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Author Topic: Your biggest misconception about the shuttle  (Read 33449 times)
abortflight
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« on: June 28, 2008, 02:19:19 PM »

Post them here. Mine was that the shuttle took off like a plane. And I actually wrote a letter to NASA when I was seven about how they could turn the shuttle into the first commercial spacecraft by just putting some airplane seats in the payload bay! Needless to say, they didn't take to that letter too well...
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uri_ba
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 02:36:11 PM »

when I a small boy (late 80's or early 90's) - Space shuttle Discovery was launched (and it was on the news).

from some reason, I've then decided that the "space shuttle" is actually "Discovery" (ie. the "discovery" Colombia the "discovery" Endeavour  and so on). it took me a couple of years to realize where i'm wrong Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2008, 02:50:40 PM »

Nice thread!

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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 03:50:29 PM »

...putting some airplane seats in the payload bay! Needless to say, they didn't take to that letter too well...

You've watched Moonraker once too often Smiley

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Like most people I couldn't understand why the space craft like the space shuttle, apollo and soyuz level out to get into orbit. I thought space was just 'straight-up'. In high school when I was about 10yrs, I picked up a beginners guide about space, then it all made some sense, not mathematically though... Smiley

I didn't realise until the same age that the onboard computers automatically kept the Shuttle at AOA of 36-40 degrees during re entry, I blame the film Space Camp.

When they stopped painting the ET white, I thought that with Florida's weather that the tanks rusted up waiting to be used! Wasn't until the 2nd, 3th, or maybe 4th flight of Challenger I realised what they had done Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 05:23:48 PM »

LOl yes I lived in Fla and thought too that the tank was just rusted I remember thinking why would they let it fly looking like that.I also thought the tiles were thin like bathroom tiles.
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abortflight
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 07:07:45 PM »

I also believed that Mir was hovering above Cape Canaveral (even though it's a Russian station) and the shuttle would just go straight up to get to it. Undecided
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Spacewalker
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 08:46:52 PM »

When I was about 10 years old, I saw the first pictures of the Space Shuttle Enterprise riding piggyback on the 747 SCA. Of course, I first thought that the Shuttle could be launched to space right off the back of that 747. Grin
But luckily, these pictures (and my misconception) started my interest in the Space Shuttle program and I was fascinated by this kind of launch concept. I started to look for more information about the program and I remember that I was a little disappointed when I soon discovered that the 747 was used only for a few gliding tests and to carry the Shuttle around, and the Shuttle would be launched to space just like any "normal" rocket.

About one or two years later, the "Moonraker" James Bond movie came out. I did not know much about this movie or James Bond movies in general, but I knew that the Shuttle played an important part in it. So, I had to see that movie! Now, guess what: One of the first scenes in the movie shows a Space Shuttle being launched off the back of a 747! Not to be launched to space, but to be hijacked and flown to some secret launch base.
I got quite upset over this misinterpretation of the reality and even made some comments in the sold out but quiet theatre. My parents later told me, that I even swore that I would never watch a James Bond movie again, as this was the biggest crap that I had ever seen. Quite a big talk for a 12-year-old... Grin Grin

Anyway, my interest for the Space Shuttle program held up until today, and I have seen all James Bond movies to date, either on TV or in a movie theatre.... Wink
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 08:49:03 PM by Spacewalker » Logged
Chris Bergin
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2008, 07:49:26 PM »

When I was a kid I used to believe the handoff ("Auto sequence start") was called out by the Shuttle herself (as it was a female controller for a large number of launches).

Though it's not a misconception that the Shuttles are female Smiley
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USA~Driver
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2008, 06:13:52 AM »

IN MY YOUTH... I had a hard time getting over the fact the a Shuttle is faster than the SR-71A. (Strictly based on looks)  Grin
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JeTi
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2008, 06:20:03 PM »

In my (very) youth, my brother and I had the misconception that we could do much the same thing using a rocket made of chip board.  It was basically just a monstrous wooden thing filled with gasoline and a fuse... me, the youngest, lightest and brightest, I gather, on top. 

Now, I had my doubts about the whole thing, but my older brother assured me that there wasn't anything to worry about - he "knew what he was doing".  You see, I wasn't going into space per se... just helluva high way up in the air, where I just had to deploy my parachute made of sheets and float safely back to Earth.  Naturally I had to go through some vigorous training where I mostly had to jump off high ledges and get hit in the stomach a lot.  I had the easy task, though, as my brother had to roll away the gigantic chipboard tower, press the shoebox buttons, talk in the walkie-talkie... and stuff Smiley

Well, we sure had a lot of fun with it, made engineering drawings and such.  Our interest got diverted, however, when we started planning our huge chipboard submarine that we wanted to drag along the bottom on wheels from a baby carriage.
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Hyphon
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2008, 10:41:00 AM »

When I was (Real young) kid, I thought the external tank will deflate in space and carried back in the cargo bay... (But no bad idea I think. That could really conserve some materials for building a new one every time the shuttle starts)
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USA~Driver
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2008, 03:34:27 PM »

When I was (Real young) kid, I thought the external tank will deflate in space and carried back in the cargo bay...
(But no bad idea I think. That could really conserve some materials for building a new one every time the shuttle starts)

Remember, The Shuttle rides on that....  Shocked
 
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2008, 09:03:22 PM »

...I was a kid in the 60's, so the first flights I watched were the Gemini / Agena rondezvous missions that paved the way for the Apollo / LEM docking manouvers.  Whenever there was a launch or televised mission event the teacher would wheel a big old B&W TV into the classroom and everyone would watch with rapt attention at the unbelieveable spectacle of each event.  We all know that space programs are no longer the media darlings they once were, but...

My biggest misconception was/is that anybody, anywhere, could help but continue to be amazed by the 1000's of personal, intellectual and technological triumphs that each of those and every space mission since represents.
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Zenra
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2008, 04:01:41 PM »

A glider that can't soar Smiley

I prefer the term "Falling with Style" or "Flying Brick/pig". I've heard comments that it handles great above Mach1, anything less, either the brick or the pig. But, what a brick/pig!
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christra
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2008, 04:36:37 PM »

A glider that can't soar Smiley
...
Well, it can -a tiny bit... Wink

The ratio is 1:4, which means by descending 1m it flies 4 m forward.
The best "real" glider that is manufactured today (in Germany  Grin) has about 1:70
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