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Dissecting OV's 103, 104 and 105.
March 23, 2012 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Orbiter Autopsies "What NASA will learn from dissecting Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour" before they transition into retirement. (From the May 2012 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine.)
posted by zarq (13 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know, it's really weird to see the decommissioned orbiters. You think, man, these are space vehicles, they flew into space multiple times, hell Discovery's total time in space is a year!

Yet now they just sit on a runway or in a room, stripped of all the gear that made them spaceships. They've been hollowed out and will be replaced with real looking but non functional gear. People will come and gawk and then forget, a few will marvel and everyone will file out of the room. Seems like a sad epithet to me, but that just might be the romance talking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:25 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


i went through the shuttle exhibit when i was 10 or so at the smithsonian. i absolutely didn't forget. it remains one of the coolest things i've seen.
posted by nadawi at 1:31 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, here's some great photos of Atlantis's interior, before they shut it down for good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:38 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


This looks like velcro?

I had no idea until this moment that NASA used velcro throughout the Shuttles.
NASA makes significant use of Velcro. Each space shuttle has ten thousand inches of a special Velcro made of Teflon loops, polyester hooks, and glass backing. Velcro is used everywhere, from the astronauts' suits, to anchoring equipment. In the near weightless conditions in orbit, Velcro is used to temporarily hold objects and keep them from floating away. A Velcro patch is used inside astronauts' helmets where it serves as a nose scratcher. During mealtimes astronauts use trays that attach to their thighs using spring and Velcro fasteners.

posted by zarq at 1:50 PM on March 23, 2012


yes! i love the velcro thing. some solutions just work.
posted by nadawi at 2:00 PM on March 23, 2012


I had no idea until this moment that NASA used velcro throughout the Shuttles.

Yeah, they started using it with Apollo I think, then there was the Apollo 1 fire, where velcro in 100% oxygen was just wee bit flammable. I think they stopped using it for later Apollo flights and/or developed that Teflon version for use to reduce the flammability.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:05 PM on March 23, 2012


It was murder!
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:25 PM on March 23, 2012


.
posted by wuwei at 2:48 PM on March 23, 2012


. as well.
posted by MikeKD at 4:55 PM on March 23, 2012


I thought Velcro was one of the things that was invented by the space program?
posted by benito.strauss at 5:13 PM on March 23, 2012


Nope and neither was Tang.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:39 PM on March 23, 2012


Next you're going to tell me astronauts didn't really eat SpaceFoodSticks!
posted by benito.strauss at 6:43 PM on March 23, 2012


Well no, not always. It depended on the supply of fresh Martians.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:37 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


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