Space

July 19, 2012

NASA astronaut briefs NASA Dryden employees

by Raphael Jaffe
Staff Writer

NASA astronaut Rick “C. J.” Sturckow details how the Canadian Space Agency’s Canadarm 2 robotic arm was used to transfer the Leonardo module between Discovery and the space station, as shown on the screen in the background.

NASA astronaut Rick “C. J.” Sturckow visited NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., July 13.

Sturckow was commander of shuttle mission STS-128 when it landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 11, 2009. What no one knew at the time was that the 54th shuttle landing at the base would also be the last.

During his most recent visit to Dryden, Sturckow gave a video-illustrated presentation of the 13-day mission to re-supply the International Space Station.

Sturckow said launch of the space shuttle was exhilarating for the crew.

“It’s exciting riding a rocket. There is a lot of shaking and vibration that tapers off for the first two minutes of the flight. Then there was a bright flash (as the solid rocket boosters separate) and we continued on the liquid rocket motors for six more minutes,” he said.

The rendezvous with the space station was another highlight, he said. The underbelly of the orbiter was checked to ensure the heat shield tiles were intact and then came the docking.

Docking lights flashed as the astronauts made their way up the tunnel from the shuttle’s docking point into the ISS.

The crew of Discovery included Sturckow, Kevin Ford, pilot, and Patrick Forrester, JosÈ Hernandez, Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang, mission specialists. Nicole Stoff flew to the station aboard the mission, replacing Timothy Kopra.

The mission payload included the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, an ammonia tank, an Atmospheric Revitalization System, The Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure Carrier and Treadmill 2.

The video made it apparent that the mission included a high workload for the astronauts that included three spacewalks. The logistics carrier was removed from the shuttle payload bay, and mated to the station, using the Canadarm manipulator. Cargo was unloaded and secured in the station, then the reverse operation was done for returning material.

Sturckow was selected as an astronaut in 1994 while a Marine F/A-18 test pilot. He is currently deputy chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Sturckow retired from the Marine Coprs as a colonel while on board the space station during the STS-128 mission. He made a total of four trips to the space station.

The Walt Disney Company’s Buzz Lightyear toy astronaut figurine that had been taken to the station on Discovery’s STS-124 mission in May 2008 was also brought back to Earth on Discovery during STS-128. While on the station, the toy astronaut supported NASA’s education outreach with a series of online educational programs developed to capitalize on the Toy Story star’s appeal. The Lightyear toy is now enshrined in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Fifteen of Discovery’s 39 missions landed at Edwards, the remainder at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The retired space shuttle is now enshrined at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington, D.C.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 

 

Lockheed Martin solar ultraviolet imager installed on GOES-R weather satellite

Lockheed Martin has delivered a new solar analysis payload that will help scientists measure and forecast space weather, which can damage satellites, electrical grids and communications systems on Earth. The Solar Ultraviolet Imager instrument was integrated with the first flight vehicle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís next-generation Geostationary Operational Environm...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASAís Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this yea...
 
 

NASA signs agreement with SpaceX for use of historic launch pad

NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site. NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida’s...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>