25 July 2011

Space Shuttle 360-degree Flight Deck View

This is pretty cool- click on pic:

At the link above you see the actual cockpit of the US Space Shuttle Discovery- note insulation panels installed over windows for re-entry- guess they get a little warm. Last week's final mission -completing 30 years of manned Shuttle flights- was completed by the Atlantis... some facts about the craft:

The Space Shuttle was the first orbital spacecraft designed for reuse. It carried different payloads to Low Earth Orbit, provided crew rotation for the International Space Station (ISS), and performed servicing missions- the first one went up in the early days of the Reagan Administration, on April 12th, 1981.

The orbiter was capable of recovering satellites and other payloads from orbit and returning them to Earth in one piece. Each Shuttle was designed for a projected lifespan of 100 launches or ten years of operational life, although this was later extended.. The person in charge of designing the STS was Maxime Faget, who had also overseen the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft designs.

The crucial factor in the size and shape of the Shuttle Orbiter was the requirement that it be able to accommodate the largest planned commercial and classified satellites, and have the cross-range recovery range to meet the requirement for classified USAF missions.

Atlantis is named after RV Atlantis, a two masted sailing ship that operated as the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1930 to 1966. The 460-ton ketch carried a crew of 17 and had room for 5 scientists. The former RV Atlantis is now commissioned as an oceanographic research vessel in the Argentine Naval Prefecture under the name Dr. Bernardo Houssay and finishing a lengthy period of restoration. 

Basic Shuttle Stats

Stages:         2
Height:        184 ft 
Diameter:      28.5 ft 
Mass:              2302 tons

TheLastShuttle   Wikipedia   h/t Speedunque  


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

I will never understand why it stopped except maybe to give the unions their money.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

I forgot, that photo clicky thing is great.

Reaganite Republican said...

With no replacement in sight... good question!

Madhat said...

They were getting old, but they should have made more, or get the new design flying first...

Maggie@MaggiesNotebook said...

The 360 is absolutely awesome! I cannot understand how we let our country get into a situation where we will have to depend on Russia...but then the head of NASA is charged with our "Muslim Outreach," so, oh yeah! I do get it. It's our Marxist Congress that has let this happen.

Reaganite Republican said...

What a bizarre era indeed Maggie- I never thought I'd see such a wack job in the Oval Office, makes the Clinton era look entirely sensible

Matt said...

Let's remember that there was a replacement, ready for testing. Obama killed it.

Reaganite Republican said...

Exactly Matt, the "Constellation" shuttle would have been capable of a Moon orbit

Anybody who grew up watching Apollo launches like me finds this all hard to bear

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