Author Topic: Flight crew assignments  (Read 1105011 times)

Offline catdlr

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2260 on: 06/17/2013 05:45 PM »
Astronaut Class of 2013

Published on Jun 17, 2013
After an extensive year-and-a-half search, NASA has a new group of potential astronauts who will help the agency push the boundaries of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system, including an asteroid and Mars. Eight candidates have been selected to be NASA's newest astronaut trainees, hoping to be among those who are the first to launch from U.S. soil on commercial American spacecraft since the retirement of the space shuttle.

The 2013 astronaut candidate class comes from the second largest number of applications NASA has received -- more than 6,000. Half of the selectees are women, making this the highest percentage of female astronaut candidates ever selected for a class. The group will receive a wide array of technical training at space centers and remote locations around the globe to prepare for missions to low-Earth orbit, an asteroid and Mars.

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Offline NavySpaceFan

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2261 on: 06/17/2013 06:12 PM »
Happy to see one former and two current naval aviators on the list!  And I believe MAJ Mann is the first female USMC astronaut.
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Offline AJA

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2262 on: 06/18/2013 01:20 AM »
 The NASA article mentions that this class is "ready to help lead the first human mission to an asteroid and Mars".

Is it still too early to start changing astronaut training routines to gear up for BEO operations? I know NEEMO's doing simulated asteroid operations, and there's always the Mars Analogs (I mention it from the field-geology training standpoint, especially given none of them have that background), but I don't think participation in those programs is formally integrated as a requirement for astronaut flight-qualification, or even maintaining currency of flight-status... yet. A military aviation background with 3 test pilot school grads also suggests they're on the lookout for crew to staff new vehicles.

IMHO, given that the constituents of this class are all in their mid-30s, they've got enough age on their side to train for, and then fly a couple of ISS increments and still be prime for EFT-2 (or its successor).

Maybe this'll probably get some airtime at the Asteroid initiative event later today.
« Last Edit: 06/18/2013 01:27 AM by AJA »

Offline jcm

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2263 on: 06/18/2013 03:30 AM »

NASA announced its 2013 class of astronaut candidates this morning:

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_13-177_2013_Astronaut_Class.html


Michael Cassutt

So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
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Offline jcm

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2264 on: 06/18/2013 03:50 AM »
And a note for Chris that among the info on candidate Anne McClain at http://www.patriotleague.org/genrel/100510aaf.html is that she had a Marshall scholarship which she used to do two Master's degrees, at Bath and Bristol (in aerospace engineering and in international security)

Christina Hammock used to work here at the Harvard-Smithsonian on the south pole telescope, and wintered over in antarctica - http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/04.13/01-winterover.html    I believe she is at least the third NASA astro with a Center for Astrophysics connection, following Karl Henize and Jeff Hoffman
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Offline dcfowler1

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2265 on: 06/18/2013 05:12 AM »
Happy to see one former and two current naval aviators on the list!  And I believe MAJ Mann is the first female USMC astronaut.

Interestingly the USMC did not nominate anyone this year, so Mann applied on her own.

Dave


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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2266 on: 06/18/2013 05:48 AM »
So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
Already in the 2009 astronaut class were no distinction between pilots and MS.

Offline Michael Cassutt

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2267 on: 06/18/2013 02:11 PM »
So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
Already in the 2009 astronaut class were no distinction between pilots and MS.

Olaf is correct.  The official distinction disappeared within the astronaut office itself in 2011 . . .nevertheless, ASCANS and astronauts who are military pilots (and qualified for front seat in the T-38) are required to log more flying time than the others, on the order of 200 hours/year to 50/year.  In the new class, that would seem to apply to only Glover and Mann.

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Offline nethegauner

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2268 on: 06/18/2013 03:30 PM »
Parmitano (2013) on Soyuz - first long-duration flight (fourth opportunity)
Cristoforetti (2014-2015) on Soyuz - second long-duration flight (fifth opportunity)

I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that Parmitiano is flying as an Italian and Cristoforetti as a European . . .

;)

In other words: I thought the 2013 slot was ASI-based and the 2014/15 ESA-based.

Edit: Quickly checked the FPIP. It seems I was right: Cristoforetti is not using an ASI Slot. Parmitiano is.
« Last Edit: 06/18/2013 04:43 PM by nethegauner »

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2269 on: 06/18/2013 03:49 PM »
Reactions from the 2013 class on their selection...

Astronaut 'I scream': New NASA astronaut candidates excited to be chosen
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-061813a.html

NASA's 2013 class of astronaut candidates, or "ascans" for short, were all very excited to be selected from the more than 6,000 applications received to be the space agency's 21st group of astronaut trainees. At least one of the eight new ascans admitted to letting out a scream at the news, as did her mom. Beyond their being chosen though, the candidates said they were excited by the opportunity to contribute to exploration.

Offline jcm

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2270 on: 06/18/2013 08:28 PM »
So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
Already in the 2009 astronaut class were no distinction between pilots and MS.

Olaf is correct.  The official distinction disappeared within the astronaut office itself in 2011 . . .nevertheless, ASCANS and astronauts who are military pilots (and qualified for front seat in the T-38) are required to log more flying time than the others, on the order of 200 hours/year to 50/year.  In the new class, that would seem to apply to only Glover and Mann.

Michael Cassutt

Thanks Mike and Olaf, very interesting!
So the 'second class citizen' status of the 'scientist astronaut' that we've had since 1965 is gone?
Do you think this is a permanent change, or will some formal distinction reappear once Orion is flying?
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Offline Space Pete

Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2271 on: 06/18/2013 09:30 PM »
I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that Parmitiano is flying as an Italian and Cristoforetti as a European . . .

In other words: I thought the 2013 slot was ASI-based and the 2014/15 ESA-based.

Edit: Quickly checked the FPIP. It seems I was right: Cristoforetti is not using an ASI Slot. Parmitiano is.

This was my impression too.
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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2272 on: 06/19/2013 09:40 AM »
Quickly checked the FPIP. It seems I was right: Cristoforetti is not using an ASI Slot. Parmitiano is

See document, posted by Stan Black on previous page (page 8):
"First ASI ISS long duration flight opportunity: Luca Parmitano in ISS 36/37
Second ASI ISS long duration flight opportunity: Samantha Cristoforetti in ISS 42/43
Third ASI ISS long duration flight opportunity to be assigned"
« Last Edit: 06/19/2013 09:41 AM by anik »

Offline nethegauner

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2273 on: 06/19/2013 10:52 AM »
See document, posted by Stan Black on previous page (page 8):
"First ASI ISS long duration flight opportunity: Luca Parmitano in ISS 36/37
Second ASI ISS long duration flight opportunity: Samantha Cristoforetti in ISS 42/43
Third ASI ISS long duration flight opportunity to be assigned"

How strange. So there is a contradiction to the FPIP, indeed. In this case, I tend to have more confidence in the FPIP. It is an operational document -- the presentation is not. Also, the content of that presentation seems a bit mistakable to me -- in places, at least. For example, there is talk of "three MPLM and the PMM" . . .

;)

Well -- we know that the Leonardo module has a split personality, right?

Seriously, maybe this is just a misapprehension. We do have ESA insiders here, don't we? Does any of You guys know if Cristoforetti will have a European or an Italian seat on the Soyuz?

Offline Michael Cassutt

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2274 on: 06/19/2013 03:01 PM »
So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
Already in the 2009 astronaut class were no distinction between pilots and MS.

Olaf is correct.  The official distinction disappeared within the astronaut office itself in 2011 . . .nevertheless, ASCANS and astronauts who are military pilots (and qualified for front seat in the T-38) are required to log more flying time than the others, on the order of 200 hours/year to 50/year.  In the new class, that would seem to apply to only Glover and Mann.

Michael Cassutt

Thanks Mike and Olaf, very interesting!
So the 'second class citizen' status of the 'scientist astronaut' that we've had since 1965 is gone?
Do you think this is a permanent change, or will some formal distinction reappear once Orion is flying?

Thought I had answered this.... must have pressed the wrong button.

Anyway, first, I would object to the idea that mission specialist or non-military test pilots within the astronaut office are second-class citizens.  While this was undeniably true from 1965 to the mid 1970s, and while, yes, pilots had the privilege of command, mission specialists really got most of the fun and and equal amount of acclaim.  And the last two chiefs of the astronaut office have been career MS.

As for titles, you're not going to see pilot/mission specialist categories with Orion or commercial . . . while there will undoubtedly be one astronaut in every crew who has a flying background and experience, NASA is likely to use a term like "operator", with an Operator-1 having one set of responsibilities, Operator-2 another, and so on, depending on the mission and the individuals.  (Even now, on ISS, you have some FEs with EVA experience and qualification, and some who don't.)

Michael Cassutt

Offline jcm

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2275 on: 06/20/2013 02:12 AM »
So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
Already in the 2009 astronaut class were no distinction between pilots and MS.

Olaf is correct.  The official distinction disappeared within the astronaut office itself in 2011 . . .nevertheless, ASCANS and astronauts who are military pilots (and qualified for front seat in the T-38) are required to log more flying time than the others, on the order of 200 hours/year to 50/year.  In the new class, that would seem to apply to only Glover and Mann.

Michael Cassutt

Thanks Mike and Olaf, very interesting!
So the 'second class citizen' status of the 'scientist astronaut' that we've had since 1965 is gone?
Do you think this is a permanent change, or will some formal distinction reappear once Orion is flying?

Thought I had answered this.... must have pressed the wrong button.

Anyway, first, I would object to the idea that mission specialist or non-military test pilots within the astronaut office are second-class citizens.  While this was undeniably true from 1965 to the mid 1970s, and while, yes, pilots had the privilege of command, mission specialists really got most of the fun and and equal amount of acclaim.  And the last two chiefs of the astronaut office have been career MS.

As for titles, you're not going to see pilot/mission specialist categories with Orion or commercial . . . while there will undoubtedly be one astronaut in every crew who has a flying background and experience, NASA is likely to use a term like "operator", with an Operator-1 having one set of responsibilities, Operator-2 another, and so on, depending on the mission and the individuals.  (Even now, on ISS, you have some FEs with EVA experience and qualification, and some who don't.)

Michael Cassutt


Michael - thanks for your answer! (and hope you're well btw, long time no see..)
I was of course being a bit deliberately provocative..
although my impression had been that it was only in the late 90s that the MS's got to have the same status level as the pilots,  I of course defer to your much more direct insight into the corps - very interesting.

Trust NASA to come up with a way to reduce the romance of 'astronaut' to the bureaucratic blandness of 'operator'...

regards, Jonathan
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Offline Michael Cassutt

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2276 on: 06/20/2013 03:12 PM »
So have they stopped distinguishing between pilot-astronauts and mission specialists, or just didn't make the distinction in the press release?
Already in the 2009 astronaut class were no distinction between pilots and MS.

Olaf is correct.  The official distinction disappeared within the astronaut office itself in 2011 . . .nevertheless, ASCANS and astronauts who are military pilots (and qualified for front seat in the T-38) are required to log more flying time than the others, on the order of 200 hours/year to 50/year.  In the new class, that would seem to apply to only Glover and Mann.

Michael Cassutt

Thanks Mike and Olaf, very interesting!
So the 'second class citizen' status of the 'scientist astronaut' that we've had since 1965 is gone?
Do you think this is a permanent change, or will some formal distinction reappear once Orion is flying?

Thought I had answered this.... must have pressed the wrong button.

Anyway, first, I would object to the idea that mission specialist or non-military test pilots within the astronaut office are second-class citizens.  While this was undeniably true from 1965 to the mid 1970s, and while, yes, pilots had the privilege of command, mission specialists really got most of the fun and and equal amount of acclaim.  And the last two chiefs of the astronaut office have been career MS.

As for titles, you're not going to see pilot/mission specialist categories with Orion or commercial . . . while there will undoubtedly be one astronaut in every crew who has a flying background and experience, NASA is likely to use a term like "operator", with an Operator-1 having one set of responsibilities, Operator-2 another, and so on, depending on the mission and the individuals.  (Even now, on ISS, you have some FEs with EVA experience and qualification, and some who don't.)

Michael Cassutt


Michael - thanks for your answer! (and hope you're well btw, long time no see..)
I was of course being a bit deliberately provocative..
although my impression had been that it was only in the late 90s that the MS's got to have the same status level as the pilots,  I of course defer to your much more direct insight into the corps - very interesting.

Trust NASA to come up with a way to reduce the romance of 'astronaut' to the bureaucratic blandness of 'operator'...

regards, Jonathan

Jonathan,

NASA's unparalleled ability to reduce the romance -- or stomp it flat -- goes back to its founding, doesn't it?  Wouldn't "spaceman" have been a more exciting word than "astronaut"?  ;)

Regarding the relative status of PLTs vs MS, I suspect that it lingered into the 1980s, but you can mark a turning point with the selection of MS Steve Hawley as deputy chief astronaut in the spring of 1987.  From that time on, MS were always included in astronaut office leadership.

And yes, it's been too long!
MC

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2277 on: 06/20/2013 08:06 PM »
Wouldn't "spaceman" have been a more exciting word than "astronaut"?  ;)

Not if you're a spacewoman! ;)
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Offline jcm

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2278 on: 06/24/2013 12:58 AM »
Wouldn't "spaceman" have been a more exciting word than "astronaut"?  ;)

Not if you're a spacewoman! ;)

Yes. And as someone with a classical education I actually find 'astronaut' to be a suitably romantic word, spaceman is a bit bland.  'cosmonaut' isn't bad too  (although I use them interchangeably, I think making a separate word for the same profession in different countries is insane - we don't have a separate English word for a Russian pilot or a Russian taxi driver...)
And Michael, I agree the Hawley appointment was a key step.
So too I think was the move to have mission specialists as ISS commanders.

I wonder if the assignment of Rukavishnikov as the first engineer to be a commander (Soyuz-33, 1979) reflected a similar evolution on the Russian side, although the balance of prestige/power inside Star City seems to have been rather different because of the engineers' direct working relationship with Korolev.  But the common thread is a move away from the idea that 'space vehicle commander' is a job that needs to be done by a former test pilot.
« Last Edit: 06/24/2013 12:59 AM by jcm »
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Offline Ben E

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Re: Flight crew assignments
« Reply #2279 on: 06/25/2013 05:01 AM »
Reminds me of a quote from Gus Grissom, who hated the term "astronaut".

Paraphrased, he once said: "I'm not 'ass' anything. I'm a pilot. Isn't that enough?"

Good ol' Gus!

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