Presentation on theme: "These pictures have been collected from different launches and landings over several years. I have added text to some of the pictures to help you understand."— Presentation transcript:
These pictures have been collected from different launches and landings over several years. I have added text to some of the pictures to help you understand just how amazing even this small facet of booster retrieval is in the incredibly complex world of Shuttle Operations. Keep in mind that what you see is being done in tandem with the other ship and booster and not always in calm seas as shown.
The orbiter engines fire first with their exhaust going to the right. Should there be a problem with any of the three engines they can be shut down.
The Shuttle is going over 100 mph by the time it clears the tower
The solid boosters fire six seconds later with their exhaust going to the left. There is no shut down at this point. The tan colored smoke is from the solid boosters.
Boosters separate from the external tank at an altitude of 30 miles (48 km). At lift-off they weigh 700 tons each and 93 tons spent.
After separation, they coast up another 10 miles (16 km) before starting their fall to the water reaching 320mph (515 kmph)
The main chutes are not allowed to open completely until the booster has slowed. Each of the three main chutes weighs a ton. Not shown are the pilot and drogue chutes who have already done their jobs and are gone.
The chutes are fully open and the nozzle is being separated. The nozzle is so hot it will cook everything in the aft section like hydraulic pumps, electrical power generators, etc. The black cloud is soot from the nozzle shook loose by the explosive charge.
The nozzle can be seen falling below.
The boosters fall into the ocean 140 miles (225 km) out about seven minutes after liftoff.
The boosters hit the water at 51 mph (82 kmph)
This dive team will insert the Diver-Operated Plug (DOP) into the bottom of the booster. The DOP is 22 feet long and weighs 1,100 pounds. It is neutrally buoyant for easier handling.
The booster floats on a trapped air bubble with this end down 110 feet (33.5 meters).
This is a very dangerous operation as the booster is bobbing up and down
Once the DOP is locked in place an air hose from the ship is attached and the water is pushed out with air pressure.
The ship starts pumping air into the booster.
The booster rises out of the water until it falls over.
The inflatable is then brought on board and the booster is taken in tow for Port Canaveral 140 miles away.
The booster is brought along side the ship before entering the port channel.
Entering the lock at Port Canaveral
Steaming north in the Banana River toward home.
This hoist will put the booster on the rail car for transport to the wash facility
Flipper and his friends run schools of fish into here and then take turns racing back and forth eating them.
The second ship and booster are awaiting their turn.
A manatee hoping for a drink of fresh water.
The booster being lowered onto the rail car for transport to the wash facility.