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STS-135 - The Final Space Shuttle Mission

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cosimo, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Cosimo

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jan 9, 2007

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    Location: Londinium

    Edit: Landing is set for Thursday 21 July at 10:56 BST (05:56 EDT).

    Edit: We are now set to go Friday 8 July at 16:26 BST (11:26 EDT).


    After thirty years of space shuttle missions STS-135 is the final mission. It will be the 33rd and final flight for space shuttle Atlantis.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The final launch is targeted for launch on Friday, 8th of July at 12:06 BST (07:06 EDT).

    Here is where to watch it:

    The new NASA TV link

    NASA TV in HD on UStream

    The Spaceflight Now link

    Another 1200kbps stream​

    Mission information:


    Atlantis leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for the last time:

    [​IMG]

    On its six hour journey from the VAB to the pad:

    [​IMG]

    Atlantis secured at launch pad 39A:

    [​IMG]

    Join me in following this historic mission and looking back at the space shuttle era. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  2. Fireskull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 31, 2006

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    Location: Eastleigh / Winchester

    I will hopefully be on holiday in Florida during the launch so will be watching! Have applied for tickets for the NASA viewpoints but so have probably millions of others :p
     
  3. Marine Iguana

    Soldato

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    Sweet :)
     
  4. Combat squirrel

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 7, 2004

    Posts: 10,191

    ITS THE FINAL COUNTDOWN !!! NERRR NERRR NER, NER NE NE NE NERRRR

    Sorry had that in my head, Sad face though :( the shuttle is awesome and id like to own one, haha, as ever shall be following this, it seems so strange now there is only a 4 person crew, and when Orion flys I bet it will be 1 or 2 people only at 1st to test it, I wish developing space tech didnt take so long :(
     
  5. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

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    I think there is a four person crew because it means that, if worst comes to worst, they can use a Soyuz for emergency evac rather than having another shuttle ready to go in a reasonable amount of time (even though that is a contingency that thankfully has never happened).
     
  6. nutcase

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    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

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    Location: SX, unfortunately

    Sad to see :( Glad I managed to see a launch (albeit from a distance) year before last. I doubt any future craft will hold the same fascination. The Apollo missions were the first real space flights, but the shuttle made it feel like real achievement.
     
  7. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

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    I wouldn't have said that, especially since the Russians essentially got all the firsts (satellite, man in space, spacewalk, first to the moon etc.) apart from that one. Still, it is a beautiful craft, one of humanities greatest achievements :)
     
  8. Drake5

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    Shame it's the last launch for this shuttle, but amazing non the less. :)
     
  9. Greenlizard0

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    Epic craft with such a history.

    Any ideas as to what they're replacing it with?
     
  10. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

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    A gaping funding gap?
     
  11. Greenlizard0

    Man of Honour

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    Location: Liverpool

    Oh right - are they bringing everybody home and leaving it up there?
     
  12. Nikumba

    Mobster

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    Location: Bourne, Lincs

    I will be on holiday in Florida during the planned launch window, so will be going to see this, just so I can say I was there at the last shuttle launch

    Kimbie
     
  13. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

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    No, manned transport to and from the station will be done on Russian Soyuz craft, which are essentially what they've been using since the beginning of time (and i believe what they were planning to go to the moon in):



    Not completely relevant, i just think it's amazing that this was done during a time when the USA and Russia had thousands of nukes aimed at each other.
     
  14. BlackDragon

    Mobster

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    Posts: 2,615

    Last I heard it should be the Orion spacecraft. It's a long way off completion and I think Nasa are paying Russia to take things up to space for them. It's a bit disappointing that they couldn't have come up with something in time for the shuttle's retirement.
     
  15. Metalface Mark

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    No offense, but the Russians got a few firsts, the Americans got most of them.

    First docking in space, first docking of two manned craft in space, first vehicle in space with no return, first landing on another planet, first return of samples, etc etc etc. The russians were only ahead for a short space of time after which from Gemini onwards they were second to everything.

    The Russians didnt do anything the americans couldnt, they just had a chief designer who was prepared to take risks, Von Braun also wanted to take risks but was not allowed.
     
  16. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

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    I don't know, the Soyuz crafts of the time were so much more advanced than the Apollo modules, and Buran had a ton of technical advantages over the shuttle, but you're right - and it's strange how different things could have played out if Sergei hadn't died when he did.
     
  17. Spook187

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    Would that be for all payloads including military aswell.
     
  18. BlackDragon

    Mobster

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    I think it is just that manned trips into space will be done using Russia's spacecraft.

    I imagine NASA can launch everything else into space with its own rockets.
     
  19. Metalface Mark

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    The Soyuz was nothing near as advanced as Apollo, prior the Apollo Soyuz test project in 1975 the Americans assumed they would be able to learn some new things but there was really nothing, Apollo outshined the Soyuz of the time by quite some distance.

    Thats the whole thing though, its quite possible if he hadnt died then they would have got to the moon first too, if the first Soyuz hadnt had the problem it did theres every chance Leonov would have gone round the moon on the next flight.

    The technical differences are shown up quite well in Dave Scott and Alexei Leonov's book, Two Sides of the Moon, its a great read, ive read every astronaut autobiography and it was one of the few that let me learn some new things I hadnt heard before. Another is the revision of Walt Cunningham's autobiography, its the most technical of all the books.
     
  20. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

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    And yet the Soyuz had more room and more advanced instruments, including a computer.

    Ultimately, wasn't your initial question about Apollo v Shuttle? I think it comes down to the Shuttle being reusable, and thus a lot cheaper per launch than Apollo. In 135 missions what, five fully functional Shuttles have had to be built? With the SRBs being used on quite a few missions each. Each Apollo mission not only required a brand new CMD, LM (or whatever additional module was required) and ablative reentry heatshield, but also an entire Saturn V rocket. I think the price difference is somewhat monumental.