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

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  1. 12 NOVEMBER 1981 STS-2 launch Crew: Joe Engle (CDR); Dick Truly (P) Second Shuttle mission; second flight of Columbia The second flight of the Space Shuttle was in many ways even more important than the first, proving the reusability concept which was the whole point of the Space Transportation System. The flight was delayed by a month after a spillage of nitrogen tetroxide from the RCS thrusters loosened some of the tiles on the Orbiter’s nose. On 4 November, the countdown was at T-minus 31 sec when the launch computer called a hold after detecting that an oxygen tank in one of Columbia’s fuel cells was below pressure. Almost at the same time, one of the Orbiter’s Auxiliary Power Units also malfunctioned. The launch controllers tried to over-ride the hold, believing that the faults would clear themselves, but the computer would have none of it and the flight was postponed until 12 November: Truly’s 44th birthday. The spacecraft’s total lift-off weight was 2,029,528kg: 5735.5kg higher than STS-1, mainly due to the OSTA-1 experimental package and the Remote Manipulator System, fitted for the first time. During launch, minor debris from the External Tank was observed striking the Orbiter, but this was not considered to be a problem. More serious trouble was developing elsewhere, however: one of the three APUs malfunctioned again, and one of the fuel cells started to overload with water. Sally Ride, the first female CAPCOM, told the astronauts to shut down the fuel cell, which under mission regulations meant that Columbia could remain in orbit for no longer than two days and the flight had to be curtailed. Fortunately the most important parts of the work programme had been scheduled for the early part of the mission, in case it did have to be cut short, and little of real consequence was lost. The Canadian-built RMS arm was tested for the first time, though not to the extent planned, as the backup drive broke down. Engle had been scheduled to wear the new EVA suit in the spacecraft’s airlock, but this activity had to be cancelled when the mission was cut short. The OSTA-1 science package in the cargo bay did perform flawlessly, however, with much vital Earth-resources data being gathered. The Shuttle Multispectral Infra-Red Radiometer detected an area rich in ore deposits in the Mexican desert, while the Shuttle Imagine Radar located previously-unknown river channels below the eastern Sahara Desert. 1995 STS-74 launch Crew: Kenneth Cameron (CDR); James Halsell (P); Chris Hadfield [Canada], Jerry Ross, Bill McArthur (MS) 73rd Shuttle mission; 15th flight of Atlantis Second Shuttle/Mir docking: delivered a pair of solar arrays and the Russian-built Docking Module, which was left attached to the station's Kristall module. Without this, for each Shuttle docking, Kristall would have had to be moved to Mir's longitudinal axis to provide enough clearance. As this port was normally used by Progress freighters, it was not an ideal location for Kristall; in addition, it was obviously undesirable to continually shift that module around. Docking took place on 15 November and when the Shuttle crew boarded Mir it marked the first time that astronauts from four different countries were aboard the station: Russia, the USA, Canada and Germany (Thomas Reiter was part of Mir Expedition 20).
  2. 11 NOVEMBER 1966 Gemini XII launch Crew: Jim Lovell (CDR); Buzz Aldrin (P) This was the last flight in the Gemini programme and it was the one where EVA techniques were finally mastered. Previous spacewalkers had found it difficult to carry out any useful work but once it was realised that as long as the astronaut was properly secured he would not have to waste energy fighting Newton's Third Law, things became much easier. The spacecraft was fitted with handholds and other restraints, and Aldrin had done extensive underwater training. Docking with the Agena target was achieved despite a failure of the rendezvous radar: fortunately of all the astronauts in NASA’s ranks the one man who was most qualified to get around the problem happened to be sitting in the pilot’s seat. During the preparations for Gemini VI, Aldrin had prepared a series of charts to help the astronauts in just such a situation, and he was now able to put that work to good use. Gemini XII made its rendezvous on time and was docked four hours into the flight. Signs of a pressure loss in Agena’s thrust chamber prompted NASA to cancel the boost to higher orbit but this had the advantage of enabling the astronauts to photograph a solar eclipse, an activity included in the original flight plan but cancelled when the launch was delayed. Lovell and Aldrin managed to take two pictures of the eclipse, but were unable to manoeuvre the spacecraft in time to get images of the Moon’s shadow on the surface of the Earth. Aldrin then carried out a 2½-hour Stand-up EVA, securing numerous fine astronomical photographs, but the real high-spot of the flight came on Day Two when he made another EVA lasting more than two hours, during which he worked on a test panel of bolts, levers and electrical connectors on the Agena. This, in addition to another SEVA on Day Three, brought Aldrin’s cumulative time outside the spacecraft to a record five hours and twenty-six minutes. The astronauts also repeated the tether experiment carried out on Gemini XI, cartwheeling the two spacecraft around their common centre of mass before allowing them to slow down into a gravity-stabilised position. 1982 STS-5 launch Crew: Vance Brand (CDR); Robert Overmyer (P); Joe Allen, Bill Lenoir (MS) Fifth Shuttle mission; fifth flight of Columbia The Space Transportation System’s first operational mission was also the first four-man space flight and the first to carry Mission Specialist astronauts. STS-5 also carried two communications satellites in the payload bay, the Shuttle’s first commercial cargo. The bulky pressure suits worn on the development flights were gone: instead, the astronauts wore ordinary blue coveralls with oxygen-fed helmets which would enable them to breathe in case of a pressure loss. Much of the development flight instrumentation was removed, as was the RMS arm, which would not be used on this flight. Launch was on time, but headwinds depressed the launch trajectory slightly, with the result that SRB separation took place about 1.2km lower than normal. This time there was no repetition of the parachute problem of STS-4, and both boosters were recovered. Columbia ended up in a parking orbit of 296 x 298km at T-plus 2hrs 5min, following two OMS burns. Six hours later, the first of the communications satellites was launched. SBS 3 was owned by Satellite Business Systems, a consortium composed of Aetna Life and Casualty, Comsat and IBM, who had paid NASA $10 million to deploy it. The satellite was mounted on a spin table, which was rotated at 50 rpm to make sure it was perfectly stable. Next, explosive bolts fired and springs pushed the satellite clear of the cargo bay. Columbia then backed away around 30km for safety before the satellite’s PAM-D booster fired to carry it up to geosynchronous orbit. The following day, in a similar manner, the Canadian Anik C3 satellite was launched. The other highlight of Day Two should have been the first American EVA for nine years, but Bill Lenoir had been slightly space-sick and the operation was delayed by twenty-four hours. On Day Three, Lenoir and Allen put on the new pressure suits and started the 3½-hour breathing exercise necessary to avoid the “bends”, but just as they were about to open the inner airlock door, problems developed with the life-support backpacks. The cooling fan in Allen’s backpack was running noisily, while Lenoir’s oxygen regulator would not pressurise above 3.8psi. Repairs were attempted, but to no avail and the EVA was cancelled, much to the disappointment of everyone concerned. 2013 Soyuz TMA-09M landing Crew: Fyodor Yurchikhin (CDR); Luca Parmitano [Italy], Karen Nyberg [USA] (FE) Landing site: 47°18'54,599"N,69°27'34,788"E (142 km southeast of Dzheskasgan) ISS Expeditions 36/37. Flight time was 166d 6h 18m and 2,581 orbits.
  3. I think it's a signal to Jacob Rees-Mogg to get ready for the ship that's coming to take him back to his home planet.
  4. 10 NOVEMBER 1970 Luna 17 launch Unlike its two immediate predecessors, Luna 17 was not intended to return soil samples from the Moon's surface, but instead carried the first wheeled vehicle, Lunokhod 1. This remote-controlled rover was designed to operate for three lunar days (around three months), returning photographs and testing the soil for density and mechanical properties. 1985 Buran Analogue flight 1 Crew: Rimantas Stankevičius (CDR); Igor Volk (P) Like the American version, the Soviet Shuttle Orbiter was tested in the atmosphere before venturing into space. However, the Soviets built an "aerodynamic analogue" equipped with four AL-31 jet engines so it could take off under its own power rather then being lifted to altitude by a carrier aircraft. Following a series of taxi tests, the first flight took place from the Jubilee airfield at Baikonur. The vehicle climbed to an altitude of 1.5km, at which point the engines were cut to allow it to glide back to the runway. The flight lasted twelve minutes, the maximum speed reached being 480km/hr. 2002 Soyuz TM-34 landing Crew: Sergei Zalyotin (CDR); Yuri Lonchakov, Frank De Winne [Belgium] (FE) Landing site: 50° 59' N, 67° 35' E (81 km north-northeast of Arkalyk) This was the fourth ISS Taxi Flight: the crew had been launched aboard the newly upgraded Soyuz TMA-1 but returned in the older version, making its final flight. The mission lasted 10d 20h 53m and 171 orbits. 2014 Soyuz TMA-13M landing Crew: Maksim Surayev (CDR); Greg Wiseman [USA], Alexander Gerst [Germany] (FE) Landing site: 51°03'18,12"N 67°18'13,8"E (94 km northeast of Arkalyk) ISS Expeditions 40/41. Flight time was 165d 8h 1m, 2,566 orbits.
  5. 9 NOVEMBER 1967 Apollo 4 Crew: none The first manned Apollo flight had been postponed until the extensive modifications demanded by the fire review board had been carried out, but in the meantime launcher development continued. Under previous policy it would have taken at least two, probably three flights before the complete Saturn V stack was launched: first a test of the S-IC with inert upper stages; next a launch of live first and second stages with a dummy S‑IVB; and only if all went well would the complete assembly be tested, though possibly still without the Apollo spacecraft, which might not fly until the fourth mission. Such an approach would have added several hundred million dollars and a year or more to the development programme. The Office of Manned Spaceflight felt that this was not the best way to proceed and decided instead to go for an “all-up” test, flying the complete three-stage vehicle plus the spacecraft on the very first launch, seen by many as a risky venture. The flight numbering system was to create much confusion: at the request of the astronauts’ widows, the name ‘Apollo 1’ had been permanently reserved for the ill-fated Grissom mission that never was; which meant that this flight should logically have been called Apollo 2. Instead, NASA’s Project Designation Committee announced that it would be known as Apollo 4, although the AS-201 and AS-202 unmanned launches would not be retrospectively renumbered to Apollo 2 and 3. The logic behind this was never really made clear, but whatever the Saturn V test was called, its success was vital for Apollo’s future: another failure, in the wake of the fire, might well have put an end to the whole lunar-landing project. As always in the American programme, the flight took place under the scrutiny of the media: there would be no hiding any failure. As the world watched, the first-stage engines burst into life as the countdown reached T-7 seconds. Gradually, the rocket climbed away from the pad, the vibrations shaking the VIP stand—nearly five kilometres away—and showering CBS reporter Walter Cronkite with debris from the ceiling of his broadcast booth. It was the loudest man-made noise ever heard with the exception of the atomic bomb. The Saturn performed flawlessly, the big first stage separating as planned two and a half minutes into the flight. The S-II second stage took over, carrying the spacecraft up towards orbit before it dropped away in turn. Stage three had already flown as the second stage of the Saturn IB and performed like the tried-and-tested veteran it was. Three hours after orbit insertion it fired again, though the burn was deliberately kept short of the duration required for escape velocity, instead increasing the spacecraft’s apogee to around 17,200km. Now, the CSM separated and went into a series of manoeuvres that culminated in a burn from the SPS to boost its own apogee to more than 18,000km. A second burn during the fall back towards Earth altered its trajectory to that of a spacecraft returning from the Moon. When the Command Module splashed down safely in the Pacific, bringing to an end an overwhelmingly successful mission, NASA could be proud of a job well done. The risky “all-up” test, which could have spelled disaster if it had failed, had instead worked better than anyone could have hoped, proving that the concept of the huge Saturn V was sound. And ten months after the fire, the Apollo project was moving forward again.
  6. 8 NOVEMBER 1881 Birth of Robert Esnault-Pelterie Esnault-Pelterie was a French aircraft designer and spaceflight theorist, considered to be one of the founders of modern rocketry ans astronautics: the French equivalent of Konstantin Tsilkovsky of Russia, Hermann Oberth of Germany and Robert Goddard of the United States. In 1913 he produced a paper that presented the rocket equation and calculated the energies required to reach the Moon and nearby planets. He proposed the use of atomic energy, using 400 kg of radium to power an interplanetary vehicle. His culminating work was L'Astronautique, published in 1930. He also proposed the idea of the ballistic missile for military bombardment. By 1930, he had persuaded the French War Department to fund a study of the concept. In 1931, he began experimenting with various types of rocket propulsion systems, including liquid propellants. The same year he ran a demonstration of a rocket engine powered with gasoline and liquid oxygen. During an experiment with a rocket design using tetra-nitromethane he lost three fingers from his right hand during an explosion. However, his work failed to create an interest in rocketry within France. 1960 Little Joe 5 The previous Little Joe flight had proved that the Mercury escape system would operate at Max-Q on a Redstone launch: this time the object was to see if it would work on an Atlas mission under similar conditions. Originally scheduled for December 1959, delays in the construction of the spacecraft resulted in the launch slipping nearly a year. In the intervening time the flight profile changed: plans had been to fly a chimpanzee aboard the spacecraft but in the end priority was given to the evaluation of the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance. On 7 November bad weather caused a further delay but launch finally took place the following day. Just sixteen seconds into the flight, things went wrong: the clamp attaching capsule to launch vehicle was deflected by the air loads and the abort switch was triggered. The escape motors fired but the spacecraft failed to separate from the Little Joe and at burnout the tower jettison motor fired. However the tower itself did not separate either and after reaching a peak altitude of 16.25km the complete vehicle fell back into the Atlantic, impacting 21.9km downrange. Had a chimpanzee been aboard as originally planned it would almost certainly have been killed. Though much of the debris was recovered, post-flight analysis failed to reveal the cause of the problems and engineers finally concluded that the clamps had possibly been wired incorrectly. 1984 STS-51A launch Crew: Rick Hauck (CDR); David Walker (P); Joe Allen, Anna Fisher, Dale Gardner (MS) 14th Shuttle mission; second flight of Discovery This flight deployed two communications satellites, but retrieved two more: Palapa B2 and Westar VI, which had been deployed on STS-41B in February but which had failed to boost themselves into geostationary orbit. Plans were to bring them back to Earth and launch them again on a forthcoming flight. On 12 November a six-hour EVA was carried out by Allen and Gardner, with Allen flying the MMU, supported by Fisher inside the Shuttle operating the manipulator arm. Using a specially-built device attached to his chest, known as the “stinger”, Allen guided its probe into Palapa’s engine nozzle. Latches secured the satellite so that it could be manoeuvred down towards the Shuttle. Now, a frame should have been attached to Palapa, enabling Fisher to hold it in position with the arm while Gardner secured it in the payload bay. Unfortunately the frame would not fit and Allen was forced to hold the comsat in place while it was bolted down. This procedure took about 75 minutes, during which Allen had to keep the satellite steady, but it went so well that when Westar 6 was retrieved two days later the frame was dispensed with and the manual process was repeated. This time it was Gardner who chased after the satellite, bringing it back to Discovery, but Allen took over and repeated his earlier task of holding it in position while it was secured in the cargo bay. Westar was in place an hour ahead of schedule, at which point the astronauts held up a FOR SALE sign and the Lutine Bell was rung at Lloyds of London, the traditional indication of a salvage success.
  7. 7 NOVEMBER 1963 PA-1 The first test of a live Apollo Launch Escape System came with a simulated off-pad abort carried out at White Sands, using a boilerplate Command Module designated BP-6—one with no life-support or electronic equipment; effectively it was merely a shell that duplicated the size, shape, weight and centre of gravity, though it did carry telemetry apparatus to record flight data. During the countdown the spacecraft was mounted on a low frame­work structure that supported it clear of the ground, and was protected from the elements by a large shed of corrugated iron that split in half and could be lowered to the ground ready for launch. When the LES was triggered, it hauled the Command Module up to an altitude of one and a half kilometres before separating to allow the capsule to go into its recovery sequence. The Command Module landed safely in the scrubland some 1.4 kilometres downrange, having proved that it could protect its crew should they have to be snatched away from a launch vehicle exploding on the pad. 1998 STS-95 landing Crew: Curtis Brown (CDR); Steven Lindsey (P); Stephen Robinson, Scott Parazynski, Pedro Duque [Spain] (MS); Chiaki Mukai [Japan]. John Glenn (PS) Landing site: Kennedy Space Center John Glenn's return to space at the age of 77 had dominated coverage of the mission, which had deployed and retrieved the SPARTAN free-flyer as well as carrying out numerous scientific experiments, as well as medical checks on Glenn himself, who appeared to be having the time of his life back in orbit. At launch, the door of the drag chute compartment had fallen off, and while mission managers did not feel this would cause a problem it was decided not to deploy the parachute on landing. Flight time was 8d 21h 44m and 134 orbits, a far cry from Glenn's three orbits and just short of five hours on Friendship 7! 2007 STS-120 landing Crew: Pamela Melroy (CDR); George Zamka (P); Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Douglas Wheelock, Paulo Nespoli [Italy], Clayton Anderson (MS) Landing site: Kennedy Space Center This flight had delivered the Harmony Module to the ISS, as well as carrying out a partial crew exchange: Daniel Tani had replaced Clayton Anderson as part of Expedition 16. Anderson's flight time was 151d 18h 23m and 2,389 orbits; that of the remainder of Discovery's crew a more modest 15d 2h 23n abd 238 orbits. 2013 Soyuz TMA-11M launch Crew: Mikhail Tyurin (CDR); Rick Mastracchio [USA], Koichi Wakata [Japan] (FE) A multinational crew as well as a highly experienced one: Tyurin was making his third flight, Mastracchio and Wakata both on their fourth. They were ISS Expeditions 38/39 and docked with the station after only six hours, following the fast-track approach.
  8. 6 NOVEMBER 1985 STS-61A landing Crew: Henry Hartsfield (CDR); Steven Nagel (P); Bonnie Dunbar, James Buchli, Guion Bluford (MS); Reinhard Furrer, Willi Messerschmid [both West Germany], Wubbo Ockels [Netherlands] (PS) Landing site: Edwards AFB This had been Spacelab D-1, on behalf of the West German space agency. Spacelab operations had been controlled from Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, while those of the Orbiter itself remained with Houston. Flight time was 7d 0h 45m and 112 orbits. This was the last complete flight of Challenger.
  9. 5 NOVEMBER 1995 STS-73 landing Crew: Ken Bowersox (CDR); Kent Rominger (P); Catherine Coleman, Michael Lopez-Alegria, Kathy Thornton (MS); Fred Leslie, Albert Sacco (PS) Landing site: Kennedy Space Center Carried the second US Microgravity Laboratory (USML-2). Flight time was 15d 21h 52m and 255 orbits.
  10. 4 NOVEMBER 1959 Little Joe 1A The first attempt to simulate a Mercury abort at the moment of Maximum Dynamic Pressure had failed when the escape rocket fired of its own accord about 35 minutes prior to launch. The second attempt was only partially successful: the LES fired two seconds late, by which time the dynamic pressure was down to only ten percent of the planned level. Although the spacecraft was recovered safely, it was never discovered why the abort had been delayed. Maximum altitude was 14.5km, and the capsule splashed down about 17.7km downrange. 1994 Soyuz TM-19 landing Crew: Yuri Malenchenko (CDR); Talgat Musabeyev (FE); Ulf Merbold [Germany] (RC) Landing site: 50° 54' N, 67° 36' E (88 km northeast of Arkalyk) Malenchenko and Musabeyev had formed Mir Expedition 16 along with Valeri Polyakov, who still had four months to run of his marathon 437-day stint. Their own time aboard the station had lasted 125d 22h 54m and 1,993 orbits. Accompanying them for the trip down was German cosmonaut Ulf Merbold, who had arrived with their replacements on Soyuz TM-20 a month earlier. His time was 31d 12h 36m and 499 orbits.
  11. 3 NOVEMBER 1957 Sputnik 2 launch Passenger: Laika [dog] With the United States already reeling from the news of the size of Sputnik 1, things got even worse when the 508kg Sputnik 2 went up a month later, making it obvious that the Soviets had already opened up a big lead in the space race. That lead was shown even more when it became known that Sputnik 2 was carrying a living creature: a Samoyed husky bitch called Laika (“Barker”). This news led to protests from dog-lovers, some of whom demonstrated outside Soviet embassies, though what none of them knew was that Laika was already dead. For nearly forty years, the Russians maintained the official line that Laika had easily adapted to weightlessness, the environment placing no undue strains on her body, and had only been painlessly put to sleep at the end of that time since there was as yet no way to recover a satellite from orbit. However in 1995 it was finally admitted that she had died six hours after orbital insertion due to a failure of the capsule’s insulation, presumably as the nose shroud was jettisoned, which led to her cabin overheating. But Laika’s place in history was assured, as the first of all living creatures to go into orbit. 1966 MOL test launch Crew: none In the early nineteen-sixties the US Air Force had plans to fly a series of modified Gemini spacecraft attached to cylindrical workshop modules, under the programme title of “Manned Orbiting Laboratory”, MOL for short. Missions would last up to a month, consisting primarily of Earth-resources and military reconnaissance as well as other scientific studies, before the Gemini returned to Earth and the lab was allowed to burn up in the atmosphere. The Air Force examined four different methods of crew transfer between Gemini and the workshop: rotating the spacecraft to bring its hatch adjacent to that of the laboratory; an inflatable tunnel connecting the two hatches; a hatch cut through the heat-shield providing direct access; and a standard EVA. The chosen method was the heat-shield hatch, which was considered to give the fastest means of getting back aboard the spacecraft in an emergency. To make sure that the heat-shield would still protect the crew during re-entry, even with a hatch cut through it, a test flight was carried out using the reconditioned Gemini 2 spacecraft mounted atop a dummy shell representing the laboratory. The launch vehicle was a Titan IIIC, essentially a Titan II core flanked by a pair of five-segment solid-fuel boosters for additional thrust. (When MOL flew for real, plans called for it to use seven-segment boosters in a configuration designated Titan IIIM, but this was still on the drawing board at the time of the test.) Although the flight was originally scheduled for late October, technical problems delayed it by six days, but by 3 November everything was set and the unique configuration climbed into the sky. A secondary test objective was to check out the vehicle’s structural integrity, and the results of these investigations gave no cause for concern as the boosters dropped away and the first stage of the core unit took over. At an altitude of around 100km the vehicle pitched its nose down and Gemini separated to begin its re-entry and landing sequence. The launcher now pitched up again and continued on into orbit, where it deployed three sub-satellites for an unrelated experiment. Meanwhile, the Gemini capsule had reached a maximum velocity of about 28,000km/hr before splashing down just 11km from the recovery ship. Post-flight analysis showed that the performance of the heat-shield had in no way been degraded by the access hatch cut through it, though as expected re-entry heating had welded the hatch shut. The flight had been a complete success, but as it turned out it was to be the only one in the MOL programme: the escalating cost of US involvement in the Vietnam War meant continuing cuts in the Air Force’s space budget and the scheduled date for the first manned MOL mission was pushed back from fiscal year 1968-69 to 1969-70. By 1968, further cuts meant that the date had slipped again, to 1971, and a year later the programme was cancelled outright. The Air Force had recruited its own astronaut groups to fly aboard MOL, and on its cancellation most were returned to active duty but seven men transferred to NASA as the civilian agency’s Group Seven intake in August 1969. All would eventually get into space aboard the Space Shuttle, including Bob Crippen, pilot on its maiden flight. 1994 STS-66 launch Crew: Donald McMonagle (CDR); Curt Brown (P); Ellen Ochoa, Joseph Tanner, Jean-François Clervoy [France], Scott Parazynski (MS) 66th Shuttle mission; 13th flight of Atlantis Carried the third Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Sciences (ATLAS-3), a pallet in the cargo bay equipped with instruments to measure the the energy of the Sun and how it affects Earth's climate. These included Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS), which collected more data on trace gases in the atmosphere than on all three of its previous flights combined; Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectrometer (SSBUV), which took ozone measurements to calibrate ozone monitor on the ageing NOAA-9 satellite as well as cooperative measurements with other ATLAS-3 instruments; Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM), which took extremely precise measurements of the sun's total radiation for 30 orbits as calibration reference for sister instrument on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) launched in 1991; Measurement of the Solar Constant (SOLCON), provided by Belgium, which also measured solar radiation but as reference point to track changes over several years; Solar Spectrum Measurement (SOLSPEC), a French instrument that measured the Sun's radiation as a function of wavelength; and Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), which collected its highest precision solar ultraviolet radiation measurements in its 15-year lifetime. Millimetre Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS) collected nine hours of observations, measuring distribution of water vapour, chlorine monoxide and ozone at altitudes between 20 and 100 kilometres, before a computer malfunction halted instrument operations.
  12. *Goes to walk away* *Stops and turns around* "Just one more thing...I've discovered America." - Christopher Columbo
  13. Plane spotter at Heathrow: "That plane that just landed has the England rugby team aboard." Second plane spotter: "How can you tell?" Plane spotter: "Well, they've shut down the engines but it's still whining!"
  14. 2 NOVEMBER 1978 Soyuz 31 landing Crew: Vladimir Kovalyonok (CDR); Aleksandr Ivanchenkov (FE) Landing site: 180 km SE of Dzheskasgan The crew had formed Expedition 2 to Salyut 6 and had been launched aboard Soyuz 29 in June. They set a new duration record of 139d 14h 48m and 2,203 orbits. 2000 ISS Expedition 1 start Crew: William Shepherd [USA] (ISS CDR); Yuri Gidzenko, Sergei Krikalev [both Russia] (FE) The first ISS crew had been launched two days earlier aboard Soyuz TM-31 but it was only when docking took place that Expedition 1 truly began. Gidzenko had been in command of the ferry flight but now handed over the reigns to Shepherd to oversee the activation of the station's systems and the start of nineteen years (and counting) of unbroken occupancy. The current ISS residents are Expedition 61, a clear indication of how successful the ISS has been and continues to be,
  15. I suppose they were okay for their time, which was 1970s/'80s but might need a lot of work if your standards are high.
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