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Swift
2015-Jan-28, 05:58 PM
http://www.seasky.org/space-exploration/assets/images/challenger_menu_01.jpg

danscope
2015-Jan-28, 06:48 PM
We shall always embrace the couragous crew , and every crew that trains and climbs on board a rocket bound for space.
Their sacrifice spurs us to build the best , hone our skills to new levels undreamt of , with an eye on the broad shoulders of those who came before us and gave so much.
I know I shall never forget them.

Trebuchet
2015-Jan-28, 07:12 PM
Holy cow. So long ago and I remember it so clearly. I was sitting in the lobby of my company talking to a salesman and the receptionist took a call, looked up, and said "The space shuttle blew up". What an awful day.

Noclevername
2015-Jan-28, 07:14 PM
A salute to our lost heroes.

primummobile
2015-Jan-28, 09:02 PM
I was in the sixth grade and it happened during our lunch period.

KaiYeves
2015-Jan-28, 11:16 PM
Respect.

Although I was not yet alive at the time of their sacrifice, I certainly felt and benefited from their legacy and continue to be inspired by their example.

I would have liked to have known them.

Trebuchet
2015-Jan-29, 12:01 AM
One of the remarkable things about that team was that only three of the seven were white males. That was quite an amazing sign of progress.

Nicolas
2015-Jan-30, 02:24 PM
Apart from the social progress, the Space Shuttle also technically made it "easily" possible to carry "passengers" (mission specialists, not astronauts by profession). Belgium for example has had 2 people in space, one of them a professional astronaut (member of ESA astronaut corps and capable of piloting Soyuz), the other one flew aboard Atlantis as a mission specialist.

This capability of the Shuttle shows in the diversity of its crews.

KaiYeves
2015-Jan-30, 02:47 PM
Apart from the social progress, the Space Shuttle also technically made it "easily" possible to carry "passengers" (mission specialists, not astronauts by profession). Belgium for example has had 2 people in space, one of them a professional astronaut (member of ESA astronaut corps and capable of piloting Soyuz), the other one flew aboard Atlantis as a mission specialist.

This capability of the Shuttle shows in the diversity of its crews.

Everybody always rags on the shuttle for not becoming a literal space airline as predicted, but if you disregard the predictions and look in isolation at what actually happened, the shuttle really did open up space travel in comparison to what had come before. More than 90% of all people who ever went into space did so aboard the space shuttle. And I think that's pretty darn impressive.

novaderrik
2015-Jan-31, 05:10 PM
I was in the sixth grade and it happened during our lunch period.

i was in 5th grade.. walking past the science teacher's classroom during lunch break when he said "Derrick, get in here. the space shuttle just blew up" and we watched replays of it on the tv for the rest of lunch break..

DonM435
2015-Jan-31, 05:18 PM
I watched the last Challenger launch from a parking lot at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. I'd begun working for a NASA contractor maybe eight months earlier. It remained the coldest day we'd experienced in Florida for many years thereafter.

Nicolas
2015-Jan-31, 05:21 PM
More than 90% of all people who ever went into space did so aboard the space shuttle. And I think that's pretty darn impressive.

Wow, that's more than I expected, given the amount of Soyuz missions.

Trebuchet
2015-Jan-31, 07:09 PM
When they announced they'd build a replacement for Challenger, my first thought was "No! Build three! Or six!" I still wish they had. Or a shuttle Mk II.

KaiYeves
2015-Jan-31, 07:14 PM
Wow, that's more than I expected, given the amount of Soyuz missions.

Whoops, I goofed, it's the majority but not over 90%. Using numbers from here (http://m.space.com/12376-nasa-space-shuttle-program-facts-statistics.html) and here (http://www.worldspaceflight.com/bios/stats.php), it's about 65%. Still very impressive but not as impressive as I thought. I was thinking of one of the articles from Air and Space Smithsonian's shuttle commemorative article, but they may have been talking only about Americans, and I don't know how they were counting repeat fliers and people who launched on one vehicle and landed in another.

Still, 355 individuals and 833 total passengers is nothing to sneeze at, especially in comparison to the previous US programs.

schlaugh
2015-Jan-31, 08:36 PM
I watched the last Challenger launch from a parking lot at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. I'd begun working for a NASA contractor maybe eight months earlier. It remained the coldest day we'd experienced in Florida for many years thereafter.
I was across the water in Cocoa Beach, working at the Cocoa Today newspaper. That was the quietest newsroom I had ever experienced during a major story.

Buttercup
2015-Jan-31, 08:42 PM
My dad was home sick from work, and sleeping. Mom and I watching "The Price is Right."

Then suddenly Dan Rather is on the screen, looking absolutely haggard.

My first thought: "OMG, President Reagan's been assassinated!"

I was even more stunned at Mr. Rather's announcement.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-31, 09:05 PM
Whoops, I goofed, it's the majority but not over 90%. Using numbers from here (http://m.space.com/12376-nasa-space-shuttle-program-facts-statistics.html) and here (http://www.worldspaceflight.com/bios/stats.php), it's about 65%. Still very impressive but not as impressive as I thought.
If you want to count people lifted into orbit during the time the shuttle was operating it's nearly 80%
.. sts soyuz shenzhou
81 4 2
82 8 8
83 20 8
84 28 9
85 58 5
86 14 2
87 0 8
88 10 9
89 25 2
90 32 7
91 35 6
92 53 6
93 42 5
94 42 8
95 42 6
96 43 5
97 53 5
98 33 6
99 19 3
00 32 5
01 38 6
02 34 6
03 7 5 1
04 0 6
05 7 6 2
06 20 6
07 21 6
08 28 6 3
09 34 12
10 19 12
11 16 6
--- --- --- ---
.. 717 182 6




I was thinking of one of the articles from Air and Space Smithsonian's shuttle commemorative article, but they may have been talking only about Americans, and I don't know how they were counting repeat fliers and people who launched on one vehicle and landed in another.
Still, 355 individuals and 833 total passengers is nothing to sneeze at, especially in comparison to the previous US programs.
I counted repeat flyers, but by counting launch crew, I eliminated the cross-vehicle trips.

While searching, I ran across the fact that STS-61&71 had 8. I didn't know they ever went past 7 which was the normal compliment. But, I now see that they could go 11 in an emergency.

Nicolas
2015-Feb-01, 07:58 AM
The first time they flew and 8th person, it was a Dutch guy. I'll refrain from drawing any conclusions. ;)

DonM435
2015-Feb-01, 03:57 PM
I suppose that one could argue that they should have maintained crew size at two or three, only making sure that essential skills were covered, so as not to risk any additional lives just for the show.

Nicolas
2015-Feb-01, 06:57 PM
STS was being exploited as a finished product rather than as an X-plane, while technically one could argue it was closer to the latter.

NEOWatcher
2015-Feb-01, 07:24 PM
STS was being exploited as a finished product rather than as an X-plane, while technically one could argue it was closer to the latter.
Can you explain how you come to that conclusion?
I see it as neither. It was definitely a production vehicle. I see Enterprise as being the X-version along with all the X plane lifting bodies that came before it.
What didn't happen was the expansion of the program to variants of the stack.

Spacedude
2015-Feb-01, 10:06 PM
Just like the Kennedy Assassination and 9-11, the 3rd of the top 3 shocking moments in my life which are burned into my memory is the first Shuttle tragedy. Like some of you I was returning to work from lunch, my co-worker had tears in her eyes and almost screamed at me that the Challenger had blown up. Most of the lab staff including myself took off the rest of the day.

Nicolas
2015-Feb-02, 01:04 PM
Can you explain how you come to that conclusion?
I see it as neither. It was definitely a production vehicle. I see Enterprise as being the X-version along with all the X plane lifting bodies that came before it.
What didn't happen was the expansion of the program to variants of the stack.

It's not a conclusion I came to but a main conclusion from the Columbia investigation, at least as far as I remember it (years since I read the report).

Nicolas
2015-Feb-02, 01:06 PM
Quick google turns up this quote by Young, so not the report itself but his comments on it. I think that's what was in my memory:


"The orbiter is not an operational vehicle and they need to stop treating it like one," the 72-year-old space veteran said during a visit to Georgia Tech, where he graduated in aerospace engineering in 1952. "This is still an experimental vehicle. STS-107 [Columbia's final flight] proved that pretty well."
http://www.johnwyoung.org/main/experimental.htm

NEOWatcher
2015-Feb-02, 03:23 PM
By that logic, just about any space vehicle is an experimental craft.

Nicolas
2015-Feb-02, 07:08 PM
Indeed, by that logic spaceflight still is experimental. That point of view may be too extreme, but with the current state of technolog -and STS certainly was no exception- very stringent safety procedures remain of vital importance. Lessons learned...