Space Shuttle Era: Ferry Flights


NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with space shuttle Discovery mounted atop will fly approximately 1,500 feet above various parts of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, April 17.
The flight, in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, is scheduled to occur between 10 and 11 a.m. EDT. NASA Television and the agency’s web site will provide live coverage.
The exact route and timing of the flight depend on weather and operational constraints. However, the aircraft is expected to fly near a variety of landmarks in the metropolitan area, including the National Mall, Reagan National Airport, National Harbor and the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center. When the flyover is complete, the SCA will land at Dulles International Airport.
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http://youtu.be/objbcnqCmXk

McCandless Orbits in Jetpack

Image Credit: NASA

On Feb. 12, 1984, astronaut Bruce McCandless, ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by a nitrogen jet propelled backpack, previously known at NASA as the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU.

After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger’s payload bay, McCandless went “free-flying” to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.
 http://www.nasa.gov

The Best Space Shuttle Tribute Video

Remembering what it was to be 10 and in awe of the future

There are a bunch of videos out there paying tribute to the end of the final flight of one of the most complicated pieces of technology ever conceived — the Space Shuttle.

Despite a childhood spent dreaming of becoming an astronaut, running around in my flight-suit PJs, wishing desperately for a future anywhere but planet Earth, having that video of the Challenger disaster burned into my memory, none of those tributes really did it for me.

Until this one. I hope you’ll agree.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/27023/

Space shuttles united – a video tribute


With Atlantis safely home, this Nature video combines footage from all 135 space shuttle missions to create one epic journey

“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.”

Surely nothing better embodies Robert Browning’s sentiment than space exploration. Today, an era of human spaceflight came to a close, with wheelstop of STS-135, the final space shuttle mission.

Following the success of Apollo’s six journeys to the moon, Nasa’s continued exploration of space was to be in a reusable craft that would transport people and kit from Earth, into orbit and back. The Space Transportation System was the official name of the five space shuttles, which clocked up more than half a billion miles ferrying back and forth. The achievements are too many and too impressive to list, but the two most striking are the delivery, repair and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the building of the International Space Station.

This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.


About 18 months ago, we at Nature started to think about the shuttle’s retirement. Others will and have written about the scientific legacy of this grandstanding space programme, but I just wanted to make something beautiful. I figured that as each flight followed a very distinct path (countdown, launch, roll, pitch, yaw, jettison boosters etc.), we could show one journey, cut from every single mission, in order….. Continue reading Space shuttles united – a video tribute