Posted by: blogengeezer | January 11, 2010

Shuttle Landing at Edwards

Received this in an email from another ‘Wingnut’.

This is the You Tube link. Please read the description                                                                                                                                                           below before watching the video..

This is a little long but worth it.
Long time ago I tried that simulator at NASA and it took me
3 trys to get that thing down on the runway…. there is no
“going around”.
It’s strange because it
is a 19 % glide slope and a final app. speed of 200 k.

Shuttle landing from inside the cockpit – –

(Viewers, FYI :
Mach 1 is the speed of sound or approximately 700 MPH
depending on altitude and temperature. Also keep in
mind that there is no room for “Damn, missed it”.
The shuttle cannot go around and try
again. Enjoy!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, for the ladies, sorry, but
you can’t stop and ask

The video attached to this file is an  impressive                                                                                                                                                                        cockpit view of the landing of a space shuttle at
Edwards AFB, California to Runway 22 (southwest direction).
The view is through the cockpit window with a HUD
(Head Up Display) superimposed in front of the window.

The HUD makes it possible for the astronaut to look
out of the space shuttle yet have the relevant    information
to fly and land in the space shuttle – altitude, speed, on
course or not, wings level, etc. (no need to glance down at
his instruments).

The video opens with the space shuttle flying in an easterly
direction in preparation to land. There is some light
conversation among the crew about a cloud cover – an

You will see the undercast (clouds) at the
bottom of the picture with the atmosphere giving off a faint color
differentiation and then the darkening shades of blue to dark

One crew member is backing up the flying astronaut by reminding
him of the next events – important because there is little
to no room for error as the space shuttle is one
Giant Glider with no chance to add power or go around.

Just short of 3 minutes into the video one
crew member gives the flying astronaut a point when he should
start a right turn for the runway. At about 3:10 in the video
the astronaut is told he has the ‘needle’ centered
referring to being on course.

At about 3:46 the
astronaut is told he is at the 90 – referencing the point
in the pattern where he is to make a final 90 degree turn to
line up with the runway.

Soon after the astronaut calls “Yeah we have the runway.”
Look at the upper right corner of the video to see the runway
come into view. (The runway is 16,500 feet of cement – 3 miles

passes through altitudes and the high approach speed 200 knots.
At one point the flying astronaut makes the point that the wind
is greater than anticipated.

The height above the runway makes for a steep descent by
commercial airline operations – it is a 19-degree glide
slope. A typical airline flies a 2.5 to 3 degree glide
slope. Notice how fast the shuttle slows and he knows that
could make a difference in the remaining energy to reach the


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