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  Hypothetical STS-136/Endeavour ISS mission

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Author Topic:   Hypothetical STS-136/Endeavour ISS mission
aloeblacc3
New Member

Posts: 6
From: Trophy Club, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2014

posted 02-22-2014 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for aloeblacc3   Click Here to Email aloeblacc3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw a hypothetical simulation on Orbiter in which almost 8 months after STS-135 was completed, Endeavour was scheduled to fly one last time with Rick Sturckow, Barry Wilmore, Randy Bresnik, and Pat Forrester as the crew.

They would launch on March 3, 2012 to the ISS with a Hubble-derived Soft Capture Mechanism (SCM) to replace the Pressurized Mating Adaptor 3 (PMA-3), and bring the adaptor back to Earth. Another objective would be to resupply the ISS using the Raffaello MPLM.

Also, if Endeavour couldn't safely return to Earth, Sturckow, Wilmore, Bresnik, and Forrester would land one at a time using Soyuz capsules like Ferguson's STS-135 crew. Lastly, Endeavour would utilize ET-94, which was in storage for quite a while.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2604
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 03-07-2014 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I checked with one of the crew members listed and the response was that this story is "complete bunk."

Maybe just a scenario created as an exercise but not a real or proposed mission.

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-07-2014 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I recall there was a fight over the final Hubble Telescope mission STS-125 that NASA did not want the mission but Congress did so they approved the flight and STS-135 was also another mission NASA did not particularly wish to fund so I cannot imagine yet another flight they would have had to get the funding and congressional approval for.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-07-2014 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think anyone is claiming this was a real mission, proposed or otherwise. It is just one of the many imaginary missions created for the Orbiter space simulator.

Skylon
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Registered: Sep 2010

posted 03-08-2014 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
If I recall there was a fight over the final Hubble Telescope mission STS-125 that NASA did not want the mission but Congress did so they approved the flight and STS-135 was also another mission NASA did not particularly wish to fund.

No, and no - NASA certainly wanted both.

HST SM-4 was canceled by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe in the wake of the Columbia tragedy on safety grounds - an HST servicing flight would have no ISS "safe haven." There was a public and even congressional outcry, but O'Keefe held his position and ordered studies for a robotic servicing mission (which was determined not to be feseable).

The resignation of O'Keefe and his replacement with Mike Griffin changed that - he put SM-4 back on the table, pending the results of the two post-Columbia return to flight missions - STS-114 and STS-121. After STS-121, SM-4 was back on the manifest, and scheduled for STS-125.

STS-135 is trickier. The Bush administration directed NASA to complete ISS ASAP, and retire the shuttle post-Columbia. A manifest was developed guaranteeing flights up thru STS-131. STS-132 and STS-133 were also on the manifest but designated as "contingency" flights - they were not guaranteed if Shuttle encountered significant delays, holding up retirement past the 2010 deadline and also seemed partially in place to pick up any tasks in the event of problems during ISS assembly (the astronaut office pushed to fly all rookies by STS-131 since those flights were set in stone, hence why the final four shuttle flights had all-veteran-crews). At least four flights were scrubbed by this manifest (pre-Columbia, the manifest went up to STS-137).

STS-134 came back on the table due to a Congressional push to get AMS aboard ISS (and ensure some high profile science was done on station). Later, STS-135 NASA pushed for because they had to develop contingency hardware for a rescue mission in case STS-134 encountered problems (a stocked MPLM, a flight-readied orbiter, an extra ET) - the logic became, if they had the hardware, why not fly the mission to shore up ISS with supplies when commercial cargo still had yet to fly?

The funding for STS-135 seemed particularly wild because Congress didn't approve the funding until April 2011, three months before the flight - NASA just seemed to come to the conclusion that they would find the money somewhere, and were going to fly it hell or high-water.

astro-nut
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Posts: 599
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 03-08-2014 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where is or was the orbiter simulator located. If I had to guess would it be in Building 9 at JSC?

I always thought that NASA should of have used ET-94 as well, but maybe it wasn't really flight worthy? STS-136 would of been nice to have as a final flight. How long of a duration would it have been?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2014 11:14 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 astro-nut:
Where is or was the orbiter simulator located.
Orbiter Space Flight Simulator refers to a game made for the public, not a NASA trainer. This hypothetical STS-136 mission has no connection to NASA or reality.

kdenny2
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Registered: May 2014

posted 05-03-2014 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kdenny2   Click Here to Email kdenny2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey guys, the scenario in question is my own. It's indeed for the spaceflight simulator Orbiter. I really just threw a crew together that seemed logical (ex: Sturckow was backup CDR for 134).

I'm surprised you guys haven't heard of it, it's quite popular. I based the payload/mission off the idea, before STS-135 was even announced as being "official," that they'd bring home PMA-3 on the last mission to clear up space for the radiators (see this article). Also for good measure an MPLM was added.

JBoe
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Posts: 441
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 05-04-2014 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I took a look at the article it mentions the designation STS-335. What is this based on and is it a "hypothetical designation?"

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-04-2014 07:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-335 was the designation for the Launch-on-Need flight for STS-134. The flight became STS-135 after it was decided to fly one last mission.

JBoe
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From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 05-04-2014 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, thanks for clarifying. I'm curious as to why the wide range in numbers from 135 to 335 and not an "A" or "B" designation? I'm sure there's some sort of complicated "good" reason.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-04-2014 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Assuming Columbia never broke up on STS-107, does anyone know how many mission designations NASA had in mind for the orbiters? I recall reading a list that went as high as 140 once...

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-04-2014 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the time of Columbia's loss, NASA was within a week of announcing an upgrade program to extend space shuttle flights into the 2020s.

I don't recall offhand how many flights were already manifested but the extension would have easily meant missions numbering into the 200s.

astro-nut
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Posts: 599
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 05-17-2014 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, Do you a list or a manifest of the updated program to extend the shuttle flights?

If you could post the updated manifest it would be neat to see what some of the shuttle missions would of have been?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-17-2014 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have a pre STS-107 manifest handy, but going by memory alone, I believe the only major difference between what actually happened (assembly flights in support of the International Space Station) and what had been planned prior to the loss of Columbia was a sixth mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, which would have brought the observatory back to Earth intact.

Skylon
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Posts: 175
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Registered: Sep 2010

posted 05-18-2014 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have yet to see a source outside of wikipedia outlining an official mission designation to retrieve HST — specifically the STS-144 number. I have little doubt it was proposed or even on the books, but I would just like to know where that number comes from.

Honestly considering the delays JWST has been hit with its probably just as well for the scientific community that HST has stayed right where it is.

Some major ISS elements of course were canceled post-Columbia, though I seem to remember their status was in doubt even before 2003 (CAM and HAB modules). The U.S. Crew Return Vehicle was canceled several months before STS-107. Russia was supposed to get an ISS payload delivered (the Science Power Platform) but I assume Russia elected to use a shuttle flight to deliver MRM-1.

Weren't there also discussions about launching the X-37B OTV on the shuttle?

psloss
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From:
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 05-18-2014 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for psloss   Click Here to Email psloss     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Skylon:
I have yet to see a source outside of wikipedia outlining an official mission designation to retrieve HST — specifically the STS-144 number.
It was probably documented in multiple places, but the one I've seen posted is the revision of the Flight Assignment Working Group planning manifest dated 29 January 2003.

astro-nut
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Posts: 599
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 05-24-2014 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious does anyone have a manifest from January 2003. Thank you.

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