Thursday, 10 October 2013

The last mission

The shuttle gets a piggy back home to retirement in California. Photo from Flickr.
The photographer was Michael Dorausch

In July 2011 the Atlantis took off for its final mission, the 135th of the Space Shuttle program

After a journey of over 8 million kms it touched down almost 13 days later.

What was that journey like and why was there so few crew?. 
"Only four astronauts were assigned to this mission, versus the normal six or seven, because there were no other shuttles available for a rescue following the retirement of Discovery and Endeavour. If the shuttle was seriously damaged in orbit, the crew would have moved into the International Space Station and returned in Russian Soyuz capsules, one at a time, over the course of a year. All STS-135 crew members were custom-fitted for a Russian Sokol space suit and molded Soyuz seat liner for this possibility." [Wikipedia]

In the upper video from the Ames Research Center (retrieved from the Internet Archive) a fusion of several visible light cameras and infra-red camera create a beautiful image of STS 135 taking off. The lower video is an amzing shot of the Earth receeding as STS 135 takes off.  It's in the Public Domain as was also retrieved from the Internet Archive

File:STS-135 Official Crew Photo.jpg
Attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, these four astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-135 crew portrait. Pictured are NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson (center right), commander; Doug Hurley (center left), pilot; Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus, both mission specialists. [Wikipedia]

In this longer (34min) interview Sandy Magnus talks about her experiences growing up. It's a Youtube video on their standard license.

This post is in partial fulfillment of my participation in #OCL4Ed

It was easy enough to search for Creative Commons licensing. What was harder was finding stuff on where all rights had been reserved. There was a good quote there from Chris Ferguson the mission commander that would have been good to use as I didn't want to rely on Wikipedia.   I can't help thinking that would have got that from somewhere else!

I also ran into problems with NASA as they have been affected by the US Govt close down!

Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. 
We sincerely regret this inconvenience.

The Archive site is interesting with over a million videos.  It's well known as a "way-back" machine but it's much more than that and worth a look.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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