In this episode of NASA Now, George Hatcher, guidance, navigation and controls engineer at Kennedy Space Center, explains why the upcoming launch of the space shuttle Discovery is mind-boggling from a physics perspective, even for a guidance, navigation and flight controls engineer. He will speak about the extreme accelerations and velocities involved in launching a spacecraft from Earth to orbit and return.
After 38 missions to date, and more than 5,600 trips around Earth, Discovery has flown more missions than any other shuttle — more than any other spacecraft. At the conclusion of STS-133, 180 people will have flown aboard Discovery, including the first female shuttle pilot and the first female shuttle commander, who happen to be the same person — Eileen Collins; the first African-American spacewalker, Bernard Harris; and the first sitting member of congress to fly in space, Jake Garn. Discovery will be the first of the shuttle fleet to retire.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.
NASA Now Preview Video
(Click on the video window below and then press your spacebar to start/stop the video.)