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Elysium
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2012-04-11, 12:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
One thing I've never seen but wondered: how exactly do they put the shuttle on the back of a plane like that? A series of cranes and lifts? Got any pictures of that?
Mate-Demate Device (Right from the article quoted )
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
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2012-04-11, 13:33

Pictures, man. Pictures! I can't be expected to read!

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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-11, 15:57

Unloading the orbiters at their destinations will be a little trickier, though. There are no portable mate-demate devices, they only exist at KSC, Edwards and White Sands.

Unloading Discovery at Dulles, and then loading Enterprise, will be done with several portable cranes. Enterprise will then be flown to JFK, unloaded onto a barge via cranes, and then moved from the barge to the Intrepid using cranes.

Endeavour will also be unloaded from the SCA using cranes when it arrives in California, and then transported on a large heavy-duty flatbed trailer over land to the California Science Center. Atlantis will simply be towed along the roads connecting the LC39 complex and the Visitor's Center after it's display building is ready in November.

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Brad
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2012-04-11, 16:27

Thanks, PKI. That's exactly the answer I was looking for.
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turtle
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2012-04-11, 17:21

Thanks guys for the explanation! I saw one of the shuttles do a fly-by in DC when I lived up there some time ago. It was the coolest thing ever for me.

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Bryson
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2012-04-11, 18:14

Those extra vertical fins on the tailplane are interesting. Are they there to compensate for something the shuttle causes?
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Dave
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2012-04-11, 19:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
Those extra vertical fins on the tailplane are interesting. Are they there to compensate for something the shuttle causes?
Yes — a lack of air-flow around the vertical fin.
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Bryson
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2012-04-11, 20:15

That makes sense. Thanks!
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-11, 21:33

For those interested in the details of using the Mate-Demate Device, and how the operation will be carried out without them, long nerd post incoming:

In the photo posted above, you can see that the aft External Tank connection hatches on the orbiter's belly are open. Those hatches, when open, are where the ET both physically attaches to the orbiter at the aft end, and also where the cryogenic fuel plumbing between the ET and orbiter connect. Now, why are they open with the orbiter in the MDD? Because they use the ET attachment points to connect it to the SCA. No point in engineering separate mounts into the vehicle when you already have perfectly good attach points.

So the loading procedure at KSC for Discovery and Endeavour will be the same procedure they used at Edwards or White Sands to return an orbiter to KSC. It goes like this:

1. Tow orbiter under MDD.
2. Attach MDD lifting mechanism to the built-in attach points on the fuselage, which were also used for lifting, moving, and stacking the vehicle in the VAB.
3. Retract orbiter landing gear and close the hatches.
4. Open aft ET connection hatches.
5. Raise orbiter to top of MDD.
6. Tow SCA into the MDD under the orbiter and carefully check positioning.
7. Lower orbiter onto SCA and lock the struts to the ET attachment points.
8. Disengage MDD lifting mechanism from orbiter and raise it up out of the way.
9. Roll the combined SCA/Orbiter back out of the MDD so it can be turned around and prepared for takeoff.

Standard unloading was the same, just in reverse.

Now, for the final flights... Discovery and Endeavour will be loaded using that standard method, while Atlantis is remaining at KSC and will simply be towed to the Visitor's Complex. After arrival, here's how it will go:

Discovery: Cranes attach to the orbiter and raise it off the SCA. SCA rolls back, and the cranes lower the orbiter close to the ground. The aft ET hatches are closed and the landing gear is deployed, and then the cranes set the orbiter down onto the tarmac to be towed into the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is conveniently right off the end of the runway.

Enterprise Step 1: After Discovery is removed, the aerodynamic tail cone will be transferred from Discovery to Enterprise. Cranes will attach to Enterprise and raise it up a little, allowing the gear to be retracted and the aft ET doors opened. It will then be raised fully, the SCA will pull in underneath, and the cranes will then lower it onto the SCA to be locked down. The cranes will then disengage and move away, and the SCA will depart for New York.

Enterprise Step 2: After arrival at JFK, cranes will remove Enterprise from the SCA in the same way Discovery was removed at Dulles. The tailcone will be removed and shipped back to KSC for use on Endeavour. It will then be towed to a barge dock and craned onto the barge for transport to Intrepid. Once there, it will once again be lifted by cranes, from the barge up to it's temporary parking spot on the Intrepid carrier deck, and then covered by a strong temporary tent-like structure while the permanent display enclosure is constructed.

Endeavour: Loaded onto SCA at KSC using standard procedure. After arrival in California, it will be unloaded in the same way Discovery and Enterprise were, except that the landing gear will remain stowed. It will be set on the special trailer originally used to transport the orbiters from the manufacturing plant to Edwards AFB, and trucked to the California Science Center. Once there, it will be lifted off the trailer by cranes, the landing gear deployed, and then set down and towed into the building.

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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-04-14, 09:51



One final roll out of the VAB for Discovery.



Arrives at Mate-Demate device at the SLF.

Looking forward to seeing her off on Tuesday at the SLF. Though the least they could do is to give Discovery a Shuttle Wash.... The thing is filthy.

giggity
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-14, 14:41



Discovery is now attached to the Mate-Demate Device with the nose gear lifted off the ground.
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turtle
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2012-04-14, 17:00

Thanks for keeping us updated! I think this stuff is very cool still.
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-14, 20:32

Mating operations have been scrubbed until tomorrow morning due to winds exceeding lifting limits.
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Quagmire
meh
 
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2012-04-15, 09:47

And we have liftoff.....

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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-15, 13:14

Discovery now at full height inside the MDD with the SCA pulled underneath. Ready for mating.




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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-16, 13:11

Backing out of the MDD


Discovery's final crew from STS-133


Unanimous GO has been given for takeoff tomorrow at 7AM ET.
Full article: http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts133/120416preview/

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Quagmire
meh
 
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2012-04-16, 15:10

Time to set my alarm clock to 3 am...... Out the door to KSC at 4 am.....
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-04-17, 11:46

Here are my pictures of Discovery leaving.

Peak abo....



Taxing down the runway to departure end of the runway.





Stopped for a photo shoot.







Continuing on....





Takeoff roll( trees and the crowd blocked me from taking pictures of the moment of liftoff and climb)



Fly by heading up to DC.





Goodbye Discovery


giggity
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-19, 01:04

Gallery from Tuesday's DC Flyover: http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts133/120417ws/

And going on right now...

Quote:
Shuttle Discovery to enter Smithsonian on Thursday

Preparing for what should be a long night of work, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft late Wednesday rolled from its initial parking position at the Dulles International Airport into the specially-assembled mobile crane contraption that will be used for offloading Discovery overnight.
Photos: Discovery ready for offloading
Live Feed: FERRYFLIGHT STATUS CENTER - live updates and streaming video

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drewprops
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2012-04-19, 01:57

I first saw a shuttle back in the 1980s, atop the plane they used to transport it from the west coast back to the east coast. They had it parked at Harsfield International in Atlanta, and there was a viewing area you could park at - my Dad took me over, it was awesome

This makes me sad


...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-04-19, 11:34

I hope this happens. Bring back the F1's!



http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1204/18dynetics/
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-19, 13:02

SLS would still use SSME RS-25 engines for the core stage, but having F-1 powered liquid boosters on the sides instead of the current five-segment ATK solids would be interesting.

Activity from last night and today:

Discovery demated from SCA using crane contraption that makes me nervous
Enterprise rolling out of Udvar-Hazy Center

Discovery approaching Udvar-Hazy Center


Enterprise and Discovery meet for the first time

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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-04-19, 13:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKIDelirium View Post
SLS would still use SSME RS-25 engines for the core stage, but having F-1 powered liquid boosters on the sides instead of the current five-segment ATK solids would be interesting.
Yeah.... I hope they do go with using an updated F1 engine( F-1X like with the J-2X?) because it will make the vehicle safer. I know the SRB's have had good reliability( only failure being Challenger), but I just don't like the fact that once the SRB's are lit you are in it for the ride as you can't shut them down.

And I have always wondered why NASA went with the RS-25 instead of human rating the RS-68's. Not only does the RS-68's produce more thrust, they would be cheaper even after human rating. Because the RS-25D's are overly complex due to being designed to be reused for the Shuttle's. So I always thought why go with overly complex engines that cost more for a one time use in the SLS? But, then I read after they use the remaining RS-25D's they have in storage they will be using the RS-25E's which would remove the complexity of the engine and make it more practical to be expendable.

giggity
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-19, 18:20

I think NASA may be taking these proposals seriously too, because they've recently begun installing an SLS-sized RP-1 Kerosene fueling system and tanks at Pad B, and after Pad A has the Shuttle hardware removed and the lightning towers installed like has already taken place at B, Pad A will also get an RP-1 fueling system. This will also enable LC39 to support manned Atlas V and Falcon Heavy operations if they decide to open up LC39 to the private sector in addition to SLS use.

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Quagmire
meh
 
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2012-04-19, 18:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKIDelirium View Post
I think NASA may be taking these proposals seriously too, because they've recently begun installing an SLS-sized RP-1 Kerosene fueling system and tanks at Pad B, and after Pad A has the Shuttle hardware removed and the lightning towers installed like has already taken place at B, Pad A will also get an RP-1 fueling system. This will also enable LC39 to support manned Atlas V and Falcon Heavy operations if they decide to open up LC39 to the private sector in addition to SLS use.
I would take the kerosene fueling system being installed as a sign to prep for manned flights of the Atlas V and Falcon Heavy and not for prepping for a F-1 strapped SLS as the plan for the future of KSC included manned commercial launches from LC39.

But, knowing they have the infrastructure built already will give the F-1 booster proposal some extra legs.

giggity
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PKIDelirium
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2012-04-23, 18:07

*nerdgasm*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1437851.html
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Frank777
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2012-04-23, 18:11

Steve Jobs would have killed the designer of that Shuttle Flight Deck.
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PKIDelirium
Mother Father Gentleman
 
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2012-04-27, 18:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Steve Jobs would have killed the designer of that Shuttle Flight Deck.
Spacecraft control panels aren't supposed to be elegant and easy to use. It's really not much worse than a large airliner like a 747, A380 or the Concorde.

In other news, Enterprise made the "Trek" from Dulles to JFK this morning, making passes over Manhattan and the Intrepid prior to landing.

Space shuttle Enterprise lands in the Big Apple




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Dorian Gray
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2012-04-28, 16:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKIDelirium View Post
Spacecraft control panels aren't supposed to be elegant and easy to use. It's really not much worse than a large airliner like a 747, A380 or the Concorde.
They should be elegant and easy to use! The shuttle's cockpit is a mess compared to an A380 or other modern airliner (but the Concorde and the original 747 were a mess too). Modern airliner cockpits are designed around the "dark-cockpit" concept to improve ease of use and therefore safety. The basic idea is that all annunciator lights are out when everything is configured properly. System failures and unsafe configurations are annunciated, thereby immediately getting the attention of the flight crew.

More recently, the dark-cockpit concept has been extended to "quiet cockpit" too: normal configurations are silent, so any sounds mean something must be dealt with.

The old-style cockpits had annunciators for all kinds of things, with different coloured lights meaning different things including "all okay". This made problems much harder to identify, which is one reason planes fell out of the sky a lot more often forty years ago!

Thanks for your photos.
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Frank777
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2012-04-28, 23:26

It's supposed to look like this.
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