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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  STS-41G: Turf walk after landing on Challenger

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Author Topic:   STS-41G: Turf walk after landing on Challenger
chappy
Member

Posts: 213
From: Cardiff, S. Wales, UK
Registered: Apr 2006

posted 11-06-2012 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know why do the crew of STS-41G walked on the turf on the runaway when they departed the orbiter Challenger?

Headshot
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Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 11-06-2012 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not know for certain, but there were two notable anomolies that could explain it.

1. The crew wished to view the right-hand OAMS pod, which was damaged by the heat of re-entry. This was caused by some reusable Nomex insulating material that came loose during ascent. The piece was about 8 inch by 36 inches. There was some structural damage to the pod.

2. The crew wanted to distance themselves from Challenger when the right hand landing gear started to give off smoke shortly after landing. Apparently some of the powder generated when the gear's carbon composite components rubbed against each other started smoldering.

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

posted 11-07-2012 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Considering elements of the early shuttle brakes were made of beryllium and powdered beryllium can cause problems if inhaled, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they gave the gear a wide berth partly because of that.

According to an old shuttle engineer I talked to once, the old beryllium based brake system had more problems than it was worth and the vast majority of them were cured when they went to more traditional materials for the brakes and their pads. They were a little heavier, but they got the job done.

heng44
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Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-07-2012 03:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chappy:
Does anyone know why do the crew of STS-41G walked on the turf on the runaway when they departed the orbiter Challenger?

I believe that had something to do with the running gag about Crippen landing at KSC, which was planned on STS-7 and STS-41C but didn't happen then. There were jokes every time about the beer being cold, but in the wrong location. I can imagine the turf had something to do with the landing location.

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