Author Topic: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses  (Read 41945 times)

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #340 on: 10/09/2016 09:08 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #341 on: 10/09/2016 09:10 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #342 on: 10/09/2016 09:12 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #343 on: 10/09/2016 09:14 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #344 on: 10/09/2016 09:15 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #345 on: 10/09/2016 09:17 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #346 on: 10/09/2016 09:19 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #347 on: 10/09/2016 09:20 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #348 on: 10/09/2016 09:21 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #349 on: 10/09/2016 09:23 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #350 on: 10/09/2016 09:25 PM »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #351 on: 10/09/2016 09:29 PM »

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #352 on: 10/09/2016 09:33 PM »

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #353 on: 10/09/2016 09:34 PM »

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #354 on: 10/09/2016 09:34 PM »

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #355 on: 10/09/2016 09:36 PM »

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #356 on: 10/09/2016 09:37 PM »
The End of NASA’s Losing Streak

“NASA is back on the winning track, and nothing feels better than being on a winning team.”

- Thomas Akers, Mission Specialist Discovery STS-41


“It’s a great thing that we do here… We’ve done it before in the past. I knew we could do it, and we did it, and we’re going to continue to do this sort of things.”

- Dick Richards, Commander Discovery STS-41 


NASA hailed the success of Discovery's near-flawless Ulysses mission as proof the shuttle can meet its commitments, particularly to a key partner in the agency's future space station plans. "Today, the losing streak is over and we’re going on to do great things in the future," declared Discovery Commander Dick Richards as he and his crew of four returned to Earth after a short flight highlighted by the successful deployment of the European-built Ulysses solar probe.

Richards, Pilot Robert Cabana and Mission Specialists William Shepherd, Tom Akers and Bruce Melnick were greeted at Ellington Field late on Discovery’s landing day by about 400 of their Johnson Space Center co-workers and their families. Richard said he compares the recent difficulties to a losing streak that all great teams, like NASA, sometimes go through. “When you go through these things sometimes you re-examine yourself. You ask yourself questions like ‘Are we doing the right things?’ ‘Do we have the right people in place?’ We’ve done all that and we knew we had the right people, we were doing the right things and we knew we were making the right decisions. It was just a question of time before it all turned around.”

"I would characterize it as a big shot in the arm," Dick Richards put it at a JSC news conference the following week. "We knew we could fly a flight like this. It's just that we hadn't had an opportunity. We showed that we can."

STS-41 ended a frustrating five months for NASA caused by a succession of fuel leaks that grounded sister ships Atlantis and Columbia and had critics wondering if the aging shuttle fleet was up to the task of building and equipping the planned Freedom Space Station. "I'm elated," NASA shuttle program director Robert Crippen said shortly after Richards steered Discovery to a smooth dawn landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
 
There was applause overseas as well. "Europe is proud of you and thankful for your help and great work," Roger Bonnet, European Space Agency's director of scientific programs, said in California. The French scientist suggested the Ulysses launch stands as a symbol of cooperation between the two space agencies for the programs to come, including Freedom. The tiny Ulysses probe sailed past the 2.45-million-mile mark from Earth at midday October 10 on its five-year mission to study the Sun's uncharted north and south poles. Though not the first cooperative venture between the United States and the Europeans in space, it proved difficult at times when funding problems forced NASA to back out of plans for two spacecraft. Under the eventual agreement for the $750 million mission, ESA built the probe and NASA launched it and contributed some instruments.

A similar, but more complicated give-and-take has been required for the space station project, which has undergone continual design changes in response to escalating costs and funding restraints. In the case of Ulysses, though, NASA agreed two years ago to launch the probe this year between October 5 and 23, the only time the Sun, the Earth and another key planet in the project were aligned properly for the complex mission. The shuttle missed the opening of the 18-day period by just one day, proof to Crippen that the shuttle is reliable.

“If you criticize our mistakes, you must also acknowledge our successes, and the mission of Discovery for the deployment of Ulysses was indeed a success,” Crippen said at the post-landing press conference. “It’s due to the dedication and hard work of thousands of people associated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its aerospace contractors. They know how to do it and did this one right. I’m very proud of them.”

“We did it,” JSC Director Aaron Cohen said. “We showed the world that the shuttle and NASA are reliable and can meet their commitments. And to all of you who made that happen, I have a great deal of appreciation and thanks.” Pilot Bob Cabana thanked the entire NASA and contractor team for support. “We could not have done it without you,” he said. “It’s great to have America back in space where we belong.”

"The American public is behind us," former shuttle astronaut Bob Crippen had remarked earlier that day. "We're going to do it right. We're going to do it safely. I'm not sure what else you could ask of us."

(Mark Carreau, The Houston Chronicle, Oct. 11 and 19, 1990; Karl Fluegel, JSC Space News Roundup, Oct. 12, 1990 – edited)


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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #357 on: 10/09/2016 09:39 PM »
October 11: A MINOR THING
Apparently, the STS-41 mission was not entirely without incident. Officials are trying to determine why a software glitch went unnoticed until Discovery’s crew checked out the spaceship’s computer system on reaching orbit October 6. The system’s program was telling the wrong computer to monitor certain systems. The problem was corrected and the crew was never in danger, officials said. “As it turns out, it really was a minor thing,” according to shuttle project engineer Chris Fairey.

Discovery’s ground processing manager John “Tip” Talone said Discovery was given a clean bill of health after inspections in California. “This is the best, and it just keeps getting better,” said Talone. He said that so far inspections show the orbiter’s heat protection tiles, brakes and three main engines are in excellent condition. Only ten to fifteen tiles will have to be replaced. If operations go as planned and weather permits, the orbiter could be back at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility by the evening of Monday, October 15. O one-day ferry-flight is planned with a stopover at Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. (KSC Shuttle Status Report, Oct. 11, 1990; Banke, Florida Today, Oct. 12, 1990 – edited)


October 12: ANOTHER TEMPORARY REPRIEVE
JSC employees and other federal workers received another temporary reprieve from furloughs last week as Congress and President Bush agreed on another continuing resolution to keep the government operating until October 19. “After that, if we don’t have a budget or another continuing resolution, we might still have to furlough people,” said JSC Resources Director Jack Lister. A temporary shutdown of some government operation occurred over the holiday weekend while Congress struggled to pass the stopgap measure, but JSC operations continued as normal during the STS-41 mission. (JSC Space News Roundup, Oct. 12, 1990 – edited)


October 15: DISCOVERY EXPECTED HOME AT SUNSET TODAY
Discovery is expected to return to Brevard County skies today, but most won’t get to see it because of its late arrival it is expected at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 6:48 p.m. EDT, four minutes before sunset. The orbiter will leave Edwards Air Force Base; California, at 9:40 a.m. EDT aboard its carrier plane and refuel in San Antonio, Texas. The flight will continue to Kennedy Space Center if the weather remains good.

Because NASA does not like to transport the shuttle in the dark, pilots of the 747 carrier plane, A.J. Roy and Dave Mumme, will probably not fly along Brevard County’s coast to the space center. “If there is any possible way the pilots can do that, they will. The shuttle sure looks pretty flying up the beach at sunset,” said John “Tip” Talone, Discovery’s manager in charge for NASA.

Demate operations will begin immediately after the SCA lands at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Discovery is expected to be ready for tow to Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1 about fifteen hours after landing. Booster disassembly operations are continuing at Hangar AF. Preparations are underway to ship the motor segments to Thiokol in Utah for refurbishment. (Banke, Florida Today, Oct. 15, 1990; KSC Shuttle Status Report, Oct. 15, 1990 – edited)


October 16: DISCOVERY HOME AT LAST
Discovery’s jet carrier arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility today at 3:59 p.m. EDT, having circled over Patrick Air Force Base for twenty minutes waiting for the skies over KSC to clear. Discovery and her workhorse 747 carrier left Edwards Air Force Base about 9:44 a.m. EDT yesterday and made a refueling stop at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas, before continuing to Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle. The refueling operation took more time than expected because there was not enough jet fuel on hand for the 747 when cloudy weather caused it to land at Wichita Falls. When the refueling operation was completed, there was only enough daylight remaining for the trip to Eglin AFB, according to Bruce Buckingham, KSC spokesman. (Halvorson, Florida Today, Oct. 16, 1990; KSC Status Report, Oct. 16 and 17, 1990; “Discovery Hits the Home Stretch,” The Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 17, 1990  – edited)


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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #358 on: 10/09/2016 09:39 PM »

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Re: Discovery STS-41 – Tales of Brave Ulysses
« Reply #359 on: 10/09/2016 09:42 PM »
October 17: DISCOVERY LOOKING GOOD
As the orbiter Discovery was rolled back to the hangar, KSC spokesman Bruce Buckingham observed, “It looks as good as it did when we rolled it out of the Orbiter Processing Facility.” – Except for one minor detail: During the demating process workers were unable to loosen one of the three bolts which attached Discovery to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. So managers decided to leave the bolt in place and separate it on the aircraft’s attach point instead. In the OPF the stuck bolt will be removed during routine post-flight processing, officials said. (“Discovery Hits the Home Stretch,” The Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 17, 1990; Brown, Florida Today, Oct. 18, 1990 – edited)


October 19: TRULY WRITES ALL EMPLOYEES ABOUT BUDGET
As today’s Congressional deadline for a new budget bill neared, NASA Administrator Richard H. Truly again thanked employees for their perseverance during the “stress and turmoil of these times.” JSC employees and other federal workers will face the threat of furloughs or government-wide shutdown again next week if a budget or continuing resolution is not passed by Congress and signed by President Bush on Friday.

“The good news is that we have been able to reach this point without furloughing any employees and creating personal financial difficulties,” Truly wrote in a letter to all employees. “I am hoping that this ‘last resort’ action will not be necessary even though we have needed to take the preliminary steps of officially notifying employees of this possibility.”

“Together, we have not only continued the ongoing business of the agency, but have also just completed a spectacular return to flight,” Truly added. “In return for your outstanding efforts, I again commit myself to doing everything possible to avoid personal impact to NASA employees as a result of the budget.” (JSC Space News Roundup, Oct. 19, 1990 – edited)


October 19: ULYSSES WILL ARRIVE AT JUPITER SLIGHTLY EARLIER THAN PLANNED
The Ulysses solar probe has completed the first of its course correction maneuvers. Today, flight controllers will begin to turn on Ulysses’ nine science instruments. The Energetic Particle Composition and Neutral Gas Instrument will be the first to be switched on. Saturday, heaters for the Solar-Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer will be started.

The second of Ulysses’ two trajectory correction maneuvers is scheduled to be performed November 2. That maneuver will make final adjustments in the spacecraft’s flight path on its way to Jupiter encounter in February 1992. Ulysses is traveling at almost 25,500 mph relative to Earth. The thruster firings, combined with a slightly greater-than-expected velocity following launch, will make Ulysses’ closest Jupiter approach 60 hours sooner than originally planned, on February 8, 1992. The earlier arrival will enhance the mission’s science objectives by giving the spacecraft 235 instead of 228 days above 70 degrees solar latitude, allowing it to reach a maximum solar latitude of more than 80 degrees, instead of a planned 79. (JSC Space News Roundup, Oct. 19, 1990 – edited)


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