Editor's note: This archived webcast is from a Suborbital Scientist Astronaut Training Class on 11 May 2011 at the NASTAR Center. My three centrifuge runs flying a Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two flight profile (one at 50% acceleration and two at 100% acceleration) starts at 51:50 in the archived webcast.
This is a much longer version of the previously released video - with music. If at all possible watch this at 720p resolution. As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb. The payload (with camera) swings to the west (where the sun is) and then swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trail, around to the west again and then continues to rotate to the east toward the fading vapor trail.
If you can, watch this video in HD (select the 720p option). As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb - twice. The payload (with camera) first swings to the west and then reverses and swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trial, around to the west again, and then continues to rotate to the east toward the vapor trail again.
Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announced pioneering agreements today to send three scientists as payload specialists aboard eight suborbital flights -- some to altitudes greater than 350,000 feet, above the internationally recognized boundary of space. No other organization has yet concluded contracts to fly its researchers in space aboard next-generation suborbital spacecraft. Also unique is the number of payload specialist researcher seats involved -- eight at a minimum, with options up to 17 high altitude or space flights.
[Click on image to see projected flight path] Launch of the Robonaut-1 payload on a high altitude Helium balloon is currently planned from a location in west-central Florida at approximately 3:30 pm EST - but could be as early as 3:20 pm. Touchdown of the payload via parachute is expected in the eastern-central portion of Florida 2 hours later. All FAA and USAF 45th Space Wing notifications have been made. The balloon will rise at a rate of 800-1,000 feet per minute (depending on conditions) placing it near or at its high point approximately the time that Space Shuttle Discovery is launched at 4:50 pm EST.
[Click on image for actual flight path] A $1,500 reward was offered to anyone who reaches the landing site before our recovery team. More precise details of the landing zone will be provided as the mission commences.
A webcast showing launch preparations and the launch itself will begin at 3:00 pm EST and can be viewed at the following locations: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chasing-discovery , http://www.challenger.org/live , and at http://onorbit.com/suborbital
TODAY: Challenger Center and Quest For Stars Chase Attempt to Photograph Discovery At The Edge of Space
The LA Basin from the Edge of Space during August 2010 Launch. Credit: Quest for Stars
Robonaut-1 Balloon Mission Live Video and Mission Updates Webcast Starts at 3:00 pm EST
If all goes according to plan a balloon with a student-oriented payload will photograph Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbs into space from an altitude of 100,000 feet. There will also be live streaming video from the balloon itself during the mission - sent back by two regular smartphones running Google's Android operating system.