The Space Shuttle Lands in Virginia Beach

The NASA EDGE Crew (Chris, Blair, Ron, Don, and Jack”y”) are at NASA Johnson Space Center this week shooting some NE@ segments.  We had a chance to check out the Shuttle Engineering Simulator in building 16N.  According to a few unverified sources, this is not the real simulator (motion simulator), but rather the engineering simulator where engineers look at Guidance Navigation and Control issues.  Jennifer Madsen, JSC engineer, gave us the complete tour of the simulator.


Jennifer Madsen instructing Chris and Blair on how to fly the space shuttle. Credit: Ron Beard, NASA EDGE


After a crash course of learning the cockpit displays, it was my turn to try and land the shuttle safely.  Jennifer set the simulation to an ascent abort scenario with one or two main engines failing.  We couldn’t land at Kennedy Space Center, so I had to try and land at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA.  This happens to be my home town.   I performed a 270 degree left turn to line up with the runway.  After my co-pilot, Commander Blair “Spritzer Spray” Allen dropped the landing gear at 300 feet, I landed the shuttle on the runway.

The simulation makes you appreciate all the hard work and training the astronaut pilots go through in flying the shuttle.  It’s a brick with wings.  The co-pilot didn’t get a chance to land the shuttle this time because he was to busy revitalizing his face with the vitamin C spritzer spray.  I have complete confidence in him that he can land the shuttle just as good if not better than myself.  His Commodore 64 days of playing F-15 Strike Eagle would come back to him.

I want to personally thank Jennifer, Jeremy, Tanya, and Sydney for all their hard work and dedication in allowing us cover the Shuttle Engineering Simulator.   A job well done!

Chris

Host
NASA EDGE

53 thoughts on “The Space Shuttle Lands in Virginia Beach”

  1. OMG!! You are soooooo lucky!! I agree with “RV”! That really looks like a lot of fun! I heard’ve of that simulator before, and it sounded cool. It must feel like you are actually the pilot of a space shuttle. AWESOME!

    ~Zara

  2. Correction: My Medianaut call sign isn’t “Spritzer Spray.” It is “vitamin C.” The “C” stands for “Cool.”

    The Co-Host

  3. I agree with Darnell; this blog needs a splash of color and a sprinkling of zest. A NASA blog is such a great idea, and it is a shame to let the “architecture” of this site hinder the eye-candy NASA can offer. A LiveJournal account might be a good way to step over that boundary. I’d encourage you to check out some LiveJournal communities to see how “artsy” a blog can get (try looking up things like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Orlando Bloom…etc…big name celebrities, because you are bound to come across some “shrines” and very good examples of what a cool blog looks like). Throw up a picture of a particularly awesome looking nebula for the background, and collage some pictures of spacecraft for the header. And make some avatars/icons! They add a little something to your posts, and if people think they’re cool, they’ll save them and use them in their own blogs (FREE advertising!)
    ( http://www.peoplerecords.com for more info)

    And speaking of LiveJournal, it would probably be easy to get a following there. Many LiveJournal users are digital artists, and I know that I often use NASA pictures of galaxies (and other pretty things) to accent my digital artwork. By posting pictures and NASA news, you could probably generate a lot of interest in the space program if you play your cards right.

    As for Facebook, being a college student, I know a thing or two about it ;o) Have you looked at the applications feature? It would be very cool to have an application to put on profiles that tracked where the space station was at a given time, or that allowed NASAtv to be streamed from profiles. Even a NASA picture of the day would be neat.

    Keep up the good work! This sort of “marketing” is exactly what the space program needs right now!

  4. THE SIMM IS A FINE THING, BUT WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO GET, ARE BETTER CAMERAS ON THE ISS. THE RES STINKS. I HAVE A 19 INCH MONITOR AND THE RES IS SO MODEL ON IT, THAT YOU CAN BEARLLY MAKE OUT ANYTHING. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU NEEDED SOME HIGH RES PICTURES IN CASE SOMETHING WOULD HAPPEN, NA DA

  5. A guest wrote:

    “Very interesting,i like this”

    *Note – We can’t use external links due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  6. Dear Guest,

    You seem to be able to post questions just fine. Fire away!

    With anticipation,

    The Co-Host

  7. “Honestly, I thought a space shuttle DID land on Virginia Beach and I was wondering why there wasn’t any news about this when waiting for this page to load.

    Wow, the technologies of the simulators are so advanced! It must have felt like piloting a real space shutter! Anyway, why did you do a 270 degree left turn, and not a 90 degree right turn instead?

    -Michelle

    P.S Don’t land on Virginia Beach when this really happens lol.”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  8. “I don’t know how they fly those things, there must be 2000 buttons and switches.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (spam, ads, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  9. “We need a simulation like this available to the public. It would be good for schools to be able to visit and see how it would be to fly a real space shuttle.
    Regards,”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  10. “As for Facebook, being a college student, I know a thing or two about it ;o) Have you looked at the applications feature? It would be very cool to have an application to put on profiles that tracked where the space station was at a given time, or that allowed NASAtv to be streamed from profiles. Even a NASA picture of the day would be neat.
    me to:)”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  11. “Wow, the technologies of the simulators are so advanced! It must have felt like piloting a real space shutter! Anyway, why did you do a 270 degree left turn, and not a 90 degree right turn instead?”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  12. “Nice article Thank You :)”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  13. “I think this event is to tight!”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  14. I was at The Museum of Flight and was waiting my turn at the Space Shuttle landing simulator. A six-year-old settled into the control seat, and as the simulation began I heard him ask his father, “Where are the bad guys?”

    I’m pretty sure the Space Shuttle doesn’t come with onboard missiles.

    That didn’t stop the kid from pressing the trigger on the joystick a lot, though.

    By the way, I cratered the Space Shuttle.

  15. “Technologies of the simulators are so advanced! It must have felt like piloting a real space shutter!

    Thanks for this nice and informative blog!”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  16. “Thanks for writing this. I am and have always been interested in all kinds of games including video games. I recently bought a new controller so I can play 2 player games with my family and friends, and are having lots of fun :)”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

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    The Co-Host

  17. “You did a good job. Glad you could be so successful.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  18. “On Aug 01, 2010 10:19:16 PM noel wrote
    Are there any similar simulators that the public can tryout?”

    Noel,

    Great question. I am sure there are others, but we know of one at the Astronaut Hall of Fame near Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We actually ran that one during our recent trip. It isn’t a full simulator, but the flight controls are very similar.

    Thanks for posting!

    The Co-Host

  19. “A NASA blog is such a great idea, and it is a shame to let the “architecture” of this site hinder the eye-candy NASA can offer. A LiveJournal account might be a good way to step over that boundary. I’d encourage you to check out some LiveJournal communities to see how “artsy” a blog can get (try looking up things like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Orlando Bloom…etc…big name celebrities, because you are bound to come across some “shrines” and very good examples of what a cool blog looks like) You are soooooo lucky!! I agree with “RV”! That really looks like a lot of fun! I heard’ve of that simulator before, and it sounded cool. It must feel like you are actually the pilot of a space shuttle. AWESOME!”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  20. “Great entry. It is not the first time I come across your blog. I at all times find it looking out info about many alternative subjects.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  21. I’ve been a fan of Nasa from eversince i can remember. I’m looking to go to cambridge university to study engineering in the hope that one day i may be able to work for Nasa. What they do is just so amazing, and you’re so lucky you got a chance to try a simulation, sooo lucky!

  22. “cool, love to try to ride too, been playing simulated plane at pc but it’s not as like your ride since you will experience like flying for real.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  23. Hassan,

    Cool! Glad to hear that you are pursuing engineering. NASA certainly needs good engineers to continue to grow the space program. I read yesterday that scientists may have found an “Earth-like planet in a nearby solar system.” If that is true, we’re going to need to discover ways to get there.

    Keep up the good work,

    The Co-Host

  24. “Hi Chris, this is a very nice blog to read I wish I could have the same experience to feel how the Shuttle Engineering Simulator cockpit of NASA.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  25. Amazing story.
    I believe this individuals are professionals and regardless of where their training takes place, they will be ready when it is time to fly this bird out of this world. Thanks for the story NASA.

    John Avone

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    The Co-Host

  26. “it’s like a science fiction movie, but it is true, thanks for sharing your experiences.”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, ets…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  27. “Simulators in NASA, in space reminds me of Cosmic. Has anyone read that book? Imagine being 12 years old and passing for someone’s dad and being allowed to be a part of a space simulation. This book makes you appreciate what astronauts have to go through in training to fly the shuttle. Check it out!”

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  28. I’d encourage you to check out some LiveJournal communities to see how “artsy” a blog can get (try looking up things like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Orlando Bloom

    My son and I have tried one of the live simulators when they toured our town. He seemed to have a knack for piloting it (I guess it’s growing up as a wired child). But what it does do is make you really appreciate the sacrifices our talented men and women have given to this country to propel us along.

    We can’t believe that NASA has fallen on such hard times. Cameron, my some has always wanted to go to space camp – he’s 10 now. But he’s afraid it’s going to be canceled. He wants to start a petition to bring back full funding to NASA. He’ll have it up live pretty soon.

    Best regards, Chris Luttjohann

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  29. My nephew spent some time with me testing out one of the simulators when they came to NC. He must be a natural pilot or astronaut thanks to video games! It certainly helps me appreciate the training those men and women go through to expand our knowledge of the solar system.

    Note – We can’t use external links (ads, spam, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  30. A few were even ablt to attend the Shuttle Discovery’s final landing at Kennedy Space Center, but that was seperate from the NASATweetup itself. NASA began offering tweetup’s for Twitter members that featured visits to their multiple facilities across the country.

    Garrison,

  31. “Thanks for sharing this article, thank god everything went well!”

    Note – We are unable use external links (ads, spam, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  32. NASA is very amazing and hi-tech! Hope I could get inside a space shuttle or even fly up to the space in it. 😀

    Cody Felton
    Webmaster of

  33. Thank you used for an added essential article. Where besides can somebody cause to facilitate kind of in a row in such a complete way of script? I partake of a presentation incoming week, and I am on the keep your eyes open used for such in a row.

  34. Thanks for the excellent post, i like to read information that is not totally biased and more importantly a total joy to read.. , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  35. NASA pilots and engineers are really awesome. When I was child, my aim is to join NASA and fly the real shuttle for them. But now I wish, I can feel the experience of flying shuttle from this motion simulator.

  36. “this is really interesting post, this is very useful and thanks for sharing with us..”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  37. “Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us.

    Thanks”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  38. “Wow, interesting thing to learn. Even though it’s just a simulation, it sounded pretty cool to me.”

    Note – We are unable use external links (ads, spam, etc…) due to NASA rules and regulations.

    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  39. “It is the real achievement for NASA.I would like to congratulate this people.”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  40. “Great you got a chance to land that shuttle and this is achievement for you.Great work.Keep it up.”

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    Thanks,

    The Co-Host

  41. “Very good comment. The other day I used to be educated about this website and wanted to let you realize that I have been pleased, through his messages. I’ll be signing up to feed blog and is expected next post.”

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