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Author Topic:   NASA spacecraft parts found beach combing
Matt Mason
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posted 03-27-2013 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greetings, I have found debris while beach combing in the Bahamas. It possibly appears to be from STS-74; the ODS or part of the DM. Perhaps they jettisoned the ODS/DM after undocking? The numbers are as follows:
27 77008-47 AH
MFR 32946 8/24/95
GA (or CA)

27 78321-24
CTL ??731

16/July/95
67211-27-78320
MFR 50213

67211 ASSY
27-78320-108
FL/OC4/EP/138723

What do you think? It has about a 5" porthole with spring activator. I have tracked the MFR to refer to metallurgical reports, but can't confirm mission number.

Jim Behling
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posted 03-27-2013 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neither, the ODS or DM was not jettisoned.

Matt Mason
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posted 03-28-2013 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos of found NASA debris:

Jim Behling
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posted 03-28-2013 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought is might be part of a launch vehicle fairing. What is the color of the back side?

If not a fairing, I would say that is from an aircraft.

Matt Mason
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posted 03-28-2013 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
If not a fairing, I would say that is from an aircraft.
Perhaps, but the materials are a very very high caliber and the honeycomb is also very high end. Some of the metal is mollybendullum (sp?).

Also, one set of characters, OC4, references a mission specialist (whom I've misplaced at the moment) and a mission from that era.

Jim Behling
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posted 03-28-2013 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Mason:
Also, one set of characters, OC4, references a mission specialist (whom I've misplaced at the moment) and a mission from that era.
How does it "reference" a mission specialist and mission?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-28-2013 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA hardware part and serial numbers do not reference crew members* or mission numbers.

* The notable exception being pre-shuttle spacesuit parts.

Matt Mason
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posted 03-28-2013 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
NASA hardware part and serial numbers do not reference crew members* or mission numbers.
Sorry, my bad as I'm new to the space end of flying. I'm looking for the search notes I did of OC4 and I'll copy/get back to you.

Matt Mason
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posted 03-28-2013 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
What is the color of the back side?
The other side is a mocha-brown color of a porous layer about 1/8" thick. Appears to be a thermal protection layer?

Also, the honeycombed strength section is at least 1.5" thick with 5 or 6 layers of very fine fiberglass-looking weave epoxied atop it.

After, on the outboard side, is a metallic paint (has turned greenish on the inside). The inboard side meets the brownish thermal layer.

On edit: Of course, I could be mistaken on which is the inboard/outboard orientation.

Jim Behling
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posted 03-28-2013 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is this color?

Matt Mason
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posted 03-28-2013 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pretty close, yes. Of course it's been "weathered" pretty good.

Paul78zephyr
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posted 03-28-2013 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe 32946 and 50213 are CAGE codes. If you dig into that you may find who made those parts.

p51
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posted 03-28-2013 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious, if this washed up at Cocoa Beach for example, would NASA be yelling for its return?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-28-2013 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It doesn't matter where it is found, all spacecraft parts remain the property of their respective countries, per the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

NASA, the European Space Agency, Roscosmos and others have all reclaimed space hardware after it was found by the public, even when outside the confines of the space agency's country.

If this piece is positively identified as spacecraft debris and can be traced back to a specific launch, the proper authorities do need to be contacted. It is possible they will relinquish ownership, or they may send someone to pick it up (the expense of recovering the piece is the government's responsibility).

Matt Mason
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posted 03-28-2013 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It is possible they will relinquish ownership, or they may send someone to pick it up (the expense of recovering the piece is the government's responsibility).
That would be a tough duty assignment as we live in the Bahamas. Perhaps they'd stay for a "sundowner".
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Just curious, if this washed up at Cocoa Beach for example...
Exuma Cays, Bahamas

Matt Mason
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posted 03-29-2013 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Mason   Click Here to Email Matt Mason     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, the number 27 occurs a lot. Is this significant?

p51
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posted 03-29-2013 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It doesn't matter where it is found, all spacecraft parts remain the property of their respective countries, per the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.
Yeah, I was asking in regards to whether or not NASA would care quite a much if this showed up somewhere within their easy reach (like right alongside KSC). This piece turned up in a place I'm not sure they'd bother showing up at asking for it (as they might for, say, a piece of the Challenger that washed up there), given what it is.

In other words, how badly would they probably want this back and if so, what lengths would they go to to get it? That was my question...

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