Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘kennedy space center’

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Final Space Shuttle on Pad 39A before Launch

The final mission in July 2011 the Space Shuttle program was STS-135, an add-on mission necessary to re-supply the International Space Station through the end of 2012.  This photograph is pre-dawn morning at Kennedy Space Center a day before the final flight.

Pete Crow at Launch Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, with STS-135, final mission in the shuttle program on pad behind him awaiting launch. (Carol Anne Swagler photograph, © 2011 Seine/Harbour Productions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Endeavour took off from Kennedy Space Center about 7:18am and after flying the Visitors Center, the VAB and a part of the coast, circled back and came back low over the SLF in a final salute. She then turned west toward Houston/Ellington.

.

Before taking off from the north to the south, Endeavour/747 taxied the entire length of the SLF, stopping midway down the runway for media and guests.

.

Rain threatened and KSC officials debated holding the Endeavour’s departure for a third day, but in the end gave her the greenlight to go.

.

Far in the distance, Endeavour banks past the Vehicle Assembly Building where for 20 years her journeys back to space began.

Read Full Post »

On September 14, 2012, the Shuttle Endeavour was rolled from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the Shuttle Landing Facility (runway) and mated piggyback to NASA’s 707-100 for its ride to Los Angeles beginning Monday morning, September 17, 2012. The Media had to be at the media site by 3:30 am. This picture was taken shortly after the Endeavour had been rolled out of the VAB at 5:15 am.

.

Endeavour was towed to the mating device on right. The towing took less than two hours. The Mating Crew arrived at 7 am. This was the final time a shuttle would be mated to a NASA 747-100. The 747, which arrived in Florida earlier in the week, was parking on the tarmac, just out of view to the left.

.

Once in the mating device, the Endeavour is attached a slings (yellow). First the nose is lifted, as shown in this picture, then the entire shuttle is raised allowing the 747 to drive in underneath the shuttle. Endeavour is the second of the surviving three NASA shuttles to be sent to a museum. Each shuttle weighs a somewhat different amount. Endeavour, after prepping for the California Science Center, is the lightest of the three. It weighs 155 tons.

.

Piggybacking a shuttle to a 747 is an exacting business. NASA officials advised that this final mating would take about 12 hours, similar to the lift-to-mate process when the shuttles were placing on the crawler/transporters in the VAB (see photos of that process elsewhere in this Blog). Weather hastened the process on September 12, 2012, however. Endeavour was rolled out of the VAB at 5 am, and loosely secured to the 747 by 1:30 pm. Final tightening down of Endeavour onto the back of the 747 was left to the following day, September 15, 2012.

.

Once the shuttle is secured to the straps, it is lifted and the 747 is towed into the mating device directly under the shuttle. Crews then slowly lower the shuttle onto the 747’s back. This mating of shuttle with the NASA 747-100s was used for more than 35 years without mishap from the beginning of flight tests of the shuttles in the mid-1970s through this final mating.

.

The mating is complete. Once the shuttle is completely secured to the 747, a process that was completed the following day, the 747 with shuttle attached was scheduled to be backed out of the mating device early Sunday morning, September 16, 2012. Then, the following morning, the 747 was scheduled to depart Kennedy Space Center at first light, circling KSC and nearby beaches in a final good-bye. Then Endeavour and the 747 headed west, first overflying NASA’s Stennis facility in Mississippi (where the shuttle main engines are now stored) and landing at Ellington AFB south of Houston. The following days Endeavour would fly to El Paso, Edwards Air Force Base, California, and overfly northern California before landing at Los Angeles International Airport on September 20, 2012 (if all goes well).

.

Flow Manager Stephanie Stilson (right) talks to a media representative with the 747-100 in the background. Ms. Stilson has been a flow manager overseeing preparation of the shuttles for space for 12 years, and has overseen the preparation of all three shuttles for the museums. With Endeavour going to Los Angeles, only Atlantis remains at KSC. Atlantis is scheduled to go to the KSC Visitors Center on November 2, 2012. Then Ms. Stilson will spend a year at NASA headquarters on a different project beginning in December.

Read Full Post »

NASA’s 747-100 SCA lands after trans-continental flight from Edwards AFB, California to Kennedy Space Center Florida, on September 11, 2012.

On Monday, September 17, 2012, Endeavour, atop this 747-100, will begin its final journal across the United States to Los Angeles and to the California Science Center.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour will arrive at the CSC on Saturday October 13, 2012 after an overnight and full day’s journey through the streets of Los Angeles from Los Angeles International Airport.

NASA’s 747-100, known as the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), took off from Edwards Air Force Base at 8:26 am PDT and landed on the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility 5 hours 39 minutes after its non-stop transcontinental flight.

.

Few media showed up for the landing. Only nine media attended. NASA sent five staff members to keep an eye on them. The landing begins a series of seven days of activities at the Kennedy Space Center, culminating in the departure of the Endeavour at dawn on September 17, 2012.

.

Later in the week media will be taken on board the 747-100, interview the crew, see updates to Kennedy launching pads, visit the old firing rooms and view the mating of the Endeavour to the top of the NASA 747-100.

.

The flight path of NASA flight 905 from KEDW to KTTS on September 11, 2012.

.

Stats on NASA Flight 905 from Flight Aware — http://www.flightaware.com

Read Full Post »

Endeavour which flew its final flight on STS-134 is now in OPF-2 (Orbiter Processing Facility 2) where it is being readied for being turned over to the California Science Museum in September 2012.

Pete Crow in the Commander seat on the flight deck of the Space Shuttle Eneavour on March 7, 2012. The photograph is by Tony Achilles of radio station WPKN in Bridgeport, CT.

As NASA did with the shuttle Discovery, the media was invited to have a look around on March 7, 2012 including visits to the flight deck.

Status of the three surviving orbiters (originally there were 5 — the first two, Columbia and Challenger were lost):

Endeavour — in early stages of preparation for Los Angeles
Discovery — goes to Smithsonian at Dulles Airport April 17, 2012
Atlantis — goes to Kennedy Space Center Visitors’ Center — building to house Atlantis is under construction

The Houston Johnson Space Center will get the shuttle mockup that has been at the Kennedy Space Center. It is on the dock at KSC in front of the Media Site 39 awaiting its barge ride to Galveston, Texas.

New York City will get, or may already have, the shuttle mockup that has been at the Smithsonian Museum at Dulles Airport.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

See my interview with Buddy McKenzie of the Space Alliance standing under the tail of the Endeavour on March 7 below:

DISCUSSION OF THE SHUTTLE TILES and challenges they presented to the NASA ground crews. This runs about five minutes.  Tony Achilles, WPKN in Bridgeport, Connecticut, shot this footage. This clip, which features Pete Crow interviewing Mr. McKenzie can also be found here. More of Mr. Achilles excellent footage of others events can also be found at this link.

NASA invites everyone associated with the shuttle, including the Media, to sign the walls of the White Rooms which will go to Museums. Pete’s signature is at the bottom of the Endeavour White Room wall on your right as you enter.

.
.
.
.
.”petecrow/NASA” is jointly copyright © 2012, by Seine/Harbour® Productions, Studio City, CA, and by the Peter Michael Crow Trust.

Read Full Post »

Here was the complete 3-part package: The Crawler, on bottom, was two stories. The Transporter was on top of the Crawler and was three more stories. On the top of the Transporter the Shuttle was attached. This photo is of the Atlantis on the Crawlerway.


NASA has two Crawlers. They are usually parked at the yard adjacent to the Orbiter Process Facilities and across the street from the VAB. Sometimes one is parked at a yard on the roadway to Pads 39-A and 39-B where those visiting the Visitor's Center can see them on their way to a viewing stand.

The Crawler/Transporter is a behemoth. This is the carrier which took the fully assembled Shuttle with its fuel tanks attached to the launch pad.

Consider these basics —

Weight: 2,721 metric tons (6 million pounds)
Length: 40 meters (131 ft) wide, 35 meters (114ft) long
Miles: 2,526 miles (1,243 miles since 1977)

The Crawler has her own special road known as the Crawlerway.

She only runs on this specially built dual highway of Mississippi rock between the VAB, her storaage yards and Pads 39-A and 39-B. Each time she heads out for a cruise on her highway, she so completely flattens the rocks on the roadbed that the rocks must be “fluffed” after each trip, and replaced, on average after she’s been over them ten times.

Each cleats on each of her eight tracks weighs one ton.

Getting a Shuttle to the Launching Pad was a two step process.

Terry Berman is manager of Crawler Operations. Previously he was in charge of Pad 39-B which has been torn down and will be re-purposed for still-to-be-determined later space missions.

First the Shuttle was towed to the Vehicle Assembly building from its hangar (known as an OFP — or Orbiting Processing Facility). In the VAB the shuttle was harnessed in the Transit Aisle and then hoisted 500 feet to the top of the VAB, and then moved laterally into one of two “High Bays”. The shuttle was then lowered and secured to the Crawler/Transporter.

The Crawler and Transporter are two separate pieces. The system, in use since the Apollo Moon program in the 1960s, will survive to serve the next generation of space vehicle. The vehicle with its tracks is the base. The Transporter is secured on top of the Crawler, and then a vehicle is secured to the Transporter.

Once a vehicle is safely secured, the Transporter sets out for the launch pad at eight-tenths of a mile per hour. Unloaded it can do about 2 mph.

The Crawler tilts.

As the Crawler climbs the final yards to the launching pad, it climbs a hill. As it climbs the Crawler has internal devices which tilt the Transporter keeping the Shuttle level (otherwise there is a risk that it would fall off). Once the Crawler has delivered the Transporter and the vehicle to the launch pad, it drives away. The vehicle is then launched a few weeks later.
.

Entry to the Crawler yard is through a tightly controlled fence, inside a tightly controlled area. The last use of a Crawler was to move a launching device built for the now-cancelled Constellation program to and from Pad 39-B in November 2011. The Crawler, while they will be carefully preserved and maintained, may not be used again until 2017. NASA appears to have little, if any, support from President Obama and his administration.


.

The control room. Surprisingly the Crawler has only one floor and inside it is almost all engines. It can be driven from either end in small cabs where drivers switch off every two hours. Systems are monitored here when the Crawler is moving. A team also walks with the Crawler on the ground and visually observes it when the Crawler is in motion.


.

The inside of the Crawler which is accessed by climbing a rickety stairway is almost all engines except for the control room. The Shuttle is not driven from the control room, but systems are monitored there.


.

A catwalk circles the entire second floor of the Crawler. There is no first floor, and the third floor is a flat surface where the Transporter is attached. This photograph is from on end of the Crawler looking back toward the other end.,


.

Cockpit of the Crawler. There are two cockpits, one on opposite ends allowing the Crawling to be driven in both directions. It takes about 18 months of training to become a driver. When driving, drivers generally drive about two hours, then switch off. The drive from the VAB to the launch pads generally took 6+ hours at less than 1 mph.


.

Portapottie. A temporary bathroom is discretely tucked on one end of the Crawler. This is the only restroom on the Crawler.


.

The Crawler's eight tracks are massive. Each clete, specially made by only one factory, weighs 2,000 pounds and yes, they do wear out and have to be replaced.


.

This is the second of the two cockpits on the opposite end of the Crawler from the cockpit picture above. The cockpits and the driving controls (just below) appear identical.


.

Have a seat and let's go. There are no speed limits on the Crawlerway, but then again top speed of the Crawler is less than 2 mph. The driver has no seatbelt.


.

The cockpit is small, but has room comfortably for the driver and a second person. This photograph was taken from the middle of the Crawler on the "second' floor. There is no first or third floor.


.

The Crawler stands tall enough that autos and trucks can easily drive underneath. Fully loaded with a transporter, the Crawler stands five stories high. When photographing the Crawler and Transporter with a shuttle secured to it, the media was taken to the fifth floor of the VAB where they were level with the top of the Transporter and where their photographs appears to be at ground level, but were actually more than 50' or five stories above the ground..


.

Pete Crow, who is 6'0", stands under exactly in the center underneath the Crawler to get perspective to the Crawler's massive size.


.

This photograph is taken standing on the ground and looking up at the Crawler.


.

This is the exact 180-degree view from the photograph just above.


.

Carol Anne Swagler stands on one of the two pebble covered tracks which serve as the Crawler's highway to the two launch pads. Ms. Swagler, a veteran newspaper woman, was working as a photographer for an Oklahoma newsapaper, The Grove Sun Daily. In the waning days of the shuttle program, Ms. Swagler was frequently accredited to photograph the shuttle and other NASA launches at the Cape. The Grove Sun Daily, unusual for a small daily, sent reporters and photographers to cover the space program frequently, all the way back to the Apollo 17 moon launch in 1972; its community had a NASA sub-contractor. In the background over Ms. Swagler's shoulder is the Vehicle Assembly Building. The Crawler and shuttle are heading toward Ms. Swagler -- she had walked on ahead. If she had not moved -- which she did -- the Crawler would have flattened her and there would have been no more trips to the Cape for Ms. Swagler.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

tell me MORE — read more about the Crawler/Transporter on the NASA site HERE

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.
.
.”petecrow/NASA” © 2011 by / Peter M. Crow and the Peter Michael Crow Trust and by Seine/Harbour® Productions, LLC, Studio City, California.

Read Full Post »

On Sunday, December 11, 2011, the high fidelity Space Shuttle mockup that has been at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Center was moved 5.6 miles from the Visitor’s Center to the Media Press Site 39 parking lot adjacent to the turning basin. In March this shuttle, known as “Explorer” while at the Kennedy Space Center, will be placed on a barge and sent to Galveston, Texas, and then on to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for permanent display.

The move took about three hours, starting about 7:30 am and ending about 11 am.

The Shuttle mockup leaving the Visitor Center. This mockup never flew in space. With it gone, the Visitor Center will build a special building to house a real Shuttle which is expected to be on display in late 2012 or early 2013.


.

This photograph was taken at Location 4. This is the intersection of Schwartz Road and Contractor Road. The Shuttle has turned north and is headed up Contractor Road past the Railroad Engines. Movement of the Explorer, as it was known while at the Visitor's Center, went much quicker than expected. Originally the media was told movement would begin at 7:30 am and taken until 3 pm. In actuality movement began at 8:30am and ended at 11 am.


.

This photograph was taken at Location 7 (see map of route below). Nearing the end of its 5.6 mile journey to the Pad 39 Media site parking lot, adjacent to the turning basin, the movers stopped the shuttle move for awhile to allow photographs in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building. Then they gathered and photographed themselves in a group shot.


.

(Location 7) A few hundred yards from the Pad 39 Media site parking lot, and the Turning Basin, the mover-guys pulled over, piled out and allowed the media to takes pictures of the shuttle, and of themselves, in front of the VAB. Then, with the media done, they piled in front of the shuttle and their truck, for pictures of their own. These guys finished what was expected to be a 7.5 hour journey of 5.6 miles in a tidy 2.5 hours. They were so good that everybody was home in time for Sunday lunch and the afternoon football games.


.

Carol Anne Swagler, self portrait. Ms. Swagler is accredited as a photographer and, you will note, she got herself entirely in the photograph but only half of the Shuttle. She would argue, and we would agree, she got most of what she was going for in this picture. Ms. Swagler took 267 photographs of the move on Sunday, December 11, 2011. Patricia Christian (in red behind Ms. Swagler), NASA public relations, was one of several escorts on Sunday. (Location 7).


.

(CLICK to ENLARGE) This is the route from Visitor's Center to the parking lot at the press site. The media photographed the movement from 8 sites marked on this map.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.
.
.”petecrow/NASA” © 2011 by / Peter M. Crow and the Peter Michael Crow Trust and by Seine/Harbour® Productions, LLC, Studio City, California.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »