Pathfinder (simulator)


Pathfinder (simulator)
Pathfinder
Pathfinder (simulator)
Pathfinder at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama.
OV designation OV-098
Country  United States
Status Retired, on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Number of missions 6 (0 space missions)
Time spent in space Not a space vehicle
Number of orbits 0

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Pathfinder (honorary Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-098) is a Space Shuttle test simulator made of steel and wood. Constructed by NASA in 1977 as an unnamed facilities test article, it was purchased in the early 1980s by a Japanese organization which had it refurbished, named it, and placed it on display in Tokyo. The mockup was later returned to the United States and placed on permanent display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in May 1988.

Contents

Activities

Originally unnamed, the simulator was built at the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1977 for use in activities such as checking roadway clearances, crane capabilities and fits within structures.[1] It was later shipped by barge to the Kennedy Space Center and was used for ground crew testing in the Vehicle Assembly Building, Orbiter Processing Facility, and Shuttle Landing Facility. Pathfinder is approximately the same size, shape and weight of an actual Orbiter. Using Pathfinder allowed for facilities testing without requiring use of the more delicate and expensive Enterprise.[1]

Refurbishment

The Space Shuttle Orbiter simulator is hoisted into the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

After it had sat in storage for many years, a Japanese organization[clarification needed] obtained the wood and steel mock-up at a cost of US$1 million and hired Teledyne Brown Engineering to refurbish it to more closely resemble an actual Space Shuttle. It was named Pathfinder and displayed at the Great Space Shuttle Exposition in Tokyo from June 1983 to August 1984.[2]

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

After the exhibit, Pathfinder was returned to the United States. In May 1988, it was placed on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.[3] The 89-ton mockup is displayed as part of a complete Shuttle stack comprising the Pathfinder, the MPTA-ET external tank, which was used for propulsion tests with MPTA-098, and two prototype Advanced Solid Rocket Booster casings, which were developed after the Challenger accident but never put into production.[4]

In 1999, NASA removed the forward assemblies from each SRB attached to the Pathfinder stack. Although the SRBs are recovered and reused after each flight, several of the forward assemblies had been damaged or lost over the history of the Space Shuttle program necessitating requisition of those attached to the Pathfinder stack as spares.[5][4]

In 2008, repairs were made to the forward part of the mockup after decades of exposure to the weather had corroded the floor section near the vehicle's nose. This corrosion caused the "belly pan" to drop from a mounting bracket onto the external tank. The damaged area was part of the fiberglass and plywood added to the mockup before its exhibition in Japan.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Kesner, Kenneth (June 12, 2008). "Shuttle mockup undergoes repairs". The Huntsville Times. http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1213262148157410.xml&coll=1. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Jenkins, Dennis R. (2001). Space shuttle: the history of the National Space Transportation System: the first 100 missions. pp. 215. ISBN 0963397451. 
  3. ^ "Pathfinder on Display". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press: p. 5. May 13, 1988. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ozkdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9qUEAAAAIBAJ&dq=pathfinder%20space%20center&pg=4548%2C4573597. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Spaceheads: Space Shuttle Pathfinder". Atomic Toasters. February 24, 2011. http://atomictoasters.com/2011/02/space-shuttle-pathfinder/. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ "NASA recalls museum's shuttle parts / Forward assemblies are needed for use in program's plans". Houston Chronicle (Reuters News Service): pp. A11. February 15, 1999. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1999_3117814. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 

External links

Coordinates: 34°42′39″N 86°39′10″W / 34.71079°N 86.65280°W / 34.71079; -86.65280


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Space Shuttle Pathfinder — Infobox Space Shuttle | name =Pathfinder caption = Pathfinder at the U.S. Space Rocket Center in Alabama number = OV 098 country =United States contract = named after = first flight = first date = last flight = last date = missions = 6 (0 space… …   Wikipedia

  • Многоразовый транспортный космический корабль — Первый полет космического челнока НАСА «Колумбия» (Обозначение STS 1). Внешний топли …   Википедия

  • Буран (космический корабль) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Буран (значения). Старт комплекса «Энергия  Буран» 15 ноября 1988 года с космодрома Байконур «Буран»  орбитальный корабль космоплан советской многоразовой транспортной космической… …   Википедия

  • Клипер (космический аппарат) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Клипер. «Клипер»  многоцелевой пилотируемый многоразовый космический корабль, проектировавшийся в РКК «Энергия» с 2000 года на смену кораблям серии «Союз» …   Википедия

  • Дискавери (шаттл) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Дискавери. Приземление «Дискавери» …   Википедия

  • Челленджер (шаттл) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Челленджер. «Челленджер» (англ. Challenger, «Бросающий вызов»)  многоразовый транспортный космический корабль НАСА, второй спейс шаттл; был передан НАСА в июле 1982 года. Шаттл… …   Википедия

  • Индевор (шаттл) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Индевор. Символ «Индевора» «Индевор» (англ. Endeavour …   Википедия

  • Колумбия (шаттл) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Колумбия (значения) …   Википедия

  • Энтерпрайз (шаттл) — «Энтерпрайз»  испытательный полёт …   Википедия

  • Rockwell X-30 — Взлет X 30. X 30 National Aero Space Plane (NASP)  проект перспективного многоразового космического корабля одноступенчатой аэрокосмической системы космолёта (АКС) нового поколения с гор …   Википедия


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.