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  Retirement of shuttle Atlantis

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Author Topic:   Retirement of shuttle Atlantis
Philip
Member

Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 02-14-2006 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA might retire Atlantis in order to save funds in the space shuttle budget so only Discovery and Endeavour would remain active...

Ben
Member

Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 02-14-2006 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, it was reported last year and a letter was written by some Congressman using is as a 'threat' to ensure hte budget does not get cut.

At this point it seems unlikely that this will happen, as they get a 3.5 % increase and enough for 17 flights.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-14-2006 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The original letter to the President from the House of Representatives that introduced this idea may be read here.

PowerCat
Member

Posts: 148
From: Herington, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 02-15-2006 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IF NASA was to retire Atlantis, they can forget the 17 or so shuttle flights on the manifest to be flown before 2010. I still have a personal hunch that the shuttles will fly a bit longer than 2010.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 02-15-2006 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think STS-121 will write the Shuttle's future. If there is more foam loss, I suspect the planned number of flights will only continue to decrease. Hopefully, the foam shedding problem has been licked and STS-121 will demonstrate that.

However, if there is any significant foam loss in subsequent missions, it could really throw a wrench into the works.

If the foam problem isn't fully solved to their satisfaction, I wonder if they might pull the plug on the Shuttle earlier than 2010 and accelerate the CEV development and the HLV. Could the ISS be completed later with the HLV, perhaps? Just thinking aloud...

Ben
Member

Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 02-17-2006 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You asked at the right time... here's your answer: NASA plans to park space shuttle Atlantis in 2008 (SpaceflightNow)

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1379
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 02-18-2006 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the rate all this is going, I seriously doubt that the Space Station will be 'complete' by 2010. Retiring Atlantis? Is there a really a need to do such a thing? I doubt it. Will the station be complete by then? No. Will the USA lose it's position as the top spaceflight country in the world? Most likely. What a waste of time, effort, and money.

-Rodrigo

Philip
Member

Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 02-19-2006 04:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Forget building the 'complete' ISS, a reduced version with main components will do fine. The history of flight has to move on! (Kitty Hawk 1903... 66 years later the Moon... since then 35 years nothing!) On to Mars!

John Charles
Member

Posts: 316
From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 03-18-2006 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Charles     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
The history of flight has to move on!
While I share your anticipation of the human exploration of space, please remember that moving beyond LEO will require careful preparation, much of which can best (and -- in my own area, life sciences -- sometimes only) be done in LEO, on a large, long-lived facility like the ISS, and it takes time to do it right. Mars will still be there when we are ready.

Ad Mars per ISS!

------------------
John Charles
Houston, Texas

Carrie
Member

Posts: 225
From: Syracuse, New York, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 03-18-2006 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Carrie   Click Here to Email Carrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just think it's sad that there will be one less museum with a Shuttle on display when Atlantis gets scrapped...oh well, if that's what it takes to keep the program going, I guess we have to be happy with it.

DavidH
Member

Posts: 1181
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 03-20-2006 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Carrie:
I just think it's sad that there will be one less museum with a Shuttle on display when Atlantis gets scrapped...oh well, if that's what it takes to keep the program going, I guess we have to be happy with it.

Well, there's nothing saying it won't still be museum-worthy when the program ends. Enterprise has donated parts over the years (including wing leading edge panels post-Columbia) and some of the Apollo capsules also are short a bit of the original factory equipment. (And in the case of the shuttles, "original equipment" is a pretty meaningless phrase anyway.)

------------------
http://allthese worlds.net/space/
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 03-20-2006 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It should be remembered that Atlantis won't retire immediately...it still has two years of flying left.

When Atlantis is retired, it's likely most of the parts traded out would be internal components most of us wouldn't see...even in a museum setting. And if Atlantis gives up large external parts (such as wing panels), one could always swap in the replaced panel from the other orbiter to cosmetically maintain Atlantis.

I'd be curious just how much of today's Atlantis is the same Shuttle that flew back in 1985. I bet it's less than we think...

chappy
Member

Posts: 213
From: Cardiff, S. Wales, UK
Registered: Apr 2006

posted 04-24-2006 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Atlantis will retire, will this mean that the astronauts corp will be cut/halved due to the only remaining orbiters to fly Discovery and Endeavour to completes the next 18 or more flights to ISS? What is the future for the astronaut corps due to this 'retirement' of the orbiter Atlantis?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-24-2006 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As the retirement of Atlantis does not affect the number of flights remaining in the space shuttle program, the decision to stop flying Atlantis in two or so years has little effect on the need, or lack thereof, of astronauts. It is not yet known (beyond a few specific individuals) who will choose to remain with NASA to develop and fly the CEV and who will mark their own retirement with the space shuttle program's end.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-16-2008 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to NASASpaceflight.com, the space shuttle program has ultimately decided to extend Atlantis' beyond this year's STS-125 mission to fly until 2010, with preliminary manifests and planning documents assigning OV-104 to STS-128 and STS-131.

NavySpaceFan
Member

Posts: 630
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 01-16-2008 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was very happy to read that this morning. Having three orbiters available to finish off ISS construction and the program as a whole makes sense.

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