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  Shuttle Flight Data File (FDF) checklists

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Author Topic:   Shuttle Flight Data File (FDF) checklists
Chuckster01
Member

Posts: 776
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 07-11-2015 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an STS-103 flight data file, Ascent Checklist. It also says Mission Operations Directorate Flight Design and Dynamics Division, Final July 23, 1999. It is 8.5 x 11 and bound with 3 metal rings.

My question is how often do ground control copies for these checklist come up? I have seen several flown ones sell at auction but this is the first ground control one I have come across. This one looks original and used but complete and in good condition.

Please let me know if you have run across these checklists in your collecting travels.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41645
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-11-2015 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ascent checklists used on the ground weren't limited to ground control use. They were used in training, in the shuttle avionics integration laboratory (SAIL) and by public affairs (though not distributed by PAO).

Only the astronauts who flew on the first 24 space shuttle missions (STS-1 through STS-61C) were allowed to keep their flown FDF checklists. All subsequent flight's flown data files were retained by NASA for transfer to the National Archives.

I have a training copy (ex astronaut) of an orbit ops checklist from STS-50 and a SAIL-used copy of the ascent checklist from STS-132.

Beginning with STS-114, NASA posted the digital files for the FDF checklists online, so it is possible to print one exactly as was used at Johnson Space Center.

Chuckster01
Member

Posts: 776
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 07-12-2015 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much for the information.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 3421
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-13-2015 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Periodically (no pun intended) they come up for sale on eBay. I have FDFs for a few of the post-Challenger missions, including 61F, G, K (signed by Garriott, Nicollier and Stewart) and I (signed by Bagian).

ringo67
Member

Posts: 168
From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 04-18-2019 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone who has seen or handled an Ascent Checklist help me out?

I'm interested in the weight of the paper used for the pages and covers, as well as the width of the Velcro strips.

My interest is because I want to create an Ascent Checklist for a fictional mission to use as a display piece. But I want it to be otherwise as accurate as possible to the flown article. Thanks in advance!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41645
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-18-2019 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The checklists changed style over the course of the space shuttle program. What era are you setting your fictional mission?

ringo67
Member

Posts: 168
From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 04-18-2019 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see it as being an additional Shuttle mission following STS-135.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41645
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-18-2019 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on a SAIL-used copy of the STS-132 ascent checklist, both the cover and pages are of the same paper weight, which is thin card stock. I do not know about the velcro.

ringo67
Member

Posts: 168
From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 04-18-2019 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Robert. That's very helpful.

ringo67
Member

Posts: 168
From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 05-15-2019 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've come up with some more questions regarding my ascent checklist project. I had hoped I could contact someone who had worked on the checklists, but I didn't realize they worked for USA and that company is in the process of closing up shop. So, I figured I'd ask here.

I've been scouring photos trying to figure how they bound the checklists. It looks like they used some kind of coated wire. The closest item I can find would be a coated wire keychain.

Another item I've been trying to locate are the square metal clips that usually have a square of Velcro on them. I know NASA often buys off-the-shelf items, and I can find similar clipsin black and silver, but not in the gold/brass color that NASA used. I've debating painting a few, but I'd rather not go through the hassle if I don't have to.

My project is moving along, though. I've designed the mission patch, and the checklist is complete and just needs to be printed. I've also found two large rolls of the 1" medium blue Velcro that NASA used on eBay. One is even marked as NASA surplus.

I think this is going to look really nice when it's done.

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