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  STS-9/Columbia: Spacelab at 30 (Nov. 28, 1983)

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Author Topic:   STS-9/Columbia: Spacelab at 30 (Nov. 28, 1983)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-29-2013 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Spacelab: Space shuttle flew Europe's first space module 30 years ago

It doesn't seem out of place today, but the sight 30 years ago of a cylindrical module mounted inside the space shuttle's cargo bay was described as an "odd-appearing assemblage" in 1983.

The unusual payload was Spacelab, a $1 billion European built, NASA-operated space-borne science platform, which would not only set the stage for investigations onboard the space shuttle, but would lay the foundation for major parts of today's International Space Station.

Greggy_D
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From: Michigan
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posted 11-29-2013 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic article, Robert! Do you know which flights each of the two Spacelabs flew on?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-29-2013 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! I did the research for the pallets back in 2008, but for quick reference on the modules, according to Wikipedia:
  • Module LM1: STS-9, -51B, -40, -50, -55, -65, -73, -83, -94
  • Module LM2: STS-61A, -42, -47, -58, -71, -78, -90

APG85
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posted 11-29-2013 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What became of the connecting tunnel?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-29-2013 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Part of the tunnel, the "joggle" or elbow section, is now part of the Smithsonian's collection at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The National Air and Space Museum notes:

NASA transferred the joggle section to the Museum when the Spacelab program ended but kept the straight section for use on other Shuttle missions.
The straight section, or at least part of it, was aboard space shuttle Columbia to connect the middeck to the Spacehab module flown on the STS-107 mission in 2003. The recovered parts of the tunnel can be seen here (warning: images may be disturbing to some).

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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From: Toms River, NJ,USA
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posted 11-29-2013 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the two modules are on display and yet the pressure shells are part of the ISS, does this mean the two display modules are incomplete? Or does it mean there were other Spacelab modules that were not completed, constructed at a time when it was believed there would be many more Spacelab flights?

india-mike
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From: Linnich, Northrine Westfalia, Germany
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 11-29-2013 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for india-mike   Click Here to Email india-mike     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, Robert is right. The Spacelab flights for the pressurized modules are listed correctly.
  • FU-1: STS-9, 51-B, STS-40, STS-50, STS-55, STS-65, STS-73, STS-83, STS-94
  • FOP: 61-A, STS-42, STS-47, STS-58, STS-71, STS-78, STS-90
The workers who built the modules called them FU-1 for Flight Unit 1 and FOP for Follow-on Project.

If someone is interested in further literature on the Spacelab System please see the Aerospace Historical Archive (English translation).

This association serves the purpose of documenting projects of the corporate history of EADS Space Transportation and its predecessors and successors in Bremen, preserve and make available scientifically. We publish books on spaceflight projects that were realized in Bremen/Germany and our archive is located at the Astrium site in Bremen.

One of these books is called "Spacelab: Europe's Way to Human Spaceflight" written by Horst Wilhelm. The topic of the first book was laid on the contract, assembly and first flight of Spacelab (STS-9). Right now, we are preparing Volume II of this book with the publication in summer/autumn 2014.

This book will deal with all Spacelab flights i.e. the flights with the pressurized module and the pallet flights. The total amount of all Spacelab flights is 41. These books are bilingual publications in German and in English.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-29-2013 02:10 PM     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 Hart Sastrowardoyo:
If the two modules are on display and yet the pressure shells are part of the ISS...
Per my understanding, the pressure shell design was reused, not the actual flown pressure shells.

onesmallstep
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From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 12-02-2013 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was fortunate enough to witness the STS-9/Columbia launch in person, my first-ever manned launch. Made even more memorable by being at the press site with the bleachers dating back to the Apollo days.

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