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Press kit for the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis

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A comprehensive, detailed look at the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis. The press kit provides a space shuttle history and insight into activities for each of the 12 days of the …

A comprehensive, detailed look at the final space shuttle mission, STS-135 on Atlantis. The press kit provides a space shuttle history and insight into activities for each of the 12 days of the mission and objectives. It introduces the crew members, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. A look at the payload and experiments is included.

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

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  • 1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration STS-135: The Final Mission Dedicated to the courageous men and women who have devoted their lives to the Space Shuttle Program and the pursuit of space exploration PRESS KIT / JULY 2011www.nasa.gov
  • 2. 2011 2009 20082007 2003 2002 2001
  • 3. 1999 1998 1996 1994 1992 1991
  • 4. 1990 1989 STS-1: The First Mission1985 1981
  • 5. CONTENTSSection PageSPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY ...................................................................................................... 1 I N T RO D U CT IO N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 S PA C E SH U TT L E C O N C EP T A ND DEVELOPM ENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 T H E S PA C E SH UT TL E ER A B E G I N S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 7 N A SA R EB O UND S INTO SPA C E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 14 F R OM M I R TO TH E I NT E RNA TI O NAL S PA C E S TAT I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 S T AT I ON A SSEM BL Y C OMPL ET E D AFT ER C O L UMB IA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 M I SSI O N C ON T R OL R O S ES E X P R ES S THA N K S , S UPP OR T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 S PA C E SH U TT L E PR O GRAM ’ S K EY S TAT I ST I C S (T HR U S TS -1 3 4 ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 T H E O RB I T ER F L E ET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 S H UT TL E UPS A N D DOW NS : L AU N C H, LAND AND LAUNCH A GA I N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 T HR E E L A N D ING S I TES U SE D , MANY M OR E A VA IL A BLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 A S TR O NA UT C O RP S M ARKS C HA N G E S IN S PAC E , S OC I E T Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 H U BBL E A ND T H E S HU TT L E: N E W VI E WS O F O U R U NI V E R S E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49STS-135 MISSION OVERVIEW ............................................................................................... 51STS-135 TIMELINE OVERVIEW ............................................................................................... 61STS-135 MISSION PROFILE ................................................................................................... 63STS-135 MISSION OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................. 65MISSION PERSONNEL ............................................................................................................. 67STS-135 ATLANTIS CREW ...................................................................................................... 69PAYLOAD OVERVIEW .............................................................................................................. 75 R A F FA EL L O MUL T I -P UR POSE L OG I ST I CS M O DUL E (MP L M ) FLI GHT MO D UL E 2 ( F M2 ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 MP L M B A CKG R O UN D I N FORM AT ION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 T H E L I GH TWE I GH T M UL T I- P UR PO S E EXP E RIM E N T SUPP O RT ST RUC T UR E C ARR I ER (L M C) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 R O B OT I C R E FUE L I N G M I SSI O N ( RRM ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 82 P UM P MOD UL E (PM ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 85JULY 2011 CONTENTS i
  • 6. Section PageRENDEZVOUS & DOCKING ....................................................................................................... 87 U N D O CK I NG , S E PA RA TI O N A N D D EPA RTU R E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88SPACEWALKS ......................................................................................................................... 89STS-135 EXPERIMENTS .......................................................................................................... 93 S T S -1 3 5 / UL F7 R E S EA R CH A N D TE C HN OL OG Y D EV EL OPM E N T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 S H OR T- D UR AT I O N R E S EA RC H TO B E C OMP LETED ON STS-135 / UL F7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 R E S EA R CH TO B E D EL I V ER E D TO S TA TI O N O N SH UTT L E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 R E S EA R CH OF O PP O RT U NI T Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 97 R E S EA R CH TO B E R ET UR NE D O N S PA C E S H UT TL E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 PICO-SAT ELLITE SOLA R CEL L TES T BED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 100 D E V E L O PM E NT T E ST O B JEC T I V E S ( DT O) A N D D ETA ILE D S U PPL EMEN T AR Y O B J ECTIVES (DSO) . . . . . . . . . . 102 S T U D E NT EXP ERIM E N T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 105SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA .................................................................................................... 117LAUNCH & LANDING ................................................................................................................ 135 L A U N CH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 A B OR T T O OR B IT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 T RA N S O C EA NI C A BO RT L AN D I N G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 135 R E T UR N TO L A UNCH SIT E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 135 A B OR T O N C E A RO U N D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 135 L A N D I NG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS .............................................................................................. 137MEDIA ASSISTANCE ............................................................................................................... 153SPACE SHUTTLE AND INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION − PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS ..... 155THE FUTURE ............................................................................................................................ 159 O R I ON MUL T I- P UR PO S E CR E W V EHI CLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 9 N A SA C OMMER C IAL C R EW PR OG RAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 62ii CONTENTS JULY 2011
  • 7. SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORYINTRODUCTION Engineering and technological advances were required in development of the shuttle. ItShuttle History: Knowledge, was called the most complex machine everCapabilities, and Cooperation built. Its main engines stretched design and metallurgical capabilities. Its thermalFor 30 years, the space shuttle has been the U.S. protection system, which shielded the orbiterhuman access to space. It has capabilities no from temperatures as high as 3,000 degreesother spacecraft can claim. No other spacecraft Fahrenheit during re-entry, was a work inis likely to match those capabilities in this progress until shortly before the first shuttlegeneration. launch. Engines and the thermal protectionIt is the fastest winged vehicle ever to fly, with system were designed for repeated reuse.an orbital velocity of 17,500 mph, 10 times the Both have been continually improved duringspeed of a high-powered rifle bullet. It is the the life of the Space Shuttle Program. So hasonly winged vehicle to reach orbit, and the only just about every other major shuttle system.reusable space launch and landing vehicle. Science, in addition to the advances requiredThe shuttle can carry cargos of substantial for the spacecraft’s development, has madeweight and dimensions. It has taken into space huge strides with the help of the space shuttle.more than half the mass of all payloads We have learned more about ourselves, aboutlaunched by all nations since Sputnik in 1957 – how our bodies and those of other organisms3,450,143 pounds (though STS-132) and function, from the subcellular level on up. Wecounting as the final shuttle launch approaches. have learned how we as individuals interactMore singular still is the shuttle’s ability to with one another under unusual and stressfulreturn payloads from space. It has brought circumstances – and how to work together.back from orbit more than 97 percent of We have learned about our planet, its landall mass returned to Earth, a total of masses, its oceans, its atmosphere and its225,574 pounds (though STS-132) before the environment as a whole. With the help of theupcoming final flight. shuttle we have learned more about our moon,It has launched 802 crew members including solar system, our galaxy and our universe.those lost on Challenger and Columbia. Crew The Hubble Space Telescope, for example,members returning on the shuttle numbered launched and repeatedly upgraded and789. Many crew members flew more than once. repaired on shuttle missions, has given usA total of 356 different individuals have flown unprecedented vision of distant stars, someaboard the shuttle (all through STS-132). with planets orbiting them. It has allowed us toIt leaves a significant legacy. look at objects so distant that viewing the light from them takes us back in time to nearer the beginning of the universe.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 1
  • 8. Scientific advances continue aboard the ranged from political and funding concerns toInternational Space Station. The shuttle has competing design ideas and conflicting systemsbeen instrumental in the station’s construction requirements – when one system changedand operation. others were impacted.Perhaps as important as any element of the There were different requirements of users.shuttle legacy is the development of Contractors and program managers worked outinternational cooperation in space. Humans compromises of their own.from many nations have begun to worktogether in space. Shuttle visits to the Russian All in all, more than 50 different shuttlespace station Mir were a beginning that led to versions were developed during the designthat new cooperation we see today aboard the process. Eventually, they evolved into theInternational Space Station. space shuttle that has flown since Columbia’s first launch in April 1981. It was the first ofIt has helped to develop respect and 135 launches, a string scheduled to end in July.understanding for people and technologicalcapabilities of many countries, including some The prospect of reusable spacecraft capable offormer enemies. Such synergies could give carrying large cargos and humans into spacehumans as a whole greater potential for space had been talked about for decades in scienceexploration and development that any single fiction and by scientists since shortly afternation could achieve alone. Such capabilities World War II.eventually could be critical in how well our Indeed, a German design looked at a wingedspecies flourishes or, indeed, survives. craft to be launched from a supersonic sled,The shuttle has provided inspiration – for the rocket itself into suborbital space, skip alongyoung and the not so young. the upper atmosphere and bomb New York. After gliding to a landing and refueling, itIt has encouraged uncounted youths to focus would return home using the same technique.on science and technology. The idea ofbecoming an astronaut, as some certainly Ideas for the next generation of U.S. humanwill, is a powerful motivation. So too is the spacecraft had been discussed within NASAprospect of using such an education to advance and the Department of Defense. In late 1958,human knowledge and understanding in space. NASA had established a working group based at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., toPeople of all the nations contributing to the look at the nation’s future human spacespace shuttle’s design and operation can take program.pride in its accomplishments. Among the group’s 37 original engineersSPACE SHUTTLE CONCEPT AND headed by Robert Gilruth were Maxime Faget,DEVELOPMENT head of engineering; Chris Kraft of flight operations; and Glynn Lunney, who, at 21, wasLike any project of its magnitude, the space the youngest member of the team.shuttle was a series of compromises. They2 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 9. On April 1, 1969, Faget, director of engineering President Spiro Agnew, was established thatand development at the Manned Spacecraft February. It issued a report called “TheCenter (now Johnson Space Center (JSC), held a Post-Apollo Space Program: Directions for themeeting with 20 colleagues at which he Future” in September 1969.presented a balsa-framed, paper-skinnedmodel. It was about 18 inches long, had The Space Task Group recommended, amongstraight, stubby wings and a shark-like nose. other things, “low-cost, flexible, long-lived, highly reusable, operational space systems withFaget, who designed the Mercury spacecraft a high degree of commonality and reusability.”and contributed to U.S. spacecraft design It suggested a system that could carry people,through the space shuttle, told them, “We’re equipment, supplies and fuel to and from orbitgoing to build America’s next spacecraft. It’s routinely, as well as support a range ofgoing to launch like a spacecraft; it’s going to Department of Defense missions.land like a plane.” The first humans landed onthe moon the following July 20. Phase B contracts for project definition went to two orbiter teams, one McDonnell Douglas andA request for proposals for “An Integral Martin Marietta, and the other North AmericanLaunch and Reentry Vehicle” had been issued Rockwell and General Dynamics. Both teamson Oct. 30, 1968, through the Manned would look at competing NASA designs, theSpacecraft Center in Houston and the Marshall Maxime Faget design with limited cross-rangeSpace Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It called and cargo capabilities but lower heating onfor studies on configurations for launch and re-entry and a high cross-range design withlanding vehicles. Safety and economy were a delta wing, a larger cargo bay and cargoemphasized over the capability to carry heavy capability. Main engine contracts went tocargos. Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne and Aerojet.Four companies got 10-month study contracts Funding limitations caused Phase B to bein February 1969. General Dynamics, amended, with the option of an expendableLockheed, McDonnell Douglas, and North external tank. Eventually, that concept wasAmerican Rockwell came up with various adopted, and solid rocket boosters wereconcepts, some involving expendable and some attached to the tank. The Air Force insisted onreusable launchers. Engine contracts went to the long cargo bay and heavy payloadPratt & Whitney and Rocketdyne. This was the capability as well as a cross range of 1,265 milesbeginning of Phase A of a four-step process to launch large satellites into polar orbit fromculminating in production and operation of a Vandenberg Air Force Base in California andnational space shuttle. return there after a single orbit. Department of Defense political support was an importantNASA decided during Phase A that it wanted a shuttle consideration.two-stage craft, both stages reusable. Cargo bay dimensions were an example of theWhile those studies were going on, the Space compromises at work. The length, whichTask Group, established by newly elected wound up being 60 feet, was the Air ForcePresident Richard Nixon and chaired by ViceJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 3
  • 10. requirement, while NASA required the 15-foot orbital maneuvering system engines. Butwidth to accommodate space station modules. Enterprise would provide additional valuable information on flight characteristics, atop aThe requirement for two fly-back stages was shuttle carrier aircraft and in free flight.dropped as was, in early 1974, the idea toprovide air-breathing engines for the orbiter When the shuttle’s air-breathing engines wereapproach and landing and ferry flights under dropped, it became apparent that NASA wouldits own power. have to find a way to transport the orbiter. Designing a specific-purpose aircraft and usingPhases C (design) and D (production and the Air Force C5A were considered.operation) were combined. President Nixongave NASA the OK to go ahead with the larger Eventually, NASA settled for a used 747-100payload bay on Jan. 3, 1972. North American that had flown almost 9,000 hours for AmericanRockwell was named winner of the orbiter Airlines, most on its New York-Los Angelescontract on July 26 of that year. route. It bought the plane on July 18, 1974. (A second used 747 was acquired from JapanRocketdyne, a division of North American Air Lines for NASA by Boeing in April 1988Rockwell, had been named winner of the and delivered to the space agency inengine contract on July 13. NASA announced November 1990.)Thiokol as winner of the Solid Rocket Boosterdevelopment contract on June 24, 1973, and less Under a $30 million contract with Boeing, thethan a month later, Martin Marietta got the nod former American Airlines plane’s structure wasto design, develop and test the external tank. strengthened and instrumentation improved, orbiter mounting assembly fittings wereThe war in Southeast Asia, a recession and the installed and vertical endplates were added tofading of the excitement of the Apollo moon its horizontal stabilizers. The modificationslandings had made spaceflight funding tight. were completed by January 1977.Shuttle development was to be stretched overa longer time and the space station, one Approach and landing tests using Enterprisejustification for the shuttle’s development, was and the 747 (its American Airlines logo stillput on hold. Appeals of some of the contract faintly visible on each side) began the followingawards also caused delays. month at Edwards Air Force Base in California. First came three taxi tests on Feb. 15, the thirdRockwell began building the first orbiter, reaching a speed of 157 mph. Five “inactive”Orbiter Vehicle 101, in Palmdale, Calif., on flight tests followed from Feb. 18 to March 2.June 4, 1974. It was to have been namedConstitution, but after 100,000 fans of the TV Two astronaut crews, the first Fred Haise andseries “Star Trek” wrote in, the name was Charles “Gordon” Fullerton and the secondchanged to Enterprise. It was rolled out on Joe Engle and Richard Truly, alternated atSept. 17, 1976. Enterprise controls for three active test flights captive atop the 747 beginning Aug. 12 and fiveBy then, it already had been subjected to a free flights involving Enterprise being releasedseries of vibration tests. It had no main or from the aircraft and landing at Edwards.4 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 11. The first four of the five, beginning Aug. 12, Gulfstreams were acquired in the 1980s andlanded on Edwards’ dry lakebed. The fifth, on converted to shuttle trainers.)Oct. 26, wound up the 1977 test series with anexciting Enterprise landing by Haise and New crew members would be needed. InFullerton on Edwards’ concrete runway. The January 1978 a new group of astronauts wasfourth and fifth of those flights were flown selected. It was the first new astronaut classwithout the tail cone, giving a more accurate since the seven new astronauts had beenpicture of how an orbiter would glide to a selected in August 1969.landing after a spaceflight. The group, the eighth beginning with theAfter some additional tests, Enterprise was to Mercury astronauts selected in 1957, was unlikehave been returned to Rockwell to be outfitted any chosen before. Six of the 35 members wereto fly in space, but it was not to be. NASA women; two of them were medical doctors anddecided it would be quicker and cheaper to the others held Ph.D.s. Three were Africanconvert a structural test article, OV-99, into a American; two of them held Ph.D.s. One was anflight orbiter. That orbiter was named Asian American.Challenger. Many members of the new group wouldEnterprise was subjected to additional tests, become the heart of the new category ofincluding some at Vandenberg, and was astronauts, shuttle mission specialists. Theirdisplayed at several locations, including the qualifications were varied from the mostly testParis Air Show in 1983 and the World’s Fair pilots who made up earlier groups. Several ofin New Orleans in 1985. It was officially the new selectees were civilians, often withtransferred to the Smithsonian Institution’s considerably different perspectives than theirNational Air and Space Museum on military predecessors.Nov. 18, 1985, though NASA continued to Mission specialist physical qualifications wereborrow parts from it for testing in subsequent different, and still differ slightly, for pilots andyears. mission specialists. Mercury astronauts couldOther preparations for shuttle flight continued: be no taller than 5 feet 11 inches – for groups of the Gemini and Apollo era, the maximum wasNASA bought two Gulfstream II business jets 6 feet -- so they would fit into space capsules.and converted them into shuttle training Now astronauts well over six feet tall could flyaircraft. They realistically simulate the in space.behavior of a returning orbiter between35,000 feet and a point just above the runway – Launch facilities and equipment were modifiedthe height of the spacecraft’s cockpit on at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and a newlanding. launch site was being built at Vandenberg. Various contractor and NASA field center testThe controls on the left side are much like facilities were established or modified.those used by a space shuttle commanderon landing, and the plane reacts to inputs As development continued, efforts were madelike a descending orbiter. (Two additional to reduce spacecraft weight and improveJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 5
  • 12. performance. Qualification testing, aimed at number of problems. In April 1977, a test ofshowing various elements of the shuttle were two engines was dubbed successful, butready to fly safely, was heating up. turbopump problems continued.By early 1980, formal qualification tests had Finally, by late 1980, the difficulties seemedbeen completed on the orbital maneuvering to be largely resolved. A key test wassystem engines and the reaction control system completed on Jan. 17, 1981. Columbia’s threejets. Testing for qualification of the solid rocket main engines were successfully test fired at theboosters was completed about that time. launch pad for 20 seconds on Feb. 20, providing additional confidence for launch of STS-1 lessNASA had not used solid rockets in human than two months later, on April 12.spaceflight before. Each solid rocket boosterhas four motor segments. They are transported The thermal protection system, particularly theby rail from Thiokol’s Utah facility and that tiles, was a persistent problem. The ablativemode of travel, with its curves and tunnels, heat shields used from Mercury through Apollonecessitated their being built in segments and were obviously not reusable. Reinforcedattached to one another once they reach Florida. carbon-carbon was used in areas subject to the greatest heating like the nose cone and wingMarshall Space Flight Center did a series of leading edges.tests on the external tank. A series ofweight-saving measures, and additional tests, After a lot of testing, a ceramic heat shield waswere introduced during early phases of tank chosen to protect much of the aluminum bodyconstruction and beyond. Later tanks were of the orbiter. Shielding in these areas wasmore than 10,000 pounds lighter than the early made up of tiles.production models. Black tiles were used where heat did not exceedIt became apparent that the greatest threat of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit (e.g., orbiter’s bottom)delay was in development of the shuttle main and white tiles were used where temperaturesengines and the thermal protection system. did not get above 1,200 degrees. Thermal blankets were used in areas that stayed belowThe main engine was a challenge. Chamber 700 degrees.pressures were higher than those of anyprevious liquid-fueled rocket engine. The Attaching the rigid tiles to the aluminum skindesign was for a reusable, two-stage engine that of the orbiter was a problem. An interveningcould be throttled. It required turbopumps that felt pad was thought to be a solution. Aoperated at higher speeds and higher pressures stronger bond between the tile and the pad wasthan any before. found to be necessary, but when that was done, the combination of adhesive, felt, adhesive, tileRocketdyne built an engine test bed at a NASA resulted in a loss of about 50 percent of thefacility in Mississippi, at what is now Stennis strength of the four elements.Space Center, where it tested an engine largerand heavier than those built for flight, which NASA decided to fill voids on the inward sidewere not yet available. It found and resolved a of the tile, a “densification” process. Far6 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 13. behind schedule because of the delays, NASA Young and Crippen landed Columbia on thedecided to fly Columbia from Palmdale to dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base.Kennedy in March 1979, with about 6,000 of the30,000 tiles still not installed. A number of tiles STS-2, commanded by Joe Engle and piloted bythat had been installed were lost during that Richard Truly, launched Nov. 12 marking theflight. first time a launch and entry spacecraft had been used. It was the first flight of theNondestructive tests were developed to check Canadian robotic arm, which was testedtiles’ conditions, and gap fillers were installed thoroughly during the mission.to prevent tile rotation under shock-wavestress. Tile installation and testing went on The arm, just over 50 feet long, was an earlyaround the clock six days a week for 20 months. international contribution to the shuttleMany newly installed tiles had to be removed program. Stowed on the left sill of the payloadafter testing and reinstalled. By the end of bay, it can deploy and retrieve payloads, moveNovember 1980, the number of tiles to be spacewalkers around and help inspect theinstalled was below 1,000. orbiter.Finally, on Dec. 29, 1980, Columbia was rolled Although the flight was shortened fromout on the newly modified mobile launch five days to two days, six hours after one ofplatform, from Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly three fuel cells failed, the two crew membersBuilding to Pad 39A. Its gleaming white completed most of their planned tasks. Theyexternal tank seemed to harmonize with the also landed on Edwards’ dry lake bed.white of the solid rocket boosters and the The third flight was different in a number ofblack-trimmed white of the orbiter. ways, beginning visually. The external tank, which had been painted white on theTHE SPACE SHUTTLE ERA BEGINS first two flights, was now the rust color thatOn April 12, 1981, Commander John Young and characterized it from then on. EngineersPilot Robert Crippen launched from Kennedy decided the white paint was not needed. ThatSpace Center’s Pad 39A aboard Columbia on decision resulted in a weight savings ofSTS-1. 595 pounds, almost all of it translating into increased cargo capacity.The space shuttle era was under way. Commander Jack Lousma and PilotSTS-1 was the first of four test flights. Each Gordon Fullerton launched STS-3 oncarried a two-man crew. The commander and March 22, 1982. They flew Columbia in variouspilot had ejection seats. attitudes to check out thermal characteristics, conducted more tests of the robotic arm andThe first flight lasted just over two days, did scientific experiments, some involvingsix hours and 20 minutes. It orbited the Earth plants and insects.36 times at an inclination of 40 degrees and analtitude of 166 statute miles and traveled Rain at Edwards caused the landing to be1,074,111 miles. After testing orbiter systems, moved to the strip on the White Sands MissileJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 7
  • 14. Range, and a New Mexico dust storm delayed Privately owned communications satellites hadit for a day. Finally, on March 30, they landed become a growing field while the shuttle wasafter a flight of just over eight days. being developed and more and more communications satellites would require launchThe final test flight launched June 27, 1982, and the shuttle seemed perfectly suited towith Commander Ken Mattingly and Pilot provide it.Henry Hartsfield. They did extensive tests ofColumbia systems and conducted several Legislation had given the space agency aexperiments. monopoly on the domestic satellite launch market. NASA aggressively marketed thatAmong the experiments was a classified one launch capability, both domestically andfrom the Department of Defense. It marked a internationally. Estimates had foreseennew way of doing things for NASA. Previous between 30 and 60 shuttle flights.public openness was partly muted. No cameraviews of the payload bay were transmitted to Bargain prices were offered for multipleEarth and oral communications relating to launches over the firsts five years of thethe payload were conducted in a simple, but program, with the idea of building repeateffective code. business.After a flight of more than seven days and Columbia launched on the first operational3.3 million miles, STS-4 landed on Edwards’ flight on Nov. 11, 1982. In the crewconcrete runway, a first for an orbiter returning compartment, in addition to Commanderfrom space. Vance Brand and Pilot Robert Overmyer, were the first mission specialists, Joseph P. Allen andAt Edwards, they got a July 4 welcome from William Lenore. Both had been amongPresident Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy the Group 6 science astronauts selected inand a holiday crowd of thousands. At the August 1967.ceremony, NASA Administrator James Beggsdeclared the space shuttle operational. Two commercial satellites were in the payload bay. The first to be launched from a shuttle,The president compared the completion of SBS-C, left the payload bay about eight hoursthe test flight series to the driving of the into the flight. The Canadian Telesat-Egold spike marking completion of the followed. Both were successfully boosted intotranscontinental railroad. “It marks our geostationary orbits, 22,300 feet above theentrance into a new era,” he said. Earth, by Payload Assist Modules.Shortly after Columbia had landed, Challenger By mid-January 1986, a total of 24 commercialpassed close by. Atop the shuttle carrier satellites had been deployed from the shuttle.aircraft, it was departing on its first cross Of those, the Payload Assist Module boosterscountry flight, its delivery to Kennedy Space of two, the Indonesian Palapa B2 and theCenter. Westar-VI, had failed to fire, leaving theWith the test phase finished, it was time to get satellites useless in a low orbit.down to business.8 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 15. The astronauts aboard Challenger on that 10th The TDRS booster sustained failure, leaving theshuttle flight, STS-41-B, in February 1984 had spacecraft well below geosynchronous altitudeperformed flawlessly. But the failure of the but far too high for the shuttle to reach. NASAboosters gave the shuttle a chance to and TDRS builder, TRW, came up with ademonstrate another capability. method to use its thrusters to gradually lift it to the proper orbit, a process that took severalBoth those satellites were later retrieved and weeks.returned to Earth by Discovery astronauts onthe 14th shuttle mission, STS-51-A. They Challenger’s STS-7 mission launched June 18 toworked under contract with the insurance deploy two commercial satellites. It carriedcompanies, which already had paid the owners various experiments, including those on thefor their loss. German Shuttle Pallet Satellite which was deployed from the cargo bay by the roboticLloyds of London was delighted with the arm. After a time as a free flyer in its own orbit,recovery, and rang its Lutine bell to mark the Challenger rendezvoused with it, grappled itimportance of the event. It gave the insurance with the arm and secured it in the cargo bay forcompanies partial reimbursement. It was then return home.called monetarily the largest salvage recovery.The satellites were refurbished and sold to new Commander Crippen’s four crew membersowners to be launched again. were from the shuttle-focused astronaut Group 8. It included Sally Ride, the firstThe new numbering system for shuttle flights U.S. woman in space.was introduced after STS-9. The followingflight became STS-41-B. The first number The next Challenger mission, STS-8, haddesignated the fiscal year and the second three more Group 8 alumnae, includingnumber was the launch site – 1 for Kennedy Guyon Bluford, the first U.S. black in space.and 2 for Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Commanded by Truly, it was the first to launchletter was the order of launch assignment, so B at night, on Aug. 30, 1983. It deployed awas the second scheduled for that fiscal year. satellite from India. Its landing also was at night.The old numbering system was revived for Columbia was back for STS-9, launched Nov. 28STS-26, the return-to-flight mission after the as the final flight of 1983. It was the firstChallenger accident. Spacelab flight. Commanded by YoungThe STS-6 mission, Challenger’s first flight, (making the last of his six spaceflights, whichlaunched April 4, 1983, and began a series of included two missions to the moon) withother firsts. The flight carried the first Tracking Brewster Shaw as pilot, its six-man crewand Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). The TDRS included the first payload specialists,system replaced the ground, a NASA Byron Lichtenberg of Massachusetts Institute ofcommunications satellite which began the Technology and Ulf Merbold, a Germanreplacement of the ground stations on which physicist.the space agency had relied through the end of The European Space Agency built thethe Apollo era. $1-billion, 23-foot laboratory flown inJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 9
  • 16. Columbia’s cargo bay. The crew, including replaced failed components. Hart put it backMission Specialists Robert Parker and into its own orbit with the arm.Owen Garriott, worked around the clock in twoshifts, conducting more than 70 experiments. After an attention-getting June 26 abort seconds before scheduled liftoff, Discovery launched onThe 10th shuttle flight, STS-41-B, saw the its first flight, STS-41-D, flight 12, on Aug. 30program’s first spacewalks, and with them, with Commander Hartsfield and Pilotdemonstration of a jet backpack that took Michael Coats. With Mission SpecialistsMission Specialists Bruce McCandless and Richard Mullane, Steve Hawley, Judith ResnikRobert Stewart untethered out of the cargo bay. and Charles Walker, they launched two communications satellites and deployed, testedThe mission, launched Feb. 3, 1984, with and restowed a large solar array.Commander Vance Brad, Pilot Robert Gibsonand Mission Specialist Ronald McNair, was Crippen commanded STS-41-G. The 13thdemonstrating the use of the Manned flight launched with Pilot Jon McBride onManeuvering Unit’s potential in the capture Oct. 5 on board Challenger. It was the first toand repair of the Solar Maximum Satellite, have two women mission specialists, Ride andscheduled for the next flight. They could not Kathryn Sullivan. Sullivan became the firstguess how important the jet backpack would be female spacewalker on a 3.5-hour outing withto the future of the two satellites deployed from Mission Specialist Dave Leestma to test atheir cargo bay, the Indonesian Palapa B2 and satellite refueling system.the Westar-VI. Two mission specialists, Paul Scully-Power,It was the first mission to land at Kennedy an Australian oceanographer, and CanadianSpace Center. Marc Garneau made this seven-member crew the largest yet. The largely scientific flightCrippen commanded the STS-41-C flight, the focusing on Earth included release of a satelliteprogram’s 11th, with Pilot Francis “Dick” to measure solar radiation reaching Earth.Scobee and Mission Specialist van Hoften. Itlaunched April 6 with a 30-foot, 22,000-pound The two-satellite retrieval mission, STS-51-A,Long Duration Exposure Facility and its was commanded by Frederick Hauck. Crew57 experiments in the cargo bay. On the way to members were Pilot Dave Walker and Missionthe ailing satellite, Mission Specialist Terry Hart Specialists Joseph Allen, Anna Fisher andused the robotic arm to deploy the container, Dale Gardner. Discovery launched Nov. 8 onscheduled to stay in orbit for a year. the year’s final flight.After rendezvous with the satellite, Mission An early task was to launch twoSpecialist George Nelson flew to it with the jet communications satellites it had brought intobackpack. Initial efforts to attach a docking orbit. Then, after rendezvous with Palapa B-2,device failed, but succeeded the next day after Allen jetted to the satellite with the backpacksome help from Goddard Space Flight Center. and attached a capture device. Fisher used theIn the cargo bay Nelson and van Hoften arm to bring it back to Discovery, but a problem prevented its docking in the cargo bay.10 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 17. Using a backup plan, Allen got into foot Garn, who chaired the Senate committee withrestraints, removed the satellite from the NASA budget oversight, volunteered for spacearm and held it over his head for about sickness studies. He said later he had indeed90 minutes, one orbit of the Earth. The suffered from that malady.satellite’s weight on Earth was about1,600 pounds, about nine times that of Allen. Challenger’s STS-51-B flight, the 17th ofGardner attached an adapter and secured the the program, launched April 29 and was thesatellite for the trip home. second Spacelab mission. Crew members were Commander Overmyer, PilotThe Westar VI was less of a problem. Using Frederick Gregory, Mission Specialiststheir experience two days before, Gardner Don Leslie Lind, Norman Thagard andjetted to the satellite and together they secured William Thornton, and Payload Specialistsit in the cargo bay. Taylor E. Wang (a Jet Propulsion Laboratory physicist) and Lodewijk van der Berg, anDiscovery’s flight STS-51-C, the 15th flight EG & G scientist.was a Department of Defense mission,launched Jan. 24, 1985. Commanded by Again, the crew worked around the clock, inMattingly, it lasted just over three days and had two shifts. The wide-ranging experimentsan all-military-astronaut crew. involved disciplines, ranging from astronomy to materials processing. In the lab wereThe launch had been delayed one day because two squirrel monkeys and 24 rats flown to testof freezing weather. cages, which proved inadequate.U.S. Senator Jake Garn of Utah, a former Navy When the cages were opened to feed thepilot, was aboard Discovery for the 16th occupants, food debris and feces were releasedshuttle flight, STS-51-D. Launched on April 12 to float throughout the lab and even into theand commanded by Karol Bobko, the flight crew compartment. The problem was solvedincluded Pilot Donald Williams, Mission by putting plastic bags over food trays whenSpecialists Jeffrey Hoffman, David Griggs crew members, in surgical masks, removedand Rhea Seddon and Payload Specialist them, and using a vacuum cleaner.Charles Walker. Daniel Brandenstein commanded the 18thThe flight launched two communications shuttle flight, STS-51-G, in Discovery, withsatellites, but the booster of one did not Pilot John Creighton, Mission Specialistsactivate. Crew members spent an extra John Fabian, Steve Nagel and Shannon Lucid,two days in orbit, using the robotic arm with a and Payload Specialists Patrick Baudryflyswatter-like device at its end, trying without (a French astronomer) and Saudi Arabiansuccess to activate a switch satellite thought Prince Sultan Salman Abdul Azziz Al Sa’ud.to be in the wrong position on the Leasat 3. Thesatellite was repaired on flight STS-51-I that The flight, launched June 17, deployed threeOctober. communications satellites, one for Mexico, one for Saudi Arabia and one U.S. A satellite called Spartan, an astronomy experiment, wasJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 11
  • 18. deployed with the robotic arm and, successfully deployed the new satellites (onesubsequently, after a separation of more than Australian and two U.S., including Leasat-4),100 miles, was recaptured and returned to then successfully rendezvoused with andEarth. A number of other experiments were captured the Leasat-3. Van Hoften and Fisher,aboard including several from France. a surgeon, repaired it during two spacewalks and it was redeployed.Challenger’s flight STS-51-F, the program’s19th, started badly. Five minutes and Atlantis made its first flight on STS-51-J, the45 seconds after the July 29 launch the No. 1 21st flight of the shuttle program. Theengine shut down prematurely (the cause Department of Defense mission, commandedturned out to be a faulty sensor reading) and an by Bobko with Pilot Ronald J. Grabe, Missionabort to orbit was declared. Specialists David C. Hilmers and Stewart and Payload Specialist William A. Pailes, lasted justAfter running the remaining two main engines over four days and reached a then-recordfor almost a minute and a half longer than altitude of 319 statute miles.planned, Challenger wound up in a lower thannormal orbit, 164 by 124 statute miles. The Challenger flew the Spacelab module with itsorbital maneuvering system engines were used 76 experiments on 61-A, Mission No. 22. Ato raise the orbit enough to continue to the record eight crew members were aboard,flight’s planned conclusion. Commander Hartsfield, Pilot Nagel, Mission Specialists James. F. Buchli, Bluford andThis was another Spacelab mission, though the Bonnie J. Dunbar and Payload Specialistsmodule was not aboard. Many experiments Reinhard Furrer of Germany, Wubbo Ockels ofwere on a pallet in the cargo bay. The crew, the Netherlands and Ernst Messerschmid, alsoCommander Fullerton, Pilot Roy Bridges, of Germany.Mission Specialists Story Musgrave,Anthony England and Karl Heinz, and Payload The mission was largely financed by WestSpecialists Loren Acton (a Lockheed solar Germany. The mostly material processingphysicist) and John-David Bartoe from the experiments were operated by two shifts ofNaval Research Laboratory, worked around three crew members with the other twothe clock in 12-hour shifts. working as needed.The 20th shuttle flight, STS-51-I, launched The last mission of 1985, the 23rd for a shuttle,Aug. 27 on Discovery, to deploy three 61-B by Atlantis, launched the night of Nov. 26communications satellites, then capture, repair on a flight that put the space station on theand release another – the Leasat-3. It had been spaceflight stage. President Reagan had toldthe object of the unsuccessful flyswatter efforts NASA to start work on a space station duringby STS-51-D astronauts when it failed to his State of the Union message in 1984.activate after its deployment the previous April. Two spacewalks, both by Mission SpecialistsThe crew, Commander Engle, Pilot Sherwood Spring and Jerry Ross, saw repeatedRichard Covey and Mission Specialists assembly and disassembly of a frameworkvan Hoften, William Fisher and John Lounge, beam using almost 100 tube-like struts that12 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 19. snapped together. They also assembled and Nelson represented the district that includeddisassembled an upside-down pyramid frame Kennedy Space Center, and was chairmanusing six 12-foot aluminum bars. After the of the Subcommittee on Space Science andsecond spacewalk, they pronounced themselves Applications. He participated on someready to build a space station. experiments on the flight, which launched an RCA communications satellite.Brewster Shaw commanded the flight withBryan D. O’Connor as pilot. Mary Cleave was With Columbia scheduled to launch again inthe third mission specialist and payload early March and several experiments hamperedspecialists were Charles Walker of McDonnell by instrument failures, the flight was shortenedDouglas and Rudolfo Neri Vela of Mexico. from five days to four. But weather causedEarly in the flight, three satellites were attempts to return to Kennedy on the newdeployed, one U.S., one Mexican and one landing day and the day after that. WithAustralian. Florida weather still not cooperating on day 3, Columbia landed at Edwards.Columbia returned after a two-year refit,without its ejection seats (they had been On a cold, clear, bright Florida day,disabled after the last test flight and removed Jan. 28, 1986, Challenger launched at 11:38 a.m.during the overhaul) and with the agency local time. The spacecraft exploded 73 secondsanxious to get started on the 15 launches after launch at an altitude of almost nine miles.scheduled for 1986. The seven crew members, CommanderWeather and technical problems caused seven Francis R. “Dick” Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith,postponements before 61-C., Flight No. 24, was Mission Specialists Ellison S. Onizuka,launched on Jan 12. Gibson commanded Judith A. Resnik and Ronald E. McNair, andColumbia, with Pilot Charles Bolden, Mission Payload Specialists Gregory Jarvis and TeacherSpecialists George Nelson, Hawley and in Space Sharon Christa McAuliffe, were killed.Franklin Chang-Diaz, and Payload SpecialistsRobert Cenker (an RCA engineer) and U.S. Rep.Bill Nelson.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 13
  • 20. Five astronauts and two payload specialists made up the Challenger crew in January of 1986. Crew members are (left to right, front row) astronauts Michael J. Smith, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee and Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis and Judith A. Resnik.NASA REBOUNDS INTO SPACE than at any previous launch. No one really understood how the seals on the boosters’ fieldThe first sign of trouble had been a puff of gray joints worked, or how potentially serious thesmoke from the aft field joint of the right solid partial burn-through of O-ring seals seen inrocket booster about half a second after those joints after some previous flights hadChallenger’s launch, the investigation revealed. been.It was followed by additional puffs, then flameand finally the explosion. Over the next three months, search teams recovered about 30 percent of the orbiter andThe temperature that Jan. 28 at 11:38 a.m. was parts of the boosters were recovered from the36 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15 degrees colder bottom of the Atlantic off Florida.14 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 21. On Feb. 3, President Reagan named a forbidden, with certain exceptions, to launchcommission to investigate the accident. It commercial satellites.was chaired by former Secretary of StateWilliam P. Rogers. Among its 14 members Thirty-two months later, after overhauls thatwere astronauts Neil Armstrong and brought more than 450 changes to each of theSally Ride, test pilot and retired Air Force Brig. remaining three orbiters, with redesigned solidGen. Chuck Yeager, physicist and Nobel rocket boosters, a plethora of changes inlaureate Richard P. Feynman and other leading processes and management procedures andscientists and engineers. more, NASA was ready to fly again.Among its recommendations Discovery launched on STS-26, the Return To Flight mission, on Sept. 29, 1988. The orbiter• The faulty booster joint seal must be carried a veteran five-man crew commanded by changed. Frederick Hauk. The TDRS-C, a new Tracking and Data Relay Satellite replacing the one lost• The Shuttle Program management structure on Challenger, was in the cargo bay. should be reviewed. NASA had returned to the flight numbering• NASA should encourage transition of system used until STS-9. The missions retained qualified astronauts into management the assigned number even if the launch positions. sequence changed.• NASA should establish an office of Safety, Mission Specialists John Lounge and Reliability and Quality Assurance reporting David Hilmers deployed the TDRS-C six hours directly to the administrator. into the flight. Scientific experiments and tests• Reliance on a single launch capability of the upgraded orbiter occupied other should be avoided and NASA must crewmen, Pilot Richard Covey and Mission establish a flight rate consistent with its Specialist George Nelson, during much of the resources. four-day flight.Eventually, after NASA and the National During a news conference from orbit the dayTransportation Safety Board had done a before landing, crew members deliveredthorough evaluation of the Challenger debris, moving tributes to the Challenger crew.they were sealed in unused Minuteman missile Discovery landed on a dry-lakebed runway atsilos not far from the spacecraft’s launch pad. Edwards Air Force Base. Managers had decided to end all missions there until the brakeChallenger had changed a lot. It was a and landing system upgrades could be checkedvery public disaster, watched on live TV by out.millions and millions more on subsequentnewscasts. The space agency and its A four-day, nine-hour STS-27 Department ofcontractors changed in management and Defense (DoD) mission with five crew membersphilosophy. And following the Rogers aboard Atlantis commanded by Robert GibsonCommission recommendation, NASA was was launched Dec. 2 as the last flight of 1988.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 15
  • 22. The TDRS-D was deployed on STS-29 shortly intentionally crashed to gather informationafter Discovery’s launch March 13, 1989, by about its atmosphere.Mission Specialists Robert Springer andJames Bagian. With its predecessor, TDRS-A, The explorer did not fare as well – he was killedthe new satellite in its geosynchronous orbit in the Philippines in 1521, but 18 of his 237 menwas able, after its checkout, to provide returned to Spain, completing the firstcommunications with a shuttle about 85 percent circumnavigation. The satellite circled Venusof the time. The figure for ground stations was thousands of times, and sent back data thatless than 20 percent. changed our ideas about the planet.Commander Michael Coats, Pilot John Blaha Another DoD mission, STS-28, commanded byand Mission Specialist James Buchli worked Brewster Shaw, followed with an Aug. 8with experiments during the five-day flight. launch. Next up was the shuttle’s secondThey also captured extensive Earth views with planetary payload deploymenta 70 mm IMAX camera. Discovery landed on Atlantis, commanded by Donald Williams andEdwards’ concrete runway. piloted by Michael McCulley, launched onWhile NASA generally could not launch STS-34 Oct. 18 with the $l.5-billion Galileocommercial satellites, a backlog of other spacecraft. Mission Specialists Shannon Lucid,spacecraft, including government satellites and Ellen Baker and Franklin Chang-Diaz deployedplanetary probes, had accumulated while the Galileo a little over six hours after liftoff.shuttle was not flying. Galileo, managed by NASA’s Jet PropulsionMagellan was the first planetary mission to be Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., swung aroundlaunched by a space shuttle. Its flight to Venus Venus, then twice around Earth to gainbegan on STS-30 in Atlantis’ cargo bay on momentum. En route to Jupiter, it capturedMay 4. Six hours later it was deployed. images of two asteroids (one with the first asteroid moon discovered). It alsoMagellan’s departure was the highlight of the observed fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levyfour-day flight of Atlantis crew members, crashing into Jupiter in July 1994.Commander David Walker, Pilot Ronald Grabeand Mission Specialists Norman Thagard, Galileo went into orbit around JupiterMary Cleave and Mark Brown. The 15-month Dec. 7, 1995, and dropped a probe into itsflight to Venus took it 1 1/2 times around the atmosphere. Galileo itself was intentionallysun before it went into orbit around the target crashed into Jupiter on Sept. 21, 2003, but notplanet. before returning a wealth of information about the gas giant and four of its moons.Like its explorer namesake, FerdinandMagellan, the spacecraft did not make it home. The fifth shuttle DoD mission and 1989’s finalBut it was not supposed to. After radar flight, STS-33 by Discovery, was launched inmapping of 98 percent of Venus’ surface and darkness on Nov. 22 under command ofmeasuring its gravity field, Magellan was Frederick Gregory.16 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 23. An 11-day flight, the longest to that time, was Some observations were possible, particularlycommanded by Daniel Brandenstein and those of bright objects, before the replannedlaunched Jan. 9, 1990, as STS-32 in Columbia. It first servicing mission was flown. Scientistsdeployed a Navy communications satellite and were able to use image processing to improveretrieved the Long Duration Exposure results. But there was considerable criticismFacility (LDEF). from the public, political figures and the scientific community.LDEF, launched on April 6, 1984, on Flight41-C, the 11th of the shuttle program, with That first servicing mission, STS-61, launched57 experiments expected to stay in orbit for a on Endeavour Dec. 2, 1993, with seven crewyear. Its retrieval was first deferred to a later members. After five lengthy spacewalks, amission then delayed after the Challenger reboosted Hubble was released with clearedaccident. vision, one new camera, new solar arrays, four (of six) new gyroscopes and some newAfter the sixth DoD flight of the program, electronics.STS-36 on Atlantis commanded byJohn Creighton launched Feb. 28, 1990, In early January, NASA declared the mission aperhaps one of the most meaningful payloads success, and released the first of thousands oflaunched aboard a shuttle went into orbit sharp, remarkable images Hubble has sentaboard Discovery on April 24. The Hubble down over the years. The space telescope wasSpace Telescope helped change the way we see, functioning as advertised.and think about, our universe. Four more servicing missions followed, theIt was the first of four NASA Great most recent in May 2009 on Atlantis. Each ofObservatories, three of them taken into orbit by those missions upgraded Hubble’s capabilitiesspace shuttles. and extended its life. (See related story.)The Discovery crew on that STS-31 flight Ulysses, a joint NASA-European Space Agencywas Commander Loren Shriver, Pilot mission, was launched Oct. 6, 1990, inCharles Bolden and Mission Specialists Discovery’s cargo bay on the STS-41 flightSteven Hawley, Bruce McCandless and commanded by Richard Richards and pilotedKathryn Sullivan. They deployed Hubble by Robert Cabana. Ulysses made a swingabout 24 hours after launch at an altitude of around Jupiter before entering a solar polarabout 380 statute miles. orbit.The deployment went flawlessly, but it soon Expected to have a lifetime of five years,became apparent that all was not well with Ulysses made almost three orbits around theHubble. A mistake had been made in the sun and gathered information on most ofgrinding of its main mirror. The mirror had two 11-year solar cycles. It was deactivated inbeen ground to the wrong shape, but ground mid-2009.precisely so that correction was possible.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 17
  • 24. After a DoD mission in November 1990 and a commanded by Daniel Brandenstein andscience flight, the last of the year, the second of piloted by Kevin Chilton was the Intelsat VI,NASA’s great observatories, the Gamma-Ray stranded in a useless orbit since its March 1990Observatory, was ready to go. Its STS-37 launch on a Titan III.mission would see an unplanned spacewalk tofree a stuck antenna on the spacecraft. It was On the flight’s first spacewalk, Missionthe first spacewalk in almost six years. Specialists Pierre Thuot and Richard Hieb could not attach a capture bar to the satellite.Atlantis launched on the deployment mission A second attempt the next day also wason April 5, 1991. The observatory’s high-gain unsuccessful.antenna did not deploy correctly whencommanded by the ground. Mission Specialists After a day off and discussion with MissionJerry Ross and Jerome Apt freed the antenna Control, the spacewalk plan for the thirdduring a 4 1/2-hour spacewalk. spacewalk called for three spacewalkers, with the addition of Mission SpecialistThey also completed a planned spacewalk of a Thomas Akers. Perched on the payload baylittle over six hours the following day to test sill, they would grab the satellite whenideas about how to move about and move Brandenstein maneuvered Endeavour closeequipment during space station assembly and enough for them to reach it.maintenance. It worked. The new booster they attached sentAfter a science flight, a Spacelab Life Intelsat into its proper orbit. It was the firstSciences mission, deployment of TDRS-D and three-person spacewalk. The flight was adeployment of an Upper Atmosphere Research powerful argument for the value of humans inSatellite, Atlantis on STS-44 wound up the 1991 space. It also marked the first use of a dragflight year with a Nov. 24 launch to deploy a parachute when Endeavour landed at Edwards.Defense Support Program satellite. The following microgravity laboratory flightDiscovery on STS-42 began 1992 with a Jan. 22 launched in June 1992. STS-50, in Columbia,launch of an around-the-clock flight of the was the longest by a shuttle to that time,International Microgravity Laboratory in the 13 days, 19 hours and 30 minutes. Atlantis,Spacelab module. It was followed by a March launched in July, tested a tethered satellite as alaunch of Atlantis with the Atmospheric power generator.Laboratory for Applications and Science, madeup of 12 instruments from seven countries. It Endeavour’s second flight, STS-47 in Septemberwas mounted on Spacelab pallets in the cargo with Spacelab life sciences and materialsbay. processing experiments, boasted a number of shuttle firsts – the first Japanese astronaut,The first flight of Endeavour, the replacement Mamoru Mohri; the first black womanfor Challenger put together largely with astronaut, Mae Jemison; and the first marriedavailable spare parts, launched May 7 on a couple to fly together, Mission Specialistsdramatic communications satellite rescue Mark Lee and N. Jan Davis.attempt. The target of the STS-49 mission18 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 25. A science and satellite deployment mission, The mission, with Mission SpecialistsSTS-52 on Columbia, followed in October. Michael Foale, Janice Voss and Bernard Harris,Next came the STS-53 mission on Discovery, was a step toward development of thethe last of 1992 and the last of 11 dedicated International Space Station. It was one of theDoD flights on shuttles. Endeavour began 1993 things the space shuttle had been designed towith the January launch of STS-54 to deploy the do.TDRS-F satellite. In the 1984 State of the Union Address,STS-56 on Discovery took scientific experiments President Ronald Reagan had directed NASAinto orbit in March and STS-55 in Columbia to start working on a space station. Thatfollowed with a Spacelab mission in April. concept, an American orbiting outpost namedLaunched in June, STS-57 saw the first flight of Freedom, languished, particularly after thea Spacehab module, a commercially owned Challenger accident.pressurized module in the cargo bay, and a But in 1992, President George H.W. Bush andspacewalk rehearsal for the first Hubble Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed anServicing Mission and for station construction. agreement for collaboration in space.A Spacelab life science mission followed with Cosmonauts would fly on space shuttles andan October launch on Columbia mission astronauts would serve on Mir. That was theSTS-58. beginning of the Shuttle-Mir Program.The long awaited Hubble flight followed. That After an intervening scientific shuttlemission, STS-61 on Endeavour, was followed mission, cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyez andby one that was a precursor of far-reaching Nikolai Budarin launched on STS-71 aboardchanges in shuttle activities. One of the Atlantis June 27 with Commandermission specialists on Discovery’s STS-60 Robert Gibson, Pilot Charles Precourtflight launched Feb. 3, 1994, was cosmonaut and Mission Specialists Ellen Baker,Sergei Krikalev of the Russian Space Agency. Gregory Harbaugh and Bonnie Dunbar.Krikalev’s flight seemed to have little direct Atlantis brought water, tools and supplies toconnection with station-related activities. But, Mir and took home experiment results and aafter a series of half-a-dozen mostly scientific broken Mir computer.shuttle missions, the flight of fellow cosmonautVladimir Titov certainly did. Also coming home aboard Atlantis was Norman Thagard, who had launched to Mir onAs part of the Shuttle-Mir Program, he came a Soyuz spacecraft four months before, and hiswithin about 40 feet of the Russian space fellow Mir crew members, cosmonautsstation on Discovery’s STS-63 flight Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennadiy Strekalov.launched Feb. 3, 1995. After the rendezvous The cosmonauts who had come to Mir inand approach to Mir (peace), Commander Atlantis got into a Soyuz to film AtlantisJames Wetherbee and Pilot Eileen Collins separating from Mir.(the first female shuttle pilot) guided Discoveryon a fly-around of the station. After Thagard’s mission and the visit of Atlantis, things would never be the same.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 19
  • 26. FROM MIR TO THE INTERNATIONAL It marked the first time representatives of thoseSPACE STATION four agencies had been together in space. It would not be the last.A total of nine space shuttle flights docked tothe Russian space station Mir. Each brought The flight brought water, equipment andequipment and supplies. Each provided new supplies and returned scientific samples toknowledge and new understanding among the Earth. The new docking module, whichU.S., Russians and other international partners. provided better clearance for shuttle dockings, remained on Mir.Working together on those missions, theirpreparation and execution, created a respect Astronaut Shannon Lucid was aboard STS-76among astronauts and cosmonauts, and among on her way to become the secondthe people and programs supporting them. U.S. crew member on Mir. LaunchedShuttle-Mir also helped lay a firm foundation March 22, 1996, with a Spacehab modulefor development, construction and operation of containing equipment and supplies, the flightthe International Space Station. began a record-breaking stay for Lucid and two years of continuous U.S. astronautThe first Mir docking flight by Atlantis on presence on Mir.STS-71 brought home on July 7, 1995, awealth of information with astronaut A Spacehab double module with 4,000 poundsNorman Thagard, who had served a pioneering of equipment and supplies was aboard Atlantisfour months aboard the Russian space station on STS-79 when it brought astronautwith two cosmonaut crewmates. It caused both John Blaha to Mir to replace Lucid. When shesides to look at how the other did things in landed on Sept. 26, she had spent 188 daysspace and sometimes used that knowledge to space, a new U.S. record and a world record forimprove their own methods or to develop new a woman.ways combining the best elements of both. The first shuttle flight of 1997, STS-81 wasThe next flight, STS-70 on Discovery, was the launched on Atlantis Jan. 12, again with alaunch of TDRS G. It was notable, in part, for a Spacehab double module packed with water,delay caused by nesting Flicker Woodpeckers supplies and equipment for Mir. Aboard wasdamaging the external tank – they made more astronaut Jerry Linenger, Blaha’s replacement.than 70 holes ranging from four inches to half During his increment, Linenger and hisan inch in diameter over the Memorial Day crewmates successfully fought a Feb. 23 fireweekend and caused a rollback for repairs. The that had broken out in an oxygen-generatingflight finally launched July 13. “candle.” It filled the station with smoke, butAtlantis launched to Mir again on Nov. 12, none of the six people aboard was badly hurt.STS-74, with a new Russian-built Atlantis launched May 15 on STS-84 withdocking module and Canadian astronaut Linenger’s replacement, Michael Foale, andChris Hadfield. On Mir was European Space about 7,500 pounds of material for the station.Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany. His increment, like Linenger’s, was in manyNo crew members were exchanged.20 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 27. ways successful, but it too was punctuated by It gave us valuable experience in training crewan accident. members from different nations, and showed us how to operate an international spaceAn unpiloted Progress collided with Mir on program. It gave us experience in support ofJune 25, causing a breech in the hull. One long-duration spaceflight and in dealing withcompartment was sealed off and internal and unexpected challenges.external spacewalks, including one by Foale,were done later to rectify and inspect damage. It helped develop the cooperation and trust we see each day on the International Space StationBoth accidents, and especially the weeks-long and in control centers around the world.recovery from the collision, were learningexperiences. In addition to the woodpecker-plagued STS-70 flight on Discovery, total of 13 non-Mir shuttleSTS-86, again on Atlantis, launched on Sept. 25 flights took place between the time of the firstand brought astronaut David Wolf to Mir along and the final shuttle dockings to Mir. Eachwith a Spacehab double module with contributed to science, to development ofequipment and supplies, and returned home techniques to build the International Spacewith Foale. Wolf’s 119 days aboard Mir were Station and/or to better spaceflight operationalrelatively uneventful, in that his increment understanding and capability.went largely as planned. Among them wereEndeavour became the first orbiter otherthan Atlantis to dock at Mir after its STS-89 • Endeavour’s STS-69 flight inlaunch on Jan. 22, 1998. It brought another September 1995 which included the8,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, along Spartan astronomy tool and a spacewalkwith Andrew Thomas, the Australian-born U.S. to check out International Space Stationastronaut, and cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov. assembly and maintenance tools and procedures.The final flight of the Shuttle-Mir Programwas STS-91 launched June 2 on Discovery. It • Endeavour’s January 1996 mission,delivered about 6,000 pounds of equipment and STS-72, with two spacewalks to evaluatesupplies and returned to Earth with Thomas International Space Station fixtures, tooland long-term U.S. experiments from Mir. holders and an umbilical holder.The Shuttle-Mir Program provided a • The STS-82 flight of Discovery infoundation for the International Space Station. February 1997, the second Hubble SpaceIt gave U.S. astronauts extended time in orbit. Telescope servicing mission. (See relatedThe science program provided a basis for the story.)more extensive International Space Stationscience activities.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 21
  • 28. • The July 1997, STS-94 mission of Launched May 27, 1999, the Spacehab double Columbia with the first Microgravity module in the cargo bay held supplies and Science Laboratory, in a Spacelab module internal outfitting equipment. in the orbiter’s cargo bay. An Integrated Cargo Carrier held a Russian• The Neurolab mission, STS-90, in Strela crane and a U.S. crane, both installed on April 1998, also in a Spacelab module in the station during a spacewalk. Columbia’s cargo bay. The third of NASA’s great observatories, theA single shuttle mission was flown between Chandra X-Ray Observatory, was launched onthe final flight to Mir and the first shuttle Columbia’s STS-93 flight July 23. The flightlaunch of an International Space Station was the first with a female commander,module. That single mission was STS-95 on Eileen Collins.Discovery, launched Oct. 29, 1998. Among itscrew members was Payload Specialist Next up was Hubble Space Telescope ServicingJohn Glenn. Mission 3A, 1999’s last mission launched Dec 19.Glenn had become the first American to orbitthe Earth on Feb. 20, 1962, in his Friendship 7 The Shuttle Radar Topography MissionMercury spacecraft, a flight of just under provided mapping information offive hours. More than 36 years and a stint in unprecedented accuracy covering aboutthe U.S. Senate later, he was back in space, 80 percent of the Earth’s land surface, homethis time for almost nine days on a largely to 95 percent of its population. STS-99scientific mission. launched on Endeavour Feb. 11, 2000. The around-the-clock mission gatheredAssembly of the International Space Station simultaneous radar images from an antenna inbegan on the STS-88 mission of Endeavour, the cargo bay and another at the end of alaunched Dec. 4, 1998. With Commander 197-foot boom, providing strips of 3D images ofRobert Cabana and Pilot Rick Sturckow were the Earth below.robotic arm operator Nancy Currie,spacewalkers Jerry Ross and James Newman, After that flight, the shuttle flight focus was onand cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. the space station.The Unity Node, Node 1, a connector module Atlantis launched May 19 on STS-101, the firstwas mated late Dec. 6 with the Russian-built flight of the new glass cockpit, to takeZarya module, launched the previous Nov. 20 equipment and supplies to the station. Afrom the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. spacewalk by James Voss and Jeffery WilliamsRoss and Newman did three spacewalks to made equipment changes before the arrival ofconnect power and data cables. the Zevzda Service Module.Another rollback, this one caused by hail Zvezda, the first fully Russian contributiondamage, delayed the start of Discovery’s STS-96 to the ISS – Zarya was Russian built, but U.S.flight, the first logistics flight to the station. funded – launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and docked to the station July 25.22 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 29. Atlantis went to the station again on STS-106, Discovery, launched on STS-102 March 8. Itlaunched Sept. 8 with more than 5,000 pounds was the first visit of the Multi-Purpose Logisticsof equipment and supplies. The crew Module (MPLM) Leonardo to the station, andprepared the station for the arrival of the took home Expedition One.first crew, and a spacewalk by Edward Lu andYuri Malenchenko connected cables between Helms and Voss did one spacewalk to prepareZvezda and the adjacent Zarya module. a berthing port for Leonardo. Mission Specialists Paul Richards and Andy ThomasThe Z-1 Truss with its four 600-pound attitude did a second spacewalk to help prepare thecontrol gyroscopes was launched to the station station for its own robotic arm.by Endeavour Oct. 11 on STS-92, the 100thspace shuttle mission. Four spacewalks, two by Canadarm2, that 58-foot station robotic arm,Leroy Chiao and William McArthur and two by and the cargo carrier Raffaello MPLM came toJeff Wisoff and Michael Lopez-Alegria, were the station on Endeavour’s STS-100 flight,devoted largely to making connections between launched April 19. Scott Parazynski andthe station and the new truss, and a new Chris Hadfield did two spacewalks to installpressurized mating adaptor also brought to the the arm and an antenna.station by Endeavour. Atlantis brought a new airlock to the station onEndeavour flew again on STS-97, launched STS-104, launched July 12. The airlock, namedNov. 30 on the final shuttle flight of 2000. Quest, was installed by Helms with helpIt carried the P6 Truss and its 240- by 38-foot from spacewalkers Michael Gernhardt andsolar wings. They could provide almost James Reilly.64 kilowatts of power for the station’s The spacewalks installed four relatedExpedition One crew, Bill Shepherd, high-pressure tanks, two oxygen and twoYuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, which had nitrogen, on two subsequent spacewalks. Thearrived at the station Nov. 2. final spacewalk was the first to be made fromMission Specialists Joseph Tanner and the airlock itself.Carlos Noriega made three spacewalks, The second station crew exchange sawhooking up the new P6 to the Z1 Truss and Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov andpreparing for the arrival of the U.S. laboratory Mikhail Turin brought to the station andDestiny. Expedition Two brought home by Discovery onDestiny came to the space station on Atlantis’ STS-105, launched Aug. 10. It brought theSTS-98 mission, launched Feb. 7, 2001. Mission cargo carrier Leonardo back to the station andSpecialists Thomas Jones and Robert Curbeam included outfitting spacewalks by Daniel Barrydid three spacewalks to connect Destiny to the and Patrick Forrester.station, install a docking connector to its Endeavour, on STS-108, took a new stationforward end and install an antenna. crew, Yuri Onufrienko, Daniel Bursch andThe Expedition Two crew, Yury Usachev, Carl Walz, into orbit and took Expedition 3Susan Helms and James Voss, came up on home. The Raffaello MPLM came to the stationJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 23
  • 30. and spacewalkers Linda Godwin and launched Nov. 23 on the final flight of 2002Daniel Tani installed insulation on a P6 array brought the Port One (P1) piece and a newrotating device. station crew.Columbia’s STS-109 flight was to the Hubble Atlantis Mission Specialists Dave Wolf andSpace Telescope for Servicing Mission 3B. Piers Sellers made three spacewalks from the station airlock to help install and to connect S1,The first segment of the station’s main truss, the install cameras and release restraints on acentral Starboard Zero (S0), was brought up on handcart for the station railway.STS-110 by Atlantis, launched April 8. Themobile transporter, which eventually would Endeavour launched to the stationmove along the truss rails, was part of the Expedition 6, Kenneth Bowersox,cargo. Nikolai Budarin and Donald Pettit. Its spacewalkers, Michael Lopez-Alegria andTwo teams, Steven Smith and Rex Walheim and John Herrington, helped shuttle and stationJerry Ross and Lee Morin, made a total of arm operators attach P1 and then installedfour spacewalks focusing on hooking up the connectors between it and S0, installed part of anew truss segment and station outfitting. wireless video system for spacewalks andMPLM Leonardo was back for a third station attached ammonia tank lines.visit on Endeavour’s STS-111, which also On Jan. 16, 2003, Columbia launched on abrought up a new station crew, Expedition 5’s long-planned and much anticipated scienceValery Korzun, Peggy Whitson and mission. It carried more than 80 experiments,Sergei Treschev. The flight, launched June 5, most in a Spacehab research double module inalso carried the mobile base system for the the cargo bay. Crew members worked aroundstation’s railroad. the clock in two 12-hour shifts.Astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz and After what appeared to be a successful flight,Philippe Perrin of the French Space Agency did Columbia was minutes away from itsthree spacewalks to install the mobile base scheduled Feb. 1 landing when it broke apart.system, continue outfitting the station’s exteriorand replace Canadarm2’s wrist roll joint. The seven crew members, Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William McCool, PayloadThe next two flights each brought an additional Commander Michael Anderson, Missiontruss segment. STS-112 by Atlantis launched Specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown,Oct. 7 brought the Starboard One (S1) segment Laurel Clark and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramonto the truss while STS-113 on Endeavour, of Israel, were killed.24 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 31. Columbia crew members, seated in front from left, are astronauts Rick D. Husband, mission commander; Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; and William C. McCool, pilot. Standing are (from the left) David M. Brown, Laurel B. Clark, and Michael P. Anderson, all mission specialists; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist representing the Israeli Space Agency.STATION ASSEMBLY COMPLETED When it struck the left wing’s leading edgeAFTER COLUMBIA 82 seconds after launch, Columbia was at about 66,000 feet and traveling at 1,650 mph. TheColumbia’s mission launched from Kennedy relative velocity of the foam to Columbia atSpace Center’s Pad 39A at 10:39 a.m. EST that impact was about 545 mph.Jan. 16, 2003. A piece of foam that detachedfrom the external tank’s left bipod foam ramp Columbia’s mission went smoothly. Butlater was determined to be perhaps 24 inches shortly after it began its Feb. 1 re-entry,long and 15 inches wide. problems began. The foam had struck the reinforced carbon-carbon heat shield on the left wing’s leading edge. The damage allowedJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 25
  • 32. superheated gases to penetrate the wing during The 29 recommendations of the CAIB includedre-entry, causing catastrophic failure. better preflight inspections, better shuttle imagery during ascent and in flightRadar and video recordings indicate the orbiter establishment of an independent technicalwas shedding debris beginning when it crossed engineering authority to better control hazards,California. The most westerly confirmed and recertification of all shuttle components byColumbia debris was found at Littlefield, Texas, 2010.northwest of Lubbock. On Jan. 14, 2004, almost a year after theVideos showed the spacecraft breaking up accident, President George W. Bush releasedsouth of Dallas-Fort Worth. The most easterly the Vision for Space Exploration. Among itsdebris, heavy engine parts, was found at goals was to complete assembly of theFort Polk, La. International Space Station and then retire theMore than 25,000 people from 270 space shuttle.organizations spent 1.5 million hours searching Two “Return to Flight” missions, each with aan area almost as big as Connecticut looking number of test activities, were scheduled for thefor debris. They and the public found resumption of shuttle flights. The first was84,000 pieces of Columbia, almost STS-114 on Discovery, with Eileen Collins85,000 pounds or 38 percent of the orbiter’s dry making her fourth shuttle flight and second asweight. commander.The Columbia Accident Investigation Board Discovery launched July 26, 2005. Changes(CAIB) was headed by Retired Navy Adm. were evident early in the mission.Harold W. Gehman Jr. Among its 12 othereminently qualified members was former A 50-foot extension of the shuttle’s robotic armastronaut Sally Ride, who had served on the with laser and video cameras at its end wasRogers Commission investigating the loss of deployed to examine the spacecraft’s nose capChallenger. and wing leading edges on flight day two. The next day Discovery paused in its approach toThe CAIB found the immediate cause of the the station to do a slow back flip.accident was foam from the external tankbreaking free and breaking the reinforced That allowed station crew members to getcarbon-carbon heat shield. That allowed numerous photos of the orbiter’s thermalsuperheated gases into the wing during protection system. They were sent to expertsre-entry and caused the loss of Columbia. on the ground for detailed analysis.The report, issued in August 2003, gave equal Both were among new procedures done on allweight to organizational causes, including subsequent shuttle flights.management acceptance of the risk of damagefrom tank foam shedding because of previous Discovery brought the Multi-Purpose Logisticsexperience. Module (MPLM) Raffaello filled with equipment and supplies to the station. On three spacewalks, Mission Specialists26 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 33. Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi of Japan The next flight, STS-115 on Atlantis, launchedreplaced one of the station’s four 600-pound Sept. 9, seemed to verify Sellers’ observations.attitude control gyroscopes and restored power It brought port truss segments three and fourto another and installed a stowage platform and and a second set of 240-foot solar wings.a materials experiment. Two spacewalks by Mission Specialists Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Joe TannerThey also demonstrated repair procedures for and one by Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean ofthe shuttle’s heat shield. Robinson, at the end Canada focused on the truss segments’of the station arm, also pulled two protruding installation and related activities.gap fillers from between heat-resistant tiles onthe shuttle’s belly. The spacewalks marked the first use of the “camp out” procedure, with spacewalkersDiscovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base on spending the previous night in the airlock at aAug. 9 after a mission that generally went reduced pressure of 10.2 psi. That reduces thesmoothly. But there had been an unexpected nitrogen content of the blood, to avoid theloss of foam from the external tank shortly after condition called the bends.launch. While the orbiter had not sustainedmajor damage, more work and testing on the The final flight of 2006, STS-116 on Discovery,foam-shedding issue was required. launched Dec. 9 on Discovery with port truss segment 5. Four spacewalks were done, threeThe second Return to Flight mission, STS-121, by Mission Specialists Robert Curbeam andagain on Discovery, was launched July 4, 2006. Christer Fuglesang of Sweden and one byIt brought another MPLM, Leonardo, to the Curbeam and Sunita Williams, a new stationstation with supplies and equipment, including crew member brought up by Atlantis.a laboratory freezer. In the cargo bay, itbrought a cargo carrier and a container with The spacewalks helped install and connect thematerials for tests of repair procedures for the new truss segment. The fourth spacewalk byshuttle’s thermal control system. Curbeam and Fuglesang was added to help retract the P6 snagged solar array, which hadDuring three spacewalks, Mission Specialists been deployed for six years atop the station.Piers Sellers and Michael Fossum fixed the That done, the new array brought up onmobile transporter base for the station arm on STS-115 was extended and activated.the main truss railroad, tested the shuttle armextension as a work platform and tested the Hail delayed the launch of STS-117. The storm,heat shield repair procedures. on Feb. 26, 2007, was described as “a very dynamic event” by those at the pad.The mission was important in several ways. Hailstones, some as big as golf balls, damagedSellers said late in the flight that it showed the thermal protection tiles on Atlantis’ left wingshuttle capable of flying without major and caused 2,600 dings in the external tankproblems, and that it left the station ready for foam.continued assembly. After repairs, the flight launched June 8 with the Starboard three and four truss segmentsJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 27
  • 34. and a third set of solar wings. Four spacewalks, On the fourth spacewalk, Parazynski rode thetwo by Mission Specialists James Riley and station arm and the shuttle’s arm extension toDanny Olivas and two by Lee Archambauld the area of the tear. There he cut a fouled wireand Patrick Foster, helped install and hook up and installed reinforcing “cuff links,” thethe truss segments. products of improvised fabrication from materials available inside the station theThey also helped complete retraction and previous night. They enabled the P6 solarprepare the P6 truss segment for relocation wing deployment to be completed.from atop the station to the end of the mainstation truss. For the first time, two female commanders, the shuttle’s Pamela Melroy and ISS commanderEndeavour returned after a four-year Peggy Whitson, met in space.modernization program which includedinstallation of a system to allow it to take power Europe’s Columbus Laboratory was launchedfrom the station enabling it to stay three extra Feb. 7, 2008, on the STS-122 mission of Atlantis.days at the space station. Its STS-118 flight The European Space Agency’s largestlaunched on Aug. 8 with the starboard 5 truss contribution to the station added 2,648 cubicsegment. feet of pressurized volume to the station.Four spacewalks were done by Mission Three spacewalks helped install and set upSpecialists Richard Mastracchio, Canadian Columbus. The spacewalkers, Rex Walheim,Dave Williams and station Flight Engineer Stanley and ESA’s Hans Schlegel, also swappedClayton Anderson, rotating on two-person out a nitrogen tank and installed a Europeanteams. They helped install and hook up the experiment outside Columbus.S5 segment. They also replaced one of the600-pound attitude control gyroscopes. Endeavour launched March 11 on STS-123 with the Japanese Experiment Logistics ModuleOn this mission, Barbara Morgan became the named Kibo and the Canadian Special Purposefirst mission specialist educator in space. Dexterous Manipulator, called Dextre.Station assembly continued at a brisk pace. The The two-week flight saw a record fiveSTS-120 flight of Discovery was launched spacewalks, during which the Japanese moduleOct. 22, 2007, with the Italian-built Node 2 was installed in a temporary location andconnecting module. Spacewalkers Scott Dextre was assembled and installed. ThePasrazynski, Doug Wheelock and Daniel Tani spacewalkers also tested heat shield repair(a station crew member who came up on methods and installed a materials experiment.Discovery) did four spacewalks. Discovery carried the main section of the KiboThey involved preparing and disconnecting the lab, the 32,558-pound Japanese ExperimentP6 truss from Z1 and helping with its Module, to the station on STS-124, launchedinstallation at the end of the port truss, its new May 31. Three spacewalks by Missionhome. As the P6 solar wings were being Specialists Michael Fossum and Ron Garandeployed, one blanket was torn.28 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 35. helped install and hook up Kibo, the largest Atlantis launched May 11 on STS-125, the finalpressurized module on the station. Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. (See related story.)Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg (who onSTS-124 became the 50th woman in space) and A total of 13 spacefarers representing allAkihiko Hoshide of Japan used the station arm partner nations, the most ever on onefor Kibo installation, and later moved the spacecraft, were aboard the station duringpressurized logistics module, brought up on Endeavour’s STS-127 mission launched July 15.STS-123, to its permanent Kibo location. Crew members completed the construction of the Japanese Kibo science laboratory.Expansion of the station crew from three to sixmembers was made possible by Endeavour on They added an external experiment platformSTS-126, which saw the 10th anniversary of called the exposed facility to Kibo. Crewstation construction. Launched Nov. 14, 2008, members did five spacewalks, installing thatthe flight brought to the station the Leonardo platform and swapping out six 367-poundMPLM with additional sleep stations, a new batteries on the P6 truss. Endeavour alsogalley, a new bathroom and a water recovery delivered spare parts.system. The Discovery crew delivered more than sevenDuring four spacewalks, done in two-member tons of laboratory facilities, exercise equipment,teams by Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, food, water and other supplies on its STS-128Stephen Bowen and Robert Kimbrough, mission, launched Aug. 28.astronauts repaired and serviced Solar AlphaRotary Joints (SARJs). The joints allow the Mission Specialists Danny Olivas, Nicole Stottstation’s 240-foot solar wing assemblies to track and Christer Fugelsang of ESA, paired up forthe sun. three spacewalks, replacing an ammonia tank for station cooling and retrieving materialsThe final piece of the station’s 335-foot main samples that could help in development oftruss was on Discovery’s STS-119 flight future spacecraft.launched March 15, 2009. The Starboard 6 (S6)segment, with the fourth set of solar wings, The STS-129 flight of Atlantis focused onwas installed by Canadarm2 with help delivery of spare parts too big and too massivefrom spacewalkers Steve Swanson and to fly on other vehicles. Launched Nov. 16, itRichard Arnold, who also completed brought to the station about 14 tons of cargo inconnections. its payload bay, including two large carriers with heavy spare parts that were stored on theJoseph Acaba joined Swanson and Arnold in station’s exterior.two additional spacewalks, installing anantenna and relocating a handcar on the Three two-man spacewalks by Mike Foreman,station’s main truss. When Discovery left, the Robert Satcher and Randy Bresnik installed anstation was more than 80 percent complete and antenna and cabling, payload attachmentthe four solar wing assemblies had a total area systems, a high-pressure oxygen tank and aof .9 acre, or 38,400 square feet. materials experiment.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 29
  • 36. The final U.S. pressurized station module, six more 367-pound batteries for the P6 trussNode 3 Tranquility, came to the station on the and other equipment and supplies for theSTS-130 flight of Atlantis, launched Feb. 8, 2010, station.along with a Cupola robotics workstation with The flight included three spacewalks, two eachseven windows giving crew members a unique by Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman andview of their home planet and the station. Steve Bowen. They installed a secondCommander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts high-data-rate Ku-band antenna and a spareand Mission Specialists Kathryn Hire, parts platform for Dextre. They also completedStephen Robinson, Nicholas Patrick and the P6 battery replacement, leaving it with aRobert Behnken left behind more than full set of 12 new batteries.36,000 pounds of hardware that included the Mission Specialists Piers Sellers and ReismanTranquility Node 3 and the redundant cupola. used Canadarm2 and a Russian languageBehnken and Patrick did three spacewalks, computer to install the Mini-Researchhelping connect Tranquility to the station’s Module 1, named Rassvet (Dawn) on theUnity node and helped with relocation of the Earth-facing port of the station’s Zarya module.Cupola from the end of Tranquility to its The refitted MPLM Leonardo, now aEarth-facing port. Zamka dedicated the Cupola Pressurized Multipurpose Module, came to itswith a plaque containing four moon rocks that permanent home on the station on Discovery’sParazynski had taken to the summit of Mount STS-133 mission, in 2011. With it cameEverest and returned, along with a piece of rock Robonaut 2, a legless robot, and an ExPRESSfrom atop the world’s highest mountain. Logistics Carrier (ELC) with equipment andThe Leonardo pressurized cargo module supplies.completed its last round trip to the station onthe STS-131 flight of Discovery, launched MISSION CONTROL ROSES EXPRESSApril 5. But it was back after a refit to serve as THANKS, SUPPORTa permanent station module. Traditions develop over the years in the courseDiscovery brought more than 17,000 pounds of activities as demanding, complex andof equipment and supplies to the station. rewarding as the Space Shuttle Program. MostRichard Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson originate internally, but one began more thandid three spacewalks, replacing an ammonia 100 shuttle missions ago with a bouquet oftank, retrieving an experiment from Kibo and roses sent to the Mission Control Center inreplacing a rate gyro assembly. Houston.Four women were together for the first time in It happened during the STS-26 flight ofspace, as were two Japanese astronauts, Discovery launched in September 1988, theMission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki and station Return to Flight mission after the ChallengerFlight Engineer Soichi Noguchi. accident in January 1986. An accompanying card expressing congratulations and goodAtlantis launched May 14 on the STS-132 wishes was signed, but no one recognized themission to deliver a Russian research module, name.30 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 37. Image shows one set of roses among many sent to the MCC during missions.Milt Heflin, then a flight director and now The roses kept coming, mission by mission, forJohnson Space Center associate director, found more than 22 years, even as the shuttle programcontact information on the senders, Mark and neared its end. Heflin said they mean so muchTerry and their daughter MacKenzie Shelton because they had not been asked for and werewho live in the Dallas area. He called to say not initially expected. They are an island ofthanks. beauty in an otherwise very businesslike MCC.Mark Shelton said he was a long-time follower The card on a recent bouquet said: “To ourof the space program, and wanted to quietly good friends at Mission Control,” and the crewsand personally express his admiration and of the shuttle and the International Spacesupport. The Sheltons visited JSC in 1990. station. “May God bless you all! God speed.”They came again in March 2009, to deliver their100th bouquet of roses in person. There were seven red roses, one for each shuttle crew member, and a pink rose for each station crew member. There was a white rose, too, for those who had given their lives to further space exploration.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 31
  • 38. SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM’S KEY • Total time in flight = 1,310 daysSTATISTICS (THRU STS-134) (31,440 hours, 59 minutes, 33 seconds)• Total # of individual human • Total # of orbits = 20,830 spaceflights = 847 crew members launched; • Total # of flights = 134 833 crew members returned (14 crew members were lost in flight in the • MIR Dockings = 9 Challenger and Columbia accidents); 355 different individuals flown onboard • International Space Station Dockings = 36 the shuttle http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/launch /orbiter_flights.html• Total # of human spaceflight hours on shuttle = 198,728.25 man-hours THE ORBITER FLEET (approximately 8,280 man-days) Enterprise: Now a Museum Piece• Total number of payloads deployed (i.e., satellites, International Space Station Enterprise, the first space shuttle orbiter, was components, etc.) into space from the named after the spacecraft in the popular TV shuttle = 179 science fiction series Star Trek. Plans had called for it to be converted to an operational orbiter• Total number of payloads (i.e., satellites, after ground and approach and landing tests, space station components) returned from but it never flew in space. space using the shuttle = 52 Designated OV-101, Enterprise was delivered• Total number of payloads serviced to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Facility at (retrieved, repaired, then deployed, i.e., Edwards Airs Force Base on Jan. 31, 1977, HST, Solar Max) on shuttle missions = 7 for the nine-month test series. Tests included (not accounted for in the deployed and ground tests atop the shuttle carrier aircraft. returned numbers above) They were followed by five captive flight tests• Total usable cargo mass delivered into of the unmanned Enterprise atop the carrier space = 3,513,638 pounds (This value is the aircraft. Three more captive flights were flown total amount of cargo launched in the cargo with two-man crews aboard the orbiter to check bay and middeck. Some of this was Enterprise’s flight controls and other systems. deployed, some transferred, some returned.) In five subsequent free flights, two alternating astronaut crews separated the orbiter from the• Total usable cargo mass returned from carrier aircraft and landed at Edwards. Four of space = 229,132 pounds (This value is the the landings were on a dry lake bed, and the total amount of cargo retrieved from space fifth was on the base’s main concrete runway. and returned, i.e., LDEF, middeck cargo returned from ISS; does not include cargo Four local ferry flight tests were followed by launched and returned such as Spacelab) modifications for vertical ground vibration32 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 39. tests. On March 13, 1978, Enterprise flew Aug. 26, 1974 Start structural assembly of aft-aboard the carrier aircraft to Marshall Space fuselageFlight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for those tests. May 23, 1975 Wings arrive at Palmdale fromOn April 10, 1979, Enterprise was ferried to the GrummanKennedy Space Center. Mated with an externaltank and solid rocket boosters, it was moved Aug. 24, 1975 Start of Final Assemblyon the mobile launcher platform to Launch March 12, 1976 Completed Final AssemblyPad 39A. There, it served as a practice andlaunch complex fit-check tool. Sept. 17, 1976 Rollout from PalmdaleBy then, it had been decided that it would be Jan. 31, 1977 Overland transport fromtoo expensive to convert Enterprise to a Palmdale to Edwardsspaceflight vehicle. It was taken back toRockwell’s Palmdale final assembly facility. April 4, 1979 Delivery to Kennedy SpaceSome of its parts were refurbished for use on Centerflight vehicles being assembled at Palmdale. Enterprise’s FlightsThough Enterprise never got to space, it did see Taxi TestsParis, for the air show there. It also visitedGermany, Italy, England and Canada during 1. Feb. 15, 1977 (Max speed 89 mph)that 1983 trip. It was in New Orleans for the1984 World’s Fair. 2. Feb. 15, 1977 (Max speed 140 mph)On Nov. 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to 3. Feb. 15, 1977 (Max speed 157 mph)Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. There itbecame the property of the Smithsonian Captive-Inactive FlightsInstitution. 4. Feb. 18, 1977The recent announcement of orbiter placement 5. Feb. 22, 1977after the fleet is retired means Enterprise will berelocated from the Virginia suburbs to the 6. Feb. 25, 1977Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum inNew York City. That will clear the way for 7. Feb. 28. 1977Discovery to take its place at the Smithsonian. 8. March 2, 1977Enterprise Construction Milestones Captive-Active FlightsJuly 26, 1972 Contract Award 9. June 18, 1977June 6, 1974 Start structural assembly of Crew Module 10. June 28, 1977 11. July 26, 1977JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 33
  • 40. Free Flights Columbia also flew the laboratory on its last mission in 1998.12. Aug. 12, 1977 In 1991, Columbia was the first orbiter to13. Sept. 13, 1977 undergo the scheduled inspection and retrofit program. At Rockwell’s Palmdale, Calif.,14. Sept. 23, 1977 assembly plant it underwent about 50 upgrades, including the addition of carbon15. Oct. 12, 1977 brakes and a drag chute, improved nose wheelCOLUMBIA: FIRST IN SPACE, FIRST IN steering and removal of instrumentation usedSCIENCE during the test flights. It was back in action for STS-50, launched in June 1992.On April 12, 1981, with a bright coat of newwhite paint and a gleaming white external In 1994, Columbia was in Palmdale again for itstank, Columbia launched from Kennedy Space first major tear-down and overhaul. It tookCenter on STS-1, the first shuttle flight and the about a year and left Columbia in some respectsfirst of four test flights that took the nation back better than new. A second overhaul completedinto space. in 2001 involved more than 100 modifications, including “glass cockpit” instrumentation.Each of those flights was flown with just acommander and a pilot, and each was flown by Columbia deployed the Chandra X-rayColumbia. The third of those flights was made Observatory, one of four NASA greatwith an unpainted external tank, a practice that observatories, during STS-93 on July 23, 1999.saved about 600 pounds and continued through Many lessons learned from Columbiathe rest of the program. contributed to design of subsequent orbiters,More formally known as OV-102, Columbia which were somewhat lighter and morealso flew the first operational shuttle capable, and thus more suitable for spaceflight, STS-5, launched Nov. 11, 1982. That station assembly missions. Columbia becameflight saw the first launch of a commercial more focused on science flights.communications satellite to be deployed by a It was on a long-planned science mission,shuttle. STS-107 with a Spacehab research doubleColumbia was named after the first American module, that Columbia and its crew were lostocean vessel to circle the globe, a name shared on Feb. 1, 2003. A piece of external tank foamby the Apollo 11 command module for the first insulation had damaged a wing leading edgemoon landing. On STS-9, launched shortly after launch. Just 16 minutes away fromNov. 28, 1983, it flew the first Spacelab the conclusion of what had been a successfulmission. The pressurized cylinder in the cargo mission, Columbia disintegrated over Texas.bay hosted around-the-clock experiments.34 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 41. Columbia Construction Milestones March 24, 1979 SCA ferry flight to Eglin AFB, Fla.July 26, 1972 Contract Award March 24, 1979 SCA ferry flight to KSCMarch 25, 1975 Start long-lead fabrication aft fuselage Nov. 3, 1979 Auxiliary power unit hot fire tests, OPF KSCNov. 17, 1975 Start long-lead fabrication of crew module Jan. 14, 1980 Orbiter integrated test complete, KSCJune 28, 1976 Start assembly of crew module Feb. 20, 1981 Flight readiness firingSept. 13, 1976 Start structural assembly of April 12, 1981 First flight (STS-1) aft-fuselage Columbia NumbersDec. 13, 1976 Start assembly upper forward fuselage Total miles traveled: 121,696,993Nov. 7, 1977 Start of final assembly Days in orbit: 300 (7,217 hours, 44 minutes and 32 seconds)May 26, 1978 Upper forward fuselage mate Total orbits: 4,808July 7, 1978 Complete mate forward and aft payload bay doors Total flights: 28Sept. 11, 1978 Complete forward RCS Total crew members: 160Feb. 3, 1979 Complete combined systems Second Shuttle, Challenger Notched test, Palmdale FirstsMarch 8, 1979 Closeout inspection, final For a spacecraft initially not intended to fly, acceptance, Palmdale Challenger went a long way and chalked up some impressive firsts.March 8, 1979 Rollout from Palmdale to Dryden (38 miles) Challenger was built as a test vehicle for the Space Shuttle Program. NASA’s quest for aMarch 12, 1979 Overland transport from lighter orbiter led to its construction. The idea Palmdale to Edwards was to see if the new design with its lighter airframe could handle the heat and stressesMarch 20, 1979 SCA ferry flight to Biggs inherent in spaceflight. AFB, Texas Challenger was named for HMS Challenger, aMarch 22, 1979 SCA ferry flight to Kelly British research vessel which sailed the Atlantic AFB, Texas and the Pacific during the 1870s. It wasJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 35
  • 42. designated OV-99, reflecting in part its original Challengers service to Americas spacedesignation as a test object. program ended in tragedy on Jan. 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds into mission 51-L, the 25thIn early 1979, NASA awarded orbiter shuttle flight, a booster joint failure caused anmanufacturer Rockwell a contract to convert explosion that resulted in the loss of Challengerwhat was then STA-099 to a space-rated orbiter. and its seven-astronaut crew.The vehicle’s conversion began late that year. Construction Milestones, Test Article STA-99That job was easier and less expensive than itwould have been to convert NASA’s first July 26, 1972 Contract awardorbiter, Enterprise, to fly in space. It was still amajor process that involved a lot of disassembly Nov. 21, 1975 Start structural assembly ofand replacement of many parts. crew moduleThe new orbiter arrived at Kennedy Space June 14, 1976 Start structural assembly ofCenter in July 1982. Challenger was launched aft-fuselageon its maiden voyage, STS-6, on April 4, 1983. March 16, 1977 Wings arrive at PalmdaleThat mission saw the first spacewalk of the from GrummanSpace Shuttle Program, as well as the Sept. 30, 1977 Start of final assemblydeployment of the first satellite in the Trackingand Data Relay System constellation. The Feb. 10, 1978 Completed final assemblyorbiter launched the first American woman,Sally Ride, into space June 18 on mission STS-7 Challenger Construction Milestonesand was the first to carry two U.S. female Jan. 1, 1979 Contract awardastronauts on mission 41-G, launchedOct. 5, 1984. Jan. 28, 1979 Start structural assembly of crew moduleThe first orbiter to launch (Aug. 30, 1983) andland at night on mission STS-8, Challenger Nov. 3, 1980 Start of final assemblyalso made the first shuttle landing at KennedySpace Center on Feb. 11, 1984, concluding Oct. 21, 1981 Completed final assemblymission 41-B. June 30, 1982 Rollout from PalmdaleSpacelabs 2 and 3 flew on missions 51-B and July 1, 1982 Overland transport from51-F (launched April 29 and July 29, 1985), as Palmdale to Edwardsdid the first German-dedicated Spacelab,launched on 61-A. A host of scientific July 5, 1982 Delivery to Kennedy Spaceexperiments and satellite deployments were Centerdone during Challenger’s nine successfulmissions. Dec. 19, 1982 Flight readiness firing April 4, 1983 First flight36 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 43. Challenger Numbers STS-133 was its 39th and final flight. It took to the station the Permanent Multi-PurposeTotal miles traveled: 23,661,990 Module, converted from the Multi-PurposeDays in orbit: (1,495 hours, 56 minutes, Logistics Module Leonardo. In addition to that 22 seconds) storage and experiment area, Discovery also carried spare components and an ELC, whichTotal orbits: 995 was mounted outside the station to hold large components for the station. It also broughtTotal flights: 10 Robonaut, a robot with a human-like upperTotal crew members: 60 torso, to the station. Earlier, on STS-124 launched May 31, 2008,Discovery, a Stalwart of the Shuttle it had brought the Japanese Kibo laboratoryFleet to the station. On STS-119 launchedWith 39 missions to its credit, Discovery has March 15, 2009, it brought the final piece ofbecome the workhorse of the shuttle fleet. It the station’s backbone main truss into orbit.was the Return to Flight orbiter after both theChallenger and Columbia accidents. It has Discovery, OV-103, traces its name to twovisited the International Space Station a dozen sailing vessels. One was the ship used in thetimes. early 1600s by Henry Hudson to explore Hudson Bay and search for a northwestIt was the first orbiter to carry a Russian passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Thecosmonaut aboard and, a year later, the first to other was used by British explorer James Cookvisit the Russian space station Mir. On that on his voyage in the Pacific, leading to theflight to Mir, STS-63 launched Feb. 3, 1995, was European discovery of the Hawaiian Islands inthe first female shuttle pilot, Eileen Collins. 1778.(She would later become the first woman tocommand a shuttle on STS-93, launched on Discovery benefited from lessons learned in theColumbia July 23, 1999.) construction and testing of Enterprise, Columbia and Challenger. At rollout, itsDiscovery deployed the Hubble Space weight was some 6,870 pounds less thanTelescope on STS-31, launched April 24, 1990, Columbia, which made it more suited forand flew both the second and third Hubble taking heavy components and equipment to theservicing missions, STS-82 in February 1997 and space station.STS-103 in December 1999. Discovery underwent modifications over theIt was the third orbiter to join the fleet, arriving years. In 1999, it began a nine-month extensiveat the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in maintenance period at Palmdale, Calif.November 1983. It launched on its first flight, Beginning in 2002, it began major modifications41-D (the 12th shuttle flight) Aug. 30, 1984, to at Kennedy Space Center – including upgradesdeploy three communications satellites. and safety modifications.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 37
  • 44. After 39 missions, Discovery has been retired Nov. 5, 1983 Overland transport fromand will be displayed in the Smithsonian Palmdale to EdwardsNational Air and Space Museum’sSteven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Nov. 9, 1983 Delivery to Kennedy SpaceDulles International Airport in the Virginia Centersuburbs. June 2, 1984 Flight readiness firingDiscovery Construction Milestones Aug. 30, 1984 First flight (41-D)Jan. 29, 1979 Contract award Discovery NumbersAug. 27, 1979 Start long-lead fabrication of Total miles traveled: 148,221,675 crew module Days in orbit: 365June 20, 1980 Start fabrication lower fuselage Total orbits: 5,830Nov. 10, 1980 Start structural assembly of Total crew members: 252 aft-fuselage Atlantis: First Shuttle to MIR, Last toDec 8, 1980 Start initial system Hubble installation aft fuselage Atlantis, NASA’s fourth orbiter to fly in space,March 2, 1981 Start fabrication/assembly of was named after the primary research vessel payload bay doors for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. TheOct. 26, 1981 Start initial system two-masted sailing ship had a 17-member crew installation, crew module and accommodated as many as five scientists inJan. 4, 1982 Start initial system two laboratories. It used the first electronic installation upper forward sounding devices to map the ocean floor. fuselage Construction of Atlantis, OV-104, began onSept. 3, 1982 Start of final assembly March 3, 1980. Thanks to lessons learned in construction and testing of previous orbiters,Feb. 25, 1983 Complete final assembly and Atlantis was finished in about half the closeout installation man-hours spent on Columbia. Large thermal protection blankets were used on its upperMay 13, 1983 Complete initial subsystems body, rather than individual tiles. testing At 151,315 pounds on rollout at Palmdale,July 26, 1983 Complete subsystems testing Calif., Atlantis was nearly 3.5 tons lighter than Columbia. The new orbiter arrived at KennedyAug. 12, 1983 Completed final acceptance Space Center on April 9, 1985, to prepare for itsOct. 16, 1983 Rollout from Palmdale maiden voyage, 51-J (the 21st shuttle flight)38 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 45. launched Oct. 3, 1985. After that classified system, new electrical connections andDepartment of Defense mission, it flew three plumbing to give Atlantis the capability formore dedicated DoD flights and carried a extended-duration missions, improved noseclassified DoD payload on a later mission. wheel steering, a drag chute and many more.Atlantis deployed a number of noteworthy Once it has completed its 33rd and final missionspacecraft, including planetary probes in the summer of 2011, Atlantis will retire downMagellan and Galileo, as well as the Compton the road to the Kennedy Space Center VisitorGamma Ray Observatory. An array of science Complex.experiments took place during most missions tofurther enhance space research in low Earth Atlantis Construction Milestonesorbit. Jan. 29, 1979 Contract AwardOn STS-71, launched June 27, 1995, Atlantis March 30, 1980 Start structural assembly offlew the first Shuttle-Mir mission, as well as the crew modulesubsequent six missions to dock with theRussian space station. During those docked Nov. 23, 1981 Start structural assembly ofoperations Atlantis and Mir formed what was aft-fuselagethen the largest spacecraft to orbit the Earth. June 13, 1983 Wings arrive at PalmdaleThe missions to Mir included the first U.S. from Grummancrew exchange. On STS-79, the fourthdocking mission, Atlantis ferried astronaut Dec. 2, 1983 Start of Final AssemblyShannon Lucid back to Earth after her April 10, 1984 Completed final assemblyrecord-setting 188 days in orbit aboard Mir. March 6, 1985 Rollout from PalmdaleAtlantis has delivered a number of componentsto the International Space Station. Among them April 3, 1985 Overland transport fromwere the U.S. laboratory Destiny, the airlock Palmdale to EdwardsQuest and several sections of the IntegratedTruss structure that makes up the station’s April 13, 1985 Delivery to Kennedy Spacebackbone. CenterIt made the last servicing mission to the Sept. 12, 1985 Flight Readiness FiringHubble Space Telescope, STS-125 launched Oct. 3, 1985 First Flight (51-J)May 11, 2009, and delivered the Russian MiniResearch Module to the space station on Atlantis Numbers (through STS-132)STS-132 launched May 14, 2010. Total miles traveled: 120,650,907During overhauls, orbiter maintenance downperiods, Atlantis received a number of Days in orbit: 294upgrades and new features. They included a Total orbits: 4,648glass cockpit or multifunction electronic displayJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 39
  • 46. Total flights: 32 astronauts, but the satellite eventually was caught, fitted with a new booster rocket andTotal crew members: 191 successfully redeployed. A then-record fourth spacewalk was done to evaluate space stationEndeavour: Spare Parts Help PushOrbiter Design assembly methods.A spacecraft that was partly a collection of Endeavour flew a number of high-profilespare parts, Endeavour also featured advanced missions. Highlights included STS-61, thenew hardware that helped improve safety and first Hubble Space Telescope servicingperformance of other orbiters when it was later mission, launched Dec. 2, 1993; the first spaceincorporated into them. station assembly mission, STS-88 launched Dec. 4, 1998; and installation of the P6 trussEndeavour was authorized by Congress in with the first set of U.S. solar arrays on STS-97,August 1987 as a replacement for Challenger, launched Nov. 30, 2000.lost in a Jan. 28, 1986, accident just after launch.Structural assembly of Endeavour’s crew The first Japanese component of the spacecompartment had begun more than five years station was taken by Endeavour to the stationbefore the contract to build NASA’s newest in March 2008 and the orbiter brought the finalorbiter was awarded. piece of the Japanese segment to the station in July 2009. It also delivered Node 3, Tranquility,Spare parts made during the construction of and the Cupola, the robotic workstation, toDiscovery and Atlantis, to be used in repairs if the station in February 2010, completing itsthey became necessary, eventually were used in U.S. segment.Endeavour. The new spacecraft came togetherpretty well. On STS-99, launched Feb. 11, 2000, Endeavour flew the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.Endeavour, OV-105, was named through a The around-the-clock work by the orbiter andnational competition of elementary and crew resulted in remarkably accuratesecondary school students. The name chosen topographical maps of most of the Earth’swas from a ship of Capt. James Cook used in a surface.1768 voyage to the South Pacific to observe atransit of Venus at Tahiti. That provided a Endeavour underwent extensive modifications,more accurate knowledge of the distance including the addition of all of the Return tobetween the sun and Earth. Other advances, Flight safety upgrades added to both Discoveryranging from the discovery of new plant and and Atlantis after the Columbia accident.animal species to the accurate charting of Endeavour’s STS-118 launch on Aug. 8, 2007,New Zealand, also resulted. was first in four years after a lengthy modernization.The new shuttle’s first mission was STS-49,launched May 7, 1992. A highlight was capture Endeavour will be displayed at the Californiaand repair of the Intelsat VI communications Science Center, Los Angeles – not too far fromsatellite whose booster rocket had failed. It the assembly plant where all shuttles weretook three spacewalks, one involving three built.40 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 47. Endeavour Construction Milestones launch and the re-entry and landing. But a lot happens when the shuttle is on the ground.Feb. 15, 1982 Start structural assembly of crew module The flights begin at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39. With a single exception,July 31, 1987 Contract award all landings have taken place at KSC or atSept. 28, 1987 Start structural assembly of Edwards Air Force Base in California. aft-fuselage The exception was the third shuttleDec. 22, 1987 Wings arrive at Palmdale, flight, Columbia’s STS-3. It landed at White Calif., from Grumman Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico on March 30, 1982, because rains had leftAug. 1, 1987 Start of final assembly normally dry lake-bed runways at Edwards AFB unusable.July 6, 1990 Completed final assembly Of the 134 shuttle launches from KSC, 81 wereApril 25, 1991 Rollout from Palmdale from Pad 39A, from which Atlantis is scheduled to launch on STS-135. The remainingMay 7, 1991 Delivery to Kennedy Space Center 53 were from Pad 39B.April 6, 1992 Flight readiness firing The first from 39B was the ill-fated Challenger launch on flight STS-51-L Jan. 28, 1986. TheMay 7, 1992 First flight (STS-49) last was Discovery’s STS-116 flight to the International Space Station launchedEndeavour Numbers (through STS-134) Dec. 9, 2006. Disassembly of shuttle launch structures at Pad 39B began in 2010.Total miles traveled: 122,883,151 Every journey requires a first step. For theDays in orbit: 299 stacked space shuttle, the orbiter with itsTotal orbits: 4,671 external tank and solid rocket boosters, that first step is from KSC’s Vehicle AssemblyTotal flights: 25 Building to the launch pad. It’s about 3.5 miles to Pad 39A, but the move takes six to eightTotal crew members: 166 hours.Mir dockings: 1 Once in orbit, the shuttle will cover anISS dockings: 11 equivalent distance in less than a second.SHUTTLE UPS AND DOWNS: LAUNCH, For the trip to the pad, the shuttle rides atop itsLAND AND LAUNCH AGAIN mobile launcher platform, mounted on one of two KSC crawler transporters. That steelThe most dynamic phases of a space shuttle mobile launcher platform, 25 feet high, 160 feetflight are at the beginning and the end – the long and 135 feet wide, weighs more than 8.2 million pounds. Three of the platforms usedJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 41
  • 48. in the Apollo Program were modified for 20 to 26 feet. That allows it to maneuver undershuttle use. the platform and then lift it.The platform has three openings, two for the Each crawler transporter weighs aboutbooster exhausts and one for the shuttle main 5.5 million pounds. They have a 90- by 90-footengine exhaust. On each side of the hole for flat area in the top deck. Operator control cabsmain engine exhaust are tail service masts. are at each end.The masts are 15 feet long, nine feet wide and During rollout, the crawler transporter keepsrise 31 feet above the platform deck. They have the shuttle stack vertical to within plus orumbilical connections to the orbiter for liquid minus 10 minutes of arc − about the diameter ofhydrogen, liquid oxygen, gases, electrical a basketball at the tip of the external tank −power and communications. even while moving up the ramp to the pad surface.One of the platforms is moved into the hugeVAB. The two solid rocket boosters are Propulsion is like that of a diesel-electricassembled atop it. Then the large external tank railroad locomotive. Two 2,750 diesel enginesis lowered between the boosters and attached to drive four 1,000 kilowatt generators, whichthem. power 16 traction motors. Fuel capacity is 5,000 gallons. Consumption is about 42 feetOnly then is the orbiter moved to the VAB and per gallon, or about 125.7 gallons per mile – notbolted to the external tank. Extensive testing bad with a gross weight of 17 million pounds orfollows. Together the unfueled shuttle and the more.platform weigh about 11 million pounds. Speed, loaded, is about one mile per hour.The crawler transporters are remarkable Without a load, the crawler transporters canmachines. Built for the Apollo Program under race along at about double that rate.a contract awarded in March 1963, they werethen the largest tracked vehicles in existence. Two additional diesel engines, ofSome modifications were needed for use with 1,065 horsepower each, drive fourthe shuttle, but they continue to function well. 1,000 kilowatt electric motors for jacking,They seem ready for whatever new challenges steering, lighting and ventilation.may be presented to them. The crawler transporters run along aThey have twin double-tracked crawlers at each crawlerway. It has two 40-foot-wide lanescorner. Each track is 10 feet high and 41 feet separated by a 50-foot median. The firstlong. Each track has 57 shoes, measuring 7.5 by stretch, linking the VAB with Pad 39A, was1.5 feet. Each of those shoes weighs more than finished in August 1965.a ton. The crawlerway lanes are made up of fourThe crawler transporters which carry the layers with a total thickness of about eight feet.platform and the shuttle to the pad are 114 feet The top layer is between four and eight incheslong and 131 feet wide. Height is variable, from of river gravel. Then comes four feet of graded,42 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 49. crushed stone, more than 2.5 feet of fill and a countdown itself beginning about two daysfoot of compact fill. before launch.The VAB is a substantial structure. Two firing rooms on the LCC’s third floor areConstruction began in July 1963, and it was configured for full control of launch operations.finished in 1966. By enclosed volume it was The firing rooms have a number of consolesthen the world’s largest building. It covers staffed with specialists in various areas. The8 acres and is 716 feet long and 518 feet wide. It launch director faces the consoles and isis more than 525 feet tall and encloses responsible for launch operations.129.4 million cubic feet. Once the countdown is resumed after aIt contains 98.6 tons of steel, 65,000 cubic scheduled 10-minute hold at T - 9 (nine minutesyards of concrete and is anchored by 4,225 before launch) a ground launch sequencer putsopen-ended steel pipe piles 16 inches in the final countdown under computer control,diameter driven 160 feet down into bedrock. subject to human intervention.A U.S. flag 209 feet long and 110 feet wide, then When the shuttle clears the launch tower,the largest anywhere, was painted on its side in control shifts to Houston.1976. The flag and a bicentennial emblem alsoadded that year required 6,000 gallons of paint. The shuttle flight control room at JohnsonThe emblem has since been replaced with a Space Center’s Mission Control Houston hasking-size NASA meatball. been responsible for all shuttle flights. It replaced the Mercury Control Center atKSC’s Launch Control Center is a four-story Cape Canaveral in 1965 and was responsible forfacility attached to the VAB. It does much all but one of the Gemini missions as well as theof the space shuttle checkout. It also is Apollo flights.responsible for the countdown and launch. A new five-story MCC wing was built in theThe LCC has handled all space shuttle early 1990s. The original flight control roomlaunches. Its first use was on Nov. 9, 1967, for was gradually replaced by one in the newthe unpiloted Apollo 4 launch with the first facility. The new FCR supported orbitalSaturn V. The facility’s construction had operations of the STS-70 mission in July 1995.started in March 1964. Completed in May 1965, For STS-77 in May 1996, it supported ascent andit won that year’s Architectural Award for entry as well.Industrial Design of the year. The shuttle flight director leads a team on moreIn addition to its prerollout duties, once the than 15 consoles, each supported by additionalshuttle is at the pad, the LCC takes control of specialists called a “backroom.” Three teamsoperations there. That continues through a of flight controllers work around the clockterminal countdown demonstration test in through the mission. Additional teams servewhich the crew and launch team simulate the for ascent and entry.final hours of countdown and through theJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 43
  • 50. As the space station program began, a new Florida or at Edwards Air Force Base inflight control room was established a few steps California. Columbia on STS-3, the third flightfrom the shuttle FCR. In was replaced when of the program, landed March 30, 1982, atFlight Control Room 1, established in 1965, White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.was updated and upgraded. FCR 1 wasrecommissioned in October 2006. Of the 132 landings through STS-134, 77 have been at KSC and 54 at Edwards. Of theWith the shuttle’s focus almost entirely on the Edwards landings, 19 were on lakebed runwaysstation and with the station growing in and one, Endeavour’s STS-126 flight oncomplexity and to virtual completion, it Nov. 23, 2008, was on a temporary asphaltremains important for the two flight control runway.rooms to work together. The remaining 34 Edwards landings were onAssuming a landing at its 15,000-foot-long, concrete runways. The New Mexico landing,300-foot-wide concrete runway, KSC takes over STS-3 on March 30, 1982, was on a dry gypsumagain. A specialized convoy of 25 or more lakebed.vehicles and perhaps 150 trained individualsmake sure the area around the shuttle is safe to A total of 24 landings have been at night.approach. Ground support umbilicals are Eighteen of those were at KSC and six were atattached and the crew leaves the spacecraft, Edwards.generally for a walk around. When the crew Kennedy Space Centerleaves the orbiter, formal control returns toKSC. KSC is the preferred landing site. Its 15,000-foot concrete runway is 300 feet wideWithin about four hours of landing, the shuttle and has 1,000-foot overruns at each end.is towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility. Ifthe shuttle landing is at Edwards, as more than The single runway, designated runway 15 or50 have been, or elsewhere and returns on one runway 33 depending on the direction ofof the Boeing 747 shuttle transport aircraft, it is landing, is grooved and 15 inches thick at itsdismounted and towed to the OPF as promptly center.as possible. At about the midpoint of the runway’s lengthThere, the refurbishment and processing and just east of it is a recovery convoy stagingprocess began anew, the process that saw the area. There trailers, mobile units and otherorbiter eventually towed to the VAB, attached specially designed vehicles await the orbiter.to a new external tank and finally rolled out to They safe the orbiter just after landing, help getthe pad for its subsequent mission. the crew off and transfer the spacecraft to the orbiter processing facility. Typically aTHREE LANDING SITES USED, MANY returning orbiter can be in the OPF aboutMORE AVAILABLE four hours after landing.With a single exception, all space shuttle Adjacent to the runway is a 490- by 550-footlandings have been at Kennedy Space Center in parking apron with a mate/demate device at44 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 51. one corner to raise and lower the orbiter from Edwards and NASA’s Dryden Flight Researchatop the shuttle carrier aircraft. Center, a base tenant, were important in approach and landing tests with Enterprise, theThe parking area is connected by a two-mile prototype orbiter that never flew in space.tow way to the Orbiter Processing Facility. An Dryden also contributed to development of theEdwards landing and return of the orbiter atop shuttle thermal protection system, solid rocketits carrier aircraft adds perhaps a week to the booster recovery system, flight control systemspacecraft’s reaching the OPF. computer software and the orbiter drag chutes.Construction of the shuttle landing facility was Edwards remains the preferred shuttle backupcompleted in 1976. The first shuttle landing landing site and serves as an emergencythere was on Feb. 11, 1984, by Challenger landing site for the shuttle.on STS-41-B, the 10th shuttle flight. Twosubsequent landings by Discovery were made White Sands Space Harborthere on the 14th and 16th shuttle flights,STS-51-A on Nov. 16, 1984, and STS-51-D Located on White Sands Missile Range inApril 19, 1985. southern New Mexico, the White Sands Space Harbor remains a backup shuttle landing siteBrake and tire damage caused suspension of and is the primary training area for shuttleKSC shuttle landings. The next orbiter landing pilots flying practice approaches and landingsthere was Atlantis on STS-38 on Nov. 20, 1990. in the shuttle training aircraft and T-38 chase aircraft.The facility has a number of advance navigationaids to help shuttles land, as do other actual The White Sands Test Facility, part of theand potential landing sites. Johnson Space Center, operates White Sands Space Harbor (WSSH), the WSSH complex builtEdwards Air Force Base on a dry gypsum lakebed to simulate actualEdwards is in the Mojave Desert about shuttle landing facilities in United States and100 miles east of Los Angeles. Its Rogers Dry abroad. It is a shuttle backup landing facilityLake bed was used for landings in early space and was used during the landing of STS-3 inshuttle test, and it was the primary landing site March 1982.for the shuttle until late 1990. The lakebed has Two operational runways are 35,000 feet longbeen used by military aircraft since the early and 300 feet wide. Both are 15,000 feet long1930s. with 10,000-foot overruns on each end. In 1989,There are seven runways drawn on the lakebed, a third runway was constructed to allow pilotscrisscrossing one another. The longest extends to practice Transatlantic Abort Landings (TAL).7.5 miles. The main Edwards concrete runway The TAL runway is 12,800 feet long and 150 feetis next to the dry lakebed. With its 15,000-foot wide, smaller and narrower than the primarylength with a 9,000-foot lakebed overrun, it is runways.among the world’s longest runways. It is an abort-once-around landing facility. It was primary for high inclination launches andJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 45
  • 52. secondary for International Space Station ASTRONAUT CORPS MARKS CHANGESmissions. All three runways are prepared IN SPACE, SOCIETYcontinuously for training missions, and thenorth-south and east-west runways are laser The space shuttle brought marked changes toleveled to a tolerance of plus or minus an inch space activities, helping to move our approachin 1,000 feet to be ready for shuttle landings. from exploration toward utilization. It also reflected and in many ways contributed toContingency Landing Sites societal change, and it helped make space an arena of international cooperation rather thanContingency sites are identified for each shuttle competition.mission, depending on the inclination of launch(the angle to the equator), the nature of The makeup of the astronaut corps andthe potential problem and the availability of other shuttle crew members reflects each ofpossible landing sites. those changes. Without the shuttle, those developments would have been much slower inEach shuttle mission has at least two TAL sites coming.in its contingency plan. They are selectedshortly before launch, based on weather The initial emphasis, beginning with the sevenforecasts. Mercury astronauts, had been on selection of the best test pilots. The space shuttle madeShuttle missions to the space station have space access available to people who did notfocused on TAL sties at Istres, France, and have to be in top physical condition and in theZaragoza and Morón, Spain. For lower prime of life.inclination flights, Ben Guerir, Morocco, andBanjul in the Gambia had been used. Only one of the Mercury 7 flew aboard the space shuttle. John Glenn became the firstBanjul was discontinued as a TAL site in American to orbit the Earth and a national heroNovember 2002 and Ben Guerir was last on the Feb. 20, 1962, flight of a Mercury capsuleused in that capacity in June 2002. Earlier, named Friendship 7.Dakar Senegal had been used, but was replacedby Banjul in 1988. Casablanca, Morocco, had On Oct. 29, 1998, Glenn, then 77 and abeen used until January 1986. U.S. senator nearing the end of his fourth and final term, launched as a payload specialist onA number of emergency landing sites, which the nine-day STS-95 fight of Discovery. He wascould be used in the event of a sudden problem the oldest human to fly in space. Among hisnecessitating return to Earth, have been six fellow crew members were a femaleselected. In practice, the shuttle could land on Japanese astronaut and a Spanish astronautany paved runway at least 9,800 feet long, as representing the European Space Agency.are runways of most large commercial airports.A military landing facility would be preferred, In the more than 36 years between his twobecause of security and to avoid disruption of a flights, the first American woman to fly incivilian airport. space, Mission Specialist Sally Ride, had flown on Challenger on STS-7 launched June 18, 1983.46 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 53. Mission specialists work with the commander difficult to launch some of those cargos by otherin shuttle systems, planning, and experiment means, and impossible to bring the cargos itand payload operations. The first mission returned from the station to Earth by otherspecialist was Joe Allen on Columbia’s STS-5 means.flight, launched Nov. 11, 1982. International crew members have includedThe flight after Ride’s, STS-8 launched cosmonauts, European Space AgencyAug. 20, 1983, also on Challenger, had among astronauts, Japanese astronauts, Canadianits crew Mission Specialist Guion S. Bluford Jr., astronauts, and more.the first U.S. African American in space.Ulf Merbold of Germany flew on Columbia on Well before station assembly began, payloadSTS-9 as the first payload specialist, a new crew specialists from many countries had flowncategory, and the first European in orbit. aboard the shuttle.Payload specialists are crew members who are During the early days, the first three groups ofnot NASA astronauts and who have specialized astronauts selected were pilot astronauts.duties on the spacecraft, often focusing on Members of the fourth group, selected inpayloads. June 1965, were science astronauts. All six had Ph.D. or M.D. degrees.Culturally diverse and international crewmembers, each with distinguished backgrounds After the fifth group of pilot astronauts selectedand the products of exhaustive training, in April 1966, another group of sciencecontinued to fly and to contribute to missions astronauts, all 11 with doctorates or M.D.during those 36 years between Glenn’s degrees, was named in August 1997, additionaltwo flights and to the present. evidence of the space pendulum continuing its swing from exploration to utilization.The right stuff had been redefined. When the Air Force Manned OrbitingInternational Space Station assembly and Laboratory program was canceled in mid-1969,maintenance has been among the major seven astronaut trainees transferred to NASA.accomplishments of the Space Shuttle Program. All subsequently flew on the space shuttle.In preparation for it, the shuttle flew10 missions to the Russian space station Mir. One, Robert Crippen, was pilot of the first shuttle flight and subsequently commandedShuttle crew members began assembly of the three others. Another, Richard H. Truly, flewstation in December 1998, attaching the Unity on two shuttle flights and from 1989 to 1992node to the previously launched Russian-built served as NASA administrator.Zarya module. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev andDiscovery Commander Robert D. Cabana The first group of astronaut candidates for theentered the infantile station together. Space Shuttle Program was selected in Group 8 in January 1978. Its 20 mission specialists, theSince that time, the shuttle has delivered new first selected under that designation, andmodules, new crew members, equipment and 15 pilots, included Michael Coats, whosupplies to the station. It would have been flew three shuttle missions and who, inJULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 47
  • 54. November 2005, became director of Johnson She had been a backup to Christa McAuliffe,Space Center. Group 8 was the largest NASA’s first teacher in space, and trained withastronaut class up to that time. It was equaled the STS-51L crew. McAuliffe and her sixonly in May 1996 by group 16, also with crewmates were killed in the Challenger35 members. explosion Jan. 28, 1986.Group 9 included another astronaut turned “Astronaut” comes from a Greek wordagency administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr. He meaning space sailor. Things have become aflew as pilot on two shuttle missions, and little more complicated since the days of thecommanded two others. He became NASA Odyssey.administrator July 17, 2009. Currently, candidates for pilot NASAEleven groups of pilots and mission specialists astronauts (shuttle or space station) musthave been selected since then: 19 in 1980, have a bachelor’s degree in engineering,17 in 1984, 13 in 1985, 15 in 1987, 23 in 1990, biological or physical sciences or math. An19 in 1992, 19 in 1995, 35 in 1996, 25 in 1998, advanced degree is desirable. At least17 in 2000, 11 in 2004 and nine in the most 1,000 hours as pilot-in-command of jet aircraftrecent group in 2009. is required, and test pilot experience is desirable. They also have to pass a NASAAmong members of the 1985 group was space physical. Requirements include visionCabana, who flew four shuttle missions, correctable to 20/20 in each eye, blood pressureincluding that first station assembly flight, no higher than 140/90 sitting, and heightDiscovery’s STS-88 mission in December 1998. between 62 and 75 inches.He later served as director of Stennis SpaceCenter and since October 2008, he has served as Mission specialist candidates must have thedirector of Kennedy Space Center. same type of bachelor’s degree, plus at least three years of related and progressivelyThe 2004 group was notable because it included responsible professional experience. A master’sthree candidates designated educator mission degree can substitute for one year of thatspecialists. Two of them, Joseph M. Acaba and experience, a doctorate for three years. PhysicalRichard R. Arnold, flew on Discovery’s STS-119 requirements are similar.mission launched March 15, 2009, under A total of 330 NASA astronaut candidates havethe designation mission specialist/educator been selected, beginning with the Mercury 7 inastronaut. The third, Dorothy Metcalf- 1959. Today, 61 current astronauts serve in theLindenburger, served as a mission specialist corps.on Discovery’s STS-131 flight launchedApril 5, 2010. Competition is fierce. For example, applications for the most recent astronaut class,The three followed Barbara Morgan, who the 20th, totaled more than 3,500. Of those whohad been selected as a mission specialist applied, only the nine were selected asand educator astronaut in 1998. She flew astronaut candidates. Three are test pilots,on Endeavour’s STS-118 flight launched three are women and two are flight surgeons.Aug. 8, 2007. None of them will fly on the space shuttle.48 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY JULY 2011
  • 55. HUBBLE AND THE SHUTTLE: NEW Discovery launched on 3A on Dec. 19, 1999, aVIEWS OF OUR UNIVERSE fourth Hubble gyroscope had failed on Nov. 13, causing the telescope to be put into safe mode.The space shuttle has been instrumental in the During three spacewalks 3A crew memberssuccess of the Hubble Space Telescope, replaced all six gyroscopes and one of Hubble’slaunching the orbiting observatory and fine guidance sensors. They also installed aperforming repairs and upgrades during transmitter, an advanced central computer, afive servicing missions. digital data recorder and other electronicDiscovery launched on STS-31 with Hubble equipment.aboard on April 24, 1990. The crew, including Columbia launched on the 3B mission, STS-109,Pilot Charles F. Bolden (who became NASA on March 1, 2002, to install Hubble’s newadministrator July 17, 2009), deployed Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys. It could384 statute miles above Earth on April 25. capture the most distant images of the universeTwo months later, on June 25, Hubble’s main and collect data much more quickly than itsmirror was discovered to be flawed. Later that predecessor.year, the Corrective Optics Space Telescope On five spacewalks, 3B astronauts also replacedAxial Replacement, a complex package of the telescope’s solar arrays with smaller andfive optical mirror pairs to rectify the mirror more powerful panels, replaced the powerproblem, was approved. control unit and one of the four reaction wheelThe package was launched on Endeavour’s assemblies. They also installed a new coolingSTS-61 flight Dec. 2, 1993. On five spacewalks, system for an infrared camera, which had beencrew members on the planned Servicing out of action since 1999.Mission 1 installed a new device, as well as the On the final shuttle flight to Hubble, ServicingWide Field Planetary Camera 2, new solar Mission 4, Atlantis launched May 11, 2009, onarrays, new gyroscopes and electronic STS-125. On five spacewalks astronautsequipment. installed two new instruments, the Wide FieldServicing Mission 2 brought two new and Camera and the Cosmic Origins Spectrographadvanced instruments to Hubble, the Near and repaired two others, the Advanced CameraInfrared Camera and the Multi-Object for Surveys which had ceased functioning inSpectrometer. During that STS-82 flight of 2007 and the Space Telescope ImagingDiscovery launched Feb. 11. 1997, crew Spectrograph, which had not worked sincemembers also installed a refurbished fine 2004. They also replaced gyroscopes andguidance sensor, a solid state recorder, and a batteries.refurbished spare reaction wheel assembly Hubble is better than ever with greaterwhich helps point the telescope. capabilities − with six complementary scienceAfter three of Hubble’s six gyroscopes failed instruments – and supporting equipment that is(three are required for observations), NASA expected to help extend its operational life to atsplit the next Hubble flight into Servicing least 2014. Without the space shuttle, thatMission 3A and Servicing Mission 3B. Before could not have happened.JULY 2011 SPACE SHUTTLE HISTORY 49
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  • 57. STS-135 MISSION OVERVIEWDawn approaches after space shuttle Atlantis completed its historic final journey to Launch Pad 39A from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building. Atlantis was secured, or “harddown,” at its seaside launch pad at 3:29 a.m. (EDT) on June 1, 2011. The milestone move, known as “rollout,” paves the way for the launch of the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station,targeted for July 8. STS-135 will be the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the space station and the 135th and final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.January 5, 1972. President Richard M. Nixon April 21, 1972. On the lunar surface at theannounced the initiative for a new space vehicle Plains of Descartes, Apollo 16 Commanderfor the United States….. “I have decided today John Young and Lunar Module Pilotthat the United States should proceed at once Charles Duke receive a call from Spacecraftwith the development of an entirely new type Communicator Anthony England at Missionof space transportation system designed to help Control, Houston.transform the space frontier of the 1970s intofamiliar territory, easily accessible for human England: “This looks like a good time for some goodendeavor in the 1980s and ‘90s.” news here. The House (of Representatives) passed the space budget yesterday, 277 to 60, which includes votes for the (space) shuttle.”JULY 2011 MISSION OVERVIEW 51
  • 58. Duke: “Beautiful. Wonderful. Beautiful.” segments for the complex and returned as an Expedition 18 long-duration crew member,Young: “The country needs that shuttle mighty launching on Endeavour as part of Ferguson’sbad. You’ll see.” crew on STS-126 in November 2008 and returning to Earth with the STS-119 crew onAlmost four decades after that exchange, and Discovery in March 2009 after 134 days in spacethree decades after its engines and solid rocket and 132 days on the station.boosters first flashed to life to send humans intoorbit on April 12, 1981, the space shuttle is Mission specialist 2 and flight engineer ispoised to fly one final time as Atlantis sits on Rex Walheim, 48 (Col., USAF, Ret.). Walheim isLaunch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, making his third flight into space, all onFla., ready to blast off on July 8 at 11:26 a.m. Atlantis. Walheim first flew in April 2002 onEDT to send four American astronauts aloft the STS-110 mission and returned to theon its 33rd mission since it first flew in complex in February 2008 on the STS-122October 1985 and the 135th and last flight in the mission that delivered the European Spacestoried history of the Space Shuttle Program. Agency’s Columbus science laboratory.This 37th and final visit of a space shuttle to the Atlantis’ final crew is limited to four astronautsInternational Space Station is solely designed to since there is no shuttle available anymore tostock the complex with as many supplies and serve as a “rescue” vehicle in the unlikely eventspare parts as possible for sustenance of the Atlantis would incur damage to its thermal protection heat shield during launch that wouldoutpost and its crews in the post-shuttle era. prevent it from coming back to Earth. In thatCommanding the final flight of the case, the four crew members would have to relyspace shuttle is veteran NASA astronaut on Russian Soyuz vehicles to bring them homeChris Ferguson, 49 (Capt., USN, Ret.), who will in a staggered fashion over the course of severalbe making his third flight into space, all to the months. The four crew members will transportInternational Space Station. He was Atlantis’ custom-made Soyuz seat liners to the station topilot on the STS-115 mission in September 2006 protect for that possibility.and commanded Endeavour on the STS-126 In its 30 years of flights, the space shuttle hasmission to the station in November 2008. served as the ride for 355 different individuals from 16 countries.Atlantis’ last pilot is Doug Hurley, 44(Col., USMC). Hurley is making his second Housed in Atlantis’ payload bay will be theflight into space, having flown to the station Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Moduleaboard Endeavour in July 2009 on the STS-127 (MPLM), the large cargo carrier that will bemission that completed the Japanese segment of filled with 8,640 pounds of supplies for thethe International Space Station. station and its six crew members. Raffaello will be making its fourth delivery trip to the station,Mission specialist 1 is Sandra Magnus, 46, a having first flown in April 2001 on Endeavourveteran of two spaceflights. Magnus visited the on the STS-100 mission. Its last flight was onstation on Atlantis in October 2002 on the the Return to Flight mission of Discovery onSTS-112 mission to deliver one of the truss STS-114 in 2005.52 MISSION OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 59. NASA astronauts, from left, Sandra Magnus, Doug Hurley, Chris Ferguson and Rex Walheim walkto dinner after an informal gathering for the STS-135 Crew Equipment Interface Test (CEIT) at the Fish Lips restaurant near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 7, 2011.Raffaello will be unberthed from the payload first act in the carefully choreographedbay by the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm on rendezvous that will later use the shuttle’sthe fourth day of the mission and mated to the orbital maneuvering engines to positionearth-facing port of the Harmony module. Atlantis and fine-tune its path to track downRaffaello will be parked next to the Leonardo and catch up to the station for docking twoPermanent Multi-Purpose Module that was days later.permanently attached to the station’s Unitymodule nadir port in March to serve as a Once they reach orbit on launch day, Fergusonstorage closet for the station’s residents. and his crewmates will set up their ship for in-orbit operations, opening Atlantis’ payloadAtlantis’ launch will be timed to occur when bay doors and downlinking video and digitalthe Earth’s rotation places the Kennedy Space still imagery of the last external fuel tank thatCenter in the plane, or corridor, of the space housed the half million gallons of liquidstation’s orbit. The launch also will serve as the hydrogen and liquid oxygen for the shuttle’sJULY 2011 MISSION OVERVIEW 53
  • 60. main engines for the 8 ½-minute ride to orbit. to inspect the reinforced carbon-carbon alongThe crew will then unfurl Atlantis’s robotic arm the leading edges of Atlantis’ wings and theand conduct a brief survey of the payload bay shuttle’s thermal protection heat shield. Theand its cargo. inspection should take about six hours to complete. All of that imagery plus launch dayThe next day, the crew will use the arm to reach imagery and that to be collected by the stationover to the starboard sill of the payload bay to crew of Atlantis on its approach for dockinggrapple and unberth the 50-foot-long Orbiter will be pored over by analysts at the JohnsonBoom Sensor System (OBSS) that will use its Space Center in Houston to ensure that Atlantislaser imaging device and high-fidelity cameras is fit for its final entry back to Earth. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (left), STS-135 pilot, and Rex Walheim and Sandra Magnus, bothmission specialists, attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, participate ina post insertion/deorbit training session on the flight deck of the crew compartment trainer (CCT-2) in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. STS-135 is planned to be the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program.54 MISSION OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 61. The crew will also gear up for its arrival at the complex on June 10 to join station Commanderstation the next day, checking out rendezvous Andrey Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyaevtools and powering up the docking mechanism and NASA astronaut Ron Garan, who havethat will latch up with the station’s docking resided on the station since April.port. Ferguson will then guide Atlantis to a pointOn Flight Day 3, two days after launch, Atlantis about 400 feet directly in front of the station onwill take center stage as it links up to the station the “V-bar,” or velocity vector, the direction offor the final time. travel for both the shuttle and the station. Ferguson will slowly fly Atlantis down aAbout three hours before docking, Atlantis’ narrow corridor, aligning the extended dockingorbital maneuvering system engines will fire as mechanism ring with its target, Pressurizedthe shuttle is about nine miles behind the Mating Adapter 2. Contact and capture tostation in the “terminal initiation burn” that complete the rendezvous should occur justwill put Atlantis on a final intercepting path to minutes later.reach a point about 1,000 feet below thecomplex on the radial vector, or “R-bar,” an After about 90 minutes, or one orbit of theimaginary line drawn between the station and Earth, to enable crews on both sides of thethe Earth. docking interface to conduct leak checks, hatches between Atlantis and the station willFrom there, Ferguson will take a position at the swing open and the crews will greet oneshuttle’s aft flight deck to fly Atlantis up the another to begin more than a week of jointR-bar in a stair step approach to about 600 feet operations.directly below the station where he will applythe brakes. The first order of business will see Garan and Furukawa use Canadarm2 to reach over andWithin minutes, Ferguson will command unberth the orbiter boom extension for aAtlantis to begin a three-quarter of a degree per handoff to the shuttle arm operated byminute rotational back flip called the R-bar Ferguson and Hurley. The boom will be used aPitch Maneuver (RPM). This will present few days later for yet another set of inspectionsAtlantis’ heat shield to Expedition 28 Flight of Atlantis’ heat shield.Engineers Mike Fossum of NASA andSatoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Flight Day 4 will be devoted to the unberthingExploration Agency, who will be inside the and installation of the Raffaello MPLM tostation’s Zvezda Service Module armed with Harmony. Hurley and Magnus will be at thedigital cameras equipped with 800 mm and controls of the Canadarm2 to lift the 12.5-ton400 mm lenses to document the shuttle’s module out of Atlantis’ payload bay and slowlycondition. Those images will be downlinked maneuver it for installation at the nadir port ofalmost immediately for analysis on the ground. the Harmony module where a series ofFossum and Furukawa launched to the station bolts will secure it to Harmony’s berthingon June 8 on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft with mechanism.cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and docked to theJULY 2011 MISSION OVERVIEW 55
  • 62. While seated at the pilot’s station, NASA astronaut Doug Hurley, STS-135 pilot, participates in apost insertion/de-orbit training session on the flight deck of the Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT-2) in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Hurley is wearing a training version of his shuttle launch and entry suit. STS-135 is planned to be the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program.The crew will conduct leak checks and At the end of the day, the shuttle crew will joinpressurize a small passageway between station crew members Fossum and Garan toHarmony and Raffaello before opening of its review procedures for the one spacewalk of thehatch to begin the critical transfer of cargo that mission that Fossum and Garan will conductwill keep the station stocked for up to a year. the next day on Flight Day 5. The final56 MISSION OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 63. spacewalks using shuttle crew members were airlock. Bolted to ESP-2 is the ammoniaconducted in May on the STS-134 mission. pump module that suddenly shut down on July 31, 2010, taking down half of the station’sRather than the “campout” procedure used cooling capability. The failed component,on a number of station-based spacewalks, a which is mounted on a bracket, will benew, less time-consuming procedure was removed from ESP-2 by Garan whose feet willsuccessfully employed on the STS-134 mission be planted in a portable foot restraint at the endcalled ISLE, for In-Suit Light Exercise. It is a of the Canadarm2 operated by Hurley andprotocol that requires fewer consumables for Magnus.the spacewalkers and requires less time topurge nitrogen from their bloodstreams to With the assistance of Fossum, Garan will beavoid decompression sickness when they lowered toward the rear of Atlantis’ payloadleave the Quest airlock to work in the vacuum bay where he will install the failed pump ontoof space. The ISLE technique that was a payload carrier called the Lightweightinaugurated by spacewalkers Drew Feustel and Multi-Purpose Experiment Support StructureMike Fincke before their third spacewalk in Carrier, or LMC. The International SpaceMay on STS-134 will be used by Fossum and Station Program Office is eager to return theGaran on the morning of Flight Day 5. It is best pump so the exact cause of its failure can beillustrated by the spacewalkers flexing their determined and the pump can be refurbished.legs and performing small squats to increasethe flow of their blood while suited in their With that task completed, Fossum and Garanextravehicular mobility units. will swap places at the end of the Canadarm2. Fossum then will remove a device from theThe spacewalk out of Quest by Fossum and LMC called the Robotic Refueling Mission, orGaran will be the 160th devoted to space station RRM. The experimental payload, whichassembly and maintenance. It will be the resembles a washing machine, is 43 inches byseventh spacewalk for Fossum, who has logged 33 inches by 45 inches and weighs 550 pounds42 hours and 1 minute of spacewalking time on on Earth.two previous flights. Garan has conductedthree previous spacewalks totaling 20 hours The RRM is an experiment designed toand 32 minutes. Ironically, the duo performed demonstrate new technology to roboticallythree spacewalks together on the STS-124 refuel satellites in space, particularly satellitesmission in June 2008 on the mission that that were never designed to be refueled.delivered the Japanese Experiment Module, Fossum will be transported on Canadarm2 over“Kibo,” to the station. to the Canadian Space Agency’s Dextre robot, where the RRM will be transferred to Dextre’sFossum and Garan will first make their way Enhanced Orbital Replacement Unit Temporaryfrom Quest to a spare parts platform called the Platform, or EOTP, a high-tech stowage area forExternal Stowage Platform-2 on the side of the tools and experiments.JULY 2011 MISSION OVERVIEW 57
  • 64. NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, STS-135 commander, uses a computer during a training session in a space station mock-up in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.At a later date after Atlantis’ departure, the members using the OBSS attached at the end ofRRM will be moved by Dextre to the ExPRESS the shuttle’s robotic arm. But if missionLogistics Carrier-4, or ELC-4, a spare parts managers deem that unnecessary, the crewcarrier on the starboard truss to allow Dextre to members will instead begin several days ofconduct various dexterous tasks on its activity transfer activities of the cargo brought to theboards to test experimental refueling station in the Raffaello module and fromcomponents. lockers in Atlantis’ middeck. This final transfer of items to stock the station is considered one ofThe two spacewalkers will also move a payload the most critical objectives of the mission.from a material experiment mounted on thestation’s truss to ELC-2 to wrap up the final On the final day of the last visit of a shuttle totask of the planned 6.5-hour excursion. the station on Flight Day 10, the crew will complete the final transfer of cargo fromIf required, a more detailed inspection of Raffaello to the complex, close the MPLM’sAtlantis’ heat shield could be accommodated hatch, depressurize the vestibule passageway toon Flight Day 6 by the four shuttle crew58 MISSION OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 65. Harmony and prepare for its demating from Later that day, Ferguson, Hurley and Magnusthe nadir port of the connecting node. will conduct one last inspection of Atlantis’ heat shield with the OBSS before it is berthedOperating the Canadarm2 robotic arm, Hurley back on the starboard sill of Atlantis’ payloadand Magnus will grapple Raffaello and, after it bay. It will be the last time the shuttle’s roboticis unbolted from Harmony, the cargo module arm will ever be used, dating back to itsfilled with items to be returned to Earth will be inaugural flight on the shuttle Challenger inremoved from the station and lowered down April 1983 on the STS-7 mission, operated byinto Atlantis’ payload bay where it will be the first American woman to fly in space,latched in place for the ride back home. Sally Ride.Then, it will be time for Atlantis’ astronauts to Flight Day 12 will see Ferguson and Hurleysay farewell to the Expedition 28 crew. Late on activate one of Atlantis’ hydraulic powerFlight Day 10, hatches will be closed between systems to conduct the traditional checkout ofthe station’s Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 the shuttle’s flight control surfaces followed bydocking port and Atlantis, and preparations the firing of its steering jets to ensure the orbiterwill begin for undocking the following day. is ready to support its last descent back to EarthOn the morning of Flight Day 11, 12.5 years the next day.after assembly of the International Space Right after the flight control system checkout isStation began with Endeavour’s arrival to mate complete, the crew will send commands tothe Unity module with the Zarya control deploy a small 5" x 5" x 10" technologymodule on STS-88, Atlantis will pull away from demonstration satellite called PicoSat from athe Harmony module for the final time. canister in Atlantis’ cargo bay. PicoSat willWith Hurley at the controls at Atlantis’ aft relay data back to investigators on theflight deck, the shuttle will slowly back away performance of solar cells that cover thefrom the complex, leaving behind almost a nanosatellite for analysis and possible use onmillion pounds of international hardware and a future space hardware.fully supplied world-class science laboratory The crew will then pack up items used duringexpected to function for at least another decade. the mission, stow the Ku-band communicationsHurley will conduct a final flyaround of the antenna for the final time and complete landingstation as his crewmates collect digital images preparations.and high-definition video of the complex, the On Flight Day 13, the crew will climb into theirfinal views a space shuttle crew will ever have launch and entry suits, close Atlantis’ payloadof the orbital outpost. After a little more than bay doors for the last time, and with approvalan hour of precision flying around the station at from Entry Flight Director Anthony Ceccacci ata radial distance of about 600 feet, Hurley will Mission Control in Houston, fire the shuttle’sfire Atlantis’ jets to depart the complex for the orbital maneuvering system engines to begin itsfinal time. last journey home.JULY 2011 MISSION OVERVIEW 59
  • 66. Landing is scheduled on July 20, the 42nd “Were really not too far − the human race isntanniversary of Apollo 11’s historic landing on − from going to the stars, and Im mighty proudthe moon, on the Shuttle Landing Facility at the to be part of it.”Kennedy Space Center around sunrise. The − John Young; April 14, 1981, at Edwards Airspace shuttle’s 30-year quest to push the Force Base, Calif., after landing the spaceboundaries of exploration, provide a new vision shuttle Columbia to complete STS-1.of the universe and construct an internationalway station in the sky, will be over. NASA astronauts Rex Walheim (right) and Sandra Magnus, both STS-135 mission specialists, participate in an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) hardware training session in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near NASA’s Johnson Space Center. EVA instructors John Ray (left foreground) and Art Thomason assist Walheim and Magnus.60 MISSION OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 67. STS-135 TIMELINE OVERVIEWFlight Day 1 Flight Day 4• Launch • Canadarm2 robotic arm unberth of the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module• Payload Bay Door Opening from Atlantis’ payload bay and installation• Ku-Band Antenna Deployment on the nadir port of Harmony• Shuttle Robotic Arm Activation and payload • Ingress into Raffaello for the start of cargo bay survey transfer operations• Umbilical Well and Handheld External Tank • Spacewalk procedure review Photo and TV Downlink Flight Day 5Flight Day 2 • In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Preparation and• Atlantis’ Thermal Protection System heat Pre-Breathe by Fossum and Garan shield survey with Shuttle Robotic Arm/ • Spacewalk by Fossum and Garan (Transfer Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) of failed Pump Module from External• Centerline Camera Installation Stowage Platform-2 (ESP-2) to Atlantis’ cargo bay; transfer of the Robotic Refueling• Orbiter Docking System Ring Extension Mission hardware from Atlantis’s payload• Rendezvous tools checkout by to the Enhanced Orbital Replacement Unit Temporary Platform on the DEXTREFlight Day 3 robot; installation of the MISSE-8 Optical• Rendezvous with the International Space Reflector Materials Experiment Ram/Wake Station hardware on ESP-2)• Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver Photography of • Cargo transfer from Raffaello to ISS Atlantis’ Thermal Protection System by Flight Day 6 Expedition 28 crew members Fossum and Furukawa • If required, focused inspection of Atlantis’ thermal protection system heat shield with• Docking to Harmony/Pressurized Mating the OBSS Adapter-2 • Cargo transfer from Raffaello and Atlantis’• Hatch Opening and Welcoming middeck to ISS• Canadarm2 robotic arm handoff of OBSS to Shuttle robotic armJULY 2011 TIMELINE OVERVIEW 61
  • 68. Flight Day 7 Flight Day 11• Cargo transfer from Raffaello to ISS • Final Space Shuttle Undocking and flyaround of ISS• Crew off-duty time • Late inspection of Atlantis’ thermalFlight Day 8 protection system heat shield with the OBSS• Cargo transfer from Raffaello to ISS • OBSS berth• Joint Crew News Conference Flight Day 12Flight Day 9 • Cabin stowage• Cargo transfer from Raffaello to ISS • Flight Control System checkout• Crew off-duty time • Picosat deploymentFlight Day 10 • Reaction Control System hot-fire test• Egress from Raffaello and demate • Deorbit Preparation Briefing preparations • Crew Tribute to Atlantis and the end of the• Demate of Raffaello from the nadir port of Space Shuttle Program Harmony and berthing in Atlantis’ payload bay • Ku-band antenna stowage• Final Farewells and Hatch Closure Flight Day 13• Centerline Camera Installation • Deorbit preparations• Rendezvous Tools Checkout • Payload Bay Door closing • Deorbit burn • KSC Landing and the end of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program62 TIMELINE OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 69. STS-135 MISSION PROFILECREW Space Shuttle Main Engines:Commander: Chris Ferguson SSME 1: 2047Pilot: Doug Hurley SSME 2: 2060Mission Specialist 1: Sandra Magnus SSME 3: 2045Mission Specialist 2: Rex Walheim External Tank: ET-138 SRB Set: BI-146LAUNCH RSRM Set: 114Orbiter: Atlantis (OV-104) SHUTTLE ABORTSLaunch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Launch Pad 39A Abort Landing SitesLaunch Date: July 8, 2011 RTLS: Kennedy Space Center ShuttleLaunch Time: 11:26:46 a.m. EDT (preferred Landing Facility in-plane launch time) TAL: Primary – Zaragoza, SpainLaunch Window: 10 Minutes Alternates – Morón, Spain andAltitude: 122 Nautical Miles Istres, France (140 Miles) Orbital Insertion; AOA: Primary – Kennedy Space Center 188 nautical miles Shuttle Landing Facility (216 statute miles) Alternate – White Sands Space rendezvous HarborInclination: 51.6 DegreesDuration: 15 days, 17 hours, 36 minutes LANDINGVEHICLE DATA Landing Date: July 20, 2011 Landing Time: 7:06 a.m. EDTShuttle Liftoff Weight: 4,521,143 Primary landing Site: Kennedy Space Center poundsOrbiter/Payload Liftoff Weight: 266,090 PAYLOADS poundsOrbiter/Payload Landing Weight: 226,375 ULF7 poundsSoftware Version: OI-34JULY 2011 MISSION PROFILE 63
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  • 71. STS-135 MISSION OBJECTIVESThese tasks, listed in order of International 8. Deploy the Materials International SpaceSpace Station Program priority, are to be Station Experiment-8 ORMatE-III R/W.executed during this flight. 9. Perform daily station payload status checks,1. Dock shuttle Flight ULF7 to Pressurized as required. Mating Adaptor-2 port and perform mandatory crew safety briefing for all crew 10. Transfer O2 from the orbiter to the station members. airlock High-Pressure Gas Tanks (HPGTs).2. Install Multi-Purpose Logistics Module 11. Transfer N2 from the orbiter to the ISS (MPLM) to space station Harmony nadir Airlock HPGTs. port using space station robotic arm. 12. Perform daily middeck activities to support − Perform minimal MPLM activation and payloads. checkout to preserve module and cargo. 13. Transfer remaining return cargo items. − Perform MPLM Passive Common Berthing Mechanism sealing surface 14. Perform station payload research operations inspection. tasks.3. Transfer critical cargo items. 15. Perform payload operations to support Pico-Satellite Solar Cell (PSSC) deployment.4. Return MPLM to shuttle payload bay using space station robotic arm. 16. Transfer water from orbiter to station.5. Transfer remaining ascent cargo items and 17. Perform Program-approved EVA get-ahead transfer return cargo items to meet tasks. minimum MPLM return. 18. Perform imagery survey of the station port6. Remove failed pump module from External and starboard exterior surfaces during Stowage Platform 2 and install on orbiter flyaround after undock with the Lightweight MPESS Carrier (LMC) in station. payload bay using space station robotic arm. 19. Reboost the station with the orbiter if mission resources allow and are consistent7. Remove robotics refueling payload from the with station trajectory analysis and LMC in the payload bay and install on the planning. Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform 20. Deploy one Zero-gravity Stowage Racks (EOTP) using station arm. (ZSRs) in the Permanent Module.JULY 2011 MISSION OBJECTIVES 65
  • 72. 21. Perform Program-approved IVA get-ahead 25. Perform SDTO 13005-U, ISS Structural Life tasks. The following IVA get-ahead tasks Validation and Extension, during Mated do not fit in the existing IVA timelines; Orbiter Reboost (IWIS required). however, the IVA Team will be trained and ready to perform should the opportunity 26. Perform SDTO 13005-U, ISS Structural Life arise. Validation and Extension, during Orbiter undocking (IWIS highly desired). − Perform HDTV 3D imagery. 27. Perform payloads of opportunity operations − Remove Ultrasound 1 from Human if propellant available. Research Facility 1 and replace with Ultrasound 2 and four 4-panel unit − RAM Burn Observations - 2 (RAMBO-2) (4-PU) drawers. − Maui Analysis of Upper Atmospheric22. Perform TriDAR Autonomous Rendezvous Injections (MAUI) and Docking (AR&D) Sensor DTO-701A − Shuttle Exhaust Ion Turbulence activities. Experiments (SEITE)23. Perform SDTO 13005-U, ISS Structural Life − Shuttle Ionospheric Modification with Validation and Extension, during MPLM Pulsed Local Exhaust (SIMPLEX) berthing and unberthing.24. Perform SDTO 13005-U, ISS Structural Life Validation and Extension, during Orbiter Docking (IWIS required).66 MISSION OBJECTIVES JULY 2011
  • 73. MISSION PERSONNELKEY CONSOLE POSITIONS FOR STS-135 Flt. Director CAPCOM PAOAscent Richard Jones Barry Wilmore Rob Navias Charlie Hobaugh (Wx)Orbit 1 (Lead) Kwatsi Alibaruho Steve Robinson Rob NaviasOrbit 2 Rick LaBrode Megan McArthur Josh ByerlyPlanning Paul Dye Shannon Lucid Brandi DeanEntry Tony Ceccacci Barry Wilmore Rob Navias Charlie Hobaugh (Wx)Shuttle Team 4 TBD N/A N/AISS Orbit 1 Jerry Jason Ricky Arnold N/AISS Orbit 2 (Lead) Chris Edelen Rob Hayhurst N/AISS Orbit 3 Courtenay McMillan Kathy Bolt N/AStation Team 4 TBDJSC PAO Representative at KSC for Launch – Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters/Kyle Herring/Dan HuotKSC Launch Commentator – George DillerKSC Launch Director – Mike LeinbachNASA Launch Test Director – Jeff SpauldingJULY 2011 MISSION PERSONNEL 67
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  • 75. STS-135 ATLANTIS CREW STS-135 Mission PatchThe STS-135 patch represents the space entire NASA and contractor team thatshuttle Atlantis embarking on its mission to made possible all the incredibleresupply the International Space Station. accomplishments of the space shuttle.Atlantis is centered over elements of the Omega, the last letter in the Greek alphabet,NASA emblem depicting how the space recognizes this mission as the last flight ofshuttle has been at the heart of NASA for the Space Shuttle Program.the last 30 years. It also pays tribute to theJULY 2011 CREW 69
  • 76. Attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, these four astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-135 crew portrait. Pictured are NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson(center right), commander; Doug Hurley (center left), pilot; Rex Walheim and Sandra Magnus, both mission specialists.Short biographical sketches of the crew appear More detailed biographies are available atin this package. http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/astrobio.html70 CREW JULY 2011
  • 77. CREW BIOGRAPHIES Chris FergusonVeteran astronaut and retired captain in the two years of training, he was assigned technicalU.S. Navy, Chris Ferguson will be making his duties in the Spacecraft Systems Branchthird trip into space as commander on STS-135. associated with the shuttle main engine,In his role as commander, he has overall external tank, solid rocket boosters andresponsibility for the safety and execution software. He also served as spacecraftof the mission, orbiter systems operations communicator (CAPCOM) for the STS-118, 120,and flight operations, including landing. In 128 and 129 missions. Ferguson was the pilotaddition, he will fly Atlantis through its of STS-115 and commanded STS-126. He hasrendezvous and docking to the International logged more than 28 days in space. FromSpace Station. November 2009 to September 2010, Ferguson served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.Ferguson reported to the Johnson Space Centerin August 1998. Following the completion ofJULY 2011 CREW 71
  • 78. Doug HurleyDoug Hurley, a colonel in the U.S. Marine astronaut support personnel for shuttleCorps, will be making his second trip into space missions STS-107 and STS-121. He workedas pilot on STS-135. In July 2009, he completed shuttle landing and rollout, served on thehis first spaceflight as pilot on STS-127. He has Columbia Reconstruction Team at Kennedylogged more than 376 hours in space. Space Center and in the Exploration Branch in support of the selection of the Orion CrewFollowing the completion of two years of Exploration Vehicle. He also served as thetraining and evaluation, he was assigned NASA director of operations at the Gagarintechnical duties in the Astronaut Office which Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City,have included Kennedy operations support as a Russia. Most recently, Hurley served as“Cape Crusader” where he was the lead chief of the Astronaut Office Safety Branch.72 CREW JULY 2011
  • 79. Sandra MagnusSandra Magnus will be making her third trip Following STS-112, Dr. Magnus was assignedinto space as a mission specialist on STS-135. to work with the Canadian Space Agency toDr. Magnus first worked in the Astronaut prepare the Special Purpose DexterousOffice Payloads/Habitability Branch. Next, she Manipulator robot for installation on thewas assigned as a “Russian Crusader,” which International Space Station. In 2008, she flewinvolved traveling to Russia in support of to the space station with the crew of STS-126,hardware testing and operational products spent 4.5 months aboard the space station anddevelopment. Dr. Magnus served as a returned to Earth with the crew of STS-119.CAPCOM for the International Space Station. Next, Dr. Magnus served six months at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., working inDr. Magnus flew aboard STS-112 logging the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.10 days, 19 hours and 58 minutes in space.JULY 2011 CREW 73
  • 80. Rex WalheimRex Walheim, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Astronaut Office Space Station OperationsForce, will be making his third trip to space as a Branch, where he helped develop the initialmission specialist on STS-135. Walheim served procedures and displays used on the spaceas a flight controller and operations engineer at station, served as a CAPCOM in the Missionthe Johnson Space Center from October 1986 to Control Center, and was chief of the EVAJanuary 1989. He was selected by NASA and branch.reported back to the Johnson Space Centerin 1996. After completing two years of training A veteran of two spaceflights, he has loggedand evaluation, he qualified for flight more than 565 hours in space, including moreassignment as a mission specialist. Walheim than 36 hours in five spacewalks. Walheimhas been assigned technical duties in the previously served on the crews of STS-110 and STS-122.74 CREW JULY 2011
  • 81. PAYLOAD OVERVIEW Image depicting the layout of the payloads on STS-135.Space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135/ULF7 payload On the middeck of the space shuttle, it willincludes the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics carry GLACIER, which is a freezer designedModule (MPLM) and a Lightweight to provide cryogenic transportation andMulti-Purpose Carrier (LMC). The MPLM will preservation capability for samples. The unit iscarry supplies, logistics and spare parts to the a double locker equivalent unit capable ofInternational Space Station. The LMC will be transport and operation in the middeck andused to return a failed Ammonia Pump for in-orbit operation in the ExPRESS (Expedite thetroubleshooting and analysis to help NASA Processing of Experiments to the Space Station)better understand the failure mechanism and rack. The space shuttle will carry on itsimprove pump designs for future systems. The middeck (ascent) a variety of experiments andtotal payload launch weight, not counting the hardware.middeck, is 31,015 pounds. The return weightis expected to be 28,606 pounds. The MPLM One of the more interesting items that will bewill be temporarily attached to Node 2 nadir. carried in the space shuttle’s middeck is calledJULY 2011 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW 75
  • 82. the Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly collect the residue left over from extracting(ARFTA). The ARFTA consists of a tank, three water from the astronaut urine. The RFTA is attypes of filter assemblies, a Compressor the heart of the International Space StationAdapter, a Rodnik/ATV adapter and several Urine Processing Assembly (UPA). The UPA ishose assemblies. The ARFTA replaces the an integral part of the station’s Water RecoveryRecycle Filter Tank Assembly (RFTA). The System (WRS). The UPA produces purifiedARFTA tank is a metal bellows tank. The tank product water from crew urine that ishousing is made of titanium and the bellows combined with crew member hygiene wastesare made of Hastelloy. These are the only and cabin condensate for final treatment by themetals that are known to withstand the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) to potablecorrosive effects of the concentrated pretreated water quality specifications.urine/brine. The function of the RFTA is to The Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA) consists of a tank, three types of filter assemblies, a Compressor Adapter, a Rodnik/ATV adapter and several hose assemblies. The ARFTA replaces the Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (RFTA) as a key element of the International Space Station Urine Processing Assembly (UPA). The UPA is an integral part of the station’s Water Recovery System.76 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 83. Space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 crew is standing in front of the Raffaello MPLM, which is packedwith supplies, logistics and spare parts for their mission to the International Space Station. Shown from the left are Commander Chris Ferguson, Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim, and Pilot Doug Hurley.To learn more about experiments on the includes components that provide life support,International Space Station, please visit fire detection and suppression, electricalhttp://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/sci distribution and computers when it is attachedence/coolstation.html to the station. The cylindrical logistics module acts as a pressurized “moving van” for theRAFFAELLO MULTI-PURPOSE Space Station, carrying cargo, experiments andLOGISTICS MODULE (MPLM) FLIGHT supplies for delivery to support the six-personMODULE 2 (FM2) crew on board the station. The module also returns spent Orbital Replacement UnitsThe Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (ORUs) and components. Each MPLM module(MPLM) is one of three differently named large, is 21 feet long and 15 feet in diameter – thereusable pressurized elements, carried in same size as the European Space Agency’sthe space shuttle’s cargo bay, used to ferry (ESA’s) Columbus module.cargo back and forth to the station. RaffaelloJULY 2011 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW 77
  • 84. On the STS-135 mission, Raffaello will carry that needs repair and refuse from theeight Resupply Stowage Platforms (RSPs), approximately 220 mile-high outpost can betwo Intermediate Stowage Platforms (ISPs), and ferried to and from the station in the MPLM.six Resupply Stowage Racks (RSRs) and Some of these items are for disposal on Earthone Zero Stowage Rack. There are no system or while others are for analysis and data collectionexpress racks flying up on this MPLM. All the by hardware providers and scientists.racks are stowage racks (RSRs, RSPs, ISPs) soNASA can carry the maximum cargo (spareunits, spare parts, food, etc.) up to keep thestation stocked up for one year.Special modifications were made to the RSPsand the Raffaello MPLM Structure so additionalstowage/cargo could be carried. The RSPs weremodified so they could carry an additional200 pounds (an additional M02 cargo bag) onthe front side of the rack. In addition, theMPLM structure was modified by drilling andadding an Aft End Cone Stowage Frame so anadditional 400 pounds (12 bags worth) ofstowage could be carried. RAFFAELLO SPECIFICATIONSDimensions: Length: 21 feet Diameter: 15 feetPayload Mass (launch): 25,500 poundsPayload Mass (return): 9,5600 poundsEmpty Weight: 9,865 poundsMPLM BACKGROUND INFORMATIONThe Italian-built, U.S.-owned logistics modulesare capable of ferrying more than 7.5 tons Eight Resupply Stowage Platforms (RSPs)(15,000 pounds) of cargo, spares and supplies. will be carried on board Raffaello.This is the equivalent of a semi-truck trailer fullof station gear bringing equipment to and The MPLM Module Leonardo is named afterfrom the space station. Equipment such as the Italian inventor and scientist Leonardo dacontainer racks with science equipment, science Vinci. It was the first MPLM to deliver suppliesexperiments from NASA and its international to the station. For STS-133, FM1, formerlypartners, assembly and spare parts and other known as Leonardo, was modified to become ahardware items for return, such as completed permanent module attached to the Internationalexperiments, system racks, station hardware Space Station during the STS-133 mission.78 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 85. The two other modules are named Raffaello, Raffaello will be detached from the station andafter master painter and architect Raffaello positioned back into the shuttle’s cargo bay.Sanzio, and Donatello, for one of the founders ofmodern sculpture, Donato di Niccolo Di Betto NASA solely owns the modules which wereBardi. Leonardo has flown the most because acquired in a bartered agreement betweenit is equipped with programmable heater NASA and the Italian Space Agency for usingthermostats on the outside of the module that the modules in exchange for allowing theallow for more mission flexibility. Donatello has Italians to have crew time on board the station.not flown because it was built to fly active Boeing has the responsibility under itsexperiments up the space station and back Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processingdown to Earth. Those active flights were Services (CAPPS) contract with NASA, forcancelled following the Columbia accident due payload integration and processing for everyto reduction in the planned number of space major payload that flies on each space shuttleshuttle flights. flight. The Boeing MPLM processing teamLeonardo was the first MPLM to fly to the provides all engineering and hands-on workstation on STS-102 (March 8, 2002) and there including payload support, project planning,have been 10 flights total for the two modules. receiving of payloads, payload processing,Raffaello has flown three missions and STS-135 maintenance of associated payload groundwill be its fourth mission. The space shuttle systems, and logistics support. This includesflies logistic modules in its cargo bay when a integration of payloads into the space shuttle,large quantity of hardware has to be ferried to test and checkout of the payload with thethe orbiting habitat at one time. orbiter systems, launch support and orbiter post-landing payload activities includingThe modules are attached to the inside of the destow of the module.bay for launch and landing. When in the cargobay, the module is independent of the shuttle THE LIGHTWEIGHT MULTI-PURPOSEcabin, and there is no passageway for shuttle EXPERIMENT SUPPORT STRUCTUREcrew members to travel from the shuttle cabin CARRIER (LMC)to the module. After the shuttle has docked tothe outpost, typically on the fourth flight day Located behind Raffaello in the space shuttleafter shuttle launch, Raffaello will be mated to payload bay is the Lightweight Multi-Purposethe station using the station’s robotic arm to the Experiment Support Structure Carrier (LMC), aNode 2 nadir port. In the event of a failure or nondeployable cross-bay carrier providingissue which may prevent the successful latching launch and landing transportation. The LMC isof the MPLM to the nadir port, the Zenith port a light-weight shuttle stowage platform thatcan be used in mating the MPLM to the station. only weighs 946 pounds. The launch weight ofNodes are modules that connect the elements to the LMC is 2,918 pounds and the return weightthe station. For its return trip to Earth, with the pump module will be 3,530 pounds.JULY 2011 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW 79
  • 86. LMC launch configuration LMC return configuration with Pump Module Assembly80 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 87. The top of the LMC is shown here with the special adapter plate installed to accommodate the Pump Module Assembly.STS-135 will be the last of seven missions for including carrier management, refurbishment,the workhorse LMC carriers. The LMCs were analysis, documentation and safety.developed for use by station from existingSpace Shuttle Multi-Purpose Equipment During ascent, the LMC will be carrying aSupport Structure, MPESS, hardware to Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) on thecarry Launch-On-Need, LON, and Orbital bottom. During descent, the LMC will beReplacement Units, ORUs, for space station. carrying an ammonia pump that will beGSFC and ATK have provided the sustaining analyzed to determine its cause for failure. Aengineering support for all the LMC missions, special adapter plate, built by Boeing, had to beJULY 2011 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW 81
  • 88. installed on the LMC so the large pump could After Atlantis docks with station, RRM will bebe carrier on the top of the LMC. Additional transferred during a spacewalk to Dextre’smodifications had to be made to accommodate Enhanced Orbital Replacement Unit Temporarythe Pump Module Assembly (PMA) which Platform (EOTP). Following the shuttle’sincluded removing the aft winch, the wireless departure, RRM will remain on the EOTP,video antenna, and all handrails in the aft and Dextre and Canadarm2 will transfer RRMbulkhead of the space shuttle cargo bay. This to its permanent location ExPRESS Logisticswill be first time that a pump module has been Carrier 4 (ELC-4). The ELC will providecarried on an LMC. The PMA will be removed command, telemetry and power support for thefrom External Storage Platform 2 where it has experiment. RRM operations will be entirelybeen stored. remotely controlled by flight controllers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center inROBOTIC REFUELING MISSION (RRM) Greenbelt, Md., Johnson Space Center in Houston, Marshall Space Flight Center inNASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) is an Huntsville, Ala., and the CSA’s control center inexternal International Space Station experiment St. Hubert, Quebec.designed to demonstrate and test the tools,technologies and techniques needed to To meet the challenge of robotic refueling, therobotically refuel and repair satellites in space, RRM development team assessed what tasksespecially satellites that were not designed to be would be necessary for a robot to access theserviced. A joint effort between NASA and the triple-sealed fuel valve of an orbiting satelliteCanadian Space Agency (CSA), RRM will be and refuel it. They then developed thethe first in-orbit attempt to test robotic refueling cube-shaped RRM module that breaks downand repair techniques for spacecraft not built each refueling activity into distinct, testablewith in-orbit servicing in mind. It is expected tasks and provides the components, activityto reduce risks and lay the foundation for boards, and tools to practice them. The RRMfuture robotic servicing missions. RRM also module is about the size of a washing machinemarks the first use of Dextre beyond the and weighs approximately 550 pounds, withplanned maintenance of the space station for dimensions of 43" by 33" by 45". RRM includestechnology research and development. 0.45 gallon (1.7 liters) of ethanol that will be used to demonstrate fluid transfer in orbit.82 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 89. The RRM module, hanging from the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Carrier, is prepared at KSC for launch to the International Space Station. RRM’s Multifunction Tool with Plug Manipulator Adapter attached. Note the two integral cameras.JULY 2011 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW 83
  • 90. Once the RRM module is securely mounted simulations of contact dynamics. The Goddardto the space station’s ELC-4 platform, mission Satellite Servicing Demonstration Facilitycontrollers will direct the Dextre robot, the (GSSDF) was developed in parallel with thespace station’s Canadian, twin-armed RRM flight hardware. One objective is to“handyman,” to retrieve RRM tools from the validate that GSSDF accurately simulates themodule and perform a full set of refueling dynamic space environment of the spacetasks. Dextre will use the RRM tools to cut and station. Such a confirmation would validatemanipulate protective blankets and wires, Goddard’s capability to develop and test anyunscrew caps and access valves, transfer fluid, future space robotic servicing and assemblyand leave a new fuel cap in place. At one stage missions with a very high degree of accuracy.of the mission, Dextre will use RRM tools toopen up a fuel valve, similar to those Drawing upon 20 years of experience servicingcommonly used on satellites today, and transfer the Hubble Space Telescope, the Satelliteliquid ethanol across a robotically mated Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO) at NASA’sinterface via a sophisticated robotic fueling Goddard Space Flight Center initiated thehose. Each task will be performed using the development of RRM in 2009. Atlantis, thecomponents and activity boards contained same shuttle that carried tools and instrumentswithin and covering the exterior of the RRM for the final, astronaut-based Hubble Spacemodule. The experiment will also demonstrate Telescope Servicing Mission 4, will now carrygeneral space robotic repair and servicing the first step to robotic refueling and satelliteoperations. Completing the demonstration will servicing on the last shuttle mission to space.validate the tool designs (complemented with Robotic refueling and satellite servicing werecameras), the fuel pumping system, and robotic targeted as a technology demonstration becausetask planning, all of which will be used during these capabilities could extend the lifetimes ofthe design of a potential future refueling satellites, potentially offering satellite ownersspacecraft. and operators years of additional service andRRM will launch to the space station with four revenue, more value from the initial satelliteunique tools developed at Goddard: the Wire investment, and significant savings in delayedCutter and Blanket Manipulation Tool, the replacement costs. There are numerousMultifunction Tool, the Safety Cap Removal commercial and government-owned satellitesTool and the Nozzle Tool. Each tool will be in orbit today that could benefit from suchstored in its own storage bay in the RRM services.module until Dextre retrieves it for use. To give In-orbit robotic refueling and satellite servicingmission controllers the ability to see and control have been identified by several nations andthe tools, each tool contains two integral space agencies as critical capabilities that couldcameras with built-in LEDs. support overarching autonomy and expansionOne of the secondary goals of RRM is to collect in space. If applied in conjunction with a fuelperformance data from all RRM operations depot, robotic refueling would minimize theconducted on the space station and use this need for space explorers and satellites to launchinformation to validate “tool-to-spacecraft” with heavy amounts of fuel, thus freeing up84 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 91. weight for other mission-critical equipment and temperature, flow, and pressure sensors. Thecapabilities. Robotic refueling has the potential accumulator within the PM works in concertto allow human and robotic explorers to reach with the Ammonia Tank Assembly (ATA)distant destinations more efficiently and accumulators to compensate for expansion andeffectively. contraction of ammonia caused by the temperature changes and keeps the ammonia inSSCO’s prime contractor base consists of the liquid phase via a fixed charge ofLockheed Martin, Stinger Ghaffarian pressurized nitrogen gas on the backside of itsTechnologies, Orbital Sciences Corporation, bellows. Manufactured by Boeing, the pumpAlliant Techsystems, Jackson and Tull, and module weighs 780 pounds and measuresArctic Slope Regional Corporation. approximately 5 1/2 feet (69 inches) long byPUMP MODULE (PM) 4 feet (50 inches) wide with a height of 3 feet (36 inches).The Pump Module (PM) is part of the station’scomplex Active Thermal Control System On this mission, the PM is being returned for(ATCS), which provides vital cooling to further analysis and investigation of the failureavionics, crew members and payloads. The that occurred on July 31, 2010. A new PM wasstation has two independent cooling loops. The installed on Aug.16, 2010, and has beenexternal loops use an ammonia-based coolant performing well. The failed PM will undergoand the internal loops use a water-based extensive testing and evaluation in Houston.coolant. At the heart of the ATCS is the Pump The PCVP will be sent to Hamilton SundstrandModule, which provides circulation, loop for thorough testing and evaluation. Thepressurization, and temperature control of the current theory for the cause of the failure is anammonia. The PM pumps the ammonia electrical issue within the PCVP unit. After thethrough the external system to provide cooling. root cause is determined to be either systemic toHeat is generated by the electronic boxes the PM or specific to this unit, NASA willthroughout the station and eventually rejected determine the follow-on actions, if any. Theinto space via the radiators. space station has three spare pump modules in orbit.The major components in the PM include aPump and Control Valve Package (PCVP), anaccumulator, isolation and relief valves, andJULY 2011 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW 85
  • 92. The PM with the cover in place. The PM with the cover removed.86 PAYLOAD OVERVIEW JULY 2011
  • 93.   RENDEZVOUS & DOCKING  Atlantis’s  launch  for  the  STS‐135  mission  is  equipped with an 800 mm lens to provide up to timed to lead to a link up with the International  one‐inch  resolution  and  a  400  mm  lens Space  Station  about  220  miles  above  Earth.    A  providing three‐inch resolution. series of engine firings during the first two days of  the  mission  will  bring  the  shuttle  to  a  point  The  photography  is  one  of  several  techniques about  50,000  feet  behind  the  station.    Once  used to inspect the shuttle’s thermal protection there,  Atlantis  will  start  its  final  approach.   system  for  possible  damage.    Areas  of  special About  2.5  hours  before  docking,  the  shuttle’s  interest include the thermal protection tiles, the jets  will  be  fired  during  what  is  called  the  reinforced carbon‐carbon panels along the wing terminal initiation burn.  The shuttle will cover  leading  edges  and  the  nosecap,  landing  gear the  final  miles  to  the  station  during  the  next  doors and the elevon cove.  The photos will be orbit.  downlinked  through  the  station’s  Ku‐band  communications  system  for  analysis  by As  Atlantis  moves  closer  to  the  station,  its  imagery experts in Mission Control. rendezvous radar system and trajectory control sensor  will  provide  the  crew  with  range  and  When Atlantis completes its back flip, it will be closing‐rate  data.    Several  small  correction  back  where  it  started  with  its  payload  bay burns  will  place  the  shuttle  about  1,000  feet  facing  the  station.    Ferguson  then  will  fly  the below the station.  shuttle  through  a  quarter  circle  to  a  position  about  400  feet  directly  in  front  of  the  station.  Commander  Chris  Ferguson,  with  help  from  From  that  point,  he  will  begin  the  final Pilot  Doug  Hurley  and  other  crew  members,  approach to docking to the Pressurized Mating will  manually  fly  the  shuttle  for  the  remainder  Adapter  2  at  the  forward  end  of  the  Harmony of the approach and docking.  node. Ferguson  will  stop  Atlantis  about  600  feet  The  shuttle  crew  members  will  operate  laptop below  the  station.    Timing  the  next  steps  to  computers  that  process  the  navigational  data, occur  with  proper  lighting,  he  will  maneuver  the  laser  range  systems  and  Atlantis’  docking the  shuttle  through  an  approximate  eight‐ mechanism. minute  back  flip  called  the  Rendezvous  Pitch Maneuver,  also  known  as  the  R‐bar  Pitch  Using a video camera mounted in the center of Maneuver  since  Atlantis  is  in  line  with  an  the Orbiter Docking System, Ferguson will line imaginary  vertical  R‐bar  directly  below  the  up  the  docking  ports  of  the  two  spacecraft.    If station.    During  this  maneuver,  station  crew  necessary, he will pause the shuttle 30 feet from members  Mike  Fossum  and  Satoshi  Furukawa  the  station  to  ensure  proper  alignment  of  will  photograph  Atlantis’s  upper  and  lower  the docking mechanisms.  He will maintain the surfaces  through  windows  of  the  Zvezda  shuttle’s  speed  relative  to  the  station  at  about Service Module.  They will use  digital  cameras  one‐tenth of a foot per second, while both  JULY 2011  RENDEZVOUS & DOCKING 87
  • 94.  Atlantis  and  the  station  are  moving  at  about  will be shut off to avoid any inadvertent firings 17,500  mph.    Ferguson  will  keep  the  docking  during the initial separation. mechanisms  aligned  to  a  tolerance  of three inches.  Once  the  shuttle  is  about  two  feet  from  the  station and the docking devices are clear of one When  Atlantis  makes  contact  with  the  station,  another, Hurley will turn the steering jets back preliminary  latches  will  automatically  link  the  on  and  will  manually  control  Atlantis  within  a two  spacecraft.    The  shuttle’s  steering  jets  will  tight  corridor  as  the  shuttle  separates  from  the be deactivated to reduce the forces acting at the  station. docking  interface.    Shock  absorber  springs  in the  docking  mechanism  will  dampen  any  Atlantis  will  move  to  a  distance  of  about  relative motion between the shuttle and station.  450 feet, where Hurley will begin to fly around  the  station.    Atlantis  will  circle  the  shuttle Once  motion  between  the  shuttle  and  the  around  the  station  at  a  distance  of  about  station has been stopped, the docking ring will  600  feet.    The  shuttle  crew  will  take  detailed be  retracted  to  close  a  final  set  of  latches  photographs  of  the  external  structure  of  between the two vehicles.  the  station,  which  serves  as  important  documentation  for  the  ground  teams  in UNDOCKING, SEPARATION AND Houston to monitor the orbiting laboratory. DEPARTURE Once  the  shuttle  completes  1.5  revolutions  At  undocking  time,  the  hooks  and  latches  will  of  the  complex,  Hurley  will  fire  Atlantis’s  be  opened  and  springs  will  push  the  shuttle  jets  to  leave  the  area.    Nearly  two  hours  after away  from  the  station.    Atlantis’s  steering  jets  undocking  a  second  firing  of  the  engines  will  take Atlantis farther away from the station.  88  RENDEZVOUS & DOCKING JULY 2011
  • 95. SPACEWALKSThe last spacewalk to be performed by space When a spacewalk – also called Extravehicularshuttle crew members took place on STS-134, Activity, or EVA for short – is going on outside,but not the last spacewalk to be performed one crew member inside the Internationalduring a space shuttle mission. Space Station is assigned the job of Intravehicular (IV) officer, or spacewalkAlthough STS-135 was not originally intended choreographer. In this case, Mission Specialistto include a spacewalk, the desire to return a Rex Walheim, who performed five spacewalkspump module that failed on the International during STS-110 and STS-122, will act as theSpace Station in 2010 to the Earth for analysis intravehicular officer for that spacewalk. Themade one necessary, and over time other tasks spacewalk will also require astronauts insidewere added to it as well. With only four the station to be at the controls of the station’speople, however, the STS-135 crew was too 58-foot-long robotic arm; Mission Specialistsmall to perform a spacewalk on top of all of its Sandy Magnus and Pilot Doug Hurley will beother work. So members of the Expedition 28 given that responsibility for this mission, andcrew were recruited for the job, though the each of the spacewalkers will take a turn ridingshuttle crew members will still support the on the end of the arm for various tasks.spacewalk from inside the space station. Fossum and Garan will prepare for thisFlight Engineers Michael Fossum and spacewalk using a new practice tried out for theRon Garan will perform one 6.5-hour first time during STS-134. Aimed at cuttingspacewalk on the fifth day of the mission. It down the amount of oxygen used in spacewalkwill not be their first time to go outside the preparations, Fossum and Garan will wait untilstation together – they were partnered for the the morning of their spacewalk to begin gettingthree spacewalks of the STS-124 mission in ready, rather than spending the night inside theJune 2008, as well. Those three spacewalks left Quest at a low air pressure, as they would haveGaran with a total of 20 hours and 32 minutes previously done. They will breathe pureof spacewalk experience. Fossum also oxygen through air masks for an hour as the airperformed three spacewalks during the STS-121 pressure inside the Quest is lowered tomission in July of 2006, giving him a total of 10.2 pounds per square inch. After that, theymore than 40 hours spent spacewalking. will be able to put on their spacesuits andFossum will be the lead spacewalker for the perform light exercise (moving their legs insidemission, and wear a spacesuit marked with a of their spacesuits) for 50 minutes to raise theirsolid red line. Garan will wear an all-white metabolic rate and purge nitrogen from theirsuit. bloodstream.JULY 2011 SPACEWALKS 89
  • 96. Photos of the EVA 1 SpacewalkersEVA 1 airlock. Fossum will make his way to the platform and install two backup tools,Duration: 6 hours, 30 minutes called Contingency Operations Large AdapterEVA Crew: Fossum and Garan Assembly Tools – or COLTs – onto theIV Crew: Walheim hardware that holds the pump module in place.Robotic Arm Operators: Magnus The COLTs will allow the crew to accessEVA Operations: contingency bolts on the back of the hardware, in case the spacewalkers run into problems• Retrieve failed pump module for return using the primary bolt to install the pump module in the shuttle’s cargo bay.• Install Robotic Refueling Mission experiment While Fossum works with the COLTs, Garan will meet the station’s robotic arm at the• Deploy Materials International Space stowage platform, and install a foot restraint on Station Experiment 8 segment it so that he can climb into it and free up hisFossum and Garan will begin the STS-135 hands to carry the pump module back tospacewalk with the highest priority task – Atlantis.retrieval of the failed pump module. The To remove the pump module from the stowageequipment was prepared for return to Earth platform, Garan will grab onto the pumpduring previous spacewalks, and is stored on module, while Fossum releases the bolt holdingexternal stowage platform 2 at the Quest it in place. That will allow Garan to lift the90 SPACEWALKS JULY 2011
  • 97. module off of the stowage platform and fly it to deploys a segment on the Materialsthe shuttle’s cargo bay. International Space Station Experiment 8 (or MISSE 8), which was installed duringOnce there, Garan will drive the same bolt to STS 134. Because that experiment is situatedattach the module to the carrier inside the cargo near the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS),bay, securing it for the return to Earth. which was also installed on STS-134, and theFossum and Garan will then switch places, thermal covers on the AMS were expected togiving Fossum a turn on the end of the robotic need some time to air out once the experimentarm. Then Fossum will hold the Robotic was installed, the STS-134 crew was asked notRefueling Mission experiment, while Garan to expose this segment of the experiment untilreleases the bolt attaching it to the cargo bay. the gases in the AMS cover had some time toFossum will lift it out, and fly it via robotic arm dissipate. To deploy it now, Garan will installto the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, an Optical Reflector Materials Experiment thator Dextre, as the robot is called, on the Destiny was brought up on Endeavour’s middecklaboratory. He will bolt the experiment onto during STS-134 into a socket on MISSE 8 andplatform on Dextre used to hold equipment and remove its protective cover.spare parts that Dextre is working with. Garan Whatever time remains in the spacewalk afterwill assist. these items are completed will be used to workWith those major tasks done, Fossum will climb on get-ahead tasks.off of the robotic arm and remove the footrestraint that Garan installed, while GaranJULY 2011 SPACEWALKS 91
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  • 99. STS-135 EXPERIMENTSSTS-135/ULF7 RESEARCH AND training to minimize loss of muscle, bone andTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT cardiovascular performance in astronauts. A European Space Agency experiment calledSTS-135 experiments will range from Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) will usemicroscopic cell research to macroscopic the device to evaluate changes in central andtechnology development equipment deliveries peripheral blood vessel wall propertiesto the International Space Station. In addition, (thickness and compliance) and cross sectionalboth plants and animals will be the subject of areas of station astronauts during and aftermicrogravity tests. long-term exposure to microgravity.For a joint project of NASA and the Canadian Commercial Biomedical Test Module (CBTM-3)Space Agency (CSA), hardware for the Robotic experiments will use a validated mouse modelRefueling Mission (RRM) will be delivered and to examine the effectiveness of experimentalinstalled on the station’s Express Logistics drug therapies against bone loss that resultsCarrier 4 for future demonstrations that will from prolonged life in low gravity. Onetest the tools, technologies and techniques investigation will look at whether the use of aneeded to robotically refuel satellites in space − sclerostin antibody can induce bone formationeven satellites not designed to be serviced. and thereby prevent skeletal deterioration,The tests, using Candarm2, its Dexterous while another will examine whether changes inManipulator System and a variety of the blood supply to the bones and bonespecialized tools, will be the first on-orbit tests forming tissues may contribute to bone loss inof techniques to refuel spacecraft not built low gravity.with on-orbit servicing in mind. The RRMhardware will be installed during the flight’s Plant experiments will look at terrestrial foodonly spacewalk. supply issues, and provide educational opportunities for students on Earth. TheAnother facility being delivered to the station NASA-sponsored Biological Research inis Ultrasound-2, a cardiovascular ultrasound Canisters Symbiotic Nodulation in a Reducedsystem that will replace and upgrade a Gravity Environment (BRIC-SyNRGE), will10-year-old ultrasound unit that stopped look at how microgravity affects theoperating earlier this year. The device will be infectiousness of bacteria in plants. Theused for general crew health assessment, and in symbiotic relationships of plants and bacteriaNASA investigations such as Integrated affect a large portion of human and livestockCardiovascular, which looks at the weakening food production on Earth. The CSA-sponsoredof heart muscles associated with long-duration Tomatosphere-III will carry 400,000 tomatospaceflight, and the Integrated Resistance and seeds to the station and back to Earth, whereAerobic Training Study (Sprint), which looks students in 10,000 classrooms throughoutat high-intensity, low-volume exerciseJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 93
  • 100. Canada will measure germination rates, growth Commercial Biomedical Testing Module-3:patterns and vigor of the seeds as they grow. Assessment of sclerostin antibody as a novel bone forming agent for prevention ofA Department of Defense experiment will spaceflight-induced skeletal fragility in micestudy the effects of tissue regeneration and (CBTM-3-Sclerostin Antibody) investigates awound healing in space. Space Tissue novel anabolic therapy for prevention ofLoss-Regeneration-Keratinocytes experiments space flight-induced skeletal fragility in mice.will look at how cellular degeneration and CBTM-3-Sclerostin Antibody is part of a teamdecreased immune response associated with of investigations designed to determine iftraumatic wounds and unused limbs, with administering a therapeutic agent preflight topotential application in the treatment of both mice reduces the loss of bone associated withmilitary and civilian injuries and immune space flight. Humans and animals have been observed to lose bone mass during the reducedresponse on Earth. gravity of space flight. The sclerostin antibodyTwo distinct types of smart phones also will fly is designed to inhibit the action of “sclerostin”,to the station, where they will be tested for a protein that is a key negative regulator ofpotential use as navigation aids and as mobile bone formation, bone mass and bone strength.assistants for astronauts. (NASA) CBTM-3-Vascular Atrophy CommercialSHORT-DURATION RESEARCH TO BE Biomedical Testing Module-3: STS-135 spaceCOMPLETED ON STS-135/ULF7 flights affects on vascular atrophy in the hind limbs of mice (CBTM-3-Vascular Atrophy)Biology and Biotechnology examines the effects of space flight on the skeletal bones of mice and the efficacy of aBiological Research in Canisters Symbiotic novel agent that may mitigate the loss of boneNodulation in a Reduced Gravity associated with space flight. Humans andEnvironment (BRIC-SyNRGE) investigates animals have been observed to lose bone massmicrogravity effects associated with microbe- during the reduced gravity of space flight.host interactions and cell-cell communication CBTM-3-Vascular Atrophy specificallyusing a plant-bacteria model system. It directly determines if there is a correlation betweenaddresses the impact of the space environment space flight induced altered blood supply to theon microbial virulence in a constructed bones and surrounding tissues with a resultantecosystem. Plant-bacteria symbiosis accounts loss of bone mass. (NASA)for a large percentage of human and livestock Gravitational Effects on Biofilm Formationfood production on Earth, particularly in During Space Flight (Micro-2) studies hownitrogen-depleted soil. BRIC-SyNRGE adds to gravity alters biofilm (aggregation ofthe knowledge base of this plant-bacteria microorganisms) formation with the goal ofmechanism. (NASA) developing new strategies to reduce their impact on crew health and to minimize the harmful effects of biofilms on materials in space and on Earth. (NASA)94 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 101. National Lab Pathfinder − Cells − 7 decreased immune response can occur in(NLP-Cells-7) is a commercial payload serving traumatic wounds and unused limbs. Theas a pathfinder for the use of the International application spans across both military andSpace Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory civilian injuries and immune response on Earth.after ISS assembly complete. It contains several (NASA)different experiments that examine cellularreplication and differentiation of cells. This Educationresearch is investigating the use of space flight NanoRacks-CubeLabs Module-8 processesto enhance or improve cellular growth biological samples in microgravity. The scienceprocesses utilized in ground based research. goals for NanoRacks-CubeLabs Module-8 are(NASA) proprietary. (NASA)Recombinant Attenuated Salmonella Vaccine Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency −(RASV) evaluates the ability of the space flight Commercial Payload Programplatform to accelerate recombinant attenuated (JAXA-Commercial Payload Program) consistsSalmonella vaccine development against of commercial items sponsored by JAXA sent topneumococcal pneumonia − which causes the space station to experience the microgravitylife-threatening diseases (pneumonia, environment. (JAXA)meningitis, bacteremia) that kill more than10 million people annually, particularly Tomatosphere-III will send 400,000 tomatochildren and elderly who are less responsive to seeds to the International Space Station (ISS) forcurrent vaccines. RASV will use space flight exposure to the space environment. Theto facilitate design and development of seeds will be returned to Earth for use innext-generation vaccines with improved 10,000 classrooms throughout Canada as aefficacy and protective immune responses learning resource. Students will measure thewhile minimizing unwanted side effects by germination rates, growth patterns and vigor ofproviding novel gene targets for vaccine growth of the seeds. (CSA)improvement and development, and Technologyre-formulating existing vaccines. (NASA) The Forward Osmosis Bag (FOB) system isSpace Tissue Loss − The Effects Microgravity designed to convert dirty water into a liquidon Stem Cell-Based Tissue Regeneration: that is safe to drink using a semi-permeableKeratinocyte Differentiation in Wound membrane and a concentrated sugar solution.Healing (STL-Regeneration-Keratinocytes) is a FOB looks at the forward osmosis membrane inDepartment of Defense (DoD) Space Test a space flight environment and compares itsProgram payload flying both NASA and DoD performance against ground reference controls.science that uses cell and tissue cultures in A small forward osmosis device could bemicrogravity to study the effects of tissue incorporated into new long-exposure EVA suitsregeneration and wound healing in space. in order to recycle metabolic wastewaterCellular microgravity experiments are used to (i.e., sweat and urine) into drinkable fluid.research methods of treating Earth-bound Determining the effect of mechanical mixing oninjuries where cellular degeneration and membrane performance may help inform suitJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 95
  • 102. designers in the placement of a device to the total energy expenditure to derive anmaximize permeate production. (NASA) equation for astronaut energy requirements. (ESA)RESEARCH TO BE DELIVERED TOSTATION ON SHUTTLE Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Spaceflight-Short (Sleep-Short)Biology and Biotechnology examines how spaceflight affects astronauts sleep patterns during Space Shuttle missions.Plant Signaling studies the effects of Advancing state-of-the-art technology formicrogravity on the growth of plants. The monitoring, diagnosing and assessingexperiment is performed on board the treatment of sleep patterns is vital to treatingInternational Space Station (ISS) in insomnia on Earth and in space. The successcollaboration with the European Space Agency and effectiveness of manned spaceflight(ESA). Images of the plants are captured and depends on the ability of crewmembers todown-linked to Earth. Samples of the plants maintain a high level of cognitive performanceare harvested and returned to Earth for and vigilance while operating and monitoringscientific analysis. The results of this sophisticated instrumentation. (NASA)experiment can lead to information that will aidin food production during future long duration Physical Sciencespace missions, as well as data to enhance cropproduction on Earth. (NASA) Materials Science Laboratory − Columnar-to- Equiaxed Transition in SolidificationEducation Processing and Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under DiffusiveJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Magnetically Controlled ConvectiveEducation Payload Observation 7 (JAXA Conditions (MSL-CETSOL and MICAST) areEPO 7) includes artistic experiments and two investigations that support research intocultural activities. JAXA implements these metallurgical solidification, semiconductoractivities to enlighten the general public about crystal growth (Bridgman and zone melting),microgravity utilization and human space and measurement of thermo-physicalflight. JAXA understands that International properties of materials. This is a cooperativeSpace Station’s Japanese Experiment Module investigation with the European Space Agency(JEM), Kibo, is useful for scientists and and NASA for accommodation and operationengineers as well as writers, poets, teachers and aboard the International Space Station.artists. (JAXA) (NASA/ESA)Human Research TechnologyAstronaut’s Energy Requirements for Moisture Removal Amine Swing-bedLong-Term Space Flight (Energy) will measure (CAMRAS) technology uses an amine sorbentchanges in energy balance in crew members to remove both CO2 and water vapor from thefollowing long-term space flight. Energy also atmosphere. The system vents absorbed CO2will measure adaptations in the components of and moisture when exposed to vacuum,96 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 103. regenerating the capability of the amine sorbent to be serviced. RRM is expected to reduce risksto absorb CO2 and moisture from cabin and lay the foundation for future roboticatmosphere. (NASA) servicing missions in microgravity. Robotic refueling extends the lifetime of satellites,Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment − allowing owners and operators to gainLight Microscopy Module: Biological additional years of use from assets alreadySamples (PACE-LMM-Bio) is a NASA Rapid operating in space. Technology spinoffs haveTurn Around (RTA) engineering proof-of- the potential to benefit humankind in yet-concept proposal in preparation for the undiscovered ways. (NASA)Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE). In Bio,crewmembers image three-dimensional NanoRacks Smartphone-1 will test Apple’sbiological sample particles, tissue samples and gyroscope-equipped iPhone 4 and anlive organisms. The goal of this experiment is application as a potential space navigation tool.to indicate the microscope’s capabilities for The experiment will use the phone’s cameraviewing biological specimens. (NASA) and an Earth limb tracker to test its capabilities to estimate altitude, calibrate spacecraftPico-Satellite Solar Cell Experiment (PSSC) is instruments and update navigation statea picosatellite designed to test the space vectors. The experiment also will characterizeenvironment by providing a testbed to gather the effects of radiation on the device. Thedata on new solar cell technologies. This experiment is part of a long-term effort to testcapability will allow for gathering spaceflight off-the-shelf products, including the latest inperformance data before the launch of new consumer platforms, in the spaceflightsatellites with the new solar cell technology as environment. (NASA).the primary power source. Presently, the twoU.S. solar cell manufacturers, Spectrolab and Human Exploration Telerobotics-SmartphoneEmcore, are starting production of a new will equip small, free-flying satellites calledgeneration of High Efficiency Solar Cells on a Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient,two to three year cycle. (NASA) Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) with a Samsung Electronics Nexus S™ handset thatRobonaut (Robonaut) serves as a spring board features Google’s open-source Android™to help evolve new robotic capabilities in space. platform. The experiment will use theRobonaut demonstrates that a dexterous robot smartphone-enhanced SPHERES as remotelycan launch and operate in a space vehicle, operated robots to conduct interior surveys andmanipulate mechanisms in a microgravity inspections, capture mobile camera images andenvironment, operate for an extended duration video, and to study how robots can supportwithin the space environment, assist with tasks, future human exploration. (NASA)and eventually interact with the crew members.(NASA) RESEARCH OF OPPORTUNITYRobotic Refueling Mission (RRM) Maui Analysis of Upper Atmosphericdemonstrates and tests the tools, technologies Injections (MAUI), a Department of Defenseand techniques needed to robotically refuel experiment, observes the space shuttle enginesatellites in space, even satellites not designedJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 97
  • 104. exhaust plumes from the Maui Space RESEARCH TO BE RETURNED ONSurveillance Site in Hawaii when the space SPACE SHUTTLEshuttle fires its engines at night or twilight.A telescope and all-sky imagers will take Biology and Biotechnologyimages and data while the space shuttle fliesover the Maui site. The images are analyzed to Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators,better understand the interaction between the CsPINs, Responsible for Gravity-regulatedspacecraft plume and the upper atmosphere of Growth and Development in CucumberEarth. (NASA) (CsPINs) uses cucumber seedlings to analyze the effect of gravity on gravimorphogenesisRam Burn Observations − 2 (RAMBO-2) is an (peg formation) in cucumber plants. (JAXA)experiment in which the Department ofDefense uses a satellite to observe space shuttle Mycological evaluation of crew exposure toorbital maneuvering system engine burns. Its ISS ambient air (Myco) evaluates the risk ofpurpose is to improve plume models, which microorganisms’ via inhalation and adhesion topredict the direction the plume, or rising the skin to determine which fungi act ascolumn of exhaust, will move as the shuttle allergens on the ISS. (JAXA)maneuvers on orbit. Understanding the Educationdirection in which the spacecraft engine plume,or exhaust flows could be significant to the safe Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatusarrival and departure of spacecraft on current Science Insert − 05: Spiders, Fruit Flies andand future exploration missions. (NASA) Directional Plant Growth (CSI-05) examines the long duration orb weaving characteristics ofShuttle Exhaust Ion Turbulence Experiments a Nephila clavipes (golden orb-web spiders),(SEITE), a Department of Defense experiment, the movement behavior of fruit flies, and theuses space-based sensors to detect the thigmatropic (directional plant growth inionospheric turbulence inferred from the radar response to a stimulus of direct contact) andobservations from previous Space Shuttle phototropic (directional plant growth inOrbital Maneuvering System (OMS) burn response to a light source) responses that occurexperiments using ground-based radar. during seed germination in microgravity.(NASA) CSI-05 utilizes the unique microgravity environment of the International Space StationShuttle Ionospheric Modification with Pulsed (ISS) as part of the K-12 classroom to encourageLocalized Exhaust Experiments (SIMPLEX) learning and interest in science, technology,investigates plasma turbulence driven by rocket engineering and math. (NASA)exhaust in the ionosphere using ground-basedradars. (NASA) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Education Payload Observation 6 (JAXA EPO 6) includes artistic experiments and cultural activities. JAXA implements these activities to enlighten the general public about microgravity utilization and human space98 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 105. flight. JAXA understands that International flight-compatible immune monitoring strategy.Space Station (ISS), Japanese Experiment To monitor changes in the immune system,Module (JEM), Kibo, is useful for scientists researchers collect and analyze blood, urine andand engineers as well as writers, poets, teachers saliva samples from crewmembers before,and artists. (JAXA) during and after space flight. There are no procedures currently in place to monitorHuman Research immune function or its influence on crewBisphosphonates as a Countermeasure to health. Immune dysregulation has beenSpace Flight Induced Bone Loss demonstrated to occur during space flight, yet(Bisphosphonates) determines whether little in-flight immune data has been generatedantiresorptive agents (help reduce bone loss), in to assess this clinical problem. (NASA)conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake andprogram, protects International Space Station Submaximal Estimates of VO2max Before,(ISS) crewmembers from the regional decreases During, and After Long Durationin bone mineral density documented on International Space Station Missionsprevious ISS missions. The purpose of this (VO2max) documents changes in maximumstudy is not to test one dosing option versus the oxygen uptake for crewmembers on board theother. Rather, the intent is to show that International Space Station (ISS) duringbisphosphonates plus exercise will have a long-duration missions. The data obtainedmeasurable effect versus exercise alone in from this study provides valuable insight intopreventing space flight induced bone loss. the aerobic capacity of teams in closed(NASA) environments on Earth, such as arctic bases andCardiac Atrophy and Diastolic Dysfunction submarines. (NASA)During and After Long Duration Spaceflight: Physical ScienceFunctional Consequences for OrthostaticIntolerance, Exercise Capability and Investigating the Structure of ParamagneticRisk for Cardiac Arrhythmias (Integrated Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions − 2Cardiovascular) quantifies the extent, time (InSPACE-2) obtains data on magneto-course and clinical significance of cardiac rheological fluids (fluids that change propertiesatrophy (decrease in the size of the heart in response to magnetic fields) that can be usedmuscle) associated with long-duration space to improve or develop new brake systems andflight. This experiment identifies the robotics. (NASA)mechanisms of this atrophy and the functionalconsequences for crewmembers that will spend Chaos, Turbulence and its Transitionextended periods of time in space. (NASA) Process in Marangoni Convection-Exp (Marangoni-Exp) analyzes the behavior of aValidation of Procedures for Monitoring surface-tension-driven flow in microgravity.Crew Member Immune Function (Integrated Marangoni-Exp is a fluid physics experiment toImmune) will assess the clinical risks resulting observe Marangoni convection which is afrom the adverse effects of space flight on the surface-tension-driven flow. A liquid bridge ofhuman immune system and will validate a silicone oil with 30mm or 50mm in diameter isJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 99
  • 106. formed into a pair of disks. Convection is effectively provide a rapid indication ofinduced by imposing the temperature biological cleanliness to help crew monitordifference between disks because of the surface microorganisms in the ISS cabin environment.tension gradient. (JAXA) (NASA)Growth of Homogeneous SiGe Crystals in For more information on the research andMicrogravity by the TLZ Method (Hicari) technology demonstrations performed on theexperiment aims to verify the crystal-growth International Space Station, visit:theory, and to produce high-quality crystals of http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/silicon-germanium semiconductor. (JAXA)Technology PICO-SATELLITE SOLAR CELL TESTBEDIntraVenous Fluid Generation for Exploration The Pico-Satellite Solar Cell (PSSC 2) testbed isMissions (IVGEN) demonstrates the capability scheduled to be deployed after Atlantisto purify water to the standards required for undocks from the International Space Stationintravenous administration. This hardware is a during STS-135/ULF7, becoming the lastprototype that will allow flight surgeons more satellite ever deployed by the Space Shuttleoptions to treat ill or injured crew members Program.during future long-duration exploration The satellite, also known as “PicoSat,” willmissions. IVGEN utilizes a deionizing resin perform two DoD experiments during itsbed to remove contaminants from feedstock in-orbit lifetime. First, the Miniature Trackingwater to a purity level that meets the standards Vehicle (MTV) experiment goal is toof the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), demonstrate the capability of a nano-satellite towhich is chartered by the United States Food serve as an orbiting reference for groundand Drug Administration to function as the tracking systems while demonstrating 3-axisgoverning body for pharmaceuticals in the attitude control, solid rocket propulsion forUnited States. IVGEN technology could be orbit modification, adaptive communicationsused on Earth to generate IV fluid in Third and active solar cell performance monitoring inWorld countries where medical resources are a nanosatellite platform. An on-board Globallimited. (NASA) Positioning System (GPS) receiver will provideLab-on-a-Chip Application Development- accurate time and position information toPortable Test System (LOCAD-PTS) is a facilitate tracking error analyses. The secondhandheld device for rapid detection of experiment, Compact Total Electron Contentbiological and chemical substances on surfaces Sensor (CTECS), will demonstrate a CubeSataboard the space station. Astronauts will swab form factor space weather sensor with thesurfaces within the cabin, mix swabbed capability to detect ionospheric density. It usesmaterial in liquid form to the LOCAD-PTS, and a modified commercial GPS receiver to detectobtain results within 15 minutes on a differences in radio signals generated bydisplay screen. The study’s purpose is to occulting GPS satellites.100 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 107. Photo depicting an image of the PSSC TestbedThe PicoSat is 5" x 5" x 10" and weighs 3.7 kg. It After the satellite’s orbit lowers foris integrated onto Atlantis for the STS-135 approximately one month, four ammoniummission under the management and direction perchlorate solid rocket motors will provideof the DoD Space Test Program’s Houston 40 Ns of impulse each and could extend orbitaloffice at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. PicoSat lifetime by an additional two months orwill be ejected shortly before shuttle re-entry alternatively, actively deorbit the satellite. Theinto a low (less than 360-km altitude) orbit with PSSC 2 bus, MTV and CTECS experimentsan expected orbital lifetime of three to nine will be controlled by a primary groundmonths, depending on solar activity. Multiple station at The Aerospace Corporation inon-board megapixel cameras will image El Segundo, Calif., and secondary stations thatAtlantis as the satellite departs, thus supplying comprise the Aerospace Corporation Internet-the last in-orbit photos of NASA’s workhorse based Picosatellite Ground Station Network.human space transportation system for the lastfew decades.JULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 101
  • 108. DEVELOPMENT TEST OBJECTIVES On its maiden test flight (STS-128), TriDAR(DTO) AND DETAILED SUPPLEMENTARY successfully demonstrated 3D sensor-based tracking in real time during rendezvous andOBJECTIVES (DSO) docking to the International Space Station.Development Test Objectives (DTOs) are aimed During TriDAR’s second test flight (STS-131)at testing, evaluating or documenting systems the program successfully demonstratedor hardware or proposed improvements to improved performance, tumbling targethardware, systems and operations. tracking, enhanced pilot displays as well as improved long range acquisition capabilitiesThe following DTO will be conducted: using passive thermal imaging. The third flight of the system is set to continue demonstrationDTO 701A TriDAR Sensor (Triangulation of the core real-time 3D tracking technologyand LIDAR Automated Rendezvous and as well as demonstrate new functionalityDocking) including real-time tracking from 2D thermalSTS-135 will be the third space shuttle flight for data and demonstration of advanced userthe TriDAR sensor and the first time Atlantis interfaces. The system is also set to collect 3Dhas flown the system. Space shuttle Discovery and thermal imagery from the last spacecarried the TriDAR DTO to ISS on two previous shuttle-based station flyaround developed byoccasions (STS-128 and STS-131) where TriDAR Canada’s Neptec Design Group, winner of thecapabilities were successfully demonstrated. 2010 George M. Low Award in the Small Business Product Category. TriDAR’s 3DTriDAR provides critical guidance information sensor is a dual sensing, multi-purpose scannerthat can be used to guide a vehicle during that builds on Neptec’s Laser Camera Systemrendezvous and docking operations. Unlike (LCS) technology currently used to inspect thecurrent technologies, TriDAR does not rely on space shuttle’s thermal protection tiles.any reference markers, such as reflectors, TriDAR’s shape tracking technology is a keypositioned on the target spacecraft. To achieve enabling technology for satellite servicing and itthis, it relies on a laser-based 3D sensor is a flexible tool that can be applied to diverseand a thermal imager. Geometric information tasks including: automated rendezvous,contained in successive 3D images is matched robotic operations, planetary landing as well asagainst the known shape of the target object to rover navigation.calculate its position and orientation in realtime.102 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 109. Image depicting the location of the TriDARDetailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) are interdisciplinary pre- and post-flight testingspace and life science investigations. Their regimen called a Functional Task Test (FTT)purpose is to determine the extent of has been developed that systematicallyphysiological deconditioning resulting from evaluates both astronaut postflight functionalspaceflight, to test countermeasures to those performance and related physiological changes.changes and to characterize the space The overall objective of the FTT is to identifyenvironment relative to crew health. the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to performance of functional testsDSO 640 Physiological Factors that are representative of critical mission tasks.Exposure to the microgravity conditions of This study will identify which physiologicalspaceflight causes astronauts to experience systems contribute the most to impairedalterations in multiple physiological systems. performance on each functional test. This willThese physiological changes include allow us to identify the physiological systemssensorimotor disturbances, cardiovascular that play the largest roles in decrements indeconditioning and loss of muscle mass and overall functional performance. Using thisstrength. These changes might affect the ability information, we can design and implementof crew members to perform critical mission countermeasures that specifically target thetasks immediately after landing on a planetary physiological systems most responsible for thesurface following prolonged spaceflight. altered functional performance associated withTo understand how changes in physiological spaceflight.function affect functional performance, anJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 103
  • 110. DSO-641 Risk of Orthostatic Intolerance include abdominal compression canDuring Re-exposure to Gravity significantly improve orthostatic tolerance. These data are similar to clinical studies usingOne of the most important physiological inflatable compression garments.changes that may negatively impact crewsafety is post-flight orthostatic intolerance. Custom-fitted, commercial compressionAstronauts who have orthostatic intolerance are garments will be evaluated as countermeasuresunable to maintain a normal systolic blood to immediate and longer-term post-flightpressure during head-up tilt, have elevated orthostatic intolerance. These garments willheart rates and may experience presyncope or provide a continuous, graded compressionsyncope with upright posture. This problem from the foot to the hip, and a staticaffects about 30 percent of astronauts who fly compression over the lower abdomen. Theseshort-duration missions (4 to 18 days) and garments should provide superior fit and83 percent of astronauts who fly long-duration comfort as well as being easier to don. Tiltmissions. This condition creates a potential testing will be used as an orthostatic challengehazard for crew members during re-entry and before and after spaceflight.after landing, especially for emergency egresscontingencies. For more information about this and other DSOs, visitTwo countermeasures are currently employedto ameliorate post-flight orthostatic intolerance; https://rlsda.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/experiment/exfluid loading and an anti-gravity suit. per.cfm?exp_index=1448Unfortunately, neither of these are completely andeffective for all phases of landing and egress,thus, continued countermeasure development https://rlsda.jsc.nasa.gov/docs/research/researcis important. Preliminary evidence has shown h_detail.cfm?experiment_type_code=35&researthat commercial compression hose that chtype=104 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 111. STUDENT EXPERIMENTSPeoria, ArizonaJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 525 grade 5 through grade 8 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 1,060 grade K through grade 8 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 1, Parkridge Elementary SchoolCommunity Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: Peoria Unified School DistrictParticipation in the Student Spaceflight John F. Long Properties LLLPExperiments Program will help The Parkridge Vernier Software & TechnologyElementary School meet its STEM education NAU/NASA Space Grantneeds. Participating in this program is a perfectway to help tie STEM lessons into the different SSEP Mission Participationgrade levels. Parkridge strongly believes in STS-135allowing all students the opportunity to getinvolved with activities such as SSEP to better SSEP Community Program Directorprepare students for their futures. The motto atParkridge is “College Ready.” They believe Alison Thammavongsathat it is their role here to prepare students for 7th grade science teacher, Peoria Unifiedcollege. SSEP is also beneficial because it gives School Districtstudents a glimpse into future career options athammavongsa@peoriaud.k12.az.usand what it is like to work as a scientist. The Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, ifschool will also use this program in partnership available at their Community Blogwith the school-wide science fair. Not only willall grade levels benefit from the SSEP, thecommunity will be made aware of thisopportunity. Parents and the community willbe able to visit their science fair and learn aboutthe SSEP. The school knows that by allowingits students to participate in STEM activitieswill not only broaden their knowledge indifferent areas of science, technology,engineering, and math, but also better preparethem for their futures.JULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 105
  • 112. Hartford, ConnecticutJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 150 grade 5 through grade 8 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 364 grade K through grade 8 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 1Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: Annie Fisher STEM Magnet SchoolThe Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School is Hamilton Sundstrandamong the shining stars of Hartford Public Connecticut Space Grant CollegeSchools – with the Choose, Achieve, and ConsortiumSucceed motto of educational reform. The University High School of Science andschool highlights the core philosophy that Engineeringscience, technology, engineering, and Hartford Public Schoolsmathematics are the norm for all students – Travelers Insurancekindergarten through the eighth grade.Through various established partnerships, SSEP Mission Participationthe Student Spaceflight Experiments STS-135Program allows students the opportunity towork collaboratively with high school, SSEP Community Program Directorcollege and industry-level professionals.These opportunities are not only unique, Rachael Manzerbut incorporate inquiry-based educational STEM Theme Coach, Annie Fisher STEMprogramming along with the integration of Magnet School21st Century Skills. The idea of bringing manzr001@hartfordschools.orgall levels of academic learners to work Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, ifcollaboratively on a joint experiment fosters available at their Community Blogan amazing educational experience. Thisreal-world experience will inspire students tocontinue their education within science,technology, engineering and mathematicsfields.106 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 113. Chicago, IllinoisJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 355 grade 4 through grade 8 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 700 grade K through grade 8 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 1, Skinner West Classical, Fine Arts & Technology SchoolCommunity Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: Chicago Public SchoolsChicago is the headquarters for many of the Motorola Solutions Foundationcountry’s most technologically advanced firms,research laboratories, and universities. In SSEP Mission Participationsupport of such institutions, Skinner West STS-135is helping to nurture the next generationof highly-educated, technologically-capable SSEP Community Program Directorworkers. Skinner West believes in providingstudents with the most authentic and inspiring Kori Milroyscience experiences possible, coupled with Science Teacher, Skinner West Classical, Finerigorous instruction in the skills required to Arts, & Technology Schoolconduct scientific investigations. In addition to ksmilroy@cps.edugiving children the skills they need to succeed Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, ifin the 21st Century, this method of science available at their Community Bloginstruction also fosters a lifelong curiosity aboutthe natural world, and gives children the powerto answer their own questions. The StudentSpaceflight Experiments Program provides justthe type of learning opportunity that SkinnerWest’s students need. This amazing programwill give students the chance to actually bescientists, designing real experiments forspaceflight. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetimelearning opportunity, with the potential toinspire hundreds of our students to pursuefurther studies in science, technology,engineering and mathematics.JULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 107
  • 114. Avicenna Academy, Crown Point, IndianaJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 101 grade 4 through grade 12 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 273 grade K through grade 12 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 2Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner Institutions and IndividualsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Co-Lead: Avicenna AcademyAvicenna Academy’s school community has Co-Lead: Life Learning Cooperativehigh scores in both Language Arts and Indiana Space Grant ConsortiumMathematics, as measured by Indiana’s Dr. Arshad Malik & Mrs.Malikstandardized assessments, and the current Dr. Amjad Bahnasi & Mrs. Bahnasipriority is creating and fostering an ongoing Dr. Basil Hajjar & Mrs. Dana Rifai-Hajjarlove for science in the students by establishing a Dr. M. Hytham Rifai & Mrs. Nuha Rifaistrong, inquiry-based science program. There Anderson University Biology Departmentis a clear connection between the investigation Hoosier Microbiological Laboratoriesskills that are fine-tuned through scientific Indiana University Northwestexploration and problem-solving ability. The The Jackson Laboratoryability to think critically and solve problems is Yale University’s E. coli banknecessary to be competitive in today andtomorrow’s job market. The collaborative effort SSEP Mission Participationin this project, with Life Learning Cooperative, STS-135offers students the chance to collaborate withother budding scientists in a different SSEP Community Program Directoreducational atmosphere. The diversity amongthe participants is remarkable and will, in that Amanda Arceoway, mirror much of the work being done by Principal, Avicenna Academyscientists around the world today. It is ms.arceo.avicenna@gmail.comimperative that today’s youth are prepared for Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, ifsuccess in tomorrow’s world. Participation in available at their Community BlogSSEP allows the school to bring learning outonto the playing field instead of limiting it to aclassroom, and that is crucial to effectivepreparation for students’ futures.108 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 115. Galva-Holstein, IowaJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 600 grade 5 through grade 12 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 800 grade K through grade 12 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 4Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: Galva Holstein Community SchoolThe participation in the Student Spaceflight DistrictExperiments Program will engage communities Ida County Economic Developmentlocated in western Iowa in STEM education John Pappajohnawareness and career opportunities. The Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.collaboration exemplified by statewide Rockwell Collinseducation stakeholders, internationally known Iowa Mathematics & Science Educationcompanies and entrepreneurs is a testament Partnershipto the commitment to inspiring our next Iowa Space Grant Consortiumgeneration to imagine STEM-related career Iowa State University Extension – Idapathways. County Northwest Area Education AgencyThe district has a recognized history ofexcelling in providing students with college SSEP Mission Participationpreparation. This tradition continues as thedistrict continues to successfully collaborate STS-135and provide new resources that strengthen the SSEP Community Program Co-DirectorsSTEM learning opportunities for the students.Participation in SSEP will add another level of Rita Frahmenhancement to the Virtual Reality Education President, Ida County Economic DevelopmentPathway consortium resources offered in the ritafrahm@heritageiowa.comdistrict. Students in grades 5 through 12 will Jim Christensenhave the opportunity to engage in science Distance Learning, HEART Data Manager,experiments, create 3D models, and in turn, FOSS/STC Science Materials Centerengage the youngest students in student-led Northwest Area Education Agencyinstruction. jchristensen@nwaea.org Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, if available at their Community BlogJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 109
  • 116. Charles County, MarylandJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 1,400 grade 5 through grade 12 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 6,000 grade K through grade 12 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 20Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic engineering with their students. SSEP canAlignment to Local STEM Education Need support the school system’s vision by engaging students in authentic scientific thinking andWith Charles County’s location in the center of problem solving as they become scientists ina regional technology corridor and the aging of this historic endeavor.the STEM workforce, Charles County has a goalof attracting and preparing students at all Partner Institutionseducational levels to pursue STEM coursework;supporting students to pursue postsecondary Lead: Charles County Public Schoolsdegrees; providing students and teachers Maryland Space Grant Consortiumwith STEM-related growth and research College of Southern Marylandopportunities and expanding the capacity of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indianschool system to promote STEM education. Head DivisionThe following programs have been developed SSEP Mission Participationand implemented to meet these goals: transdisciplinary curricula, Gateway and Project STS-135Lead The Way classes, lessons co-taught byscientists or engineers, and programs in which SSEP Community Program Co-Directorsrobotics and Chesapeake Bay issues introduce Christine Smiththe use of technology with science and Science Instructional Specialist, Charles Countyenvironmental issues. Public SchoolsIn partnership with the Space Foundation, csmith@ccboe.comCharles County Public Schools has put into Scott Hangeyplace professional development for teachers to Director, Science Instruction and Programincrease their knowledge and application Development, Charles County Public Schoolsof space and aerospace technologies. This shangey@ccboe.comprovides them a good foundation to becomemore comfortable with fundamental space and Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, ifaerospace concepts allowing them to share their available at their Community Blogknowledge and enthusiasm for aerospace110 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 117. Fitchburg, MassachusettsJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 1,400 grade 9 through grade 12 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 1,400 grade 9 through grade 12 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 1, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical SchoolCommunity Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: Montachusett Regional VocationalThe strategic need for the school community in Technical SchoolSTEM Education is two-fold; it will The Community Foundation of Northdramatically increase student interest and Central Massachusettsprepare and inspire the next generation of Massachusetts Space Grant Consortiumscientists for STEM careers, and it will provide MITnew opportunities for community involvement. Massachusetts Workforce BoardParticipation in this project will empower the Associationstudents by challenging them to ask authenticquestions about the world they live in. SSEP Mission ParticipationThrough the STEM Education program, the STS-135students have an opportunity to generatequestions and integrate knowledge from all of SSEP Community Program Directortheir educational experiences. Using math andscience skills to develop and analyze an Paula deDiegoexperiment, students will foster their ability to Science Instructor and NASA NEAT Teacher,think critically. This program will also enable Montachusett Regional Vocational Technicalstudents to apply their unique vocational Schooleducation skills to real-world problems. dediego@montytech.netBeyond engaging and educating students, Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, iffamilies, educators and the local community available at their Community Blogwill benefit from this program as well.Through exhibits and programs, andprofessional development opportunities,members of the Monty Tech community willassist and support teachers in STEM Education.SSEP is assisting Monty Tech in meeting long-and short-term goals by selecting thecommunity for the STS-135 mission.JULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 111
  • 118. Potter and Dix, NebraskaJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 130 grade 5 through grade 12 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 200 grade K through grade 12 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 2Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: Potter-Dix Public SchoolsSTEM education: The U.S. Department of The Sherwood FoundationLabor stated that 15 of the 20 fastest growing NASA Nebraska Space Grantoccupations require significant mathematics or Nebraska Natural Resourcesscience preparation. In 2009, these statistics Conservation Serviceprompted the Potter-Dix school district to Texas A & M University Department ofevaluate, design and rebuild the science Soil & Crop Sciencescurriculum. The science curriculum isdesigned to provide students with science, SSEP Mission Participationmath and engineering/technology in sequences STS-135that build upon each other. Physics, taught asthe first science course for high school students, SSEP Community Program Co-Directorsparallels the goals of basic algebra; reinforcingskills such as solving equations, interpreting Joette Wellsgraphs and reasoning proportionately. High School Science Instructor, Potter-DixEngineering components emphasize process Public Schoolsand design of solutions. Each successive course Kevin Thomasbuilds on the STEM principles. Students Superintendent, Potter-Dix Public Schoolswill be future scientists, mathematiciansand engineers, and the Student Spaceflight Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, ifExperiments Program will provide Potter-Dix available at their Community Blogstudents with the opportunity to increase theircritical thinking skills and their science literacy.112 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 119. Lincoln, NebraskaJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 3,200 grade 5 through grade 8 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 3,200 grade K through grade 8 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 14; also a home-school networkCommunity Statement on SSEP and Strategic Partner InstitutionsAlignment to Local STEM Education Need Lead: UNL Center for Science, Mathematics &As the capital of Nebraska with a population of Computer Education255,000, Lincoln has a reputation for quality Lincoln Public Schoolseducation and provides students a wide variety The Sherwood Foundationof opportunities for authentic learning. The NASA Nebraska Space GrantSSEP in Lincoln is open to any student ingrades 6 through 12 in the public schools SSEP Mission Participation(6 high schools and 11 middle schools), STS-135parochial schools and home-school groups.Participating schools have the opportunity to SSEP Community Program Co-Directorspartner with local experts in industry and/oracademia. The challenges of meeting the Jon Pedersenrequirements for this authentic scientific effort Science Education Director, Center for Science,represent a unique learning opportunity for Mathematics & Computer Education, UNLstudents and complements the theory and jep@unl.edutraining they get in the classroom. Mark James Science Teacher, LPS Science Focus Program, Lincoln Public Schools ajames@lps.org Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, if available at their Community BlogJULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 113
  • 120. Bridgewater-Raritan, New JerseyJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: opportunity provided to 2,955 grade 9 through grade 12 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 2,955 grade 9 through grade 12 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 1, Bridgewater-Raritan High SchoolCommunity Statement on SSEP and Strategic are most successful. The SSEP offers a trulyAlignment to Local STEM Education Need unique opportunity to capitalize further on the proven academic success of this community byThe Bridgewater-Raritan School District fostering a network of collaboration among(BRRSD) has created a unique opportunity to students and faculty working together toinspire and motivate a community of nearly further motivate and inspire our next3,000 high school students in central New generation of leaders who will take on theJersey to pursue fields of study and future global challenges of the 21st century.careers in science, technology, engineering andmathematics (STEM) by engaging students, Partner Institutionsteachers, science professionals and thecommunity at large in the Student Spaceflight Lead: Bridgewater-Raritan School DistrictExperiments Program (SSEP). A community AT&T Labswhere many of its residents are entrepreneurs, Young Science Achieversprofessionals or employed by local corporations Hawk Pointe Golf Club Foundationin the technology, bio-pharmaceutical and Bridgewater-Raritan Class of 1986telecommunications industries, our PreK Alumni Foundation/Princeton Areathrough 12 school system serves approximately Community Foundationover 9,000 students. The district’s curriculum Scitor Corporationhas a long tradition of academic excellence SSEP Mission Participationdesigned to prepare students for both collegeand the workplace. This design allows for STS-135varied levels of learning in meeting the needs of SSEP Community Program Co-Directorsindividual students while providing a rich and Mr. Michael Herbstdiverse portfolio of academic options that 5-12 Science Supervisor, Bridgewater-Raritanprovide challenges aimed at helping studentsreach their fullest potential. The Science School DistrictDepartment at Bridgewater-Raritan High mherbst@brrsd.k12.nj.usSchool (BRHS) offers a rich and diverse science Jorge L. Valdes, Ph.D.core curriculum and a unique portfolio of Science Teacher, Bridgewater-Raritan Highscience electives aimed at providing students Schoolwith a broad range of knowledge and jvaldes@brrsd.k12.nj.uslaboratory skills. Students are encouraged totake the most challenging courses Jump to: a more detailed Community Profile, if(differentiated by level of rigor) in which they available at their Community Blog114 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 121. Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, Inwood, New YorkJump to: their SSEP Community BlogProgram ScopeExperiment Design Competition: Opportunity provided to 150 grade 5 through grade 8 studentsSSEP Community-wide Engagement Program: 375 grade K through grade 8 students participatingNumber of participating schools: 1Community Statement on SSEP and Strategic This will be a life-changing experience that willAlignment to Local STEM Education Need serve as the inspiration for many students to enter the STEM fields.The STEM program provides each student withstrong math, science, and computer skills and Partner Institutionsopportunities to apply those skills to complexproblem solving. The goal is for students to Lead: Elliquence LLCbecome life-long learners, with a thirst Galactic Medicalfor knowledge and the skills to acquire Oxygen Inkthat knowledge. The creative faculty employs Macro Design GroupSmartboards, hands-on materials, and TNT Design Groupinnovation to help each student maximize his AV Grouppotential. An experiential, inquiry-driven SSEP Mission Participationscience program, centered on the scientificmethod, provides each student with weekly STS-135laboratory time to view/conduct experiments.Students visit science museums and research SSEP Community Program Directorfacilities where they conduct experiments and Ari Ginianresearch that supplement their classroom and Executive Director, Community Programlab findings. Director, Yeshiva Ketana of Long IslandThe Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Aginian@ykli.orgis the natural next step for the STEM program; SSEP Community Program Co-Directorchallenging students in domains they have yetto explore and enabling them to participate in a Stew Greenbergnational mission. This unique project has the IT Specialist, Yeshiva Ketana of Long Islandpotential to ignite the science program while stewg@rushhoursolutions.comuniting the learning community. While theproject itself is open to grades 5 through 8, the SSEP Community Program Co-Directorentire student body will conduct grade- Larissa Steeleappropriate scientific projects and research Assistant Principalwhich will engage and involve everyone in Lsteele@ykli.orgpreparation for the launch.JULY 2011 EXPERIMENTS 115
  • 122. For more information on these experiments, visit:http://ssep.ncesse.org/communities/community-directory/community-profiles-and-local-partners-ssep-on-sts-135/116 EXPERIMENTS JULY 2011
  • 123. SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATASHUTTLE ABORT MODES launch site, KSC, approximately 25 minutes after liftoff.Redundant Set Launch Sequencer(RSLS) Aborts The RTLS profile is designed to accommodate the loss of thrust from one space shuttle mainThese occur when the onboard shuttle engine between liftoff and approximatelycomputers detect a problem and command a four minutes 20 seconds, after which nothalt in the launch sequence after taking over enough main propulsion system propellantfrom the ground launch sequencer and before remains to return to the launch site. An RTLSsolid rocket booster ignition. can be considered to consist of three stages – aAscent Aborts powered stage, during which the space shuttle main engines are still thrusting; an externalSelection of an ascent abort mode may become tank separation phase; and the glide phase,necessary if there is a failure that affects vehicle during which the orbiter glides to a landing atperformance, such as the failure of a space the KSC. The powered RTLS phase begins withshuttle main engine or an orbital maneuvering the crew selection of the RTLS abort, after solidsystem engine. Other failures requiring early rocket booster separation. The crew selects thetermination of a flight, such as a cabin leak, abort mode by positioning the abort rotarymight also require the selection of an abort switch to RTLS and depressing the abort pushmode. There are two basic types of ascent abort button. The time at which the RTLS is selectedmodes for space shuttle missions: intact aborts depends on the reason for the abort. Forand contingency aborts. Intact aborts are example, a three-engine RTLS is selected at thedesigned to provide a safe return of the orbiter last moment, about 3 minutes, 34 seconds intoto a planned landing site. Contingency aborts the mission; whereas an RTLS chosen due to anare designed to permit flight crew survival engine out at liftoff is selected at the earliestfollowing more severe failures when an intact time, about 2 minutes, 20 seconds into theabort is not possible. A contingency abort mission (after solid rocket booster separation).would generally result in a ditch operation. After RTLS is selected, the vehicle continuesIntact Aborts downrange to dissipate excess main propulsionThere are four types of intact aborts: Abort To system propellant. The goal is to leave onlyOrbit (ATO), Abort Once Around (AOA), enough main propulsion system propellant toTransoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) and be able to turn the vehicle around, fly backReturn To Launch Site (RTLS). toward KSC and achieve the proper main engine cutoff conditions so the vehicle canReturn to Launch Site glide to KSC after external tank separation.The RTLS abort mode is designed to allow the During the downrange phase, a pitch-aroundreturn of the orbiter, crew and payload to the maneuver is initiated (the time depends in part on the time of a space shuttle main engineJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 117
  • 124. failure) to orient the orbiter/external tank pressure leak or cooling system failure, occursconfiguration to a heads-up attitude, pointing after the last RTLS opportunity, making ittoward the launch site. At this time, the vehicle imperative to land as quickly as possible.is still moving away from the launch site, butthe space shuttle main engines are now In a TAL abort, the vehicle continues on athrusting to null the downrange velocity. In ballistic trajectory across the Atlantic Ocean toaddition, excess orbital maneuvering system land at a predetermined runway. Landingand reaction control system propellants are occurs about 45 minutes after launch. Thedumped by the continuous orbital landing site is selected near the normal ascentmaneuvering system and reaction control ground track of the orbiter to make the mostsystem engine thrustings to improve the orbiter efficient use of space shuttle main engineweight and center of gravity for the glide phase propellant. The landing site also must have theand landing. necessary runway length, weather conditions and U.S. State Department approval. The threeThe vehicle will reach the desired main engine landing sites that have been identified for acutoff point with less than 2 percent excess launch are Zaragoza, Spain; Morón, Spain; andpropellant remaining in the external tank. At Istres, France.main engine cutoff minus 20 seconds, a pitchdown maneuver (called powered pitch-down) To select the TAL abort mode, the crew musttakes the mated vehicle to the required external place the abort rotary switch in the TAL/AOAtank separation attitude and pitch rate. After position and depress the abort push buttonmain engine cutoff has been commanded, the before main engine cutoff (depressing it afterexternal tank separation sequence begins, main engine cutoff selects the AOA abortincluding a reaction control system maneuver mode). The TAL abort mode begins sendingthat ensures that the orbiter does not recontact commands to steer the vehicle toward the planethe external tank and that the orbiter has of the landing site. It also rolls the vehicleachieved the necessary pitch attitude to begin heads up before main engine cutoff and sendsthe glide phase of the RTLS. commands to begin an orbital maneuvering system propellant dump (by burning theAfter the reaction control system maneuver has propellants through the orbital maneuveringbeen completed, the glide phase of the RTLS system engines and the reaction control systembegins. From then on, the RTLS is handled engines). This dump is necessary to increasesimilarly to a normal entry. vehicle performance (by decreasing weight) to place the center of gravity in the proper placeTransoceanic Abort Landing for vehicle control and to decrease the vehicle’sThe TAL abort mode was developed to landing weight. TAL is handled like a normalimprove the options available if a space shuttle entry.main engine fails after the last RTLS Abort to Orbitopportunity but before the first time that anAOA can be accomplished with only two space An ATO is an abort mode used to boost theshuttle main engines or when a major orbiter orbiter to a safe orbital altitude whensystem failure, for example, a large cabin performance has been lost and it is impossible118 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 125. to reach the planned orbital altitude. If a space would maintain orbiter integrity for in-flightshuttle main engine fails in a region that results crew escape if a landing cannot be achieved at ain a main engine cutoff under speed, the suitable landing field.MCC will determine that an abort mode isnecessary and will inform the crew. The orbital Contingency aborts due to system failures othermaneuvering system engines would be used to than those involving the main engines wouldplace the orbiter in a circular orbit. normally result in an intact recovery of vehicle and crew. Loss of more than one main engineAbort Once Around may, depending on engine failure times, result in a safe runway landing. However, in mostThe AOA abort mode is used in cases in which three-engine-out cases during ascent, thevehicle performance has been lost to such an orbiter would have to be ditched. The inflightextent that either it is impossible to achieve a crew escape system would be used beforeviable orbit or not enough orbital maneuvering ditching the orbiter.system propellant is available to accomplishthe orbital maneuvering system thrusting Abort Decisionsmaneuver to place the orbiter in space. Inaddition, an AOA is used in cases in which a There is a definite order of preference for themajor systems problem (cabin leak, loss of various abort modes. The type of failure and thecooling) makes it necessary to land quickly. In time of the failure determine which type of abortthe AOA abort mode, one orbital maneuvering is selected. In cases where performance loss issystem thrusting sequence is made to adjust the the only factor, the preferred modes are ATO,post-main engine cutoff orbit so a second AOA, TAL and RTLS, in that order. The modeorbital maneuvering system thrusting sequence chosen is the highest one that can be completedwill result in the vehicle deorbiting and landing with the remaining vehicle performance.at the AOA landing site (White Sands, N.M.; In the case of some support system failures,Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; or the Kennedy such as cabin leaks or vehicle cooling problems,Space Center, Fla). Thus, an AOA results in the the preferred mode might be the one that willorbiter circling the Earth once and landing end the mission most quickly. In these cases,about 90 minutes after liftoff. TAL or RTLS might be preferable to AOA orAfter the deorbit thrusting sequence has been ATO. A contingency abort is never chosen ifexecuted, the flight crew flies to a landing at the another abort option exists.planned site much as it would for a nominal Mission Control Houston is prime for callingentry. these aborts because it has a more preciseContingency Aborts knowledge of the orbiter’s position than the crew can obtain from onboard systems. BeforeContingency aborts are caused by loss of more main engine cutoff, Mission Control makesthan one main engine or failures in other periodic calls to the crew to identify whichsystems. Loss of one main engine while abort mode is (or is not) available. If groundanother is stuck at a low thrust setting also may communications are lost, the flight crew hasnecessitate a contingency abort. Such an abort onboard methods, such as cue cards, dedicatedJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 119
  • 126. displays and display information, to determine (STS-55) March 22, 1993the abort region. Which abort mode is selected The countdown for Columbia’s launch wasdepends on the cause and timing of the failure halted by onboard computers at T - 3 secondscausing the abort and which mode is safest or following a problem with purge pressureimproves mission success. If the problem is a readings in the oxidizer preburner on mainspace shuttle main engine failure, the flight engine No. 2. Columbia’s three main enginescrew and Mission Control Center select the best were replaced on the launch pad, and the flightoption available at the time a main engine fails. was rescheduled behind Discovery’s launchIf the problem is a system failure that on STS-56. Columbia finally launched onjeopardizes the vehicle, the fastest abort mode April 26, 1993.that results in the earliest vehicle landing is (STS-51) Aug. 12, 1993chosen. RTLS and TAL are the quickest options(35 minutes), whereas an AOA requires about The countdown for Discovery’s third launch90 minutes. Which of these is selected depends attempt ended at the T - 3 second mark whenon the time of the failure with three good space onboard computers detected the failure of oneshuttle main engines. of four sensors in main engine No. 2 which monitor the flow of hydrogen fuel to theThe flight crew selects the abort mode by engine. All of Discovery’s main engines werepositioning an abort mode switch and ordered replaced on the launch pad, delayingdepressing an abort push button. the shuttle’s fourth launch attempt untilSHUTTLE ABORT HISTORY Sept. 12, 1993.RSLS Abort History (STS-68) Aug. 18, 1994(STS-41 D) June 26, 1984 The countdown for Endeavour’s first launch attempt ended 1.9 seconds before liftoff whenThe countdown for the second launch attempt onboard computers detected higher thanfor Discovery’s maiden flight ended at T minus acceptable readings in one channel of a sensor(T - 4) seconds when the orbiter’s computers monitoring the discharge temperature of thedetected a sluggish valve in main engine No. 3. high pressure oxidizer turbopump in mainThe main engine was replaced and Discovery engine No. 3. A test firing of the engine at thewas finally launched on Aug. 30, 1984. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Sept. 2, 1994, confirmed that a slight drift in a(STS-51 F) July 12, 1985 fuel flow meter in the engine caused a slightThe countdown for Challenger’s launch increase in the turbopump’s temperature. Thewas halted at T - 3 seconds when onboard test firing also confirmed a slightly slower startcomputers detected a problem with a coolant for main engine No. 3 during the pad abort,valve on main engine No. 2. The valve was which could have contributed to the higherreplaced and Challenger was launched on temperatures. After Endeavour was broughtJuly 29, 1985. back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to be outfitted with three replacement engines,120 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 127. NASA managers set Oct. 2, 1994, as the date for shuttle, traveling at about 17,000 miles perEndeavour’s second launch attempt. hour, reaches orbit.Abort to Orbit History The main engine operates at greater temperature extremes than any mechanical(STS-51 F) July 29, 1985 system in common use today. The fuel,After an RSLS abort on July 12, 1985, liquefied hydrogen at -423 degrees Fahrenheit,Challenger was launched on July 29, 1985. is the second coldest liquid on Earth. When itFive minutes and 45 seconds after launch, a and the liquid oxygen are combusted, thesensor problem resulted in the shutdown of temperature in the main combustion chamber iscenter engine No. 1, resulting in a safe “abort to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than theorbit” and successful completion of the mission. boiling point of iron.SPACE SHUTTLE MAIN ENGINES The main engines use a staged combustion cycle so that all propellants entering the enginesDeveloped in the 1970s by NASA’s Marshall are used to produce thrust, or power, moreSpace Flight Center, in Huntsville, Ala., the efficiently than any previous rocket engine. Inspace shuttle main engine is the most advanced a staged combustion cycle, propellants are firstliquid-fueled rocket engine ever built. Every burned partially at high pressure and relativelyspace shuttle main engine is tested and proven low temperature, and then burned completelyflight worthy at NASA’s Stennis Space Center at high temperature and pressure in the mainin south Mississippi, before installation on combustion chamber. The rapid mixing of thean orbiter. Its main features include variable propellants under these conditions is sothrust, high performance reusability, high complete that 99 percent of the fuel is burned.redundancy and a fully integrated enginecontroller. At normal operating level, each engine generates 490,847 pounds of thrust, measuredThe shuttle’s three main engines are mounted in a vacuum. Full power is 512,900 pounds ofon the orbiter aft fuselage in a triangular thrust; minimum power is 316,100 pounds ofpattern. Spaced so that they are movable thrust.during launch, the engines are used, inconjunction with the solid rocket boosters, to The engine can be throttled by varying thesteer the shuttle vehicle. output of the preburners, thus varying the speed of the high-pressure turbopumps and,Each of these powerful main engines is 14 feet therefore, the flow of the propellant.long, weighs about 7,000 pounds and is 7.5 feetin diameter at the end of its nozzle. At about 26 seconds into ascent, the main engines are throttled down to 316,000 poundsThe engines operate for about 8.5 minutes of thrust to keep the dynamic pressure on theduring liftoff and ascent, burning more than vehicle below a specified level, about500,000 gallons of super-cold liquid hydrogen 580 pounds per square foot, known as max q.and liquid oxygen propellants stored in the Then, the engines are throttled back up toexternal tank attached to the underside of the normal operating level at about 60 seconds.shuttle. The engines shut down just before the This reduces stress on the vehicle. The mainJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 121
  • 128. engines are throttled down again at about by reducing pressure and temperature in theseven minutes, 40 seconds into the mission to chamber.maintain three g’s, three times the Earth’s The most recent engine enhancement isgravitational pull, reducing stress on the crew the Advanced Health Management Systemand the vehicle. This acceleration level is about (AHMS), which made its first flight in 2007.one-third the acceleration experienced on AHMS is a controller upgrade that providesprevious crewed space vehicles. new monitoring and insight into the health ofAbout 10 seconds before Main Engine Cutoff the two most complex components of the space(MECO), the cutoff sequence begins. About shuttle main engine – the high pressure fuelthree seconds later the main engines are turbopump and the high pressure oxidizercommanded to begin throttling at 10 percent turbopump. New advanced digital signalthrust per second until they achieve 65 percent processors monitor engine vibration and havethrust. This is held for about 6.7 seconds, and the ability to shut down an engine if vibrationthe engines are shut down. exceeds safe limits. AHMS was developed by engineers at Marshall.The engine performance has the highest thrustfor its weight of any engine yet developed. In After the orbiter lands, the engines are removedfact, one space shuttle main engine generates and returned to a processing facility at NASA’ssufficient thrust to maintain the flight of two Kennedy Space Center, Fla., where they areand one-half Boeing 747 airplanes. rechecked and readied for the next flight. Some components are returned to the main engine’sThe space shuttle main engine also is the first prime contractor, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne,rocket engine to use a built-in electronic digital West Palm Beach, Fla., for regular maintenance.controller, or computer. The controller accepts The main engines are designed to operate forcommands from the orbiter for engine start, 7.5 accumulated hours.change in throttle, shutdown and monitoring ofengine operation. SPACE SHUTTLE SOLID ROCKETNASA continues to increase the reliability and BOOSTERS (SRB)safety of shuttle flights through a series of The two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) requiredenhancements to the space shuttle main for a space shuttle launch and first two minutesengines. The engines were modified in 1988, of powered flight boast the largest1995, 1998, 2001 and 2007. Modifications solid-propellant motors ever flown. They areinclude new high-pressure fuel and oxidizer the first large rockets designed for reuse andturbopumps that reduce maintenance and are the only solid rocket motors rated foroperating costs of the engine, a two-duct human flight. The SRBs have the capacity topowerhead that reduces pressure and carry the entire weight of the External fuel Tankturbulence in the engine, and a single-coil heat (ET), and orbiter, and to transmit the weightexchanger that lowers the number of post flight load through their structure to the Mobileinspections required. Another modification Launcher Platform (MLP).incorporates a large-throat main combustionchamber that improves the engine’s reliability122 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 129. The SRBs provide 71.4 percent of the thrust They are attached to the ET at the SRB aft attachrequired to lift the space shuttle off the launch ring by an upper and lower attach strut and apad and during first-stage ascent to an altitude diagonal attach strut. The forward end of eachof about 150,000 feet, or 28 miles. At launch, SRB is affixed to the ET by one attach bolt andeach booster has a sea level thrust of ET ball fitting on the forward skirt. Whileapproximately 3.3 million pounds and is positioned on the launch pad, the space shuttleignited after the ignition and verification of the is attached to the MLP by four bolts andthree Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs). explosive nuts equally spaced around each SRB. After ignition of the solid rocket motors,SRB apogee occurs at an altitude of about the nuts are severed by small explosives that230,000 feet, or 43 miles, 75 seconds after allow the space shuttle vehicle to perform liftseparation from the main vehicle. At booster off.separation, the space shuttle orbiter has reachedan altitude of 24 miles and is traveling at a United Space Alliancespeed in excess of 3,000 miles per hour. United Space Alliance (USA), at KennedyThe primary elements of each booster are nose facilities, is responsible for all SRB operations,cap, housing the pilot and drogue parachute; except the motor and nozzle portions.frustum, housing the three main parachutes in In conjunction with maintaining solea cluster; forward skirt, housing the booster responsibility for manufacturing andflight avionics, altitude sensing, recovery processing of the nonmotor hardware andavionics, parachute cameras and range safety vehicle integration, USA provides thedestruct system; four motor segments, service of retrieval, post flight inspection andcontaining the solid propellant; motor nozzle; analysis, disassembly and refurbishment of theand aft skirt, housing the nozzle and thrust hardware. USA also exclusively retainsvector control systems required for guidance. comprehensive responsibility for the orbiter.Each SRB possesses its own redundant The reusable solid rocket motor segments areauxiliary power units and hydraulic pumps. shipped from ATK Launch Systems in Utah toSRB impact occurs in the ocean approximately Kennedy, where they are mated by USA140 miles downrange. SRB retrieval is personnel to the other structural components –provided after each flight by specifically the forward assembly, aft skirt, frustum anddesigned and built ships. The frustums, nose cap – in the Vehicle Assembly Building.drogue and main parachutes are loaded onto Work involves the complete disassembly andthe ships along with the boosters and towed refurbishment of the major SRB structures – theback to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where aft skirts, frustums, forward skirts and allthey are disassembled and refurbished for ancillary hardware – required to complete anreuse. Before retirement, each booster can be SRB stack and mate to the ET. Work thenused as many as 20 times. proceeds to ET/SRB mate, mate with the orbiter and finally, space shuttle close out operations.Each booster is just over 149 feet long and After hardware restoration concerning flight12.17 feet in diameter. Both boosters have a configuration is complete, automated checkoutcombined weight of 1,303,314 pounds at lift-off. and hot fire are performed early in hardwareJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 123
  • 130. flow to ensure that the refurbished components contains sand to absorb the shock of the boltsatisfy all flight performance requirements. dropping down several feet. The SRB bolt is 28 inches long, 3.5 inches in diameter andATK Launch Systems (ATK) weighs approximately 90 pounds. TheATK Launch Systems of Brigham City, Utah, frangible nut is captured in a blast container onmanufactures space shuttle Reusable Solid the aft skirt specifically designed to absorb theRocket Motors (RSRMs), at their Utah facility. impact and prevent pieces of the nut fromEach RSRM – just over 126 feet long and 12 feet liberating and becoming debris that couldin diameter – consists of four rocket motor damage the space shuttle.segments and an aft exit cone assembly is. Integrated Electronic AssemblyFrom ignition to end of burn, each RSRMgenerates an average thrust of 2.6 million The aft Integrated Electronic Assembly (IEA),pounds and burns for approximately mounted in the ET/SRB attach ring, provides123 seconds. Of the motor’s total weight of the electrical interface between the SRB systems1.25 million pounds, propellant accounts for and the obiter. The aft IEA receives data,1.1 million pounds. The four motor segments commands, and electrical power from theare matched by loading each from the same orbiter and distributes these inputs throughoutbatches of propellant ingredients to minimize each SRB. Components located in the forwardany thrust imbalance. The segmented casing assemblies of each SRB are powered by the aftdesign assures maximum flexibility in IEA through the forward IEA, except for thosefabrication and ease of transportation and utilizing the recovery and range safety batterieshandling. Each segment is shipped to KSC on a located in the forward assemblies. The forwardheavy-duty rail car with a specialty built cover. IEA communicates with and receives power from the orbiter through the aft IEA, but has noSRB Hardware Design Summary direct electrical connection to the orbiter.Hold-Down Posts Electrical Power DistributionEach SRB has four hold-down posts that fit into Electrical power distribution in each SRBcorresponding support posts on the MLP. consists of orbiter-supplied main dc bus powerHold-down bolts secure the SRB and MLP posts to each SRB via SRB buses A, B and C. Orbitertogether. Each bolt has a nut at each end, but main dc buses A, B and C supply main dc busthe top nut is frangible, or breakable. The top power to corresponding SRB buses A, B and C.nut contains two NASA Standard Detonators In addition, orbiter main dc, bus C supplies(NSDs), that, when ignited at solid rocket motor backup power to SRB buses A and B, andignition command, split the upper nut in half. orbiter bus B supplies backup power toSplitting the upper nuts allow the hold-down SRB bus C. This electrical power distributionbolts to be released and travel downward arrangement allows all SRB buses to remainbecause of NSD gas pressure, gravity and the powered in the event one orbiter main bus fails.release of tension in the bolt, which is The nominal dc voltage is 28 V dc, with anpretensioned before launch. The bolt is upper limit of 32 V dc and a lower limit ofstopped by the stud deceleration stand which 24 V dc.124 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 131. Hydraulic Power Units speed is such that the fuel pump outlet pressure is greater than the bypass line’s, at which pointThere are two self-contained, independent all the fuel is supplied to the fuel pump.Hydraulic Power Units (HPUs) on each SRB.Each HPU consists of an Auxiliary Power Unit The APU turbine assembly provides(APU); Fuel Supply Module (FSM); hydraulic mechanical power to the APU gearbox, whichpump; hydraulic reservoir; and hydraulic fluid drives the APU fuel pump, hydraulic pumpmanifold assembly. The APUs are fueled by and lube oil pump. The APU lube oil pumphydrazine and generate mechanical shaft power lubricates the gearbox. The turbine exhaust ofto a hydraulic pump that produces hydraulic each APU flows over the exterior of the gaspressure for the SRB hydraulic system. The generator, cooling it and directing it overboardAPU controller electronics are located in the through an exhaust duct.SRB aft integrated electronic assemblies on theaft ET attach rings. The two separate HPUs When the APU speed reaches 100 percent, theand two hydraulic systems are located inside APU primary control valve closes and thethe aft skirt of each SRB between the SRB APU speed is controlled by the APU controllernozzle and skirt. The HPU components are electronics. If the primary control valve logicmounted on the aft skirt between the rock and fails to the open state, the secondary controltilt actuators. The two systems operate from valve assumes control of the APU atT minus 28 seconds until SRB separation from 112 percent speed. Each HPU on an SRB isthe orbiter and ET. The two independent connected to both servoactuators. One HPUhydraulic systems are connected to the rock serves as the primary hydraulic source for theand tilt servoactuators. servoactuator and the other HPU serves as the secondary hydraulics for the servoactuator.The HPUs and their fuel systems are isolated Each servoactuator has a switching valve thatfrom each other. Each fuel supply module, or allows the secondary hydraulics to power thetank, contains 22 pounds of hydrazine. The actuator if the primary hydraulic pressurefuel tank is pressurized with gaseous nitrogen drops below 2,050 psi. A switch contact on theat 400 psi to provide the force to expel via switching valve will close when the valve is inpositive expulsion the fuel from the tank to the the secondary position. When the valve isfuel distribution line. A positive fuel supply to closed, a signal is sent to the APU controllerthe APU throughout its operation is that inhibits the 100 percent APU speed controlmaintained. logic and enables the 112 percent APU speed control logic. The 100 percent APU speedThe fuel isolation valve is opened at APU enables one APU/HPU to supply sufficientstartup to allow fuel to flow to the APU fuel operating hydraulic pressure to bothpump and control valves and then to the gas servoactuators of that SRB.generator. The gas generator’s catalytic actiondecomposes the fuel and creates a hot gas. It The APU 100 percent speed corresponds tofeeds the hot gas exhaust product to the APU 72,000 rpm, 110 percent to 79,200 rpm andtwo-stage gas turbine. Fuel flows primarily 112 percent to 80,640 rpm.through the startup bypass line until the APUJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 125
  • 132. The hydraulic pump speed is 3,600 rpm and The four servovalves in each actuator provide asupplies hydraulic pressure of 3,050, plus or force-summed majority voting arrangement tominus 50 psi. A high-pressure relief valve position the power spool. With four identicalprovides overpressure protection to the commands to the four servovalves, the actuatorhydraulic system and relieves at 3,750 psi. force-sum action prevents a single erroneous command from affecting power ram motion. IfThe APUs/HPUs and hydraulic systems are the erroneous command persists for more thanreusable for 20 missions. a predetermined time, differential pressureThrust Vector Control sensing activates a selector valve to isolate and remove the defective servovalve hydraulicEach SRB has two hydraulic gimbal pressure. This permits the remaining channelsservoactuators: one for rock and one for tilt. and servovalves to control the actuator ramThe servoactuators provide the force and spool.control to gimbal the nozzle for Thrust VectorControl (TVC). The all-axis gimbaling Failure monitors are provided for each channelcapability is 8 degrees. Each nozzle has a to indicate which channel has been bypassed.carbon cloth liner that erodes and chars during An isolation valve on each channel provides thefiring. The nozzle is a convergent-divergent, capability of resetting a failed or bypassedmovable design in which an aft pivot-point channel.flexible bearing is the gimbal mechanism. Each actuator ram is equipped with transducersThe space shuttle ascent TVC portion of the for position feedback to the thrust vectorflight control system directs the thrust of the control system. Within each servoactuator ramthree SSMEs and the two SRB nozzles to control is a splashdown load relief assembly to cushionshuttle attitude and trajectory during liftoff and the nozzle at water splashdown and preventascent. Commands from the guidance system damage to the nozzle flexible bearing.are transmitted to the Ascent TVC, or ATVC, SRB Rate Gyro Assembliesdrivers, which transmit signals proportional tothe commands to each servoactuator of the Each SRB contains two Rate Gyro Assembliesmain engines and SRBs. Four independent (RGAs) mounted in the forward skirtflight control system channels and four ATVC watertight compartment. Each RGA containschannels control six main engine and four two orthogonally mounted gyroscopes – pitchSRB ATVC drivers, with each driver controlling and yaw axes. In conjunction with the orbiterone hydraulic port on each main and SRB roll rate gyros, they provide angular rateservoactuator. information that describes the inertial motion of the vehicle cluster to the orbiter computers andEach SRB servoactuator consists of four the guidance, navigation and control systemindependent, two-stage servovalves that during first stage ascent to SRB separation. Atreceive signals from the drivers. Each SRB separation, all guidance control data isservovalve controls one power spool in each handed off from the SRB RGAs to the orbiteractuator, which positions an actuator ram and RGAs. The RGAs are designed and qualifiedthe nozzle to control the direction of thrust. for 20 missions.126 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 133. Propellant fire 1 and fire 2 – originate in the orbiter general-purpose computers and are transmittedThe propellant mixture in each SRB motor to the MECs. The MECs reformat them toconsists of ammonium perchlorate, an oxidizer, 28 V dc signals for the PICs. The arm signal69.6 percent by weight; aluminum, a fuel, charges the PIC capacitor to 40 V dc, minimum16 percent by weight; iron oxide, a catalyst, 20 V dc.0.4 percent by weight; polymer, a binder thatholds the mixture together, 12.04 percent by The fire 2 commands cause the redundantweight; and epoxy curing agent, 1.96 percent NSDs to fire through a thin barrier seal down aby weight. The propellant is an 11-point flame tunnel. This ignites a pyro boosterstar-shaped perforation in the forward motor charge, which is retained in the safe and armsegment and a double truncated cone device behind a perforated plate. The boosterperforation in each of the aft segments and aft charge ignites the propellant in the igniterclosure. This configuration provides high initiator; and combustion products of thisthrust at ignition and then reduces the thrust by propellant ignite the solid rocket motor igniter,about one-third 50 seconds after liftoff to which fires down the length of the solid rocketprevent overstressing the vehicle during motor igniting the solid rocket motormaximum dynamic pressure. propellant.SRB Ignition The General Purpose Computer (GPC) launch sequence also controls certain critical mainSRB ignition can occur only when a manual propulsion system valves and monitors thelock pin from each SRB safe and arm device has engine-ready indications from the SSMEs. Thebeen removed by the ground crew during Main Propulsion System (MPS) start commandsprelaunch activities. At T minus 5 minutes, the are issued by the onboard computers atSRB safe and arm device is rotated to the arm T minus 6.6 seconds. There is a staggered startposition. The solid rocket motor ignition – engine three, engine two, engine one – withincommands are issued when the three SSMEs 0.25 of a second, and the sequence monitors theare at or above 90 percent rated thrust; no thrust buildup of each engine. All three SSMEsSSME fail and/or SRB ignition Pyrotechnic must reach the required 90 percent thrustInitiator Controller (PIC) low voltage is within three seconds; otherwise, an orderlyindicated; and there are no holds from the shutdown is commanded and safing functionsLaunch Processing System (LPS). are initiated.The solid rocket motor ignition commands are Normal thrust buildup to the requiredsent by the orbiter computers through the 90 percent thrust level will result in theMaster Events Controllers (MECs) to the NSDs SSMEs being commanded to the liftoff positioninstalled in the safe and arm device in each at T - 3 seconds as well as the fire 1 commandSRB. A PIC is a single-channel capacitor being issued to arm the SRBs. At T - 3 seconds,discharge device that controls the firing of each the vehicle base bending load modes arepyrotechnic device. Three signals must be allowed to initialize.present simultaneously for the PIC to generatethe pyro firing output. These signals – arm,JULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 127
  • 134. At T - 0, the two SRBs are ignited by the The aft attachment points consist of threefour orbiter on-board computers; commands separate struts: upper, diagonal, and lower.are sent to release the SRBs; the two T - 0 Each strut contains one bolt with an NSDumbilicals, one on each side of the spacecraft, pressure cartridge at each end. The upper strutare retracted; the onboard master timing unit, also carries the umbilical interface between itsevent timer and mission event timers are SRB and the external tank and on to the orbiter.started; the three SSMEs are at 100 percent; andthe ground launch sequence is terminated. Redesigned Booster Separation Motors (RBSM) Eight Booster Separation Motors (BSMs), areSRB Separation located on each booster – four on the forwardThe SRB/ET separation subsystem provides for section and four on the aft skirt. BSMs provideseparation of the SRBs from the orbiter/ET the force required to push the SRBs away fromwithout damage to or recontact of the elements the orbiter/ET at separation. Each BSM weighs– SRBs, orbiter/ET – during or after separation approximately 165 pounds and is 31.1 inchesfor nominal modes. SRB separation is initiated long and 12.8 inches in diameter. Once thewhen the three solid rocket motor chamber SRBs have completed their flight, the BSMs arepressure transducers are processed in the fired to jettison the SRBs away from the orbiterredundancy management middle value select and external tank, allowing the boosters toand the head end chamber pressure of both parachute to Earth and be reused. The BSMsSRBs is less than or equal to 50 psi. A backup in each cluster of four are ignited by firingcue is the time elapsed from booster ignition. redundant NSD pressure cartridges into redundant confined detonating fuse manifolds.The separation sequence is initiated, The separation commands issued from thecommanding the thrust vector control actuators orbiter by the SRB separation sequence initiateto the null position and putting the main the redundant NSD pressure cartridge in eachpropulsion system into a second-stage bolt and ignite the BSMs to effect a cleanconfiguration 0.8 second from sequence separation.initialization, which ensures the thrust of eachSRB is less than 100,000 pounds. Orbiter yaw Redesigned BSMs flew for the first time in bothattitude is held for four seconds and SRB thrust forward and aft locations on STS-125. As adrops to less than 60,000 pounds. The SRBs result of vendor viability and manifest supportseparate from the ET within 30 milliseconds of issues, space shuttle BSMs are now beingthe ordnance firing command. manufactured by ATK. The igniter has been redesigned and other changes include materialThe forward attachment point consists of a ball upgrades driven by obsolescence issues andon the SRB and socket on the ET, held together improvements to process and inspectionby one bolt. The bolt contains one NSD techniques.pressure cartridge at each end. The forwardattachment point also carries the range safety SRB Camerassystem cross-strap wiring connecting each SRBRange Safety System (RSS), and the ET RSS Each SRB flies with a complement of fourwith each other. cameras, three mounted for exterior views128 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 135. during launch, separation and descent; and one The camera videos are available for engineeringmounted internal to the forward dome for main review approximately 24 hours following theparachute performance assessment during arrival of the boosters at KSC.descent. Range Safety SystemsThe ET observation camera is mounted on the The RSS consists of two antenna couplers;SRB forward skirt and provides a wide-angle command receivers/decoders; a dualview of the ET intertank area. The camera is distributor; a safe and arm device with twoactivated at lift off by a G-switch and records NSDs; two confined detonating fuse manifolds;for 350 seconds, after which the recorder is seven Confined Detonator Fuse (CDF)switched to a similar camera in the forward assemblies; and one linear-shaped charge.skirt dome to view the deployment andperformance of the main parachutes to splash The RSS provides for destruction of a rocket ordown. These cameras share a digital tape part of it with on-board explosives by remoterecorder located within the data acquisition command if the rocket is out of control, tosystem. limit danger to people on the ground from crashing pieces, explosions, fire, and poisonousThe ET ring camera is mounted on the ET substances.attach ring and provides a view up the stackedvehicle on the orbiter underside and the bipod The space shuttle has two RSSs, one in eachstrut attach point. SRB. Both are capable of receiving two command messages – arm and fire – which areThe forward skirt camera is mounted on the transmitted from the ground station. The RSSexternal surface of the SRB forward skirt and is only used when the space shuttle violates aprovides a view aft down the stacked vehicle of launch trajectory red line.the orbiter underside and the wing leadingedge Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) panels. The antenna couplers provide the proper impedance for radio frequency and groundThe ET attach ring camera and forward skirt support equipment commands. The commandcamera are activated by a global positioning receivers are tuned to RSS commandsystem command at approximately T - 1 minute frequencies and provide the input signal to the56 seconds to begin recording at approximately distributors when an RSS command is sent.T - 50 seconds. The camera images are The command decoders use a code plug torecorded through splash down. These cameras prevent any command signal other than theeach have a dedicated recorder and are proper command signal from getting into therecorded in a digital format. The cameras were distributors. The distributors contain the logicdesigned, qualified, and implemented by USA to supply valid destruct commands to the RSSafter Columbia to provide enhanced imagery pyrotechnics.capabilities to capture potential debrisliberation beginning with main engine start and The NSDs provide the spark to ignite the CDFcontinuing through SRB separation. that in turn ignites the linear-shaped charge for space shuttle destruction. The safe and armJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 129
  • 136. device provides mechanical isolation between Two 176-foot recovery ships, Freedom Star andthe NSDs and the CDF before launch and Liberty Star, are on station at the splashdownduring the SRB separation sequence. zone to retrieve the frustums with drogue parachutes attached, the main parachutes andThe first message, called arm, allows the the SRBs. The SRB nose caps and solid rocketonboard logic to enable a destruct and motor nozzle extensions are not recovered. Theilluminates a light on the flight deck display SRBs are dewatered using an enhanced diverand control panel at the commander and pilot operating plug to facilitate tow back. Thesestation. The second message transmitted is the plugs are inserted into the motor nozzle andfire command. The SRB distributors in the air is pumped into the booster, causing it toSRBs are cross-strapped together. Thus, if one lay flat in the water to allow it to be easilySRB received an arm or destruct signal, the towed. The boosters are then towed back tosignal would also be sent to the other SRB. the refurbishment facilities. Each booster isElectrical power from the RSS battery in each removed from the water and components areSRB is routed to RSS A. The recovery battery in disassembled and washed with fresh andeach SRB is used to power RSS B as well as the deionized water to limit saltwater corrosion.recovery system in the SRB. The SRB RSS is The motor segments, igniter and nozzlepowered down during the separation sequence, are shipped back to ATK in Utah forand the SRB recovery system is powered up. refurbishment. The nonmotor components and structures are disassembled by USA andDescent and Recovery are refurbished to like-new condition at both KSC and equipment manufacturers across theAfter separation and at specified altitudes, the country.SRB forward avionics system initiates therelease of the nose cap, which houses a pilot SPACE SHUTTLE SUPER LIGHT WEIGHTparachute and drogue parachute; and the TANKfrustum, which houses the three mainparachutes. Jettison of the nose cap at The Super Lightweight External Tank (SLWT)15,700 feet deploys a small pilot parachute and made its first shuttle flight June 2, 1998, onbegins to slow the SRB decent. At an altitude mission STS-91. The SLWT is 7,500 poundsof 15,200 feet the pilot parachute pulls the lighter than the standard external tank. Thedrogue parachute from the frustum. The lighter weight tank allows the shuttle to deliverdrogue parachute fully inflates in stages, and at International Space Station elements (such as5,500 feet pulls the frustum away from the SRB, the service module) into the proper orbit.which initiates the deployment of the threemain parachutes. The parachutes also inflate in The SLWT is the same size as the previousstages and further slow the decent of the SRBs design. But the liquid hydrogen tank and theto their final velocity at splashdown. The liquid oxygen tank are made of aluminumparachutes slow each SRB from 368 mph at first lithium, a lighter, stronger material than thedeployment to 52 mph at splashdown, allowing metal alloy used for the shuttle’s current tank.for the recovery and reuse of the boosters. The tank’s structural design has also been130 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 137. improved, making it 30 percent stronger and in a preplanned trajectory. Most of the tank5 percent less dense. disintegrates in the atmosphere, and the remainder falls into the ocean.The SLWT, like the standard tank, ismanufactured at NASA’s Michoud Assembly The external tank is manufactured at NASA’sFacility, near New Orleans, by Lockheed Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans byMartin. Lockheed Martin Space Systems.The 154-foot-long external tank is the largest Foam Factssingle component of the space shuttle. It standstaller than a 15-story building and has a The external tank is covered with spray-ondiameter of about 27 feet. The external tank foam insulation that insulates the tank beforeholds over 530,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and during launch. More than 90 percent of theand liquid oxygen in two separate tanks. The tank’s foam is applied using an automatedhydrogen (fuel) and liquid oxygen (oxidizer) system, leaving less than 10 percent to beare used as propellants for the shuttle’s three applied manually.main engines. There are two types of foam on the external tank, known as the Thermal Protection SystemEXTERNAL TANK (TPS). One is low-density, closed-cell foamThe 154-foot-long external tank is the largest on the tank acreage and is known assingle component of the space shuttle. It stands Spray-On-Foam-Insulation, often referred to bytaller than a 15-story building and has a its acronym, SOFI. Most of the tank is covereddiameter of about 27 feet. The external tank by either an automated or manually appliedholds more than 530,000 gallons of liquid SOFI. Most areas around protuberances, suchhydrogen and liquid oxygen in two separate as brackets and structural elements, are appliedtanks, the forward liquid oxygen tank and the by pouring foam ingredients into part-specificaft liquid hydrogen tank. An unpressurized molds. The other, called ablator, is a denserintertank unites the two propellant tanks. composite material made of silicone resins and cork. An ablator is a material that dissipatesLiquid hydrogen (fuel) and liquid oxygen heat by eroding. It is used on areas of the(oxidizer) are used as propellants for the external tank subjected to extreme heat, such asshuttle’s three main engines. The external the aft dome near the engine exhaust, andtank weighs 58,500 pounds empty and remaining protuberances, such as the cable1,668,500 pounds when filled with propellants. trays. These areas are exposed to extreme aerodynamic heating.The external tank is the “backbone” of theshuttle during launch, providing structural Closed-cell foam used on the tank wassupport for attachment with the solid rocket developed to keep the propellants that fuel theboosters and orbiter. It is the only component shuttle’s three main engines at optimumof the shuttle that is not reused. Approximately temperature. It keeps the shuttle’s liquid8.5 minutes after reaching orbit, with its hydrogen fuel at -423 degrees Fahrenheitpropellant used, the tank is jettisoned and falls and the liquid oxygen tank at nearJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 131
  • 138. -297 degrees Fahrenheit, even as the tank sits material and mechanical properties are testedunder the hot Florida sun. At the same time, to ensure they meet NASA specifications.the foam prevents a buildup of ice on the Multiple visual inspections of all foam surfacesoutside of the tank. are performed after the spraying is complete.The foam insulation must be durable enough to Most of the foam is applied at NASA’sendure a 180-day stay at the launch pad, Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleanswithstand temperatures up to 115 degrees when the tank is manufactured, including mostFahrenheit, humidity as high as 100 percent, of the “closeout” areas, or final areas applied.and resist sand, salt, fog, rain, solar radiation These closeouts are done either by handand even fungus. Then, during launch, the pouring or manual spraying. Additionalfoam must tolerate temperatures as high as closeouts are completed once the tank reaches2,200 degrees Fahrenheit generated by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.aerodynamic friction and radiant heating fromthe 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit main engine The SLWT made its first shuttle flight inplumes. Finally, when the external tank begins June 1998 on mission STS-91. The SLWT isreentry into the Earth’s atmosphere about 7,500 pounds lighter than previously flown30 minutes after launch, the foam maintains the tanks. The SLWT is the same size as thetank’s structural temperatures and allows it to previous design, but the liquid hydrogen tanksafely disintegrate over a remote ocean location. and the liquid oxygen tank are made of aluminum lithium, a lighter, stronger materialThough the foam insulation on the majority of than the metal alloy used previously.the tank is only 1-inch thick, it adds4,823 pounds to the tank’s weight. In the areas Beginning with the first Return to Flightof the tank subjected to the highest heating, mission, STS-114 in June 2005, severalinsulation is somewhat thicker, between 1.5 to improvements were made to improve safety3 inches thick. Though the foam’s density and flight reliability.varies with the type, an average density is Forward Bipodabout 2.4 pounds per cubic foot. The external tank’s forward shuttle attachApplication of the foam, whether automated by fitting, called the bipod, was redesigned tocomputer or hand-sprayed, is designed to meet eliminate the large insulating foam ramps asNASA’s requirements for finish, thickness, a source of debris. Each external tank hasroughness, density, strength and adhesion. As two bipod fittings that connect the tank to thein most assembly production situations, the orbiter through the shuttle’s two forwardfoam is applied in specially designed, attachment struts. Four rod heaters wereenvironmentally controlled spray cells and placed below each forward bipod, replacing theapplied in several phases, often over a period of large insulated foam Protuberance Airloadseveral weeks. Before spraying, the foam’s raw (PAL) ramps.132 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 139. Liquid Hydrogen Tank & Liquid Oxygen to protect cable trays from aeroelastic instabilityIntertank Flange Closeouts during ascent. Extensive tests were conducted to verify the shuttle could fly safely withoutThe liquid hydrogen tank flange located at the these particular PAL ramps. Extensions werebottom of the intertank and the liquid oxygen added to the ice frost ramps for the presslinetank flange located at the top of the intertank and cable tray brackets, where these PAL rampsprovide joining mechanisms with the intertank. were removed to make the geometry of theAfter each of these three component tanks, ramps consistent with other locations onliquid oxygen, intertank and liquid hydrogen, the tank and thereby provide consistentare joined mechanically, the flanges at both aerodynamic flow. Nine extensions wereends are insulated with foam. An enhanced added, six on the liquid hydrogen tank andcloseout, or finishing, procedure was added to three on the liquid oxygen tank.improve foam application to the stringer, orintertank ribbing, and to the upper and lower Engine Cutoff Sensor Modificationarea of both the liquid hydrogen and liquidoxygen intertank flanges. Beginning with STS-122, ET-125, which launched on Feb. 7, 2008, the Engine CutoffLiquid Oxygen Feedline Bellows (ECO) sensor system feed-through connector on the liquid hydrogen tank was modified byThe liquid oxygen feedline bellows were soldering the connector’s pins and sockets toreshaped to include a “drip lip” that allows address false readings in the system. Allcondensate moisture to run off and prevent subsequent tanks after ET-125 have the samefreezing. A strip heater was added to the modification.forward bellow to further reduce the potentialof high density ice or frost formation. Joints on Liquid Hydrogen Tank Ice Frost Rampsthe liquid oxygen feedline assembly allow thefeedline to move during installation and during ET-128, which flew on the STS-124 shuttleliquid hydrogen tank fill. Because it must flex, mission, May 31, 2008, was the first tank to flyit cannot be insulated with foam like the with redesigned liquid hydrogen tank ice frostremainder of the tank. ramps. Design changes were incorporated at all 17 ice frost ramp locations on the liquidOther tank improvements include: hydrogen tank, stations 1151 through 2057, to reduce foam loss. Although the redesignedLiquid Oxygen & Liquid Hydrogen ramps appear identical to the previous design,Protuberance Airload (PAL) Ramps several changes were made. PDL* and NCFIExternal tank ET-119, which flew on the second foam have been replaced with BX* manualReturn to Flight mission, STS-121, in July 2006, spray foam in the ramp’s base cutout to reducewas the first tank to fly without PAL ramps debonding and cracking; Pressline and cablealong portions of the liquid oxygen and tray bracket feet corners have been rounded toliquid hydrogen tanks. These PAL ramps were reduce stresses; shear pin holes have beenextensively studied and determined to not be sealed to reduce leak paths; isolators werenecessary for their original purpose, which was primed to promote adhesion; isolator corners were rounded to help reduce thermalJULY 2011 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA 133
  • 140. protection system foam stresses; BX manual Liquid Oxygen Feedline Bracketsspray was applied in bracket pockets to reducegeometric voids. ET-128 also was the first tank to fly with redesigned liquid oxygen feedline brackets.*BX is a type of foam used on the tank’s Titanium brackets, much less thermally“closeout,” or final finished areas; it is applied conductive than aluminum, replaced aluminummanually or hand-sprayed. PDL is an acronym brackets at four locations, XT 1129, XT 1377,for Product Development Laboratory, the XT 1624 and XT 1871. This change minimizesfirst supplier of the foam during the early days ice formation in under-insulated areas, andof the external tank’s development. PDL is reduces the amount of foam required to coverapplied by pouring foam ingredients into a the brackets and the propensity for icemold. NCFI foam is used on the aft dome, or development. Zero-gap/slip plane Teflonbottom, of the liquid hydrogen tank. material was added to the upper outboard monoball attachment to eliminate ice adhesion. Additional foam has been added to the liquid oxygen feedline to further minimize ice formation along the length of the feedline.134 SHUTTLE REFERENCE DATA JULY 2011
  • 141. LAUNCH & LANDINGLAUNCH RETURN TO LAUNCH SITEAs with all previous space shuttle launches, If one or more engines shut down early andAtlantis has several options to abort its ascent, there is not enough energy to reach Zaragoza orif needed, after engine failures or other systems another TAL site, the shuttle would pitchproblems. Shuttle launch abort philosophy is around back toward the Kennedy Space Centerintended to facilitate safe recovery of the flight (KSC) until within gliding distance of thecrew and intact recovery of the orbiter and its shuttle landing facility. For the launch topayload. proceed, weather conditions must be forecast to be acceptable for a possible landing at KSCAbort modes include the following: about 20 minutes after liftoff.ABORT TO ORBIT ABORT ONCE AROUNDThis mode is used if there is a partial loss of An abort once around is selected if the vehiclemain engine thrust late enough to permit cannot achieve a viable orbit or will not havereaching a minimal 105 by 85 nautical mile orbit enough propellant to perform a deorbit burn,with the Orbital Maneuvering System engines. but has enough energy to circle the Earth onceThe engines boost the shuttle to a safe orbital and land about 90 minutes after liftoff. Thealtitude when it is impossible to reach the KSC shuttle landing facility is the primaryplanned orbital altitude. landing site for an AOA, and White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., is the backup site.TRANSOCEANIC ABORT LANDINGThe loss of one or more main engines midway LANDINGthrough powered flight would force a landing The primary landing site for Atlantis onat either Zaragoza, Spain; Morón, Spain; or STS-135 is Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility.Istres, France. For the launch to proceed, Alternate landing sites that could be used ifweather conditions must be acceptable at one of needed because of weather conditions orthese Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) sites. systems failures are at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and White Sands Space Harbor, N.M.JULY 2011 LAUNCH & LANDING 135
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  • 143. ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONSA/G Alignment GuidesA/L AirlockAAA Avionics Air AssemblyABC Audio Bus ControllerACBM Active Common Berthing MechanismACDU Airlock Control and Display UnitACO Assembly Checkout OfficerACRFG Assembly Contingency Radio Frequency GroupACS Atmosphere Control and SupplyACTRA Assembly/Contingency Transmitter/Receiver AssemblyACU Arm Control UnitADS Audio Distribution SystemAE Approach EllipsoidAEP Airlock Electronics PackageAFRL Air Force Research LabAHMS Advanced Health Management SystemAI Approach InitiationAIS Automatic Identification SystemAJIS Alpha Joint Interface StructureAM Atmosphere MonitoringAMOS Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing SiteAMS Alpha Magnetic SpectrometerAOA Abort Once AroundAOH Assembly Operations HandbookAPAS Androgynous Peripheral AttachmentAPCU Assembly Power Converter UnitAPE Antenna Pointing Electronics Audio Pointing EquipmentAPFR Articulating Portable Foot RestraintAPM Antenna Pointing MechanismAPS Automated Payload SwitchAPU Auxiliary Power UnitAPV Automated Procedure ViewerAR Atmosphere RevitalizationARCU American-to-Russian Converter UnitARFTA Advanced Recycle Filter Tank AssemblyARS Atmosphere Revitalization SystemASW Application SoftwareJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 137
  • 144. ATA Ammonia Tank AssemblyATCS Active Thermal Control SystemATO Abort To OrbitATU Audio Terminal UnitBAD Broadcast Ancillary DataBC Bus ControllerBCDU Battery Charge/Discharge Unit Berthing Mechanism Control and Display UnitBEP Berthing Mechanism Electronics PackageBGA Beta Gimbal AssemblyBIC Bus Interface ControllerBIT Built-In TestBM Berthing MechanismBOS BIC Operations SoftwareBSM Booster Separation MotorsBSS Basic SoftwareBSTS Basic Standard Support SoftwareC&C Command and ControlC&DH Command and Data HandlingC&T Communication and TrackingC&W Caution and WarningC/L Crew LockC/O CheckoutCAM Collision Avoidance ManeuverCAPE Canister for All Payload EjectionsCAPPS Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing ServicesCAS Common Attach SystemCB Control BusCBCS Centerline Berthing Camera SystemCBM Common Berthing MechanismCCA Circuit Card AssemblyCCAA Common Cabin Air AssemblyCCHA Crew Communication Headset AssemblyCCP Camera Control PanelCCT Communication Configuration TableCCTV Closed-Circuit TelevisionCDF Confined Detonator FuseCDR Space Shuttle CommanderCDRA Carbon Dioxide Removal AssemblyCEIT Crew Equipment Interface Test138 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 145. CETA Crew Equipment Translation AidCHeCS Crew Health Care SystemCHX Cabin Heat ExchangerCISC Complicated Instruction Set ComputerCLA Camera Light AssemblyCLPA Camera Light Pan Tilt AssemblyCMG Control Moment GyroCOLT Contingency Operations Large Adapter Assembly ToolCOTS Commercial Off the ShelfCPA Control Panel AssemblyCPB Camera Power BoxCR Change RequestCRT Cathode-Ray TubeCSA Canadian Space AgencyCSA-CP Compound Specific AnalyzerCTC Cargo Transport ContainerCVIU Common Video Interface UnitCVT Current Value TableCZ Communication ZoneDB Data BookDC Docking CompartmentDCSU Direct Current Switching UnitDDCU DC-to-DC Converter UnitDEM DemodulatorDFL Decommutation Format LoadDIU Data Interface UnitDMS Data Management SystemDMS-R Data Management System-RussianDoD Department of DefenseDPG Differential Pressure GaugeDPU Baseband Data Processing UnitDRTS Japanese Data Relay SatelliteDYF Display FrameE/L Equipment LockE-ORU EVA Essential ORUEATCS External Active Thermal Control SystemEBCS External Berthing Camera SystemECAL Electromagnetic CalorimeterECC Error Correction CodeECLSS Environmental Control and Life Support SystemJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 139
  • 146. ECO Engine CutoffECS Environmental Control SystemECU Electronic Control UnitEDSU External Data Storage UnitEDU EEU Driver UnitEE End EffectorEETCS Early External Thermal Control SystemEEU Experiment Exchange UnitEF Exposed FacilityEFBM Exposed Facility Berthing MechanismEFHX Exposed Facility Heat ExchangerEFU Exposed Facility UnitEGIL Electrical, General Instrumentation, and LightingEIU Ethernet Interface UnitELC ExPRESS Logistics CarrierELM-ES Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Exposed SectionELM-PS Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Pressurized SectionELPS Emergency Lighting Power SupplyEMGF Electric Mechanical Grapple FixtureEMI Electro-Magnetic ImagingEMU Extravehicular Mobility UnitEOTP Enhanced Orbital Replacement Unit Temporary PlatformEP Exposed PalletEPS Electrical Power SystemES Exposed SectionESA European Space AgencyESC JEF System ControllerESP External Stowage PlatformESW Extended Support SoftwareET External TankETCS External Thermal Control SystemETI Elapsed Time IndicatorETRS EVA Temporary Rail StopETVCG External Television Camera GroupEV ExtravehicularEVA Extravehicular ActivityEWC External Wireless CommunicationEXP-D Experiment-DExPRESS Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space StationEXT External140 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 147. FA Fluid AccumulatorFAS Flight Application SoftwareFCT Flight Control TeamFD Flight DayFDDI Fiber Distributed Data InterfaceFDIR Fault Detection, Isolation, and RecoveryFDS Fire Detection SystemFE Flight EngineerFET-SW Field Effect Transistor SwitchFGB Functional Cargo BlockFOB Forward Osmosis BagFOR Frame of ReferenceFPMU Floating Potential Measurement UnitFPP Fluid Pump PackageFR Flight RuleFRAM Flight Releasable Attachment MechanismFRD Flight Requirements DocumentFRGF Flight Releasable Grapple FixtureFRM Functional Redundancy ModeFSE Flight Support EquipmentFSEGF Flight Support Equipment Grapple FixtureFSM Fuel Supply ModuleFSW Flight SoftwareGAS Get-Away SpecialGATOR Grappling Adaptor to On-orbit RailingGCA Ground Control AssistGLA General Lighting Assemblies General Luminaire AssemblyGLONASS Global Navigational Satellite SystemGNC Guidance, Navigation, and ControlGPC General Purpose ComputerGPS Global Positioning SystemGPSR Global Positioning System ReceiverGSSDF Goddard Satellite Servicing Demonstration FacilityGUI Graphical User InterfaceH&S Health and StatusHCE Heater Control EquipmentHCTL Heater ControllerHD High DefinitionHEPA High Efficiency Particulate AcquisitionJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 141
  • 148. HGA High Gain AntennaHPA High Power AmplifierHPGT High Pressure Gas TankHPP Hard Point PlatesHPU Hydraulic Power UnitHRDR High Rate Data RecorderHREL Hold/Release ElectronicsHRFM High Rate Frame MultiplexerHRM Hold Release MechanismHRMS High Rate Multiplexer and SwitcherHTV H-II Transfer VehicleHTVCC HTV Control CenterHTV Prox HTV ProximityHX Heat ExchangerI/F InterfaceIAA Intravehicular Antenna AssemblyIAC Internal Audio ControllerIBM International Business MachinesICB Inner Capture BoxICC Integrated Cargo CarrierICS Interorbit Communication SystemICS-EF Interorbit Communication System − Exposed FacilityIDRD Increment Definition and Requirements DocumentIEA Integrated Electronic AssemblyIELK Individual Equipment Liner KitIFHX Interface Heat ExchangerIMCS Integrated Mission Control SystemIMCU Image Compressor UnitIMV Intermodule VentilationINCO Instrumentation and Communication OfficerIP International PartnerIP-PCDU ICS-PM Power Control and Distribution UnitIP-PDB Payload Power Distribution BoxISLE In-Suit Light ExerciseISP International Standard PayloadISPR International Standard Payload RackISS International Space StationISSSH International Space Station Systems HandbookITCS Internal Thermal Control SystemITS Integrated Truss SegmentIV Intravehicular142 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 149. IVA Intravehicular ActivityIVSU Internal Video Switch UnitJAXA Japan Aerospace Exploration AgencyJCP JEM Control ProcessorJEF JEM Exposed FacilityJEM Japanese Experiment ModuleJEMAL JEM AirlockJEM-EF Japanese Experiment Module Exposed FacilityJEM-PM Japanese Experiment Module – Pressurized ModuleJEMRMS Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator SystemJEUS Joint Expedited Undocking and SeparationJFCT Japanese Flight Control TeamJLE Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Exposed SectionJLP Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Pressurized SectionJLP-EDU JLP-EFU Driver UnitJLP-EFU JLP Exposed Facility UnitJPM Japanese Pressurized ModuleJPM WS JEM Pressurized Module WorkstationJSC Johnson Space CenterJTVE JEM Television EquipmentKbp Kilobit per secondKOS Keep Out SphereKSC Kennedy Space CenterLB Local BusLCA LAB Cradle AssemblyLCD Liquid Crystal DisplayLED Light Emitting DiodeLEE Latching End EffectorLGA Low Gain AntennaLMC Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure CarrierLPS Launch Processing SystemLSW Light SwitchLTA Launch-to-ActivationLTAB Launch-to-Activation BoxLTL Low Temperature LoopMA Main ArmMAUI Main Analysis of Upper-Atmospheric InjectionsMb MegabitMbps Megabit per secondJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 143
  • 150. MBS Mobile Base SystemMBSU Main Bus Switching UnitMCA Major Constituent AnalyzerMCC Mission Control CenterMCC-H Mission Control Center – HoustonMCC-M Mission Control Center – MoscowMCDS Multifunction Cathode-Ray Tube Display SystemMCS Mission Control SystemMDA MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.MDM Multiplexer/DemultiplexerMDP Management Data ProcessorMEC Master Events ControllerMECO Main Engine CutoffMEDS Multi-functional Electronic Display SystemMELFI Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISSMGB Middle Grapple BoxMHTEX Massive Heat Transfer ExperimentMIP Mission Integration PlanMISSE Materials International Space Station ExperimentMKAM Minimum Keep Alive MonitorMLE Middeck Locker EquivalentMLI Multi-layer InsulationMLM Multipurpose Laboratory ModuleMMOD Micrometeoroid/Orbital DebrisMOD ModulatorMON Television MonitorMPC Main Processing ControllerMPESS Multipurpose Experiment Support StructureMPEV Manual Pressure Equalization ValveMPL Manipulator Retention LatchMPLM Multipurpose Logistics ModuleMPM Manipulator Positioning MechanismMPS Main Propulsion SystemMPV Manual Procedure ViewerMRM Mini-Research ModuleMSD Mass Storage DeviceMSFC Marshall Space Flight CenterMSP Maintenance Switch PanelMSS Mobile Servicing SystemMT Mobile Tracker Mobile Transporter144 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 151. MTL Moderate Temperature LoopMUX Data MultiplexerNASA National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNBL Neutral Buoyancy LaboratoryNCS Node Control SoftwareNET No Earlier ThanNLT No Less Thann. mi. nautical mileNPRV Negative Pressure Relief ValveNSD NASA Standard DetonatorNSV Network ServiceNTA Nitrogen Tank AssemblyNTSC National Television Standard CommitteeOAK ORU Adapter KitOBSS Orbiter Boom Sensor SystemOCA Orbital Communications AdapterOCAD Operational Control Agreement DocumentOCAS Operator Commanded Automatic SequenceOCRA Oxygen Recharge Compressor AssemblyODF Operations Data FileODS Orbiter Docking SystemOI Orbiter InterfaceOIU Orbiter Interface UnitOMDP Orbiter Maintenance Down PeriodOMM Orbiter Major ModificationOMS Orbital Maneuvering SystemOODT Onboard Operation Data TableORCA Oxygen Recharge Compressor AssemblyORU Orbital Replacement UnitOS Operating SystemOSA Orbiter-based Station AvionicsOSE Orbital Support EquipmentOTCM ORU and Tool Changeout MechanismOTP ORU and Tool PlatformP/L PayloadPAL Planning and Authorization Letter Protuberance AirloadPAM Payload Attach MechanismPAO Public Affairs OfficeJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 145
  • 152. PAS Payload Adapter SystemPBA Portable Breathing ApparatusPCA Pressure Control AssemblyPCBM Passive Common Berthing MechanismPCN Page Change NoticePCS Portable Computer SystemPCU Power Control Unit Plasma Contactor UnitPCVP Pump and Control Valve PackagePDA Payload Disconnect AssemblyPDB Power Distribution BoxPDGF Power and Data Grapple FixturePDH Payload Data HandlingPDL Produce Development LaboratoryPDRS Payload Deployment Retrieval SystemPDU Power Distribution UnitPEC Passive Experiment Container Payload Experiment CarrierPEHG Payload Ethernet Hub GatewayPFAP PFRAM Adapter Plate AssemblyPFE Portable Fire ExtinguisherPFRAM Passive Flight Releasable Attachment MechanismPGSC Payload General Support ComputerPIB Power Interface BoxPIC Pyrotechnic Initiator ControllerPIU Payload Interface UnitPLB Payload BayPLBD Payload Bay DoorPLC Pressurized Logistics CarrierPLT Payload Laptop Terminal Space Shuttle PilotPM Pressurized Module Pump ModulePMA Pressurized Mating AdapterPMCU Power Management Control UnitPMM Pressurized Multipurpose ModulePMU Pressurized Mating AdapterPOA Payload ORU AccommodationPOR Point of ResolutionPPRV Positive Pressure Relief ValvePRCS Primary Reaction Control System146 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 153. PREX Procedure ExecutorPRLA Payload Retention Latch AssemblyPROX Proximity Communications Centerpsia Pounds per Square Inch AbsolutePSP Payload Signal ProcessorPSRR Pressurized Section Resupply RackPTCS Passive Thermal Control SystemPTR Port Thermal RadiatorPTU Pan/Tilt UnitPVCU Photovoltaic Controller UnitPVM Photovoltaic ModulePVR Photovoltaic RadiatorPVTCS Photovoltaic Module Thermal Control System Photovoltaic Thermal Control SystemQD Quick DisconnectR-ORU Robotics Compatible Orbital Replacement UnitR&MA Restraint and Mobility AidR2 Robonaut 2RACU Russian-to-American Converter UnitRAM Read Access MemoryRBVM Radiator Beam Valve ModuleRCC Range Control Center Reinforced Carbon-CarbonRCT Rack Configuration TableRF Radio FrequencyRFG Radio Frequency GroupRFTA Recycle Filter Tank AssemblyRGA Rate Gyro AssembliesRHC Rotational Hand ControllerRICH Ring Imaging CherenkovRIGEX Rigidizable Inflatable Get-Away Special ExperimentRIP Remote Interface PanelRLF Robotic Language FileRLT Robotic Laptop TerminalRMS Remote Manipulator SystemROEU Remotely Operated Electrical UmbilicalROM Read Only MemoryROS Russian Orbital SegmentRPC Remote Power ControllerRPCM Remote Power Controller ModuleJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 147
  • 154. RPDA Remote Power Distribution AssemblyRPM Roll Pitch ManeuverRRM Robotic Refueling MissionRS Russian SegmentRSLS Redundant Set Launch SequencerRSP Return Stowage PlatformRSR Resupply Stowage RackRSS Range Safety SystemRT Remote TerminalRTAS Rocketdyne Truss Attachment SystemRTLS Return To Launch SiteRVFS Rendezvous Flight SoftwareRWS Robotics WorkstationSAFER Simplified Aid for EVA RescueSAM SFA Airlock Attachment MechanismSAPA Small Adapter Plate AssemblySARJ Solar Alpha Rotary JointSASA S-Band Antenna Sub-AssemblySCU Sync and Control UnitSD Smoke DetectorSDS Sample Distribution SystemSEDA Space Environment Data Acquisition equipmentSEDA-AP Space Environment Data Acquisition equipment – Attached PayloadSELS SpaceOps Electronic Library SystemSEU Single Event UpsetSFA Small Fine ArmSFAE SFA ElectronicsSI Smoke IndicatorSLM Structural Latch MechanismSLP-D Spacelab Pallet – DSLP-D1 Spacelab Pallet – DeployableSLP-D2 Spacelab Pallet – D2SLT Station Laptop Terminal System Laptop TerminalSLWT Super Lightweight External TankSM Service ModuleSMDP Service Module Debris PanelSOC System Operation ControlSODF Space Operations Data FileSOFI Spray-On-Foam InsulationSPA Small Payload Attachment148 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 155. SPB Survival Power Distribution BoxSPDA Secondary Power Distribution AssemblySPDM Special Purpose Dexterous ManipulatorSPEC SpecialistSRAM Static RAMSRB Solid Rocket BoosterSRMS Shuttle Remote Manipulator SystemSSAS Segment-to-Segment Attach SystemSSC Station Support ComputerSSCB Space Station Control BoardSSCO Satellite Servicing Capabilities OfficeSSE Small Fine Arm Storage EquipmentSSIPC Space Station Integration and Promotion CenterSSME Space Shuttle Main EngineSSOR Space-to-Space Orbiter RadioSSP Standard Switch PanelSSPTS Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer SystemSSRMS Space Station Remote Manipulator SystemSTC Small Fire Arm Transportation ContainerSTORRM Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk MitigationSTP-H3 Space Test Program—Houston 3STR Starboard Thermal RadiatorSTS Space Transfer SystemSTVC SFA Television CameraSVS Space Vision SystemTA Thruster AssistTAC TCS Assembly ControllerTAC-M TCS Assembly Controller – MTAL Transoceanic Abort LandingTCA Thermal Control System AssemblyTCB Total Capture BoxTCCS Trace Contaminant Control SystemTCCV Temperature Control and Check ValveTCS Thermal Control SystemTCV Temperature Control ValveTDK Transportation Device KitTDRS Tracking Data and Relay SatelliteTHA Tool Holder AssemblyTHC Temperature and Humidity Control Translational Hand ControllerTHCU Temperature and Humidity Control UnitJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 149
  • 156. TIU Thermal Interface UnitTKSC Tsukuba Space Center (Japan)TLM TelemetryTMA Russian vehicle designationTMR Triple Modular RedundancyToF Time-of-FlightTPL Transfer Priority ListTPS Thermal Protection SystemTRD Transition Radiation DetectorTRRJ Thermal Radiator Rotary JointTUS Trailing Umbilical SystemTVC Television Camera Thrust Vector ControlUCCAS Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Attach SystemUCM Umbilical Connect MechanismUCM-E UCM – Exposed Section HalfUCM-P UCM – Payload HalfUHF Ultrahigh FrequencyUIL User Interface LanguageULC Unpressurized Logistics CarrierUMA Umbilical Mating AdapterUOP Utility Outlet PanelUPA Urine Processing AssemblyUPC Up ConverterUSA United Space AllianceUS LAB United States LaboratoryUSOS United States On-Orbit SegmentUTA Utility Transfer AssemblyVAJ Vacuum Access JumperVBSP Video Baseband Signal ProcessorVCU Video Control UnitVDS Video Distribution SystemVLU Video Light UnitVNS Vision Navigation SensorVRA Vent Relief AssemblyVRCS Vernier Reaction Control SystemVRCV Vent Relief Control ValveVRIV Vent Relief Isolation ValveVSU Video Switcher UnitVSW Video Switcher150 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS JULY 2011
  • 157. WAICO Waiving and CoilingWCL Water Cooling LoopWETA Wireless Video System External Transceiver AssemblyWIF Work InterfaceWPA Water Processing AssemblyWRM Water Recovery and ManagementWRS Water Recovery SystemWS Water Separator Work Site Work StationWVA Water Vent AssemblyZSR Zero-g Stowage RackJULY 2011 ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS 151
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  • 159. MEDIA ASSISTANCENASA TELEVISION AND INTERNET space shuttle missions; on-orbit video of Earth captured by astronauts aboard the InternationalThe digital NASA Television system provides Space Station; and rocket launches of advancedhigher quality images and better use of satellite scientific spacecraft are among thebandwidth, meaning multiple channels from programming offered on NASA HD. Alsomultiple NASA program sources at the same available are imagery from NASA’s vast arraytime. of space satellites, as well as media briefings,Digital NASA TV has the following four digital presentations by expert lecturers, astronautchannels: interviews and other special events, all in the improved detail and clarity of HD.1. NASA Public Channel (“Free to Air”), featuring documentaries, archival Getting NASA TV via satellite (AMC3 programming, and coverage of NASA Transponder 15C) missions and events. In continental North America, Alaska and2. NASA Education Channel (“Free to Hawaii, NASA Television’s Public, Education, Air/Addressable”), dedicated to providing Media and HD channels are MPEG-2 digital educational programming to schools, C-band signals carried by QPSK/DVB-S educational institutions and museums. modulation on satellite AMC-3, transponder 15C, at 87 degrees west longitude. Downlink3. NASA Media Channel (“Addressable”), for frequency is 4000 MHz, horizontal polarization, broadcast news organizations. with a data rate of 38.86 Mhz, symbol rate of 28.1115 Ms/s, and 3/4 FEC. A Digital Video4. NASA Mission Channel (Internal Only), Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver provides high-definition imagery from Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception. science and human spaceflight missions and special events. Effective Sept. 1, 2010, NASA TV changed the primary audio configuration for each of its fourDigital NASA TV channels may not always channels to AC-3, making each channel’shave programming on every channel secondary audio MPEG 1 Layer II.simultaneously. For NASA TV downlink information, schedulesNASA Television Now in High Definition and links to streaming video, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ntvNASA TV now has a full-time High Definition(HD) Channel available at no cost to cable andsatellite service providers. Live coverage ofJULY 2011 MEDIA ASSISTANCE 153
  • 160. Television Schedule Internet InformationA schedule of key mission events and media Information on NASA and its programs isbriefings during the mission will be detailed in available through the NASA Home Page anda NASA TV schedule posted at the link above. the NASA Public Affairs Home Page:The schedule will be updated as necessary and http://www.nasa.govwill also be available at or http://www.nasa.gov/newsinfo/index.htmlhttp://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/mission_schedule.html Information on the International Space Station is available at: http://www.nasa.gov/stationStatus Reports The NASA Human Space Flight Web containsStatus reports and timely updates on launch an up-to-date archive of mission imagery, videocountdown, mission progress, and landing and audio at: http://spaceflight.nasa.govoperations will be posted at:http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle Resources for educators can be found at: http://education.nasa.gov154 MEDIA ASSISTANCE JULY 2011
  • 161. SPACE SHUTTLE AND INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION − PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTSNASA HEADQUARTERS Kylie ClemWASHINGTON, D.C. Media Integration Manager 281-483-5111Michael Curie kylie.s.clem@nasa.govShuttle, Space Station Policy Kyle Herring202-358-1100 Public Affairs Specialistmichael.curie@nasa.gov Space Shuttle Program OfficeStephanie Schierholz 281-483-5111Shuttle, Space Station Policy kyle.j.herring@nasa.gov202-358-1100 Kelly Humphriesstephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov Public Affairs Specialist International Space Station and MissionJoshua Buck Operations DirectorateShuttle, Space Station Policy 281-483-5111202-358-1100 kelly.o.humphries@nasa.govjbuck@nasa.gov Nicole Cloutier-LemastersMichael Braukus Public Affairs SpecialistResearch in Space AstronautsInternational Partners 281-483-5111202-358-1979 nicole.cloutier-1@nasa.govmichael.j.braukus@nasa.gov Rob NaviasJ.D. Harrington Program and Mission Operations LeadResearch in Space 281-483-5111202-358-5241 rob.navias-1@nasa.govjharring@nasa.gov Josh Byerly Public Affairs SpecialistJOHNSON SPACE CENTER Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)HOUSTON, TX Commercial Crew and CargoJames Hartsfield 281-483-5111Chief, Mission and Media Support josh.byerly@nasa.gov281-483-5111james.a.hartsfield@nasa.govJULY 2011 PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS 155
  • 162. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER Steve RoyCAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. Public Affairs Specialist Space Shuttle PropulsionAllard Beutel 256-544-0034News Chief steven.e.roy@nasa.gov321-867-2468allard.beutel@nasa.gov Daniel Kanigan Public Affairs SpecialistCandrea Thomas Space Shuttle PropulsionPublic Affairs Specialist 256-544-6849Space Shuttle danial.n.kanigan@nasa.gov321-867-2468candrea.k.thomas@nasa.gov STENNIS SPACE CENTER BAY ST. LOUIS, MISS.Tracy YoungPublic Affairs Specialist Rebecca StreckerInternational Space Station News Chief321-867-2468 228-688-3249tracy.g.young@nasa.gov rebecca.a.strecker@nasa.govMARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER Paul FoermanHUNTSVILLE, ALA. Public Affairs Officer 228-688-1880Dom Amatore paul.foerman-1@nasa.govPublic Affairs Manager256-544-0034 AMES RESEARCH CENTERdominic.a.amatore@nasa.gov MOFFETT FIELD, CALIF.Jennifer Stanfield John YembrickActing News Chief/Media Manager Public Affairs Director256-544-0034 650-604-4789jennifer.stanfield@nasa.gov john.yembrick-1@nasa.gov Michael Mewhinney News Chief 650-604-4789 michael.s.mewhinney@nasa.gov Rachel Hoover Public Affairs Officer 650-604-4789 rachel.hoover@nasa.gov156 PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS JULY 2011
  • 163. DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTEREDWARDS, CALIF. HAMPTON, VA.Kevin Rohrer Rob WymanDirector, Public Affairs News Chief661-276-3595 757-864-6120, 912-2973kevin.j.rohrer@nasa.gov robert.d.wyman@nasa.govAlan Brown Kathy BarnstorffNews Chief Public Affairs Officer661-276-2665 757-864-9886, 344-8511alan.brown@nasa.gov katherine.a.barnstorff@nasa.govLeslie Williams Amy JohnsonPublic Affairs Specialist Public Affairs Officer661-276-3893 757-864-7022, 272-9859leslie.a.williams@nasa.gov amy.johnson@nasa.govGLENN RESEARCH CENTER UNITED SPACE ALLIANCECLEVELAND, OHIO Kari FluegelLori Rachul Houston OperationsNews Chief 281-280-6959216-433-8806 281-796-7712lori.j.rachul@nasa.gov kari.l.fluegel@usa-spaceops.comSally Harrington Tracy YatesPublic Affairs Specialist Florida Operations216-433-2037 321-861-3956sally.v.harrington@nasa.gov 321-750-1739 (cell) tracy.e.yates@usa-spaceops.comJULY 2011 PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS 157
  • 164. BOEING CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY (CSA)Ed Memi Jean-Pierre ArseneaultInternational Space Station/Space Shuttle Manager, Media Relations & InformationCommunications ServicesThe Boeing Co. Canadian Space AgencySpace Exploration Division 514-824-0560 (cell)281-226-4029 jean-pierre.arseneault@asc-csa.gc.ca713-204-5464 (cell)edmund.g.memi@boeing.com Media Relations Office Canadian Space AgencySusan Wells 450-926-4370Boeing Florida OperationsThe Boeing Co.Space Exploration Division321-264-8580321-446-4970 (cell)susan.h.wells@boeing.comJAPAN AEROSPACE EXPLORATIONAGENCY (JAXA)Takefumi WakamatsuJAXA Public Affairs RepresentativeHouston281-792-7468wakamatsu,takefumi@jaxa.jpJAXA Public Affairs OfficeTokyo, Japan011-81-50-3362-4374proffice@jaxa.jp158 PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS JULY 2011
  • 165. THE FUTUREORION MULTI-PURPOSE CREW Orion MPCV will serve as the primary crewVEHICLE vehicle for missions beyond LEO and will be capable of conducting regular in-spaceAs the flagship of our nation’s next-generation operations such as rendezvous, docking andspace fleet, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew extravehicular activity. It will work inVehicle (MPCV) will push the envelope of conjunction with payloads delivered byhuman spaceflight far beyond low Earth orbit NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) for deep(LEO). It will serve as the exploration vehicle space missions and will have the capability tothat will carry NASA’s astronauts to space, be a backup system for International Spaceprovide emergency abort capability, sustain the Station cargo and crew delivery in the unlikelycrew during the space travel and provide safe event that is needed.re-entry from deep space return velocities. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Ground Test Article (GTA) is shown at the Lockheed Martin Vertical Test Facility in Colorado. The GTA’s heat shield and thermal protection backshell were completed in preparation for environmental testing. The GTA will undergo a series of rigorous tests to confirm Orion MPCV’s ability to safely fly astronauts through all the harsh environments of deep space exploration missions.JULY 2011 THE FUTURE 159
  • 166. NASA personnel around the country are technology advancements and innovations thatcontinuing to make progress on Orion MPCV’s have been incorporated into the spacecraft’sdevelopment and have already passed rigorous subsystem and component design, includinghuman rating reviews and other critical life support, propulsion, thermal protection andmilestones required for safe, successful human avionics systems that will enable integration ofspaceflight. With a proven launch abort system new technical innovations in the future. Orionand its inherent design to provide MPCV’s crew module is larger than Apollo’sthe highest level of safety for the crew during and designed to accommodate four astronautslong-duration missions, the Orion MPCV is on long-duration, deep-space missions. Thepoised to take on increasingly challenging service module is the powerhouse that fuelsmissions that will take human space and propels the spacecraft as well as theexploration beyond LEO and out into the storehouse for the life-sustaining air and watercosmos. astronauts need during their space travels. The service module’s structure will alsoDrawing from more than 50 years of spaceflight provide places to mount scientific experimentsresearch and development, Orion MPCV is and cargo.designed to meet the evolving needs of ournation’s space program for decades to come. It The adaptability of Orion MPCV and its flexiblemay resemble its Apollo-era predecessors, but design will allow it to carry astronauts on aits technology and capability are light-years variety of expeditions beyond LEO – usheringapart. Orion MPCV features dozens of in a new era of space exploration.160 MISSION OVERVIEW FEBRUARY 2011
  • 167. NASA ORION MULTI-PURPOSE CREW VEHICLE PROGRAM MAJORACCOMPLISHMENTSJuly 2008 NASA and the United States Navy complete water egress and survival tests with an Orion MPCV mock-up.October 2008 Orion MPCV’s Ultraflex solar arrays are successfully tested.October 2009 Main parachutes are tested over Yuma, Arizona.February 2010 Fabrication of Orion MPCV’s heat shield structure – the largest in the world – is completed.April 2010 Installation of the Orion MPCV navigation (STORRM) reflective elements on the ISS docking target.May 2010 Orion MPCV’s launch abort system is successfully tested at White Sands Missile Range.June 2010 Orion MPCV’s S-band antennas are tested at the Johnson Space Center.August 2010 Completion of the first test of the Crew Module lifting/lowering structure in the Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center. The first Proof Pressure Test of Crew Module Ground Test Article is completed.October 2010 First integration of flight software on Orion MPCV flight computer hardware is completed.September 2010 Orion MPCV begins structural pressure tests at the Michoud Assembly Facility.January 2011 The Hydro Impact Basin is completed at the Langley Research Center.February 2011 The first Orion MPCV ground test article is shipped from the Michoud Assembly Facility.May 2011 Orion MPCV’s Vision Navigation Sensor (STORRM) tested on board Endeavour during STS-134.JULY 2011 THE FUTURE 161
  • 168. NASA COMMERCIAL CREW PROGRAM and the business plans of each project. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager isNASA awarded approximately $270 million to Ed Mango, located at the Kennedy Spacefour commercial companies April 18, 2011, to Center, Fla. NASA’s goal is for a new,continue development of commercial rockets commercially developed spacecraft to take overand spacecraft capable of safely flying the work of carrying astronauts into LEO,astronauts into orbit and to the International saving development and operational costs bySpace Station. The award was the second phase partnering with commercial industry. As theof the agency’s Commercial Crew Development companies continue their development planseffort, known as CCDev2. under the agreement guidelines, the next stepThe goal of the program is to have a human- will be for NASA is to refine the strategy for thecapable certified spacecraft flying by the middle next round of development.of the decade. NASAs goal is for development Quick Look − NASA Commercial Crewcosts to be cheaper because the launchers and Development Program (CCDev)spacecraft can split the price betweencommercial and government uses. For the The Commercial Crew Development Programsecond round of agreements, the proposals is designed to stimulate efforts within theselected and the value of the award made to private sector to develop and demonstrateeach were: human spaceflight capabilities. NASA provides funds that help support delivery of aBlue Origin: $22 millon. The company is station docking interface engineering test unit,working on a space vehicle design development a set of human rating requirements forfor their biconic “New Shepard” spacecraft, commercial crew vehicles, and the collection ofdesigned to take off and land vertically. industry input regarding the best way to enableSierra Nevada Corp.: $80 million. Sierra the technologies for commercial crew accessNevada is designing a lifting body called to the International Space Station. This“Dream Chaser.” development work must show, within the timeframe of the agreement, significantSpace Exploration Technologies (SpaceX): progress on long lead capabilities, technologies$75 million. SpaceX plans to use the award to and commercial crew risk mitigation tasks todevelop an escape system for a crewed version accelerate the development of their commercialof its Dragon capsule, an uncrewed version of crew space transportation concept.which has already flown. NASA’s preference in developing commercialThe Boeing Company: $92.3 million. The crew capability is to support a logical andBoeing Company will continue development of deliberate development of capabilities thatthe CST-100 crew capsule, including maturation build on prior demonstrated success. The firstof the design and integration of the capsule step is for companies to demonstrate the abilitywith a launch vehicle. to deliver unpressurized and pressurized cargoThe selection was based on how far the awards to the International Space Station. The nextwould move the companies toward their goals would be to return pressurized cargo to Earth.162 THE FUTURE JULY 2011
  • 169. The final step would be to deliver crew to the CCDev Round 2International Space Station, which wouldrequire development of a launch abort system. NASA announced its second round of Commercial Crew Development awards inNASA is evaluating the need to demonstrate April 2011. The five companies receivingthe capability to perform the crew rescue and CCDev2 funds are:return function for the station, positioning acommercial partner to then provide a U.S. • Blue Origin, Kent, Wash., $22 million“lifeboat” capability for station crew. • Sierra Nevada Corp., Louisville, Colo.,CCDev Awards $80 millionCCDev Round 1 • Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Hawthorne, Calif., $75 millionNASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Programapplied $90 million of American Recovery and • The Boeing Company, Houston,Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to the CCDev $92.3 millionProgram. On Feb. 2, 2010, the agency awarded NASA’s preference in developing commercialfive grants totaling $50 million to: crew capability is to support a logical and• Blue Origin of Kent, Wash. − $3.7 million deliberate development of capabilities that build on prior demonstrated success. The first• The Boeing Company of Houston − step is for companies to demonstrate the ability $18 million to deliver unpressurized and pressurized cargo to the International Space Station. The next• Paragon Space Development Corporation of would be to return pressurized cargo to Earth. Tucson, Ariz. − $1.4 million The final step would be to deliver crew to the• Sierra Nevada Corporation of Louisville, International Space Station, which would Colo. − $20 million require development of a launch abort system.• United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colo. NASA is evaluating the need to demonstrate − $6.7 million the capability to perform the crew rescue and return function for the station, positioning a commercial partner to then provide a U.S. “lifeboat” capability for station crew.JULY 2011 THE FUTURE 163
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