Author Topic: STS-135 cheerleading thread  (Read 9540 times)

Online Orbiter

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STS-135 cheerleading thread
« on: 06/27/2011 12:54 AM »
 I figured given this is the last flight of the Space Shuttle, we need to start a cheerleading thread a bit earlier than normal.

 You know, the shuttle to each and every one of us for the last 30 years has met something special. Looking back on it, to think that we crafted a machine with wings to launch on boosters that cannot be shut off during flight, with over a million gizmos all operating in sync, and in 8 minutes expect it to reach orbit is pretty incredible and something that seems to be taken for granted by all but those who are really into it like we are. We get one more chance to say our respects to the fallen, and give our gratitude to those who worked so hard on each of these incredible machines. With Atlantis, not only goes 4 brave American heroes but thousands of other unseen heroes that have worked behind the scenes for years.

To Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour we bid you goodbye, and may the world never forget each and every one of your services.

Godspeed.

Orbiter.
« Last Edit: 06/27/2011 12:55 AM by Orbiter »
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, SpaceX CRS-9, SpaceX JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R, SpaceX SES-11.

Offline jmcgauley

Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #1 on: 06/27/2011 01:24 AM »
I wrote this last week, just to get the feeling off my chest.  I posted it on Facebook, passed it around to a few friends and that's about it.  Hope it's OK to post here.  If it's too long, I'll gladly delete:

Why I'll Miss The Space Shuttle (And Why You Should, Too)

A few weeks from now, the thunderous, crackling roar of a Space Shuttle launch will once again rattle the east coast of Florida. It will look, feel and sound like just about every one of the 134 shuttle launches that came before it. But this one will be different.

This particular launch, the 33rd launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis will be the final launch of the shuttle program. Thirty years and 135 flights packed with thrills, heartbreaks, accomplishments and science will come to an end. When Atlantis lands two weeks later, its next stop will be a few miles down the road, to be put on permanent display at the Kennedy Space Center’s visitor center.

It is pretty easy to argue that the shuttle’s time has come. Although the fleet has flown barely a quarter of the number of flights it was designed for, it is 20 years past its intended lifetime (although regular inspection and maintenance have kept the ships like-new). But I’m going to miss the Space Shuttle – and so should you. Every American with a little spunk in their soul should miss it.

Why? It has less to do with the shuttle’s job and more to do with what the shuttle represents. The shuttle, to me, represents an American attitude, an attitude that believes absolutely that America, even on its worst day, is capable of making outrageous things work.

There is a line in a little known classic movie (OK, it’s really the 2010 big-screen “A-Team” adaptation) that sums up my point perfectly. When it comes to NASA, particularly the Space Shuttle in its heyday, “they are the best at what they do, and they specialize in the ridiculous.”

People today think of the shuttle as dangerous and out of date, responsible for the deaths of 14 astronauts since 1986. But when it has been flown by the rules, paying absolute attention to the details of safety, the shuttle has been as safe as anything ever flown into space. Only when people have gotten lax at following their own rules has the shuttle been dangerous.

In today’s risk-averse society, the risk vs. reward analysis involved in taking a chance, doing something amazing and leaving Americans with a feeling that anything is possible has too often come back with a conclusion that “It’s not worth it.” That was never the case with the shuttle, especially in its early days. They always found a way to make the seemingly impossible happen. They always found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of failure in space.

Like what, you may ask? I’m talking about:

■ Having the nerve to put two people - John Young and Bob Crippen - aboard a completely revolutionary and untested winged spaceship on its very first flight.
■ Or having the guts to fix up that same spaceship - Space Shuttle Columbia - and send it into orbit again, the first time a spacecraft had ever been reused, six months later.
■ How about the time shuttle astronauts tried to fix a wayward satellite with a snare made from the cover of their flight plan and bungeed to the end of the shuttle's robot arm?
■ Don't forget the mission when the tools taken along to catch a wayward satellite didn't work. So spacewalking astronauts improvised, reached out with their hands and hauled it aboard using willpower and brute force where their tools had failed.
■ Bringing the Hubble Space Telescope back from life as an orbiting punch line, fixing its famously blurry vision and a host of other problems during a record (at the time) five spacewalks. Hubble went on to rewrite astronomy textbooks with a series of discoveries that would never have been possible without the shuttle.
■ Launching a series of “Great Observatories,” including Hubble, and planetary probes that altered our understanding of the Earth and its atmosphere, the planets and the universe.
■ Helping do in space what we seem unable to do on the ground by helping build the International Space Station. Where else can you find dozens of nations working together peacefully and with a common purpose? The superpowers who point missiles at each other on Earth (America and Russia) live and work together in peace in space.
■ Breaking every remaining race and gender boundary in space, orbiting on shuttle crews the first women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and others that America has flown.

The Space Shuttle was born of a different age. It was a quantum step forward in how humans accessed space. Before the shuttle, our astronauts rode a capsule back into the atmosphere, much like a flaming cannonball, and splashed down in the ocean. Their spaceships were consigned to museums, never to fly again. The ability to fly home on wings, land and use the same spaceship again only seemed possible to the men and women who had put America on the Moon only a few years earlier.

That is an attitude we could benefit from in so many ways now. When the task is hard, you try harder. When it breaks, you fix it and try again. When a nightmare happens while the world is watching, you accept the blame, go back to the drawing board and make sure it never happens again.

No nation has matched the Space Shuttle in the decades since it first flew. The Soviet Union tried and flew a carbon copy called Buran – without any cosmonauts onboard – once in 1988. After two orbits, it glided to a landing and never flew again. Buran was crushed when its hanger collapsed 14 years later.

American attitude, and a belief that “impossible” was defined by how hard you were willing to try, made the difference.

Thirty years ago, when the first shuttle flew, I watched from my parents’ living room as a new era of winged spaceships began. The promise of the shuttle was summed up by President Reagan’s words to that first crew, delivered while they sat in the cockpit waiting for launch:

“You go forward this morning in a daring enterprise and you take the hopes and prayers of all Americans with you,” Reagan said. “As you hurtle from Earth in a craft unlike anything ever constructed, you will do so in a feat of American technology and American will.”

When Atlantis lifts off on the final voyage of the shuttle era, I will be at the Kennedy Space Center to see it for myself, no doubt with a mix of pride and sadness in my heart. The shuttle did its job. It represented America well. It made space a place where we no longer just visit, we live there. It took our eyes and our minds to the stars.

Once in a while it also did something ridiculous and gave us a reason to believe that we could accomplish anything.

I will miss that. You should, too.

####

Online Orbiter

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #2 on: 06/27/2011 02:11 AM »
I liked what you wrote a lot, your right it truly is an amazing feat of American ingenuity. I will also be there as well for the launch..

Orbiter
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, SpaceX CRS-9, SpaceX JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R, SpaceX SES-11.

Offline mirak

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #3 on: 06/27/2011 04:20 PM »
You guys said it better than I could.  I think, in particular, the Hubble Telescope (and the Shuttle's essential role in repairing and servicing that telescope) ranks right up there with the moon landings as one of the greatest achievements of not just America, but all mankind.

We should be celebrating the Shuttle's retirement.  Sadly, this seems more like a funeral, not for the Shuttle, but for NASA and American Exceptionalism.  Decades of navel-gazing have reduced us to hitching rides from the (unfriendly) Russians to a Space Station we largely built and paid for.  Somewhere along the way, too many of our leaders forgot that doing great things is the very essence of this once-great nation.

But here's to Atlantis, and to NASA, and to hoping for a safe and successful final mission!  And here's to hoping that as Atlantis disappears into the heavens, and her contrail slowly wafts away, that we'll finally WAKE UP.

Offline GrizGuy

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #4 on: 06/27/2011 05:34 PM »
Go get em Atlantis! I'll be watching from the press site at the tweetup

Offline MadameConcorde

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #5 on: 06/28/2011 10:01 AM »
Atlantis, Atlantis, when will those clouds all disappear?
Atlantis, Atlantis, where will it lead us from here?
...

There ain't a Space Shuttle that comes close to you
...

Atlantis, you're beautiful, I don't want to say good-bye!

:-)
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Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde

Offline Stardust9906

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #6 on: 06/28/2011 11:58 AM »
Fair winds and following seas Atlantis and bring yourself and your crew home safely one last time.

To Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour thank you for making us proud and giving us some great memories.

To all of the unsung heroes on the ground who made all of this possible, thank you.  We wouldn’t have had a space program without you guys.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #7 on: 06/28/2011 12:16 PM »
Rise Up, Atlantis!! Show everyone that the Future is lit with Rocket Light!!

My Wife and I leave Auckland, N.Z. for Florida on Sunday. We are confident we'll be able to see this magnificent Ship go Uphill one last time, showing us all what it means to be a Spaceship. We both met Dr Sandy Magnus in the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 2007, purely by accident. She was very nice and seemed impressed that people from New Zealand would recognize her! Little did I know that four years later I'd see her and her crew roaring into Space with Atlantis.

Godspeed the Crew of STS-135 and HAIL ATLANTIS!! :)
« Last Edit: 06/28/2011 12:23 PM by MATTBLAK »
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline shuttlefanatic

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #8 on: 07/06/2011 12:00 AM »
Excellent words, Orbiter and jmcgauley.

I am too young to have witnessed Apollo, but like jmcgauley watched the first shuttle launch from my parents' living room.  Now 30 years on, with quite a few launches and landings under my belt, I head to KSC for one final shuttle launch with the hope that we will someday once again fly more than a few hundred miles away from our planet.

Godspeed, Atlantis and crew!  And thank you to all the men and women who have contributed to the space shuttle program over the years.

Offline wjbarnett

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #9 on: 07/06/2011 12:32 AM »
Go ATLANTIS! Make us all proud and bring your crew home again safely and successful!
Jack
Twitter: wjackbarnett

Offline padrat

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #10 on: 07/06/2011 08:38 PM »
Ever since I watched the first launch and many since from my Michigan home (back when Shuttle lunches were still national news...) to the present day in my current job that I never dreamed 30 years ago that I would have, I've been in awe and absolutely amazed at each and every launch. Even more so now that I've been behind the scenes and seen and worked with this, at times, motley bunch that processes, launches, and recovers these amazing pieces of hardware. Not supermen or women, not geniuses or pocket protecter wearing oddballs, but every day men and women, someone you'd be just as likely to find on a fishing boat, around a fire at hunting camp, at the racetrack, on a computer, or at a dance club. Everyday "average joes"'were entrusted with the care, operation, and safe keeping of these pieces of American pride and history. If that doesn't embody the United States of America, then I don't know what can. To each and every one of you, those I've known and worked with and those I haven't, I hope to be able to meet and have a beer with you at Grills or wherever after this is done and over. Good luck and Godspeed to you all.

And of course, Godspeed to you Atlantis. Here's to hoping we can send you off with all of your well deserved glory. Also, I apologize, as I'm sure many others would, that you and your sisters' careers were cut short just as we were starting to get all of this down smoothly. I love you girls and hope to visit you in your final destinations......

Drew, aka Padrat

PS to Atlantis: hopefully no hard feelings about that whole socket "incident"......



If the neighbors think you're the rebel of the neighborhood, embrace it and be the rebel. It keeps them wondering what you'll do next...

Offline rtphokie

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #11 on: 07/07/2011 04:15 AM »
I put this together as a reference for a talk I was giving on the launch of STS-133 but its usuable for this final launch as well.  Enjoy.

* embedded countdown clock (from KSC, surprisingly well synched)
* numerous web cams around KSC (auto updates)
* maps showing TAL and other abort sites
* tracking of booster recovery ships (while they are close to shore)
* links to launch commit criteria
* links to several weather radars

If you've got VLC installed and the VLC plugin for compatible browsers, there is an alternate version which embeds NASA TV in the page.

http://utprosim.com/kscdashboard/

Offline MadameConcorde

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #12 on: 07/07/2011 07:33 PM »
wow amazing...
hard to believe this is going to be the very last time...

potus, white house, congress... please fund more space shuttle flights...
we don't want to see them go to museums!!!!

this is my plea.... hear hear madame concorde....

keep them flying!!!!!!!!!

:-(
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For once you have tasted Concorde you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
***
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde

Offline Austin

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #13 on: 07/07/2011 07:33 PM »
Before things get too busy here, I just want to take a moment to say what a joy and a privilege it has been to be a member here at NSF for all these years (can't believe it's been 5!) and follow these launches with all of you.  While we have at times had our differences of opinion and healthy debates, we have always been united by our shared passion for spaceflight, and I know we respect that in one another.  Not that anyone is going anywhere after Atlantis is wheels stop (hopefully) at KSC, but I wanted to express this.  I also want to again thank Chris, everyone at NSF, and all affiliated with the space program who frequent the site for their hard work and the information provided which always kept us "in the loop." 

Thanks folks, and good luck to the STS-135 crew whenever the SRBs light.  Here's hoping Mother Nature cooperates for tomorrow.

Offline Mapperuo

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #14 on: 07/07/2011 07:35 PM »
Jiminy crickets.. Lots of people!

And a nice closeup of Atlantis.
« Last Edit: 07/07/2011 07:35 PM by Mapperuo »
- Aaron

Offline Hodapp

Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #15 on: 07/07/2011 07:38 PM »
Here Here!
To Chris thanks, even though I've only started watching this site since Nov. 2010 & am now only purveying the well and depths of L2!  ;)

Great site!

Godspeed Atlantis!

Launches: 133, 134, 135, EFT-1  Scrubs: 134
Future: EM-1 & EM-2

Offline Hog

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #16 on: 07/08/2011 01:07 AM »
Atlantis,
I am dredding the moment when I hear your last 2 sonic booms, because I know that wheelstop is only moments away, and that is the time where we all have to start referring to "Space Shuttle" missions in past tense.  The future STS missions, will all be memories.

I'm ready for the "last show", and when the weather is ready, you and your crew will be ready,  ready to impress us and make our hair stand on end just one more time........Godspeed Atlantis and crew on your last, last flight.

Thanks for the memories to ALL who are and were involved in STS, right down to the individual citizen of the contributing countries, whose resources were used to help make STS a reality.

Light em' up!  May the flame never dim.
Paul

Offline dember

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #17 on: 07/08/2011 02:09 AM »
Good Luck and Godspeed Atlantis!

Offline TNCMAXQ

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #18 on: 07/08/2011 02:22 AM »
I feel some of the same anticipation I did before STS-1, my first launch of 41D, STS-26 and 114, and other milestones. But this time it is more sad. I hoped for the final mission that launch would occur on time but it looks like nature will prevent that. Whenever Atlantis flies she will make us proud.

Offline DanWerts

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Re: STS-135 cheerleading thread
« Reply #19 on: 07/08/2011 09:14 AM »
Dan reporting in!
Sorry I haven't been around the past few months. For those of you who know me, you all know I have been stationed in Japan (Still am) and we have had the whole tsunami and earthquake business. So I missed the last launch. I'm streaming what I can with my shiney new fiber optic line and reporting in on my usual channels. Here's to a good launch!
"Engraved in the ruins of reality we go astray, in our journey of fantasy"

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