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tv   Reel America Space Shuttle - Mission to the Future - 1981  CSPAN  April 17, 2021 8:01am-8:31am EDT

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space shuttle, mission to the future" was produced shortly before the first shuttle launch on april 12, 1981. the phone explains the shuttle program by showing a simulated flight of columbia, and emphasizes the global effort especially in payloads and in -- in construction and use of the international space station. ♪ james 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 purpose on the new ocean. challenger. discovery. atlantis. >> the monitors are set up. james: are working environment will be quite ordinary yet the , meaning of all this to us is far from ordinary. >> i think i am about done here. i am going to get downstairs. ♪ james: space shuttle, taking as many as four satellites into
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orbit has the capability of , retrieving orbiting satellites , repairing them in space or bringing them back to earth. >> ok, eastern columbia, we have a good eye on alignment. numbers are on the tape. and we did get the verification. >> roger, we copy. >> 205 at 20,100. james: historian james michener in an address to congress says, there are moments in history when challenges occur of such a compelling nature that to miss them is to miss the whole meaning of an epic. space is such a challenge. ♪ >> i am james michener. for most of my working years on this planet, i've been chronicling the rise and fall of
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human systems. if there is one thing i'm convinced of from years of studying history, it's that enemies do not destroy nations, time and the loss of will brings them down. to see that this does not happen to this nation of ours, the united states cannot retreat from the challenge of our age. each era of human history progresses to a point at which it is eligible to wrestle with the great problem of that period . for the ancient greeks, it was the organization of society. for the medievalists, the spelling out of their relationship to god. for the men of the 15th and centuries, the mastery of the 16th oceans. and for us, it is the determination of how mankind can live in harmony on the finite
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globe we call earth while , establishing relationships to an infinite space. >> ok. we are ready. final pressure adjustment. james: i am struck with wonder at the energy being 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 not only to astronauts, but to anyone who wants to journey above our planet and work in space. the space transportation system they've developed introduces the decade of the 1980's to the spaceship columbia, the first of many spacecraft that will be propelled not on the top of expensive one-time boosters, but by a space transportation system that can be used economically over and over again.
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our endeavor, guided and informed by a history of successes in space flight 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 for over 5000 contractors, government, and industry, in over 25 states and 14 countries. it has challenged our creative and engineering genius in both its form and scope. and it has been complex -- that it has been complex and difficult is not deniable, but then what monuments to our progress can we name that have been easy? some say it is our destiny to
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fill the wide vessel of the universe, in demanding role from which we must not retreat. ♪ the hangar we call the vehicle assembly building is so large, its dimensions so vast, that robert goddard's first rocket 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 to the , two solid rocket boosters and the projectile-shaped external tank. >> ok, we are rolling out now! ♪ james: today is the day the
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shuttle passes through the eye of the needle. aboard the elephantine crawler-transporter, she journeys to pad 39. it is a trip made with deliberate speed. ♪
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♪ james: launch control rehearses, publishes skills, techniques, procedures about day to come. [chatter] wrapped in attention and detail, columbia now is not many days from her destination. two 15,000-foot runways, one in california and the other in florida, will accept the returning ships when operational missions begin. downrange, stations report, and columbia is go for launch.
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[chatter] >> reading you loud and clear on all circuits. >> [speaking foreign language]. >> [speaking foreign language]. >> bermuda. >> contact houston. contact houston, contact. roger. let me give you a quick change. >> ok, ready houston. mark. ♪ james: the countdown has begun. ignition. ♪ [dramatic music] ♪
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james: after two minutes of flight, the solid rocket boosters burn out and fall away, . they are recovered in the atlantic 175 miles downrange from pad 39, to be towed ashore and used again for another shuttle flight. the main engines continue to burn, and the external tank, now empty, is jettisoned to fall into a remote area. space shuttle is in earth's orbit 150 miles above our planet
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. >> [speaking in spanish] >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] ♪ >> [in swahili] >> [speaking in german] >> [speaking in japanese] >> the estimates moving with the , rotation of the earth fly in
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two nights, and in today many times on each orbit. in a 54 hour flight, they will see 36 sunrises and 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. re-entry poses one of the most critical moments for the crew of the orbiter, as the shuttle slows from an orbital speed of 18,000 miles per hour. aerodynamic friction, as the shuttle falls into the heavy atmosphere, generates temperatures of up to 2,800 degrees. the crew on the columbia have
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now ported the nose of the shuttle 40 degrees above the horizon. in this multitude, they now begin reentry. ♪ >> the silica fiber tiles on 31,000 the craft must reject the heat without transferring it to the interior of the spacecraft. at the center, those on-duty away word that contact again -- i wait word that contact has been made. james: the onboard computers guided by mission control houston and the pilots fly the shuttle back to word the earth. a long, very fast glide from
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pacific to california. first at hypersonic speeds then supersonic, then as the crew makes an approach to the landing at nasa's dryden center, the airspeed slows dramatically. ♪ [intense orchestral music] ♪ >> [speaking in spanish] james: the orbiter will be taken to the processing facility for a complete checkout before its next mission. progress is not a monopoly of the united states. the space transportation system
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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 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 and the external tank for another mission. each orbiter is rated to fly up to 100 missions. astronaut john young, a veteran of the gemini and apollo programs, and the spacecraft commander of the first shuttle crew to go into orbit. astronaut bob crippen, space shuttle pilot on the first flight. both of these men experienced high performance aircraft pilots. young and crippen, the specialists, analyze everything .
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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 manned spaceflight. in the cockpit or the cabin of the shuttle pressure suit is not , a necessary. work outside in the near vacuum of space requires a pressure suit. the astronauts, flying in a military jet transport, are given brief moments of weightlessness as the pilot maneuvers the aircraft. bob crippen experiences this as he works in his pressure suit. you must learn to use tools. the problem of handling things with his gloves on is compounded
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by weightless flight. astronauts, mission specialists, and payload 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 parachute training. ♪ at nasa's marshall space flight center, they experience underwater training with a full-scale mock-up of the payload bay.
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crew worked out some of the problems they may encounter in weightless condition. they find that movement underwater under neutral buoyancy strangely approximates the conditions they find in space. in the next five years, more than 60 space shuttle flights have been scheduled. ♪ [rousing music] we will see columbia, challenger, discovery, and atlantis launching into space from pad 39.
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the earth and its terrain can be a barrier to communications, isolating people and cultures for some nations. for some nations, it meant safety and protection and 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. >> ok everything's in position
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, now. the role of the mission specialist really starts once the orbiter gets on orbit, and at that time, it's the mission specialist who is really in charge of the orbiter's mission. the mission specialist's role could be anything from opening the payload bay doors to using the remote manipulator system , which is a big 50-foot long , arm that's made by the canadians to deploy a satellite which we carry up in the cargo , bay, or retrieve a satellite that might already 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 that went up the experiment. anything that the orbiter would be asked to do on that particular mission, the mission specialist will be asked to carry that out. ♪ james: science places the creation of the universe 14 billion years ago. >> ok, joe.
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the camera is zoomed in some muscle if you could go to free drift --so if you could go to free drift. james: this shuttle launched telescope may see galaxies at the very time they were formed , revealing the structure and history of creation. deep-race probes will add to our knowledge of our solar system of the far planets. , and the cosmology of the galaxies. in the coming decades, the shuttle will place networks of settlers into earth's orbit. we will manage our resources, our crops, our land, our water weather forecasting and , communication on a global scale.
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bremen, west germany, where esa, the european space agency, is building the space lab which will fly aboard space shuttle. >> in europe, we are well aware of the space activities taking place in russia and the united states, and we'd like to participate in similar activities to benefit from the same technological advances. james: bubba, a physicist from the netherlands, a mission and payload specialist, and a member of the european space agency . >> that has been a large interest in doing and space activities, and back in '73, they decided to build a space laboratory which would be carried along in space with the american shuttle. about 10 different countries, members of the european space agency, participated in the
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funding and development of this laboratory, germany being one of the bigger participants. it has insight in its pressurized module on the emmys fear, which is very similar on earth. scientists eventually will go up in this laboratory to do experiments in space. >> okay, houston, columbia. we are reading you loud and clear. >> go-ahead. >> roger. james: the space shuttle will indeed be our workforce in space, with as many as four satellites orbited on one mission. >> standby to execute. 30 seconds. james: the department of defense will have payloads on a third of the more than 400 flights scheduled over the next 12 years . ♪
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>> space is not now in america -- is not now an america and soviet monopoly. we are approaching the point where the world community and not just a few nations, is interested in space. james: dr. isaac asimov, microbiologist author and lecturer. >> information on the space shuttle? >> thank you. thank you. we are entering a new era of construction engineering and architecture. now for the first time in space, we are going to be able to ignore gravity and build structures that will be strong for other reasons than simply passive resistance to gravitational pull. it is going to be a new kind of architecture. we are going to have
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prefabricated structures which 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, present in 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. ♪ james: the maiden voyage of the spaceship columbia signals a new epoch.
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the ships of the fleet of the national space transportation system -- challenger, discovery, atlantis, and columbia, will be launched and returned from space on a regular schedule. ♪
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>> this is american history tv on the span three where each weekend, we feature 48 hours of programs exploring our nation's past. >> 60 years ago this weekend,
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more than 1400 cia-trained cuban launched a failed invasion to overthrow fidel castro's communist government in cuba at the bay of pigs. live at 9:00 a.m. eastern on american history tv and washington journal, we will look back at the invasion and its consequences with former c.i.a. officer story and nicolas do dujmovic. >> american history tv on c-span3. every weekend, documenting america's story, funding for american history tv comes from these companies will support c-span3 as a public service. ♪ originally broadcast as an nbc white paper, this encyclopaedia britannica edited classroom report tells the story of the field 1961 invasion.
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the documentary traces the diplomatic split between the u.s. and cuba, and describes the cia's role in helping to train and equip the invasion force, and president kennedy's role. >> the bay of pigs. ♪ [speaking in spanish] narrator: in the years since he took power, fidel castro has become an enemy of the united states. in the eyes of washington, the united states security in the caribbean, a plan of action against him is drawn up. march 17, 19.

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