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Spaceflight

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Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Tue 8 Mar 2011 - 22:18

Since STS-133 is concluding and 134 and 135 are scheduled to go up soon, I thought i'd start a general thread about spaceflight to prevent me from starting about 15 different threads this year.

So... what is happening with regards to Spaceflight in 2011?

Well, with Russia, they are continuing along with a number of manned flights to the ISS. Soyuz TMA-21, Soyuz TMA-02M, Soyuz TMA-22 and Soyuz TMA-03M will carry the crews of Expeditions 27, 28, 29 and 30 to the International Space Station. Russia inherited the Soyuz from the USSR and has been using it since. The USSR first launched a Soyuz in 1967. The Soyuz TMA-M of today is far advanced to its Soyuz 7K-OK ancestor.

China are continuing their Soviet-esque steps into space, they will launch a space laboratory this year, called Tiangong 1. Shenzhou 8 will undock unmanned, and Shenzhou 9 (a manned mission) will bring its first Expedition. With the secrecy behind China's Space Programme, its hard to tell if these missions are happening in 2011, as China has only three human spaceflights to its name, spread across eight years.

The USA are retiring their Shuttle Fleet with the conclusion of STS-135, these massive space haulers will go into the History books with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

If you don't know much about the History of spaceflight, i'd recomend trying to find this amazing series, From the Earth to the Moon. Its a fantastic account of the US Space Programme between Al Shepards Freedom 7 flight in 1961 till the lift off of Apollo 17's Lunar Module Challenger in 1972.

Some amazing scenes and music. Its fantastic!



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Re: Spaceflight

Post by Matt on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 7:43

Thoroughly recommend that series. I just finished watching the 'Signature Edition'. Cost me the princely sum of £14.
Absolutely fantastic series, I hope that they do one similar on the shuttles.
Oh and I also recommend Andrew Chaikin's 'A Man on the Moon'. This book covers the entire Apollo program in great depth and reads more lke a novel than a dry book of facts and figures. It's also the book the series is based on!




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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 8:17

Yeah, that book is something I need to be getting! I have the signature edition too. The thing about it though that I love, is the fact that almost everything that is said was actually said in real life, it acts as a fantastic historical document.

What is sad though is that they never showed Deke Slayton finally making it to space as the CMP of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, or Pete Conrad using sheer strength to save Skylab on the Skylab 2 Mission in '73. But I guess ending it with 17 was a nicer way to do it.

But as you say, a similar series to do with the Shuttle would be fantastic, STS-1 was the first ever first test flight for a spacecraft that had crew onboard. That kind of thing takes utter balls.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by Matt on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 8:18

And of course the first space vessel to be named Enterprise Wink




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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 8:27

Very true. There was actually talk of it being refitted to replace Challenger, however it was decided that building a new Orbiter from spare parts was cheaper, and thus OV-105, Endeavour was built.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 15:46

http://www.spacevidcast.com/

Landing is due to happen at 16:57 UTC, so thats just over an hour!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 10 Mar 2011 - 17:35

Soyuz TMA-21, Russia's next spaceflight, will transport three new crew members to the International Space Station this month. Current Station Commander (CDR) Scott Kelly and fellow Soyuz Crewmates, Soyuz CDR Alexandr Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka will return to Earth this month.

Soyuz TMA-21 will carry Aleksandr Samokutyayev (CDR), Andrei Borisenko (Flight Engineer) and Ron Garan (Flight Engineer) to the ISS, where they will form the second part of the Expedition 27 crew and part of the Expedition 28 crew, where Borisenko will become the Station CDR.


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 10 Mar 2011 - 20:42

ISS Update. The Expedition 26 crew have mainly been relocating the Japanese HTV spacecraft.


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by Radiation Louis on Thu 10 Mar 2011 - 21:56

nickyf1 wrote:Very true. There was actually talk of it being refitted to replace Challenger, however it was decided that building a new Orbiter from spare parts was cheaper, and thus OV-105, Endeavour was built.

This is because they would have had to take Enterprise nearly all the way apart then replace well over half of the parts (mainly the wooden wings). So it wasn't cheaper from a material stand point because they would have spent the same amount on the space craft as they did with Endeavour. But the labor would have costed millions upon millions.



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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Fri 11 Mar 2011 - 8:10



Endeavour rolls out to the pad

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Fri 11 Mar 2011 - 14:24


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Fri 11 Mar 2011 - 21:45

The Soyuz TMA-01M mission will return to Earth next week, and you should be able to watch proceedings on NASA TV on the internet.

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/mar/HQ_M11-050_Soyuz_TV.html

Soyuz landings are a more Apollo style affair, the tiny descent module lands in the steppes of Kazakhstan under parachutes (and some thrusters before landing)


Here is the last Soyuz landing.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Tue 15 Mar 2011 - 14:08

Scott Kelly (Captain, USN) hands over the position of Station Commander to Dmitri Kondratyev (Col. Russian Air Force) of Russia.


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by HCR generaltso on Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 5:28

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/03/for_discovery_a_farewell_spin.html

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by i redbeard on Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 8:00

gen3ral ts0 wrote:http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/03/for_discovery_a_farewell_spin.html

some cracking pictures there mate

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 8:14

I love the photo of Bowen egressing from the airlock.

Soyuz TMA-01M lands!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 17:16

''Stop Cady, i'm afraid''

The age of the intelligent robot on human space missions has begun... People often see the future as later in time. The future is now people!


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 17:20

After 159 days in space, Scott Kelly shares his thoughts upon landing.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 15:49

MESSENGER has achieved Mercury Orbit!


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Sat 19 Mar 2011 - 14:04

STS-134's pad flow has suffered a tragic loss of a United Space Alliance worker. James D. Vanover was struck by a falling wrench on the 14th of March. Details are very vague at the moment, but it is a very tragic event indeed.

His colleagues decided to keep working on Edeavour the next day, and launch is still scheduled for April 19th.

RIP Sad

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 23 Mar 2011 - 20:05



Lockheed Martin talking about the new Orion Crew Capsule

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 23 Mar 2011 - 20:10

That video really does bring alot of hope for the future Smile

Mars by 2040!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 23 Mar 2011 - 20:18

It is 10 years to the day that the worlds very first modular Space Station, Mir (peace in English), ended its fifteen year mission when it was de-orbited and burnt up in Earths atmosphere over Fiji.

The first module was launched by the Soviet Union in 1986, and over the years, over 100 different Cosmonauts and Astronauts lived aboard Mir during its many expeditions. It held the record for the spacecraft with the longest period of continued human presence in space untill late last year, when the ISS surpassed Mir's record.

We salut you Mir!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by narboza22 on Wed 23 Mar 2011 - 22:28

Its a shame that manned space flight has kind of fallen off a cliff. The Shuttle program only has two flights left before its retired and NASA's replacement program has also been canceled. That basically leaves only the Soyuz program, but I don't know how long Russia is planning on keeping that running, and as far as I know, those capsules can't do much else that ferry stuff to the ISS.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Wed 23 Mar 2011 - 22:55

It looks bad, and the media seem to be reporting the coming ''gap'' as a bad thing. The fact is, the replacement vehicle for the Shuttle is being built, and the first one has already been completed, the Orion MPCV. She will fly atop a Delta IV in 2013 for an unmanned test flight which will include a highly ecliptical orbit to simulate Lunar re-entry speeds. And don't forget about Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX who are designing spacecraft for ISS ferrying.

Soyuz has been in service since 1967, it was originally designed for Lunar flights during the space race. It has been through many iterations since, the current TMA and TMA-M Soyuz are still very operational, and it won't be long before Russia is producing five Soyuz spacecraft a year. Russia even have plans for a new spacecraft that will be Lunar capable, the NPK. And don't forget China! They are launching their first space station module this year!

We have a wonderful Space Station, and manned Spaceflight is happening right now, and will continue to happen for decades!

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Re: Spaceflight

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