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 airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 
 
NASA photograph by Aubrey Gemignani

New crew arrives at space station to continue scientific research

NASA photograph by Aubrey Gemignani The Soyuz TMA-15M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Nov. 24, 2014 carrying Expedition 42 Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosm...
 
 
nasa-cube

NASA opens Cube Quest Challenge for largest-ever prize of $5 million

Registration now is open for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, the agency’s first in-space competition that offers the agency’s largest-ever prize purse. Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and ...
 

 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA announces new opportunities for public participation in asteroid grand challenge

NASA photograph Team NOVA Took the Winning Hackathon Prize.   Ten new projects are providing opportunities for the public to participate in NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, which accelerates the agency’s astero...
 
 
XCOR Aerospace photograph by Mike Massee

XCOR Aerospace announces latest milestone in ULA program

XCOR Aerospace photograph by Mike Massee The XCOR-ULA XR-5H25 LOX-Hydrogen Rocket Engine, fed by XCOR’s proprietary rocket propellant piston pump technology. MOJAVE, Calif. XCOR Aerospace announced Nov. 20 it has complete...
 




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>