Topic: Longest possible shuttle flight without ISS
Max Q Member
Posts: 331 From: Whyalla South Australia Registered: Mar 2007
posted May 24, 2009 07:10 AM
What would be the longest possible flight that the space shuttle could perform assuming an orbit that the International Space Station was unreachable?
Posts: 527 From: Ridgecrest, CA USA Registered: Sep 2000
posted May 24, 2009 01:35 PM
Columbia and Endeavour have extra hydrogen and oxygen tanks. I want to say the were added to Atlantis also. Then if you added the EDO palet that was lost on STS-107 it could last 21 to 23 days on orbit with a crew of seven.
Robert Pearlman Editor
Posts: 23493 From: Houston, TX Registered: Nov 1999
posted May 24, 2009 02:01 PM
If Atlantis had been damaged during the STS-125 ascent and it was deemed severe enough to rule out a repair, then the crew was equipped with enough supplies and consumables to stay 25 days in orbit. To do so, they would need to power down a number of systems with nothing really to do but sit there and wait.
As it turned out, Atlantis was not damaged and the STS-125 crew executed a successful Hubble servicing mission. They were slated to spend 10 days in orbit but were able to extend to a possible 14 days by powering down non-critical systems.