Daily Archives: December 2, 2017

2 December 1993, 09:27:00 UTC, T minus Zero

Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-61) lifts off from LC-39B, 09:27:00 UTC, 2 December 1993. (NASA)
Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-61) lifts off from LC-39B, 09:27:00 UTC, 2 December 1993. (NASA)

2 December 1993, 09:27:00 UTC, T minus Zero: Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-61) lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission was to service the Hubble Space Telescope in Earth orbit. This was Endeavour‘s fifth flight.

The flight crew were Mission Commander Colonel Richard O. Covey, United States Air Force, on his fourth space flight, with shuttle pilot Captain Kenneth D. Bowersox, U.S. Navy, on his second flight. Mission Specialist Kathryn C. Thornton, Ph.D., on her third space flight; Professor Claude Nicollier, Captain, Schweizer Luftwaffe, (Swiss Air Force) and European Space Agency, on his second space flight; Jeffrey A. Hoffman, fourth flight, F. Story Musgrave, M.D., fifth space flight; and Thomas D. Akers, third space flight.

Flight crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-61). Seated, left to right: Kenneth D. Bowersox, Kathryn C. Thornton, F. Story Musgrave, and Claude Nicollier, ESA. Rear: Richard O. Covey, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, and Thomas D. Akers. (NASA)
Flight crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-61). Seated, left to right: CAPT Kenneth D. Bowersox, USN; Kathryn C. Thornton, Ph.D.,  F. Story Musgrave, M.D.; and Professor Claude Nicollier, ESA. Rear: COL Richard O. Covey, USAF, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, and Thomas D. Akers. (NASA)

During this flight there were five EVAs (“space walks”) conducted to service and upgrade Hubble. EVAs 1, 3 and 5 were performed by Musgrave and Hoffman, while 2 and 4 were carried out by Thornton and Akers. The duration of these EVAs were between 6 hours, 36 minutes and 7 hours, 54 minutes.

Endeavour landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), Kennedy Space Center, at 05:25:33 UTC, 13 December 1993. The duration of the mission was 10 days, 19 hours, 58 minutes, 37 seconds.

Mission Specialists Jeffrey A. Hoffman (bottom, right of center) and Story Musgrave, on the manipulator arm, with the Hubble Space telescope during EVA 5. (NASA)
Mission Specialists Jeffrey A. Hoffman (bottom, right of center) and Story Musgrave, on the manipulator arm, with the Hubble Space Telescope during EVA 5. (NASA)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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2 December 1992, 13:24:00 UTC, T minus Zero

Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-53) launches from LC-39A, 13:24:00 UTC, 2 December 1992. (NASA)
Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-53) launches from LC-39A, 13:24:00 UTC, 2 December 1992. (NASA)

2 December 1992, 13:24:00 UTC, T minus Zero: Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-53) lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a classified Satellite Data System-2 military communications satellite. This satellite also included Heritage (Radiant Agate) infrared early warning system for detection of ballistic missile launches. Several other satellites and scientific experiments were also carried. This was Discovery‘s 15th flight.

The Mission Commander was Captain David M. Walker, United States Navy, on his third space flight, with shuttle pilot Colonel Robert D. Cabana, U. S. Marine Corps, on his second. Three Mission Specialists were aboard: Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Ph.D., U.S. Air Force on his fourth and final space flight; Lieutenant Colonel Michael R. Clifford, U.S. Army, first flight; Colonel James S. Voss, U.S. Army, second flight.

Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of southern California at 20:43:17 UTC, 9 December 1992. The duration of the mission was 7 days, 7 hours, 19 minutes, 17 seconds.

Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-53) flight crew. Front row, left to right: Guion S. Bluford and James S. Voss. Back row, David M. Walker, Robert D. Cabana and Micael R. Clifford. (NASA)
Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-53) flight crew. Front row, left to right: COL Guion S. Bluford, PH.D., USAF, and COL James S. Voss, USA. Back row, CAPT David M. Walker, USN, COL Robert D. Cabana, USMC, and LCOL Michael R. Clifford, USA. (NASA)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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2 December 1990, 06:49:00 UTC, T minus Zero

Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-35) lifts of from LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center, 06:49:00 UTC, 2 December 1990. (NASA)
Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-35) lifts off from LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center, 06:49:00 UTC, 2 December 1990. (NASA)

2 December 1990, 06:49:00 UTC, T minus Zero: At 1:49 a.m. EST, Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-35) lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. This was Columbia‘s 10th flight. STS-35 was a scientific mission, with the ASTRO-1 observatory.

The flight crew consisted of Mission Commander Vance D. Brand on his fourth and final space flight, and shuttle pilot Colonel Guy S. Gardner, U.S. Air Force, on his second. There were three Mission Specialists and two Payload Specialists: Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Ph.D., second space flight; John M. Lounge, third flight; Robert A.R. Parker, Ph.D., second flight; Samuel T. Durance, Ph.D., and Ronald A. Parise, Ph.D., were both on their first flights.

Flight crew of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-35), left to right: Robert A.Parker, Guy S. Gardner, Ronald A. Parise, Vance D. Brand, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, John M. Lounge and Samuel T. Durrance. (NASA)
Flight crew of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-35), left to right: Robert A.Parker, Guy S. Gardner, Ronald A. Parise, Vance D. Brand, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, John M. Lounge and Samuel T. Durrance. (NASA)

Columbia landed at Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of southern California at 05:54:08 UTC, 11 December 1990. The duration of the mission was 8 days, 23 hours, 5 minutes, 8 seconds.

Space Shuttle Columbia lands at Edwards Air Force Base, California, 11 December 1990. (NASA)
Space Shuttle Columbia lands at Edwards Air Force Base, California, 9:54 p.m. PST, 11 December 1990. (NASA)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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2 December 1988, 14:30:34 UTC

Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off at LC-39B, 2 December 1998. (NASA)
Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off at LC-39B, 2 December 1998. (NASA)

2 December 1988, 14:30:34 UTC: At 9:30 a.m., EST, Space Shuttle  Atlantis (OV-104) launched from Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-27. This was the deployment of the first of five Lockheed Martin Lacrosse I reconnaissance satellites, USA-34, for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office and the Central Intelligence Agency.

STS-27 was the third flight for Atlantis.

Seated, left to right, are Guy S. Gardner, pilot; Robert L. Gibson, commander and Jerry L. Ross, mission specialist. On the back row, left to right, are mission specialists William M. Shepherd and Richard M. Mullane.
Seated, left to right, are Colonel Guy S. Gardner, USAF, pilot; Captain Robert L. Gibson, USN, mission commander and Colonel Jerry L. Ross, USAF, mission specialist. On the back row, left to right, are mission specialists Captain William M. Shepherd, USN and Colonel Richard M. Mullane, USAF.

Space Transport System flight STS-27 was commanded by Captain Robert Lee Gibson, United States Navy, with Colonel Guy S. Gardner, United States Air Force, as the shuttle pilot. Three mission specialists were aboard for the mission: Colonel Richard M. Mullane, USAF; Colonel Jerry L. Ross, USAF; and Captain William B. Shepherd, a U.S. Navy SEAL.

Atlantis STS-27 lands at Edwards Air Force Base. The damage to heat-protective tiles is clearly visible. (NASA)
Atlantis STS-27 accelerates toward orbit. (NASA)

Approximately 1 minute, 25 seconds after liftoff, insulating material from the right solid rocket booster (SRB) came off and struck the orbiter. The damage to the thermal tiles on the shuttle’s right side was extensive. More than 700 tiles were damaged and one was completely missing.

Atlantis completed 68 orbits during this mission. It landed on Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base, California, 6 December 1988, at 23:36:11 UTC (4:36 p.m., PST). The duration of the flight was 4 days, 9 hours, 5 minutes, 37 seconds.

Sts-27_Landing
Atlantis touches down on Rogers Dry Lake, on the afternoon of 6 December 1988. (NASA)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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2 December 1937

Brewster XF2A-1 prototype during flight tests. (U.S. Navy)
The Brewster XF2A-1 prototype during flight tests. (U.S. Navy)

2 December 1937: First flight, Brewster Aeronautical Corporation XF2A-1 prototype, Bu. No. 0451. The XF2A-1 was designed as a replacement for the U.S. Navy’s biplane fighter, the Grumman F3F. It was an all-metal single-place, single-engine monoplane with an enclosed cockpit, retractable landing gear and an arresting hook for aircraft carrier operations.

The XF2A-1 was 25 feet, 6 inches (7.772 meters) long, with a wingspan of 35 feet, 0 inches (10.668 meters) and overall height of 11 feet, 9 inches (3.581 meters). The prototype had an empty weight of 3,711 pounds (1,683 kilograms) and gross weight of 5,017 pounds (2,276 kilograms).

Brewster XF2A-1 Bu. No. 0451 at the NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. (NASA)

The prototype Buffalo was powered by an air-cooled, supercharged, 1,823.129-cubic-inch-displacement (29.876 liter) Wright Aeronautical Division Cyclone 9 R-1820G5 (R-1820-22) nine cylinder radial engine with a compression ratio of 6.45:1. This was a direct-drive engine, and turned a three-bladed propeller. (Photographs show the prototype with both Curtiss Electric and Hamilton Standard propellers.) The R-1820-22 had a normal power rating of 850 horsepower at 2,100 r.p.m., and 950 horsepower at 2,200 r.p.m., for takeoff. The engine was 43.12 inches (1.095 meters) long, 54.25 inches (1.378 meters) in diameter, and weighed 1,105 pounds (501 kilograms).

The prototype had a maximum speed of 304 miles per hour (489 kilometers per hour) and a service ceiling of 30,900 feet (9,418 meters).

Brewster XF2A-1 Bu. No. 0451. (U.S. Navy)
Brewster XF2A-1 Bu. No. 0451. (U.S. Navy)

In a service test competition, the XF2A-1 outperformed Grumman’s prototype XF4F, which would later become the Wildcat. The U.S. Navy ordered it into production as the F2A-1. It was the first monoplane in fleet service.

In production, the new fighter was armed with one .50-caliber and one .30-caliber machine gun, synchronized to fire through the propeller arc.

The Brewster Model 399E (F2A-2) was ordered by the Royal Air Force and designated Buffalo Mk.I. “Buffalo” became the popular nickname for the fighter, although it was not officially adopted by the U.S. Navy.

Brewster Buffalos served during the early months of World War II, notably at Wake Island and the Battle of Midway. The airplane was outperformed by Japanese fighters and losses were heavy. It was quickly withdrawn from front line use.

The Brewster Buffalo served with several foreign countries, such as England, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands East Indies. These airplanes were significantly lighter than the the U.S. Navy F2A-3 production variants, and the Buffalo’s cockpit visibility and maneuverability was favored by their pilots.

A total of 509 Buffalos were built between 1938 and 1941.

Brewster XF2A-1 Buffalo prototype Bu. No. 0451. (U.S. Navy)
Brewster XF2A-1 prototype Bu. No. 0451. (U.S. Navy)

In May 1938, the prototype XF2A-1 was tested in the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel at the NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Recommended changes resulted in a 10% increase in the fighter’s speed.

Brewster XF2A-1 Buffalo Bu. No. 0451 in the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel at NACA Langley, circa 1938. (NASA)

© 2017, Bryan R. Swopes

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