Author Topic: The Official Space Exploration Thread  (Read 58262 times)

Offline McMetal

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1005 on: April 11, 2011, 03:47 PM »
"Chariots of the Gods...they practically own South America."
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Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1006 on: April 12, 2011, 03:45 AM »


On April 12, 1961, the era of human spaceflight began when the Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth in his Vostock I spacecraft. The flight lasted 108 minutes.

Twenty years later, on the morning of April 12, 1981, two astronauts sat strapped into their seats on the flight deck of Columbia, a radically new spacecraft known as the space shuttle.

Astronaut John Young, a veteran of four previous spaceflights including a walk on the moon in 1972, commanded the mission. Navy test pilot Bob Crippen piloted the mission and would go on to command three future shuttle missions.

Space Shuttle astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen (in tan space suits) are greeted by members of the ground crew moments after stepping off the shuttle Columbia following its maiden flight. Credit NASA.

The Space Shuttle Era: 1981-2011.   :'(

Cities, space centers, museums want to be shuttles' final landing spot



The space shuttle Columbia, NASA's first orbiter, is showered with lights in this nocturnal scene at Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., during preparations for the first flight (STS-1) of NASA's new reusable spacecraft system. This photo was taken in March 1981 ahead of Columbia's April 12, 1981 launch. Credit NASA & Space.com.



The space shuttle Columbia begins a new era of space transportation when it lifts off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla, on April 12, 1981. The reusable orbiter, its two fuel tanks and two solid rocket boosters (SRB) has just cleared the launch tower. Credit NASA & Space.com.



Space Shuttle Columbia's first landing was at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Photo courtesy of the Edwards AFB History Office).

Offline BrentS

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1007 on: April 12, 2011, 07:55 AM »
Weird seeing the big booster (sorry I don't know the techno term) painted all white again.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1008 on: April 12, 2011, 02:08 PM »
That would be the external tank...  ;)

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1009 on: April 12, 2011, 02:12 PM »
NASA announces new homes for space shuttles

NASA's space shuttles are bound for New York, Los Angeles, the Washington area and Cape Canaveral, Florida, the space agency announced Tuesday.

Space shuttle Discovery will go to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. Discovery's last mission ended March 9. The shuttle is undergoing a decommissioning process in which all toxic materials are removed and the orbiter is prepared for display.

Currently on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center is the Enterprise, the prototype shuttle built but never flown in space. Enterprise was used to fly approach and landing tests and also for vibration tests on the ground. It will go to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.

Space shuttle Atlantis will go to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex in Florida. Atlantis' last flight is scheduled for June 28.

Space shuttle Endeavour, NASA's youngest orbiter, will go to California Science Center in Los Angeles. Endeavour's last flight, which is scheduled for April 29, will be commanded by Mark Kelly. His wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was injured in a mass shooting in January in Tucson, Arizona, but she reportedly has said she hopes to attend the launch.

Space shuttles Challenger and Columbia and their crews were lost in service in 1986 and 2003, respectively.

The announcements come on the 50th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's historic flight as the first person in space, and the 30th anniversary of the first shuttle flight.

Offline BrentS

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1010 on: April 12, 2011, 05:39 PM »
That would be the external tank...  ;)

Yes, very technical  ;)

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1011 on: April 12, 2011, 08:07 PM »
I remember they were saving money by not painting it since they had to paint it after every mission.
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Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1012 on: June 1, 2011, 03:05 AM »
Welcome home Endeavour, awesome landing... an end to an era...  :'(

Endeavour's rich history of service to humanity over 19 years spanned 122,883,151 miles traveled, 4,677 orbits of the planet and 299 days aloft.

Altlantis in on the launch pad for July 8th & it's final mission...  :'(

Launch Time: 11:40 a.m. EDT .

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1013 on: June 1, 2011, 05:19 AM »


A vapor trail follows space shuttle Endeavour as it approaches Runway 15 on the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the final time. Endeavour landed at 2:35 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, wrapping up the STS-134 mission. During the 16-day mission, Commander Mark Kelly and crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Chuck Tintera.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1014 on: July 8, 2011, 03:40 AM »
Hopefully today is the day for an end of an era...   :'(

The countdown is continuing for launch of the final space shuttle mission at 11:26 a.m. EDT (1526 GMT). But stormy weather at the Florida spaceport means only a 30 percent chance of acceptable conditions at Atlantis' planned liftoff time.



Space shuttle Atlantis is revealed on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the move of the rotating service structure (RSS).

The structure provides weather protection and access to the shuttle while it awaits liftoff on the pad.

RSS "rollback" marks a major milestone in Atlantis' STS-135 mission countdown. Credit: NASA/Troy Cryder.





Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1015 on: July 8, 2011, 09:45 AM »

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1016 on: July 8, 2011, 11:50 AM »
She's a thing of beauty  8)


Offline Symposium

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1017 on: July 8, 2011, 04:22 PM »
I think it's rather short sighted not having the replacement for the space shuttle program in place before the last flight. Of course it could just be me wanting more shuttle launches/flights etc. I guess this means the ESA has to step up to the plate now...... bwhahahaha  ;D *calling Beagle 2, come in Beagle 2*  :P

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Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1018 on: July 9, 2011, 11:49 PM »
Well, you all wanted change. How is the change working for you? >:D
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Offline Dave

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #1019 on: July 10, 2011, 01:53 PM »
I was looking at the paper the other day with photos of the last space shuttle launch when my 3 year old asked me if we could go ride "the rocket ship".

Without getting in the politics of the space program, funding, etc - I think its a shame we wont have another significant manned space flight for at least another ten years, and likely longer.

Growing up in the '70s I loved everything space.  They still had moon landings in the early 70s and were quickly transitioning to the space shuttle.  It was an awesome thing to think about and see.  I can remember my first trip to FL included a stop at Cape Canaveral, right after Disney.  I remember being so excited to see all the stuff and remember a presentation on the ceramic tiles they were going to put on the space shuttle to dissipate the heat or re-entry.

Its sad to think my oldest son isn't going to see a significant launch until in to his teenage years at the earliest.  I'm also cynical that after a few more administrations and changes at NASA its going to be 20+ years before we do anything other than ride a Russian rocket to the *yawn* international space station.