APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by neufer » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
eltodesukane wrote:
celestemekent wrote:
I was one of the thousands of people who worked on the space shuttle program for Rockwell Int'l. That time of my life was the best and now I am entering retirement age. It seems so long ago. Like so many other aerospace projects the shuttle program exceeded all expectations.
"the shuttle program exceeded all expectations" ... I would not say that
Me either. In fact, I'd say that on the whole the program was a massive failure.
The resources poured into that boondoggle set back the space program by decades.
  • I think that you all have missed the point:
The lasting legacy of the 'Star Wars' & Space Shuttle programs:
The collapse of the U.S.S.R.
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... an#p152240
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... an#p152722
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by mediaeval » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:21 pm

The LA skyline is really Houston.

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by bystander » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:33 pm

mediaeval wrote:The LA skyline is really Houston.
Not any more. http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... 26#p184469
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:59 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
eltodesukane wrote:
celestemekent wrote:I was one of the thousands of people who worked on the space shuttle program for Rockwell Int'l. That time of my life was the best and now I am entering retirement age. It seems so long ago. Like so many other aerospace projects the shuttle program exceeded all expectations.
"the shuttle program exceeded all expectations" ... I would not say that
Me either. In fact, I'd say that on the whole the program was a massive failure. The resources poured into that boondoggle set back the space program by decades.
I'm curious why the Shuttle program was a boondoggle, and what would have been a better way to spend NASA's money? Ballistic capsules like Apollo and the planned Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle? More robotic missions?

The Shuttle mission that corrected the Hubble Space Telescope's astigmatism was pretty impressive.

The political and budgetary environment adds an additional layer of complexity. A big, photogenic craft like the Space Shuttle may have excited the public imagination and increased NASA's budget more than other missions with more engineering and scientific credibility, but less of a wow factor. Similarly, sending humans to Mars seems to be NASA's current public relations focus. I'm not at all convinced it makes sense to invest the huge amount of resources required to pull that off, at the expense of myriad less expensive missions, but at least it gets people enthused.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Mactavish » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:42 am

After viewing the videos of the landing, I believe the Endeavour pilot did an exemplary job of picking up that 747, and dropping it ever so gently onto the runway at LAX.

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by ta152h0 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:53 am

and before you start recycling rate of climb indicators and other parts, can I get a ride ?? But not strapped to the shuttle mounts ....
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:24 am

Anthony Barreiro wrote:I'm curious why the Shuttle program was a boondoggle, and what would have been a better way to spend NASA's money? Ballistic capsules like Apollo and the planned Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle? More robotic missions?
It sucked up a significant percentage of the entire space program budget, and returned very little. Each launch cost more than many robotic missions. Only a small number of the total launches fulfilled the need to lift a very heavy payload, and a much simpler system (like an Atlas booster) could have done that.
The Shuttle mission that corrected the Hubble Space Telescope's astigmatism was pretty impressive.
Yes. But that repair cost more than launching an entirely new space telescope would have. Repairing the HST at all was a mistake.
The political and budgetary environment adds an additional layer of complexity. A big, photogenic craft like the Space Shuttle may have excited the public imagination and increased NASA's budget more than other missions with more engineering and scientific credibility, but less of a wow factor. Similarly, sending humans to Mars seems to be NASA's current public relations focus. I'm not at all convinced it makes sense to invest the huge amount of resources required to pull that off, at the expense of myriad less expensive missions, but at least it gets people enthused.
Perhaps, but if Curiosity is any indication, unmanned missions are perfectly capable of getting people enthused as well. I'm not a supporter of a significant manned presence in space at the current time.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by cljohnston108 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:33 am

gwrede2 wrote:I just can't help wondering. The 747 seems to not have its flaps extended at all. That would indicate a much higher speed than that of approaching planes. Flying at such speed at an altitude of less than 50m would cause considerable disturbances to cars and especially unsuspecting pedestrians.

Therefore I suspect this is a photoshop "enhanced" picture, although I could not find any obvious leads in the picture.
After circling around the Science Center and Downtown, Endeavour made a low-altitude (200') pass of LAX before swinging North for Getty Center.

Super Low Pass Shuttle Endeavour - YouTube

She also made another wheels-up pass before landing.

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by cljohnston108 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:09 pm

Anthony Barreiro wrote:I'm curious why the Shuttle program was a boondoggle, and what would have been a better way to spend NASA's money? Ballistic capsules like Apollo and the planned Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle? More robotic missions?

The Shuttle mission that corrected the Hubble Space Telescope's astigmatism was pretty impressive.

The political and budgetary environment adds an additional layer of complexity. A big, photogenic craft like the Space Shuttle may have excited the public imagination and increased NASA's budget more than other missions with more engineering and scientific credibility, but less of a wow factor. Similarly, sending humans to Mars seems to be NASA's current public relations focus. I'm not at all convinced it makes sense to invest the huge amount of resources required to pull that off, at the expense of myriad less expensive missions, but at least it gets people enthused.
The Shuttle was an awesome machine. Well worth the cost and effort put into it. I choose to ignore the dream-killers like Mr. Peterson here.
There's a great book put out by NASA, that cost about $50 when I saw it at Barnes & Noble, but you can download it in PDF form...

NASA - Wings in Orbit: Scientific and Engineering Legacies of the Space Shuttle

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by neufer » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:12 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
...if Curiosity is any indication, unmanned missions are perfectly capable of getting people enthused as well.

I'm not a supporter of a significant manned presence in space at the current time.
It didn't make much sense to send men (rather than just instruments) into space in 1960:
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... sh#p175231

And it makes far less sense to do so today considering the sophisticated technologies.

Ergo, I can't imagine how it could possibly make sense to do so at anytime in the future.

It was fun to vicariously drive around on the Moon with Apollo astronauts
but it is much more fun to vicariously drive around on the Mars with multiple rovers.

(And that way we don't have to cut down any trees in L.A.)
Last edited by neufer on Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:37 pm

cljohnston108 wrote:The Shuttle was an awesome machine. Well worth the cost and effort put into it. I choose to ignore the dream-killers like Mr. Peterson here.
It is an awesome machine. But I disagree that it was worth the cost.

Perhaps we simply have different dreams. Mine is for a vast human presence throughout the Solar System- a rich and extensive suite of instruments increasing our knowledge of planetary science and providing details about astronomy and cosmology that can't be obtained from the surface of the Earth. That's a dream that is slowed by the vastly more expensive presence of people being physically in space- something that provides almost no useful information at all.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:34 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:Perhaps we simply have different dreams. Mine is for a vast human presence throughout the Solar System- a rich and extensive suite of instruments increasing our knowledge of planetary science and providing details about astronomy and cosmology that can't be obtained from the surface of the Earth. That's a dream that is slowed by the vastly more expensive presence of people being physically in space- something that provides almost no useful information at all.
Well said, Chris. I agree with you, and I have an emotional response to seeing humans in space that comes from growing up during the 1960's and watching Gemini and Apollo on TV. I really like your frame that our robots are a human presence in space.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:46 pm

Anthony Barreiro wrote:Well said, Chris. I agree with you, and I have an emotional response to seeing humans in space that comes from growing up during the 1960's and watching Gemini and Apollo on TV. I really like your frame that our robots are a human presence in space.
I also grew up watching the early space launches in the 1960s, and I too think it's exciting to see people doing things in space. If I controlled the space exploration budget, it would be much larger, and we could do manned and unmanned projects. But given the very limited resources allocated to space exploration and research, I try not to let emotions get in the way. The reality is that there's not much that people can do in space that machines can't do better- usually, a LOT better. And they do it for a fraction of the cost.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Donna » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:54 am

I think you should look into this a bit more. As a resident of Los Angeles, I can tell that it appears that this would an approach on the north runways (see the street sign for La Tijera). Also, the 747's landing gear are not down. If this was of the "fly by", then I think this was also over the south runways (I observed this from a roof top in El Segundo - the city south of LAX). This shot is looking south on Sepulveda Blvd. where it crosses La Tijera. There isn't a vantage point from Sepulveda looking at the south runways because Sepulveda goes under the south runways. See this basic map area of LAX: http://goo.gl/maps/PVH5n. Hmmm...can someone say "Photoshop"?

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by Donna » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:00 am

the guess who wrote:someone else noted: "The photo link to the 'skyline of Los Angeles' is actually a photo of it flying over Houston enroute on Wednesday."
your right that is houston,
fitting since the shuttle belongs in houston and they hung the texas flag upside down on aproach to the gate after they landed wednesday..
Not Houston. Los Angeles. La Tijera Blvd and Sepulveda. Plus, check the billboard on the far left - says KTLA5-CW which is a Los Angeles TV station. But I still think it was photo-shopped because they did the fly-by and landing on the south run ways which you can see from this point on Sepulveda. See my related post.

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by ta152h0 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:23 am

Just get the radar track..........
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by BPCooper » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:16 pm

There is nothing to suggest the photo is fake. It is taken from the following location looking south (with a telephoto lens), and the low pass Endeavour did is correct for the photo (east to west, exiting over the ocean). You can see the view in street view, however, all those palm trees have been planted since the street view photos were taken:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=bed+bath ... eyond&z=17

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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by neufer » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:47 pm

BPCooper wrote:
There is nothing to suggest the photo is fake.
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by neufer » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:05 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/endeavour-randys-donuts-bills-itself-as-shuttle-crossing.html wrote: Endeavour: Randy's Donuts bills itself as 'shuttle crossing'
L.A. Times, October 5, 2012

<<Randy's Donuts installed a miniature version of space shuttle Endeavour in the center of its iconic donut sign Thursday, about a week before the real retired orbiter makes its final trip from LAX to its permanent home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

The move will be a two-day affair, and Endeavour will pass right by Randy's along Manchester Boulevard on Oct. 12. But the shop is already in the spirit, hanging a yellow "Shuttle Crossing" sign in the window.

Randy's is also serving up doughnuts bearing the NASA logo and "U.S.A." Some doughnuts even look like the shuttle — "if you use your imagination," owner Larry Weintraub said.

"It's going to be a big day," Weintraub said.
"A lot of people are going to be here, I hope, watching. We're getting ready. It's going to be a lot of fun.">>
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=8837791 wrote:
Restrictions along space shuttle Endeavour route
ABC News, Friday, October 05, 2012

<<Randy's Donuts on Manchester may appear to be excited about Endeavour's trip with a new "mini-shuttle" adorning the famous donut on the roof. But the owners are frustrated. "I'll be out of business for a day and a half," said Ron Weintraub, Randy's owner. They just learned that few if any customers will be allowed in the shop. "If they're not going to have anybody on the street, I don't think, so who's going to come and buy donuts?" said Weintraub.>>
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(S)huttle (P)rocessional (Q)uadrille (R)ocks!

Post by neufer » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:08 pm

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-shuttle-rock-parades-20121007,0,6348873.story wrote:
Los Angeles endeavors worthy of ancient Rome
Processions of the Rock and the space shuttle through the streets of L.A. recall the victory parades of ancient Rome.
They redefine the city's civic identity.
By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic, October 6, 2012,

<<It's not often that we get to compare Los Angeles to the Roman Empire, unless we're making fun of the kitschy copy-cat architecture of the Getty Villa. At least in popular stereotype, L.A. and Rome are polar opposites, each one the perfect foil for the other. One city — ours — is unfinished, amnesiac and forward-looking; the other city — theirs — is so obsessed with past glory, its streets piled so high with landmarks and layers of history, that its 21st century personality can be tough to make out.

So when I began noticing similarities between an ancient Roman ritual and two huge public events in Los Angeles in 2012, I was tempted to dismiss them out of hand. Yet the more I dug into the comparison, the more it seemed to make sense: In parading both Michael Heizer's huge artwork "Levitated Mass" — better known as the Rock — and the space shuttle Endeavour along our boulevards within a single calendar year, Los Angeles is in some striking ways reenacting one of the oldest public celebrations in Western urban history, the Roman triumph.

In doing so, L.A. is marking a milestone in the way it frames its own history and defines its civic personality. The procession that brought the Rock to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in March and the one that will carry Endeavour from LAX to the California Science Center starting Friday suggest that a certain exploratory phase in the life of the region has come to a close.

To put it bluntly: We used to make stuff here and send it out into the world or into outer space. Now we capture that stuff, tether it to the back of a huge vehicle and arrange a low-speed, celebratory public parade through the streets of Los Angeles before putting it on display in one of our major museums.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
The triumph, in case you've forgotten your college classics lectures or haven't caught up with the HBO series "Rome" or the 1951 Deborah Kerr movie "Quo Vadis," was an elaborate procession held to commemorate a military victory — and by extension to promote the idea and the ideals of the Rome and its various territorial conquests. In the most typical version, a victorious general would ride atop a chariot preceded by the spoils and enemy soldiers he'd captured. Often, this section of the triumph would include not just gold and jewels but also paintings of pivotal battles and, in some cases, architectural models of forts captured and towns seized. Trailing behind, in a boisterous final group, were the troops, either chanting the ritual phrase "Io triumphe" — which essentially means "hooray, triumph" and also happens to be the name of the official Occidental College cheer — or singing rude songs about their leader. The route generally began in Campus Martius, outside the traditional boundaries of the city, and proceeded past crowds of spectators in the Circus Maximus and through the Roman Forum before climbing to reach the Temple of Jupiter atop the Capitoline Hill.

Over time, the triumphs began to remake the architecture of the city. Rome shaped the triumphs, in other words, and then the triumphs shaped Rome. The direct and indirect architectural products of the parades included not just triumphal arches but temples and other large public buildings financed with the spoils of war. These included the Temple of Minerva, a lavish restoration of the Temple of Hercules and — perhaps most dramatic of all — a theater dedicated to the general Pompey the Great, which the British historian Mary Beard, in her terrific 2007 book "The Roman Triumph," describes as a "combination of temple, pleasure park, theater and museum" that "wrote Pompey's name permanently into the Roman cityscape."

In a literal sense, of course, there are some obvious differences between the Roman triumph and the Rock and Endeavour parades. Heizer's sculpture wasn't accompanied by slaves, soldiers and piles of gold, and the shuttle won't be either. Roman triumphs covered only about 21/2 miles through the compact ancient city; the Rock traveled more than 100 miles in total from a quarry in Riverside to LACMA, and Endeavour will be hauled 12 miles from LAX to the Science Center. And certainly our spin on the Roman ritual is a good deal less raucous and more secular.

But the symbolism of our parades is more than a little imperial. It suggests that the world and even the universe make up the empire from which we pluck our most prized possessions. And that in putting those possessions on public display we affirm some basic idea of what contemporary Los Angeles means or stands for. As UC Berkeley classics professor Trevor Murphy has written, the triumph was a public ritual in which exotic or awe-inspiring objects were "brought in from the edges for theatrical display." The Cambridge professor Philip Hardie has described the parades as a way of bringing "the orbs," or the world, "within the walls of the urbs," or the city. That's precisely what our 2012 processions are doing, slowly pulling along our long boulevards objects that are impressive not just for their size but also for where they've been: way out in the American landscape or in space.

The Rock came to LACMA along a circuitous path chosen in part to avoid overpasses too low for it to squeeze under. The even bigger shuttle, which has a wingspan of 78 feet, will head east and north from the airport along boulevards — first Manchester, then Crenshaw and finally Martin Luther King — that are among the widest in the city and that have been important aerospace corridors. As was the case in Rome, the parades will leave their own major marks on the city. To the dismay of many neighborhood residents, transporting the shuttle will require cutting down hundreds of trees along Crenshaw and other parts of the route. And each museum has changed the architecture and layout of its campus to accommodate its prized new object.

I only wish that the Science Center, in particular, were more ambitious about that process. Commissioning a new wing to display Endeavour might have led the institution into new architectural territory; this could have been among the most important new L.A. landmarks of the decade. Instead, the job of designing the forthcoming Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center rather quietly went to the Science Center's longtime architects, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca. Unlike the highly ritualized Rose Parade or other annual events, the Heizer and Endeavour processions are one-offs, the exact route and character of each one made up from scratch. As Beard points out, though, the origins of the Roman triumph were themselves quite hazy. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to pin down the exact details of even the most famous processions. And there were surprises and mishaps all the time.

Pompey, in a burst of ego, decided to have African elephants, rather than the traditional white horses, pull his chariot in the first of his three triumphs. But at some point, the elephants got stuck, probably as they tried to squeeze through a narrow arch or passageway along the route. It was a bold attempt to rewrite triumphal protocol that backfired in spectacular fashion — but also one that suggests how malleable that protocol could be. Which raises a surprising point: If the L.A. triumphs of 2012 feel improvised or ad hoc, that may make them more Roman, not less.>>
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Re: APOD: A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles (2012 Sep 26)

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:30 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Chris Peterson wrote:
RedFishBlueFish wrote:
Sadly and harshly underscores the fact that rides to the ISS are now dependent upon Russia's Soyuz.
Which is a vastly superior type of vehicle for the purpose in nearly all cases.
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