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  Exhibiting NASA's retired shuttle orbiters (Page 11)

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Author Topic:   Exhibiting NASA's retired shuttle orbiters
Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-14-2011 08:00 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 ilbasso:
Enterprise is displayed with those panels still missing.
Those panels were reinstalled, as can be seen in our gallery from last August as Enterprise was being inspected for its upcoming ferry flight. (The return of the panels pre-dated the ferry preparations but Enterprise wouldn't have been deemed airworthy without them.)

GTspace
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posted 04-14-2011 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GTspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The West Coast gets one, the East Coast gets three and for the Center of the USA, Nothing.

Thanks a lot NASA for making it easy for the people in the center of the USA to get a chance to see a shuttle without having to drive thousands of miles to either coast.

What a plan.

Sorry Kansas City and Chicago.

GACspaceguy
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posted 04-14-2011 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
Plus, somehow they managed to get a full size DC-8 to the museum. (Built in Long Beach) I believe the wingspan of a DC-8 is about double that of the shuttle...
For an aircraft it is actually not that difficult to remove engines, wings, empennage, fuselage then relocate those big parts and reassemble. Even easier if the intent is that the aircraft never has to fly again. We have done that many times with Gulfstream aircraft and return them to service again.

In this case I would hope that the transport does not include disassembly. For the Shuttle, there are no spare parts available especially for damaged TPS parts.

As I see it for this location, I am assuming it goes the same way as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The "Main" facility is on the Mall and the satellite exhibits are located in Dulles at the Udvar facility (30 miles away). In this case the Udvar facility is much larger than the "Main" facility. I can see how this would be the case in LA, the CSC is the Main campus and another facility connected to an airport could be the actual site. And, since the land availability is difficult as well as cost is very high, in the LA area, the closest available location may be Palmdale (60 miles away).

Jay Chladek
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posted 04-14-2011 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
Don't forget that reinforced carbon-carbon panels from the leading edge of Enterprise's left wing were used for foam strike testing after the Columbia accident. Enterprise is displayed with those panels still missing.
Last time I was at Udvar-Hazy in September of 2006, Enterprise had RCC panels on the wings.

To my knowledge, Enterprise never had actual RCC panels though, but aerodynamic mockups of the same shape. They were used for early impact testing, but it was ones off a flight orbiter (Atlantis I believe) that were used in the test that produced a very audible "Oh ****" on the video footage when the foam blew a hole in one of the panels.

ea757grrl
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posted 04-14-2011 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
Plus, somehow they managed to get a full size DC-8 to the museum. (Built in Long Beach) I believe the wingspan of a DC-8 is about double that of the shuttle.

According to Terry Waddington's excellent book on the DC-8, the wings of that DC-8 were removed for transit, then reattached on site (reminiscent, by the way, of how the former Air Force One was transported to the Reagan Library and reassembled a few years ago).

I don't know what the plans are for the Shuttle; I just bring the DC-8 transit up as a historical curiosity.

Ben
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posted 04-14-2011 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GTspace:
Thanks a lot NASA for making it easy for the people in the center of the USA to get a chance to see a shuttle without having to drive thousands of miles to either coast.
Explain, please, how placing one in, say, Houston makes a difference for those living in Chicago, or say, Minneapolis?

And had they given it to say, Chicago or Kansas City, then what about those living in Houston or, say, Billings. Wouldn't they be equally miffed?

Ben
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posted 04-14-2011 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Murph:
Although its a small point, as you know, the Intrepid is on 12th Ave, and 46th Street, hardly a long hike from the terminus of the 7 train when it is completed.
Murph is correct, the new 7 line station will be about eight city blocks from the Intrepid, a walk of about six or seven minutes.

MrSpace86
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posted 04-14-2011 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ben:
Wouldn't they be equally miffed?
I think it isn't really much about how far away these orbiters are from each person in each region, it has to do more with an orbiter going to geographical locations in the USA that had little or nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the Space Shuttle.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-15-2011 05:29 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 MrSpace86:
...it has to do more with an orbiter going to geographical locations in the USA that had little or nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the Space Shuttle.
And the locations for just the flown Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, ASTP capsules were chosen based on what?

With only four orbiters, including Enterprise - three, really, considering Discovery was pretty much a shoe-in for NASM - and 20+ locations, just at the start odds were not in favor of *any* location getting a shuttle. No matter where it was or what it was. That's where the location's plans came into effect, which as pointed out, are not public info unless the submitters decide otherwise.

And with those odds, there's going to be grumblings no matter who got a shuttle - why should I have to go all the way to LA to see one? Why Houston or KSC, which already has the astronauts and a Saturn V? Why DC, which already has the gems of the aerospace world?

Now, there's one way to resolve concerns over NY getting a shuttle, and do it NY-style: Have a dance off competition. Show up at the corner with your beatbox and show us what chu got.

BMckay
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posted 04-15-2011 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am really wondering how much extra traffic a shuttle will bring to KSCVC, the Intrepid and the NASM. Are people really going to go out of their way to go see a shuttle?

In many ways people don't care about it now while it is flying...

Aztecdoug
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posted 04-15-2011 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched an Atlas V launched from Vandenberg AFB at 21:24 PDT last night from my front yard in Huntington Beach about 200 miles away. It was a real site as it climbed up and away to its polar orbit.

It just reminded me of how much aerospace tradition there really is here in Southern California.

Fra Mauro
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posted 04-15-2011 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I certainly do not think that NY deserves a space shuttle.

kr4mula
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posted 04-15-2011 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been putting some considered thought into the "international visitors" aspect of the shuttle location selection." On the one hand, I can see Apollo spacecraft being accessible to such visitors, and indeed being placed in other countries, as the point of that program was to demonstrate American superiority on the national stage. By all means, send those capsules and crews around the world to show off... and to win some hearts and minds in developing countries that were then weighing the advantages of capitalism and communism.

The shuttle on the other hand, was from its inception a more practical machine than a political one (more to come on this in a moment...). Yes, it was impressive for its day, but I doubt many people in other countries remember where they were when STS-1 launched. So why should we make sure international visitors have easy access to it, instead of our own hard-working, tax-paying citizens who supported it? Sour grapes, perhaps?

On the other hand, the shuttle did become an international political instrument. Spacelab, Shuttle-Mir, and ISS are the biggest examples, of course. How many international astronauts from how many countries flew on the shuttle for those (and other) efforts? I could see people from some other countries wanting to see the only way in which their fellow countrymen (and -women) made it into space. So sure, make at least one or two easily accessible to them via major international ports. One might argue that Enterprise, without any international crewmembers, won't be much of a draw in this respect.

On the third hand, do all of the locations have to meet that criteria? Do we have to put three of the four in such places (and arguably all four if you consider KSC's proximity to Orlando and Disney) at the expense of the country's heartland?

I guess the points are moot now. While I appreciate the Ohio (and Texas) Congressional delegations' enthusiasm, I'm not sure there's any point in protesting this decision. Do they really think NASA will change its mind?

One other thought: I'd agree with one of the earlier posts that the Air Force Museum didn't do itself any favors with its proposed display. Just parking the orbiter among the other aircraft isn't very inspiring or very educational. For comparison, KSC's proposal was fantastic. I'll look forward to seeing that in person some time.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-15-2011 11:41 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 kr4mula:
One might argue that Enterprise, without any international crewmembers, won't be much of a draw in this respect.
However, Enterprise is the only orbiter that was shown outside the U.S. The 747 SCA refueled in Canada and brought Enterprise at least to France and the UK.

Constellation One
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posted 04-15-2011 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Constellation One   Click Here to Email Constellation One     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...sums it all up for me.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-15-2011 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My friend Michael Grabois, who for 20 years has worked for the space shuttle program as a contractor employee in Houston, offers his opinion as to why Houston did not receive an orbiter in a guest editorial for the Houston Chronicle.
It's easy to look at NASA awarding the soon-to-be-retired space shuttles to places other than Houston, home of the Johnson Space Center, in purely political terms. After all, hasn't the President shown contempt for the state of Texas in the past? Isn't Texas a "red state", and didn't the President lose here twice in 2008 (first to Hillary Clinton in the primary, then to the Republicans in the national election)? Isn't this just another example of how politicized everything is, that he took the opportunity to thumb his nose at us?

Well, maybe.

But if you can look past the politics just for a moment, there are several good reasons why NASA may have done what it did. There's a lot of speculation in here - I have no knowledge whatsoever of the bid process, I haven't seen any of the bids, and I haven't talked to anyone else involved - but no wild leaps to unfounded conclusions...

chenry
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posted 04-17-2011 07:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The question should also have been, where will they get the best level of dare I say it "preservation".

The USS Intrepid is already displaying concern about their ability to preserve and display it. That is also on top of the fact that they had the Concorde damages awhile back and had a hard time getting it repaired.

I have been a volunteer at both a Science Center and several air museums including the NMUSAF, and can tell you that it would be better off at the air museums. At the science center, it will be nothing more than a decoration.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 04-17-2011 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too heard that the Concorde at USS Intrepid has NOT been well cared for. Sending Enterprise there was in my opinion a mistake and I hope the challenge that would bring Endeavour to JSC and send Enterprise to California succeeds. Robert's comments however would suggest the chances of this happening are slim to nil!!!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-17-2011 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect, JSC doesn't have the best track record in terms of preservation, with regards to their Saturn V...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-17-2011 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is probably helpful to keep organizations separate. Space Center Houston, a private entity, had been vying for an orbiter, not Johnson Space Center.

The Saturn V at JSC belongs to the Smithsonian, the building surrounding it and its associated exhibits belongs to NASA. Space Center Houston has permission to tour its visitors through the rocket park, but that's the extent of their involvement.

So when judging Houston's orbiter bid, you should be looking at Space Center Houston and its exhibits, and not to the Saturn V or JSC rocket park.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 04-17-2011 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the clarification Robert.

Murph
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posted 04-17-2011 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Murph   Click Here to Email Murph     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
I too heard that the Concorde at USS Intrepid has NOT been well cared for.
I was at the USS Intrepid this week, both inside and underneath the Concorde, and it is in beautiful condition. Statements otherwise are baseless rumors, and mean-spirited gossip.

Some others, as well, believe the Enterprise belongs on the Intrepid, and that things will be just fine, including a man who flew it:

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Richard Truly, a two-time astronaut and former NASA administrator, said the Intrepid is by far the best place for the Enterprise to call home. "The Intrepid is just a beautiful place for it," said Truly, who piloted the Enterprise test flights -- and who also made more than 100 carrier landings on the Intrepid.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 04-18-2011 04:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Murph, I suspect the state of Concorde is a matter of timing. My comments were based on a viewing of the aircraft a little while back by a friend of mine well placed to know. He is a British Airways pilot.

chenry
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posted 04-18-2011 06:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chenry   Click Here to Email chenry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My comment came from a present employee that works on the aircraft. Also do NOT be fooled by a paint job as paint can hide a lot as far as corrosion. Giving something a new paint job makes it look nice, but is not preservation. The Concorde was damaged by a truck, and it took them forever to get it fixed.

Aztecdoug
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posted 04-18-2011 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have pondered Michael Grabois’s comments that Houston was not chosen to house an orbiter because of purely political concerns due to Obama’s perceived contempt for Texas. All I can say is that in all of my youthful sarcasm, irony and cynicism for American politics I never even imagined that as a reason for the choices.

Now I feel like the comedian Lewis Black when he has an epiphany such that no matter how dark I thought my thinking could go, I can only scratch the surface of reality. I thought I was just imagining this, but a clear thinking level headed friend of mine insists that in his opinion it is in fact all political.

I checked and noted that all the proposed locations for the orbiters voted “blue” in 2008. Washington Sate and Ohio voted blue too, so maybe they still have a dog in the fight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-18-2011 11:01 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 Aztecdoug:
I have pondered Michael Grabois’s comments that Houston was not chosen to house an orbiter because of purely political concerns due to Obama's perceived contempt for Texas.
I think you missed Michael's point, Doug. If you read his full editorial, you'll see that he doesn't put much credence in the political claims (nor for that matter does anyone who has followed the selection process over the past three years) and demonstrates that are a number of other (non-partisan) explanations for Houston to be passed over for an orbiter...

Aztecdoug
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posted 04-18-2011 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I read where he gave it the old, well maybe... To be honest I hadn't really believed it would go along those lines, but reading his words left we pondering whether or not it could have happened. Maybe down the road when it all shakes out we might understand better why Houston lost out and another site might have won.

I am not complaining, I love that LA gets an orbiter. I was just surprised like everyone else and left wondering why the chips fell where they did.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-18-2011 04:10 PM     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 Robert Pearlman:
It is probably helpful to keep organizations separate. Space Center Houston, a private entity, had been vying for an orbiter, not Johnson Space Center.

Ah, OK. Because there are some who say it is JSC which is vying for an orbiter.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-18-2011 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most people refer to Space Center Houston as Johnson Space Center (JSC) just as they do Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for KSC.

The important difference is that NASA owns the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, whereas Space Center Houston is a privately-owned facility. NASA has identified Space Center Houston as organization that responded to its request for information, not Johnson Space Center.

MrSpace86
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posted 04-18-2011 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there a reason why Johnson Space Center did not put in a request?

If Space Center Houston put in a request, then I can somewhat understand why they didn't get an orbiter. They would have to do a total overhaul of that place to make it even close to the elite air and space museums.

Personally, it would have been something else if JSC put in a bid, won it, and had the Saturn V and Space Shuttle together. Now THAT would have been awesome.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-18-2011 04:50 PM     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 MrSpace86:
Is there a reason why Johnson Space Center did not put in a request?
It's only a guess, but Johnson Space Center's exhibits department does not have the resources necessary to meet the requirements set forth by the selection process. For example, they presently cannot afford to replace the temporary building protecting/displaying the Saturn V, let alone construct a new building for an orbiter.

astro-nut
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posted 04-18-2011 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just my opinion but it would of have been neat to see a shuttle orbiter at the NASA space centers. Shuttle Discovery at KSC, Enterprise at Edwards Air Force Base, Endeavour at JSC and Atlantis at the Smithsonian Museum. Like I said, just my opinion. Thank you.

kr4mula
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posted 04-19-2011 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to a USA Today article, President Obama vehemently denied to Texas reporters that the White House had anything to do with the shuttle allocations.
Obama also bristled at claims that his administration skipped Houston in the award of space shuttle orbiters and favored states that could help his re-election.

"That's wrong," the president stated. "That had nothing to do with it; the White House had nothing to do with it."

When Watson persisted, Obama said, "I just said that was wrong," and, later, "I just said that wasn't true."

328KF
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posted 04-19-2011 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That interview is going to become infamous for very different reasons.

On this perceived political connection, I just don't see it. Bolden has publicly taken full responsibility for the decision on where the orbiters will go. Now maybe that's true or maybe it's not.

But if Obama really wanted to garner political support from states he'd like to win in 2012, I think Ohio would have been at the top of the list. And Texas is a predominantly Republican state, a point this reporter made when questioning the President on the decision. Wouldn't he love to have a Right Stuff "Looky what I brought you..." moment down there? Apparently he does not.

When it comes right down to it, the general public will have many more concerns on their minds when they go vote in a few months than whether or not their state got a retired space shuttle. Aside from those facilities hosting the orbiters who stand to benefit from the increased tourist revenue, I don't see this being a major influence.

For those interested in, employed in, or benefiting from the NASA infrastructure in states like Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, the gift of an orbiter would be a small consolation for the hardships they will now face.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-25-2011 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Former shuttle astronaut Mark Brown suggests building one at Dayton.
Supporters of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force are suggesting that the community could get involved in helping to build the body of a space shuttle orbiter to incorporate the historic pieces that NASA intends to transfer to the museum.

Mark Brown, a Dayton business executive and former shuttle astronaut, said he thinks it could be a morale booster for the community and help create excitement about the Air Force museum. He has suggested it to others, as well as museum officials.

pokey
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posted 04-25-2011 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About the same time as Bolden made his annoucement as to what shuttle will go where many were gathered at the JSC front gate dedicating an oak to Maxime Faget. A few days afterwards I wondered what Max would have thought about Houston not getting a shuttle. I think he would have said, "We will build even more wonderous spacecraft so that museums will have all they could possibly need!" Since the future US (NASA/commercial) space vehicles won't be reuseable there will be a larger supply of flown vehicles not all that long from now.

isaacada1
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posted 04-28-2011 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for isaacada1   Click Here to Email isaacada1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They're still doing stories in Ohio about New York. This story brings video and background on the Intrepid Museum.

Cozmosis22
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posted 05-28-2011 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have seen no discussion regarding leaving the remaining shuttles in orbit rather than relegating them to dusty old museums. They could be linked together as a free flying space platform or they could be attached to the ISS. We could even send one to the moon as a pre-supply mission. Just seems like such a waste to ground these perfectly good spaceships simply for economic expediency?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-28-2011 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The orbiters were not designed to stay in orbit for longer than a couple of weeks at a time. Their power generation systems require consumables (cryogenic liquid oxygen and hydrogen) as do their maneuvering engines, and their reaction control system uses propellant that will gradually erode its own plumbing.

They also cannot leave Earth orbit, as they lack the propellent to reignite their main engines (the liquid oxygen and hydrogen used to fuel the SSMEs is depleted with the external tank).

Cozmosis22
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posted 05-28-2011 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. Indeed it was decided after the 51L accident that the shuttle would not be used as a long duration vehicle. Before that there were studies done regarding outfitting the orbiter for 4-6 week missions because the US had no space station and the Russians had their Mir. The huge cargo bay (which was, for a variety of political reasons, almost never fully utilized) could be retrofitted with the small amount of propellant needed to break orbit and head toward the moon. Know it won't happen now... and still think it's a bit of shame to see these marvelous birds get mothballed.


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