Author Topic: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business  (Read 33027 times)

Offline Ares67

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Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #1 on: 01/17/2012 08:03 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #2 on: 01/17/2012 08:07 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #3 on: 01/17/2012 08:12 PM »
After the cancellation of STS 51-E Challenger had been refitted with the new payload – Spacelab 3. Leaving the OPF on April 10, the orbiter was attached to the external tank in the VAB the following day. On April 15 Challenger once again stood on the launch pad. On April 18 the 51-B crew performed the countdown test and went straight into crew quarantine.

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #4 on: 01/17/2012 08:14 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #5 on: 01/17/2012 08:17 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #6 on: 01/17/2012 08:20 PM »
The 51-B crew (minus one) was being joined by Gerry Griffin, George Abbey, Robert Crippen and Paul Weitz at one point during their quarantine at Johnson Space Center. Minus one? Yes, for Lodewijk van den Berg it really meant isolation. Because he had contracted a slight cold, he was separated from the rest of the crew for several days.

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #7 on: 01/17/2012 08:22 PM »
“Hi, guys, don’t leave me back here!” -  No, the health issue would be solved in time and indeed Lodewijk van den Berg would become the first astronaut from the Netherlands. The press would concentrate on Wubbo Ockels, flying on the STS 61-A/Spacelab D1 mission later that year. But although he became a U.S. citizen in 1974, van den Berg had been born in Sluiskil, The Netherlands in 1932 and had studied chemical engineering at the Technical University at Delft until receiving an M.S. in 1961. So: “Niet Wubbo maar Lodewijk was Nederlands allereerste ruimtevaarder!” ;)

And on that note: The second 51-B PS, Taylor Wang, was born in Shanghai in 1940, grew up in Taiwan and had received U.S. citizenship in the early 1960s. So forget Shenzhou 5 and Yang Liwei – the first Chinese born astronaut flew on an American Space Shuttle. But I don’t know how to say that in Chinese… ;D

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #8 on: 01/17/2012 08:27 PM »
April 26: Six crewmembers of Challenger's seven-man team arrived at KSC at 5:25 p.m. EST, just hours after the countdown for the April 29 launch began. Those arriving were Pilot Frederick Gregory, mission specialists Norman Thagard, William Thornton and Don Lind and payload specialists Taylor Wang and Lodewijk van den Berg. Workers spent most of the day continuing to ready Challenger for its flight; the 55-hour countdown, complete with several built-in holds, began at noon. (TODAY, April 27, 1985)

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #9 on: 01/17/2012 08:31 PM »
I could not find out why Bob Overmyer was late – he arrived the following day –, but he wasn’t the only crewmember missing during that arrival ceremony at the SLF. There were 26 other rookie “astronauts” preparing for mission 51-B a few blocks away. As part of a life sciences payload two squirrel monkeys and 24 male albino rats were to join the crew on their flight – they even would board the spacecraft before the real astronauts.

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #10 on: 01/17/2012 08:33 PM »
If you ever wondered how they put the animals into the Spacelab rack on the launch pad, just have a look at that…

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #11 on: 01/17/2012 08:36 PM »
The cute monkeys of course got a lot of media coverage. The astronauts accepted them as part of their mission, although there was some concern because these animals are known carriers of the herpes virus. In his book “Space Shuttle Challenger – Ten Journeys into the Unknown” author Ben Evans states: “Both monkeys were free of various specified pathogens and, six month before launch, it was mandated that they should also be free of antibodies to the Herpes saimiri virus. Although the latter was not known to cause disease in either squirrel monkey or human carriers, it was noted that problems had been documented in other species and a worldwide search found five Herpes saimiri-free primates. Due to time limitations, NASA only had the opportunity to prepare two of them for microgravity exposure and properly train them to reach the food pellets and activate the water taps in their cages.”

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #12 on: 01/17/2012 08:38 PM »
Another aspect of the monkey business – among some graphic comments I will not quote here – is mentioned by Mike Mullane in his book “Riding Rockets” (p. 218): ‘… one of the post-docs was able to shoulder in a valid question. “Why don’t they just fly clean monkeys?” The presenter replied, “It’s difficult and expensive to find herpes-free monkeys.” Then he added, “They think there’s a greater chance of the shuttle exploding than the crew contracting herpes.” The scientists were right. Nobody on the 51-B crew would be worried about catching herpes from a monkey while sitting on four million pounds of propellant.’

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #13 on: 01/17/2012 08:42 PM »
Unlike the early days of the space program, when space bound animals had been given names by NASA, the two monkeys the Ames Research Center had selected for Spacelab 3 were only designated as “No. 3165” and “No. 384-80”.

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #14 on: 01/17/2012 08:44 PM »
In an interview with Space Flight News Commander Bob Overmyer explained: “I don’t think the American public would have been too concerned if some of the rats had died. But pictures of the monkeys got about and we received lots of mail as a result of the media coverage. I would not let the crew name the monkeys – not even unofficially. We called them ‘Specimen No. 1’ and ‘Specimen No. 2’. If something should happen to them I didn’t want the public to come down heavily upon us because some personalized monkey friend of ours had died.”

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #15 on: 01/17/2012 08:47 PM »
April 28: A confident panel of NASA experts pronounced Challenger, on its Spacelab cargo and two satellites "go for launch," praising the processing team who readied the shuttle for flight only ten days after Discovery's recent landing. They said that they had expanded today's launch window to 2:39 p.m. EST from noon. Jesse Moore, NASA shuttle chief, said: "We're showing the thumbs-up sign now." The launch forecast is "excellent," said Air Force Capt. Art Thomas; he was delivering his last shuttle weather forecast before taking a new assignment in Spain. NASA determined that the 9-volt household-type batteries needed to assist in the liftoff of two privately developed satellites from the cargo bay would be reliable. (TODAY, April 29, 1985)
« Last Edit: 01/17/2012 08:48 PM by Ares67 »

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #16 on: 01/17/2012 08:51 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #17 on: 01/17/2012 08:58 PM »
April 29, 1985 - Launch Day

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #18 on: 01/17/2012 09:00 PM »
PAO: This is Shuttle Launch Control at T-3 hours and holding. On the NASA TV circuits we’ve joined the astronaut crew in the process of having their breakfast and lunch. Breakfast and lunch this morning because we have a “Gold” and a ”Silver Team”. The “Gold Team” is lead by Commander Bob Overmyer, the “Silver Team” is lead by Pilot Fred Gregory, and they are dressed in their gold and silver outfits this morning. The “Silver Team” was actually awakened at 1:30 this morning, and the “Gold Team” was awakened just a half hour ago at 7:30. Taylor Wang is a member of the “Gold Crew”, Lodewijk van den Berg is a member of the “Silver Team”. And all the other crew members, including Don Lind, William Thornton and Norman Thagard are also in the breakfast area.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2012 09:10 PM by Ares67 »

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Re: Challenger STS 51-B (Spacelab 3) / Monkey Business
« Reply #19 on: 01/17/2012 09:03 PM »

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