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About spaceflightengineer

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    Canopy Polisher
  1. As a spaceflight historian and 30+ year member of the NASA "team" I can fully back Otto's assertions. Currently supporting the ridiculously inefficient DOD (in this case the USAF) I am reminded daily how comparatively efficient the NASA is and I usually have linked that with other aspects that I was proud to brag about. But after about 5 years of referencing materials (for modeling and other requirements) I have to conclude the NASA has handed over the public site reigns to nitwits. The erroneous info just keeps increasing convincing me that the agency that has had the cap on expertise, is no
  2. Wow, Jay- I was going to make some sniping IUS remarks and you beat me to it! IUS is the hardware equivalent of bloatware. It didn't matter what your mission didn't require- you flew it all anyway [pretty much another USAF mandate- big surprise there]. And let's don't even talk about 2nd stage nozzle slip rings (can you say "smash-the-crap-outta-TDRS-1"?). But it got the job done, and this scratchbuilt IUS, as with the GLLO [JPL-ese for "Galileo"] is just excellent. Lov that all you guys photo-doc your builds so well. (Jay- I am going to have to get this URL to Rob Schorry- master scratc
  3. Those SRB squib bolt debris traps or covers weren't incorporated on STS back in the STS-6 timeframe. I know- I was incorporated in the STS program at the time. They 180 degree spherical domes over the bolt heads only, I used to see them all the time when I'd be on the MLP deck (...usually heading to get inside a TSM for some connector or line modifications with my techs). BP
  4. It's "SCA". Unless you aren't speaking of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The 2 birds are dash 100 and dash 100SRs. I imagine using a dash 400 would involved a bit of work, however if you promise to photo document and share with the forum, it should turn out great! :^) This would be a good point to ask a question of the group. While I was living in Japan in the mid-'70's I had a very large scale 747 kit. I've been told by someone that is an uber airliner freakazoid that there has never been a kit of the 747 larger than 1/100th scale. MIne was, to my memory of it, a Hasegawa kit and never ex
  5. Yikes! STS-6! Man, it pays to stay current on this group's real space forum. (I simply don't visit anywhere near often enuf). This should be fun! BP
  6. Hmm- I assume by "bolts" you mean the circles that on the real craft are threaded slugs of tile material, threaded in and covering the fasteners for the window frames. A more accurate representation versus dots would be some tiny diameter tubing pressed against the black paint (or perhaps decal) and twisted to give a scored circle effect (in white). A perfect white circle isn't what it should resemble, but a partial random effect. ...just my 2 centavos.... BTW- this may be off topic but Fair Sailing to Dr. Ride. She was a fine human, a true professional and actually a lot of fun. Thx. BP
  7. I'm enjoying your build of the Tamiya orbiter- I still have mine with some minor assembly done, awaiting completion- it's been waiting since it was first issued (at the time I was busy with the real thing...). One of your first posted pix showed tube glue. Is this what you primarily use for modeling and can I ask, why? Continue the great work- I'm looking forward to the finished product (and hints- I'm always ready to "borrow" from fellow modelers...). BP
  8. Thanks for posting the link. (I'll have to see if I'm mentioned!) :^P Bruce P.
  9. The 3/4 shot looking down on the orbiter into the PLB is very near to a shot I took at Palmdale from next to the SILTS pod looking toward the nose, replete with the exposed tanks and understructure in the bay.** Purdy cool. Good work. Bruce P. **Uh, I mean that magically appeared in my camera. Yeah- that's it. (Employees weren't supposed to take pix! Only Visitors! What a dipsh*t reg that was....)
  10. The ET doors are in the locked open position (colored in what you described as "chromate"- it's actually known as "corpon"). The orange is nothing more than large plastic taped into position to help ensure the orbiter being mated doesn't get the ET struts and prop ["propellant"] lines dinging the TPS tiles. As soon as the orbiter is mated, the plastic is removed. Those doors are closed within a couple of minutes of ET jett ["jettison"]. Though my systems were primarily "Comm & Tracking" (all comm- including RF, voice and comm on the EMUs [spacesuits], and Navaids [RADAR altimeters, TACAN,
  11. Pete, I don't get over to check your progress often enough. All I can say is "Gomph!" (apologies to Cheech Wizard...). What are you referring to as payload bay TPS? The panels or "floor" of the bay were literally plastic panels- aka debris panels, that provided no thermal anything. There were thermal blankets under them though. The forward chines on orbiter 102 were white FRSI painted a modified cadillac black (Satellite thermal paint, with a higher concentrated of gold, just for shuttle [of course...]). That FRSI started at the black tiles on the upper chine surface (they weren't AFRSI a
  12. Nice looking work there. I think if I did the X-43 I'd probably have it in an underwater dio myself. I am in the prelim stage of the 1/32nd SH X-15A2 myself. I intend to do the works on it, but am not thrilled with their assembly design. Still, it doesn't have the misshappened nose of their 1/48th kit. Best Wishes for a great year to all! Bruce P.
  13. The thinnest tiles were the LRSI that used to line the sides of the fuselage and payload bay doors, though there were HRSI on the belly- just about centered under the crew module that were as thin- 3/4 inch and less! Some interesting points and info regarding tile operations (though not truly modeling info)- the original placement of tiles on the belly or bottom of the orbiters were emplaced as "arrays"- literally groups on trays bonded with the type silicon RTV and cured under vacuum. These arrays were in effect the same on all vehicles as the dimensions of the aluminum skin for the lower su
  14. Which are the "strangely-shaped" TPS tiles on our orbiters that you are referring to, if you don't mind pointing thing them out? Thanks! Bruce P.
  15. Nice looking TSMs ["Tail Service Masts"- not towers] there. I realized reading your write up that I really have never completed a full orbiter other than a model of 101 ("Constitution/Enterprise")- that I did while suffering through, er, completing my final 6 months in the USAF- right after the first drop test (which I was present for, having been on leave at the time). Weirdly, that 1/144th Revell orbiter has remained intact through moves, etc. I'm sort of proud of it particularly since I hand painted the windows and they turned out very good (...don't know if I could do that again 33 ye
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