get out of).
It also showed the problem of going some 4000 miles with the strong chance a launch could be scrubbed beyond the time I could stay.
The two times I was in FLA, in late 1988 and in 1990, a Shuttle was on the pad but not about to launch.

A sad day, though one that's been a fact since the loss of Columbia .

I do hope NASA are allowed to get on with facilitating the orbital operations to SpaceX and get their own heavy lifter.

Reading of the large job losses on the Space Coast is saddening, however it does show the big problem with the STS, the sheer numbers of people, time and of course cost of each launch.

It took a long time, with Mir then building ISS for the Shuttle to find it's true role, aside from some very notable missions like Hubble and Hubble servicing, an amazing machine the STS is to be sure, but there has to be a better, safer, more sustainable way of getting cargo and people into low Earth orbit.
 
flymia
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:22 pm

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 26):
Quoting alberchico (Reply 20):
o after this when will the next NASA manned mission be launched ?

Well, it's the end of the Shuttle Program; the rest of our men will go up in Russian ship....

For now, NASA will send people up in due time. 5-10 years I am saying is max. Maybe not a reusable shuttle but rockets at least. Rockets are much safer then the shuttle according to the US Air Force a while 100X safer. It was a sad and awesome sight at the same time. Too bad it is no longer flying any longer. But there will be more space flight to come from NASA and other organization both government and private. As for heavy lifters which will have to come back at some point for logistical reasons IMO. If private industry does not do something in the next decade or so how can NASA not make another shuttle program.
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TheSonntag
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:20 pm

Well, rumour has it that the Space Launch System will be announced soon. I just hope the funds are there, as well.
 
Springbok747
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:11 pm

A sad day.

On a personal note, one of my most cherished ambitions was to see a Shuttle launch and now I never will, having failed on my one trip to Florida.

On a more general note, I think it shows the lack of ambition of the Americans now. They could have easily afforded the space program if they hadn't spent all their money on unwinnable wars.
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Stealthz
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:27 pm

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 40):
They could have easily afforded the space program if they hadn't spent all their money on unwinnable wars.

There is no real need to bring political argument into this thread.
The point is irrelevant in any case, America's greatest achievements in space were made while the country was spending huge amounts of money on what turned out to be an unwinnable war.

It is not about the money it is about the commitment and the will to do it. As far as a space program goes the USA had both in the '60s, they have not had either in any great amount since.
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MadameConcorde
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:58 pm

Never seen the Causeway so full of people and busses.

The place was packed, a lot of families with small children, amateur photographers with their big digital cameras, geeks like myself and people from the world over, Japanese and others.

I never thought they would go today - especially with the very last incident and countdown interruption I thought it was going to be a scrub but no... the miracle happened and we saw Atlantis going up to the skies in all her glory and brightness, until she got hidden by the clouds and then peeked again a couple of times at a much higher altitude.

The crowd was really noisy cheering and screaming while I would have liked to appreciate the sound coming down from the boosters this time it was more like coming from on high iwth the clouds cover, not like usual. It was a different sound that I did not hear before, shorter and more muffled than usual.

I still can't believe that this is the end of fligthts. I still think of my next visit here for another Space Shuttle flight, maybe they will keep one in flying condition to service the ISS or Hubble or other necessities. Let's hope that Congress and US government will think twice after Atlantis lands and keep one ship flying, Endeavour would be a suitable candidate as she is the youngest in the fleet.

So I will be waiting for the next Space Shuttle launch if only in my imagination.

Wishing the Last to Fly a Space Shuttle crew a very busy and fruitful mission and a safe landing on the 20th of July. As for what will come after, we will see when it happens.

That one little Penguin with her little wings looked so happy today. She really wanted to fly!!!

Safe trip Atlantis!!!!

           
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GDB
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:12 pm

Is it the system?
Major elections every two years, the complex - usually slow - process of passing laws then passing the funding, all the partisan stuff, obstructionism, constant amendments of programs and their funding?
None of this is new, it's the US way of democracy and I'm not attacking it per se .
It's full of safeguards for the way the US system formed and evolved.
However, does it sound like a reliable way to approve and fund something like a long term space project?
There is no other channel to do this, what is done for all parts of government has to include NASA as a government entity and tax $ funded.

With Apollo however the circumstances, the race with the then enemy, meant it was, at least compared with most other government programs, bulldozed through a much less partisan Capitol Hill.
Who would want to be blamed for letting the USSR reach the Moon first, after all the other firsts they'd achieved?
So really, Apollo was a quasi-wartime program in that sense.

The urgency of the timetable JFK set, had he directed NASA to land a man on the Moon by say 1975, it would likely never have happened.
Consider how things were economically, politically in 1970, the Nixon administration would have killed Apollo with a '1975' landing date, with in that timescale prior to major flight testing starting.

So the idea of getting a viable Commercial launcher, assume SpaceX as it's the most advanced as a project, at least would lift the part of manned flight off NASA's back.
Not subject to the wrangling about this years appropriations etc.

I saw former NASA Administrator Griffin bemoaning the fact that there is not a direct replacement to take over from the Shuttle soon. But would there have been had things carried on as prior to last year? I understood that an Ares 1 launched manned flight by then was looking at being not before 2017.
That's a hell of a gap. With the same way of filling it as now, Soyuz style.
SpaceX could, if allowed to, greatly improve on that.
And is their launcher and Dragon Capsule actually at a equal or more advanced stage towards crewed flights than Ares 1/Constellation would have been by now.
Has not a SpaceX launcher carried an unmanned Dragon on a rather more extensive test in terms of altitude than Ares 1 had by time of cancellation?

This all takes me back to 2003.
I can empathise with the NASA folks right now, with my own involvement, including at the end, of another iconic delta wing air vehicle, equally famous and unique.
STS for all it's flaws, is something many if not most Americans are proud of. You may think the STS was a dead end, a wrong turn, but it did do a lot of unique things, so for all that, they should be proud.

I'm quite confident that the US will resume manned spaceflight by the middle of this decade or not long afterwards, with, a system more reliable, safer by design and much, much more economical to run.
You cannot keep politics out of running NASA, in the same way as on a thread here, you can however keep narrow, pork barrel or plain obstructionism out.
That will help the US back into manned flight as much as technical progress.
 
Derico
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:04 am

Wow, I read in a newspaper that 30,000 people in NASA will lose their jobs...

Not exactly an incetive for young people to pick up a calculus or physics book.
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eksath
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:25 pm

I thought I would give you guys unique perspective.

I took these with my cellphone camera as we headed out to the pad with Atlantis sitting on it the evening before launch. The RSS had rolled back a few hours before. These pictures show the drive and atmosphere around her. I setup remote camera at the pad hence the purpose of this visit. It was miserable wet weather with plenty of mosquitoes.

note: These pictures are cleared for public release by NASA hence do not depict any sensitive material.

1.Passing the crawler as she awaits her next trip. yes..we are listening to a country station.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540So.jpg

2. At the fork in the road for pad 39A and pad 39B. Atlantis sits on Pad 39A straight ahead. Note the two M113 rescue vehicles on the left. This is the closest manned station at launch time. A specail rescue suits up and waits in these M113s for rescue. Another M113 is position at the escape baskets for the astros.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sn.jpg


3. There she is!

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sm.jpg


4.Getting closer

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sl.jpg

5.Pulling up to the pad guard gate

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sk.jpg

6. Note the US Flag and the Atlantis flag on the flagpole.

I always get a kick out of the green men and red men haz suit signs on the guard gate. Reminds me of aliens.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sj.jpg

7. KSC rescue guys take personal pics at the guard gate. One needs a special badge to pass beyond the gate. a lot of staff come here to take pics with the orbiter from the gate posts.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Si.jpg


8.The stack on the pad.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sh.jpg

9. Heading to the base of the pad where I setup two cameras.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sg.jpg


10. My gears including sandbags to hold the cameras down in the back of the truck

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sf.jpg


11.Setup location.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Se1.jpg

12. Nitrogen tanks for some of the NASA field gear.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sd1.jpg

13.This picture was just to show proximity.

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sc1.jpg

14. The high powered xenon lights that illuminate the stack are on

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sb1.jpg

15. The Beverly Hillbilly moment after setup and before pullback 3 miles. At this point, I was expecting to do this all over again on Sat after the scrub but the weather gods surprised us! Go Atlantis!

http://www.atapattu.net/STS135pad/4A6U8540Sa1.jpg
World Wide Aerospace Photography
 
HaveBlue
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:54 pm

eksath very cool pics, thanks for sharing! Very fortunate to have the access you do, good job  
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MadameConcorde
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:05 pm

I watched the launch from the Causeway. Atlantis is my all time favourite Space Shuttle.
Not that I did not like the others. Atlantis is special.

I can tell you it was quite an emotional moment. A greatest ship with a greatest team of 4 on board.
The true Dream Team!:
Rex Walheim - King of Astronauts! Sandy Magnus - The Great Sandra!!!

I love you Atlantis. I cannot conceive that this is your last flight. (cry)

The morons who have decided the grounding the Space Shuttles when the US side does not even have a working replacement are really out of their minds.

They are talking about this and that new project, privatisatoin of human space flight and what else have you. The trouble is that they are scrubbing something that works (look at how well Atlantis is performing before and during launch and so far in Space) for something unknown - Private means profit for those who get the contracts and also cheap labour no doubt - and going into the unknown.

What will come next I will believe it when I see it.

Roscosmos will be happy to get the contracts. At least with them we know it works.
That revamped old Communist spacecraft has proved to be top of the line.

I am having a very difficult time swallowing the end of Space Shuttle flights.
I remember Sputnik, Gagarin, Valentina, Shepard, the Moon Missions and have attended Space Shuttle launches in person. A superb creation of Human Genius is being suppressed on politicians whims.

Being a direct witness of the End of Concorde and the End of the QE2 was enough already.
Now the morons are playing the End of the Space Shuttles with this STS-135 last mission.
This is one too much. Way too much.

With all I have known and experienced, I can say the past was more futuristic than the future.

 Wow!
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
zanl188
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:18 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 47):
With all I have known and experienced, I can say the past was more futuristic than the future.

Yes those capsules that left low earth orbit and went to the moon were very futuristic....

Seriously though, the shuttles have trapped us in low earth orbit and quite frankly no longer have a mission worthy of their unique abilities.
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eksath
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RE: STS-135: Final Shuttle Mission

Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:02 am

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 47):
The morons who have decided the grounding the Space Shuttles when the US side does not even have a working replacement are really out of their minds.

Perhaps you should give the rhetoric a break or move this type of discussion to the older thread . It is quite boring going over and over the same points again when there has been very detailed and exhaustive discussion on this on the other thread. We are all well aware of the good and the bad of the program.


Now back to the original reason for this thread i.e. the celebration of STS-135

if you click on the picture, you will see them in bigger size The same applies to the previous ones.


The countdown clock and flag immediately after launch. Note the NASA helicopter also in the picture.
1.
http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2a3.jpg

2.

Climbing

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2a3web7.jpg


3.

In the roll

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2a3web6.jpg

4. Pad check convoy ready to leave right after launch. They have to await clearance to move in to start work.

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2a3web2.jpg


5.

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2a3web4.jpg


6.meanwhile at the pad post launch.

http://www.atapattu.net/sts135pad/4A6U8540S2a3web5.jpg

[Edited 2011-07-10 02:04:46]

[Edited 2011-07-10 02:08:09]
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