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    Shuttle Discovery

    I have seen the Shuttle Enterprise before but it was just a glider never meant for the vacuum of space. My wife had a conference in Washington DC earlier this week so I was able to sneak away for a day at the Udvar Hazy museum at the Smithsonian where I spent a lot of time looking at the Space Shuttle Discovery. I can not say that I was able to get into the museum 20 minutes before it opened but I was very lucky to get many photographs without any people in the way.


    #2
    Re: Shuttle Discovery

    First I was struck by the flow lines burned into the ship during reentry. After so much time with airplanes I expect the air to flow from nose to tail along the body. Discovery has the burns showing a belly flop into the atmosphere.







    In the last photo you can really see that all the tiles are unique (different). Tiles that are similar or have a boring shape that can be easily reversed have an arrow pointing forward.
    Last edited by pilotdane; May 26th, 2012, 03:17.

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      #3
      Re: Shuttle Discovery

      I really want to know what caused this burn line to start on the nose. I assume that section of the nose does not fit perfectly so a tiny step caused the burning to start in such a straight line.



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        #4
        Re: Shuttle Discovery

        The belly took a real roasting. You can easily spot the tiles that have been replaced recently. Looking closely they are not brand new. They have the burn marks of reentry but not as many trips as the other tiles.



        Here is a shot of the nose gear. There is a lot of fun detail up in there but most interesting is to see how thick the tiles are on the door. At first it looks thick but when you think about it I'd want a bit more than that protecting my rear end when entering the atmosphere.

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          #5
          Re: Shuttle Discovery

          If you think the white parts of the Shuttle are nice and smooth they are not. It is covered by quilts knitted by old ladies that can not make a nice straight line. I suppose it is not important for aerodynamics.



          Speaking of aerodynamic what is this big hole doing in the nose?



          And, the all important door.

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            #6
            Re: Shuttle Discovery

            I was also struck by how "not sleek" the Shuttle is. Yea, from far away it looks sleek and aerodynamic but when you get up close the leading edge of the wing is very fat and blunt. There is also a slight bump near the root that has me wondering.



            Continuing with the "not sleek" idea the trailing edges of the control surfaces are very blunt. Something I am used to seeing on aerobatic aircraft but it's funny to see it on a space ship and especially when that blunt edge is 6" (15 cm).

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              #7
              Re: Shuttle Discovery

              Here is where the astronauts "drive". Wait... do you see something red in the left side of the kockpit?



              Why of course. It's a plain old fire extinguisher. Apparently even a priceless space artifact in the nations museum must still meet fire code. An enclosed space must have a fire extinguisher. I suppose there is also a glowing "exit" sign in there as well.

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                #8
                Re: Shuttle Discovery

                Too cool for words!!!!!!!

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                  #9
                  Re: Shuttle Discovery

                  Totally agreed... these are totally cool, way awesome!

                  This is something I have never seen with my own eyes.

                  What an amazing treat!
                  With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                  Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                  Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                  Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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                    #10
                    Re: Shuttle Discovery

                    Most folk would just stand and gawp at the shuttle Discovery, but you really looked at it and saw so much detail, and took us along with you on a thought provoking guided tour. Big thank you Dane.

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                      #11
                      Re: Shuttle Discovery

                      Not Discovery but the Endeavour on her last leg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVPND...feature=colike

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