Author Topic: So, which Shuttle flights will go...?  (Read 1824 times)

Offline Ben E

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So, which Shuttle flights will go...?
« on: 08/19/2005 02:06 pm »
Any guesses on which Shuttle flights will be dropped from the line-up if NASA is to meet its 2010 retirement date?

Unless I'm misreading the quotes, Mike Griffin seems to change his mind and backtrack every few days. First, he says that as few Shuttle flights as possible will be completed to do what is needed for the station and nothing more. Next, he says that the number of flights no longer matters, schedule is not an issue, etc, etc.

I don't understand NASA's argument that it can't be done. Five flights per year with three orbiters can be done. Even with EVERY mission originally manifested pre-Columbia still in place, only 22 flights are required, retiring the fleet neatly in mid-2010. See below:

2006: 5 missions
*ULF-1.1 test flight with MPLM
*12A assembly flight with P-3 & P-4 truss and solar arrays
*12A.1 assembly flight with P-5 truss and Spacehab cargo module
*13A assembly flight with S-3 & S-4 truss and solar arrays
*13A.1 assembly flight with S-5 truss and Spacehab cargo module

2007: 5 missions
* 15A assembly flight with S-6 truss
* 10A assembly flight with Node-2 (US Core Complete)
* ULF-2 logistics flight with MPLM
* 1E assembly flight with Columbus module
* UF-3 logistics flight with MPLM

2008: 5 missions
* UF-4 logistics flight with SPDM (Canadian 'hand' for SSRMS)
* UF-5 logistics flight with MPLM
* UF-4.1 logistics flight with Express Pallet
* UF-6 logistics flight with MPLM
* 1JA assembly flight with Kibo ELM-PS

2009: 5 missions
* 1J assembly flight with Kibo module
* ULF-3 logistics flight with MPLM
* 9A.1 assembly flight with Russian Solar Power Platform
* UF-7 assembly flight with Centrifuge Accommodation Module
* ULF-4 logistics flight with MPLM

2010: 2 missions
* 2JA assembly flight with Kibo ELM-ES
* 14A assembly flight with Cupola (Assembly Complete)

I would also guess, however, that quite a few of the UF and ULF missions could be disposed of. Maybe one MPLM flight per year rather than two or three. Most of the UFs, in pre-Columbia days at least, were crew-rotation missions anyway, which probably won't happen now as NASA is winding the programme down. Cut a few logistics flights out and it can comfortably be done in 18 or 19 missions, perhaps retiring the fleet by 2009.

Does anyone else understand the NASA rhetoric that it'll be difficult to do this? Perhaps NASA should do the maths. Seven or eight years ago, NASA was flying seven missions annually, often with only three operational orbiters. Even accounting for the trauma of Columbia, five a year is surely feasible.


Offline NASA_Twix_JSC

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RE: So, which Shuttle flights will go...?
« Reply #1 on: 08/19/2005 05:52 pm »
Everything apart from Shuttle Cargo Bay designed Modules. Expect it to be down to 15 flights at most.

Offline DraoiJediSarmhiotail

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RE: So, which Shuttle flights will go...?
« Reply #2 on: 08/20/2005 12:38 pm »
Which flights do I think will go?

Well, I am not Administrator Griffin, and I do hope they at least keep par with their presently stated plans.  That being said, I think there is an absolute need for more launches to build upon the ISS and future space stations, the moon, Mars, anon, anon...

I wouldn't let anyone get in the way of national security, by falling behind on space advancement.  A lot of ground has been lost, as far as manned missions go, and it's time to speed full force ahead, again, I think.  It's time to colonize Mars, you know.

Take Care