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Ridgerunner
07-19-2011, 04:05 PM
Someone send me this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=KZrFC988Thc) to a time lapse video showing some of the activities preparing the shuttle for launch. I thought some might enjoy if it has not been posted before. Amazing use of some large machinery. Warning some sound at the end.
I was fortunate enough to have witnessed a night launch of one of the shuttle missions. It was almost beyond belief that man could devise such a complicated powerful machine.

wierdscience
07-19-2011, 07:56 PM
Thanks for posting that,shame it's coming to an end:(

quadrod
07-19-2011, 08:58 PM
Like ants scurying around the queen.

darryl
07-19-2011, 09:29 PM
Interesting, but funny at the same time. Yeah, like ants scurrying around- I wonder how many got run over by the trucks, and how many got squished when those big doors slammed shut, and how many got run over as they rolled the shuttle out to the launch pad-

Hoisting it up vertically on cables seems a bit redneck, but hey it works. Must be quite a sight to be there for a night launch.

Evan
07-19-2011, 10:30 PM
I can't believe that I have lived to witness the end of the manned space program in the US. Yes, there are some "private" efforts. It remains to be seen how that works out. The fact is that the US is now without manned launch capability and will remain so for some time, perhaps forever as a government. Astronauts are leaving the program in droves. It will be much harder to get funding for something you don't have than for something you do. Once funding is cut, restoring it will be nearly impossible in today's fiscal climate.

I have never been a fan of the shuttle since it represents a worst choice replacement of the manned program that was axed for political expediency in the 60s. However, it did keep the manned program alive, after a fashion and at enormous cost. If the original program had been kept alive we would have had bases on the Moon in the 80's and would already have been to Mars by now.

paulx
07-19-2011, 11:20 PM
I think everyone agrees that pulling the plug on the California based shuttles a long time ago was a good idea.

Evan
07-19-2011, 11:33 PM
I was meaning the X program which was cancelled just before they were to begin experimenting with the X20 and orbital flight with a fly up/fly back spacecraft. They already made sub orbital flight with the X-15.

sasquatch
07-19-2011, 11:44 PM
No offense,, but the "BILLIONS" of dollars spent on the space shuttle COULD have done a lot to get things reorganized here on earth FIRST.

#1. Everyone COULD of had FULL FREE health care.

#2. HUGE advancements could have been discovered and made to eliminate the water and air pollution problems our kids are going to inherit.

aostling
07-19-2011, 11:54 PM
I can't believe that I have lived to witness the end of the manned space program in the US.

It leaves me dumbfounded too. I worked on Saturn V at Boeing (New Orleans) in 1963, and on Ranger 7 at JPL in 1964 when the space program was just beginning. It's hard to accept that American involvement is over, and that we have no vehicle which can reach the Space Station.

Until you mentioned it I'd almost forgotten about the X-20 Dyna-Soar, which my father worked on during his Boeing career.

I'm not sure we would have been able to get to Mars, though. The robots did a fine job there, saving us the trouble.

Evan
07-20-2011, 12:19 AM
The cost of even the very expensive shuttle program was less than $100 per year per taxpayer. The cost of the astronomy programs including the Hubble is less than $5 per year. The Hubble would never have been operational without the manned program. Even if it had been delivered to orbit in proper working condition it would have lasted only about 5 years without human repairs. The amount of knowledge gained from the Hubble alone is incalculable and every single dollar spent on it was spent here on Earth.

BTW Allan, Mars exploration has been the least successful of all the exploratory programs. The failure rate of all vehicles sent there is about 66%.

aostling
07-20-2011, 12:53 AM
BTW Allan, Mars exploration has been the least successful of all the exploratory programs. The failure rate of all vehicles sent there is about 66%.

One of those failures resulted from a confusion regarding units of thrust (lbf vs. newtons). What were they thinking, nobody uses newtons.

macona
07-20-2011, 02:43 AM
No offense,, but the "BILLIONS" of dollars spent on the space shuttle COULD have done a lot to get things reorganized here on earth FIRST.

#1. Everyone COULD of had FULL FREE health care.

#2. HUGE advancements could have been discovered and made to eliminate the water and air pollution problems our kids are going to inherit.


hahahaha. Nothing is free, ever. Look at medicare/medicaid and see how much that costs. Drop in the bucket compared to NASA.

Much has been learned through NASA and space programs about things that effect what goes on here. In the past year alone we are finding out how much solar weather is linked to what happens on the surface, from earthquakes to climate.

mike os
07-20-2011, 03:16 AM
One of those failures resulted from a confusion regarding units of thrust (lbf vs. newtons). What were they thinking, nobody uses newtons.




erm... only the rest of the world.......:rolleyes:

seems the Russians won the space race after all....... I wonder how many astro's will go over there?

uncle pete
07-20-2011, 04:24 AM
No offense,, but the "BILLIONS" of dollars spent on the space shuttle COULD have done a lot to get things reorganized here on earth FIRST.

#1. Everyone COULD of had FULL FREE health care.

#2. HUGE advancements could have been discovered and made to eliminate the water and air pollution problems our kids are going to inherit.

Sasquatch,
I'm certainly not trying to single you out and I really can see your points. There's always someplace better that money could or should be spent. I'd imagine that there were more than a few who thought bank rolling Cristopher Columbus was a bad investment too. Like it or not Military,Air,Space spending has resulted in direct results in our everyday lives. Medical procedures, Computers, CNC, Areospace metals, The technology in your car, Non stick frying pans and other endless examples that could be listed. The youngest member here won't live to see it, But to be blunt the human race has gotten so good at surviving and breeding that the world we live on today is pretty finite. To be totally honest, If the human race wants to avoid extinction we have no choice but to expand beyond where we live now. As depressing as it is I really think that the last one to turn the lights off on this rock we call earth will be leaving a used up,totally polluted, and overheated garbage dump.

I personaly think the U.S. is making a huge mistake killing the shuttle program without having anything to replace it today. We will live to regret that decision. This is just my opinion so obviously your all free to agree or disagree.

Pete

Ed P
07-20-2011, 09:13 AM
Here is a 360 degree view of the shuttle's interior that you can manipulate.
Too cool!

http://360vr.com/2011/06/22-discovery-flight-deck-opf_6236/index.html

Ed P

garagemark
07-20-2011, 01:12 PM
Uncle Pete, many points of what you say I agree with... except one. The human race IS going to go extinct. It will take a long time, but it's going to happen. We will not find a suitable place in which to expand unless someone finds success with time travel. Distance travel is much too limited, and will continue to be so, money not withstanding.

The best thing we could/ should do is figure out how to coexist with our own planet, cause minimal damage while reaping maximum rewards from her.

I am not green. I just wasn't brought up or programmed green. I'm one of the people who shrug it off... which is wrong I guess. I KNOW what we should do, I am just unwilling to do it. I am part of the problem. But since we are NOT going anywhere unworldly, it would behoove us to start getting green down here.

Nah. ;)

uncle pete
07-20-2011, 02:15 PM
Garagemark,
I can't argue your logic so your probably right. And yeah, I'm not green either and know I should be but........................... Maybe tommorrow? So yeah I'm also part of the problem.

Pete

wierdscience
07-20-2011, 02:23 PM
We need to take a good hard look at our "green" technology.Much of it isn't green at all and in some cases is far worse than what it is replacing.

Two examples-
Wind turbines
CF bulbs

mike os
07-20-2011, 02:43 PM
i am totally green... which is why i have no time for people & organisations that persue their own agendas, rather than addressing the problems

sasquatch
07-20-2011, 03:18 PM
Mike could you tell us what you do and how you live that" MAKES A PERSON TOTALLY GREEN???"

Could you give us some examples, maybe they would benefit some of us?

mike os
07-20-2011, 04:15 PM
i recycle all I can, i dont waste & I dont waste my time or resources on politically correct or "environmentally friendly" crap that is just the opposite...eg wind power, "hybrid cars" that use more fuel & create more polution during their life cycle than 100year old tech but are "green" because some idiot has decreed it so irregardless of the science.... I buy local, i eat local, i rarely if ever fly 500+ politicians and "green activists" to the other side of the world for an "enviroment conference" that achieves nothing, and sets irresponsible and unachievable goals, and tells me how bad I am flying to the other side of the world for a holliday... which achieves far more than they did while they were in the same hotel last week. I dont buy bull**** because it is labled "green", once tech like pv becomes realistically affordable i will buy... but not when the recoup time is about 22-24 years over current costs (oh no... does that mean i am not green after all?)

you want me to continue?;)

aboard_epsilon
07-20-2011, 04:22 PM
nearly all scifi films ..tv series...have the pilots / astronauts just jumping in the space craft and buzzing off into space ..

think it will be hundreds of years before we can do that .

it will never be as simple as that ..which is its downfall


all the best.markj

mike os
07-20-2011, 04:27 PM
personally my money is on the chinese....

bborr01
07-20-2011, 04:50 PM
Speaking of green. I am pretty green too.

I have replaced most of the bulbs in my home with compact flourescents. Just replaced some appliances too with new ones that use a lot less power.

I have been in my home for over 3 decades and use far less power than I did back when I moved in. Last month my usage was 379 Kwh.

I have had solar hot water panels on my roof for over 3 decades too. Right now the 80 gallon storage tank that feeds the water heater is 150 degrees F. The water heater that it feeds is also over 30 years old. I attribute it's long life to the fact that it rarely runs in the summer months. Note to self: get that water heater replaced.

I recycle most everything from paper and plastic to scrap iron, brass, etc.

Am I totally green? No. As I sit typing this it is 95 out and I am sitting in air conditioned comfort. I suppose that if I was totally green I would be suffering without the A/C.

One last thing about green. My wife and I have spent a few winters living in a fifth wheel as snowbirds in a remote area of Arizona. I put up solar panels and a wind generator to charge the batteries in the 5th wheel. We had to haul our water in.

You really learn to conserve when you have to lug water like that. No water faucets running for no good reason. Same goes for lighting and any electric usage. When you have to make all of your own power, you look at wasting it in a different way.

I have often said that if everyone had the experience that we had we would waste a lot less in this country. Probably applicable to most any developed part of the world.

Brian

bborr01
07-20-2011, 04:54 PM
The cost of even the very expensive shuttle program was less than $100 per year per taxpayer. The cost of the astronomy programs including the Hubble is less than $5 per year. The Hubble would never have been operational without the manned program. Even if it had been delivered to orbit in proper working condition it would have lasted only about 5 years without human repairs. The amount of knowledge gained from the Hubble alone is incalculable and every single dollar spent on it was spent here on Earth.

BTW Allan, Mars exploration has been the least successful of all the exploratory programs. The failure rate of all vehicles sent there is about 66%.

Evan,

I wonder if a poll was taken in the US how many people would voluntarily pay $100 per year for the shuttle program.

I am betting that most here would rather use the $100 TOWARD a new pair of tennis shoes or a new gucci purse. Sad.

Brian

taydin
07-20-2011, 05:11 PM
Here is a 360 degree view of the shuttle's interior that you can manipulate.
Too cool!

http://360vr.com/2011/06/22-discovery-flight-deck-opf_6236/index.html

Ed P

Thanks a lot for the link, very cool indeed... It seems the displays and computer hardware have been upgraded along the way and are quite recent technology, but the back and side panels clearly show the age of the shuttle. It guess "if it aint broke, don't fix it" applies there :D

macona
07-20-2011, 05:15 PM
I think they just printed pretty pictures and stuck them over the displays.

Evan
07-20-2011, 08:45 PM
I watched a long video from NASA of the STS 135 launch taken from various angles by cameras on the boosters. It has some views I have never seen before including some bits shredding off the nose shortly after liftoff. It's a long video from each camera all the way from launch to splashdown of each booster from several different cameras.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxE3KBRorZI

The shuttle is definitely looking tired. It looked like this even before launch.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/sts135a.jpg

This is a shot I have never seen before. The main engines are running. The hydrogen flame is invisible as it emits nearly entirely in the ultraviolet.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/sts135b.jpg

Ed P
07-21-2011, 07:38 AM
The shuttle is definitely looking tired. It looked like this even before launch.

Tired?? It's my understanding that the shuttles were designed for 100 flights. I thought they were being retired due to safety and cost of operation considerations.

Ed P

wierdscience
07-21-2011, 08:51 AM
There was an article not long ago where the crew doing the disassembly said the airframes are perfect.It's things like the fuel system and some flight control systems that are getting tired.
I would have figured that a complete overhaul would have been better than a complete new program.

Evan
07-21-2011, 09:11 AM
Tired?? It's my understanding that the shuttles were designed for 100 flights. I thought they were being retired due to safety and cost of operation considerations.

That was the original design goal for the main engines which turned out to be ridiculously optimistic. They have to be overhauled every flight along with the rest of the shuttle. Even then with only 135 flights among a total of 5 craft they are nowhere near 100 flights apiece. Discovery has the most missions at 39, the rest have/had fewer.

Now that the manned program is standing down the chances of bringing it back up are virtually zero.

The primary problem with the Shuttle itself is that it is much larger than it needs to be. The size of the shuttle was mandated by the Air force which made it a condition of sharing the early program funding. They insisted that it be large enough to deploy the KH-11 satellite even though it was never used for that purpose. If the original concept had been used the Shuttle would have been 1/4 the mass, and would have required about 1/8 the fuel and therefor require far less powerful and much more reliable engines. It was originally to be launched from a fly up reusable launch platform similar to the X-15 with all parts reusable and no need for an external tank or boosters. The program would have cost far less and the cost per pound of material delivered to orbit would have been far cheaper. It was the early military involvement that eventually doomed the Shuttle program.

mike os
07-21-2011, 09:48 AM
well.... its over.:(

JeffKranz
07-21-2011, 02:02 PM
I'm sure if you ask people what benefits we got from NASA some will tell you "TANG" and other will tell you "knowledge". No one really know the benefits of this program since all the inventions / ideas have happen over a few generations, no one really can point a finger at them. We all remember what Edison, Bell, Ford, and other famous inventors invented but today, it seem very few things are invented by anyone or any company they just seem to get to market. I look at NASA as our country R&D department and we all know that once a company decides not to explore new technologies they seem to just crawl in the corner and die.

One of the greatest assets of humans is the constant ability to want to explore new things. If we didn't have that, we would still be living in caves eating food we would grow or catch.

I have a relation that was involved in NASA from almost day one. He retired in the 90's holding the position of Director of NASA Mission Operations. He saw the hand writing on the wall and recovery of what NASA stood for fast depleting.

Today is a very sad day.

darryl
07-21-2011, 09:34 PM
I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that the shuttle completed its mission and returned safely to earth. In a sense I have to applaud NASA for reaching this point, more or less according to plan. If we find that private or corporate launch vehicles are working out, then we will have continued to advance in the space program. Like any large juggernaught of an organization that has gotten too deep into politics and paperwork, etc, a cleansing might prove to be a good thing. While NASA may not operate a space vehicle fleet for the next era, it could be a good thing and a good time for the organization to purge, and emerge stronger. Why could they not hit that 'stronger, faster, smoother' goal at some time in the reasonably near future?

Maybe I'm dreaming, though. We can't seem to get rid of the interminable corruption in our governing bodies- can't get a good grip on our wasteful usage habits- can't save people from dictators around the world-

To me, NASA was one of few organizations, at least at the outset, that was free to fly outside of these earthly shortcomings- maybe they will yet do us proud, without having to have a shuttle program. This could simply be the beginning of something better.

Evan
07-21-2011, 10:01 PM
The problem that NASA has had ever since the Moon program was cancelled is a lack of stable and predictable funding. That has cost them billions of wasted dollars over the decades when projects are well underway and then must be scrapped because funding is cut off. If they are to be able to accomplish anything then the funding must be guaranteed for at least 5 years for any particular project and ten years would be much better.

By guaranteed I mean the the entire amount must be pre-allocated and transferred to the agency with independent audits to ensure that it is spent on what it was allocated to fund.

The way it is now they have to go cap in hand every year for a lump sum which then has to be divided between all ongoing projects. If it isn't enough to cover them all then something must be chopped regardless of how much money has already been spent. That is absolutely ridiculous.

sansbury
07-22-2011, 03:19 PM
Another problem, possibly as big as the one Evan referred to about the lack of long-term budgeting, is that funding has generally been allocated to optimize the pork value rather than any particular mission. A particularly egregious example of this is the Senate Launch System, which unfortunately is not meant to be used to launch the entire senate into deep space, but to ensure that the current group of contractors maintain their position at the trough.

http://www.competitivespace.org/issues/the-senate-launch-system/

This also comes at the cost of innovative programs to source more launches from competitive upstarts like SpaceX. To his credit, the Obama admin has hinted at being supportive of this approach. This is one that has very real potential to bring costs down quite significantly. Naturally the incumbent aerospace companies don't like that and are calling in every favor they can in DC to protect their sinecures. Boeing et. al. are as much the villain in this tragedy as anyone.

Black_Moons
07-22-2011, 04:02 PM
Well, maybe its good news. If they disband nasa entirely, Then recreate it, they could actualy use the damn metric system. Like they said they where gonna try REALLY hard to... follow the mandate that they where given... To follow the 1975 LAW that they use the metric system by 1992 at the latest... And then they smash a billion dollar probe into the side of mars because someone mixed up imperial/metric.

aboard_epsilon
07-22-2011, 05:33 PM
don't know if this is true ..but all your paypal crap and increases were funding a space company called SpaceX

all the best.markj

macona
07-22-2011, 05:45 PM
don't know if this is true ..but all your paypal crap and increases were funding a space company called SpaceX

all the best.markj

One of the co-founders of paypal invested $100M of his own money to start SpaceX. He sold to ebay.

The founder of amazon.com also started http://blueorigin.com

Its good when geeks get megabucks.

Rustybolt
07-22-2011, 05:55 PM
They insisted that it be large enough to deploy the KH-11 satellite even though it was never used for that purpose.


Once.
KH11 codenamed,"Misty"



Still not enough to justify the bloated bureaucratic PC mess it became.

Evan
07-22-2011, 06:11 PM
According to all the history of the project I can find it was never used to deploy the KH-11. Do you have a reference?