Author Topic: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky  (Read 30186 times)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #180 on: 11/26/2012 02:16 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #181 on: 11/26/2012 02:18 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #182 on: 11/26/2012 02:22 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #183 on: 11/26/2012 02:27 PM »
PAO: This is Mission Control. The television is images from an infrared camera showing the hot areas on the vehicle… and that is a normal plume around the tail of the vehicle. The light parts of the image show the hottest areas of Discovery as it sits on the runway at Edwards.

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #184 on: 11/26/2012 02:30 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #185 on: 11/26/2012 02:35 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #186 on: 11/26/2012 02:44 PM »
« Last Edit: 11/26/2012 02:44 PM by Ares67 »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #187 on: 11/26/2012 02:47 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #188 on: 11/26/2012 02:53 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #189 on: 11/26/2012 02:56 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #190 on: 11/26/2012 02:57 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #191 on: 11/26/2012 02:59 PM »
PAO: The crew of Discovery has already exited the vehicle and is walking around on the runway area near Discovery, accompanied by Dr. William Lenoir, the Associate Administrator for Spaceflight of the agency… Discovery’s crew taking a few moments to pose for some still photos on the runway… they are now boarding the astronaut van…

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #192 on: 11/26/2012 03:02 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #193 on: 11/26/2012 03:03 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #194 on: 11/26/2012 03:11 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #195 on: 11/26/2012 03:17 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #196 on: 11/26/2012 03:18 PM »
November 28: “ONE HELL OF A GREAT SPACE PROGRAM”
With the shuttle Discovery back on the ground in California, technicians mounted the veteran space plane Columbia on Launch Pad 39A Tuesday for blastoff around Dec. 20 on a 10-day Christmas mission. If all goes well, Columbia's three-man, two-woman crew will strap in Friday for the final hours of a dress-rehearsal countdown that will set the stage for blastoff on the year's sixth shuttle mission, a record surpassed only once in the eight-year history of the program.

At Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., meanwhile, engineers were readying Discovery for a weekend flight back to the Florida shuttle port atop a NASA transport jet following its day-late Mojave Desert landing Monday to close out an apparently successful five-day flight to launch a military satellite. "We had a spectacular time," shuttle skipper Frederick Gregory, 48, told well-wishers about four hours after Discovery's 4:31 p.m. PST landing. Dressed in dark blue flight suits and NASA baseball caps, Gregory; co-pilot John Blaha, 47, - both Air Force Colonels - Navy Capt. Manley "Sonny" Carter, 42; physician Story Musgrave, 54; and physicist Kathryn Thornton, 37, then boarded two NASA jets for flights back to their homes in Houston.

Discovery originally was scheduled to land Sunday night, but high crosswinds in the wake of a fast-moving front prompted NASA managers to order the astronauts to remain in orbit an extra day and to shoot for a daylight landing Monday. More high winds, however, prompted NASA to delay re-entry Monday by one orbit and to divert the shuttle to concrete Runway 04 instead of a dry lakebed runway as originally planned. Commander Gregory said the crew put the bonus day in space to good use. "We got an extra day up there. We spent that day just relaxing and taking pictures. If you had seen us, it would be hard to believe we were getting paid for it," he quipped. "We were just lying at the windows looking at the world go by."

Luckily, astronauts do not need their feet in weightlessness. Fred Gregory suffered an infection in his right foot which was termed not serious. Gregory seemed more concerned about the operation of the space toilet than the condition of his foot. "The last flight I took was on Challenger, and the bathroom didn't work; the toilet didn't work," he said. "And lo and behold, the first thing that broke on the Discovery this time was the bathroom. But we fixed it very quickly." Lead Flight Director Chuck Shaw had special praise for in-flight maintenance expert John Shimp, who was instrumental in coordinating the repairs on Discovery’s malfunctioning waste control system, and several other minor repairs that were necessary.

The orbiter returned home a clean bird, with less tile damage to its heat protection system than any previous mission. Discovery manager John "Tip" Talone predicts that fewer than 100 tiles will have to be replaced. “We had a near perfect vehicle,” Story Musgrave agreed. “We had a great ride – as clean a ship as I’ve ever seen.” In addition to the glitch with the toilet, the mission suffered only a few minor problems. The Text And Graphics System (TAGS), a space fax machine which has flown with varying degrees of success on post-Challenger missions, again jammed. A pressure sensor in a RCS jet failed, as did a valve in the electricity-producing fuel cell system.

“We did what we were supposed to do and we did it right,” said Discovery’s Commander upon the crew’s 2:00 a.m. CST Tuesday homecoming at Ellington Field. Lead Flight Director Chuck Shaw said, “It takes a phenomenal number of people to get a mission to run as smooth as this one did.” John Fields, the flight design manager for STS-33, earned the right to hang the mission plaque on behalf of the teams involved at Mission Control Center ceremonies immediately following the landing. “There was a lot of unique work done in support of STS-33,” said Chuck Shaw. “It all started two years ago with a lot of combined work by the propulsion console and flight dynamics console and the flight design team.” Shaw presented the STS-33 mission plaque to Ed Gonzales, the Lead Flight Dynamics Officer for the flight, who in turn gave it to Fields as the person who had contributed the most to the team effort. Fields then hung the plaque on behalf of the team.

JSC Director Aaron Cohen, who has just returned from NASA Headquarters to resume running the center full time, welcomed the Discovery crew back to a belated Thanksgiving. “The weather is wet and cold, but the welcome is warm,” he said. “Our first Thanksgiving was early and that’s when the main engines cut off and we were where we were supposed to be,” Kathy Thornton said. “It was the most memorable Thanksgiving of my life, being up there on orbit.” STS-33 may have flown in secrecy, but the smooth Thanksgiving flight sounded another thankful sign of the reemergence of the shuttle. As Fred Gregory said after landing, “We’ve got one hell of a great space program.” (Deseret News, Nov. 28, 1989 and Florida Today, Nov. 29, 1989, JSC Space News Roundup, Dec. 1 and 8, 1989 and Countdown, February 1990 – edited)


FOR THE RECORD
Discovery STS-33 was the 129th manned spaceflight, the 62nd U.S. manned spaceflight, the 32nd Space Shuttle mission and the 9th mission by orbiter Discovery. Story Musgrave became the 37th person, and 18th American, to make three spaceflights. Fred Gregory and John Blaha became joint 100th persons, and joint 60th Americans, to make two spaceflights. Sonny Carter and Kathy Thornton became joint 222th persons, and joint 133rd Americans, in space. (Source: Spaceflight News, February 1990)


December 3: DISCOVERY ON HER WAY HOME
Discovery is scheduled to return to Kennedy Space Center tomorrow morning atop its 747 carrier jet. Discovery left Edwards Air Force Base today and flew to Kelly Air Force Base (San Antonio; TX) for a refueling stop before landing for the night at Eglin Air Force Base (Fort Walton Beach, FL). "This time of the year, there's not enough daylight for a one-day ferry flight," said Lisa Malone, spokeswoman at KSC. (Florida Today Dec. 2 and Dec. 4, 1989)


December 4: DISCOVERY RETURNS TO KSC
Discovery concluded a two-day return flight from its landing site at Edwards Air Force Base. The shuttle aboard its Boeing 747 carrier plane made its final approach at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 10:23 a.m. EST. A refueling stop had been made in Texas and an overnight stop at Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, FL. Preparations have begun for Discovery's next mission: the March launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. (Florida Today, Dec. 5, 1989)


December 14: KSC ACCIDENT REPORT
Confusion and a lack of discipline led to an accident October 21 in which one man was injured and a NASA payload canister was damaged, NASA said today in an official report on the incident. The board remarked on "a lack of discipline during this hazardous operation" when the accident occurred. The report also said that there was confusion among NASA and contractor personnel as to who was responsible for crane operation. The board recommended that crane operation and maintenance be reviewed thoroughly and better training be provided to supervisors and crane operators. (Florida Today, Dec. 15, 1989)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #197 on: 11/26/2012 03:20 PM »
That’s all I can tell you about the military mission of Discovery STS-33. There’s one additional item – i.e. actually a “lost item”: Sonny Carter had lost his watch during the mission. It would turn up much, much later – but this is a story for another day…


And you can expect some STS-33 insider details from Wayne Hale in the near future. ;)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=23630.msg980462#msg980462


For high-res photos of STS-33 go to

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=13716.0


NASA was hoping for a “Christmas mission” of Columbia, but as it turned out STS-32 was to become the first mission of the 1990s – the busiest decade of the whole Space Shuttle program. So, my next shuttle history thread here on NSF – coming up in early 2013 – will be

Columbia STS-32 – Into the New Decade


Our journey through shuttle history will continue during 2013 – with a look at the missions of 1990 and more…

-- Oliver

Offline Ben E

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #198 on: 01/28/2013 08:45 PM »
Fascinating thread. Were any training photos ever taken with Dave Griggs? He did, after all, train with them for six months until his untimely death in June 1989.

Offline SalemHanna

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Re: Discovery STS-33 – Falcon in the Sky
« Reply #199 on: 04/05/2013 12:08 PM »
Fascinating thread. Were any training photos ever taken with Dave Griggs? He did, after all, train with them for six months until his untimely death in June 1989.

I always thought the image of the falcon, superimposed over Discovery's launch video, in the post mission press briefing was a tribute to Griggs. Very elegant image.
Apollo, Soyuz, Shuttle...SKYLON.

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