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GordonD last won the day on September 7 2012

GordonD had the most liked content!

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About GordonD

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    Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Interests
    Real spacecraft, also the late-war Luftwaffe stuff

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  1. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 19 Ko San (1976) South Korea Selected 2006 Assigned as Spaceflight Participant to Soyuz TMA-12 but dropped Retired April 2008; no flights On 10 March 2008 (a month before launch) Ko San was dropped from flight status for breaching security regulations that prevented training manuals being taken away from the cosmonaut centre. He was replaced by his backup Yi So-Yeon. Information from Spacefacts website
  2. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 18 No astronaut birthdays today
  3. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 17 Karl Henize (1926) USA Selected 1967 (NASA Group 6) STS-51F, 29 July - 6 August 1985 (7d 22h 45m) - Carried Spacelab 2 Retired April 1986 Died of high altitude pulmonary oedema 5 October 1993 during an ascent of Mount Everest William Anders (1933) USA Selected 1963 (NASA Group 3) Apollo 8, 21 - 27 December 1968 (6d 3h 0m) - First manned lunar orbit; first manned flight of the Saturn V Retired September 1969 Mae Jemison (1956) USA Selected 1987 (NASA Group 12) STS-47, 12 - 20 September 1992 (7d 22h 30m) - Carried Japanese-financed Spacelab-J. First black woman in space Retired March 1993 Had a cameo role as a transporter operator in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Second Chances" Information from Spacefacts website
  4. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 16 James Newman (1956) USA Selected 1990 (NASA Group 13) STS-51, 12 - 22 September 1993 (9d 20h 11m) - Deployed Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), also carried ORFEUS-SPAS pallet STS-69, 7 - 18 September 1995 (10d 20h 28m) - Carried Wake Shield Facility (WSF-2) and SPARTAN 201, both free-flyers deployed and retrieved STS-88, 4 - 15 December 1998 (11d 19h 18m) - Docked with Zarya (ISS base block) and connected the Unity node; first assembly flight of the ISS STS-109, 1 - 12 March 2002 (10d 22h 10m) - Fourth Hubble Servicing Mission (HST-SM-03B): replaced solar arrays and other equipment Total flight time 43d 10h 7m Retired July 2008 Information from Spacefacts website
  5. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 15 Aleksandr Puchkov (1948) USSR Selected 1990 Trained to fly Buran but programme cancelled Retired September 1996; no flights Roberto Vittori (1964) Italy Selected 1998 (European Group 1) Soyuz TM-34/ISS Taxi Flight 3, 25 April - 5 May 2002 (9d 21h 25m) - Landed aboard Soyuz TM-33 Soyuz TMA-6/ISS Visiting Flight 4, 15 - 24 April 2005 (9d 21h 22m) - Landed aboard Soyuz TMA-5 STS-134, 16 May - 1 June 2011 (15d 17h 38m) - Delivered Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-2) and other equipment to the ISS. Final flight of Endeavour Still on active status; total flight time to date 35d 12h 25m Information from Spacefacts website
  6. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 14 Kathleen Rubins (1978) USA Selected 2009 (NASA Group 20) Soyuz MS-01/ISS Expeditions 48/49, 7 July - 30 October 2016 (115d 2h 21m) Still on active flight status Information from Spacefacts website
  7. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 13 Rich Clifford (1952) USA Selected 1990 (NASA Group 13) STS-53, 2 - 9 December 1992 (7d 7h 19m) - Semi-classified DoD mission - Carried various experiment packages with a military application STS-59, 9 - 20 April 1994 (11d 5h 49m) - Carried Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1) STS-76, 22 - 31 March 1996 (9d 5h 16m) - Third Shuttle-Mir docking; Lucid became resident Total flight time 27d 18h 24m Retired January 1997 Timothy Good (1962) USA Selected 2000 (NASA Group 18) STS-125, 11 - 24 May 2009 (12d 21h 37m) - Fifth Hubble Servicing Mission (HST-SM-04): replaced gyros; fitted Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera STS-132, 14 - 26 May 2010 (11d 18h 28m) - Delivered Russian Rassvet module to the ISS Total flight time 24d 18h 5m Retired April 2012 Nie Haisheng (1964) China Selected 1998 (China Group 1) Shenzhou VI, 12 - 16 October 2005 (4d 19h 32m) - Second Chinese mission; first access of the Orbital Module. Exact scientific activities unknown Shenzhou X/Tiangong 1 Expedition 2, 11 - 26 June 2013 (14d 14h 29m) Still on active status; total flight time to date 19d 10h 1m Information from Spacefacts website
  8. GordonD

    Soyuz MS-10 launch failure

    Early days yet and the investigation hasn't even started but one source suspects that a valve didn't close properly. If it was a propellant valve then one of the strap-on boosters might still have been firing as it separated, leading it to collide with the core section. The immediate problem is that with Soyuz grounded, what happens to the ISS? The Expedition 57 crew are still aboard, but they were due to come down at the beginning of December, with their replacements launching mid-month. Their stay aboard the station can be extended, but not indefinitely: the 'shelf life' of their Soyuz only lasts until the middle of January: like food best-before dates this is obviously a conservative estimate but I wouldn't want to risk more than a few weeks beyond then. I don't know how long the ISS can be left unmanned: this is not a situation anybody anticipated back when the Shuttle was flying. With that and the Soyuz the chances of both being grounded at the same time were very small. Of course the Shuttle was grounded after the Columbia accident, but Soyuz was able to keep the ISS operating, albeit with a reduced crew of two. However the ISS was a lot smaller then and while three seems to be enough to keep it going between mission changeovers for this to last an indefinite amount of time may not be desirable. The ISS is about to complete its eighteenth consecutive year of occupation (the Expedition 1 crew boarded on 2 November 2000) and it would be sad to see this chain broken. In an ideal world the investigation will find the answer quickly and Soyuz will be cleared to fly again before the current crew are forced to come home. On a side note the authorities have said that Ovchinin and Hague will be recycled to an early mission so they might even be aboard Soyuz MS-11 when it eventually flies. On another side note, should MS-10 be classed as a space flight? It didn't reach the 100km Kármán line which is the official designation of the space boundary. The previous in-flight abort, Soyuz 18-1, took place somewhat later during the launch profile and did exceed that altitude, so that is classed as a sub-orbital mission. The other two failed launch attempts, Soyuz T-10-1 and STS-51L obviously got nowhere near the 100km figure so they are not classed as space flights. But MS-10 aborted at an altitude of 45km and the spacecraft climbed much higher than that before beginning its descent. As the intention was to go into orbit I've changed my mind on this and will count it as a proper, though failed, space flight. Any comments?
  9. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 12 Jake Garn (1932) USA Selected 1984 (Congress Observer Group) US Senator (Rep., Utah) - Head of the Senate appropriations subcommittee dealing with NASA's budget (!) STS-51D, 12 - 19 April 1985 (6d 23h 55m) - Deployed two comsats; one failed to initialise and was retrieved and repaired on a later flight Retired April 1985 During the flight Garn suffered from space-sickness to such an extent that a scale for space sickness was jokingly based on him, where "one Garn" is the highest possible level of sickness. Oleg Novitsky (1971) Russia Selected 2006 Soyuz TMA-06M/ISS Expeditions 33/34, 23 October 2012 - 16 March 2013 (143d 16h 15m) Soyuz MS-03/ISS Expeditions 50/51, 17 November 2016 - 2 June 2017 (196d 17h 50m) Still on active status; total flight time to date 340d 10h 5m Information from Spacefacts website and Wikipedia
  10. The latest launch to the ISS has aborted due to a problem with the launch vehicle. The crew are on the ground and safe. Updates as they come in.
  11. GordonD

    Astronaut Birthdays for October

    October 11 Georgi Machinsky (1937) USSR Selected 1972 Retired for medical reasons June 1974 due to injuries sustained in a car accident; no flights Information from Spacefacts website
  12. GordonD

    We're ba-ack!

    Fifty years ago today Apollo 7 was launched, the first manned mission in the Apollo programme and America's first flight in nearly two years, following the hiatus in the wake of the pad fire. Wally Schirra, Walter Cunningham and Donn Eisele carried out a flawless eleven-day orbital checkout of the new Command & Service Module, essentially carrying out the mission that would have been flown by Grissom, White and Chaffee. Schirra became the only man to fly in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, but it was to be his last flight: he was unhappy with the workload on what was an untested spacecraft, especially when the crew were asked to make TV broadcasts. Some described this as a mutiny in space; others look on it as him protecting his crew. but whatever the reason none of the astronauts would fly again. However it was a huge step in putting the US space programme back on track. The next time American astronauts flew, they would go around the Moon.
  13. One of the points made by the hoax-believers is "Who was filming Armstrong coming down the ladder?" Answer - the camera was mounted on the LM Descent Stage and as he came down the ladder Armstrong pulled a lever which lowered the panel covering it. The LRV camera was, as you said, operated from Mission Control. Bear in mind that there was a 1.2 second delay between any input made and the camera responding, so it took a great deal of skill to get it right! If you watch the launch of the Apollo 17 ascent stage, the operator did a fantastic job in timing the upwards pan to keep it in shot as he was anticipating its movement, not following it. BTW the reason we never saw a similar move on Apollo 15 was that the camera had been giving problems with the upwards pan and occasionally the astronauts had to push it back down by hand. Obviously this wasn't an option after they had taken off, so it was decided not to risk it as the camera could still be used to a limited extent until the batteries ran down. I think they tried it on Apollo 16 but didn't get it quite right.
  14. With you now. Unfortunately no matter how much proof you offer, some people just won't be convinced.
  15. Enjoy the build! I did, both times. (No, I didn't buy two of them but with Lego you can take it apart and build it all over again!)