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tv   Reel America Space Shuttle - Mission to the Future - 1981  CSPAN  April 10, 2021 10:31pm-11:00pm EDT

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commitment and support of one another in their work is very high, a group of people who on this planet we call earth reveal the human species at its very best. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021]
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announcer: narrated by actor james doohan, space shuttle from a mission to the future was produced shortly before the first launch on april 12, 1981. the film describes the program by showing a simulated flight of columbia, and emphasizes the global effort in construction and use of the international space station. ♪ narrator: a new door to space opens, the space shuttle. everything that has gone before in space, this magnificent treasure, is prologue. we are beginning a new and exciting age, signaled by the flight of columbia into earth's orbit. ♪
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columbia is the first of a fleet of ships of the space transportation system. the others to follow, names which evoke the spirit of our progress. challenger, discovery, atlantis. >> the monitors are set up. narrator: the working environment aboard will be quite ordinary. yet, the meaning of all this to us is far from ordinary. >> i am going to head downstairs. ♪ narrator: space shuttle, taking
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as many as four satellites into orbit, has the capability of retrieving orbiting satellites, repairing them in space or bringing them back to earth. >> columbia, we have good alignment. 4:55: 57, the numbers are on the tape, and we did get the verification. >> roger, we copy. >> ok. copy. narrator: historian james a michener in an address to congress said, there are moments in history when challenges occur that such compelling nature, that to miss him is to miss the whole meaning of an epic. space is such a challenge.
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james: i am james michener. for most of my working years on this planet, i have been chronicling the rise and fall, and if there is one thing i am convinced that, is that enemies do not destroy nations. time and the loss of will brings them down. to see that it does not happen to this nation of ours, the united states cannot retreat from the challenge of our age. narrator: each era of human history progresses to a point at which it is eligible to wrestle with the great problems. the ancient greeks, it was the organization of society. for the medievalists, the spelling of their relationship to god. for the men of the 15th and 16th centuries, the mastery of the ocean, and for us, it is the determination of how mankind can
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live in harmony on the finite globe we call earth, while establishing relationships to an infinite space. >> ok, that is on. we are ready for final suit pressure adjustment. james: i am struck with wonder at the energy expended by thousands of people, not only in the united states, but around the world, who have worked long and hard to overcome technical setbacks to make space travel available to astronauts and anyone who wants to journey above our planet into space. the space transportation system they developed introduces the decade of the 1980's to the spaceship columbia, the first of many spacecraft that will be propelled from it not only the top of the expense of expensive one-time boosters, but by a
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space transportation system that can be used economically over and over again. narrator: our endeavor, guided and informed by history of successes in spaceflight is of immense proportions. 10,000 nasa employees at six research centers across our nation, and other centers in canada and europe, the effort has been advanced through 5000 contractors, government and industry and over 25 states, in 14 countries. it has challenged our creative and engineering genius in both its form and scope. it has been complex and difficult, that is not deniable, but then what monuments to our progress can we name that have not been easy?
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some say it is our destiny to fill the wide vessel of the universe, a demanding role from which we must not retreat. ♪ the hangar we call it the vehicle assembly building is so large, its dimensions so fast, that robert goddard's first launch would not have escaped its confines. columbia, through her we expect much, and now sits our expectation in the air, cradled, to be mated with the solid rocket boosters in the external tank -- and the external tank. >> ok, we are rolling out now.
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narrator: today, it is the day the shuttle passes through the eye of the needle. aboard the elephantine crawler transport, she journeys to pad 39, a trip made with the deliberate speed. ♪
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>> landing site capability -- narrator: they rehearse, polish skills, techniques, procedures to come. >> roger. >> you have got data? narrator: wrapped in detail, columbia is not many days from her destination. two 15,000 foot runway's, was california and the other in florida, will accept the returning ships was operational missions began.
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downrange, stations report. and columbia is scope for lunch. -- go for lunch. >> affirmative, read you loud and clear. >> houston, this is -- >> bermuda. >> contact -- >> roger, let me give you quick voice check. ♪ narrator: the countdown has begun. ignition. ♪
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after two minutes of flight, the solid rocket boosters burnout and fall away. ♪ they are recovered in the atlantic 175 miles down from pad 39, to be towed ashore and used again. the external tank is jettisoned
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to fall in a remote ocean area. space shuttle is in orbit, 100 50 miles above our planet. -- 150 miles above our planet. >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] >> the astronauts moving with
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the rotation of the earth, flying into night and day many times on each orbit. in the 54-hour flight, they will see 36 magnificent sunsets as they orbit above the planet earth, looking down on clouds and life below. ♪ >> good morning. this is matthew james in melbourne. reentry is one of the most critical moments as it moves from 18,000 miles per hour,
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aerodynamic friction as the shuttle falls into the atmosphere, temperatures of up to 2800°. the crew on the columbia will put the shuttle 40° above the horizon and begin reentry. ♪ >> the 31,000 on the craft, absorbed the heat without transferring it to the interior of the spacecraft. at the center, those on duty await word that contact has been made. narrator: the onboard computers guided by mission control houston and the pilots fly the
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shuttle back towards earth. a long, very fast guide to california, supersonic, then as the crew approaches it, the airspeed slows dramatically. ♪ >> [speaking foreign language] narrator: the orbiter will be taken to a processing facility for a complete check before its next mission. ♪
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progress is not a monopoly of the united states. the space transportation system will be used by nations of the world. payload space aboard shuttle has been booked ahead by many nations. the signature of the program, again reflects the words of our astronauts left on the moon, "we came in peace for all mankind." and once again, columbia stands ready to be mated to the solid boosters in the external tank for another mission. each orbiter is rated to fly up to 100 missions. astronaut john young, veteran of the gemini and apollo programs, and the spacecraft commander of the first shuttle crew to go into orbit, the space shuttle pilot on the first flight. both of these men experience high-performance aircraft
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pilots. the young specialist analyzed everything, the procedure of a good test pilot. each step is questioned, tested. solutions are tried, rehearsed, and the emergency is again simulated. this is the lesson we have learned in over 20 years of command spaceflight. -- manned space flight. a pressure suit is not necessary in the shuttle, outside requires a pressure suit. the astronauts flying in a military jet transport are given brief moments of weightlessness as the pilot maneuvers the aircraft. one experiences this as he works in his pressure suit.
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he must learn to use tools, the problem of handling things with his gloves on is compounded by weightless flight. ♪ astronauts, and this in specialist payload specialists, have a preview of the exhilaration and joy of spaceflight. -- astronauts, payload specialists, and mission specialists, have a preview of the exhilaration and joy of spaceflight. ♪ survival school taught by the air force. it includes a bit of sky sailing and parachuting. at nasa's marshall space flight center, they experience underwater training with a
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full-scale mockup of the payload bay. crew members worked out some of the problems they may encounter in weightless conditions. ♪ they find that movement underwater strangely approximates the conditions they find in space. in the next five years, more than 60 space shuttle flights have been scheduled. ♪
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we will see columbia, challenger, discovery, and atlantis launching into space from pad 39. ♪ the earth and its terrain can be a barrier to communications, isolating people and cultures. for some nations, it meant safety and protection, and in advancing civilization. -- an advancing civilization. others have stayed the same. the struggle has been to live, food, water. with satellites, a new age is dawning for all people.
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♪ >> ok, everything is in position now. the role of a mission specialist starts once the orbiter gets on orbit, and it is the mission specialist who is in charge of the orbiter's mission. the mission specialist role could be opening the doors, using a remote system along arm made by the canadians, to deploy a satellite, which we carry in the cargo bay, or retrieve a satellite that might be in orbit. if there is an experiment that is being carried along by the shuttle on this mission, it would be the mission specialist who would operate this. anything that orbiter might be asked to do on that mission, the mission specialist will take care of that. ♪ narrator: science places the
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creation of the universe 14 billion years ago. >> ok, joe, the camera is zoomed in, so if you could go to pre-trip? narrator: this telescope may see galaxies at the very time they were formed. revealing the structure and history of creation. deep space probes will add to our knowledge of our solar system, of the four planets -- far planets, and the cosmology of the galaxies. in the coming decades, the shuttle will place networks of satellites into earth orbit. we will manage our resources, our crops, land, and water,
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weather forecasting and communication on a global scale. west germany, where the european space agency is building a space lab which will fly upward space shuttle. >> in europe, we are well aware of the space activities taking place in russia and in the united states, and we would like to participate similar to these, to benefit from the same technological advances. >> a physicist from the netherlands, a mission and payload specialist and member of the european space agency. >> there has been a large interest in manned space activities, and in 1973, they decided to build a space laboratory carried along in space with the shuttle. members of the european space agency participated in the funding and development of this.
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germany being one of the bigger ones. it has inside a pressurized module, and atmosphere similar to earth. scientists eventually will go up in this laboratory and do all kinds of experiments in space. >> houston, columbia, loud and clear. go ahead. >> roger, we have -- let's see, joe, a minute from the burn, ok. narrator: the space shuttle will indeed be our course in space. as many as four satellites on one mission. >> we are all set. standby. 30 seconds. narrator: the department of defense will have payments on a third of the flight schedule over the next 12 years. ♪
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>> space is not an american-soviet monopoly. we are approaching the point where the world community, and not just a few nations, are interested in space. narrator: dr. isaac asimov, author does mr. asimov: thank you. we are entering a new era of construction and architecture. now for the first time in space, we will be able to ignore gravity and build structures that will be strong for other reasons than simply passive
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resistance to gravitational pull, and new kind of architecture, prefabricated structures we can just move into position and watch these structures grow before our eyes into new forms and new shapes. ♪ the space shuttle will serve the needs of the international community and will be one more strong, binding force leading to world cooperation of nations, presenting a global front to the space frontier, one that will help everybody, all nations, give the earth a way of forming a common consciousness of the planet. ♪ narrator: the maiden voyage of
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the spaceship columbia signals a new epoch. the ships of the fleet, challenger, discovery, atlantis, and columbia will be launched and returned from space on a regular schedule. ♪
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announcer: the national aeronautics and space administration was founded on october 1, 1928, nasa, the 25th year with the 1983 film celebrating its achievements, just as the space shuttle program was beginning to carry payloads into space. ♪


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