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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  Shuttle Landing Facility: Runway 15 vs. 33

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Author Topic:   Shuttle Landing Facility: Runway 15 vs. 33
jasonelam
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Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-10-2010 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have a question regarding the shuttle landings that have happened at Kennedy Space Center. How many flights have landed on Runway 15 vs Runway 33? It seems like every time I have seen a landing it has been onto 15.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-10-2010 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CBS News reporter Bill Harwood's Launch and Landing History includes runway stats for every shuttle mission. It's current through STS-131 (STS-132 landed on runway 33).

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 08-10-2010 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although a single landing strip, it is considered two runways, depending on the approach: from either the northwest on Runway 15 or from the southeast on Runway 33.
From: Landing the Space Shuttle Orbiter at KSC.

jasonelam
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From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-11-2010 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! I took the time to review the information, and found some interesting results.

-The shuttle has landed 76 times at the Cape, with 42 landings onto Runway 33 and 34 onto Runway 15.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-11-2010 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jasonelam:
The shuttle has landed 76 times...
When STS-132 landed, NASA announced it was the 75th landing at Kennedy Space Center. Perhaps you miscounted one landing?

jasonelam
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Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-11-2010 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Perhaps you miscounted one landing?

I may have.

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 08-11-2010 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jasonelam:
The shuttle has landed 76 times at the Cape, with 42 landings onto Runway 33 and 34 onto Runway 15.

Interesting - implies there isn't really a dominant prevailing wind at KSC. Or is it seasonal?

jasonelam
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From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-12-2010 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You would think so, there may be a pattern...

Runway 15:
6 Landings in Spring
11 Landings in Summer
6 Landings in Fall
12 Landings in Winter
=35 Total

Runway 33:
7 Landings in Spring
13 Landings in Summer
13 Landings in Fall
7 Landings in Winter
=40 Total

(Must have miscounted runway totals on my first response. )

OV-105
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From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
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posted 08-12-2010 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, now let's break it down some more for night landings.

jasonelam
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From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-13-2010 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by OV-105:
Okay, now let's break it down some more for night landings.
As you wish...

There have been 12 night landings at KSC. Ten were on Runway 15:

  • STS-51
  • STS-63
  • STS-72
  • STS-82
  • STS-88
  • STS-96
  • STS-101
  • STS-106
  • STS-102
  • STS-104
Two on Runway 33:
  • STS-61
  • STS-109

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-13-2010 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jasonelam:
There have been 12 night landings at KSC.
Your list seems to be a missing a few. STS-132 was the 58th day landing at Kennedy Space Center; and with 75 in total, that means 17 landed at night...

jasonelam
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From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-13-2010 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmm... lemme recheck the list, it may have been that there were some that landed in pre-dawn or twilight that were classified as "night" landings that I didn't include.

UPDATE: Here is what I have found. First, a night landing is one which occurs no later than 15 minutes before sunrise or after sunset. Second, a search for "Shuttle Night Landings" on the NASA website shows a list, but it has a lot of errors. It shows 18 Night Landings, with STS-93 (which landed at 11 in the Morning) and STS-128 (which landed at Edwards). I went back and looked at the rest, which were correct, and edited the list.

MrSpace86
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From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 08-16-2010 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aren't they the same runway?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-16-2010 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Shuttle Landing Facility has just one landing strip but like many runways, has two numerical designations based on the direction of the approach. Per Wikipedia:
Runways are given a number between 01 and 36. This indicates the runway's heading: A runway with the number 36 points to the north (360°), runway 09 points east (90°), runway 18 is south (180°), and runway 27 points west (270°). Thus, the runway number is one tenth of the runway centerline's magnetic azimuth, measured clockwise from the magnetic declination.

A runway can normally be used in two directions, which means the runway may have two names: "runway 33" and "runway 15". The two numbers always differ by 18 (= 180°).

MrSpace86
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From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 08-16-2010 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, I should have known that. Thanks Robert!!

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-16-2010 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you really want to get technical... it's not the "magnetic heading". Magnetic heading is magnetic course with the effect of wind added to or subtracted from the magnetic course. Seeing a runway cannot get blown around like an aircraft... it is the "magnetic course" of the runway. The direction it points on the compass.

In the case of the shuttle runway...runway 33 points to a magnetic course of 330 degrees and the other end, runway 15, to a magnetic course of 150 degrees. If you have a stiff crosswind from the left or right, the "heading" would be several degrees off the runway direction to keep it going straight down the runway on that course (known as a "crab angle").

When you're flying an aircraft, the maps are referenced to "true north". You plot your course line and it shows "true course" as it sits on the map. You obtain the wind speed and direction (which is given in reference to true north) and compute the wind correction angle for the speed you're flying and add or subtract it to the true course to get your true heading. To that you add or subtract the magnetic variation for the area you're flying in/through to get the magnetic heading. So the magnetic heading is what you steer on the compass to get the desired track (magnetic course) over the ground.

Someone should go on Wikipedia and correct that to magnetic course of the runway, not heading.

All times are CT (US)

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