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  Which shuttle Challenger rollout is this?

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Author Topic:   Which shuttle Challenger rollout is this?
heng44
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From: Netherlands
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posted 10-13-2009 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Who can help me identify for which shuttle flight this rollout photo was made? The orbiter is Challenger, so there are only 10 flights possible. Some of these we can rule our for various reasons.

  • STS-6 (was rolled out in fog)
  • STS-7 (daylight during this portion of rollout)
  • STS-8 (had yellow stiffener bars on payload bay doors)
  • STS-41B (was daylight when crawler left the VAB)
  • STS-41C (different markings on SRBs)
  • STS-41G
  • STS-51B
  • STS-51F
  • STS-61A
  • STS-51L
The photo is printed in various publications, notably KSC's 'Spaceport USA' and Dennis Jenkins' 'Rockwell International Space Shuttle' (Aerofax Datagraph 5), but it isn't identified.

Any help would be appreciated.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 10-13-2009 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw that photo years ago and it was attributed to be the STS-51L rollout.

Hope you're able to get independent verification.

Tim

ChrisGebhardt
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posted 10-13-2009 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisGebhardt   Click Here to Email ChrisGebhardt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-41G had different SRB markings, as did STS-51L.

STS-61A reached the pad in the evening, this photo was taken either early, early, morning or late, late evening given the sky color and the lack of shadows.

That leaves either STS-51B or STS-51F.

Greggy_D
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posted 10-13-2009 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow... that's a tough one. 51-B's and 51-F's SRB marking were about the same.
  • 51-B: 1 | 2 | 3
  • 51-F: 1 | 2
  • 61-A: 1 | 2

garymilgrom
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posted 10-13-2009 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to hijack but why do the SRB markings change?

OV-105
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posted 10-13-2009 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You forgot one, it could have been the rollout for STS-51E which got cancelled after it was on the pad.

Tom
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posted 10-13-2009 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is STS 51E.

Ken Havekotte
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From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
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posted 10-13-2009 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I think Tom is correct, as this was a popular rollout scene in 1985 with shuttle Challenger on Mission 51-E. On that particular mission, OV-099 was transported to the pad in Feb. 1985 and later rolled back to the VAB on March 5. There is a poster of the same rollout view printed by Morton Thiokol in the same year, which by the way, I have actual copies of somewhere in all of my rolled-up posters buried deep in a storage area. I'll try to dig them up as time permits, also, there were a few other publications that illustrated the same photo that I'll try to relocate. This depiction of a rollout is one of my all-time favorites as 1985 was a great year for this dedicated space enthusiast.

heng44
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From: Netherlands
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posted 10-14-2009 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom:
That is STS 51E.

Tom, not that I don't believe you, but what makes you so certain?

dogcrew5369
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posted 10-14-2009 01:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
Not to hijack but why do the SRB markings change?
Also not to veer, but I found a website that details intricately the external tank and SRB markings of every shuttle mission up to STS-128. Very interesting to see how every flight was marked. Even shows the woodpecker holes on STS-117. The detail is amazing. Click on each stack button at bottom of reference page to see the layouts. Those of you who model may already know about this site.

dogcrew5369
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posted 10-14-2009 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correction: I meant to say hailstorm damage on STS-117. Sorry, it was late at night.

Tom
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posted 10-14-2009 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by heng44:
Tom, not that I don't believe you, but what makes you so certain?
Hi Ed... I had a photo of the STS-51E rollout. Can't remember the book it was from, but that was definitely the same photo.

heng44
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From: Netherlands
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posted 10-15-2009 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, thanks. That was the confirmation I needed.

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-15-2009 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
Not to hijack but why do the SRB markings change?

Granted I don't have confirmation, but I believe the markings were added for high speed photography purposes since these markings look like roll patterns.

dogcrew5369
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From: Statesville, NC
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posted 10-16-2009 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay...Considering the similar black markings on the SRB for Ares 1-X, that would seem to confirm the SRB markings on shuttle were for use in high speed camera photography. They are laid out different on Ares, but are identical otherwise. Which begs to know exactly the reason for discontinuing the markings, except for one band on the left SRB. Anyone know the reason they were dropped?

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 10-16-2009 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dogcrew5369:
Considering the similar black markings on the SRB for Ares 1-X, that would seem to confirm the SRB markings on shuttle were for use in high speed camera photography.
Well, Ares I-X has some specific requirements related to seeing if the roll control thrusters work, hence the diagonal band on the SRB to catch any slight variation.

The SRB roll patterns were more then likely deleted in the mid-1990s (1995 I recall is the last time I saw them) since by that point enough photographic data had likely been collected as to the behavior of SRBs during the tumble and recovery phase and it takes a little more work to paint them that way since the covering on the frustrums isn't exactly a paint, but rather an ablative coating of some sort (I'm researching that for a book project). It takes less time to paint something just white then it does to mask off to paint white and black. And of course it also saves a little money as well.

As for the stripe, I believe that is only there to help identify at a glance which SRB is being recovered at a glance since the top of the SRB bobs above the water while awaiting pickup by the recovery ships.

dogcrew5369
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From: Statesville, NC
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 10-16-2009 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Jay. Very informative. I had a thought the main reason was enough info had already been amassed. Appreciate it and good luck on the project.

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