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Old 07-10-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Congratulations to STS-135 - Docking

As the ship's bell rung and the words "Atlantis Arriving!" were said, a chill went down my spine ... I will not ever hear these words spoken for the rest of my days on Earth.

All the stuff that is going on right now are events that will not be repeated any time soon. The next opportunity for a "NASA" badged US built space craft might be 5 years from now.

With regrets toward the retirement of the Shuttle fleet and great expectations for the Orion space craft which will take mankind into deep space, I am looking forward to seeing man step on Mars however I may not ever see that day .... but I know it will happen.

The NASA TV station keeps scrolling at the bottom of the screen that it will be migrating over to another satellite which will require that an HD tuner be used in order to receive the content. This will happen "after" the Atlantis has landed and has rolled away into history ... too bad. The timing stinks.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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What an incredible machine! I'm every bit as much in awe now as I was watching the first one blast off... and more impressively... return safely!

Too bad...

Rick
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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I helped design the main engine control: every time that thing takes off I hold my breath.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melvonnar View Post
I helped design the main engine control: every time that thing takes off I hold my breath.
At the Davidson building in Huntsville they has a film clip of when Von Braun and his team 1st fired the 5 main Saturn V engines at Marshall not knowing if the thing would work or blow up. Amazing!

Going from millions of pounds of thrust and now moving into ion propulsion that has a thrust equaling the brush of one's hand through the air is probably equally challenging but not quite as exciting. The ion engine amazingly will just keep accelerating the spacecraft over the course of the weeks and months and perhaps years that its lit. I can see the engine propulsion panel now, On & Off.


Davidson Center for Space Exploration - US Space Camp



On display in the center is a real Saturn V launch vehicle. The vehicle is suspended from the ceiling and is broken down into stages. This exhibit is similar to the one at KSC however fewer people come here but it still has the same impact. Totally amazing and a wondrous story ....

Seen at the 5 main engines of the Saturn V, a view of the 1st stage fuselage and the Apollo capsule and launch abort system (LAS).

In recent NASA video we've seen where the LAS successfully fired as it sat atop of the Orion's MPCV or multi purpose crew vehicle. Regressing or advancing space flight one might question? In practicality the Apollo "capsule" was the only deep spacecraft we ever had so MPCV will build on that technology but will only carry up to 4 astronauts rather than the larger crew of the shuttle.
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