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  What's landing site #4?

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posted 12-21-2006 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like they'll put Discovery down at one of the three landing sites anyway, but -- given the weather and the supply situation -- what's the fourth?

I had a roommate once, who had been an USAF fireman, claimed that some AFB he worked at in Colorado was landing site #7; I didn't think they had a list that long, and I never quite trusted the guy, but I figure NASA's got a long list of these things.


Posts: 235
From: Madisonville, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-21-2006 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstronautBrian   Click Here to Email AstronautBrian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess any runway long enough *could* serve as an emergency landing site. I heard once that, and perhaps our resident Australians can confirm or deny, that Sydney Airport is considered an emergency landing site.

EDIT: I did find this link:

EDIT AGAIN: More interesting links
French base named emergency shuttle landing site
European Landing Sites for Shuttle Flights
NASA Names North Carolina Airport Emergency Landing Site for Shuttle

"I am sui generis; just leave it at that." - Huey P. Long

[Edited by collectSPACE Admin (December 21, 2006).]

Robert Pearlman

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-21-2006 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There isn't a specific #4: if KSC, EAFB and WWSH (White Sands Space Harbor) are unavailable and you cannot stay in orbit another day, then it becomes a choice among emergency landing sites, of which there is no pre-defined first choice. Trajectory and weather are factors in the real-time decision.

As to where they can land, there are the trans-Atlantic abort sites:

Base Aerienne, Ben Guerir, Morocco
Moron, AB, Spain
Zaragoza AB, Spain

And then there are emergency landing sites, including:

Amberley, Australia
Anderson AFB, Guam
Gander, Newfoundland
Keflavík, Iceland
Ormond Beach, Florida
Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia
Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Salisbury, Maryland
Stephenville, Newfoundland
Wake Island


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From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 12-21-2006 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I don't know what order of sites they would look at 'next,' I have a gut feeling that Vandenberg would be near the top of that list.

VAFB is the site they would land at should the shuttle have to return unmanned.


Posts: 512
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-21-2006 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the military, I was told that their airfield could be used for a backup/reserve site. Also, one day when I was at the airfield a NASA jet was there on the runway.


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From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 12-21-2006 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
a shuttle landing at Oceana in Virginia would be very cool. If they wait until late on the day on Saturday, I'll be driving by the gates.


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From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-22-2006 04:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shuttle abort landing sites?
If the runway is long enough and it has an ILS or MLS landing system and preferably USAF presence it can be a shuttle landing site


Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-22-2006 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
what about Istres (don't pronounce the "s" at the end, as I've heard some NASA commentators pronounce it like "istress"), France?


[Edited by cspg (December 22, 2006).]


Posts: 507
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 12-22-2006 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a handy list from the Entry Checklist: (copyright free).

See page 3-2. And print it out if you wish.

Also try this: Page 2-14 in the Flip Book and Google the three letter airport codes if you wish.

If anyone has spare time they could build a complete list based on the computers number for each site from recent missions. Possibly a recent Data Processing System Dictionary or the Flight Procedures Hanbook for Ascent, Entry or Deorbit Procedures could fill in the gaps...

Yes, I'm a Flight Data File nerd.

[Edited by kyra (December 22, 2006).]

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