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  [ASF Astro Chat] Shuttle commander Fred Gregory

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Author Topic:   [ASF Astro Chat] Shuttle commander Fred Gregory
ASF1984
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posted 08-01-2011 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASF1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The August installment of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's (ASF) Astro Chat series stars space shuttle astronaut Fred Gregory!
Frederick D. Gregory piloted one shuttle mission with six fellow astronauts and a messy pack of rats and monkeys and then commanded two Defense Department flights - the first African-American to command a spaceship. He shifted into management and serve as NASA's deputy administrator...

The shuttle commander will answer your questions about his time in space (or here on Earth). The deadline to post your question (as a reply to this topic) is 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) on Thursday, August 4.

Gregory will answer via video, which will be posted here and on ASF's website the following week.

Previous ASF Astro Chats: Al Worden | Dick Gordon | Jack Lousma

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-01-2011 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the whole Shuttle experience overwhelming at times?

brianjbradley
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Posts: 78
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 08-01-2011 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brianjbradley   Click Here to Email brianjbradley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would you agree with George Abbey's preferential treatment of astronauts with Navy background vs Air Force background and were you disappointed to start with a Spacelab flight instead of a rendezvous/"sexier" mission that a lot of Navy rookie pilots got?

Tom
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Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 08-01-2011 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cdr Gregory, how difficult was it back in 1989, not being able to discuss your first shuttle command due to security reasons? Thank you.

Greggy_D
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Posts: 629
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 08-01-2011 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What did you learn from Bob Overmyer, your Commander on your first flight STS-51B?

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1026
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-01-2011 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by brianjbradley:
Would you agree with George Abbey's preferential treatment of astronauts with Navy background vs Air Force background and were you disappointed to start with a Spacelab flight instead of a rendezvous/"sexier" mission that a lot of Navy rookie pilots got?

I'd just like to "second" this inquiry. Few USAF astronauts of the early Shuttle era, with the notable exception of Mike Mullane in his book, have publicly addressed the issue of (perceived) Navy over Air Force prejudice with respect to flight assignments during the Abbey regime. I'd greatly appreciate hearing any personal insight or anecdotes relating to this issue that COL Gregory might have to offer.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-01-2011 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you wanted the Shuttle to orbit Earth in a constant payload-bay-down attitude, would orbital mechanics keep the payload bay facing Earth, or could that only be done using maneuvering thrusters?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-02-2011 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How much training did you and your crew do with David Griggs, the original pilot on STS-33 - and was it hard transitioning that training to working with John Blaha, who replaced Griggs?

As well, does a crew photo exist of the STS-33 crew with Griggs?

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

posted 08-02-2011 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why did you want to become an astronaut? Who is the best astronaut you worked with? Can you describe your boss John Young? He's my hero, thou I've never met him (it's my dream to meet John Young).

rjurek349
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posted 08-02-2011 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What do you think the Shuttle program's long-term legacy will be in the history of US manned space flight... and, do you have a favorite memento (PPK or otherwise...) from your three missions?

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-02-2011 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You were in the left-hand seat on STS-33 and STS-44. Both flights landed at Edwards AFB. Was the STS-44 re-entry and landing more difficult because of the in-flight Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) failure?

issman1
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Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 08-03-2011 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've read/seen interviews with your fellow astronaut Richard Covey, but what were your immediate thoughts as you witnessed Challenger destruct from the CAPCOM console in Mission Control?

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-03-2011 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the long glide back to Earth between re-entry and touchdown, how did all those Shuttle flights manage to avoid any conflicts with commercial aircraft traffic along the ground track?

Sometimes landing opportunities were waived off for an orbit or two, which would completely change the entry ground track flown. Sometimes the final decision to de-orbit was made late because of, for example, improving weather conditions at the landing site. How could they clear all that airspace on such short notice in those situations?

Dave Clow
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From: South Pasadena, CA 91030
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 08-03-2011 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What do you value most about your experience as an astronaut?

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-04-2011 06:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How would you rate the T-38 as a training aircraft for NASA astronauts?

ASF1984
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Registered: Sep 2009

posted 08-31-2011 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASF1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey cS'ers! Thanks for all the great questions — Colonel Gregory did an excellent job of answering as many as he could.

All times are CT (US)

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