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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  Shuttle: Shortest time needed from rollout to launch

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Author Topic:   Shuttle: Shortest time needed from rollout to launch
ASCAN1984
Member

Posts: 1019
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 04-10-2014 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just thinking about the STS-107 mission the other day and all the ideas for a crew rescue that came up. If a rescue vehicle rolled out, for example, at midnight and skipping a lot of the usual steps, e.g. TCDT, what is the fastest it could launch?

Could it launch the next day, for example?

Skylon
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Posts: 172
From:
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 04-10-2014 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the date of Feb. 10 was given as an attainable launch date for Atlantis - without skipping anything mandated in the launch processing flow. For reference, STS-114 was targeted for a March 1 launch. This basically means nineteen days could have been scratched from Atlantis' processing. Off hand obviously, payload integration (the MPLM and ESP-2) being scratched off the "to-do list" would save some time.

This of course assumes no problems occurring in the pad flow (or weather).

Astro Rich
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Posts: 14
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: Feb 2014

posted 04-10-2014 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Rich   Click Here to Email Astro Rich     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even with a fast flow you would need a TCDT.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 670
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-10-2014 10:12 PM     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 Astro Rich:
Even with a fast flow you would need a TCDT.

Based on what? TCDT is just a crew practice, it is not a vehicle test.

Astro Rich
Member

Posts: 14
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: Feb 2014

posted 04-10-2014 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Rich   Click Here to Email Astro Rich     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The training flows for the Launch-On-Need missions had a TCDT built in. I don't think they would have launched without completing it.

psloss
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Posts: 19
From:
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-11-2014 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for psloss   Click Here to Email psloss     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Rich:
The training flows for the Launch-On-Need missions had a TCDT built in.
They didn't do one for STS-400, in part because the crew selected had just recently flown. That was also eliminated from the CAIB Volume 2, Appendix D.13 scenario and a flight crew with similar recent experience could have been chosen.

That report is a good place to start (Section 3).

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 670
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-11-2014 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And by crew, I meant launch team.

psloss
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Posts: 19
From:
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-11-2014 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for psloss   Click Here to Email psloss     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
And by crew, I meant launch team.
Good point.

A few other situations that came up over the years to consider: in cases where a shuttle vehicle was rolled back to the VAB after a TCDT was done, that test was often not repeated after return to the pad.

Peter downunder
Member

Posts: 32
From: Lancefield, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 04-12-2014 02:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter downunder   Click Here to Email Peter downunder     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would it be unsafe if the TCDT went without a hiccup to launch? When considering the circumstances and the need for a timely launch...

Tony Guidry
Member

Posts: 15
From: Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 04-12-2014 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tony Guidry   Click Here to Email Tony Guidry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of years ago, upon leaving the KSC Visitor Complex, my wife and I stopped for a late lunch at the historic Moonlight Drive-In in Titusville. While enjoying our meal in the small inside dining area, I began briefly discussing with our server the effects of the massive layoffs at the Kennedy Space Center on their local economy due to the end of the Space Shuttle program.

A gentleman, sitting at a table across from us, overheard our conversation and mentioned to me that he was well aware of the situation because HE was one of those laid-off workers.

He and I got into, what turned out to be a 2-hour conversation about his career at KSC. He told me that, a couple of months earlier, he had been laid off from a 21-year position with the United Space Alliance, working in the Orbiter Processing Facility. As I recall, his job responsibilities entailed working as a technician, primarily in the aft compartment of the orbiter Discovery. I could sense the concern in his mind about finding another decent job in the area, but he still seemed to be rather optimistic about the whole situation.

During our conversation, he seem really interested in talking about his years working in the OPF at KSC and, as a life-long space geek, I was more than willing to listen!

When our conversation shifted to talk about the STS-107 accident, I could tell he was very frustrated about the fact it had occurred. He clearly stated to me that had NASA known early in the mission about the damage to Columbia, it was the opinion of himself and the vast majority of his co-workers, that given the go-ahead, they could have had Atlantis ready to fly a rescue mission in 7 to 10 days. He stressed that they would likely have had to work around-the-clock shifts and possibly skip a few non-critical steps in the processing flow, but he emphasized it COULD HAVE BEEN DONE!

I recall him saying that, after the accident, he and his co-workers were all shaking their heads in disbelief, asking themselves why this had to happen. I recall his exact words when he confidently reiterated "Had they just given us the go-ahead, we could have saved that crew!" We'll never know.

All times are CT (US)

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