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  #1  
Old 06-02-08, 18:42
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Default The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Hello to everyone, just a short visit to say hello and share some images from Saturday's launch. Went as nominal as you could hope for, until the post-launch pad inspection took place.


A shot of the launch plume, you can see pad debris hitting the water as parts of the pad come apart.


The damage to the flame trench after launch.


Some more of the pad scattered around the perimeter fence and damage to the fence.


Couple of theories as to why, but nothing hashed out yet. Fairly easy fix, next launch is in October so plenty of time to get it squared away. Since the next mission goes to put some new specs on Hubble, look for a second shuttle on a second pad in case of rescue. It will be only the second time in the history of the program two shuttles will be on pads simultaneously.

Everyone take care.

Chris
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Old 06-02-08, 19:05
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Hey star great pics I guess all it takes is one loose piece of concrete to start a chain reaction ripping more off until the shuttle is clear of the flame pit.
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Old 06-02-08, 19:17
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Great picts! I have always wanted to go see a launch.

E
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Old 06-02-08, 19:18
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Reminds me of this Russian video I saw back in school made during the space race/cold war/whatever-have-you.

The rocket fires... sits at the launch pad, smoke billows everywhere, fire races down those trenches.

Then the rocket explodes in a fireball of monolithic proportions. And you see some cosmonaut on fire in a space suit running away holding an empty burning briefcase burned all the way through with a hose coming out of it.

Somehow it was really funny...
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Old 06-02-08, 19:22
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

I'm not a NASA expert and definitely don't know how many they have, but there are other launch pads to use. They have backup plans for every situation. This one will likely be totally replaced.

EDIT: Great pics!!!
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Old 06-02-08, 19:44
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Spaceman Spiff!

I wondered about you when viewing some photos this week.

Thanks for the note.
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Old 06-02-08, 20:06
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

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Originally Posted by evilfantasy View Post
...but there are other launch pads to use. They have backup plans for every situation. This one will likely be totally replaced.
There are two launch facilities for the shuttles. Pad 39A was the one used Saturday and repairs can be made in plenty of time as to not delay the next launch in October. Pad damage has almost always happened as a result of a shuttle launch, just never to this extent. Pad 39B is currently undergoing retrofitting for the next-generation Moon ships, but can be re-towered for a launch if needed. The damage from Saturday is nowhere near bad enough to replace the entire pad. No other launch pads on the Cape grounds are shuttle-capable.
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Old 06-02-08, 20:11
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

So they are now unable to launch a shulttle? What if there were an emergency and they had to get one launched ASAP? I thought they were prepared for nearly anything.....
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Old 06-02-08, 20:19
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

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So they are now unable to launch a shulttle? What if there were an emergency and they had to get one launched ASAP? I thought they were prepared for nearly anything.....
No, a rescue mission within the consumable limits of the shuttle is absolutely still possible. All missions except the next one in October are going to the ISS. As I noted in my first post, the next mission is going to the Hubble Space Telescope and there will be a second shuttle ready to go if needed ( which is a contingency on all flights since Columbia), as the Hubble mission will not only have enough fuel to get to the ISS if problems arise, there will be no docking tunnel on that ship. Also, should this or any shuttle become incapable of returning home for any reason, there are Soyuz ships docked at the ISS to bring crews home. These pad repairs will not delay anything to the extent that it is jeopardizing anyone or anything.
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Old 06-02-08, 20:24
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Got it now. Interesting stuff, just wish I had the patience to research all of it
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Old 06-02-08, 23:16
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Good to see that the Shuttle launch went well, even though the launch pad took a bad beating. Great pictures, too. I’ll look forward to seeing the next generation of pics. when Hubble gets the upgrade.
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Old 06-03-08, 04:55
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures. They are great.
A woman from Minnesota is on this flight, so we had quite a bit of coverage here.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:33
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Thanks Star!

Always love watching the launches on NASA TV. We're planning a trip over to Florida early next year, will be trying to coincide with a shuttle launch so you better try and stick to your schedule once it's released!

Seriously, watching the EVA ?live? on NASA TV at the moment, very interesting.
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Old 06-03-08, 13:07
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Nice pics as usual Star, dont think just a lick of paint will fix that scratch to the pad!!!

Kinda looks as in the pads bricks where sucked up with the boosters or upward force of, weird they where not forced downward.
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Old 06-03-08, 14:09
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halo View Post
Kinda looks as in the pads bricks where sucked up with the boosters or upward force of, weird they where not forced downward.
I could be wrong, but my impression is that the exhaust gasses go sideways thru the trench shown in the photos and the bricks went off with it to wherever the gasses vent. I can't tell if the gasses were going left to right or right to left though. There is a curved spot to the right, I'm guessing the gasses came down and curved to the left or they went to the right and curved up and out. Regardless, the pics are amazing - thanks for sharing them!
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Old 06-05-08, 12:11
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Default Re: The Good...The Bad...And The Really Destroyed

Dayam Star... those are some serious pics.... I always love it when you get pics to share tho.

As to the damage, I know that you engineering types always figure the numbers and all, but when you think about it, the pad is concrete, and the pressure and heat that come out of the boosters when they launch has got to be some SERIOUS heat and pressure. Then figure that you're redirecting it out to the side, and that the entire things seems to be made out of concrete, and then it starts to make sense... you can only do so much with concrete... being Italian, I am genetically familiar with the intrinsic properties of concrete and it's various usages. At some point, you are going to have some sort of catastrophic failure in the basic structure of the concrete...... hence the bits and pieces

They go far because they are getting blown outta there by the thrusters, which we already established are blasting out at huge amounts of thrust.

OK Star, I can come work for you all now right??



~C
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