UPDATE #43 - December 4, 1998
Thursday, December 10, 1998, 9:30 AM Pacific Time: Chat with Orville and Wilbur Wright!! Just for fun we have two experts acting the roles of Orville and Wilbur Wright for this special chat. It will be fun to see how well they can answer the questions you would like to ask Orville and Wilbur Wright. We will reveal their identity at the end of the chat. To prepare for the chat review the information at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/background/ Registration information is available at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Wednesday, December 16, 1998, 9 AM Pacific Time: Narrottam Bansal, senior materials research scientist Narrottam works with a group of researchers to develop materials that can withstand extreme environmental conditions. The work done in this area will be important to the development of high speed aircraft. Recently, Narrottom has been working in collaboration with engine companies on the development of a special coating material for the engine of the High Speed Civil Transport. Read Narrottam Bansal's autobiography prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/bansal.html Registration information is available at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting
THE WRIGHT FLYER STATUS REPORT Wright Flyer Online Status Reports appear on the site at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/news/ Plans for moving the AIAA 1903 Model of the Wright Flyer This week members of the Wind Tunnel Operations group have been reviewing plans to move the Wright Flyer Model to the low bay of the 40x80 wind tunnel. Special considerations must be made because the model is very light, is not waterproof since it is made of cloth and wood and is very delicate. It is definitely not the usual metal model being transferred. Currently the move is planned for Friday, December 11, 1998. ADTO and the Learning Technology Channel plan to broadcast the event at 9 AM Pacific. For information about attending this event go to http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/adto/wfo.html CELEBRATE THE 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF FLIGHT See how you can celebrate the 95 Year Old Journey with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Visit http://www.faa.gov/education/wright.htm POETRY CONTEST! Create your own original poem about the Wright Flyer, the Wright brothers or the Windtunnel Test or more! For more information go to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/events/contest/poetry.html WRIGHT FLYER WIND TUNNEL DATA LESSONS The wind tunnel data lesson plans for the 1903 Wright Flyer Wind Tunnel Test are being written up for the Internet. Watch for news of these lessons in future updates. Your class will be able to use the near real time test data with these lesson plans!
[Editor's Note: Ray Oyung is the Research Coordinator for the Fatigue Countermeasures Program. Read his bio at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/ray.html ]
MONITORING IN THE SCIENCE CENTER OF MISSION CONTROL
by Ray Oyung
November 5, 1998 We're on flight day seven (FD 7) and things are going nominally. You might have heard this word often during media interviews and discussion on STS-95 and it's definitely a good thing. It basically means things are going normally as per scheduled flight plan. The mission is scheduled to end this Saturday (as of this writing) and it's been very educational being part of this segment of the project. I'm currently in one of 3 Science Centers with dozens of other researchers listening to several key people who manage daily operational shuttle activities. Everybody in Mission Control is connected on the "loops" which is a huge networked chat line. Imagine having 12 way calling on your telephone and listening into 6 different conversations! We can select various channels or loops (for example, air to ground 1; air to ground 2; payload operations director; crew interface coordinator; payload coordinator, etc.). We can listen to some or all of these loops. The structure for communication with the astronauts is quite elaborate. Communications are divided into 2 groups. One is the mission control group. The other is the payload group. Only one position is allowed to speak directly to the astronauts from the payload group. That person is called the Crew Interface Coordinator (CIC). On the orbiter side, the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) and the Flight Director are the only people who can communicate with the crew. With 83 experiments in the payload on this mission, there may be quite a few questions that the astronauts have when carrying out these experiments. This is when we have to be on our toes. If an astronaut has a question about our experiment we answer back to the Experiment Systems Engineer (ESE) who then relays the message to the Crew Interface Coordinator (CIC), and up it goes to the astronaut. So here's a typical scenario. Astronaut Ray calls down with a question about strange sleep signals showing up on the laptop just after instrumenting one of the other crewmembers. Ray calls down to the CIC. Since the Sleep Team is listening on the loops, they say to change from nominal procedures 03 to malfunction procedure 01. The ESE relays this to the CIC and the CIC sends the message to Astronaut Ray. Whew! I told you it was an elaborate communication system. So now you might be wondering why it's so complicated. With so many acronyms, experiments and people involved in a shuttle mission, communication to and from the crew must be clear and concise. Mistakes are rare and this is one of the reasons why they're rare.
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