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  Exhibiting NASA's retired shuttle orbiters (Page 6)

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Author Topic:   Exhibiting NASA's retired shuttle orbiters
GACspaceguy
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posted 11-04-2010 05:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just so that you have heard it here and not through the grapevine some where else, this is what the bus driver on the tour bus at KSC said yesterday on the way back from the Saturn V Center. A space shuttle will remain in the OPF and will be on the tour until a permanent home is built to display the shuttle selected for KSC. There was no indication when this would happen or what the permanent home configuration would be. In my opinion this was the belief of the bus driver rather than an official policy. I only post it here so that if others hear rumors of this type of display you understand where the possible source may have originated.

KSCartist
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posted 11-04-2010 06:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've heard th same thing. What the driver should have said is "if KSC is selected to get a shuttle."

The OPF is a perfect safe haven until a new Apollo/Satyrn type center is built.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2010 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Congress, spaceport propose display plans for retired space shuttles

Plans are moving forward for the display of two of NASA's soon-to-be-retired space shuttles at the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Space Center.

Although NASA has yet to announce where its orbiters will be dispatched once they cease flying missions next year, recent actions have helped remove obstacles and clarify the logistics for the Washington, DC institution and Florida spaceport to receive shuttles...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 12-16-2010 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, it would be interesting to see how they would display an orbiter with an extended RMS; isn't the thing too heavy to be extended - in the air, no less! - on Earth? I remember reading a long-ago article where the arm was extended on Earth, but it was done on ground level, supported by some sort of air system (the impression I got was that it was like how a puck floats on an air hockey table.)

sts205cdr
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posted 12-16-2010 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's correct, the RMS and the payload bay doors are too weak to operate in 1G.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2010 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It should be rather straightforward to use support wires from the ceiling to suspend the arm.

A potentially more interesting question will be if the arm is authentic or a replica. If I am not mistaken, Canada retains ownership of the arms. The Canadian Space Agency has, I believe, expressed its interest in having at least one flown arm back for its own display.

OV-105
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posted 12-16-2010 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great idea for KSC. I just can't see it happening with the doors and the arm out.

drjeffbang
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posted 12-17-2010 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drjeffbang   Click Here to Email drjeffbang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would love to see an orbiter displayed in a similar fashion to the Saturn V on display at KSC. Upside down, payload doors open, suspended about 30 feet above the floor.

My wife says she wants to see it displayed standing upright as if ready for launch!

mjanovec
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posted 12-17-2010 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be nice if all three flown orbiters differed in how they were displayed...so visiting each display would be a unique experience. Perhaps have one in the launch position, one in the "in flight" position (as KSCVC proposes), and one in landing position, standing on its own wheels.

nojnj
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posted 12-18-2010 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nojnj   Click Here to Email nojnj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was at the Air Force Museum a few weeks ago. Many of the workers were really talking up the possibility of getting a shuttle there. Time will tell... sure hope so.

jam1970
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posted 01-25-2011 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jam1970   Click Here to Email jam1970     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wanted to ask a question about what they must do to the shuttle in order to display it? Can they leave the shuttle in original condition or do they have to restore it? Will they leave the actual tiles used in flight on the shuttle? Will they paint the shuttle covering all the flight character? Will they gut the inside of the shuttle and remove the electronics? Will it still be flight ready?

Since the general public cannot stand next to the shuttle after it lands, I would love to see the shuttle with all the original tiles broken or marked, used tires, original paint, pitted windows, and so on. I would want to see it used, just as it is when it is done with the flight.

I was curious to what everyone thinks about this as they are preparing to put these on display. Restored or original?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-25-2011 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA will not be restoring the orbiters to like-new condition for museum display. They will look as they did in flight, with some changes dictated by safety precautions.

The orbiters will need to be "safed." Hazardous materials and the systems associated with them will be removed by necessity, less they pose a significant risk to human health once the orbiters are housed indoors for decades.

Safing includes removing the reaction control system (RCS) and orbital maneuvering engines (OMS). Their external components will be replaced by static display pieces as appropriate.

Further, NASA will not be providing space shuttle main engines (SSME), as they remain needed for the Space Launch System being developed. Instead SSME kits, built from spare parts and replicas, will be furnished.

Broken tiles will likely be replaced for health concerns (the same concerns that explain why NASA does not distribute loose tile fragments) but a majority of the tiles and blankets will remain exactly as they are after the last flight. The orbiter will not look clean.

The crew module will be configured such that it is flight ready (as a matter of course, it is partially deconstructed post-flight to be serviced) and the payload bay will be prepared for display after the last flight's cargo has been removed.

tegwilym
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posted 01-26-2011 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds good. I'd rather see a beat up, filthy, chipped and worn looking Endeavour when it arrives in Seattle!

MrSpace86
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posted 01-26-2011 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IF it goes to Seattle and not Houston, Cape Canaveral, or Huntsville...

Fezman92
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posted 01-26-2011 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw something recently about NASA is accepting ideas (or bids) for what to do with various places at Kennedy Space Center like the runway, VAB, and I think the orbiter service buildings. I guess KSC isn't going to use the orbiter service building to display a shuttle.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2011 04:35 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 Fezman92:
I guess KSC isn't going to use the orbiter service building to display a shuttle.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's plans for displaying an orbiter were revealed in December.

(And see this release for more about the leasing of Kennedy's shuttle facilities.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-16-2011 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Cleveland Plain Dealer (among other Ohio newspapers) reports that the Fiscal Year 2012 budget that President Obama unveiled on Monday requests $14 million to bring a retired space shuttle to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The money from the United States Air Force's budget would be used to pay the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to prepare and transfer the space shuttle to the museum.

The budget line item said placing the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the Air Force museum "would be a historic reminder of the USAF contributions in space."

...Michael Gessel of the Dayton Development Coalition said the Air Force budget request would not circumvent NASA's decision process.

"It is a sign of strong support from the Air Force for bringing a space shuttle to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, and an indication the Air Force appreciates the value of the shuttle to educate Americans," Gessel said.

The article(s) also notes that NASA is expected to make its decision about where the orbiters are going "sometime in April."

albatron
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posted 02-16-2011 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
850 WFTL (a Ft. Lauderdale AM news radio station) reported the presence of this in the budget also this morning.

But of course, this is a preliminary non approved budget so far also.

kr4mula
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posted 02-17-2011 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please keep in mind that, as mentioned in a couple of Dayton Daily News articles, that the mere presence of this in the budget means nothing. It just means that the Air Force has allocated money for the move should it get an orbiter. It certainly doesn't imply any commitment on NASA's part. It is, however, another piece in the lobbying puzzle for NASA to consider during the selection process.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2011 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florida Today's editorial board interviewed NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden on Thursday (Feb. 17) and asked him about how the decision will be made where the agency's space shuttles will be retired.
Bolden said a selection process is ongoing. NASA received proposals from 29 entities -- primarily museums -- and he said the decision would be his and his alone.

"I'll make the decision -- not the Secretary of the Air Force, not even the president, to be quite honest," Bolden said.

"We have briefed everybody -- Congress, the White House, people around the president -- and every one agrees that I will make the decision," he said. "I will make a decision by early spring."

kr4mula
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posted 02-18-2011 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Administrator Bolden seems to be implying he doesn't like the pressure he's receiving from the Air Force, which I was afraid might backfire.

More importantly, I think the plan for one man to decide single-handedly where these major national assets will be assigned, ostensibly for the rest of their existence, is ridiculous, especially since there has yet to be any real transparency for the process. Considering the disposition of something like the orbiters is a once-in-a-generation event, some sort of professional, well-qualified committee representing a variety of interests might be better suited to the task. I understand that the applicants are being vetted by others, but let's face it, the top 3 or 4 candidates would do equal jobs in taking care of and supporting an orbiter, with a handful of other places assuredly not far behind. All things being equal, it's going to come down to the intangible factors, including politics, so wouldn't it be more fair to everyone to not rely on a single man, especially one in charge of two of the major facilities vying for the orbiters? No bias there. In most other circumstances, that would be considered conflict of interest worthy of self-recusal. That said, I have do doubt about the man's integrity and personal qualifications, but it seems he's put himself in a position where he's "damned if you do/damned if you don't." We'll see what happens.

dabolton
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posted 02-20-2011 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it would neat to be able to enter one of the orbiters mid-deck (climbing the ladder to the flight deck would probably not be practical). They could plexiglass over the walls like other historical vehicles like Kennedy's Air Force One at AF Museum. or for a premium fee you could enter the flight deck. Or a bubble window you could poke it and look around.

canyon42
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posted 03-03-2011 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Dayton Daily News is reporting that Charlie Bolden has told a group of lawmakers that a decision on the shuttles will be announced on April 12.
Mark down the date: April 12.

That’s when NASA will decide whether Wright-Patterson Air Force will receive one of three retired space shuttles for the National Museum of the Air Force.

At a House hearing Wednesday, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden revealed that the agency would pick the three winning sites from among 29 different cities trying to land one of the prized orbiters.

Greggy_D
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posted 03-03-2011 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
April 12th... the shuttle's 30th birthday.

tegwilym
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posted 03-03-2011 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The day we find out what orbiter comes to Seattle!

isaacada1
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posted 03-04-2011 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for isaacada1   Click Here to Email isaacada1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the article by the Seattle Times, there's 27 institutions in the running. That's gone up from the 21 that were cited last August.

Now, Robert just tweeted to me that it's now 29 institutions competing. Would love for NASA to publish the full list of who's all competing. I know they probably will never do that but I would be curious.

Thanks Robert for staying on top of the story. My own personal hope is that the shuttles are retired to various "time zones" to make it easier for people to visit one in their lifetime.

I've been able to see the mock up at KSC, and seen the Enterprise at the Smithsonian. Hopefully, Endeavor will be located somewhere on the west coast, either the Museum of Flight, Evergreen Museum, or the Southern California venues.

kr4mula
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posted 03-08-2011 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like our esteemed editor has made it into print on this topic in a New York Time article today.

I, for one, am looking forward to an end to the suspense and the starup of discussions over the progress in housing these things at their intended destinations.

KSCartist
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posted 03-09-2011 05:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great article on MSNBC Robert. Good to see your expertise being utilized to educate the public.

As for where the orbiters will end up, here's my take. I'll be interested to see how accurate I am. No offense to anyone - just my two cents.

  • DISCOVERY - Udvar-Hazy (everyone expects that). In my opinion, Intrepid's only claim is that "many will see it" being in the largest city in the world. But they have no connection to the shuttle program and shouldn't receive one. A mock-up will suffice. Udvar-Hazy will host as many visitors as Intrepid and the Smithsonian is our "national museum."

  • ATLANTIS - The Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio. The Museum of the Air Force will be awarded Atlantis because of the connection to DoD missions and it is located so that many in the mid-west can visit her.

  • ENTERPRISE - Seattle Museum of Flight. Seattle will win an orbiter - the first one built. They deserve one, the west coast deserves one but it's Enterprise they'll get. If not Seattle then I expect Enterprise to return home to Palmdale.

  • ENDEAVOUR - KSC, we're not letting her go.

    Seriously, Kennedy Space Center will win because it is the center that cared for and launched every shuttle. If we don't win one, expect me to be arrested for laying across the runway trying to stop her from leaving. I'm only half-joking.

JSC and Kansas Cosmosphere are worthy of an orbiter but there aren't enough to go around.

Fezman92
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posted 03-09-2011 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that KSC is getting one, but I think Endeavour would get KSC. I can't see the Intrepid in NYC getting it for a few reasons.
  1. There is already at least one orbiter on the east coast.
  2. It wouldn't look right
  3. How do they get it there?
I could see the Air Force Museum getting Atlantis and Seattle getting Endeavour.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 03-09-2011 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They would probably have to send a shuttle by barge to the Intrepid, much as they did the Concorde.

Having the shuttle on the Intrepid would be interesting, with the cruise port nearby. I can see the museum's attendance increasing with the cruise lines marketing a trip to see an actual shuttle as a shore excursion.

I agree, however, that Intrepid is a very unlikely candidate to get a flown orbiter, because there's no "tie" to the shuttle program. It's why I've said that if Intrepid wants a shuttle, they should try for Enterprise, because few, if any, museums and the like are fighting over her.

I remember Cradle of Aviation Museum having a Grumman mockup (I think) of a proposed shuttle in the mid-80s. I didn't see it last time I was there, but it would be nice to have that mockup next to Enterprise as well.

kr4mula
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posted 03-09-2011 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
It's why I've said that if Intrepid wants a shuttle, they should try for Enterprise, because few, if any, museums and the like are fighting over her.

I think this is because the top-tier museums see Enterprise as a "consolation prize." If any of the presumed top candidates were to say they'd like to have Enterprise, they practically would be eliminating themselves from contention for a space-flown orbiter. But you can bet that if any of those places don't get one of the three, they would love to have Enterprise. I don't know if Bolden is going to announce her new home at the same time, but if they had a second round of bids for her, you can bet the competition would get just as fierce.

ea757grrl
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posted 03-09-2011 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apologies if someone's already made this point, but... as someone who visits (and loves) the Museum of Flight, I'd love to see an orbiter displayed there; however, if the MoF loses out on the operational vehicles, Enterprise would still fit thematically with several of the aircraft on display at the Museum of Flight. Since the 737 and 747 prototypes are already there (along with my personal favorite, one of the earliest surviving 707s), Enterprise would continue the theme of "first of its kind."

Just a thought. And I wish circumstances hadn't reduced us to only three operational orbiters to fight over...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 03-09-2011 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand about Enterprise being a "consolation prize," but that shouldn't be. After all, if the ALT flights didn't go well, would they have proceeded with the OFTs?

MrSpace86
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posted 03-09-2011 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a reason why a "complete" Saturn V Rocket is at Johnson Space Center and the other "semi-complete" Saturn V is at Kennedy Space Center. All the other museums/facilities either have components (such as instrument units, first stages, command modules, etc) or F-1 engines. All these other museums and places people keep mentioning have almost nothing to do with the Space Shuttle except have an attractive collection of artifacts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping them at the places that had the MOST to do with the STS program.

kr4mula
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posted 03-10-2011 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
All these other museums and places people keep mentioning have almost nothing to do with the Space Shuttle except have an attractive collection of artifacts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping them at the places that had the MOST to do with the STS program.

Your conclusion is sound, which is why KSC and JSC are considered the front runners to land (pun intended) an orbiter. The Air Force Museum is in a little different category than what you describe above, though. The Air Force isn't arguing that the shuttle should come to Dayton because the city itself was significant to the shuttle (though the WPAFB labs certainly were - just read Jenkins). Its argument is that the Air Force itself was critical to the development and operation of the space shuttle; the Dayton museum is just the Air Force's chosen home for it. If its National Museum were located elsewhere, the shuttle would go there instead.

MrSpace86
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posted 03-10-2011 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the design of the Space Shuttle I believe was based on specifications designated by the military. Enterprise could go to there or even Atlantis as has been suggested by others.

I just wonder what will happen if the space centers get them and the others don't. There will be really unhappy people lighting up the boards!

Murph
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posted 03-10-2011 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Murph   Click Here to Email Murph     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like in real estate, the space shuttle is all Location, Location, Location. One east coast, one mid-west, one west coast. Spread them around. But who gets the last one?

My bet is the Cape. Its fair. They have the long, proud history with it.

That being said I am a member at the Intrepid, so I would love to stroll down there on a Saturday afternoon, and see any shuttle at all.

If no one else wants Enterprise, that would be fine by me! I'd love it.

328KF
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posted 03-10-2011 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would think that it is far from a certainty that Atlantis will go to Dayton. If one considers the rocky history of the military and the space shuttle, I would even find it a bit ironic.

The Air Force Museum is a spectacular place, with several hangars full of historic aircraft and more on base (XB-70, AF-1) that are less easily accessible to the public. I have been there a few times, but always find the facility nearly empty of visitors. There have been times I felt like the only one there!

The arrival of Atlantis would bring a short-lived surge of tourists, but I doubt the shuttle will get as much attention following the initial interest that it would in another venue.

Even though some of its design specs were dictated by the military, the years leading up the STS-51L saw the Air Force brass moving toward an assured launch capability with ELV's. Challenger sealed the deal and only a handful of classified DoD flights and MSE's were flown before the military moved off completely.

As most know, the planned Vandenberg launches never happened, and the shuttles never saw the polar orbits that are so necessary for reconnaissance work. Curiously, Air Force Undersecretary Pete Aldridge, who was set to fly on STS-62A from VAFB, was instrumental in the move away from sole reliance on the shuttle.

So I would find it far more appropriate, given the scarcity of the spacecraft, to have the two flown orbiters kept close to those who devoted their lives to them, namely KSC and JSC. The latter attracts a great number of visitors and the presence of a shuttle would attract many more young kids to come and perhaps be inspired to go into engineering or science.

Just think of the stories that could be told by JSC-related folks who made so much history with this program...flight controllers, crew trainers, technicians, and astronauts. They know the workings of the space shuttle better than anyone.

As far as a manned space program, the Air Force tried it a few times and always ended up backing away. Who at Dayton would be able to inspire anyone with that story?

KSCartist
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posted 03-11-2011 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent point 328KF. Well said.

kr4mula
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posted 03-11-2011 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Dayton boosters either conveniently ignore or are simply ignorant of the conflicted relationship between the Air Force and the shuttle program, but those of us who are in the history world are very much aware of that. What 328KF describes is very much true, but the Air Force's perspective is somewhat different.

Yes, it was never comfortable relying solely on the STS as its only means of space access, which it had to agree to politically if the shuttle were to be built. As future experience showed to be correct, the AF was very much worried that a serious problem with the shuttle could completely cut off military access to space (the shuttle's lack of sortie rate was another factor). The ELV was one way to avoid that.

As for the post-Challenger era, it was Ronald Reagan's decree that the shuttle not launch satellites that could be deployed by unmanned vehicles that did in the Air Force's major participation in the program, including Vandenberg, not its own lack of interest.

The point is still correct: there has been a complex relationship between the Air Force and the shuttle program (and NASA in general sometimes), but you can't deny that (for better or worse) the Air Force had a critical role in the shuttle program from before it was even on paper. In my opinion this sort of complexity makes for the best kind of history to tell.

As an aside, I'm sure Max Faget and a few others would be appalled if the Air Force, which forced the switch from his straight-winged design to the current one, received a shuttle and Houston did not!


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