Author Topic: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night  (Read 151456 times)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #520 on: 05/31/2015 10:40 PM »
September 5: LABOR DAY PICNIC
Heat exhaustion brought more than 150 people to the first aid station at KSC's Labor Day picnic attended by 14,000 employees, invited guests and their families. KSC Director Dick Smith, addressing the crowd before Vice President George Bush's turn to speak, said KSC has "the best darn government/contractor team in the world." NASA Administrator Jim Beggs echoed Smith's remarks, saying "our people are our most important and most precious resource." NASA employee John King said Bush's positive statements raised hopes among many space workers about a proposed American space station.

"Thanks to every one of you, the five-man crew of the Challenger has blazed a new path of opportunity for all Americans and free people everywhere," Vice President George Bush said. The Vice President lost no opportunity for heaping scorn on the Soviet Union. Searching for adjectives at times, Bush repeatedly interrupted his prepared remarks to make references to the "cowardly incident" in which a Korean airliner was shot down by a Soviet fighter plane in the previous week. It was this incident which kept President Reagan from making an appearance at the KSC Labor Day affair. (Crook/Yacenda/Delaney, Today, Sep. 6, 1983 – edited)


A Mistake of Consequence

Question: "If the Soviet Union bears no guilt in this affair, as you have said today, why have you not yet told your own people that 269 people died?"

"How would we know how many people were aboard this plane? We were not estimating at all that we were dealing with a passenger plane… This is a piece of information known to those who staged the flight. Let them figure it out on their own."

- Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, Soviet Chief of Staff, September 9, 1983


“I could see two rows of windows, which were lit up. I wondered if it was a civilian aircraft. Military cargo planes don’t have such windows. I wondered what kind of plane it was. But I had no time to think. I had a job to do. I started to signal to him in international code. I informed him that he violated our air space. He did not respond. My orders were to destroy the intruder. I fulfilled my mission.”

- Col. Gennadi Osipovitch, Soviet Air Force pilot, CNN documentary “Cold War,” 1998


“We came to the conclusion that we simply needed to be honest and admit an unfortunate incident has occurred; it was a pilot error, bad weather, one thing led to another. It was not a preplanned action. No one wanted this. It was a tragic mistake. We went to (Georgi) Korninenko, the Deputy Foreign Minister, who agreed with us. But he was not able to convince the leadership. This was a question of prestige – and the military don’t like to admit mistakes.”

- Sergei Tarasenko, Soviet Foreign Ministry, CNN documentary “Cold War,” 1998


(By Ronald W. Reagan)

If the Free World needed any more evidence… that it was facing an evil empire, we got it… when a Russian military plane cold-bloodedly shot down a Korean Airliner... This crime against humanity not only set back my attempt at “quiet diplomacy” with the Kremlin, but put virtually all our efforts to improve Soviet-American relations on hold. When (General Secretary Yuri) Andropov finally admitted that Soviet fighters had downed the jumbo jet, he claimed the massacre was justified because the Korean Airlines Boeing 747 was flying through Soviet airspace on a “spy mission” for the United States. I was outraged.

We determined, based on the circumstances of the incident, that the crew of Flight 007, which originated in New York City and refueled at Anchorage, Alaska, en route to Seoul, apparently set the computer on the plane’s automatic pilot system incorrectly, allowing it to stray north into Soviet airspace instead of flying toward Japan. The further they went, the further off course their mistake led them, and the crew was apparently never aware of what had gone wrong. Their transmissions also indicated that they had no idea Soviet planes were stalking them high above the North Pacific.

Although an American reconnaissance plane based in Alaska had made a regular patrol in the general area (outside Soviet airspace) a few hours earlier, none of our planes were in the area at the time of the incident, and there was absolutely no basis for Andropov’s claim that the Korean jetliner was an American reconnaissance aircraft. We knew from the intercepted communications that the Soviet pilots flew near the 747 for two and a half hours under a bright half-Moon and it seemed impossible that, based on its size and insignia, they did not realize they were tracking a jumbo jet commercial airliner. But they shot it down anyway – and Soviet leaders never retreated from the claim that the pilots believed they were shooting at a spy plane.

I cut short my California vacation and returned to Washington, and as soon as we landed I called a special evening meeting of the National Security Council at which we decided to ask our allies to join us in imposing sanctions and demanding reparations for the victims’ families… I called key congressional leaders to the Oval Office on Sunday morning, September 4, and played a tape recording of the voice of one of the Soviet pilots as he said he was arming his plane’s air-to-air missile system, locking its radar antenna onto his target, and launching his missile, after which he said: “The target is destroyed.”


Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #521 on: 05/31/2015 10:42 PM »
The next day was Labor Day. I’d planned to spend most of it beside the White House swimming pool. Instead, I spend it in damp swimming trunks sitting on a towel in my study rewriting a speech on the incident sent to me by the White House speech writers. Although I used a few of its paragraphs, I rewrote most of the speech so I could give my unvarnished opinion of the barbarous act and also present verbatim some of the recorded communications of the Soviet pilots before their kill. I wanted to show the American people the utter callousness of this act. Then I changed into a blue suit and delivered my speech to the nation:

“Make no mistake about it,” I said, “this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea. This was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere. It was an act of barbarism, born in a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations… We shouldn’t be surprised by such inhuman brutality. Memories come back of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, the gassing of villages in Afghanistan. If the massacre and their subsequent conduct is intended to intimidate, they have failed their purpose.”


Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #522 on: 05/31/2015 10:44 PM »
In response to the incident, we imposed new restrictions on U.S. landing rights for Aeroflot, the Soviet airline, and suspended implementation of several bilateral agreements with the Soviet Union. Several conservative columnists took after me, saying that I should have been even tougher on the Russians and that in not doing so I betrayed the conservative cause. But our arms control talks were near the threshold of an important new phase – and while I wanted to call a spade a spade, I didn’t want to smother the nuclear arms reducing process before it had a chance to get started.

If anything, the KAL incident demonstrated how close the world had come to the precipice and how much we needed nuclear arms control: If, as some people speculated, the Soviet pilots simply mistook the airliner for a military plane, what kind of imagination did it take to think of a Soviet military man with his finger close to a nuclear push button making an even more tragic mistake? If mistakes could be made by a fighter pilot, what about a similar miscalculation by the commander of a missile launch crew?

Yet, if somebody made that kind of mistake – or a madman got possession of a nuclear missile – we were defenseless against it. Once a nuclear missile was launched, no one could recall it, and until we got something like the Strategic Defense Initiative system in operation, the world was helpless against nuclear missiles.

Shocked as I was by the ruthless attack on the plane, it gave me an opportunity to remind people of what the atrocity revealed about the Soviet government and its totalitarian way of life. The shooting down of KAL Flight 007 gave badly needed impetus in Congress to the rearmament program and postponed, at least for a while, attempts to gut our efforts to restore American military might.

(Ronald Reagan, “An American Life, Simon and Schuster 1990 – edited)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Able_Archer_83



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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #523 on: 05/31/2015 10:45 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #524 on: 05/31/2015 10:46 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #525 on: 05/31/2015 10:46 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #526 on: 05/31/2015 10:48 PM »
Part Four: STS-8 – BUMPS ON THE HIGH ROAD (Post-Flight Events)


“I think we’ve had a good vehicle for eight flights now. I think we’re getting better, and I think the machine is going to get better. And I think we’re operational. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it… We tend to plan flights as if the flight previous is going to work fine, and it did, and I would hope that as a result of that we don’t have any changes to the next flight.”

- STS-8 Flight Director Jay Greene, Sep. 4, 1983



September 7: AND THE WINNER IS… LOCKHEED 
Lockheed Corp., challenger to incumbent Rockwell International, was awarded the largest space service contract ever when NASA declared it the winner of the $6 billion Shuttle Processing Contract (SPC). Lockheed planned to hire 85 to 90 percent of shuttle processing workers at Kennedy Space Center, but Lockheed Space Operations president Al Schroter said there would be "a few hundred" layoffs to cut costs. "It's a labor-intensive business," he said. "You can't make a cake without breaking some eggs."

Lockheed's team of contractors included Grumman Corp., Morton Thiokol, Inc. and Pan American World Services. KSC Director Dick Smith informed Lockheed of NASA's decision by phone at 3 p.m. EDT. The decision was made by NASA Administrator James Beggs. Lockheed was selected over the incumbent team headed by Rockwell Shuttle Operations, Inc. for the SPC because it was rated better in almost every area of "Mission Suitability," particularly in management, where Rockwell's proposal for a multi-company management approach was found to be "unsuitable," reported NASA Administrator James Beggs. He said Lockheed was the clear winner of the competition. Lockheed was also found to have offered the lower potential cost, a second criterion, and the Source Evaluation Board (SEB) said it had a high level of confidence in its assessment of probable cost.

Lockheed processed an average of 150 applications a day in its efforts to gear up for a NASA-Air Force contract to service the shuttle between flights, said Lockheed’s president. "We're going to pay the same salary to the people, providing they are doing the same work as before," Schroter said. "If they are hired to do something different, the pay will be different," During the months the company spent in preparing its contract proposal for NASA, Lockheed assembled employment data on each of the 6,000 workers at Kennedy Space Center. Al Schroter said the information covered each person's job assignment, shift, working hours, overtime pay and projected pay raises over the ensuing six years. The information also indicated which workers were covered under the 13 separate collective bargaining agreements at KSC. Schroter said Lockheed would honor all current union contracts. (Stein, The Orlando Sentinel, Sep. 8, 1983; Defense Daily, Sep. 20, 1983; Hodges, Today, Sep. 15, 1983 – edited))


September 8: THIRD SATCOM II-R LAUNCHED
All systems were "go" as RCA American Communications successfully launched its third advanced domestic communications satellite, the SATCOM II-R. The launch atop a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Pad 17B came exactly on time at 6:52 p.m. EDT. By the time the Delta finally disappeared from view, it was 65 miles high, 244 miles out over the Atlantic, and traveling at more than 11,600 miles per hour. The advanced type SATCOM IIR successfully employed the PAM (Payload Assist Module) upper-stage booster rocket for this launch. (Yacenda, Today, Sep. 9, 1983)


September 9: CHALLENGER IN EXCELLENT SHAPE
At 6:57 p.m. EDT, following a stop at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, the Space Shuttle Challenger, riding atop her 747 carrier plane, returned to Kennedy Space Center. Crews immediately started work on separating the two crafts, a process they estimated would take about twelve hours and culminate in a return to the Orbiter Processing Facility. The four-day turnaround time between Edwards Air Force Base and Kennedy Space Center was the quickest ever for the shuttle, according to KSC officials.

Work at Edwards had been delayed sixteen hours as a result of the need to drain manifolds associated with the two RCS thrusters which had experienced minor leaks on orbit. This potentially hazardous activity could not be done when other post-flight ground activities were being accomplished. Whilst the orbiter was still at Edwards, the experiments hardware was removed from Challenger, as were the vehicle’s brakes, which were returned to the manufacturer. A brake rotor had shattered on STS-7, but it was found that this time the brakes were fine and even the tires showed no sign of wear.

Challenger had now logged over seventeen days in flight in three successive missions. Looking none the worse for its journey, NASA officials said OV-099 sustained the least damage of any flight so far. "It's in excellent shape," said Herman "Fritz" Widick, the shuttle's ground operations manager in California who accompanied the shuttle to KSC aboard the 747 carrier. Widick said one engine would have to be replaced due to a minor leak in a fuel line that most likely occurred during engine shutdown. "That's no problem," he said. "It might take 24 hours to do it."

Overall the Thermal Protection system looked better after STS-8 than any previous flight. The launch impact damage to the lower surface was significantly less than any previous flights and no lower-surface tile required replacement because of impact damage. However, four tiles on the OMS pod forward section, two tiles on the upper body flap, and one tile on the right-hand aft RCS base region had to be replaced because of impact damage. Very minor tile slumping had occurred on three tiles behind the nose cap.

The four AFRSI (Advanced Felt Reusable Surface Insulation) test samples sustained no visual degradation. The fabric insulation around main engine 3 was breached with a tear about three feet in length, very similar to the occurrence of main engine 1 and 2 on STS-7. Instances of slight overtemperatures of AFRSI occurred along some locations on the left-hand OMS pod. The lower row of tiles on the inboard side of the outboard elevon slumped further (initially slumped on STS-7) and were breached in two locations on the left side. The left elevon was significantly worse than the right elevon, apparently because of several gap fillers dislodging, which aggravated the heating.

Tile slumping had occurred on the leading-edge lower access panel between panels 6 and 7. The AFRSI repairs on the outboard lower section of both aft RCS pods were degraded slightly. The nose cap and wing leading edge carbon panels did not have any visual degradation.

(Stanley, Today, Sep. 10, 1983; STS-8 NSTS Program Mission Report, JSC-19278, Oct. 1983; David Shayler, “Shuttle Challenger,” Prentice Hall Press, 1987 – edited)


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #527 on: 05/31/2015 10:50 PM »
September 12: LIVE CELLS RETURNED FROM STS-8
Living cells sent up for tests on the latest Space Shuttle flight, STS-8, were still alive when the shuttle landed on Labor Day as McDonnell Douglas officials and Washington University researchers had hoped.

McDonnell Douglas Astronautics and Washington University jointly planned a shuttle test to separate live cells in the experimental continuous flow electrophoresis apparatus (CFES). University researchers are studying cell implantation for diabetes treatment; this experiment is part of that research project.

MDAC’s James Rose and the university’s David Scharp have reported that the cells tested in the CFES device survived the space trip, a MDAC spokeswoman said last week. Preliminary indications are that the test yielded separation rates just about at the levels MDAC and university researchers projected, the spokeswoman said.

The separated cells returned from STS-8 will require up to four more months of testing to determine whether they are still capable of producing hormones and enzymes as anticipated, she said. MDAC also tested some cells for NASA on this shuttle flight. Meanwhile, the company’s scaled-up, commercial prototype CFES apparatus should be completed soon, for operation on STS-12 next spring, the spokes woman noted. (Space Business News, Sep. 12, 1983 – edited)


DRUG REFINING METHOD NOT EXPLOITED YET
Drug companies eyeing the tight grip that McDonnell Douglas Astronautics and Johnson & Johnson hold on a key purification process have an alternative method available. The other method, isoelectric focusing (ISF), isn’t restricted by the NASA-McDonnell Douglas agreements that apply to continuous flow electrophoresis (CFE). The agreements give McDonnell Douglas exclusive use of CFE on the Space Shuttle under NASA’s joint-endeavor free-flight program. Companies wanting to se CFE would have to pay NASA full-fare prices to loft their equipment at the same time McDonnell Douglas is getting free flights.

But the first company to sign up for the isoelectric focusing method also will qualify for six or eight no-charge shuttle flights. The ISF process offers some important advantages and a basic drawback when compared to CFE. According to Dr. Milan Bier of the University of Arizona, one advantage is that ISF offers much higher “resolution” in separating complex proteins. Materials being separated or purified can be run through the process repeatedly, allowing the mechanism to recover from occasional spacecraft jolts that cause monetary loss of zero-gravity conditions.

The major drawback is that ISF will not work on living cells, Bier said. The two purification/separation processes are complementary rather than competitive, with the choice of one depending upon the product sought, Bier noted.

CFE uses a uniform buffer solution to carry a stream of materials through a chamber. And lectric field applied across the chamber causes the stream to spread into separate components based on their different mobilities in an electric field. ISF uses several buffer solutions with varying levels of acidity. Proteins tend to migrate toward the particular buffer solution that matches their “isoelectric point,” Bier said. The proteins will seek out a buffer solution where the density of negative and positive charges per molecule matches their own, resulting in a neutral charge when compared to the solution. (Space Business News, Sep. 12, 1983 – edited)


September 18: SOVIET ORBITAL COMPLEX “IN PRETTY BAD SHAPE”
During September cosmonauts Vladimir Lyakhov and Aleksandr Aleksandrov on the Salyut 7-Soyuz T-9-Progress 17 complex continued geophysical observations using photography and spectrometry from orbit. They loaded used equipment on Progress 17 and undocked it September 17 at 3:44 p.m. Moscow time; Tass reported that it “ceased to exist” in the atmosphere the next day. The Cosmos 1443 module, which had separated from the orbital complex on August 14, also burned up in the Earth atmosphere September 18. A bit earlier the now unmanned Cosmos 1443 had ejected a recoverable descent capsule, containing film material and some experimental equipment. The descent capsule had safely touched down near Arkalyk on August 23.

By this time, Salyut 7 was in pretty bad shape, propellant leaks leaving the station with little maneuverability. Salyut’s back-up main engine was also crippled and a solar panel failure had reduced solar power. A major incident occurred on September 9 during the refueling operations by Progress 17. A Salyut fueling line used to feed oxidizer from the Progress to the Salyut ruptured. With only half of the 32 thrusters working, it seemed likely Salyut would have to be abandoned, but a decision was made to work around that problem and let the current mission continue while options for repair were evaluated. (Astronautics and Aeronautics 1979-1984, A Chronology, NASA-SP-4024, 1989; Tim Furniss/David J. Shayler/Michael D. Shayler, “Praxis Manned Spaceflight Log 1961-2006,” Springer/Praxis 2007 – edited)


September 22: AN ESPECIALLY LOUD LAUNCH
Hughes Communications, Inc. successfully launched its Galaxy II satellite aboard a Delta rocket at 6:16 p.m. EST from Pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The vehicle was visible for just 12 seconds after engine ignition due to the heavy cloud cover over the launch site. That cloud cover also helped focus the rocket's engine noise so that it was an especially loud one to observers on the ground.

The Galaxy spacecraft, built by Hughes Aircraft for the company's wholly owned communications subsidiary, will serve the telecommunication needs of large corporations, long-haul carriers and broadcasters. One-half of the satellite's 24 transponders already have been sold to MCI Communications Corp. for use in an industrial educational network. Programs to be carried on the network will be televised to employees and customers for such purposes as internal communication and product familiarization. A portion of one transponder has been bought by IBM for that company's business communication needs, and the remainder of the craft's capacity is for sale. (Yacenda, Today, Sep. 23, 1983)


September 23: A STRANGE NEW SYSTEM
Today NASA instituted a new Space Shuttle launch designation system effective October 1, 1983, to replace the former simple numbering system (STS-1, STS-2, etc.) Under the new system, each shuttle launch was to be designated by a three-tier system, with the first number standing for the fiscal year (e.g., fiscal 1984, "4"); the second number for the launch site, with Kennedy Space Center designated "1" and Vandenberg AFB "2", and the third, a letter corresponding to the launch number of the flight for that fiscal year from a launch site (e.g., "A" for the first flight of the year, "B" for the second, etc.) The change was said to reflect concern over the confusion caused by postponement of flights such as the STS-10 DOD mission, and avoidance of an STS-13 or future "13's."

Many years later, veteran astronaut John Young wrote, “One of the legacies of the Beggs administration that I didn’t much care for was a strange new numbering system for shuttle. Looking down the road just a bit, maybe Jim didn’t want to see a shuttle flight numbered STS-13. Hadn’t Apollo 13 shown that thirteen simply was what everyone always thought it was, an unlucky number? So to avoid that bad luck, some say, NASA Headquarters changed the numbering system – and it wasn’t going to wait until STS-13 rolled around to do it; that would look too scaredy-cat. No, by golly, the tenth shuttle flight was not going to be STS-10; it was going to be STS-41. Correct that, 41-A. Why 41-A? Only Headquarters knew for sure.”

 “So there you had it, sports fans,” Young continued. “STS 41-A, scheduled – originally – to be the first launch of the fiscal year 1984 from KSC. Problem for the numerators was, STS 41-A didn’t wind up being first. STS 41-B, lifting off on February 3, 1984, did turn out to be the second launch of the fiscal year, but STS-9, the previous mission, had been delayed long enough that it could not manage to get off the ground until November 28, 1983; that actually made it the first launch of FY 1984.”

He added, “As it turned out, STS-10 aka STS 41-A never flew anyway, not even after it became 41-E, as it was cancelled a couple times because of delays with its payload. The crew was supposed to go up with it, the top- secret DOD mission led by T.K. Mattingly, eventually launched as STS 51-C in January 1985.”

“And you thought rocket science was complicated!” quipped Young.

(Defense Daily, Sep. 23, 1983; John W. Young/James R. Hansen, “Forever Young,” University Press of Florida, 2012 – edited)


September 27: INDIAN SATELLITE GETS FINAL TEST
The balky Indian satellite that refused to unfold its energy-collecting solar panel has been fixed and is undergoing final tests before being put in service next month as India's first commercial space system, Indian scientists said today. ''This is our first workhorse satellite,'' Dr. Vasantha Sastry, deputy director of the project, said in a telephone interview. ''So far, after some minor hang-ups, everything seems to be working well.''

The satellite, called Insat-1B, for the Indian National Satellite system, developed a snag after it was deployed August 31 by the Space Shuttle Challenger. The satellite's large solar panel failed to extend into space when controllers in Hassan, India, sent a signal from the ground station. The solar panel was critical for the steady generation of electrical power.

Engineers from Ford Aerospace in Palo Alto, California, which manufactured the $60 million satellite, worked feverishly to free the solar gear earlier this month. At first they tried to jog the panel loose by firing the satellite's thruster jet, but that failed. They succeeded in unleashing the panel September 10 by tilting the satellite so that sunlight hit it more directly, warming the metal parts that held the solar panel frozen to the side of the satellite. ''The temperature went from about 40 below to around 77 degrees above zero,'' said Denis E. Killen, program manager at Ford Aerospace. ''That was enough, and the panel deployed beautifully. We expect to complete in-orbit testing this Friday.''

The Indian satellite is the first commercial spacecraft to combine three distinct uses in one package: telecommunications, weather forcasting and television broadcasting. That combination makes it less expensive and quicker to achieve its complex goals. Indian scientists see it as crucial to the nation's efforts to bring space technology to bear on down-to-earth problems, such as beaming educational television to rural villages. It is also expected to improve the subcontinent's telephone system and to help produce more reliable weather forecasts. The Insat-1B satellite is in geosynchronous orbit, 22,300 miles above the Earth, where satellites seem to hang motionless. It is stationed roughly above the equator, south of Bombay. (William J. Broad, The New York Times, Sep. 28, 1983 – edited)


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #528 on: 05/31/2015 10:52 PM »
Something Just Broke…

The New York Times said that Soviet officials had “privately admitted” that one of their rockets exploded on the launch pad as three cosmonauts prepared to join the crew on orbiting space station Salyut 7 However, “in the absence of any public accounting of the incident,” questions remained as to the damage done to the Soviet Union’s space program or its effect on the mission of the crew now in their fourth month aboard Salyut 7.

The private sources said that the 160-foot A-2 rocket began to topple on the launch pad before its liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel exploded. The accounts were contradictory, some saying that a woman was in the crew and others that the crew was either injured or merely shaken up by the experience. The explosion could amount to a major setback, in view of a Soyuz crew’s failure to dock with the Salyut last April at the end of a “harrowing 17-hour struggle.”

The Washington Post said that the crew sustained “unspecified injuries” and that the event was important because the visitors to the Salyut would have returned to Earth in the capsule that took occupants Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Vladimir Lyakhov to the station June 28, leaving their module for the “permanent crew” to use on their return. No immediate concern was expressed about the latter, as the original capsule was still usable.

The New York Times reported October 18 that a Soviet official with direct contact to senior mission control that said two experienced cosmonauts were recuperating from effects of acceleration when emergency rockets blew their capsule clear of the exploding A-2 launch vehicle and that the crew did not include a woman. 


…AND HERE ARE THE FACTS

Fresh from their Soyuz T-8 abortive docking attempt with Salyut the previous April, Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov were paired for a possible long-duration mission later that year, swapping with Soyuz T-9’s Lyakov and Aleksandrov. When Salyut 7 began to malfunction, the Soyuz T-10 mission started to take on a repair status, with Titov and Strekalov trained to perform a spacewalk to place new solar panels on the outside of the station.

On September 27, 1983, at 1:36 a.m. local time at Baikonur, the countdown of the Soyuz rocket reached T minus 80 seconds and all seemed to be normal. A valve within the propellant system failed to close and the base of the booster caught fire. Gradually a large fire rose up the side of the booster and a massive explosion was imminent.

The Soyuz T abort system was damaged by the fire, however, and it was another ten seconds before the ground control team recognized that there was a serious problem. A back-up abort procedure was put into action by two ground controllers in separate rooms. Titov and Strekalov must have known that there was a problem, because the booster was by now pitching over 35 degrees and engulfed in flames. It could not be seen by the controllers. With barely a second remaining before the cosmonauts disappeared into the conflagration, the launch escape system at last sprang into life.

The descent and orbital modules of Soyuz T-10 were electronically severed from the instrument section inside the payload shroud and the twelve solid propellant rockets at the top of the escape tower ignited, producing a thrust of 80,000 kilograms (176,400 pounds). Titov and Strekalov were airborne, as the booster exploded. Pulling 18 G, the cosmonauts were powerless at first, then five seconds later, four aerodynamic panels were folded out to stabilize the strange projectile. Twenty-five smaller propellant rockets fired to maintain stabilization.

Instantly, the descent module containing Titov and Strekalov was severed and instantly fell out of the payload shroud at an altitude of about 1,050 meters (3,444 feet). The back-up parachute was deployed, because its swifter opening time was well-suited for the low-altitude opening, and the reentry heat shield deployed to expose the soft-landing rockets. Soyuz T-10 hit the ground about 3.2 kilometers (two miles) away, as the pad was a sea of flames, burning over twenty hours.

Totov and Strekalov were administered a stiff glass of vodka, but did not need hospital treatment. The experience did not put them off spaceflight, as each flew again, probably believing the old adage that lightning never strikes twice. That lightning had struck once took time to filter through to the west, for details were not released for some time.

(Astronautics and Aeronautics 1979-1984, A Chronology, NASA-SP-4024, 1989; Tim Furniss/David J. Shayler/Michael D. Shayler, “Praxis Manned Spaceflight Log 1961-2006,” Springer/Praxis 2007 – edited)


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #529 on: 05/31/2015 10:53 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #530 on: 05/31/2015 10:54 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #531 on: 05/31/2015 10:55 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #532 on: 05/31/2015 10:56 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #533 on: 05/31/2015 10:57 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #534 on: 05/31/2015 10:58 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #535 on: 05/31/2015 11:02 PM »
September 28: “EXCESSIVE EROSION” – BOOSTER ISSUE STILL BEING ANALYZED
Space Shuttle Columbia rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building shortly before noon EDT for its three and a half mile trek to launch pad 39A. Columbia arrived at the pad just after 5 p.m. EDT. At 6:08 p.m. EDT, Columbia and her launch platform were secured to the pad pedestals and crews began the task of hooking up electrical, mechanical and fluid supply lines, and checking them.

The shuttle's transfer from the VAB was delayed while mission managers analyzed data detailing "excessive erosion" on nozzles in the Solid Rocket Boosters used by Challenger in the previous shuttle flight, STS-8. That, coupled with a report that the nozzle in the right booster on Columbia had a defect, raised some concern among officials and set back the shuttle rollout, originally set to start at 7:30 a.m. "The extra the morning of the 28th inspecting the shuttle's two boosters for defects, Ball said. "We had what was first described as a crack in the protective wall lining the nozzle," he said. "It turned out to be a superficial machine mark that was easily repaired with some light sanding."

While Columbia appears in good shape now, mission managers are analyzing data showing the carbon lining on the inside walls of the nozzles of the boosters used on STS-8 showed "excessive erosion." "We went ahead with the rollout but that doesn't mean the issue of the boosters has gone away," Ball said. Mission managers haven't determined whether the boosters will have to be modified or if that work could be done on the pad, Ball said. (Stanley, Today, Sep. 29, 1983)


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #536 on: 05/31/2015 11:04 PM »
 September 29: SECOND TO NONE – SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY AT KSC
Only 16 of the thousands of NASA employees now working at KSC have been on the job continuously since the space agency opened its doors on October 1, 1958. Those 16 were honored with certificates and commemorative pins at a special anniversary ceremony at the space center's training auditorium. Making the presentations was center director Richard Smith, who also summarized major events of the agency's first quarter-century.

The 16 honored are: William S. Brosier; T. Bradley Curry, Jr.; William R. Dennis; H. Jack Grames; Charles J. Heckelmoser; Charles R. Hudecek; William F. Huseonica; John Janokaitis, Jr.; Edward S. Lesky; John J. McDonough; William R. Meyer; Hollis H. Neal; William D. Nowlin; William T. Sleeman; Michael A. Wedding; and Alfred N. Wiley, Jr.

Until the 28th, center officials believed that only seven KSC employees had been with the agency since its inception, but an amended computer check revealed nine additional such individuals, KSC chief spokesman Hugh Harris said. NASA Administrator James M. Beggs, appearing on videotape at the ceremony to present a
specially prepared anniversary message, called NASA's first quarter-century of achievement "just the beginning."

"We did not get to our present position of leadership in space by accident," he said. "We got there because we had the imagination to dream great dreams and the national will to fulfill them." Beggs, NASA Administrator since July 1981, cited a partnership of government, industry and universities built up over the years, for NASA's scientific and high-technology base, which he termed, "second to none."

Beggs used the occasion to praise the Space Shuttle and to lend support for the development of a space station, a leading theme for the agency chief. Part of the ceremony was presentation of a plaque by the National Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers recognizing the contributions of NASA and NASA contractors to the electrical and electronics engineering fields. The presentation was made by Rudolph Stampfl of the IEEE's Aerospace Electronics Systems Society. (Yacenda, Today, Sep. 30, 1983)

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #537 on: 05/31/2015 11:05 PM »
NASA at 25 – Let’s Have Some Cake!

“Looking back on it now, one cannot help but marvel at how far we have travelled in 25 short years… With a clear perception of the challenges NASA faced in the early days, the subsequent achievements are all the more impressive. In all of history, few nations have mustered the type of national will and talent which were required of America to go to the Moon, to make use of space, and to set up a routine Space Transportation System. That is a legacy we all have reason to be proud of.

We should also especially remember those whose lives were lost in the course of the space program… The loss we feel at their deaths should be tempered by the hope that we now have in the Space Shuttle, and all it represents for the future is a living memorial to their lives and careers. We should all pause for a moment and dedicate our efforts to their memory, and to the hope and belief that what we do here in our daily jobs will continue to have a profoundly beneficial impact on our country and our planet.”

- Gerald D. Griffin, Johnson Space Center Director, Sep. 30, 1983


A MODEL TO OTHERS

U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5111, proclaiming October 1, 1983, as the 25th anniversary of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  The President noted that the agency pioneered a space partnership that could serve as a model to others on how the different sectors of American society can work together. The proclamation said in part:

"America is justifiably proud of its accomplishments in aeronautics and in space research. In the 25 years since the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was created by an Act of Congress, our country and the world have witnessed an unsurpassed record of scientific and technical achievements, which has established the United States as the world leader in aerospace research and development.”

"The government-industry-university partnership, pioneered by NASA, has worked exceedingly well in aerospace research, providing a model to others on how the different sectors of American society can work together. This effort reflects America at its best: peacefully seeking knowledge and enlightenment, advancing technology for mankind's benefit, and organizing resources to accomplish great missions."


POTENTIAL AND ACCOMPLISMENTS

During the early afternoon of October 19, 1983, Mr. Reagan spoke on the main floor of the National Air and Space Museum; prior to his remarks, the President had viewed the IMAX movie “Hail Columbia” in the museum’s Samuel Langley Theater.

“Well, today we celebrate a 25th birthday,” Reagan said. “If it were the birthday of an individual, we would be marking an important milestone. At 25 a person begins to enter the most productive part of life, a time for which everything else has been just preparation for great achievements ahead. And today this is true for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA has accomplished so much. But on its 25th birthday, we celebrate our potential as well as our accomplishments.”

“Being here in the Air and Space Museum is a fitting environment for this commemoration. It offers us a perspective on how far we’ve come and should also help us catch a glimpse of the incredible possibilities that await us in the years ahead. For 25 years, NASA has been the focal point for an activity that is fundamental to the American character: blazing the trail to an exciting new frontier.”

“Historically, we’ve always been a people willing to take risks and dream great dreams. We weren’t the people who stayed on the shores of the Old World. Instead, we were the Italians, the Frenchmen, the Dutchmen, the men and women of every race, nationality, and religion who came here to push back the limits, and in the process become Americans one and all.”


THE AMERICAN SPIRIT

Reagan continued, “A little over 200 years ago, we embarked on the greatest experiment in human history with the founding of the first modern democracy. All of what we’ve accomplished can be traced to the energy and creativity that is unleashed when the human spirit is free. Americans have proven that there’s no mountain too high, forest too thick, desert too vast, or problem so perplexing that it can serve as a barrier to the progress of free men and women.”

“Our forefathers and mothers spread across this continent. When they reached the western shore, they didn’t stop. Early in this century, we built the Panama Canal and expanded the frontier of American commerce. Today that same spirit, the American spirit, is alive and well. There’s no better example of it than that which is found in NASA.”

“It was 25 years ago, when a 31-pound, cylinder-shaped satellite was launched – Explorer 1, the first American satellite. And later that year, NASA was formed to oversee our space efforts: to ensure our leadership in aerospace science, to enhance cooperation with other nations in the peaceful application of space technology, to expand human knowledge of the atmosphere and space, and to pursue the practical benefits gained from these activities in order to improve the lot of mankind.”


ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS

“Men and women of NASA: Well done!” Reagan told the assembled audience of several astronauts and other space agency employees. “Your accomplishments in these two and a half decades have already served your country and the people of this planet well. Today, we’re reaping the returns that we’ve realized from our investments in space. And let me add, when the figures are put together, we’re not only getting our money’s worth; our commitment to space has been one of the best investments we’ve ever made as a nation.”

“Communications satellites allow us cheaper and easier long-distance phone calls and live, worldwide television overseas and coverage worldwide. The value to our country created by this leap in communications is astronomical. Similarly, weather satellites are now a part of our daily routine. Countless lives are saved and property protected when weather emergencies are charted more accurately than ever before imagined. Navigation, search and rescue, and other such activities in the air and on the sea are aided by services that you’ve implanted in near space.”

“Through satellite remote-sensing we can find the location of new resources and better manage those we’re already using. At one time, the only thing people could think of as spinoff of our space effort was Teflon pans. In an era of high tech, all of us are now aware of what the technological advances we’ve made mean to our way of life. Computers and electronics are now indispensable to American economic progress and well-being.”

“And how does one put a dollar value on world peace? Certainly space technology has contributed enormously here as well. Our eyes-in-the-sky make us all a little safer. In the vital area of arms control, it’s opened new avenues to approach the issue of verification. These are all achievements to one degree or another that can be related to our commitment to exploring and utilizing space for benefit of mankind.”


MOMENTS OF UNITY – MOMENTS OF GREATNESS

“Yet, there’s something which I would like to add to the list,” said President Reagan, “something that can never be taken for granted in a society as free and richly diverse as ours.”

“We have holidays when we celebrate our freedom, but most of the time, we’re on our own as independent individuals. And that is, after all, what American liberty is all about. But there are moments that bind us together, moments of sadness and happiness that make us more than a conglomeration of people living in proximity to each other. The death of President John F. Kennedy was one such moment. The sight of an American POW stepping off a plane in the Philippines after years of captivity, saluting the flag, and hearing him proclaim. ‘God bless America,’ was another. These experiences – moments of unity – build our national soul and character.”

“Perhaps NASA’s greatest gifts have been the moments of greatness that you’ve allowed all of us to share. All of us – whether we were schoolteachers, actors, government employees, farmers, factory hands, secretaries, or the cop on the beat – all of us were along on those early Mercury missions. We were part of the NASA team launching probes into deep space to chart the unknown, to photograph the rings of Saturn and the surface of Mars. We were there, and our hearts were filled with such pride when Neil Armstrong, an American, the first person to set foot on the Moon, said, ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.’ And we saluted right along with him when he planted Old Glory in the lunar soil.”

“NASA’s done so much to galvanize out spirit as a people, to reassure us of our greatness and of our potential. In recent days the Space Shuttle has, as another NASA project before it… or other projects before it, captured our hearts and imaginations. Modern-day heroes like Sally Ride, Guy Bluford are emerging and inspiring new faith in our system and new hope for the future.”


HARD WORK AND A VISION OF THE FUTURE

“I was honored a year ago to be on hand to welcome the Space Shuttle Columbia when it returned from its mission and landed in the California desert on Independence Day,” Reagan recalled the landing of STS-4. “That was a day I and millions of other Americans will never forget.”

“I have to just tell you: One moment there in which with all the science and all the things that we can be told about and see, one simple sentence to me in answer to a question of mine seemed to bring all the wonder of it. How many times in the airplane you’ve known when you’re on the approach path and the airport is up there someplace ahead. And they hurried us up on the platform, because they said it was time to get up there, the shuttle was coming in. And they said it was on its approach. And I said, ‘Just where is it?’ And they said, ‘Just over Honolulu.’ The whole miracle was brought home to me right then.”

“The Space Shuttle, like your many other accomplishments, didn’t just happen. It’s the result of hard work and a vision of the future. The shortsighted were unable to understand. In fact, some individuals who would lead America today led the fight against the Space Shuttle system a decade ago. What you’ve proven with the success of this new transportation system is that there’s never a time when we can stop moving forward, when we can stop dreaming.”

« Last Edit: 05/31/2015 11:05 PM by Ares67 »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #538 on: 05/31/2015 11:06 PM »
THE COURAGE TO AIM HIGH

“Right now we’re putting together a national space strategy that will establish our priorities, guide and inspire our efforts in space for the next 25 years and beyond. It’ll embrace all three sectors of our space program – civil, commercial, and national security. The strategy should flow from the national space policy that I announced July 4 last year.”

NASA leaders had hoped that President Reagan would cap their 25th anniversary ceremonies in the National Air and Space Museum with the announcement that he would offer a positive public support for the initiation of the development of a space station. But he wasn’t yet ready for that. Instead, Reagan said, “We’re not just concerned about the next logical step in space. We’re planning an entire road, a ‘High Road’ if you will, that will provide us a vision of limitless hope and opportunity, that will spotlight the incredible potential waiting to be used for the betterment of humankind.”

“On this 25th anniversary, I would challenge you at NASA and the rest of America’s space community: Let us aim for goals that will carry us well into the next century. Let us demonstrate to friends and adversaries alike that America’s mission in space will be a quest for mankind’s highest aspiration – opportunity for individuals, cooperation among nations, and peace on Earth.”

“Your imagination and your ability to project into the future will open up new horizons and push back boundaries that limit our goals on this planet. The goals you set and your success in achieving them will have much to do with our children’s prosperity and safety and will determine if America remains the great nation it’s intended to be.”

“Don’t be afraid to remind the rest of us that once in a while being a leader in space is a very wonderful accomplishment. It has given us the wherewithal to share with others the fruits of our adventure. The American people know this and support it. And let’s continue to ensure that this program belongs to the people. Our strategy must demonstrate to them that through challenging the unknown and having courage to aim high, their own hopes, dreams, and aspirations will be fulfilled.”

“There are those who preach the doctrine of limited resources. They pessimistically suggest that we’re on the way to depleting all of what we have and that slowly the condition of humankind will deteriorate into a Malthusian catastrophe.”

“This pessimism cuts across the grain of the American character. Our history has been not of accepting what is, but striving and working with our sweat and our minds to create something better. By inventing and putting to use machines, we’ve improved our productivity and created enormous new wealth. By discovering medicines, we live longer. By improving our agriculture – with a big help from industry and science – our nutrition is improving.”


AN AMERICAN ERA

“In my lifetime, aviation has gone from those barnstorming pilots who landed their biplanes in pastures and took passengers aloft for ten minutes at ten dollars, to a massive industry that contributes so much to our national prosperity and way of life. By the time a young person born in the same year as NASA reaches my age, our way of life may be as much tied to space as it is today tied to aviation,” said the 72-year-old President.

“Private companies are already beginning to look to space. In this regard, the Space Shuttle program could well be compared to the first transcontinental railroad. And when profit motive starts into play, hold onto your hats. The world is going to see what entrepreneurial genius is all about and what it means to see America get going. The first 25 years of NASA opened a new era. Let us all rededicate ourselves today that NASA’s next 25 years will ensure that this new chapter in history will be an American era.”

“I thank you for having me with you today. God bless you,” Reagan said, turning to the massive birthday cake placed right beside the President’s lectern. “And I understand that I’m to make the first slice in that cake. And if it’ll just emphasize how far we’ve come… I remember when I was in the military as a reserve officer and we cut the cake with a cavalry saber.”

(“U.S. Space Program: Model for American Society,” Defense Daily, Oct. 4, 1983; Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Smithsonian 25th Anniversary Celebration of NASA, Oct. 19, 1983; “President Says A ‘High Road’ In Space Is Planned,” Defense Daily, Oct. 20, 1983 – edited)


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #539 on: 05/31/2015 11:07 PM »
The Right Stuff – Don’t expect a history lesson

I like the soundtrack though…    :)


(By Brian Welch)

“There’s a demon that lives out there around Mach 1,” the down-home, drawing voice says as cloud formations whiz by, “and they call it the sound barrier.”







So begins The Right Stuff, the much-hyped movie about astronauts, jet aces and rocket pilots, which has a sneak showing at the Galleria in Houston Monday night. The movie is true to the book of the same by Tom Wolfe, but unlike the book, it is short on historical veracity. Like the book, however, it is good entertainment.

The first fifteen minutes of the movie are darkly lit and almost surrealistic. A flight of one of the Bell X-1 aircraft ends with a black hole in the high California desert, and we are treated to a lonely funeral where a macabre official (presumably some grim functionary of the NACA – Who is this man?) croaks out a mournful hymn over the grave of a dead flier. In fact, none of the three X-1s crashed during the transonic flight program at Muroc, later renamed Edwards Air Force Base, and you have to keep repeating to yourself, “It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, and it sure isn’t history,” because it’s not.

Later, as condensation from the liquid fuel parts, our hero, super ace Captain Charles Yeager, played by Sam Shepard, sits on a horse and stares moodily at the X-1. It is a brute of an aircraft: short and stubby, built to ram through Mach 1 in the days before the Area Rule made it possible to finesse a delicately-designed machine through the mythical sound barrier.

There they are, horse, man and machine, staring at one another in one of the many scenes from this lengthy (three hours) movie, which should have ended up on the editing room floor.

Yeager makes his landmark flight of the X-1 with a couple of broken ribs, and when he finally does ram through the speed of sound, the sonic boom, which reverberates across the desert floor, is at first taken to be the sound of a distant crash. There are about three guys in black suits standing around, and we are meant to believe that they comprise officialdom, and that officialdom thinks its only X-1 (there were in fact three) is now a big black oily hole somewhere in the desert.

In fact, there were close to twenty engineers, instrument technicians and others from Langley Field who had been TDY at Muroc since September 1946. Known as the Muroc Flight Test Unit (which ultimately grew into the Dryden Flight Research Center), one can assume with a high degree of certainty that they had such necessities as telemetry, voice communication and a fairly advanced understanding of such things as sonic booms. But again, this is entertainment, not history.

Skip ahead what seems like three days (but is in fact about 90 minutes) and here’s John Glenn, one of the Original Seven Project Mercury astronauts, coming home from space in a fiery reentry, buffeted and compressed by nine g’s, and humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Again, this is entertainment. Not history.

Okay, so it’s not history, so what? Well, this movie is subtitled “How the future began,” and the whole idea here, the movie’s raison d’être, is to recreate the early days of manned rocket flight. It does not do that very accurately.

As entertainment, it is somewhat better. The movie has an earthly humorous tone in places which is enjoyable. It has excellent special effects of jet flight and spaceflight, although the space sequences are flawed in places. Looking out at the Earth during Glenn’s flight, for instance, we see in two of three brief scenes a sort of kaleidoscopic effect of shifting colors and lights, which is somewhat like peering through the bottom of a Coke bottle and, in the context of the other really beautiful representations of the Earth, has no apparent explanation. Stars twinkle in space here, and that also is a departure from real life.

But those are niggling points. Aside from its almost religious historical inaccuracy, its attempts at artistic cuts from scene to scene which really don’t work (such as a cloud deck dissolving into Sally Rand’s fans during a fan dance in the Houston Coliseum, and from Sally Rand’s fans back into a cloud deck, ad tedium); its Boy Scout dialogue (a lot of what people said publicly back then was Boy Scout, but it is all just a little too uncomfortable); and its intolerable length (there’s a lot of fill in this flick); the movie, in the words of one NASA official at the Houston premiere, “has its moments.”

That it does. If you work in the space program, or if you just have an interest in planes and rockets in general, you probably ought to go see this movie. You might even enjoy it.

But don’t go expecting a history lesson.

(Brian Welch, “The Right Stuff – Sally’s fans and cloudy decks do not a history make,” JSC Space News Roundup, Oct. 14, 1983)







http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Right_Stuff_(film)



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