Author Topic: LIVE: STS-135 Flight Day 13 EOM-1 - FCS C/O, RCS Hotfire, PicoSat  (Read 126514 times)

Offline dsky

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I am not sure this will be read, but as Chris asked to keep chatter to low levels on the landing thread, here I am with something I wanted to say.

First, I am extremely proud that my country is an important part of this mission with the Raffaello module (even if our flag is not shown anywhere). This is an historical moment for more than one reason, but this is not the moment (a few hours from landing) to digress on that.

Second, I would like to comment that Americans not always realize we in Europe are used to say that in 1969 "we" went to the Moon. The "we" refers of course to the whole humankind and today the same humankind is witness to the last flight of the most incredible technological endeavour of our times. It is impossible not to relate the end of the Shuttle program with the anniversary of the first lunar landing also because the rest of the world considers the 21st the date to remember.

The Shuttle is also "our" vehicle. We grew with it, we considered that a common accomplishment, we have hoped to have something to do with it and some of us in Europe even succeeded in that. I have even had a chance to get to JSC a few years ago and smell the flavour of Shuttle one time, a precious moment, but unfortunately without any further consequences.

Those like me who were born under Apollo, and followed the Shuttle program as a natural follow-on, can't easily conceive a future without an advanced space vehicle. But I believe that the future will definitely see a new shuttle if America will accept to openly join forces with other nations in developing a new winged space vehicle, the true heir of the Space Shuttle.

God speed Atlantis and all the people who made her flight possible. My thoughts are mainly for those who did something in the program for the last time, from tightening a bolt to reviewing the execution of a procedure. I know how it is hard to do your preferred task for one last time, but at least, please do not forget, you had a chance to do it. Whatever your task, you were the privileged ones, the insiders.

We, the outsiders, could only passively act as witnesses and for us, believe it or not, it is harder because we know that now we won't have no more chances to get close and feel the smell of the Shuttle.
Why be a rocket scientist, when you can be a spacecraft engineer?

Offline rickl

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Although I'm old enough to remember Gemini and Apollo, the Shuttle has been flying for 30 years, which is more than half of my life.  Goodbyes are always emotional and bittersweet.

By pure accident, I stumbled on these YouTube videos of the first landing test of Enterprise a few days ago.  I'm sure that better footage can be found elsewhere on NSF.com, but this is how it appeared on American TV at the time, complete with commercials.  Enjoy.

Part 1: 

Part 2: 
The Space Age is just starting to get interesting.

Offline lemauz

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Ironically, my first post here is happening almost as the Shuttle flies directly over my head for the very last time. As orbit 199 goes by, I just wanted to duly register the magnificent work Chris and the NSF team do here, allowing us - common mortals - to live these extraordinary events from within.

Thank you Chris, thank you thousands of professionals and amateurs (in the strict sense) that keep these [mankind] dreams alive.

Farewell Atlantis.
res non verba

Offline Joey

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So many others above have expressed pretty much the same feelings I have, but I just wanted to give a big thank you to everyone in the Space Program for all your hard work and dedication through the years, and continuing on into the future. I truly feel it is Man's destiny to reach for the stars and explore this vast universe.

I of course would also like to thank Chris and everyone here at NSF for providing such a great forum!

Godspeed Atlantis.

Offline Phosphorus

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Godspeed Atlantis, and thank you for the work you've done -- you not only helped build the ISS and maintain the Hubble telescope. Your seven flights to Mir were actually the core of the Shuttle-Mir program -- when a space station finally saw an arrival of a winged spacecraft -- and sci-fi became reality. Safe landing and a have a good rest, you've deserved it.
Ceterum autem censeo Moscoviae esse delendam

Offline alexw

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Wish I had something eloquent and moving to add. But mostly I feel numb. Hurts.

 Atlantis, I'm so glad it's you here at the end, among your sisters. So glad that you flew one more time after that beautiful clear afternoon in the bright May sunshine, when you lit up the daytime sky and thundered gloriously through our tears and screams.

Second star to the right, and straight on ... 'till, now, the last morning.
 
         -Alex

Offline chksix

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I'm attaching a picture of my son Sam as he was watching STS-133. He's watching Atlantis now also.
Like me at the time of Apollo 11 he's 2 years old and watching it live on the internet. I watched the moon landing on tv live. Can't remember it but I think it sparked my interest of spaceflight.
I started following the STS programme from the earliest artist impressions of the new system. Saw STS 1 live on tv and tried to follow each flight after that. Not easy at the time since media didn't publish much. I had the magazine Spaceflight as a reference for all things happening at NASA, both manned and unmanned.
It's a sad fact that the machines and the programme is terminated now but I can understand the need to move on to something cheaper and safer. I'm happy that the last three orbiters performed as they were built to do, flawless.
I will bring Sam and his sister Sophie to the USA and visit the orbiters in the future.

I hope there will be a visionary programme with a goal that Sam can start to follow personally and see the fruits being reaped. Landing on the moon again perhaps when he is 14 wouldn't be too unrealistic.

Cheers to Chris and crew for setting up this site which publish facts only. This should have been up and running in 81 ;)

/Pierre
Hoping for a future of NASA manned spaceflight

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