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  Mission specialists: designations and seats

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Author Topic:   Mission specialists: designations and seats

Posts: 100
From: London
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 01-05-2008 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eilisk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having spent my recent free time boosting my shuttle knowledge, I've got a question about the mission specialist (MS) designations.

MS1/MS2 generally take a seat on the flight deck, and that one of them will be the designated flight engineer.

My question is this - does the flight engineer role specifically mean that someone is assigned MS1 (or 2) and do they fulfill the flight engineer role both for ascent and descent? I know that one of the MS'es will swap with someone in mid-deck for descent sometimes and I was wondering if that was because the mid-deck MS had trained as the descent flight engineer.

All the best


Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01-05-2008 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
MS-2 is usually the flight engineer, and that crew member usually has that position for both ascent and re-entry. However, there were a couple of flights where that crew member had that responsibility for only ascent or entry (ie: STS-5).

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 01-05-2008 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Typically one MS is the flight engineer for both ascent and reentry and his/her seat is between the CDR and pilot. The second seat on the flight deck is typically swapped between two MSes, with one sitting there for ascent and the other for reentry.

The person in the right most seat on the flight deck does indeed train as a flight engineer of sorts, although given his seat position, I don't think he has a long stick that the main flight engineer has, which allows him to throw switches that are too far back behind the pilots to effectively use. But, this MS does follow along with the check list and branches off with the pilot for troubleshooting purposes on the checklists while the prime flight engineer splits off and does the same thing with the CDR.


Posts: 100
From: London
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 01-08-2008 03:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eilisk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi all

Thanks for the info so far. What was the difference with STS-5 having the F.Eng role split out? Was it the landing at Edwards?

Have any other missions also had the Flight Engineer role split between ascent and re-entry?

All the best


Posts: 83
From: Norway
Registered: Dec 2006

posted 01-08-2008 05:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kimmern123   Click Here to Email kimmern123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was due to the fact that the ejection seats were still installed on the flight deck. Because of that only one more seat could be squeezed in on the flight deck leaving one of the crewmembers on the flight deck. I guess they switched out so both of them could get a shot on the flight deck. It had nothing to do with landing at Edwards.


Posts: 589
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 01-09-2008 09:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think STS-9 still only had three on the flight deck and then a MS and the two PS's on the mid deck. They didn't get the ejection seats out tell it Columbia went back to Palmdale in 1984.

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