Author Topic: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty  (Read 15896 times)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #160 on: 02/24/2013 12:45 AM »
March 22: SATELLITE RESCUE MEETING AT JSC
NASA officials meet today at Johnson Space Center with owners of the stranded Intelsat communications satellite to discuss a possible Space Shuttle rescue mission. Hal Lambert, Manager of Integration Operations at JSC said of his Intelsat  counterparts, "They are just going to come in and give us some information about where the spacecraft is and its condition and so forth. We are going to discuss whether it's possible to get the satellite."

NASA says it doesn't know how much it would charge today because the agency no longer does commercial business and there is no published rate schedule. Before the Challenger accident, astronauts saved four satellites, bringing two home and repairing two in orbit. At the time NASA charged commercial owners about $15 million apiece. (The Orlando Sentinel, Mar. 21, 1990, and Florida Today, Mar. 22, 1990 – edited)


March 23: NASA: SATELLITE RESCUE FEASIBLE
Robert Crippen, Director of the Space Shuttle Program, said today that it is possible that NASA will be able to mount a rescue mission to save a $157 million international communications satellite which was stranded after launch on March 14. He said NASA engineers and officials of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, which owns Intelsat VI, have decided to look into the possibility of delivering a new motor to the satellite by means of the Space Shuttle.

Associate Administrator for Space Flight Bill Lenoir - Crippen's boss – has expressed interest in NASA's attempting the rescue. "We looked at two things: One was we could take a motor up, and go ahead and boost it up... or we could return it," Crippen said. "Our initial look-see from our safety panel was that they didn't see any show-stoppers, although in their normal prudent way they want to go through and do a detailed scrutiny of it to assure that they don't see any problem." (The Miami Herald, Mar. 23, 1990; The Orlando Sentinel, Mar. 24, 1990; Florida Today, Mar. 23 and 24, 1990 – edited)


March 24: LUTON TO REPLACE LUEST
The European Space Agency has announced its new director general beginning October 1, 1990, and ending September 30, 1994. Reimar Luest will be replaced by Jean-Marie Luton as the new director. (Countdown, May 1990)


March 25: DELTA II LAUNCHES SEVENTH GPS SATELLITE
A Delta II carrying a navigation satellite was launched tonight a day ahead of schedule, lifting off at 9:45 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. An effort to launch March 21 was scrubbed due to high winds. The Delta carried a $65 million Global Positioning System Satellite which will allow military vehicles to determine their location within fifty feet and in some cases to within ten feet, their speed within a fraction of a mile per hour and the precise time within a millionth of a second. The satellite, which at 10:10 p.m. EST was flawlessly deployed into orbit, is the seventh of a planned 21. (Florida Today, Mar. 25, 1990)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #161 on: 02/24/2013 12:46 AM »
March 29: TITAN ROCKET STAGE REENTERS
The upper stage of the Titan III rocket that launched a $157 million communications satellite but failed to put it in the proper orbit either burned up in the atmosphere or fell into the ocean, according to Army Major Thomas Niemann, a U. S. Space Command spokesman. "We don't have any indication that it survived" reentry, Niemann said, but any fragments returning to Earth would probably have landed in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Talwan. A spokesman for Intelsat, Tony Trujillo, said of the satellite, "We can keep it there for several months, if not up to a year." (The Miami Herald, Mar. 30, 1990 – edited)


April 3: ISRAEL ORBITS SECOND SATELLITE
Israel orbited its second satellite, Offeq-2, today at 3:02 p.m. local time (8:02 a.m. EDT) from a pad in the Negev desert. An upgraded version of the Jericho missile positioned the payload, into a 931 by 130-mile orbit with an inclination of 38 degrees. The booster raced into orbit in a westward retrograde course over the Mediterranean so Arab opponents could not get a view of the craft, and to keep booster segments from falling in the neighboring countries.

The Israelis deny that the launch was a response to a threat made hours earlier by Iraq. The Iraqi president Saddam Hussein stated he would use chemical weapons against Israel if they tried to destroy Iraq’s Scud missile launchers. The Soviet-made launchers are located in Western Iraq and are within range of Israel.

Offeq-2 is an experimental satellite to test communications systems that may be used for future spacecraft. This launch was similar to the Offeq-1 mission on September 26, 1988. Israeli officials say the new payload is not a spy satellite and will remain in orbit for two months. (Countdown, May 1990 – edited)


IN RELATED NEWS: SIGNS AND PORTENTS
Some lawmakers are readying legislation to halt all U.S. aid to Iraq as tensions mount over a series of incidents, including a threat by President Saddam Hussein to use chemical weapons against Israel. "We should be ashamed" of the U.S. trading relationship with Iraq, said Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif. Berman has drafted proposed sanctions that would end all U.S. assistance to Iraq, including agricultural credits and investment guarantees under the Export-Import Bank.

Several others in Congress, including Sens. William Cohen, R-Maine, and John McCain, R-Ariz., said they support some kind of sanctions against the Baghdad government. "I think we ought to take action," Cohen said recently, adding it was "not an acceptable situation" for the United States to be doing business with a country seeking to add nuclear weapons to an arsenal that already includes chemical weapons. Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he will push for legislation to impose sanctions against any nation that uses chemical weapons illegally.

But not everyone in Congress favors immediate sanctions. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said it would be premature to do anything without first talking with Hussein. Specter, who visited Iraq in January with Sen. Richard Shelby, D-Ala., urged Hussein to exercise restraint. "We believe discussions and negotiations can go far to resolve current tensions," Specter and Shelby said in a letter to Hussein.

The outrage among some in Congress comes amid growing tension over Iraq's actions. Hussein has been criticized for threatening to use chemical weapons against Israel and for executing an Iranian-born British journalist accused of spying. Last month, U.S. and British intelligence agents broke up an Iraqi smuggling ring allegedly trying to obtain nuclear triggers for atomic weapons. Iraq denied the charge. The sour climate prompted the Commerce Department to cancel the Iraqi leg of a trade mission scheduled to visit Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in May. "We thought it was inappropriate to take a group of U.S. companies to Iraq at this time," said Elizabeth Dugan, a Commerce Department spokeswoman.

An expelled U.S. diplomat left Baghdad Tuesday (April 10), diplomats said, hours after Iraq ordered him out in retaliation for the U.S. expulsion of an Iraqi envoy accused in a murder plot. The diplomats identified the American as Zachary White, second secretary at the U.S. mission, which refused to comment on his departure. (Deseret News, Apr. 10, 1990 – edited)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #162 on: 02/24/2013 12:48 AM »
April 7: WESTAR VI “REBORN” AS LONG MARCH III ROCKET LIGHTS NIGHT SKY
China launched the AsiaSat 1 communications satellite today. It’s kind of a rebirth for a second-hand satellite, which originally was called Westar VI.  Westar had been put into space by the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger in February 1984. Because its rocket motor malfunctioned after deploy, Westar was plucked from orbit by Discovery and brought back to Earth for repairs in November 1984.

The gleaming white three-stage Long March III rocket, emblazoned with the gold-starred red flag of the People's Republic of China, roared off the pad at the Xichang space center in remote southwest Sichuan Province at 9:30 p.m. Beijing Time. "Fire," the mission commander ordered. The rocket motors ignited in a ball of orange flame and hurled the satellite above the gantry, set in a hilly farm area.

Lift-off was originally scheduled for 7:49 p.m. Beijing Time, but was delayed by concerns over thick clouds over the launch site. The launch occurred during the final 30-minute window as the skies finally cleared. Chinese and foreign officials gathered in the Xichang control center broke into applause about 25 minutes after the launch as controllers announced that the payload had separated from the rocket and achieved its initial transfer orbit. A kick motor on the satellite was to lift it into a circular orbit, where its antenna array and solar power panels were to be deployed. The satellite was then to achieve a geostationary orbit some 22,300 miles above the equator, hovering roughly over Singapore, and become operational in about six weeks.

Lift-off of the 203-ton booster from Xichang Satellite Launch Center opens the door for China to compete commercially with Western systems. The Long March boosters have a well-known history of reliability, and successfully completed 20 out of 22 launches during the last two decades.

AsiaSat 1 is equipped with 24 C-band transponders to beam television and other telecommunication signals to 2.5 billion people throughout 30 Asian countries. The 2,700-pound craft has a life span of ten years and is owned by the Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. based in Hong Kong, a joint venture formed by China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC), British Cable and Wireless PLC, and the Hong Kong Hutchinson Whampoa Limited. The launch of Asiasat 1 was insured by the China People’s Insurance Company for $120 million. U.S. officials were in Xichang to ensure against Chinese snooping into the satellite's sophisticated technology.

The launch was originally scheduled for the week of April 13, but was moved up a week for political reasons. China wanted to launch the craft to shift attention from the 10-month anniversary of the Beijing massacre. The Chinese charged AsiaSat $30 million for the launch, which was $15 million less than what Arianespace would have charged for an Ariane flight. (Countdown, May 1990; Deseret News, Apr. 8, 1990 – edited and supplemented)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #163 on: 02/24/2013 12:50 AM »
May 15: RESCUE DOABLE – FOR A PRICE
NASA has agreed to develop a mission to rescue the stranded Intelsat VI if its owner will pay the cost of the mission. "We've agreed ifs doable. Now it's going to be up to Intelsat to see if they want to pay the cost to do whatever we have to do to save the spacecraft," said NASA spokesman Dave Garrett. Intelsat spokesman Tony Trujillo said, "Our board of governors will decide what to do about the shuttle mission, whether to go forward with it or not."

NASA said a rescue mission could be launched in late 1991 or 1992 and might cost between $100 and $150 million. The mission itself would involve a spacewalk to attach a special motor to propel the satellite from its present location of 345 miles above Earth to geosynchronous orbit at 22,300 miles above Earth. (The New York Times, May 17, 1990; The Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today, May 16, 1990 – edited)


June 13: ENDEAVOUR'S FIRST MISSION: RESCUE INTELSAT VI
When the newest Space Shuttle joins the fleet at Kennedy Space Center its first mission will include the rescue of the Intelsat VI satellite stranded in low orbit since March. The satellite’s owners, the 118-nation International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, will pay NASA $97.3 million for the rescue attempt in February 1992. NASA plans to pack a 20,000 pound rocket motor in Endeavour's cargo bay that will be fitted to the satellite by spacewalking astronauts so the Intelsat can reach its intended destination.

The space agency has elected to do the unusual mission in part because it will give its astronauts experience in space walking. "The rescue offers us the opportunity for expanding our experience base in the planning, training and performance of extravehicular activity," said Navy Capt. Robert Crippen, NASA's shuttle program director. "Knowledge gained in this effort will help with the preparations for Space Station Freedom.” Freedom's assembly and long term maintenance will depend in large part on the skills of space walking astronauts. Unless an undisclosed space walk has been conducted during a secret Department of Defense mission, NASA astronauts have not walked in space since 1985. Astronauts Jerry Ross and Jay Apt are scheduled to make a space walk in November to test Space Station assembly techniques.

The space agency has yet to announce an astronaut crew for the Intelsat rescue mission. Typically, crews are not named until one year before a flight. Under the scenario envisioned, Endeavour will rendezvous with the Intelsat VI satellite. Two astronauts riding Endeavour's robot arm would then attach a "grapple fixture" to the free-floating satellite. The device will permit the robot arm, operated by an astronaut inside Endeavour, to latch onto the Intelsat VI and maneuver it into the shuttle's cargo bay. Working in the bay, spacewalking astronauts would then attach the new booster rocket to the satellite, and the assembly would be re-deployed by the robot arm. After Endeavour's crew maneuvers the orbiter a safe distance away, Intelsat's ground controllers would then fire the motor, blasting the satellite to its intended altitude.

NASA spokesman Jeff Cart said, "To have the first flight of a new orbiter is a plum, but to have that and a sexy flight like going up to pick up the Intelsat, fix it and reboost it will just make any experienced crew commander's mouth water." (The Houston Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today, June 14, 1990 – edited)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #164 on: 02/24/2013 12:53 AM »
Endeavour: T minus two years and counting…

Two years to go? Not a long time in space semantics, especially when you consider the hectic schedule Space Shuttle orbiter Endeavour has been keeping and will be keeping till its launch exactly two years from now – February 1992.

Endeavour, under construction by Rockwell International, is rapidly coming together. Major fuselage sections are being joined at Rockwell’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California. The upper forward fuselage was shipped to Palmdale in September 1989, while the aft fuselage was transferred in December 1989. The shuttle’s mid-fuselage, wings, and lower forward fuselage have already been mated, and the installation of the orbiter’s thermal protection system has been nearly complete. “The construction of Endeavour is approximately two months ahead of schedule and under budget,” said a Rockwell International spokesperson.

In January the aft fuselage was attached to the mid-fuselage. The crew module, which is scheduled to be transferred to Palmdale sometime this month, and the upper forward fuselage will me mated in March. Endeavour will keep a busy schedule during the upcoming months with the power-on systems testing scheduled for July 1990. A complete mating of all major structural components except the OMS pods will take place in October and finally, the vehicle will rollout from Palmdale for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center in April 1991. After the OMS pods are delivered to KSC from Palmdale in September 1991, the orbiter will be ready for its first flight the following year.

The new shuttle, whose name was chosen by school children in a competition held last year, will have distinct features incorporating advanced technologies in the area of orbiters. While essentially identical to the Discovery and Atlantis, Endeavour will have two distinct features that will temporarily distinguish her from the rest of the fleet. She will be installed with a drag chute to aid deceleration and reduce loads on the landing gear and brakes. In addition, Endeavour will accommodate installation of an Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) kit that will enable her to remain in orbit for up to 28 days.

Production of many basic elements for the vehicle actually began in 1983, when NASA awarded Rockwell a $400-million contract to build orbiter structural “spare parts,” as a way of keeping the shuttle production line open. These parts, which include such items as the wings, crew module, and aft and mid-fuselage, are now are being used to construct the new orbiter, saving approximately two years of production time. More than 250 major subcontractors and thousands of associated suppliers across the nation are performing work on shuttle components and are providing support services, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the total work on the program.

With the completion of Endeavour, the shuttle production line will cease. However, a few voices are endeavoring to keep the pipeline open. Former NASA Administrator James Fletcher said recently the construction of a new orbiter should begin. As Apollo demonstrated, when the pipeline shuts down, so can the entire space endeavor. (Countdown, February 1990 – edited)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #165 on: 02/24/2013 12:55 AM »

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #166 on: 02/24/2013 12:57 AM »

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #167 on: 02/24/2013 12:58 AM »
 The Saga of USA 53 - Found, Lost, Found Again and Lost Again

(By Ted Molczan)

Satellite sleuths will recall Space Shuttle mission STS 36, which deployed a secret CIA/Air Force satellite named USA 53 (90019B, 20516) on March 1, 1990.  Aviation Week reported it to be a large digital imaging reconnaissance satellite.  Members of an observation network which I organized, observed the satellite between the 2nd and 4th of March.  It was deployed into a 62 deg inclination, 254 km altitude orbit.  Early on March 3rd, it maneuvered to a 271 km altitude.

Observers noted that the object was extremely bright, reaching a visual magnitude of -1 under favorable conditions.  Its brightness was similar to that of the very large KH-9 and KH-11 imaging reconnaissance satellites.

On March 16th, the Soviet news media reported that several large pieces of debris from the satellite had been detected in orbit on March 7th, and suggested that it had exploded.  In response to Western media enquiries, the Pentagon stated that hardware elements from the successful mission of STS 36 would decay over the next six weeks".  As expected, the Air Force statement was vague about the status of USA 53. The debris could have been from a break-up of the satellite, or simply incidental debris.  Only five pieces of debris were ever catalogued.  An intensive search by observers in late March failed to locate the satellite.  Six months later, the mystery of USA 53 was solved, through the efforts of three European observers.

On October 19th, 1990, I received a message from Russell Eberst, stating that he, along with Pierre Neirinck and Daniel Karcher had found an object in a 65 deg inclination, 811 km altitude orbit, which did not match the orbit of any known payload, rocket body or piece of debris. He suspected that the object could be a secret U.S. payload, and asked me to try and identify it.

There are many secret U.S. objects in orbit, however, initial orbital elements, released in accordance with a United Nations treaty, are available for most of them.  Most objects could be easily ruled out on the basis of orbital inclination.  There remained three recent high inclination launches for which the U.N. had not yet received elements, and three satellites in near 65 deg inc orbits which had been tracked for a short time by observers, then lost after they maneuvered.  I found an excellent match with one of the latter, USA 53.  There were no close matches with any of the other objects.

My analysis revealed that the orbital plane of the mystery object was almost exactly coplanar with USA 53 on March 7, 1990, the same date that the Soviets found debris from USA 53 in orbit!  This is a strong indication that the object in question actually is USA 53, now in a new orbit.  The debris may have been connected with the maneuvers to the new orbit.

USA 53 was successfully tracked by observers until early November 1990, when it maneuvered once more.  The orbit was raised slightly on or about Nov 2nd, which is reflected in the most current elements.  Bad weather prevented further observation attempts until 7 November, by which time, the object had made a much more significant maneuver, and could no longer be found.  So far, all attempts to once again locate USA 53 have failed.

Source:

http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/imint/tm_usa53.html


Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #168 on: 02/24/2013 01:00 AM »
She’s one of the boys

(By Mike Mullane)

The highlight of our meager postflight PR tour was a visit to George Bush, Senior’s White House. We were shocked by the invitation. STS-36 had been virtually ignored in the press. There were no women on the crew, no minorities, no firsts of any kind that might have turned out the press to cover a presidential handshake. Whatever the reason, the invitation was sincerely appreciated.

We met the President in the Oval Office, taking seats in sofas set around a coffee table. Mr. Bush sat in a nearby chair. The questions he asked indicated that he was well briefed on our mission. But it was hard to carry on a conversation. A steady stream of aides and secretaries were constantly coming to his side to get answers to questions and his signature on documents. I wondered if the man was ever alone, even on the toilet.

We left the President to his never-ending work and followed Barbara Bush on a tour of the White House. If I had not been aware she was the First Lady, I would have never guessed it from her behavior. She was talkative, witty, and completely devoid of any air of celebrity. She reminded me of my mother. I could easily picture her baiting a hook or hoisting a beer or throwing another log on the campfire.

We stepped into an ancient elevator for a trip to the upstairs living quarters. With five astronauts, five wives, Mrs. Bush, and an assistant, we were cheek to jowl in the small volume. Mrs. Bush was directly behind me and I did my best to resist being crushed into her front. Before the elevator door closed, Millie, the First Dog, somehow managed to wiggle under our feet to make it an even tighter squeeze.

As the box crept upward, the silence was total. In spite of Mrs. Bush’s easy manner we were all very self-conscious of her company. To occupy the uncomfortable seconds we watched the elevator indicator panel with the same intensity as an astronaut watching a space rendezvous. Some of us moved slightly to accommodate the dog. Chris Casper, John’s wife, finally cracked under the oppressing silence. She nervously offered an icebreaker – “Oh, I feel it between my legs.”

While it was obvious she was referring to Millie’s wagging tail, the words hung over our sardined group like really bad flatulence. A reference to anything between an woman’s legs was tough to comment on in polite company, much less in the company of the First Lady of the nation. Chris quickly realized her mistake and tried to recover by amending her words. She nervously added, “I mean I feel the dog between my…  er… my legs.”

It was just too much for me to keep my mouth shut. She had served up a ball just begging to be spiked. I couldn’t resist. “Are you sure it’s not John’s hand?” I inquired. My comment elicited a few snickers and an elbow jab from Donna. As had frequently been the case in my life, I immediately wished the joker in me would have kept quite. What was Mrs. Bush thinking? I wondered. Maybe this time I had gone too far.

I need not have worried. As regret shot through my brain, I felt Mrs. Bush’s hand lightly pat me on a butt cheek as she said, “That’s John’s hand.” Then she winked at Donna and said, “I’ve got him right where I want him.” I was stunned. She was a Mike Mullane clone. She couldn’t let a perfect setup fall to the sand – she had to nail it.

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #169 on: 02/24/2013 01:01 AM »
After tea, Mrs. Bush led us downstairs to finish our tour, giving us a running commentary on the history of the rooms we passed. But she skipped over some recent history I was privy to. An astronaut who had made an earlier White House visit had told of entering a room in the company of Mrs. Bush and being brought to a sudden halt by the overpowering stench of dog crap.

Everybody had quickly fixated on the source… Millie’s deposit. The astronaut witness had recounted how a silence as heavy as the odor had enveloped their group. Nobody wanted to acknowledge the obvious, that Millie had desecrated the carpet. But, without missing a beat, Barbara Bush turned to look at her astronaut visitors and jokingly warned, “If I read about this in the Post tomorrow, you’re all dead meat!”

Mrs. Bush would have fit perfectly into our TNFG gang. I could see her at the Outpost and Pete’s BBQ and on the LCC roof. There are some things the trappings of wealth and power and great political office can never dissolve. Among these are the bonds of the military family. As the wife of a WWII naval aviator, Barbara Bush had long ago experienced everything we had lived and were continuing to live… fear, the heartache of hearing “Taps” played over friends’ graves, and consoling grieving widows and fatherless children.

As we walked away, I thought of those dissident Wellesley women. Mrs. Bush had been invited to give a commencement address at Wellesley College, but, after accepting, some of the students had organized a movement to disinvite her. These women considered her a poor role model since her only identity was through her husband. Apparently, for them, being a wife and mother were not qualifying credentials for a commencement speaker.

They had been right about one thing – Mrs. Bush shouldn’t have been invited to speak at their commencement merely because she was the First Lady. Any woman could be one of those. Rather, she should have been invited because she was a member of the Greatest Generation, because she had kissed her man off to war and been left to wonder if she would ever see him again, because – as loving and supportive wife of a WWII naval aviator – she had done her part to save the world. Those were commencement address qualifications for any college, even Wellesley. (Mike Mullane, “Riding Rockets,” Scribner 2006 – edited)

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #170 on: 02/24/2013 01:03 AM »
So ends this look back on the STS-36 mission and other space-related events during the first months of the year 1990.

As always, here is a link to the mission’s high-res photos in the L2 section:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=14468.0



And, although I have extensively quoted several times from Mike Mullane’s outrageous tales of a Space Shuttle astronaut, much of the best stuff would have collided with the language rules of this forum. So, if you are interested in all the “dirty” details, once again, I highly recommend reading “Riding Rockets.” 



“It may be more than you wanted to know about today’s all-American boys laying it all on the line to fly the Space Shuttle. Mike’s story is honest… brutally honest. You haven’t read it before, and you are not likely to see it in the future.” (Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut and author of “The All-American Boys”)


See also:

http://mikemullane.com/

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #171 on: 02/24/2013 01:05 AM »
"The Hubble Space Telescope represents the single biggest leap in astronomical viewing capacity since Galileo put a telescope to his eye. With that kind of capability, strange new things are going to be discovered."

Edward J. Weiler, HST program scientist


And things just kept getting stranger and stranger, or should I say “curiouser and curiouser,” when the first of the Great Observatories had finally reached orbit…
« Last Edit: 02/24/2013 01:13 AM by Ares67 »

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #172 on: 02/24/2013 01:07 AM »
Relive the epic launch of the Hubble Space Telescope aboard Discovery and the “Trouble with Hubble” in my next Space Shuttle history presentation here at NSF – tentatively scheduled for April 2013.


Discovery STS-31 – An Adventure Beyond the Mirror


So, see ya on the other side…

- Oliver (aka Ares67)   :)

Offline Archibald

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1404
  • Liked: 28
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #173 on: 02/24/2013 11:30 AM »
Coincidentally I'm re-reading Riding rockets this week-end.  ;D

As for Ariane flight 36 it is pretty much a case study in Murphy Law history.

It is Friday evening in Les Mureaux, near Paris.
A metalurgist working on the coolant assembly of a Viking engine found two tubes that doesn't match.
On his own initiative he slightly polish the tube so that it fits into the other. Because this is a non standard procedure, and because it is late on Friday and his boss is not there, he decides to signal the non-standard procedure by placing his red cloth into the tube. It is apparently a metalurgist tradition.
On Monday the flashy color will catch his eye, he will remind, and signal his superiors what he has done.
He goes home for the week end.
And he fell ill during that week end.
On monday his fellow co-workers found the two tube matching pretty well, and the assembly is cleared. It goes into the Viking, the Viking into the booster, the booster to Ariane, and Ariane to Kourou.
... with the cloth still inside.

The cloth blocked the flow of water cooling the Viking; the Viking lost power, ruining the rocket trajectory from the beginning.
Incidentally, Ariane missed the top of the launch tower by 2 meters only; it did not struck the tower only because it was a 44L with eight engines that lifted the doomed rocket high and far enough it did not damaged the pad.

It happened that, due to delays with one of the two japanese satellites, flight 35 and flight 36 swapped their payloads and Ariane type.
Had flight 36 been an Ariane 40 as planned, the engine loss would have been even more brutal; Ariane would have struck its launch tower in a major disaster.

http://liris.cnrs.fr/amille/enseignements/Master_PRO/BIA/chap10.htm

http://www.forum-conquete-spatiale.fr/t10688-retour-sur-l-echec-d-ariane-4-v36

http://www.ina.fr/video/CAB06056640/ja2-20h-emission-du-23-fevrier-1990.fr.html

Was Arianespace lucky or unlucky on that flight ? it's anyone guess...
« Last Edit: 02/24/2013 11:36 AM by Archibald »
That logarithm in the rocket equation is rather annoying...

Offline Kyra's kosmos

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Liked: 2
    • Spacecraft "Vostok" Control and Instrument Panel Site
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #174 on: 02/25/2013 02:25 AM »
Another view of the phantom headand the RME-III experiment

Offline Kyra's kosmos

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Liked: 2
    • Spacecraft "Vostok" Control and Instrument Panel Site
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #175 on: 02/25/2013 02:45 AM »
The STS-36 locker configuration.  I found a good close up picture of the label of the secure locker. Does anyone or can anyone say how these locks worked?

Offline Overflow

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 798
  • Liked: 7
  • Space Shuttle Aficonado
  • Tampa, Florida
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #176 on: 02/25/2013 08:58 PM »
Not only did I get to read up on a mission done by my favorite orbiter, but I also got to see construction pictures of Endeavour! Awesome!!

Have you thought about making threads filled with Space Shuttle construction pictures?

Offline Ares67

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10385
  • Liked: 12
  • Oliver
  • Remscheid, Germany
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #177 on: 02/26/2013 05:55 PM »
Not only did I get to read up on a mission done by my favorite orbiter, but I also got to see construction pictures of Endeavour! Awesome!!

Have you thought about making threads filled with Space Shuttle construction pictures?

I'm glad that you've enjoyed the trip back in time.

This project is mainly centered around reliving the shuttle missions. But I'm always looking at other space-related events - and sometimes (in order to give a little perspective) major historical events the world was watching at the time (see the Mandela reference in this thread, and of course I was also hinting at the Middle East situation in 1990 - more will follow)

I'm not planning "construction threads" - there are already some really great high-resolution construction photo threads for each orbiter at L2. That doesn't mean I won't refer to orbiter construction or maintenance cycles during my planned chronological journey through shuttle history in the coming years.

So stay tuned for that - and a report on the next 1990 flight of your favorite orbiter (Atlantis STS-38) is already planned for the end of this year. ;)

Offline Lewis007

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 804
  • Liked: 51
  • the Netherlands
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #178 on: 02/27/2013 06:39 PM »
With regard to the classified payload of this mission, the Wings in Orbit supplement (attached) issued by NASA states that the main cargo was the KH 11-10 electro-optical reconnaissance satellite ! (page 32)

Offline Kyra's kosmos

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Liked: 2
    • Spacecraft "Vostok" Control and Instrument Panel Site
Re: Atlantis STS-36 – Tour of Duty
« Reply #179 on: 02/28/2013 06:20 PM »
With regard to the classified payload of this mission, the Wings in Orbit supplement (attached) issued by NASA states that the main cargo was the KH 11-10 electro-optical reconnaissance satellite ! (page 32)

Interesting, I wonder if that was an accidental leak or not. What are the rules regarding disclosing this for those who knew at the time, given this is an official NASA publication?

Tags: