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Stu
You HAVE to go look at this new video... the hairs on your neck will literally stand up.
ilbasso
QUOTE (Stu @ Jun 13 2008, 01:47 AM) *
You HAVE to go look at this new video... the hairs on your neck will literally stand up.


Bad link - can you supply another?
ElkGroveDan
Wow! Thanks for that Stu.
jmjawors
How strange. Doesn't work for me either. "Page not found."
ugordan
Interesting. At work, I could access the page holding the links to WMV and MOV versions, but the actual files were inaccessible. At home, I can't even get to that page.
ilbasso
Found it! Of course, it was on YouTube here. You can watch it in high quality in full screen mode.

This certainly brings back memories of the "old days" of the Shuttle. In the Shuttle's early days, there was a lot more launching and servicing of satellites. Of course, Challenger "proved" that we shouldn't be putting lives at risk for those kinds of missions. Hard to believe that since 1/1/2000, the only non-ISS flights have been one radar topography mission, one HST servicing mission, and Columbia's final SPACEHAB mission.
brellis
That music was cool, too.
David
Thanks! That was fun to watch. I suspect that the actual mission, as we watch it, will be less poetic but more exciting, however.

It will be strange for the Shuttle to be going somewhere just by itself, now that I think of it. Somehow having a destination with people in it has made space feel more inviting, more like a home. Going out to somewhere where there's nobody around makes the mission feel lonelier. And of course the crew is going to be a lot more cramped spending their entire mission on the orbiter!

I don't know why, since I never liked the Shuttle too much from its earliest days (I was a child when they rolled the Columbia out -- and had so many problems getting the tiles to stay stuck) but it's begun to grow on me. Perhaps it's the additional visuals necessitated by the Columbia disaster, which have allowed the whole system to be seen in all its impressive might and grace -- perhaps it's just the fact that the Shuttle is technically just a much better machine than it was back in the 1980s. Maybe it's that the Shuttle is finally doing what it was built for -- shuttling. Whatever the reason, the fact that every single Shuttle mission brings us one step closer to the final shutdown of the whole Shuttle program is making me feel wistful. Not about the Shuttle's past glory days, because I think that the Shuttle's true glory days are now; but about the fact that there aren't going to be many more of these missions to watch, and then the launchpads at Cape Canaveral are going to go silent for what seems like a long, long time.

I was just barely too young to remember the last of the Apollo missions, which means that I spent the long years from 1975 to 1981 dreaming about space flights that I had never seen. I feel for the kids who are going to be too young to remember the Shuttle, and who are going to spend their youths wondering what the Orion-Ares is going to be like. At least they'll be able to go on the net and see the twice-yearly Soyuz launches, and maybe a Shenzhou or two. It won't be quite the same, though, and maybe they will dream about the days when the big white delta-winged bird ruled the skies.
ilbasso
Well said! You don't have a feel for what a truly massive vehicle the Shuttle is until you see one up close - such as Enterprise, at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum. That sucker is BIIIIIIIG! There's a great side-by-side comparison of Shuttle and Soyuz

Well said! You don't have a feel for what a truly massive vehicle the Shuttle is until you see one up close - such as Enterprise, at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum. That sucker is BIIIIIIIG! There's a great side-by-side comparison of Shuttle and Soyuz here.
Greg Hullender
QUOTE (ilbasso @ Jun 26 2008, 07:16 AM) *
Well said! You don't have a feel for what a truly massive vehicle the Shuttle is until you see one up close - such as Enterprise, at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum. That sucker is BIIIIIIIG! There's a great side-by-side comparison of Shuttle and Soyuz


Yet, as THIS image shows, those of us who grew up watching Saturn launches found the Shuttle rather disappointing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Saturn_..._comparison.jpg

And, somehow, irrationally, really, really want to see the Ares V fly. :-)

--Greg
lyford
QUOTE (ilbasso @ Jun 26 2008, 08:16 AM) *
There's a great side-by-side comparison of Shuttle and Soyuz here.

Why do I imagine the Shuttle saying to Soyuz a la Mike Myers - "GET IN MA BELLY!"
ilbasso
Conjures up visions of the capsule-eating rocket in the movie "You Only Live Twice."
dvandorn
Well.. at one point, someone did conclude that, with a little modification, you could put a civilian Salyut station *inside* the Shuttle's cargo bay and launch it into orbit that way.

Gives you some perspective, doesn't it?

-the other Doug
ilbasso
I think something like that is on the potential Shuttle launch manifest in 2010. Budget woes are preventing the Russians from building the Research Modules that would have been docked to the Russian segment of the ISS. Instead, they are now talking about a Russian "Mini-Research Module" to be launched by the Shuttle and docked to the nadir port of Zarya. I will be very interested to see the proposal for how they would get that module out of the docked Shuttle and put it at the other end of the Station. I don't think there are Canadarm 2 grapple points on the Russian segment, and I'm not sure the Canadarm 2 can reach that far. That is, unless the Shuttle were to dock at Node 3 (below Unity) and somehow move the MRM over from there.
jmjawors
There's talk of installing at least one PDGF onto the Russian segment. Not sure that solves the problem, but it would give the arm access to that half of the station.
PhilCo126
Saving Hubble ... some enthusiast believe NASA migh fund a mission to bring HST down to Earth for display in NASM Washington D.C.
Can You believe that ? laugh.gif
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0303/01.html
dvandorn
The original plan was to bring Hubble back, actually. It went away after the Columbia accident, mostly because mooring the Hubble properly (and prepping it for return) requires EVAs, and all of the Shuttles except for Columbia had their built-in airlocks removed. For ISS operations, the airlock is part of the docking adapter, which extends into the payload bay.

The add-on airlock makes the remaining space in the payload bay shorter than Hubble -- so none of the Shuttles currently flying can fit both an airlock *and* the Hubble in their payload bays.

Without Columbia, you'd have to do an expensive re-fit of one of the existing orbiters to add back the internal airlock in order to bring Hubble back. And that's just not cost-effective by any stretch of the imagination.

-the other Doug
jmjawors
I *believe* the docking adapter is being removed from Atlantis for this mission, though. The point still stands, it's not cost-effective to repeatedly do this, and shuttle missions are now an endangered species anyway.

It's too bad we can't bring Hubble back one day.
hendric
How about just the mirror? I know, I know, there's no way an EVA could remove the mirror from the telescope. What about a bottom first re-entry that uses the electronics etc. to "heat shield" the mirror? There's got to be several thousand pounds of "stuff" (http://www.base24.com/hubble.htm) between the mirror and the bottom, along with enough structural integrity to survive a launch. Plus, the design should cause it to "weathervane" with the heavy side forwards anyways.

So maybe it's not a question of can it survive, but would anyone go through the trouble of looking for it and recovering it. The Kansas Cosmosphere did, after all, recover Liberty Bell 7, and the Hubble is much fresher in the public's mind.
jmjawors
I doubt any part of Hubble will survive re-entry. Maybe some small charred bits here and there, but Hubble's re-entry will be targeted over ocean, so those tiny bits will surely be lost to the sea. There's a vast difference between a Mercury capsule and Hubble.

Thinking about all this did remind me of the biggest constraint towards any shuttle mission to Hubble. In fact, it's the one thing that has made this current mission so difficult; the lack of "safe haven" on the ISS if there was any significant damage to the shuttle during launch. STS-125 is essentially a two-shuttle mission. Atlantis will launch to Hubble, and meanwhile Endeavour will be poised on the other pad just in case a rescue mission is needed. So any Hubble mission needs two tanks, four boosters and two fully processed shuttles to pull it off.

Though it's sad not to have the telescope itself on the ground, the photographic and scientific catalogue Hubble has compiled will last for many many generations. So even without the telescope physically present, its legacy will long be remembered.

(We still have many more years of observations to make with Hubble, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. wink.gif )
djellison
The mirror will survive, but that's about it.

Doug
hendric
QUOTE (jmjawors @ Jul 14 2008, 12:33 AM) *
There's a vast difference between a Mercury capsule and Hubble.


Of course! I don't expect a shiny, pristine 2.4m mirror to be scooped off the bottom of the ocean by Alvin, but I'm optimistic considering the large chunks of skylab (that was forced into a tumbling reentry) found after its demise. Considering Hubble weighs 24,500 lbs, most of which is behind the mirror (1,800 lbs itself), chances have got to be high that significant pieces survive.

Piece of the mirror, or just part of a fuel tank, if somebody does recover part of Hubble, I would pay to see it.

Just on a lark, I tried calculating a rough estimate of the mirror's density:

2.4m^2*3.14159-.6m^2*3.14159 = 16.9m^2 area
The thickness I get from http://www.scienceclarified.com/scitech/Te...pes/Hubble.html as 12" or .305m

So a volume of 5.15m^3 for the mirror. Plugging in the weight of 828kg gives a density of 160kg/m^3, or about 15% of (pure) water's density!

A 100% intact mirror could bouy 5,000+kg on its own. blink.gif

That, or my math is totally broken. laugh.gif Can anyone spot the mistake?

I'm assuming the mirror's honeycomb cells are sealed based on the above reference that states 1.5" of solid glass plate were sealed to the front and back, and abraded to 1".
jmjawors
Wow, I'm surprised to learn that. That's pretty cool.
PhilCo126
Can't wait to see the mission getting started:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/...4/overview.html
PhilCo126
Here’s a superb artist’ impression of the HST:
http://www.spacetelescope.org/goodies/post...l/hubble01.html

And for the Servicing mission:

PhilCo126
Just read some interesting statistics on micro-meteroid impacts on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST):
In February 1997, a total of 788 impact scars to the detectable limits of 0.5 centimeters were found on HST's external surface. Compared to the December 1993 servicing mission, an apparent increase of 20 impacts per square meter was noted!
ohmy.gif
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