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  Shuttle rollbacks, rollovers and rollarounds

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Author Topic:   Shuttle rollbacks, rollovers and rollarounds
LM-12
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posted 08-14-2017 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After three rollouts, two rollbacks and one rollover, STS-35 (Columbia) finally launched in December 1990. The rollover from 39A to 39B in October was two days after the STS-41 (Discovery) launch. I think the rollover was made to free up 39A for the next mission, STS-38 (Atlantis). Why didn't STS-38 just use 39B?

Other missions that had three rollouts: STS-79 (Atlantis) in 1996, and STS-98 (Atlantis) in 2001.

STS-106 (Atlantis) did a rollaround from High Bay 1 to High Bay 2 in August 2000 before the rollout to 39B.

The sun is rising over the Atlantic Ocean (right) as Shuttle Atlantis sits outside the Vehicle Assembly Building's (VAB) high bay 2 on the building's west side after completing a fit check. This is the first time in Space Shuttle history that a fully stacked Shuttle has been moved into the space. The VAB and nearby rock-paved crawlerway have recently undergone major modifications to provide Shuttle fliglht hardware more storage space and protection - "Safe Haven" - from hurricanes or tropical storms. Atlantis, the twin solid rocket boosters and external tank begain moving out of VAB high bay 1 on the east side at 2:59 a.m. EDT. The 6-million pound crawler transporter carried the Mobile Launcher Platform and Space Shuttle around the north side of the VAB and into high bay 2. After the successful "Safe Haven" fit check, Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39B in preparation for the STS-106 launch on Sept. 8.

LM-12
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posted 08-14-2017 10:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a view of STS-106 entering High Bay 2.

LM-12
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posted 08-15-2017 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-96 rollback from 39B to the VAB in May 1999 was to repair hail damage to the external tank foam insulation. Parked outside the VAB was MLP-1 with the external tank and solid rocket boosters for the STS-93 mission.

LM-12
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posted 08-16-2017 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-126 rollover from 39B to 39A took place on October 23, 2008 after the STS-125 rollback from 39A to the VAB on October 20.
At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, visitors are able to see the rare event of a rollaround as space shuttle Endeavour moves away from Launch Pad 39B and turns toward Launch Pad 39A. First motion from pad 39B was at 8:28 a.m. EDT. Endeavour is targeted to launch Nov. 14 on the STS-126 mission...

LM-12
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posted 08-17-2017 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NASA feature story has a bit more information:
On Oct. 23, 2008, space shuttle Endeavour took center stage as it moved from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B to Launch Pad 39A on the crawler-transporter — a journey that took about eight hours and covered a distance of 3.4 miles.

For more than a month, Endeavour stood stately on Pad B while Atlantis occupied Pad A for its STS-125 mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Endeavour was prepared as Atlantis' rescue mission and for its STS-126 mission to the International Space Station.

After a technical problem on Hubble delayed the servicing mission, Atlantis and its payload returned to Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building, making way for Endeavour's move to the center's primary launch site.

"It's a very rare set of circumstances," said Ken Tenbusch, flow director for Endeavour. "By rolling around (to Pad A), that allows the Ares and Constellation folks to do the modifications they need to do for their launch."

Endeavour originally was scheduled to move to its next seaside launch pad Oct. 25, but a stormy weekend forecast prompted NASA mission managers to rollaround a few days early.

LM-12
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posted 08-17-2017 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I count four shuttle rollovers from one pad to the other:
  • STS-35 Columbia - 39A to 39B on October 8, 1990
  • STS-61 Endeavour - 39A to 39B on November 15, 1993
  • STS-126 Endeavour - 39B to 39A on October 23, 2008
  • STS-127 Endeavour - 39B to 39A on May 31, 2009

LM-12
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posted 08-18-2017 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-35 was also on the pad when STS-31 and STS-38 launched.

OV-105
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posted 08-18-2017 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember going to Houston in 1991, I think everywhere we went had a STS-35 autographed crew photo hanging up. They had a lot of down time with the hydrogen leaks.

LM-12
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posted 08-20-2017 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first STS-35 rollback (due to hydrogen leak) was from 39A. The second STS-35 rollback (due to tropical storm) was from 39B.

LM-12
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posted 08-23-2017 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This list of shuttle rollbacks is on the NASA website. There seems to be a few rollbacks missing from the list:
  • STS-104 Atlantis - June 20, 2001 (lightning)
  • STS-117 Atlantis - March 4, 2007 (hail damage)
STS-104 photo KSC-01PP-1182 has this caption:
Scattered clouds cast shadows as Space Shuttle Atlantis crawls back inside the Vehicle Assembly Building high bay 1. After earlier starting its trek to Launch Pad 39B, Atlantis was returned to the VAB due to lightning in the area...

LM-12
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posted 08-25-2017 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Preparations were made in September 1998 for a rollback of STS-95 Discovery from Pad 39B because of Hurricane Georges, but the rollback was cancelled. From the KSC Status Report dated Sept. 25, 1998:
Yesterday evening, KSC managers decided to keep Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad 39B. Though preparations to roll back to the Vehicle Assembly Building due to Hurricane Georges were complete, local weather posed a threat of lightning that exceeded rollback weather criteria. With the rollback first motion on hold, managers monitoring the progress of Hurricane Georges determined that the threat to flight hardware was greater from lightning during a rollback than that of the hurricane. As a result, the rollback was canceled and the rotating service structure returned to position around Discovery.

Hurricane Georges is expected to remain on a northwest path near the west coast of Florida and gusting winds at KSC are not expected to exceed 40 mph. Launch pad weather protection will provide Discovery the necessary shelter from heavy rain and wind gusts. The lightning protection system at the pad will provide additional defense for the Shuttle through the weekend. All activities planned for launch of mission STS-95 remain on schedule.

LM-12
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posted 08-31-2017 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During the STS-38 rollback of Atlantis on August 9, 1990, some of the shuttle tiles were damaged by hail before the vehicle could be moved into the VAB.
The Space Shuttle Columbia, left, rolls past Atlantis on its way to Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis, being readied for STS-38, is parked in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building following its rollback from the pad for liquid hydrogen line repairs. While standing outside the VAB, Atlantis was caught in a hail storm that damaged some of its thermal protection system tiles.

LM-12
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posted 09-01-2017 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a NASA/KSC video release of the STS-38 rollback. Both STS-38 Atlantis and STS-35 Columbia can be seen at the VAB as the video ends.

LM-12
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posted 09-04-2017 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-61 Endeavour was the first Hubble servicing mission. The vehicle switched pads prior to launch.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour is being rolled around from Launch Pad 39A to Launch Pad 39B. The rare pad switch was deemed necessary after contamination was discovered in the Payload Changeout Room at Pad A. The transfer began around noon and was completed about seven hours later.
The contamination was sandy grit. The payload of Hubble replacement units was removed from the pad (for re-inspection) before the rollover.

LM-12
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posted 09-12-2017 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some STS-6 rollout footage of Challenger in the fog.

LM-12
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posted 09-15-2017 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The shuttle Atlantis was rolled out to Pad 39B for pad tests in October 1986.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is rolled out to Launch Pad 39-B in the early morning of Oct. 9, 1986. Atlantis is scheduled to remain at Pad B for seven weeks where it will support checkout of new weather protection structures, a variety of special measurements, launch team proficiency exercises and emergency egress simulations. The 4.2 mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad is the first for the shuttle fleet since the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in January of this year.

OV-105
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posted 09-15-2017 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS 61-C crew, minus the Payload Specialists did the countdown test. The emergency egress test was done by seven NASA Astronauts, Frank Culbertson, Stephen Oswald, Carl Meade, Kathy Thorton, David Low, Pierre Thuot, and Jerome Apt. There were also no main engines on Atlantis at the time. There were a lot of flights after 1986 by those seven who were all rookies at the time.

LM-12
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posted 09-15-2017 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photo S87-31470 shows Atlantis (without the main engines) on MLP-1 outside the VAB.

LM-12
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posted 09-18-2017 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The external tank and solid rocket boosters for STS-125 were moved from High Bay 1 to High Bay 3 prior to the second rollout to Pad 39A in March 2009.

They were moved to make room for the STS-127 stack, according to the photo caption. Does anyone know why they didn't just stack STS-127 in High Bay 3?

LM-12
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posted 10-01-2017 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch of the original STS-114 mission with Atlantis was planned for March 1, 2003. A few weeks after the Columbia accident, the STS-114 Atlantis vehicle was moved from High Bay 3 to High Bay 1 for de-stacking.

LM-12
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posted 10-04-2017 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On at least two occasions, a shuttle rollout to the pad was stopped because of a broken cleat on a crawler-transporter track:

STS-76 rollout on Feb 28, 1996:

The Space Shuttle Atlantis' trip to Launch Pad 39B Feb. 28 experienced an unexpected delay when two of the 48 crawler transporters cleats, or "shoes," on the tread split apart during the early morning rollout. Repairs were completed in about six hours, delaying the arrival of the Shuttle at the pad by that amount of time. (from Spaceport News)
STS-97 rollout on Oct 31, 2000:
A repair crew works to repair the broken cleat on the crawler-transporter, found as it was moving up the incline on Launch Pad 39B.

The Shuttle retreated to level ground so the broken cleat could be repaired. Endeavour is scheduled to be launched Nov. 30 at 10:01 p.m. EST on mission STS-97, the sixth construction flight to the International Space Station ... (KSC-00PADIG-063 photo caption)

LM-12
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posted 10-05-2017 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The planning for the STS-115 rollback of Atlantis (which turned out to be a partial rollback) involved both crawler-transporters:
Both of NASA's crawler-transporters are seen parked in their area near the Vehicle Assembly Building. Crawler-transporter No. 2 is being checked before it is needed to move the STS-116 stack from VAB high bay 3 to high bay 2 and allow the rollback of Space Shuttle Atlantis into high bay 3. Crawler No. 1 will transport the shuttle from the pad. The rollback will be determined by the mission management team based on information about Hurricane Ernesto and its path through Florida. Atlantis has been poised on Launch Pad 39B for liftoff on mission STS-115 to the International Space Station to deliver the P3/P4 truss segment.

LM-12
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posted 10-07-2017 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the photo, it looks like High Bay 1 may not have been available.

Cozmosis22
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posted 02-23-2018 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About an hour and a half into its journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Pad 39A, the mobile launch platform carrying space shuttle Discovery came to a complete stop. About four hours later structural engineers gave the okay to continue the short trip to the launch pad in preparation for STS-82.

From this photo's caption, a Kennedy Space Center security officer "points to an approximately 24-foot-long crack on the mobile launch platform... This Y-shaped crack is on the MLP surface and runs and runs from near the left-hand SRB flame hole toward the near corner of the MLP."

Editor's note: Threads merged.

LM-12
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posted 02-23-2018 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can see a crack in this overhead view of the STS-82 rollout.

oly
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posted 02-23-2018 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. That looks serious. Is there any additional information about this crack?

LM-12
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posted 02-24-2018 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that is MLP-1. The cracked section seen in the close-up photo is hidden by the external tank in the overhead photo.

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