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  Two Canadaram robotic arms on space shuttle

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Author Topic:   Two Canadaram robotic arms on space shuttle
Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 04-16-2012 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Geographic has some neat images, zoomable of Discovery's flight deck.

One of the great things I saw - nevermind the Bob Switch, or the Russian panel - is that Discovery retained the capability for two RMSs, which were never used because the second Canadarm would have interfered with the deployment of the Ku-band satellite dish (I think.)

I'm amazed that they kept this capability, and never replaced the panel all through its upgrades. Two questions: Did all orbiters have this capability, and what other neat items did the orbiters have?

For example, Columbia apparently had a safe used on STS-4. Where was this located, and did other shuttles have one? What about Centaur? Was that a specific mission panel that would have been installed or was it installed and then removed?

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-16-2012 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can confirm controls for a port and starboard RMS on Atlantis. Here's a shot from her cockpit taken about three weeks ago.

Canadarms sml

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-16-2012 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could one set of controls be for the OBSS? Or are those controls located elsewhere?

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

posted 04-16-2012 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In both instances a red cover has been placed over the starboard Release/Latch lever and not the port. Which would make sense: facing forward, the Canadaram is mounted on the port side, while the Ku-band antenna is on the starboard side.

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

posted 04-16-2012 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Discovery had it, it would not surprise me if the other orbiters had it. While a second RMS was never carried, the engineering work done to potentially carry one came in very handy when the OBSS was installed as the starboard payload bay had to be equipped with latching mechanisms for it.

But that looks like just an activation and latching panel. It likely would have taken some additional software work to get two arms coordinated (not to mention a second set of monitors if one needed two arms to do something). The main thing to keep in mind is the aft flight deck stations still only had one set of RMS controls, so even if two arms were carried, only one could be used at a time unless switching back and fourth was done.

Concerning Columbia's safe, I believe that was specific only to STS-4 since it was testing one small DoD payload on its flight. The other DoD missions might potentially have had safes as well if the mission had a need for such a capability. As for Centaur, only Challenger and Atlantis were ever wired with that capability. Challenger's next flight after 51L was supposed to be one of the space probe launches using Centaur (can't recall if it was Galileo or Ulysseys) and Atlantis was wired with the plumbing from day one. Of course, Challenger ended up in pieces and I don't know if Atlantis had its Centaur support cryo tankage removed during the Challenger stand down or if they waited until its first OMDP refit to remove that hardware.

Other changes over the years were both Endeavour and Columbia had provisions for the EDO kit at the back of the payload bay and I understand both orbiters had a different CO2 scrubbing system than the lithium hydroxide canisters since they were capable of missions lasting over 14 days. When Endeavour was reconfigured for ISS usage, the system was changed back to the canister system and Columbia remained the only EDO equipped orbiter.

Another panel I remember reading about was a switch panel related to powering up the Spacelab modules on flights that carried them. I doubt it was carried all the time though and there are likely additional panels related to powering up and down certain mission specific payloads in the bay as well.

I imagine for missions where the shuttle was required to act as a telescope or radar mount (such as pallet only Spacelab missions), there were likely additional panels carried on the aft station to monitor whether or not the scientific instruments were focusing on the proper targets, be they in space or on the ground.

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

posted 04-16-2012 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All orbiters had the capability carrying two arms, however they would have been operated one at a time.

As for a safe, it was just a locker with the ability to be locked.

Payloads such as Centaur, IUS, Spacelab, etc. had their own dedicated panels (in addition to the payload Standard Switch Panels which always fly) that were installed specifically for each missions they flew on (they would be installed on the port side of the aft flight deck, beneath the TV monitors). These along with the wiring and attach fittings in the payload bay were part of the mission unique reconfiguring that was done between launches.

FYI - Challenger and Atlantis weren't wired for Centaur, they were plumbed for it.
Also, they did not have "tankage" for Centaur, just fluid lines.

All times are CT (US)

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