Fate of the Shuttles

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Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:04 pm

NASA announced on the 30th Anniversary of STS-1 Columbia (April 12, 1981) the final fate of the Space Shuttle orbiters.

OV-103 Discovery will switch places with OV-101 Enterprise at the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center. Enterprise will then take up residence at the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum in New York City. OV-104 Atlantis will remain close to its launch site in Florida, being displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center. Lastly, OV-105 Endeavour will find a new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. It's a damn shame Columbia (OV-102) and Challenger (OV-099) won't be able to wholly join their sisters. Columbia's remains are in High Bay 4 of KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building whilst Challenger's remains are interred in a Minuteman missile silo at Launch Complex 33, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

There are two remaining Shuttle flights. STS-134 will be flown by Endeavour at the end of this month and STS-135 will be flown by Atlantis around June 28. If you've never seen a space shuttle launch or landing in person, you are rapidly running out of opportunities to do so.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by mannypooh » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:23 pm

i think we are seeing the end of manned space flight here in America. I dunno what kinda funding the private space flight companies will have to continue launching things such as space orbital planes but for now we will be depending on satellites which makes me sad :(

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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Fritz Ashlyn » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:28 pm

I just want to say as a resident of Houston that it's a slap in the face to the city to not give Johnson Space Center one of the shuttles. The city of Houston has absolutely dedicated itself to manned spaceflight and has been the home of mission control since the 60's, and this is our reward.

Lots of unhappy folks down here...
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:42 pm

Yes, I recall my dad (he works out at KSC) saying something about folks in Houston being a little pissed about that. :|

Well the first three locations are completely understandable. The NASM was going to get one, no ifs, ands or buts. They already have Freedom 7, Gemini IV and Apollo 11 so this completes the quartet. Florida works because we've been launching them for 30 years and California is where the orbiters were originally built. As for Enterprise going to New York (which has had nothing to do with NASA) well... just blame on the politicians who've been slapping NASA in the face since the 70s.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Wingnut » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:31 pm

Fritz Ashlyn wrote:I just want to say as a resident of Houston that it's a slap in the face to the city to not give Johnson Space Center one of the shuttles. The city of Houston has absolutely dedicated itself to manned spaceflight and has been the home of mission control since the 60's, and this is our reward.

Lots of unhappy folks down here...
I can imagine. I visited there 16 years ago and I was quite impressed by the collection of old rockets and stuff there, including the big honkin' Saturn V. I wouldn't leave the thing sitting outside with the rest of them, but I agree there should be one orbiter there. Send the Enterprise down there or something. The Intrepid can't exactly park the shuttle on her deck with the other planes anyway.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:07 pm

Apparently they're going to build a new hangar for Enterprise.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Cardi Doorl » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:05 pm

Fritz Ashlyn wrote:I just want to say as a resident of Houston that it's a slap in the face to the city to not give Johnson Space Center one of the shuttles. The city of Houston has absolutely dedicated itself to manned spaceflight and has been the home of mission control since the 60's, and this is our reward.

Lots of unhappy folks down here...
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:40 pm

Looks like Texas big shots are DEFINITELY NOT HAPPY.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by ShadowCell » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:12 pm

back to the shuttles, please, and not the politics thereof, before the conspiracy theorists come in claiming that Obama is sending one of the shuttles to Kenya to find his birth certificate or something.

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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:39 pm

Space Shuttle Endeavour's last launch ever is tomorrow at 3:47 EDT. You should be able to get a live stream from NASA.org or from spaceflightnow.com. This last mission should be pretty interesting as they'll be attaching an external particle accelerator to the ISS. Maybe they'll discover Minovsky or GN particles up there. :wink:

Atlantis's last launch should be on or around June 28.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:31 pm

Launch has been scrubbed until at least Monday. You can go to YouTube, to the PBS NewsHour channel and post a question that will be responded to live by the crew of the shuttle and the ISS crew... assuming Endeavour gets off the ground.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by SonicSP » Tue May 03, 2011 4:05 am

I'm not big on shuttle information stuff, but this may very be the last US shuttle launch period?

That's quite sad, but then again we live in another era than the glory days of manned space flight and the country as well as the world would have many other problems to content with in the meantime. Mars look a farways off than ever before, and not just the actual physical distance too.

I heard there's another rocket design coming up, is this true? I'm really a noob when it comes to current shuttle designs.

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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Renegade334 » Tue May 03, 2011 12:38 pm

...If you're referring to the Constellation Project, whose only physical birthchild to this day was the Ares I-X rocket, then yeah, you're a bit behind the news.

Obama trashcanned it last year or so...and with it, the plan to return to the Moon. Dang, the Ares V would've been a mighty beast to behold...even larger and more powerful than the Saturn series, and theoretically capable of lifting very large sats to either the Moon or the Lagrange points.

Then there is the Falcon 9 Heavy, which is a commercial rocket developed by SpaceX. Though it's supposed to be less expensive, it still cannot match the Saturn V payload, much less the Ares V's projected stats.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sun May 15, 2011 10:57 pm

Actually I think that the Ares V would have been a bit shorter than the Saturn V but still capable of lifting something between 80 and 100 tons to Low Earth Orbit (the Saturn could do 125 tons to LEO and about 47 tons to the moon). To use an appropriate MechaTalk example, an Ares V could easily lift 3 or 4 Jegans into orbit. Heck, it could probably lift the Kshatriya and the Sinanju! The Shuttle on the other hand, would only be able to lift MS parts or worker/petite MS.

Anywho, Endeavour's last launch is now scheduled for Tomorrow at about 8:56 EST. This is NOT the last Shuttle launch but it IS the last launch of Endeavour. Far as I know, the last launch is still set near the end of June. Interesting fact about the last launch: It will be the first time a Space Shuttle has flown with just a four astronaut crew since 1983!
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Mon May 16, 2011 9:08 am

Well Endeavour's launch went off without a hitch so there's only one left now.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:36 pm

The VERY LAST Shuttle launch will be tomorrow, Friday July 8, at 11:26 AM Eastern Standard Time. There is one caveat though, there is only a thirty percent chance of acceptable launch weather. After what happened to Apollo 12, NASA doesn't like to take chances in that regard.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Deacon Blues » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 am

I managed to watch the shuttle launch on NASA TV and it was definitely a bit of a tear jerker. A shame what's happened to the shuttle program but hopefully we'll get better and more advanced technology in the years to come as a result.

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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Wingnut » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:02 pm

I was watching it too online. Minor problem with the data transfer from ground control to Atlantis's on board computer at T-0:31, but that was quickly fixed and the launch went off without any further hitches.

I was born a year after the shuttle program started and it has literally been part of my whole life. It will feel weird to not have it around anymore.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Deacon Blues » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:25 pm

Wingnut wrote:I was watching it too online. Minor problem with the data transfer from ground control to Atlantis's on board computer at T-0:31, but that was quickly fixed and the launch went off without any further hitches.

I was born a year after the shuttle program started and it has literally been part of my whole life. It will feel weird to not have it around anymore.
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Re: Fate of the Shuttles

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:22 am

And Cracked.com sums it up so perfectly: At what point did we forget that the Space Shuttle was, essentially, a program that strapped human beings to an explosion and tried to stab through the sky with fire and math?
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