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GordonD

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GordonD last won the day on September 7 2012

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About GordonD

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    All-round great guy
  • Birthday 03/23/1958

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

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  1. You could scratchbuild the space station and keep it in that...
  2. 17 AUGUST 1996 Soyuz TM-24 launch Crew: Valeri Korzun (CDR); Aleksandr Kaleri (FE); Claudie André-Deshays [France] (RC) Korzun and Kaleri were to form Mir Expedition 22; André-Deshays, the first French woman in space, would return to Earth in Soyuz TM-23. Docking was successfully achieved two days later and the crew joined the Expedition 21 team, which included US astronaut Shannon Lucid. She would be replaced by John Blaha in September, with the arrival of STS-79. Blaha had himself been replaced by Jerry Lininger when a major problem arose in February: an oxygen cartridge caught fire and the crew had to put on gas masks. This was during the handover to the Expedition 23 team and Mir was occupied by six people; however the Russians played down the seriousness of the incident, though Lininger was not convinced and spoke out at length following his return to Earth. Later, André-Deshays married fellow spationaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré, having been his backup for two separate missions. In July 1999 she would become the first woman to qualify as a Soyuz Return Commander, meaning she was able to command a Soyuz capsule during an emergency return from space.
  3. 16 AUGUST 1962 S-IV first static firing At Sacramento, California, the S-IV stage was test-fired for the first time. This had six RL-10 engines and would form the second stage of the Saturn I launch vehicle. Though this rocket was launched ten times, the S-IV was inert in the first four; however it achieved a 100% success record in its six live flights. It was later replaced by the more powerful S-IVB and the vehicle redesignated the Saturn IB. 1973 Space Shuttle contracts awarded NASA awarded contracts to Martin Marietta for the construction of the Shuttle's External Tank, using the Boeing facilities at Michoud, Louisiana where the S-IC stage had been built, and to Morton Thiokol in Utah for the Solid Rocket Boosters.
  4. 15 AUGUST 1962 Vostok 3 landing Pilot: Andriyan Nikolayev Landing site: 48° 02' N, 75° 45' E (200 km southeast of Karaganda) 1963 Vostok 4 landing Pilot: Pavel Popovich Landing site: 48° 10' N, 71° 51' E (193 km southwest of Karaganda) After a joint flight lasting just under three days, during which the cosmonauts communicated by short-wave radio, Vostok 3 returned to Earth, touching down safely. Nikolayev's flight time was 3d 22h 22m and 64 orbits. He was closely followed by Popovich in Vostok 4, who touched down just six minutes later and some 200km away. However, Popovich was less fortunate in his landing: after ejecting from the capsule as planned, he came down in very strong winds and only narrowly avoided injury. When the recovery plane arrived he tried to signal to it to prevent the medical team, who were not trained parachutists, from jumping. They did so anyway and the cosmonaut had to help them catch and fold their chutes to avoid them being dragged by the wind. Popovich's flight time was 2d 22h 57m and 48 orbits: only later did it emerge that his flight should have lasted four days, as had Nikolayev's, but was cut short due to an unfortunate misunderstanding. Mindful of Titov's space sickness on Vostok 2, the authorities had instructed Nikolayev and Popovich to use the code word groza (thunderstorms) if they experienced the same symptoms, thus alerting the medics on the ground without anyone else knowing what was going on. However Popovich observed actual thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico and when he reported this it was mistakenly assumed that he was ill. Though he tried to explain the truth of the matter, the decision was taken to bring him down early.
  5. 14 AUGUST 1997 Soyuz TM-25 landing Crew: Vasili Tsibliyev (CDR); Aleksandr Lazutkin (FE) Landing site: 46° 46' N, 69° 42' E (168 km southeast of Dzheskasgan) Mir Expedition 23. German astronaut Reinhold Ewald had been launched alongside the crew in February but had remained aboard the station for a little under three weeks before returning home alongside the Expedition 22 crew. Flight time was 184d 22h 8m; 2,926 orbits. However the crew experienced a rough landing because the cushioning retro-rockets failed to fire.
  6. 13 AUGUST 1989 STS-28 landing Crew: Brewster Shaw (CDR); Dick Richards (P); James Adamson, David Leestma, Mark Brown (MS) Landing site: Edwards AFB This had been a classified DoD mission, with few details of on-orbit activities released to the public. Flight time was 5d 1h, 81 orbits. 1998 Soyuz TM-28 launch Crew: Gennadi Padalka (CDR); Sergei Avdeyev (FE); Yuri Baturin (RC) Padalka and Avdeyev were to form Mir Expedition 26; Baturin would return to Earth with the retiring Expedition 25 crew. To free up the docking port, the Progress M-39 freighter had to undock; it remained in close orbit until the end of the month when it redocked with the station. On 15 August Padalka had to perform a manual docking when yet again the automatic system gave problems. After the departure of Soyuz TM-27 the crew settled down to the usual experimental programme: the only break from routine came on 17 November when the annual Leonid meteor shower was at its height: the cosmonauts had already installed a French-built detector to the exterior of the station in an attempt to capture meteor fragments, but now they were advised to take refuge aboard the Soyuz in case of damage to the station. This was Gennadi Padalka's first space flight: by the time he retired in 2017 he would have flown five times, adding four full terms aboard the ISS to this Mir residency, spending a record 878 days in space and orbiting the Earth 13,791 times.
  7. 12 AUGUST 1962 Vostok 4 launch Pilot: Pavel Popovich The Vostok 3 flight had been proceeding without major incident when the authorities sprang their big surprise with the announcement of a second launch: for the first time two men were in orbit simultaneously. The twin flight was hailed as “the first space rendezvous” but in fact was nothing of the kind: like the US Mercury, the Vostok spacecraft did not have the capability of in-flight manoeuvring: only its attitude could be adjusted. The launch vehicle delivered Vostok 4 into a pre-calculated orbit as its sister capsule passed overhead, but Popovich was unable to do anything to reduce the distance between the two. This made little difference to the Western media, however, and it was seen as a major leap forward. NIK AND POP MEET IN SPACE, one headline ran, ignoring the fact that the two craft had never come within six and a half kilometres of each other. What the joint mission did prove was the Soviets’ ability to prepare and launch two spacecraft within twenty-four hours (it was later revealed that both vehicles had used the same pad) as well as controlling two flights simultaneously, but many Western observers saw the entire operation as little more than a propaganda stunt. Some real scientific work was carried out, however: Nikolayev took many pictures of the Earth’s surface while Popovich photographed the horizon and terminator. Nikolayev had made the first live TV broadcast from orbit, allowing viewers to see him moving around the cabin. Popovich’s own broadcast showed what weightless conditions were like, with a pencil and notebook floating around freely: something that would become familiar to viewers in later years but seen for the first time here. The cosmonauts also enjoyed proper food: bite-size chunks of cutlets and pies, no doubt much more palatable than the puréed meals stored in tubes which had been supplied to Titov. 1977 Shuttle Orbiter ALT-1 Crew: Fred Haise (CDR); Gordon Fullerton (P) An estimated 60,000 people congregated on Edwards Air Force Base to witness the historic first free flight of the Space Shuttle Orbiter: many camped out overnight to be sure of a good vantage point. Just after six in the morning local time, Haise and Fullerton strapped in to the Orbiter’s flight deck and began the long checkout process. Slight problems were found in the No. 3 computer, but the unit was replaced and the process continued. Half an hour before scheduled take-off time the assembly taxied out onto the runway and at precisely eight o’clock the brakes were released and the 747 began to roll. High atmospheric temperatures meant that the climb to the desired altitude took three minutes longer than anticipated: during this time the carrier aircraft was executing a slow turn to port to put it on the elongated “racetrack” course which had been followed during the earlier captive flight tests. Four minutes after take-off the Orbiter’s cabin pressure was reduced to two-thirds sea-level and the third APU was powered up. Forty-seven minutes into the flight the assembly had reached a height of 8,539m and everything was ready. The carrier aircraft now pitched down at an angle of 9° as Haise and Fullerton prepared for their big moment. At a speed of 280 knots and an altitude of 7,346m, the explosive bolts were triggered and Enterprise lifted cleanly away, 48m 28s after take-off. At the moment of separation the Orbiter’s No. 2 computer failed, but as it was one of five this was of no great concern. Haise immediately rolled the Orbiter to the right, while the carrier aircraft banked left, to ensure a quick increase in relative distance. Enterprise then levelled out again, her nose pitched down at an angle of 9° on a course of 350°. The flight plan now called for two left turns to put the Orbiter in line with the runway: before executing the first, Haise performed a practice flare manoeuvre and a short series of shallow banks to test the vehicle’s control surfaces. These would be carried out during descent from orbit to reduce the craft’s airspeed before landing: Enterprise’s velocity was cut from 250 to around 185 knots. With speed back up to 250 knots, Fullerton took control and made the first 90° turn: both pilots found the real Orbiter responded more crisply than the modified Gulfstream aircraft used for training. Haise made the second turn, putting the vehicle onto the final approach trajectory with the speed brakes open to the 30% position, 27°. As he acquired visual contact with the runway Haise noted that the Orbiter was too high and airspeed was increasing faster than anticipated: he therefore opened the speed brake to 40% but this had little effect. At a velocity of 270 knots he increased the brake setting to 50%, the planned limit for the first flight: Enterprise peaked at 285 knots, fifteen higher than predicted, and at an altitude of 270m Haise performed the landing flare, closing the speed brakes and lifting the nose. He held the Orbiter off the ground for some 600m beyond the planned touchdown point before settling the main wheels down at a speed slightly over 190 knots. The speed brake was opened up again to 100%, the rudder halves at a relative angle of 90°, and the nose slowly dropped. Touchdown had come 53m 51s after take-off and the Orbiter had been in free flight for a little short of five and a half minutes. After the spacecraft had come to a stop, the 747 carrier aircraft and the five T‑38 chase planes flew overhead in formation, a salute to the success of the flight.
  8. 11 AUGUST 1962 Vostok 3 launch Pilot: Andriyan Nikolayev Since the last Vostok flight, the US had finally succeeded in launching two orbital missions, though each had lasted only three orbits, far short of Titov's day-long flight. However it was already clear that with each mission of their own, the Soviets were pushing the bar ever higher, so when Nikolayev was launched aboard Vostok 3 Western observers waited with interest to see what would happen. Initially it seemed to be a repeat of the previous mission but everyone was sure that something else was in the pipeline. 1991 STS-43 landing Crew: John Blaha (CDR); Michael Baker (P); Shannon Lucid, George Low, James Adamson (MS) Landing site: Kennedy Space Center Main flight objective had been the deployment of the TDRS-5 satellite. Flight time was 8d 21h 21m; 142 orbits.
  9. Nice work so far! I built this model several years ago; I also have the Chang Zheng 2F launch vehicle to the same scale in my stash (a huge model, around 130 cm tall) which if I ever get round to building it would make an impressive delay alongside the spacecraft itself.
  10. 10 AUGUST 1945 Death of Robert Goddard Robert Hutchings Goddard (born 5 October 1882) was an American inventor who is credited with building the world's first liquid-fuelled rocket. His importance in the field was so great that he was commemorated on a 1964 postage stamp, which also depicts a Mercury-Atlas launch. 1992 Soyuz TM-14 landing Crew: Aleksandr Viktorenko (CDR); Aleksandr Kaleri (FE); Michel Tognini [France] (RC) Landing site: 47° 25' N, 69° 21' E (136 km east of Dzheskasgan) Viktorenko and Kaleri had formed Mir Expedition 10; their flight time was 145d 14h 11m and 2,303 orbits. Tognini had been launched alongside their replacements in Soyuz TM-15; his own flight time was 13d 18h 56m and 218 orbits. 2001 STS-105 launch Crew: Scott Horowitz (CDR); Rick Sturckow (P); Patrick Forrester, Daniel Barry, Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov, Mikhail Tyurin [both Russia] (MS) 106th Shuttle mission; 30th flight of Discovery Delivered supplies and equipment to the ISS but also carried out a crew rotation: Culbertson, Dezhurov and Tyurin became Expedition 3, while the Expedition 2 team of James Voss, Susan Helms and Yuri Usachyov would return aboard the Orbiter. Docking was achieved on Day Three of the flight, and on Day Four the crew carried out the switch of the custom-fitted seat liners aboard the Soyuz lifeboat. As the liner of a replaced crewmember was removed from the Soyuz, that individual officially transferred to the Shuttle manifest, and the installation of a new liner signified the astronaut's switch to the ISS crew. Despite this, the formal start of Expedition 3 was marked by the final closure of the hatches prior to undocking.
  11. 9 AUGUST 1972 Shuttle go-ahead Rockwell International were given Authority to Proceed with construction of the Space Shuttle Orbiter. 1976 Luna 24 launch This was the final flight in the Soviet Union's unmanned lunar probe programme, though future missions are currently being planned. The probe landed successfully in the Sea of Crises, at 12.7145° N, 62.2097° E. A soil sample was gathered and deposited in the return capsule, which then launched back into space and parachuted down in Siberia on 22 August. To date, this is the most recent lunar sample to have been returned, and the probe was the last to make a soft landing on the Moon until the Chinese Chang'e 3 rover in December 2013. 1990 Soyuz TM-9 landing Crew: Anatoli Solovyov (CDR); Aleksandr Balandin (FE) Landing site: 50° 51' N, 67° 17' E (72 km northeast of Arkalyk) This had been Mir Expedition 6. Flight time was 179d 1h 18m; 2,833 orbits. 2005 STS-114 landing Crew: Eileen Collins (CDR); James Kelly (P); Soichi Noguchi [Japan], Stephen Robinson, Andrew Thomas, Wendy Lawrence, Charles Camarda (MS) Landing site: Edwards AFB This was the Return to Flight mission following the Columbia accident, but analysis of the launch footage revealed that portions of foam had again broken free from the External Tank and as a result the Shuttle was grounded again while the problem was examined. The crew were in no danger as none of the pieces had struck the Orbiter. Flight time was 13d 21h 32m; 219 orbits.
  12. 8 AUGUST 1977 Salyut 5 re-entry This had been an Almaz military station, concealed under the Salyut banner. It was occupied twice, by the crews of Soyuz 21 and 24; Soyuz 23 had been planned to dock but failed to complete the approach. Salyut 5 was in space for 412 days, 67 of them with cosmonauts aboard, and orbited the Earth 6,666 times, travelling approximately 270,409,616km. 1989 STS-28 launch Crew: Brewster Shaw (CDR); Dick Richards (P); James Adamson, David Leestma, Mark Brown (MS) 30th Shuttle mission; eighth flight of Columbia This was a classified DoD mission, with most aspects of the flight classified. It is known that two military satellites were deployed, but further details have not been released. This saw the first flight of a radiation experiment using a real human skull, seated in a plastic matrix representing tissue, and fitted with hundreds of dosimeters to record radiation levels. The skull, a female, would fly again on STS-36 and STS-31. 2007 STS-118 launch Crew: Scott Kelly (CDR); Charles Hobaugh (P); Tracy Caldwell, Rick Mastracchio, Dafydd Williams [Canada], Barbara Morgan, Alvin Drew (MS) 119th Shuttle mission; 20th flight of Endeavour This flight delivered the S5 truss segment to the ISS. Among the crew was Barbara Morgan, who twelve years earlier had participated in the Teacher-in-Space program and had been backup to Christa McAuliffe on the ill-fated STS-51L mission. In the intervening time she had been selected as part of NASA's Group 17 and was now a fully qualified astronaut Mission Specialist in her own right. Her presence was signified by a torch of learning on the mission patch. Docking with the ISS was achieved on 10 August: for the first time the new Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS) was used, enabling the Orbiter to draw power from the station's own electrical system to avoid running down its fuel cells and allowing for a longer on-orbit stay.
  13. 7 AUGUST 1961 Vostok 2 landing Pilot: Gherman Titov Landing site: 70 km SE of Engels When Vostok 2's re-entry capsule separated from the equipment module the connecting umbilical failed to disconnect, as had happened on Gagarin's flight. This prevented the spherical capsule taking up its correct attitude until the cable burned through, but once it was free it rotated to point the heat-shield in the right direction and re-entry went off smoothly, Titov ejecting as planned as the capsule was not designed to hit the ground with a man aboard. Flight time had been 1d 1h 18m and 17 orbits. 1971 Apollo 15 splashdown Crew: DaveScott (CDR); Jim Irwin (LMP); Al Worden (CMP) Splashdown point: 26° 13' N, 158° 13' W (Pacific Ocean, 500km north of Hawaii) The Command Module's final descent caused some tense moments in Mission Control: when the capsule appeared on the monitor screen it was immediately apparent that one of the three main parachutes had failed to open properly. Fortunately this situation had been anticipated and the spacecraft was capable of landing safely on just two 'chutes. The crew were warned to prepare for a hard landing but did not find the splashdown impact excessively uncomfortable. They were picked up by the USS Okinawa and for the first time did not have to go into quarantine: it had been determined that there was no risk of lunar germs causing a world-wide infection. Flight time had been 12d 7h 12m. The astronauts had orbited Earth one and a half times prior to TLI. In addition, Scott and Irwin had completed 37 lunar orbits; Worden, who of course had remained in the CSM during the lunar surface activities, had circled the Moon 74 times. 1997 STS-85 launch Crew: Curtis Brown (CDR); Kent Rominger (P); Nancy Davis, Robert Curbeam, Stephen Robinson (MS); Bjarni Tryggvason [Canada] (PS) 86th Shuttle mission; 23rd flight of Discovery The original Pilot for this mission was Jeff Ashby, who withdrew for family reasons in March. The primary payload was the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite (CRISTA-SPAS 2), a joint venture between NASA and the German space agency DARA. This was a retrievable pallet carrying various experiments that had already flown on STS-66. It was deployed on 8 August and operated for around eight days before being retrieved and stowed for landing.
  14. So give the char wallah a shout!
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