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Author Topic:   Most experienced mission crew on launch day
LM-12
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posted 02-29-2012 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which flight had the most experienced crew on launch day?

For example, the Apollo 15 crew had 5 missions between them on launch day, including Apollo 15.

Some flights launched and landed with different crews, so let's just say on launch day.

moorouge
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posted 02-29-2012 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 8 crew has to be in the reckoning with 28 days experience, though I expect that someone is going to come up with a shuttle crew to beat it.

If you're counting just missions, how about Apollo 10 with five previous flights between them (8 if one includes '10').

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 02-29-2012 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not counting the mission itself, STS-26 had 7 spaceflights between the five crew members. STS-114, which had seven astronauts, had 12 flights among the crew (two were making their first launch.)

If you counted the mission itself, STS-26 would have 12 spaceflights among the five crew members and STS-114 19 flights.

LM-12
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posted 02-29-2012 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was thinking more in terms of missions flown rather than days to determine the most experience. The number for the Apollo 8 crew would be 6 missions. The number for the Apollo 10 crew would be 8 missions - and so on.

Yes I am counting the mission itself as in the Apollo 15 example above.

Michael Davis
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posted 02-29-2012 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Davis   Click Here to Email Michael Davis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, the number of seats available on and the program duration of the shuttle skewed the records. For instance on STS-80, Story Musgrave alone had five previous flights. Adding in the other crew members and I see a total of 13 prior flights for a crew composed of only five members. I'm sure there are higher tallies for other flights.

If you exclude the shuttle program however, I think Apollo 10 held the record.

LM-12
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posted 02-29-2012 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The highest number I have found so far is for the STS-82 HST crew at 22 missions.

Michael Davis
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posted 02-29-2012 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Davis   Click Here to Email Michael Davis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually I think the tally was 15 previous missions for the STS-82 crew at the time of the launch.

LM-12
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posted 02-29-2012 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am including the STS-82 flight in the count - see previous examples.

LM-12
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posted 02-29-2012 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The number for the STS-102 crew is 24 missions.

Michael Davis
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posted 02-29-2012 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Davis   Click Here to Email Michael Davis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course you could also look at this in terms of the average flight experience per crew-member. That being a way to eliminate the bias caused by the varying size of the crews from Mercury thru the end of the Shuttle program. I would note that the STS-80 crew averaged 3.6 flights each versus the 3.4 value for STS-102.

Michael Davis
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posted 02-29-2012 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Davis   Click Here to Email Michael Davis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course you could also look at this in terms of the average flight experience per crew-member. That being a way to eliminate the bias caused by the varying size of the crews from Mercury thru the end of the Shuttle program. I would note that the STS-80 crew averaged 3.6 flights each versus the 3.4 value for STS-102.

LM-12
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posted 02-29-2012 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that is way to look at the numbers on a level playing field if you are willing to do all the calculations. I suspect some of the Russian flights would figure more prominently if an average calculation were used. I think Soyuz TMA-3 works out to be 4.0 flights per crewmember, for example.

My goal was a bit simpler. I was just wondering which crew had the most flights under their belt and what that number was.

moorouge
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posted 03-01-2012 02:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tipping this on its head. Were there any flights, excluding solo missions, where the crew had no previous experience?

As far as the US programme is concerned I can only come up with the Gemini flights of 4, 7, and 8.

All the Apollo flights had at least one crew member with previous flight experience though Apollo 14 had just 15 minutes flight time when it was launched.

No doubt someone can add the data for the Shuttle and Russian missions.

KSCartist
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posted 03-01-2012 03:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Skylab III/4 - zero time, three rookies.

One other little known fact. After Apollo 11 it wasn't until STS-26 that a mission flew with an all flight veteran crew.

I'm sure someone here can name the time after that.

LM-12
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posted 03-01-2012 03:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would that be the STS-31 Hubble deploy flight?

I believe the last American all-rookie flight was STS-2 (Engle-Truly) in 1981. So that would also make it the only all-rookie shuttle flight.

The last Russian all-rookie flight was Soyuz TMA-12 (Expedition 17) in 2008.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 03-01-2012 05:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, after STS-26 it was STS-31 with an all veteran crew. And if I have this right, it wasn't until (interestingly enough) the next Hubble flight that an all veteran crew flew - STS-61.

And for ridiculous sake, after that it was STS-62; STS-76; STS-79; STS-80; STS-81; STS-82 and STS-94.

LM-12
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posted 03-01-2012 06:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The number for the STS-103 crew is 25 missions.

ilbasso
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posted 03-01-2012 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
Skylab III/4 - zero time, three rookies.

And also unusual about that crew is that none of the men ever flew in space again. Three rookies, no subsequent flights.

LM-12
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posted 03-02-2012 06:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good point. There are at least two Russian crews that did the same - Soyuz 15 (Sarafanov-Demin) and Soyuz 23 (Zudov-Rozhdestvensky) - both were all-rookie crews and all flew only once.

There are several other all-rookie Russian crews where at least one of the cosmonaut crewmembers went on to fly more than one mission.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 03-02-2012 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
And also unusual about that crew is that none of the men ever flew in space again.
At the time the TFNGs were announced, Gibson was still listed as an active astronaut. Was he ever in the pipeline for a shuttle flight?

LM-12
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posted 03-02-2012 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jerry Ross and Franklyn Chang-Diaz have both flown on 7 space shuttle missions. But they never flew on the same flight together.

FFrench
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posted 03-02-2012 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
I believe the last American all-rookie flight was STS-2 (Engle-Truly) in 1981.
Depends on how you count it - there were those who considered Engle to have made three suborbital X-15 flights before this, as the Air Force awarded astronaut wings to the X-15 pilots who made it above 50 miles.

LM-12
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posted 03-03-2012 05:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps Engle with an asterisk* to acknowledge the X-15 flights above 50 miles.

LM-12
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posted 03-04-2012 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are 3 cosmonauts that have each accumulated more than 2 years in space:
  • Krikalev - 803 days on 6 missions
  • Kaleri - 770 days on 5 missions
  • Avdeyev - 747 days on 3 missions
The closest American is Fincke - 381 days on 3 missions.

That is just about a year less than Avdeyev.

LM-12
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posted 11-04-2014 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Davis:
Of course you could also look at this in terms of the average flight experience per crew-member.
The highest average number I have found so far is the Soyuz TMA-3 flight at 4.0 flights per crewmember:
  • Kaleri - 4th flight
  • Foale - 6th flight
  • Duque - 2nd flight

Mike Dixon
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posted 02-04-2015 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know which shuttle crew had the most number of (cumulative) flights prior to the mission to which they were assigned?

I'm guessing it would be a crew of seven with a few veterans at some point late in the program (simply to increase the numbers) but really have no idea.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

brianjbradley
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posted 02-05-2015 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brianjbradley   Click Here to Email brianjbradley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the top of my head, as I think this went back and forth on another message board I am part of, it's STS-103, where the crew members had 18 flights combined going into the mission.

The non-rookie crew was:

  • Brown -- STS-47, 66, 77, 85, 95
  • Smith -- STS-68, 82
  • Clervoy -- STS-66, 84
  • Foale -- STS-45, 55, 63, 84/MIR/86
  • Nicollier -- STS-46, 61, 75
  • Grunsfeld -- STS-67, 81

LM-12
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posted 02-05-2015 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The six missions that Michael Foale flew on include STS-103 and Soyuz TMA-3.

LM-12
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posted 04-02-2015 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The recent Soyuz TMA-16M launch works out to an average of 3.6 flights per crewmember:
  • Padalka - 5th flight
  • Korniyenko - 2nd flight
  • Kelly - 4th flight

Lewis007
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posted 04-05-2015 01:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lewis007   Click Here to Email Lewis007     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the latest crew the oldest to have flown into space (Padalka being 56, Kornienko 54 and Kelly 51)?

Robonaut
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posted 04-05-2015 04:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robonaut   Click Here to Email Robonaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crew of Soyuz TMA-7 was older at launch on 1 October 2005. Valery Tokarev was 52 (and only four weeks short of his next birthday), Bill McArthur was 54 and Gregory Olsen was 60.

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