Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  STS-14, STS-17: Old STS mission numbering

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   STS-14, STS-17: Old STS mission numbering
ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 10-22-2010 11:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have two items for support teams that were labeled STS-14 and STS-17.

I have read that even though NASA changed the public numbering system from STS-11 through the Challenger disaster, they still kept an internal numbering system that was in numerical order, although I have never seen that listing of missions.

Does anyone know to what flights/missions STS-14 and STS-17 corresponded? I doubt that my items were associated with the missions that were canceled due to the late start of the Shuttle program. My items were for the support teams that I suppose would not have been assigned until the mission planning was well underway.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 10-23-2010 02:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my files I have several mission-photos for STS-41D that have an S14-xxx ID-number. And the same goes for STS-41G (S17-xxx).

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-23-2010 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a shuttle orbit map labeled STS-16(41-F).

So, STS-14 would correspond to 41D, even though the patch has only 12 stars from when it was STS-12. Similarly, STS-17, with its 17 stars became Mission 41G.

I have seen a bunch of STS overviews with the following numbers and Mission equivalents:

STS-20 (51C)
STS-24 (51B)
STS-25 (51G)
STS-26 (51F)
STS-27 (51I)
STS-30 (61A)
STS-31 (61B)
STS-32 (61C)

51L was STS-33, so there were eight missions canceled or postponed. My best guess is that these included:

STS-10
STS-12
STS-15 (41E)
STS-16 (41F)
STS-18 (41H)
STS-29? (51K)

Unsure how/where STS-21, 22 and 23 fits in, although one of those numbers was probably given to Mission 51E. Also of note is under this system, Mission 61D/Spacelab 4 was apparently never given an STS number.

Now if we can only figure out why the patch for 51I has 19 stars when it was the 20th flight of a shuttle. Either it was intended to be the 19th flight, or the crew was to flown STS-19....

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 10-23-2010 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks - very helpful!

It's interesting that one of the explicit reasons for the change in numbering is that management did not want to have another "13" flight, so the new numbering system went into place before STS-13 would have come up. And yet, there never was an STS-13 even with the internal numbering system.

hoorenz
Member

Posts: 733
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 10-23-2010 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
41C was STS-13. As a joke, even in all communications with mission control, the number 13 was replaced by "41C".

When Solar Max had been captured, this message was relayed to the ground: ,,Forward RCS propellant remaining is 41 Charlie." (13 percent).

And: ,,Welcome back on Friday the 41 Charlie", capcom Guy Gardner radioed to the crew following landing on Friday April 13, 1984.

I never believed the numbering system had anything to do with avoiding STS-13, but reading a couple of the JSC oral history accounts, I can only conclude it is really true.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-23-2010 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And if you look at the Rockwell press kits from the early flights, while I don't remember an STS-13, I do remember seeing in the future flights section crewmembers announced for STS-18 and -24, which were planned as Spacelab flights. So at some point they would have had to use an STS-13.

(They also listed an STS-10 sans PS, although I don't recall whether the same thing happened with STS-12.)

Anybody know how the "backronym" 41A came to represent STS-9?

manilajim
Member

Posts: 252
From: Bergenfield, NJ USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 10-23-2010 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for manilajim   Click Here to Email manilajim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why did they make it so confusing with the numbering system? It would make so much more sense (or so it would seem to me) to start with 1 and go in sequential order. Even if they have to shuffle flights around a little it is still more sensible than mixing numbers and letters in such a mishmash that there is nothing that even chronologically resembles an order that a reasonable minded person could follow.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-24-2010 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is that the switch was to avoid confusion, only to cause more of it. NASA was looking at a flight schedule of STS-11, -13, -14... and changed it to 41-B, 41-C, 41-D, which at least (initially) the letters in alphabetical order.

What's even more confusing is that the alphanumeric code designated (for the most part), the payload and not the flight. One example is that the original 51D (Brandenstein) was to be an LDEF retrieval; when Shaw was named as 51D commander, and the crew changed to what flew as 61B, their task was still the LDEF retrieval.

Had Vandenberg been used as a launch site, Crippen would have flown two STS-1s: STS-1 and STS-1V. Thank goodness it was forecast to have flown only 20 missions a year from KSC and four from VAFB, because an STS-91V and an STS-16V the same year would have just added to the confusion...

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 10-24-2010 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The way I understand it, the switch was made in part because they were planning to launch from multiple sites. KSC was launch site 1 and Vandenburg was launch site 2.

Hart when Crippen invited me to submit art for the first Vandenburg mission it's official designation was STS-62A (6 the fiscal year of manifest, 2 the launch site, A the (first) payload manifested. But he did say they often referred to the flight as "V-1".

The letter A, B, C, etc. was the payloads manifested in order. So while 51D flew before 51B, 51B was manifested first.

It was a noble attempt to provide clarity but it failed.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-24-2010 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
Hart when Crippen invited me to submit art for the first Vandenburg mission it's official designation was STS-62A (6 the fiscal year of manifest, 2 the launch site, A the (first) payload manifested. But he did say they often referred to the flight as "V-1".

I wish I still had my Rockwell 1984 manifest which is where I got the STS-1V notation....

But I still have my Lockheed Martin Space Shuttle Flight Info, and just for laughs, looked up ET-13. That tank was used for the first flight of Discovery, which had a pad abort.

As well, ET-13 was delivered to KSC on - Sept. 13, 1983. Maybe there is something to the number 13 after all.

dogcrew5369
Member

Posts: 547
From: Statesville, NC
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 10-24-2010 10:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm just thankful there wasn't a confusing system put into place before the Expedition 13 crew flew. Whew! Lesson learned I suppose.

sfurtaw
Member

Posts: 93
From: Saginaw, MI USA
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 10-25-2010 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sfurtaw   Click Here to Email sfurtaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Something I've wondered for some time.... With the first digit representing the last digit in the fiscal year, had any thought been given to flights flown in fiscal year 1994 (and beyond)?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-25-2010 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 1984 Rockwell listing I used to have projected flights to 1989, and 91-T. Presumably, a 1990 flight would have been 101-A (taking a cue from Star Trek The Next Generation's stardates, my interpretation for that would be the 10th year of shuttle operations, first flight of the fiscal year from KSC....)

413 is in
Member

Posts: 397
From: Alexandria, VA USA
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-27-2010 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 413 is in   Click Here to Email 413 is in     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was curious so went through my collection and pulled out these two mission 41C items that are also labeled STS-13. What is that they say about curiosity?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-27-2010 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My STS-16(41F) chart is signed by Rhea Seddon. She must not have looked at it too closely, because she inscribed it, "Space was fun!", rather ironic because that flight was postponed.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-15-2013 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a photo I had of a launch of Mission 51A was labeled S19-xxxxx. So STS-19 was 51A, which would lead to the canceled STS-18 being 41H.

dcfowler1
Member

Posts: 28
From: Eugene, OR
Registered: May 2006

posted 01-15-2013 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per "Space Shuttle," by Dennis Jenkins:

STS-10 cancelled
STS-11 / 41B
STS-12 cancelled
STS-13 / 41C
STS-14 cancelled
STS-15 cancelled
STS-16 / 41D
STS-17 / 41G
STS-18 cancelled
STS-19 / 51A
STS-20 / 51C
STS-21 cancelled
STS-22 cancelled
STS-23 / 51D
STS-24 / 51B
STS-25 / 51G
STS-26 / 51F
STS-27 / 51I
STS-28 / 51J
STS-29 cancelled
STS-30 / 61A
STS-31 / 61B
STS-32 / 61C
STS-33 / 51L

The post-Challenger missions that are commonly known as STS-26, 27, 29, 30, 28, 33, 32 and 31 were officially STS-26R, 27R, 29R, 30R, 28R, 33R, 32R and 31R.

MSS
Member

Posts: 371
From: Kolo, Poland
Registered: May 2003

posted 01-16-2013 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen in some places: STS-9 as STS-41A (for instance here). Is it correct?

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 537
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-16-2013 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dcfowler1:
The post-Challenger missions that are commonly known as STS-26, 27, 29, 30, 28, 33, 32 and 31 were officially STS-26R, 27R, 29R, 30R, 28R, 33R, 32R and 31R.
No, that was only at KSC and not the rest of the program.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-10-2013 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was at the Astronaut Hall of Fame and saw a FDF for 41-G, only the '41-G' part was on a sticker. Presumably, underneath was '17'; but when did FDFs, if any, stop using the number and start being printed with the alphanumberic mission numbering?

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement