Author Topic: Columbia on STS-118  (Read 8319 times)

Offline Orbiter

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Columbia on STS-118
« on: 04/17/2011 03:21 am »
I found the old mission manifest for the shuttle after STS-107 from wiki and astronautix and I found this particularly interesting.

STS-118 (Columbia)
Originally to be launched on 13 November 2003 to the International Space Station to conduct assembly mission ISS-13A.1, delivering the third starboard truss segment (ITS S5) and station supplies. Crew were to be commander Scott Kelly, pilot Charles Hobaugh, mission specialists Scott Parazynski, Dafydd Williams, Barbara Morgan, and Lisa Nowak.

I read somewhere that Columbia was too heavy to fly to ISS or Mir for major construction or resupply. This would have been Columbia's next flight after STS-107, where they really planning to strap Columbia with an ODS and send it to the ISS? I also see there are two cancelled HST missions that were on the manifest too, to be flown by Columbia.

This is probably a question that's been asked numerous of times, I apologize if I'm bringing up an already answered question or something that belongs in the Q&A thread.

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« Last Edit: 04/17/2011 03:21 am by Orbiter »
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #1 on: 04/17/2011 03:36 am »
I found the old mission manifest for the shuttle after STS-107 from wiki and astronautix and I found this particularly interesting.

STS-118 (Columbia)
Originally to be launched on 13 November 2003 to the International Space Station to conduct assembly mission ISS-13A.1, delivering the third starboard truss segment (ITS S5) and station supplies. Crew were to be commander Scott Kelly, pilot Charles Hobaugh, mission specialists Scott Parazynski, Dafydd Williams, Barbara Morgan, and Lisa Nowak.

I read somewhere that Columbia was too heavy to fly to ISS or Mir for major construction or resupply. This would have been Columbia's next flight after STS-107, where they really planning to strap Columbia with an ODS and send it to the ISS?

Yes, of course. It would have carried about three tons less than its "sister" flight, STS-116, but it would have flown.

"Third starboard truss segment" sounds impressive until you actually see it... S5 and P5 were actually "short spacers" that fit over the mast cannisters at the ends of S4 and P4 to allow the S6 and P6 segments to be attached.
JRF

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #2 on: 04/17/2011 03:40 am »
I knew that, seems to be the payload was virtually identical to the STS-118 that actually flew with the SpaceHab & ITS S5 in Aug. 2007. But would STS-118A (as referred to online) have carried a SpaceHab up? Pretty sad that the flight before Columbia was suppose to get her first look at a space station didn't make it home.

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Offline Jorge

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #3 on: 04/17/2011 04:59 am »
I knew that, seems to be the payload was virtually identical to the STS-118 that actually flew with the SpaceHab & ITS S5 in Aug. 2007. But would STS-118A (as referred to online) have carried a SpaceHab up?

Yes, and an ICC, in addition to S5. But unlike STS-116, the ICC would have been empty on the way up (it would have returned the EAS on the way down), and the Spacehab would also have carried less cargo up.
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Offline Skylon

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #4 on: 04/18/2011 09:14 pm »
Any credibility to the rumor this was the flight CNN's Miles O'Brien would have ended up on?

I'm rather skeptical about that claim as I thought Columbia's planned crew of six for STS-118 was driven by weight constraints and why, when it ultimately flew with Endeavour, the crew size was increased to seven. Not to mention it sounds like too much of a media circus to have a reporter plus the "teacher" (Barbara Morgan) on one flight.

Nobody clearly felt Columbia was the optimal orbiter for the job. I recall reading that it was hoped Discovery would be back from its OMDP to fly STS-118, but when it clear it would not, it was decided Columbia was going to be pressed to fly the mission.

To address a question from the original post, yes Columbia was also manifested for two more HST servicing missions (at the time, STS-122 and STS-128, with no crews named). Columbia was essentially pointed at any flights not to ISS (of which very few were scheduled).

It's a shame as an ISS trip would have allowed some views of Columbia fully in her element...space. There are clear photos of her four sisters in orbit, but not Columbia.

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #5 on: 04/18/2011 09:36 pm »
I found the old mission manifest for the shuttle after STS-107 from wiki and astronautix and I found this particularly interesting.

This would have been Columbia's next flight after STS-107, where they really planning to strap Columbia with an ODS and send it to the ISS? I also see there are two cancelled HST missions that were on the manifest too, to be flown by Columbia.


She already had all her ODS equipment... it was installed on her during her OMDP before STS-109. It was always planned that Columbia would fly at least one ISS mission. She would not have been "strapped" with an ODS. She already had it.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #6 on: 04/18/2011 10:22 pm »
I read somewhere that Columbia was too heavy to fly to ISS or Mir for major construction or resupply. This would have been Columbia's next flight after STS-107, where they really planning to strap Columbia with an ODS and send it to the ISS? I also see there are two cancelled HST missions that were on the manifest too, to be flown by Columbia.

Orbiter

Columbia would have done mostly Non ISS flights hence the Hubble servicing missions. Columbia was modified such that it had the orbiter extended duration kit and could stay on orbit longer than her sisters. Endeavor originally had this modification, but it was removed so that Endeavor could carry more cargo to the ISS.

It wasn't that Columbia couldn't get to the ISS, just that she would not be able to carry anywhere near as much as her sisters. She could carry some lightweight cargo and crew. The modifications done before STS107 were needed to allow Columbia to get to the ISS and reduced her weight a bit.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2011 10:23 pm by pathfinder_01 »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #7 on: 04/18/2011 10:29 pm »
She already had all her ODS equipment... it was installed on her during her OMDP before STS-109. It was always planned that Columbia would fly at least one ISS mission. She would not have been "strapped" with an ODS. She already had it.

Not quite, still would have needed the external airlock with the ODS ring, since she still had the internal airlock for STS-109/107

Offline Wayne Hale

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #8 on: 04/18/2011 10:44 pm »
Using Columbia to deliver parts to the ISS was part of the famous requirement by the NASA administrator to finish the ISS by 2004.  It would have worked, but it wasn't optimum.  Just another symptom of how hard the team was being pushed by the Washington political process in those days.  Some things never change. . . .

Offline Mark Dave

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #9 on: 04/18/2011 10:45 pm »
This would have made an amazing mission.


Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #10 on: 04/18/2011 10:47 pm »
She already had all her ODS equipment... it was installed on her during her OMDP before STS-109. It was always planned that Columbia would fly at least one ISS mission. She would not have been "strapped" with an ODS. She already had it.

Not quite, still would have needed the external airlock with the ODS ring, since she still had the internal airlock for STS-109/107

But the ODS was there. She would not have had to have been "strapped" with an ODS.

Offline psloss

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #11 on: 04/18/2011 10:53 pm »

But the ODS was there. She would not have had to have been "strapped" with an ODS.
I'm confused (in a severe trivia kind of way) -- she was probably 'scarred' during the OMDP for it, but she didn't fly with an external airlock on either 109 or 107, just her internal one.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2011 10:54 pm by psloss »

Online DaveS

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #12 on: 04/18/2011 10:57 pm »

But the ODS was there. She would not have had to have been "strapped" with an ODS.
I'm confused (in a severe trivia kind of way) -- she was probably 'scarred' during the OMDP for it, but she didn't fly with an external airlock on either 109 or 107, just her internal one.

This is correct. 109 and 107 was flown with the standard internal airlock. I'm not sure if she would have flown both the internal airlock and external airlock on 118 similar to the configuration Atlantis flew the Mir missions in or if they would have removed her internal airlock and go with just the external airlock.
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Offline psloss

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #13 on: 04/18/2011 11:03 pm »
I'm not sure if she would have flown both the internal airlock and external airlock on 118 similar to the configuration Atlantis flew the Mir missions in or if they would have removed her internal airlock and go with just the external airlock.
In order to meet the schedule that Wayne referred to, for the 'Core Complete' milestone, likely the former.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2011 11:03 pm by psloss »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #14 on: 04/18/2011 11:42 pm »
Yes, and an ICC, in addition to S5. But unlike STS-116, the ICC would have been empty on the way up (it would have returned the EAS on the way down), and the Spacehab would also have carried less cargo up.

So I take it ESP-3 was not manifested on this flight but was added later.  When was it originally supposed to fly?

Offline Jorge

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Re: Columbia on STS-118
« Reply #15 on: 04/19/2011 01:42 am »
Yes, and an ICC, in addition to S5. But unlike STS-116, the ICC would have been empty on the way up (it would have returned the EAS on the way down), and the Spacehab would also have carried less cargo up.

So I take it ESP-3 was not manifested on this flight but was added later.  When was it originally supposed to fly?

At the time Columbia was lost, there were no ESPs on the manifest past ESP-2. ESP-3 first appeared on the June 24, 2004 manifest, on STS-136 with a launch date of July 9, 2009 (at the time, there were still 28 post-RTF missions planned, and STS-141 was the last flight). ESP-3 bounced around several missions before landing on STS-118 on the March 21, 2004 manifest.
JRF

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