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#8925 - 11/03/10 07:07 PM Discovery's Last Flight
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2218
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
As an avid follower of the space program, tomorrow's launch of Discovery is a bittersweet moment. I was present at the first two landings at Edwards. Launch is at 12:29:43 pm Whitney Zone time. The weather looks bad, though. I'll post the video URL for streaming video when & if it turns up. Apparently, the delay from today to Thursday was caused by a bug in a circuit breaker - as in a real bug. Squish!
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#8935 - 11/03/10 11:18 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: wagga]
VersatileFred Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 130
Loc: SoCal
The weather was unseasonably great when I was there three weeks ago. Hope everything works out this week.

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#8937 - 11/04/10 05:35 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: VersatileFred]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2218
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Launch has been delayed to 3:04 WZT on Friday due to weather.
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#8957 - 11/04/10 04:12 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: wagga]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2218
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
A NASA video of Discovery's career.



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#8958 - 11/04/10 04:23 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: wagga]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2218
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
And a GigaPan image from last night here.
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#8963 - 11/04/10 06:51 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: wagga]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
I got to watch the launch of Magellan Venus probe aboard the Atlantis in 1989. We got VIP seats but it almost never happened. The countdown got to 31 seconds and the mission was scrubbed. There was only a narrow window of a couple of days to get the shuttle to launch Magellan or it would have to wait another 2 years for the right lauch angle to slingslot Magellan to Venus.They fixed the problem and launched within the open widow. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.We flew home on a Sunday and the next day the shuttle we saw lauched at Cape Canaveral flew over our heads in SoCal and we saw the support jets and felt the sonic boom as it landed at Edwards AFB.
http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/magellan/guide9.html

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#8970 - 11/05/10 10:05 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Rod]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2218
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Shuttle scrubbed til Monday.
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#8971 - 11/05/10 10:11 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: wagga]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Shuttle scrubbed until end of the month for repairs.
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If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
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#8974 - 11/05/10 01:54 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: CaT]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
I, too, am an avid follower of the space program and the thought of Discoverys last flight makes me teary eyed. I have always called Discovery "my" shuttle... she is the ship that flew during both return to flight missions after the Challenger Disaster (launching on my 13th birthday in 1988) and then again after the Columbia disaster in July 2005 (and the first post-Columbia night launch in 2006)...

She is truely a historic "ship".. being the oldest in the fleet... she launched the Hubble, flew the last Mir/Shuttle docking flight, she flew the first female shuttle pilot into orbit, as well as the first African-American spacewalker and took John Glenn back to space (the first sitting member of Congress and also the oldest person at 77 years old)..

All Hail Discovery... God Speed her crew in a successful flight and safe return to Earth...

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#8977 - 11/05/10 03:58 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: SoCalGirl]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
On four seperate occasions over the past 25 years I've been in Orlando at the same time a shuttle launch was scheduled. All four times I drove the Bee Line two hours east to watch it, and every single damn time the launch was scrubbed - after I had made it to the coast. I still haven't seen one of these marvelous things go, and I really, really want to!

Flashback: July, 1969 - my parents had taken me on vacation to Daytona Beach (every year, twice a year, for 13 straight years, to be exact). I was 12 and really into the space program - hard not to be at that age and time when it seemed like the cover of every Life, Time, Nat Geo and you-name-it magazines featured NASA stuff. My dad surpised us by taking us to Cocoa Beach to watch the launch of the Apollo 11 mission (first moon landing, to the uninitiated). To this day it is still the grandest, loudest thing I've ever experienced, even from jam-packed railroad tracks 2 miles away. I recall my teeth actually vibrating in my head - even at that distance - from the punch that Saturn V booster packed.

A few years later I attended a Deep Purple concert. The band had just recently established a Guiness world record for loudness (decibel count, I believe), and everyone at the concert left with ears ringing for an hour afterwards from Blackmore's axe and Glover's bass. When my friends could finally hear me, what they heard was "Saturn's louder!!!" They had no clue what I meant.

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#8983 - 11/05/10 07:45 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Wow Gary that is awesome.What an experience.I was with the designer and builder of the Magellan and we toured Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center and looked at the Apollo museum. In 1989 he said that we no longer had the technology or capability to make an Apollo Saturn V type engine and booster.No one was left that could duplicate the engineering. I found that strange but he was adament that the technology was gone.

Watching a shuttle launch was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.


Edited by Rod (11/05/10 07:57 PM)

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#8984 - 11/05/10 09:19 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Rod]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
I've never seen a shuttle launch outside of television... (and streaming internet when I should have been working)... As a childl my biggest ambition in life was to be an astronaut... I went to the Space Camp program in Hunstville, AL twice (at my own hard earned expense)
I was lucky enough to get to walk on the scaffolding structure that supported one of the main rockets from the shuttle. We, as students, got up and close with the rocket and watched them gimble it and move it around. We then moved a safe distance away and watched them test fire it.... I remember feeling the sound vibrate through my entire body... Gary I can't imagine what it would be like to have an entire rocket system like that...

Growing up in SoCal I remember the twin sonic booms of the re-entry of so many shuttle missions... and as I got a little older and they moved the primary landing site to Florida... watching missions and trying to figure out how to get close enough to watch one of the missions landing at the now secondary site at Edwards. Afterall... it's only 4 hours away from me!!!

Rod.... I find it hard to believe that the man you were speaking with is correct. Afterall... if you look at the schematics and designs for the "next generation" (Constellation Program) of space flight, the AresI and AresV rockets are modeled very closely after the Saturn V rocket and the Orion capsule is loosely modeled after the Apollo type capsules (although why we are intending on going back to the capsule set-up is still beyond me)... anyways... our wonderful President seems to think that the space program isn't worth it and is trying to cancel the Constellation program anyways... it makes me sad to think that my grandchildren won't know an American Space Program as they are born and grow up.... and to think that stories of a space launch will be as much history to them as stories about the Apollo Moon landing are to me...

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#8985 - 11/05/10 10:21 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: SoCalGirl]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I was in Israel when the first Israeli astronaut -- Ilan Ramon -- went up with the Columbia (I still have a scrapbook with him smiling as he entered the shuttle)It was not just another ho-hum shuttle launch as it was in the US, for the most part. The embattled country (Israel in the middle of yet another intifada)was stunned into to a mourning, screeching halt when the Columbia was lost with all aboard.
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#8989 - 11/06/10 06:54 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: SoCalGirl]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: SoCalGirl
anyways... our wonderful President seems to think that the space program isn't worth it and is trying to cancel the Constellation program anyways... it makes me sad to think that my grandchildren won't know an American Space Program as they are born and grow up.... and to think that stories of a space launch will be as much history to them as stories about the Apollo Moon landing are to me...


Don't fret Chris - our kids and grandkids will be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and wonders of a vibrant space exploration program. They might want to become fluent in Mandarin and/or Cantonese to appreciate it fully, though . . .

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#8990 - 11/06/10 07:04 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Bee]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Bee
I was in Israel when the first Israeli astronaut -- Ilan Ramon -- went up with the Columbia (I still have a scrapbook with him smiling as he entered the shuttle)It was not just another ho-hum shuttle launch as it was in the US, for the most part. The embattled country (Israel in the middle of yet another intifada)was stunned into to a mourning, screeching halt when the Columbia was lost with all aboard.


Bee, the Challenger and Columbia disasters are both in that group of events that I can distinctly remember where I was and what I was doing when they occurred or were announced. Right up there with the JFK assassination, 9/11, John Lennon's murder, Reagan's shooting, and a few other major events that will always be with me. That was a very sad day, especially after having had one shuttle accident already.

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#9003 - 11/06/10 06:58 PM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Chris
I was in disbelief also but the gentleman I am referring to was a Rocket Scientist named Art Gussner. He was a patient of mine and we went with his family and took my family to watch the lauching of the Magellan which he designed and built for JPL.
In the Cold War race to build the first rocketship to reach the moon was really a military/political exhibition to demonstrate the ability to to launch ICBM's. The U.S. and the USSR were in a race against each other to grab the top German rocket scientists following WWII.The Russians were far ahead of the U.S. in rocket technology. Kennedy's commitment to the space program along with German rocket scientists is the only reason we succeeded.One would think that we could look at our SaturnV's and reverse engineer but apparently it is way more complex than that.Essentially the technology to launch a rocket to the moon died with those rocket scientists.Art stated simply that in the year 1989 the U.S.no longer had the scientists and technological capacity to launch a capsule with a rocket. I took his educated opinion as truth.Still hard to fathom but I believed him.Remember this was in 1989 and maybe things have changed.


Edited by Rod (11/06/10 07:02 PM)

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#9075 - 11/10/10 08:32 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Rod]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
Originally Posted By: Bee
It was not just another ho-hum shuttle launch as it was in the US, for the most part.

Hiya Bee... let me tell you, no matter what anyone else says.. there never has been and never will be anything ho-hum about a shuttle launch. Sadly I know that there are many who take this technology for granted and don't see anything special about it. Those are the ignorant ones who don't care to look beyond the fact that the shuttle looks like an airplane. If we can fly an airplane why shouldn't we be able to fly a shuttle? Please know that many, many of us mourned with Israel when Ilan Ramon went down with his shipmates on Columbia .


Originally Posted By: Rod
Art stated simply that in the year 1989 the U.S.no longer had the scientists and technological capacity to launch a capsule with a rocket. I took his educated opinion as truth.Still hard to fathom but I believed him.Remember this was in 1989 and maybe things have changed.


Rod~ Ok.. I know in 1989 when I first started hearing about the "next generation" systems that NASA was looking at developing for the space program that they were NOT looking at the rocket/capsule type of system. They were looking at bigger, "better" shuttle/glider/plane type systems. (In December of 1989 I went to an "astronaut" training program at Space Camp and they did a lecture series on the next generation... fascinating!)I'm sure they haven't just pulled it out of their tushes as a last minute idea... but it hasn't been until the last 4 or 5 years that I've really started hearing a lot about an actual operational (and feasible) version of a rocket/capsule system to take us back to flight after the Shuttles get decommissioned....

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#9076 - 11/10/10 08:39 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: SoCalGirl]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 991
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
The Saturn series (Saturn 1, 1B, V) is the only one to have a perfect operational record. There were some glitches, but no failures. Thank you Werner von Braun

Stages to Saturn is a good technical book, but hard to find. I like space books as much as mountain books.

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#9078 - 11/10/10 09:04 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: Harvey Lankford]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
The Saturn series (Saturn 1, 1B, V) is the only one to have a perfect operational record. There were some glitches, but no failures. Thank you Werner von Braun

Stages to Saturn is a good technical book, but hard to find. I like space books as much as mountain books.


Harvey...

I almost tried to call you on that... and then it registered that the only problems they had with the Saturn series of rockets weren't with the rockets, but with the capsules attached to the rockets....

Here's hoping that the Constellation project is as safe and successful as the Saturn...

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#11074 - 02/24/11 03:07 AM Re: Discovery's Last Flight [Re: SoCalGirl]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2218
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Bump because today is the day.



Launch blog is here. It starts at 8:30 WZT. Liftoff time set for 1:50 p.m. WZT.

Watch it on your computer here.
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