Author Topic: Flight crew assignments  (Read 885306 times)

Offline Ben E

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #20 on: 11/05/2005 11:42 PM »
Yes, the 'firsts' are by no means all monopolised by Air Force personnel:

Al Shepard - first American in space - was Navy
John Glenn - first American to orbit Earth - was Marines
Neil Armstrong - first man on the Moon - was civilian
Bruce McCandless - first untethered spacewalker - was Navy
Hoot Gibson - who led the first Shuttle-Mir docking - was Navy
Bob Cabana - who led first Shuttle-ISS mission - was Marines
Bill Shepherd - first ISS commander - was Navy

...but on the other hand...

Ed White - first American spacewalker - was Air Force
Frank Borman - who led the first manned circumlunar mission - was Air Force
Jerry Ross - first person to fly seven space missions - was Air Force

The Air Force also (with Buzz Aldrin) was first to put an active military officer on the Moon's surface (Armstrong being a 'civvie')

As for Shuttle Commanders, of the 114 missions flown so far (including 51L and STS-114), Air Force and Navy are neck-and-neck:

* 44 Shuttle missions have been led by an active Air Force officer
* 44 Shuttle missions have been led by an active Navy officer
* 11 Shuttle missions have been led by an active Marines officer
* 15 Shuttle missions have been led by a civilian

I wouldn't be surprised if there's some good-natured rivalry in there somewhere, though...

Ben



Offline rsp1202

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #21 on: 11/05/2005 11:52 PM »
Good research. Yeah, there's rivalry all right. That goes back to the Schirra/Stafford-Borman/Lovell Gemini 6-7 missions when they exchanged "Go Army, Beat Navy" and visa versa signs in cockpit windows. I believe even shuttle crew had to put up with similar when docking with ISS.

Offline Rocket Guy

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #22 on: 11/05/2005 11:54 PM »
Thought out of the service by the time he was with NASA at Edwards, Armstrong also was Navy before that.

Offline Dogsbd

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #23 on: 11/06/2005 12:44 AM »
GO NAVY!!

 :)

Offline Avron

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #24 on: 11/06/2005 03:31 PM »
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Dogsbd - 5/11/2005  8:44 PM

GO NAVY!!

 :)


LOL..

Ben.. overall how do civilians rate in number of flights against non-civilian?

Offline Rocket Guy

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #25 on: 11/06/2005 05:21 PM »
Oh I don't know, but at least 2/3 or even 3/4 of all astronauts were in the military at one point or another.

Offline nethegauner

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #26 on: 11/07/2005 08:48 AM »
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Ben - 5/11/2005  8:01 PM

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I heard that he had problems with studying of Russian language, but it may be a mistake...

Yes, and also did not understand the Soyuz systems well enough.
Oh dear...

How silly is that? I concur definetly a reminder of the Lawrence/Parazynski jumble.

By the way: I've read that Marcos Pontes of Brazil will fly to the ISS on the next crew exchange mission and return with the current crew. Although he was an international member of the 1998 class of NASA astronauts, he is supposed to get that flight opportunity due to a deal between Russia and Brazil, if I'm not mistaken.

Great to see yet another country to join the ranks of ISS visiting nations! America, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Canada and soon Brazil, Germany and Sweden. Did I forget any nation?

Offline UK Shuttle Clan

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #27 on: 11/07/2005 01:59 PM »
Michael Foale, UK
Piers Sellars, Ex pat UK.  ;)

Offline Ben E

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #28 on: 11/07/2005 06:55 PM »
Would Salizhan Sharipov - a native of Kyrgyzstan (is that spelt right?) - be another possibility?

Ben

Offline nethegauner

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #29 on: 11/08/2005 07:24 AM »
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UK Shuttle Clan - 7/11/2005  3:59 PM

Michael Foale, UK
Piers Sellars, Ex pat UK.  ;)
Oh, yes -- of course. If You want it that way, then Andy Thomas would represent Australia, right? So add the UK and Australia to the list. Of course, all three of them are Americans nowadays.

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Ben E - 7/11/2005  8:55 PM

Would Salizhan Sharipov - a native of Kyrgyzstan (is that spelt right?) - be another possibility?

Ben

Hm ...

He's a native of Kirghizia, but he was born when the USSR still existed and -- according to his JSC bio -- he represents the GCTC ...

Hey, could a Russian board member say something about Sharipov?

Offline Ben E

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #30 on: 11/08/2005 10:12 AM »
Further to earlier post, has there been any official announcement about assignment of Melroy and Caldwell to STS-119?

It has also been hinted that, because of the paucity of flights, veteran pilots will be promoted to command their second flights. Scott Kelly and Mark Polansky have already had that done. Does this mean that Hobaugh (Kelly's pilot on STS-118) will actually get a command and his seat on 118 taken by a rookie?

It's interesting also that the STS-115 through STS-120 crews have (or at least 'had', in pre-107 days) four Mission Specialists assigned, because of the four planned EVAs on each mission - two alternating teams of . But on all previous multiple-EVA missions, there have been five Mission Specialists (one to operate the RMS and a four-person EVA team). I think the last time we had a five-Mission Specialist, multiple-EVA crew was STS-110, in which Ochoa operated the RMS, while Smith, Walheim, Ross and Morin did the spacewalks. Why has an RMS crew member not been added onto STS-115 through STS-120? Will one of the ISS crew members do the job instead?

Ben

Offline rsp1202

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #31 on: 11/08/2005 01:41 PM »
Interesting to note that many of the pilots and mission specialists being mentioned are all young enough now to be assigned to CEV crews if they remain with NASA, especially if development schedule is moved up at all. Wonder how many of these joined the shuttle program in the first place because they would actually "fly" the shuttle. NASA posting is still the top of the pyramid for fliers, and none will probably give up chance to take on an early CEV missions, but capsule work is definitely different than shuttle work.

Offline nethegauner

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #32 on: 11/08/2005 01:50 PM »
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rsp1202 - 8/11/2005  3:41 PM

Interesting to note that many of the pilots and mission specialists being mentioned are all young enough now to be assigned to CEV crews if they remain with NASA, especially if development schedule is moved up at all.
Given the fact that only 18 or 19 STS flights are scheduled before the end of the program, I would be surprised if any members of the classes of 2000 and 2004 will actually receive a shuttle flight assignment. Uh, well ... the 2000 guys probably, maybe ...

The 1998 astronauts are only beginning to fly next year -- or has anyone of them flown yet? I don't think so. Marcos Pontes will be the first -- but not on the shuttle ...

Actually, not all of the 1996 class of NASA astronauts have flown yet.

Offline rsp1202

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #33 on: 11/08/2005 02:13 PM »
It's inevitable there will be a large turnover in crew personnel between now and CEV first launch. Unfortunately, many of these exceptional people will miss their chance to fly on the shuttle; this is not dissimilar to what happened during the Apollo/Apollo Applications phaseout period when some astronauts waited years to be assigned missions only to have them cut. Numbers have been released as to how many KSC workers will be let go or retire in next five years, but there hasn't been a mention of astronauts leaving the program simply because most of them have probably not decided yet on whether they will stay. In a perfect world they should all get their chance, and I hope NASA continues to retain and attract the best of the best.

Offline Dobbins

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #34 on: 11/08/2005 02:31 PM »
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rsp1202 - 8/11/2005  9:41 AM

Interesting to note that many of the pilots and mission specialists being mentioned are all young enough now to be assigned to CEV crews if they remain with NASA,

I think that many the Mission Specialists are going to find themselves in the position of "odd man out" once the CEV starts flying. The smaller crew size is going to affect them more than it will the pilot astronauts.

John B. Dobbins

Offline Dobbins

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #35 on: 11/08/2005 02:40 PM »
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rsp1202 - 8/11/2005  10:13 AM

Numbers have been released as to how many KSC workers will be let go or retire in next five years, but there hasn't been a mention of astronauts leaving the program simply because most of them have probably not decided yet on whether they will stay. In a perfect world they should all get their chance, and I hope NASA continues to retain and attract the best of the best.

I'm afraid that a Shuttle assignment is going to be the last chance for many of the Mission Specialists. The smaller crew size of the CEV is going to mean there won't be as many seats for them on future flights once the Shuttle is phased out and I expect this will result in many of the Mission Specialists leaving as the STS program winds down.

John B. Dobbins

Offline rsp1202

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #36 on: 11/08/2005 03:09 PM »
Right. Especially the science specialists. I posted earlier that they will be the ones least willing to give up their academic or civilian careers. Many of the younger pilots remaining will have already retired or will be retiring from their miliary careers and will stick it out since it's the only game in town. Many of the CEV moon crews have yet to join NASA. Mars crews are graduating college about now.

Offline Ben E

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #37 on: 11/08/2005 03:53 PM »
Yes, but it's interesting that maybe some of the younger astronauts around at the moment - those in their mid to late 30s, Mike Fincke being one - will certainly be possible candidates, if they stick it out, to fly Moon missions. Using Fincke as an example, he'll only be 50-ish when the Moon missions take place, which was the same age John Young was when he flew STS-1.

I genuinely do believe that at least one of the next generation of lunar explorers is a current, active astronaut already!

As for astronauts from the 1998, 2000 and 2004 groups getting assignments before the end of the Shuttle programme, I do think it's a possibility that they will ALL get at least one flight. If NASA sticks to its informal rule, cited a couple of months ago by Ken Bowersox, that "four flights will be the limit", that automatically cancels out roughly half of the extant corps. With 19 flights to go, flying at a rate of 1-3 veterans + 1-3 rookies per crew, it should be possible to get everyone flown on the Shuttle.

According to NASA's Astronaut Biographies website (www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios), there are currently 94 active astronauts, of whom 37 are detailed to management responsibilities. If we assume that 'management' astronauts are not immediately eligible for flight assignments, that leaves 57 astronauts, of whom 28 are active Pilots or Commanders and 29 are Mission Specialists. Added to that figure are 13 active international Mission Specialists and 14 candidates (two Pilots and 12 Mission Specialists) from NASA's 2004 intake. All told, that leaves an effectively-active corps of 30 Pilots or Commanders and 54 Mission Specialists

Thirty Pilots and Commanders is clearly more than enough for 19 Shuttle missions, if we assume Pilots fly once or twice before getting a command. Most Shuttle flights have five or six Mission Specialists, so that leaves 95-114 available seats for Mission Specialists. Bearing in mind, too, that many astronauts (Leopold Eyharts, Jeff Williams, Garrett Reisman, Mike Lopez-Alegria, Bill McArthur, Sunita Williams, Clay Anderson et al) will probably hitch a ride on Soyuz for their long-term ISS increments, I really do not see a reason why EVERYONE should not get at least one and possibly two flights before the Shuttle programme ends.    

Unless my maths is wrong, it should work out.

Ben






Offline rsp1202

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #38 on: 11/08/2005 05:11 PM »
Based on Anik's flight/crew outline, I would speculate the earlier STS commanders and pilots might be up for CEV flights. Rather than hijacking this thread, I'll move that over to "CEV Particulars."

Offline anik

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #39 on: 11/08/2005 06:41 PM »
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nethegauner - 8/11/2005  11:24 AM

Hey, could a Russian board member say something about Sharipov?

Sharipov was born in Kyrghyzstan. His nationality - the Uzbek. After the first flight (STS-89) he has received a rank "The Hero of Kyrghyzstan". After the second flight (ISS Expedition 10) Salizhan recently has received a rank "The Hero of Russia"

By the way, the current Expedition 15 prime crew:

CDR Peggy Whitson (launch on Endeavour [STS-118])
FE1 Fyodor Yurchikhin (launch on Soyuz TMA-10)
FE2 Oleg Kotov (launch on Soyuz TMA-10)

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