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Tantalus

The Final SpaceShuttle Missions

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Just a reminder that the next few months will see the end of the Space Shuttle program, and the last flight of each of the three remaining Shuttles. So if you want to observe or image the Shuttle in-flight, there's only a few chances left...

The remaining Shuttle missions...

STS-133 Discovery 24th Feb 21:50 GMT - Docks to ISS 26th Feb at 19:16 GMT - Undocks 5th/6th March - Lands 7th/8th March*

STS-134 Endeavour 19th April 23:48 GMT (almost 30 years to-the-day after the first ever Shuttle launch, Columbia, on 12/04/1981)

STS-135 Atlantis 28th June 19:48 GMT**

* Mission managers are hoping to extend the mission by one day, to allow three of the Expedition 26 astronauts to undock from the ISS in the Soyuz TMA craft, for a unique opportunity to photograph the Station with Discovery and all cargo vessels and crew capsules attached.

** Initially ear-marked as STS-335, a Launch-On-Need rescue mission for STS-134; this mission has now been re-designated as additional mission STS-135. NASA got it's mandate to launch the mission in The Authorisation Act of 2010, and although there is still some doubt about how the mission will be funded, NASA seem determined to get this one in the air, describing the mission as vital to the survival of the ISS, and recently NASA managers have been telling staff that this mission will fly 'regardless...' So it now seems increasingly likely that this mission will go ahead, and the re-designation allows NASA to begin preparations for the mission.

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It is unbelievable that that is it!

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yes its like its down to Richard Branson now. We are now entering the age of comercial space flight

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Wait a minute, how are the astronauts in the ISS going to get down after the shuttle missions end?

Private companies are curently in a race to secure the deal to dock with the iss

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They are going to be relying on the Russians for a while yet.

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They are going to be relying on the Russians for a while yet.

Who would have thought eh!

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Is it confirmed that we won't get a seeing of the shuttle chasing iss?

I think there is a fly over at exactly the point shuttle docks.

?

12 hours before may be possible to see it chasing?

Edited by leenewtoastro

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Is it confirmed that we won't get a seeing of the shuttle chasing iss?

I think there is a fly over at exactly the point shuttle docks.

?

You should get a chance to see the Shuttle on the 25th, in the vicinity of the ISS, weather-permitting of course!. Heavens above shows the ISS passes around 35 mins before docking on the 26th, as seen from Britain.

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You will possibly be able to see it weather permitting.

Saturday 26 February 2011 - 18h34m29s

Appears 18h34m29s 4.8mag az:238.8° WSW horizon

Culmination 18h39m18s -0.5mag az:161.6° SSE h:35.8°

distance: 580.7km height above Earth: 356.1km elevation of sun: -10°

Disappears 18h41m18s 0.4mag az: 99.7° E h:15.7°

Saturday 26 February 2011 - 20h09m28s

Appears 20h09m28s 1.7mag az:264.4° W horizon

Disappears 20h12m53s -1.8mag az:252.0° WSW h:24.4°

Docked with ISS but will only be able to see it for a sort duration and will be low @ 24 degrees.

Sunday 27 February 2011 - 19h00m28s

Appears 19h00m28s 2.4mag az:254.0° WSW horizon

Culmination 19h05m21s -4.0mag az:171.9° S h:51.7°

distance: 446.6km height above Earth: 356.4km elevation of sun: -13°

Disappears 19h06m34s -3.5mag az:109.3° ESE h:28.6°

Steve

Edited by Steve25

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Here's hoping its clear for us all to get a last look at it, thanks for the post on it guys :rolleyes:

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n the eraly days when the shuttle was new, all the launches were televised. Does anyone know if any of the final missions will be on TV, and where to find them.

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Check out the schedule at NASA TV page. Launch coverage starts at 16:30 GMT with launch at 21:50.

Edited by Jimmy Stix

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Really sad to think the Shuttle era is coming to an end.....what a shame. A ruddy great rocket just doesn't have the same appeal.

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Really sad to think the Shuttle era is coming to an end.....what a shame. A ruddy great rocket just doesn't have the same appeal.

agreed, I thought with the shuttle we were on the edge of something new with space flight. Now its back to where it all started. Shame its going :rolleyes:

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I would love to see the space shuttle but can anyone tell me how this is possible and if i can see it with a 5.1" lens skywatcher 130 and which is the best lens to use a 10mm super lens or a barlow lens combined or a wide angled lens and could i see the ss clearly many thanx jimmythemoonlight merseyside:icon_scratch::rolleyes:

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Just looked at the viewing details for ISS and should be going over the UK at 18:35 - 18:40 on Saturday (just half hour before docking)

So might see ISS and a small dot following it in the sky :eek:

That will be something! :rolleyes:

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I would love to see the space shuttle but can anyone tell me how this is possible and if i can see it with a 5.1" lens skywatcher 130 and which is the best lens to use a 10mm super lens or a barlow lens combined or a wide angled lens and could i see the ss clearly many thanx jimmythemoonlight merseyside:icon_scratch::rolleyes:

Hi Jimmy, tomorrow, the shuttle will appear as a small bright light following the same track as, and a few minutes behind, the ISS. It is possible to view both through a 'scope, but it's not easy to track them manually, and even harder to track them smoothly enough to get a good view, especially with an equatorial mount - they move across the sky sooooo quickly. And the higher the magnification, the harder it is to track 'em.

If you're not used to tracking satellites, then you're probably better off using either binoculars or just naked-eye. But if you want to use the scope, then I'd recommend a wide-field, low power ep. Don't expect to see any detail on the space shuttle, but even with bins you should be able to make out at least the basic structure of the ISS.

Hope that helps, Jimmy. Clear skies...

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You can see lovely detail on the station and shuttle - just hold back on the magnification. I've even seen the colour and texture on the solar panels when I got a nice pass, and the individual modules too.

Let's hope for a nice pass tomorrow - cameras at the ready!

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I remember watching the very first shuttle landing on TV all those years ago and thinking WOW what a beautiful bird, it really seemed like space travel was going somewhere. Sad to see the last of the shuttle missions :rolleyes:

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