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Everything posted by GordonD

  1. February 1st - 15th Anniversary of the Columbia Accident Vladimir Aksyonov (1935) USSR Selected 1973 Soyuz 22, 15 - 23 September 1976 (7d 21h 52m) - Solo mission not intended to fly to Salyut. Used the backup ASTP spacecraft with a multispectral camera replacing the docking mechanism Soyuz T-2, 5 - 9 June 1980 (3d 22h 19m) - First manned flight of the third generation Soyuz. Docked with Salyut 6 Total flight time 11d 20h 11m Retired 1988 Franco Rossitto (1940) Italy Selected 1984 Reached shortlist of 12 for Spacelab 1 but not selected Retired 1986; no flights Died 6 May 2015 Daniel Tani (1961) USA Selected 1996 (NASA Group 16) STS-108, 5 - 17 December 2001 (11d 19h 35m) - ISS crew rotation of Expeditions 3 and 4 STS-120/ISS Expedition 16 (119d 22h 29m) - landed aboard STS-122 Total flight time 131d 18h 4m Retired 2012 Information from Spacefacts website
  2. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 20th Joe Walker (1921) USA Selected 1960 (X-15 group) Made 24 X-15 flights including the only two to exceed an altitude of 100km (thereby qualifying as sub-orbital spaceflights under FAA rules) Flight #90, 19 July 1963 (11m) Flight #91, 22 August 1963 (11m) - First man to go into space twice Total flight time 22m Killed 8 June 1966 when his F-104 collided with the XB-70 Valkyrie Aleksandr Aleksandrov (1943) USSR Selected 1978 Soyuz T-9/Salyut 7 Expedition 2, 27 June - 23 November 1983 (149d 10h 46m) Soyuz TM-3/Mir Expedition 2, 22 July - 30 December 1987 (160d 7h 16m) Total flight time 309d 18h 2m Retired October 1993 Vasili Tsibilyev (1954) USSR (Ukraine) Selected 1987 Soyuz TM-17/Mir Expedition 14, 1 July 1993 - 14 January 1994 (196d 17h 45m) Soyuz TM-25/Mir Expedition 23, 10 February - 14 August 1997 (184d 22h 7m) Total flight time 381d 15h 52m Retired June 1998 Michal Fulier (1955) Slovakia Selected 1998 Backup for Soyuz TM-29 Retired 1999; no flights Anton Shkaplerov (1972) Russia Selected 2003 Soyuz TMA-22/ISS Expeditions 29/30, 14 November 2011 - 27 April 2012 (165d 7h 31m) Soyuz TMA-15M/ISS Expeditions 42/43, 23 November 2014 - 11 June 2015 (199d 16h 42m) Soyuz MS-07/ISS Expedition 54, launched 17 December 2017; currently on-orbit (~ 65d to date) Total flight time to date ~ 430d Currently scheduled to return to Earth in June Maksim Ponomaryov (1980) Russia Selected 2006 Retired September 2012; no flights Information from Spacefacts website
  3. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 19th Joe Kerwin (1932) USA Selected 1965 (NASA Group 4) Skylab 2 (first manned expedition), 25 May - 22 June 1973 (28d 0h 50m) Retired 1987 Kenneth Nordsieck (1946) USA Selected 1984; trained for ASTRO-1 mission but not selected Retired 1990 Byron Lichtenberg (1948) USA Selected 1978 STS-9, 28 November - 8 December 1983 (10d 7h 47m) - Spacelab 1 STS-45, 24 March - 2 April 1992 (8d 22h 9m) - ATLAS 1 (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications & Science) Retired 1992 Rodolfo Neri (1952) Mexico Selected 1985 STS-61B, 27 November - 3 December 1985 (6d 21h 4m) - Deployed three Comsats plus evaluation of assembling structures in space Retired 1985 G. David Low (1956) USA Selected 1984 (NASA Group 10) STS-32, 9 - 20 January 1990 (10d 21h 0m) - LDEF retrieval mission STS-43, 2 - 11 August 1991 (8d 21h 21m) - Deployed TDRS-5 (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite) providing continuous communications with spacecraft in flight STS-57, 21 June - 1 July 1993 (9d 23h 44m) - First flight of the privately-developed SPACEHAB module Total flight time 29d 18h 5m Retired 1996 Died 15 March 2008 The first Cygnus cargo craft, used to resupply the ISS, was named in his honour Sergei Prokopyev (1975) Russia Selected 2010 Still on active status; no flights yet but was backup on Soyuz TMA-18M and MS-07 Information from Spacefacts website
  4. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 18th Theodore Freeman (1930) USA Selected 1963 (NASA Group 3) Would probably have flown in Gemini but killed 31st October 1964 when his T-38 crashed following a birdstrike near Ellington AFB, Texas First US astronaut to die. His wife learned of his death when a reporter came to her house to interview her, leading NASA to revise its procedures in such cases. Information from Spacefacts website
  5. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 17th No astronaut birthdays today
  6. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 16th Valentin Bondarenko (1937) USSR Selected 1960 Died 23 March 1961 Bondarenko was taking part in a 15-day low-pressure test in a sealed chamber with over 50% oxygen content. On Day Ten he removed some medical sensors from his body and cleaned up the sticky residue with alcohol-soaked cotton wool. However when he threw away the cotton ball it landed on an electrical hotplate and caught fire. Bondarenko tried to beat out the flames but his clothing also caught fire and due to the pressure differential the rescue team could not get to him for thirty minutes, by which time he had suffered third-degree burns over most of his body. He died of shock some sixteen hours later. He was posthumously awarded the Order of the Red Star and a crater on the lunar Farside is named for him. Details of the accident were hushed up and did not reach the West until 1980. It has been suggested that had NASA been aware of this, they may have changed their own training approach and the Apollo 1 fire might have been avoided. Michael Mantz (1953) USA Selected 1982 (USAF Manned Spaceflight Engineer Group 2) Retired 1987; no flights Information from Spacefacts website
  7. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 15th Tommie Benefield (1929) USA Selected 1963 as a military astronaut Date of retiral not known Killed in crash of B-1 bomber prototype at Edwards AFB, 29 August 1984 Roger Chaffee (1935) USA Selected 1963 (NASA Group 3) Was in training for Apollo 1; killed in pad fire 27 January 1967 Aleksander Serebrov (1944) USSR Selected 1978 Soyuz T-7, 19 - 27 August 1982 (7d 21h 52m) - Salyut 7 Taxi Flight (landed aboard Soyuz T-5); also carried first female into orbit for 20 years Soyuz T-8, 20 - 22 April 1983 (2d 0h 17m) - docking with Salyut 7 failed when radar antenna boom did not deploy (was torn off when payload shroud jettisoned) Soyuz TM-8/Mir Expedition 5, 5 September 1989 - 19 February 1990 (166d 6h 58m) Soyuz TM-17/Mir Expedition 14, 1 July 1993 - 14 January 1994 (196d 17h 45m) Total flight time 372d 22h 52m Retired 1995 Died 12 November 2013 Nikolai Grekov (1950) USSR Selected 1978 Removed from flight status 1986 for medical reasons; no flights Lee Melvin (1964) USA Selected 1998 (NASA Group 17) STS-122, 7 - 20 February 2008 (12d 18h 21m) - delivered ESA Columbus science lab to ISS, and crew exchange (Eyharts up, Tani down) STS-129, 16 - 27 November 2009 (10d 19h 16m) - ISS supply flight, also brought down Stott, last ISS resident to return on the Shuttle Total flight time 23d 13h 27m Retired October 2010 Information from Spacefacts website
  8. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 14th Pham Tuân (1947) Vietnam Selected 1979 (Interkosmos Group 3) Soyuz 37, 23 - 31 July 1980 (7d 20h 42m) - Salyut 6 Taxi Flight (landed aboard Soyuz 36) Retired 1980 William Thompson (1956) USA Selected 1982 (USAF Manned Spaceflight Engineer Group 2) Might have flown on the Shuttle but resigned 1987 Information from Spacefacts website
  9. Short Jokes II The Sequel

    I was on my way home yesterday when I saw my neighbour (who's a dwarf) waiting at the bus stop. "Hop in," I said. "I'll give you a lift!" He shouted and swore at me, which I thought was really ungrateful, so I zipped my rucksack closed again and kept walking.
  10. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 13th Sigmund Jähn (1937) East Germany Selected 1976 Soyuz 31/Salyut 6 Taxi Flight, 26 August - 3 September 1978 (7d 20h 49m) - landed aboard Soyuz 29 Retired 1978 Valeri Rozhdestvensky (1939) USSR Selected 1965 Soyuz 23, 14 - 16 October 1976 (2d 0h 6m) - planned docking with Salyut 5 abandoned when rendezvous failed Retired 1986 Died 31 August 2011 After the docking was abandoned the crew were forced to return to Earth as this version of the Soyuz had no solar panels and power was low. The capsule landed in a frozen lake, in a snowstorm, at night, and sank. The cosmonauts had turned off everything to conserve power and were unable to contact the recovery team. The capsule was too heavy for the helicopter to lift so was dragged to shore, an operation which took nine hours - all the time the recovery team assumed the cosmonauts were dead and had summoned a special team to remove the bodies Donald Williams (1942) USA Selected 1978 (NASA Group 8) STS-51D, 12 - 19 April 1985 (6d 23h 55m) - deployed ANIK-C1 and SYNCOM IV-3 satellites though SYNCOM's sequencer failed and satellite did not reach planned orbit STS-34, 18 - 23 October 1989 (4d 23h 39m) - deployed the Galileo Venus Radar Mapper Total flight time 11d 23h 34m Died 23 February 2016 Stephen Bowen (1964) USA Selected 2000 (NASA Group 18) STS-126, 15 - 30 November 2008 (15d 20h 29m) - ISS crew exchange (Magnus up, Chamitoff down) STS-132, 14 - 26 May 2010 (11d 18h 28m) - delivered the Russian Mini-Research Module to the ISS STS-133, 24 February - 9 March 2011 (12d 19h 4m) - delivered the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the ISS; final flight of Discovery Total flight time to date 40d 10h 1m Still on active flight status Bowen was not on the original crew manifest for STS-133 but Tim Kopra was injured in a bicycle accident six weeks before launch so was replaced by Bowen, enabling him to fly consecutive Shuttle missions Information from Spacefacts website
  11. Long (ish) Jokes.

    A ventriloquist was advised by his doctor to take a break so he found a little farmhouse that did bed & breakfast and booked in for a week. On his first day the farmer and his son were showing him round the farm and he decided to have a little fun with the simple country folk. So when they went into the cowshed the ventriloquist spoke to one of the cows. "Hello, Daisy!" he said. "How do you like living on the farm?" And he threw his voice and made the cow reply, "Well, it's fine most of the time. I just wish the farmer would warm his hands before he starts milking me!" The farmer and his son were utterly astonished by this and as they left the cowshed the ventriloquist could hear them whispering. Next they went into the henhouse, and the ventriloquist did it again. He asked one of the hens, "How do you like living on the farm?" and made it reply, "I'm not happy at all - how would you like it if somebody kept coming and taking your children away?" More whispering between the farmer and his son. Now they were walking towards the field where the sheep were kept. The farmer's son was looking nervous and when they reached the gate he suddenly turned round and said, "If that lamb says anything, it's a bloody liar!"
  12. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 12th Ivan Anikeyev (1933) USSR Selected 1960 Dismissed April 1963 for disciplinary reasons after he and two other cosmonauts were arrested for being drunk and disorderly at a railway station. (See also Valentin Filatyev under January 21st) Died 20 August 1992 Information from Spacefacts website
  13. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 11th Stephen Thorne (1953) USA Selected June 1985 (NASA Group 11) Killed in crash of Pitts 2A stunt plane, 24 May 1986 Richard Mastracchio (1960) USA Selected 1996 (NASA Group 16) STS-106, 8 - 20 September 2000 (11d 19h 10m) - delivered supplies (and a toilet!) to the ISS in preparation for the arrival first occupants STS-118, 8 - 21 August 2007 (12d 17h 55m) - delivered S5 truss segment and other components to the ISS STS-131, 5 - 20 April 2010 (15d 2h 47m) - ISS supply mission; also carried (and returned) the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Soyuz TMA-11M/ISS Expeditions 38/39, 7 November 2013 - 14 May 2014 (187d 21h 44m) Total flight time 227d 13h 36m Retired July 2015 Information from Spacefacts website
  14. What have you purchased / been gifted

    It's just been delivered. Now I have to put it away and resist temptation for the next six weeks, until my birthday!
  15. Deep Space Probe and Tug.

    I love the burn effects on the heat-shield.
  16. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 10th Garrett Reisman (1968) USA Selected 1998 (NASA Group 17) STS-123/ISS Expeditions 16/17, 11 March - 14 June 2008 (95d 8h 47m) - landed aboard STS-124 STS-132, 14 - 26 May 2010 (11d 18h 28m) - delivered the Russian Mini-Research Module to the ISS Total flight time 107d 3h 15m Retired 2011 Information from Spacefacts website
  17. Falcon Heavy Success!

    Complete success is when the payload is delivered into the correct orbit. Complete failure is when burning bits of the rocket fall back onto the launch pad. This flight was somewhere in between, but it was a hell of a lot closer to the success end of the spectrum. And as for putting a car into solar orbit, how much media attention would the launch have attracted if they'd put a block of concrete up instead? The very notion of a sports car made the reporters sit up and take notice, and all the other stuff--the dummy in the driver's seat, Bowie on the tapedeck, a towel in the glove compartment--just added to the interest. Elon Musk is Delos D. Harriman come to life.
  18. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 9th Bill Williams (1942) USA Selected 1983 Selected as Payload Specialist on STS-61D but resigned to spend more time with his family Retired 1985; no flights Ulrich Walter (1954) (Germany) Selected 1987 STS-55, 26 April - 6 May 1993 (9d 23h 40m) - Spacelab D-2, the second German Spacelab Retired 1993 Peggy Whitson (1960) USA Selected 1996 (NASA Group 16) STS-111/ISS Expedition 5, 5 June - 7 December 2002 (184d 22h 14m) Soyuz TMA-11/ISS Expedition 16, 10 October 2007 - 19 April 2008 (191d 19h 7m) Soyuz MS-03/ISS Expeditions 50/51/52, 17 November 2016 - 3 September 2017 (289d 5h 1m) - landed aboard Soyuz MS-04 Total flight time to date 665d 22h 22m Still on active flight status Holds the following records: US cumulative flight duration Female cumulative flight duration Female single flight duration Female cumulative EVA duration First female Commander of the ISS (on Expedition 16) Also Commander on Expedition 51 Information from Spacefacts website
  19. What have you purchased / been gifted

    Well, I had a jigsaw that said on the box '3 - 4 years' and I was chuffed when it only took me an hour and a half!
  20. What have you purchased / been gifted

    You mean that isn't how long it will take to build?
  21. Falcon Heavy Success!

    There is! (Wikipedia) Roadster payload The first generation Tesla Roadster is an all-electric sports car. Tesla delivered approximately 2,450 Roadsters worldwide between February 2008 and December 2012. The midnight cherry Roadster launched into space is one of Elon Musk's privately owned vehicles.[11][12] A number of symbolic and whimsical objects were put in the Roadster. Positioned in the driver's seat is "Starman", a full-scale human dummy clad in SpaceX's pressure spacesuit.[13] He has his right hand on the steering wheel and left elbow resting on the open window sill. Starman is named for the David Bowie song "Starman".[14] The sound system on board the car was looping the Bowie songs "Space Oddity" and "Life on Mars?",[15] although sound does not transmit through the vacuum of space and battery power would eventually deplete. There is a copy of Douglas Adams' 1979 novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the glovebox, along with a towel (a reference to the book) and a sign on the dashboard that reads "Don't Panic!" (another reference to the book).[16][17] The payload also includes a Hot Wheels miniature Roadster with a miniature Starman, a plaque bearing the names of the employees who worked on the project, a message on the vehicle's circuit board stating that it was "Made on Earth by humans",[18] and a copy of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series[19][20] on a laser optical quartz storage device (Arch 5D disk) created by the Arch Mission Foundation.[21]
  22. Falcon Heavy Success!

    (c) Ryanair
  23. What have you purchased / been gifted

    I have done a foolish thing. (Two, if you count joining Britmodeller...) I have ordered one of these: In my defence I will say three things. My birthday is coming up next month and this will be my present to myself. You'd find out anyway so there's no point in hiding it - it will be the big six-oh, but that means I qualify for my Senior Concession Pass and will no longer be forking over fifty quid a month for my normal bus Ridacard, so that money may as well go to something fun, right? This thing is AWESOME! Have a look at this! The thing is also colossal - over 16" high, 28" long and 11" wide... (It doesn't sound so bad when you say it in inches rather than centimetres...) Wish me luck!
  24. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 8th José Armando López-Falcón (1950) Cuba Selected 1978 Backup for Soyuz 38 Retired 1980; no flights Information from Spacefacts website
  25. Astronaut Birthdays for February

    February 7th Al Worden (1932) USA Selected 1966 (NASA Group 5) Apollo 15, 26 July - 7 August 1971 (12d 7h 12m) - CMP so didn't land on the Moon Retired 1975 Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (1963) USA Selected 1996 (NASA Group 16) STS-115, 9 - 21 September 2006 (11d 19h 26m) - delivered truss segment and solar arrays to the ISS STS-126, 15 - 30 November 2008 (15d 20h 29m) - ISS crew exchange (Magnus up, Chamitoff down) Total flight time 27d 15h 35m Retired 2009 Information from Spacefacts website