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Author Topic: Flying the Shuttle Mission Simulator (SMS)  (Read 1331 times)

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Offline David413

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23 July 2011, 00:56:49
Now available on Orbithangar:

http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=5343

On July 21, 2011, the Space Shuttle Program came to an end after 30 years.  At the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, the Shuttle Mission Simulator (SMS), Motion Based (MB) was scheduled for retirement on the day of the landing of STS-135.  By an act of God (or fate if you prefer), the mission of STS-135 was extended by one day, bringing the end of the mission, and the end of the SMS MB on July 21.  I had been fortunate to "fly" the simulator nine times in the past.  My business had brought me to south Texas earlier in the week, and by moving the end of the program to Thursday, and through the kindness of a very good friend of mine, I had the opportunity one more time to sit in the simulator and fly the space shuttle to a landing at KSC one more time.

I flew in the sim from 1600 to 1700 that evening, as a passenger for three landings (one a RTLS) and then finally I flew a landing from 50,000 feet, around the HAC and down to KSC one last time.  At 2200 that evening, the SMS MB was shutdown for the last time at JSC.  It will now become the property of Texas A&M to be used in their graduate aerospace program.
 
When the instructor asked me, I asked for a night landing, just to be able to see for myself what earlier that day, at Kennedy Space Center, the final landing of Atlantis had looked like to the crew of STS-135.  The instructor had also, with an evil laugh, told the simulator operator that they had an "experienced" commander, so he should "indulge yourself" with the simulation.  And he did.  Besides the night visuals, I had a 50 knot tail wind as I approached the HAC at 50,000 feet!
 
The individual in the backseat did a fine job videotaping my tenth, and final landing.  The camera focus was in "auto" and didn't always do a very good job, but if you listen to the audio you can hear the ride in.
 
For all of the Orbitnauts out there, this landing was for you.  Now it is up to us to keep the shuttle program alive, flying missions both historical and fictional in Orbiter!

Dave



Post Edited ( 07-23-11 01:56 )


Offline Babelonia

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Reply #1 - 23 July 2011, 10:18:50
Now what do we expect next from NASA.....:???: it was a sad thing to see the Space Shuttle Program to retire after 3 decades.:arg:

« Last Edit: 23 July 2011, 10:18:50 by Babelonia »