Space Shuttle Documentary (Narrated by William Shatner) Part 4/6

Uploaded by basvg1 on 02.07.2011

Liftoff of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on an ambitious mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
We finally flew STS-61, which was the first Hubble servicing mission – absolutely incredible mission.
You cannot take the 84-inch mirror out of the telescope. It’s part of structure. It’s too big.
It’s there. So, by putting in one box, called “COSTAR”,
we’re able to correct light for five other instruments.
Of all the space shuttle missions we’ve flown, it was, without a doubt the most ambitious flight,
but the one that, I think, demonstrated NASA’s can-do attitude, it’s technological skill,
its technical capability, and the spirit of its people.
Two teams of astronauts, made a record five back-to-back space walks to refurbish Hubble
and realize her potential to awe and astound.
While Hubble’s servicing missions were very important,
the true gift of a maneuverable shuttle was soon realized in a very different rescue mission.
Booster ignition and liftoff of the maiden voyage of Endeavour on a satellite rescue mission.
Months earlier – in May of 1992 – the seven astronauts of STS-49 overcame initial setbacks
to pluck the 180 million dollar Intelsat VI communications satellite from an unusable orbit.
It was going to be a very simple rendezvous – you know, get close, bring the satellite down close,
and grapple it with the remote manipulator system. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.
They got up there to capture it… uh… the uh…
we tapped the satellite, and the satellite started moving out of control.
It can be very difficult catching something like a tumbling satellite in space.
The slightest touch or mistouch by the astronaut with the equipment,
and you can send that satellite tumbling.
Yeah, make sure that when you want me to yaw right, you say “Yaw right”. Ok.
The other time, right is just “right”. Yeah, sounds good. We’re movin’. We’re movin’.
And so, it was very touch-and-go on that mission, actually.
Commander Dan Brandenstein and pilot Kevin Chilton are preparing
for the upcoming terminal initiate burn.
After several days of failed attempts with Endeavour’s remote arm,
Commander Dan Brandenstein, literally, tries a new approach.
Yeah, real easy, guys, reeaal, easy.
Don’t bring us any closer, Dan.
Ok. I’m stoppin’ it.
At Endeavour’s helm, Brandenstein delicately maneuvers the orbiter
up to the four-and-a-half-ton Intelsat VI.
The satellite is is rolling out of control in three different axes at once,
and you could actually fire the shuttle and fly this maneuver around and keep it aligned with it.
Three people grabbed 18,000 pounds.
Aware that any miscue could endanger, not only the satellite,
but also the ride home, space-walkers Pierre Thuot, Tom Akers,
and Rick Hieb reach out and secure the satellite by hand.
Ok… wait, wait.
Let’s do it.
Got it!
Y’all got a good grip?
Yes, sir.
Houston, I think we got a satellite.
Nice job, guys.
Intelsat VI is released from the cargo bay with a new mini-rocket motor for a gentle push
to its proper orbit, where it remains today; fully-functional.
And, as the shuttle program matured, so, it seemed,
did relationships between the world’s space-faring nations.
On STS-47, the 50th space shuttle mission, saw the orbiter Endeavour back in space on
September 12th, 1992. The mission was a cooperative space lab venture between Japan
and The United States that brought the first Japanese astronaut into orbit
as a member of the seven-person shuttle crew.
The space shuttle has launched people from different nations around this world
that used to feel they could never ever work together… and it has ushered us from
The Cold War to this really cooperative space program that we have with
our international partners, including the former Soviet Union.
Regardless of what language you speak, you speak and love space, and that’s pretty cool.
People… We have a lot in common with engineers and scientists around the world,
and that’s kind of fun to work in a program like this.
On February 3rd, 1995, Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot a shuttle,
was at the helm as Discovery gave The U.S. it’s first up-close look at the Mir Space Station.
Collins flew the shuttle through a series of intricate maneuvers approaching within 37 feet
of the Russian spacecraft, and, later, performing the fly-around by hand.
And liftoff of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on a mission that will herald
a new day of international cooperation in space.
Four months later, on June 27th, 1995, Shuttle Atlantis would lift off
from the Kennedy Space Center to begin STS-71 – the U.S. Space Program’s
100th human space mission. It would take two more days before Atlantis
caught up with and performed the first shuttle docking with the Mir Space Station.
(Russian transmission)
Houston. Atlantis. We have capture.
Orbiting 220 miles above the earth, a most unique and historic celebration took place.
As the Mir Space Station welcomed its first American guests,
cosmonauts and astronauts, together, broke figurative bread – tortillas and fruit,
to be exact – in a renewed spirit of cooperation. Together, Shuttle and Mir
formed the largest flying spacecraft the world had yet to see.
It tipped the scales at 250 metric tons – more than a half a million pounds.
Between 1994 and 1998, the Shuttle / Mir program would involve eleven
shuttle missions, including, in 1996, STS-76, which began a continuous U.S.
presence aboard the Russian space station with a visit by Atlantis.
Barely fluent in Russian, Astronaut Shannon Lucid, a biochemist, embarked
upon a mission that would dramatically enhance our understanding of life in space.
When she finally landed at Edwards Air Force Base on Shuttle Atlantis,
she held the female space endurance record for spending 188 days in orbit.
A hero’s welcome was in store.
I’m here to say, “Welcome home” to Shannon Lucid.
(Cheers and applause)
By the time Shuttle / Mir ended with STS-91, seven American astronauts
had completed extended stays aboard the Russian space station.
Tatiana Mativa, who I became very good friends with, and…
I remember us sitting in Red Square having dinner together with a full moon,
and remembering when I was a child all those parades, those May Day parades
with the tanks going by, and here we were sitting there having a nice dinner
under the full moon with a lot of friendship,
so… It just goes to show how space can unite people and that’s,
I think, one of the biggest benefits.
Eight cosmonauts had flown to Mir on the U.S. shuttle,
and NASA astronaut Norm Thagard had become the first American to fly there,
or anywhere, aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.
In 2001, fifteen years after its commissioning, Mir would be abandoned to break up
and burn in Earth’s atmosphere. By then, the process of building upon Mir’s legacy
of international cooperation in space had already begun.
Whereas STS-61 had helped establish the Hubble Space Telescope as
an icon of American ingenuity, STS-95 would update the hero’s credentials of one John Glenn.
On October 29th, 1998, almost 37 years after becoming the first American to orbit the earth
as an original Mercury 7 astronaut, Glenn, now a 77-year-old former U.S. senator,
made his return to space. In contrast to his first flight, a three-orbit,
four-and-a-half foray inside the snug Friendship 7 capsule.
The liftoff of Discovery with a crew of six astronaut heroes and one American legend.
STS-95 would take eight days, and circle the earth 134 times.
My main reason for being on that shuttle flight was to do research on aging.
I was 77 when we went up, and… You know, NASA has charted some 52 different changes
that occur in the human body when you go into space for a period of time.
And several of those are very similar to what happens to the natural process
of aging right here on Earth. Body’s immune system changes –
you get less resistant to disease and infection.
Body’s ability to absorb protein back into the muscles changes –
for the young people up there, and the elderly here on Earth.
The objective was to take those things that are the same and see if we couldn’t
find any differences between my experience up there and the younger people
I would fly with, with the idea of finding in the human body what turns
these different systems on and off. If we could to that, we might be able to
make it possible for people to stay in space longer without harmful effects,
and maybe cut out some of the frailties of old age right here on Earth.
I really was happy to be assigned to that flight.
In an interesting twist of fate, Astronaut Glenn not only inspired both the young
and old around the globe, but also a fresh political science and economics graduate,
Lori Garver, the 18th Deputy Administrator of NASA.
Having the ability at NASA to fly him again in space after his first flight was something,
I think, gave the nation, and it really helped explain what we were doing on the space shuttle.
John Glenn was very, very focused on doing those experiments for both, I think,
the older generation, but he was also an inspiration to people growing up.
Discovery carried a variety of payloads and research experiments.
Arguably, the one most valuable was Glenn, himself.
Not only did he provide first-time data of what space flight might do to the body
of a septuagenarian, Glenn also renewed the interest of a nation,
and the world, in America’s space shuttle program.
While the program had, and continued to, successfully-deploy and service science
probes and satellites, as well as conduct on-orbit research,
the space shuttle undertook a new long-range task, perfectly-suited to her specialized capabilities.
You’ve got a spacecraft that can carry at least seven people into orbit,
and with those seven people, you can do a huge amount of work.
One mission, you can do multiple EVAs, you’ve got multiple crew members,
you’ve got a huge payload, and just all kinds of capabilities
to be able to construct and build bigger things in orbit.
Less than two weeks after Glenn’s return to Earth, a Russian Proton rocket
departs the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, airing the Zarya module,
the first component of the International Space Station.
Liftoff of the Proton rocket and the Zarya control module.
The International Space Station is under way.
Two weeks after that, Space Shuttle Endeavour follows up with delivery
of America’s Unity module, the second piece of this largest
space station puzzle ever to be constructed.
Houston. Endeavour. We have capture of Zarya.
Not until July, 2000, will the Russian Zvezda module be added,
finally allowing for two Russian cosmonauts and their American Expedition 1 commander,
Bill Shepherd, to journey aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the
International Space Station, and begin humankind’s continuous extraterrestrial presence.
Across the world, people are very, very interested in and delighted
by the International Space Station and the science that has taken place there.
Since only an orbiter’s payload bay could hold the station’s largest components,
the multi-year, multi-mission building, outfitting, and servicing of the ISS with cargo
and crew would become, primarily, a job for the shuttle.
Amid these dynamic station-building missions, one seemingly simple
and uncomplicated flight would prove problematic and threaten the very future
of America’s human spaceflight program.
Since 1988, the space shuttle had completed fifteen years of successful missions.
Each was unique. Each had its own specific goals and tasks,
and each had its own dedicated crew of astronauts who’d trained exhaustively
to meet and carry them out. Yet, each of those 87 flights did have two things in common –
a safe launch, and a safe landing. From the start, STS-107 seemed
to be a mission out of sorts. By the time Columbia was, finally, ready to fly
on January 16th, 2003, its planned 16-day mission had been delayed no fewer than 18 times.
All those delays had ultimately positioned the STS-107 as a sort of black sheep