Space shuttle contingency functional



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REPORTS





REFERENCES:

a. Department of Defense Manager's Space Shuttle Procedures Document, 15 April 2001










b. Department of Defense Manager's Space Shuttle Training Plan, 30 May 2000

1. General. Reports identified in this annex provide timely dissemination of information to the DOD Manager and appropriate NASA managers, and are mandatory for use by DOD agencies. Reports submitted IAW the provisions of this plan are exempt from normal Reports Control System procedures and formats; however, they are not intended to replace reporting requirements that may be levied by other applicable directives. Include DDMS as an addressee on any report pertaining to Space Shuttle support. Copies of reports submitted IAW this annex may be provided to parent organizations as required. Specific instructions for each report are included in this annex. Report formats are contained in reference a.


2. Reporting Categories.
a. Mission Management Reports.
(1) Mission Management Reports are used by the DOD Manager to execute the Functional Plan, monitor advanced preparation and readiness of DOD support forces, keep tasked organizations advised of mission progress prior to launch, and to terminate DOD support after a mission. These reports also provide for identification and resolution of problem areas prior to a scheduled mission.
(2) Mission Management Reports are summarized in paragraph 3.a. and are considered the minimum required. Additional reports/correspondence may be required by the DOD Manager and/or the affected organizational command and will be addressed individually as the need arises. Report formats will vary depending upon the extent of organizational tasking and the date of submission, but should thoroughly address support readiness. Prior to submission of a report, each organization will review the tasking against current and forecast operational commitments, and state the capability to support a scheduled mission. Reports will be updated as changes occur.
b. Operational Reports. Operational Reports generally cover the period from 12 hours before launch through mission termination and provide the information necessary to keep the DOD Manager and NASA representatives advised of support force status. These reports must be submitted as specified and updated immediately should changes occur.
3. Required Reports/Reporting Instructions.
a. Mission Management Reports.
(1) Operation Order (OPORD). This report is provided by DDMS-O and transmitted via message to all participating organizations approximately 45 days prior to launch. It is primarily used to announce the implementation of the DDMS FUNCPLAN for use in supporting a particular Space Shuttle mission. When possible, detailed mission information, such as launch time, launch period, landing time and location, and crew, etc., will be provided. This report also establishes a specific Organizational Readiness Report due date.
(2) Force Prepositioning Order. This report is provided by DDMS-O and transmitted via message as a tasking order to those organizations providing mission support. The Force Prepositioning Order supplements and amplifies the information in the DDMS Contingency FUNCPLAN and OPORD by providing mission specific support requirements for each tasked organization.
(3) Organizational Readiness Report. This report is required from all tasked landing site contingency coordinators and airfield support coordination officers (ASCOs). It is provided by message and is due at DDMS, Patrick AFB, Florida, NLT launch minus 7 days. It is a general statement of readiness to support a mission as tasked in the DDMS FUNCPLAN. This report will identify any potential problem areas that could affect support readiness. IAW reference b., when applicable, include the statement "All personnel providing Space Shuttle support have completed the training requirements per the DDMS Training Plan." For emergency landing sites (ELSs), the report will give runway status, TACAN status, and contingency response force status. ELSs will submit updates any time there is a change to this information. See page P-1-1 for sample organizational readiness (L-7 status) report.
b. Operational Reports.
(1) ALS/ELS Landing Preparation Report. This report is provided real time by the ASCO to the SOC as items are accomplished prior to a landing. Established contingency communication channels will be used. See reference a. for specific content and format.
(2) ALS/ELS Landing/Post-landing Sequence Report. This report is provided by the ASCO to the SOC. It is intended to ensure DOD/NASA managers are kept apprised of certain key events as they occur. See reference a. for specific content and format.
c. Situation Reports.
(1) Situation Reports (SITREPS) provide the DOD Manager and NASA representatives with real-time information pertaining to actions taken by DOD personnel and the condition of the orbiter and crew after an emergency has been declared. After a launch/landing emergency has been declared and DOD support forces respond, the designated DOD on-scene commander (OSC) will provide a detailed commentary of the situation and DOD response activities. Depending upon the communications capability at the particular location, this commentary will be relayed through the local ASCO or Contingency Coordinator or provided directly to the SOC. See page P-1-5 for sample SITREP.
(2) There is no set format that must be followed; however, the commentary must be comprehensive so that DOD and NASA managers monitoring mission progress can obtain pertinent data. Examples of items that will be reported are:
(a) Statement of the situation, e.g., "orbiter visual contact." After statement of situation, provide all available information, e.g., rescue forces responding, rescue teams deployed, etc.
(b) Actions of DOD support personnel. Provide a commentary of events as they occur, e.g., side hatch open, flight crew clear of orbiter, rescue team clear of orbiter, problems encountered, etc.
(c) Medical condition of crew/medical evacuation intentions. See Annex C, paragraph 6, for medical conditions codes.
(d) Damage assessments (orbiter and collateral).
(e) Equipment/personnel problems.
(f) Termination of situation.
(g) Other.
d. After Action Reports. Provide all Space Shuttle mission specific After Action Reports to DDMS-CC.

DAVID K. DINGLEY

JAMES O. ELLIS, JR.

Colonel, USAF

Admiral, USN

Commander, DOD Manned Space

DOD Manager,

Flight Support Office

Manned Space Flight Support Operations

Appendix:


1. Report Forms

(INTENTIONALLY BLANK)

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

MANNED SPACE FLIGHT SUPPORT OFFICE

Patrick AFB FL 32925-3239

15 February 2003



APPENDIX 1 TO ANNEX P TO DDMS CONTINGENCY FUNCPLAN 3610-03


REPORT FORMS
DOD LANDING SITE SUPPORT STATUS MESSAGE

FROM: _______________________ AFB//ASCO or CC//

TO: DOD MANNED SPACE FLIGHT SPT OFC PATRICK AFB FL//DDMS-O//

SUBJ: L-7 DAY STATUS REPORT

1. ________________ AFB IS (IS NOT) READY TO SUPPORT STS-XX.
A. CONTINGENCY RESPONSE FORCE PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN TRAINED IAW THE DDMS TRAINING PLAN. ALL APPROPRIATE GROUND AND AIRBORNE CONTINGENCY RESPONSE FORCE PERSONNEL ARE READY TO SUPPORT.
B. ALL TASKED FIRE TRUCKS AND MEDICAL VEHICLES ARE OPERATIONAL AND READY TO SUPPORT.
C. THE TACAN IS (OR IS NOT) OPERATIONAL. RUNWAY(S) ___________ (EACH AT LEAST 8,500 FEET) WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE ORBITER LANDING.
2. ANY CHANGES TO THIS REPORT WILL BE PROVIDED TO DDMS BY MESSAGE UNTIL L-24 HOURS AND THEN TO THE SOC BY PHONE (DSN 467-9161, CML 321-853-9161). OUR AIRFIELD SUPPORT COORDINATION OFFICER (ASCO) IS _____________________. PUBLIC AFFAIRS (PA) OFFICER ON CALL WILL BE _____________________. THE FOLLOWING CONTACT NUMBERS ARE PROVIDED:
A. ASCO (PRIOR TO LAUNCH): DSN ___________________, CML _________________
B. ASCO (DURING LAUNCH): DSN ___________________, CML _________________
C. PA OFFICER ON CALL: DSN ___________________, CML _________________

LANDING PREPARATION REPORT


1. Base___________________ Submitted by_______________ Time____________Z


2. Runway________________Dedicated at ________________Z
3. Arresting Gear: Removed at ________________Z
4. Runway: Checked and Cleared at ___________________Z
5. CRF Personnel: On Station at ____________________Z
6. Airspace: Cleared at ________________________Z
7. Remarks:___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
LANDING SEQUENCE REPORT

1. Base______________________Submitted by________________Time____________Z


2. Radar Contact:
TimeZ TimeZ TimeZ TimeZ

Range: _____ _____ _____ _____


Bearing: _____ _____ _____ _____
3. Initial Voice Contact:_________________Z
4. Visual Contact:
TimeZ TimeZ TimeZ TimeZ
Range: _____ _____ _____ _____
Bearing: _____ _____ _____ _____
5. Gear Down:___________Z
6. Touchdown:___________Z
7. Wheels Stop:__________Z

Remarks:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

POST-LANDING SEQUENCE REPORT

1. Base__________________________Submitted by__________________Time_____________


2. Side hatch: Open at____________________Z
3. Crew Egress: ________________________Z
4. Preliminary Visual Assessment of Orbiter: _________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


5. Hazard Assessment: Start Time____________Z. Completion Time__________________Z
6. Side Hatch: Closed at ______________Z
7. Towing: Start Time________________Z
8. Towing (SITREPS):
a. _______________ Z = __________________________________________________
b. _______________ Z = __________________________________________________
c. _______________ Z = __________________________________________________
9. Towing Complete:________________Z.
10. Orbiter secure:__________________Z.
11. Remarks: ________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________


SITUATION REPORT (SITREP)
1. POSITION N________________ W________________

SARDOT same or N________________ W________________

FLIGHT AZIMUTH ___________ MAG
2. WEATHER ON SCENE:

CLR / SCTD / OVCT: CEIL__________ VIS___________

WINDS _________/__________ KTS. PRECIP____­­­­­____

SEA STATE______________ AIR TEMP_____________



3. INITIAL ACTIONS TAKEN:

(Assets responding, ETA to scene, LIMFACs)


(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)


SITUATION REPORT (SITREP) (CONTINUED)
4. SURVIVOR INFO:

CREW POS

(LTR)


COORDINATES

VIS / VOICE / BCN



ASSET

ASGND P/U or

RECOVERED BY


MED CODE

CONDITION

DESTINATION/ETA


CDR

N







( )

W







PILOT

N







( )

W







MS 1

N







( )

W







MS 2

N







( )

W







MS 3

N







( )

W







MS / PS__

N







( )

W







PS___

N







( )

W








5. PLAN OF ACTION:

(Next P/U, PJ Deploy, MEDEVAC intentions, etc):



6. STATUS OF ON SCENE FORCES:

(Problems, Limitations, etc.)



7. ADDITIONAL ASSETS REQUIRED:

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

MANNED SPACE FLIGHT SUPPORT OFFICE

Patrick AFB FL 32925-3239

15 February 2003
ANNEX Q TO DDMS CONTINGENCY FUNCPLAN 3610-03

MEDICAL SERVICES




REFERENCES:

a. Medical Operations Requirement Document, JSC 13956, Revision G, September 2000










b. NSTS Program Requirements Document (PRD) 2000.00










c. DOD Manager's Space Shuttle Training Plan, 30 May 2000










d. NASA/DOD Space Operations Medical Personnel Guide, Revision 8, 2000










e. Kennedy Space Center Emergency Medical Services Plan, Revision E,

19 December 2000 (KBM-PL-1.2E)












f. Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for Dryden Flight Research Center, Revision D, September 1998 (JSC 18288)










g. Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for White Sands Space Harbor, Revision G, January 1992 (JSC 16299)










h. Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for Ben Guerir, Morocco, Revision C, June 1999










i. Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for Moron AB, Spain, Revision C, June 1999










j. Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for Zaragoza AB, Spain, Revision C, June 1999

1. General. This annex identifies tasked facilities, equipment, and personnel necessary to provide DOD medical support to the Space Shuttle Program. DOD medical support is coordinated by the DDMS Medical Support Division (DDMS-M), Patrick AFB, Florida. This support consists of medical planning, DOD medical personnel training and certification, and support of medical operations in the event of a mishap involving an orbiter crew member. DOD medical personnel will also provide emergency medical support to NASA ground operations as a secondary mission.


2. Concept of Operation. All astronauts should receive equal intensive medical attention. The traditional concept of triage, where patients receive medical care in a prioritized fashion on the basis of the likelihood of survival, is not generally appropriate in the treatment of astronauts following an orbiter mishap. Whenever possible, CONUS and TAL site medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) will be to pre-approved intermediate (IMCF) and definitive (DMCF) medical care facilities IAW the Memoranda of Understanding between NASA and the respective health care facility. The DMCFs and IMCFs for each site are listed in the specific Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for that site (references g. through l.). MEDEVAC of astronauts will be by the most expedient mode available. The NASA Crew Surgeon will be provided transportation to the IMCF/DMCF if aircraft size and gross weight limitations will allow other than required personnel.
3. Crew Member Emergency Medical Support.
a. General Requirements.
(1) DOD Medical Personnel Training.
(a) Attending physicians/flight surgeons will be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), and will receive required additional training in accordance with the DDMS Training Plan. This additional training may be obtained through DDMS training teams, individualized training by the DDMS Medical Division, or through the NASA/DOD Space Operations Medical Support Training Course. In the event ATLS certification lapses and no certification courses are offered, physicians may provide support with concurrence by the Chief, DDMS-M.
(b) Physicians who provide helicopter support in regions where there is an over water SAR requirement will receive water survival training, helicopter underwater egress training, periodic in-flight medical procedure training, and will be helicopter emergency egress device (HEED) qualified. See reference d.
(2) Staffing. The following complement of trained medical personnel will respond to provide emergency medical care to the orbiter crew members in the event of an accident/incident during launch and landing.
(a) One flight surgeon/physician to staff the console position in the Support Operations Center (SOC) as the DOD Surgeon.
(b) Medical staffing at KSC, Dryden Flight Research Center, White Sands Space Harbor, and TAL sites will be IAW the Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for each site (references f. through l.).
(c) At each TAL site, one physician will be designated as the senior medical team physician. This designation will be given to the most experienced physician at each site, regardless of rank. This individual is responsible for all aspects of medical care provided at each TAL site.
(3) Medical Equipment. Medical equipment requirements and configuration on MEDEVAC helicopters and TAL C-130 aircraft are IAW the STS MORD as derived from para. 6.6, Facilities, Medical Equipment and Supplies.
(4) Procedures. The physician will provide an initial assessment of condition, perform/direct necessary treatment, and initiate transfer of crew members to a definitive medical care facility (DMCF) or the local intermediate medical care facility (IMCF), as appropriate. DMCFs will be used as necessary for any extensive and/or long term medical care. IMCFs will be used for delayed or minimal levels of medical trauma. On scene DOD physicians are responsible for the crew until NASA surgeons arrive and relieve the DOD physicians from further responsibilities. The commander of each tasked hospital will be prepared to receive the patients or coordinate transfer to the appropriate medical facilities identified in prior support planning.
(5) Coordination. Responding medical personnel will report the crew member's medical conditions to the on-scene commander (OSC)/Emergency Medical Systems Services (EMSS) coordinator as soon as practical using the medical condition codes defined in paragraph (6) below. This should not hinder the physician from reporting a specific condition over the available communications net in standard medical terminology if, in the opinion of the treating physician, this would further facilitate treatment of injured crew members. Emergency medical care coordination is from the on-scene elements to the designated EMSS or OSC. The DOD EMSS or OSC at WSSH and the TAL sites will interface with the DOD SOC, Patrick AFB, to facilitate coordination of medical support at the DMCF/IMCF. The SOC surgeon will communicate with the JSC mission control center (MCC) surgeon as time allows to update crew medical conditions.
(6) Medical Condition Codes (MEDCODES). Medical personnel will use the following codes to relay the medical condition of orbiter crew members and/or injured rescue personnel during contingency support operations. Nonmedical personnel will relay these codes only when specifically requested by attending medical personnel. Do not amplify medical conditions beyond these codes unless specifically requested by NASA/DDMS medical personnel or if needed to ensure proper care of the patient. The medical code will be transmitted in conjunction with the astronaut-specific letter alpha code, which is found on the boots, gloves, harness, and helmet of each astronaut.
(a) MEDCODE 0 - Patient severely injured beyond reasonable expectation of survival or deceased.
(b) MEDCODE I - Condition critical, patient requires immediate care and evacuation.
(c) MEDCODE II - Condition fair to poor, patient's need for care is not so acute, but will require care before evacuation.
(d) MEDCODE III - Condition good to fair, patient does not require hospitalization; some medical care may be needed, but not on a time critical basis.
(7) Astronaut Crew Alpha Codes. Each astronaut is uniquely identified by an Alpha Code (i.e., “A,” “B,” “C,” etc.) located on the back of their helmets, interlaced within each boots, and on the front left portion of their LPU . MEDCODES above will be used in conjunction with the astronauts’ Alpha Codes when rescue/medical personnel are relaying information over radio, telephone or other non-secure modes of communication. Example: "Echo is MEDCODE three."
b. TAL Site Requirements. During low inclination launches, Ben Guerir, Morocco, is the primary TAL site. Moron AB, Spain, is normally the weather alternate TAL site, but can also be assigned as primary. Low inclination launches will have medical teams in place at Ben Guerir and Moron. For mid inclination launches, the primary TAL site is Ben Guerir with alternate sites at Moron AB and Zaragoza AB, Spain. During high inclination launches, the primary TAL site is Zaragoza AB with alternate sites at Moron AB and Ben Guerir. For mid and high inclination launches, there will be medical teams in place at Ben Guerir, Moron AB and Zaragoza AB. These teams will be on station in time to attend the OSC/DFC briefing and ready to support with all medical equipment inventoried, checked, and initial stabilization/treatment areas setup NLT L-1 hour. At Ben Guerir and Zaragoza AB, the C-130 will be configured for MEDEVAC and SAR. Only the equipment required for rapid response will be removed from the aircraft. Support requirements terminate once the TAL opportunity passes (normally 10 minutes after launch). Medical teams are required to provide coverage in the event of slips or delays to the launch.
(1) Medical Responsibilities and Staffing. Medical teams focus on trauma life support. They stabilize patients until the patients are successfully transported to a medical facility. Physicians will accompany the patients to the facility.
(a) Medical teams will have two physicians with ATLS/ACLS certification and receive required additional training in accordance with the DDMS training plan.
(b) The physicians will be supported by PJs or EMTs, as described in the Medical Operations Support Implementation Plan for each site (references h. through k.).
(2) MEDEVAC. The senior medical team physician/flight surgeon will be knowledgeable of MEDEVAC flight routes and flying times to DOD IMCFs and DMCFs, as well as the capabilities of local medical facilities. Only with this knowledge, can appropriate recommendations be made to the OSC and/or DOD SOC as to the MEDEVAC destination.
c. Ground Operations Support. DOD medical facilities will provide emergency medical services within available resources and capabilities to NASA and NASA contractor personnel engaged in Space Shuttle activities nearby, or on the installation, IAW command directives. Routine medical care is not provided to these personnel.
d. Medical Records. All medical information, records, data, and reports shall be handled, secured, and maintained in compliance with the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974. Crew medical records will be sent to the Chief, Medical Operations Branch (MOB), JSC, for inclusion in their charts in the Flight Medicine Clinic. DOD medical personnel will not release medical information, records, or data to any persons, media, or agencies.
4. Tasks and Responsibilities.
a. Continental United States.
(1) 45th Medical Group, Patrick AFB, Florida. Specific requirements are the same as those discussed in paragraphs 3.a.(1-4). 45 MDG/CC will provide the resources and personnel to support a Space Shuttle launch as follows:
(a) A DDMS medical coordinator (DOD Surgeon) as overall coordinator of worldwide DOD medical forces in support of a Space Shuttle contingency. This function is normally performed by an aerospace medicine specialist, with back-up support provided by the 45 MDG.
(b) One physician, trained by DDMS-M, will man the SOC console (DOD Surgeon) during shuttle launch and landing. This physician will also be on-call during on-orbit operations.
(c) One ambulance with two EMTs and one driver to the Launch Disaster Control Group (LDCG) at Cape Canaveral AFS. This ambulance is under command and control of the LDCG commander and will be in place and ready to support at L-2 hours.
(d) One ambulance with two EMTs and one driver for crowd control support at KSC. This ambulance falls under command and control of the KSC Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and will be in place and ready to support at L-2 hours.
(2) 95th Medical Group, Edwards AFB (EAFB), California, will provide emergency medical support for orbiter landing operations at EAFB. The following requirements will be incorporated into fire/crash/rescue operations in accordance with Annex C, Appendix 4.
(a) A minimum of two ambulances each with a driver and two EMTs.
(b) Flight surgeon support for the MEDEVAC helicopters IAW paragraph 3.a.(1-4).
(c) Assistance in providing post-flight crew physicals for unscheduled orbiter landings at Edwards AFB or when requested by JSC medical personnel.
(3) 49th Medical Group, Holloman AFB, New Mexico, will provide emergency medical support for orbiter landings at White Sands Space Harbor (WSSH).
(a) A minimum of two ambulances are required at WSSH. One driver and two EMTs should be on each ambulance. These requirements should be incorporated into fire/crash/rescue operations in accordance with Annex C, Appendix 5.
(b) For NASA ground operations, the 49 Medical Group will provide 24-hour emergency medical and first aid support at Holloman AFB for NASA contractor personnel.
(c) The 49th Medical Group Commander will appoint the WSSH EMSS. The Chief of Aeromedical Services at Holloman AFB will serve as backup EMS coordinator for WSSH.
(d) Flight surgeon support will be provided for the MEDEVAC helicopters in accordance with requirements in paragraphs 3.a.(1-4).
(4) William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC), Ft Bliss, Texas, will provide backup physician and EMT support in coordination with the Army Health Services Command.
(5) The DDMS Medical Division will schedule one flight surgeon per DOD support helicopter at Patrick AFB for all launches and landings. These flight surgeons will meet the qualifications outlined in 3.a.(1) above. The flight surgeons, referred to as “AIRDOCS,” fall under the direction of the DOD Surgeon in the SOC, and provide initial assessment and treatment of astronauts during contingency operations. The AIRDOC will relay astronaut alpha codes, MEDCODES, and specialty requirements to the KSC EMS Coordinator and DOD Surgeon. The DOD Surgeon and EMS Coordinator will determine the destination for each helicopter. Approved medical destinations are found in reference f.
b. TAL Sites.
(1) USEUCOM will:
(a) Provide physician and EMT teams to support each TAL site. Each team will be composed as outlined in paragraph 3.b.(1). PJs deployed to Ben Guerir, Morocco, and Zaragoza AB, Spain (high and mid inclination launches only), for SAR operations will be used to support medical teams and convoy operations.
(b) Provide C-130s to support medical and SAR operations at the TAL sites, except Moron AB. These aircraft will be given primary consideration for the air evacuation of injured astronauts, however, the medical team chief may request a faster aircraft for seriously injured patients who are being transported a long distance if, in his/her judgment, patient survival is dependent on a faster response.
(c) Supply 6 units of type O (universal donor) blood to the African TAL site (Ben Guerir). A member of the medical team at each TAL site will monitor the blood supply to ensure storage temperature standards are continuously maintained. Blood requirements will be identified prior to each mission by a message from DDMS-M to HQ USAFE/SGPC.
(2) Air Combat Command (ACC) provides nine Rigging Alternate Method Zodiac (RAMZ) qualified PJs for the primary and alternate TAL sites. They support SAR operations and will be used to augment medical teams.
(3) DOD medical forces at TAL sites will provide 24-hour emergency medical and first aid support for NASA contractor personnel within available medical resources and capabilities. Routine medical care will not be provided to NASA/contractor personnel.
(4) Moron AB, Spain, will provide two ambulances with two drivers.
c. Emergency Landing Sites (ELS). ELS medical forces will be made aware of shuttle launches and landings and the remote potential for providing an emergency medical response as required upon notification that the ELS will be utilized. These forces are best effort and are not required to meet the other criteria outlined in this document.


LINDA L. BOYLE

JAMES O. ELLIS, JR.

Colonel, USAF, CFN

Admiral, USN

DOD Manager's Assistant

DOD Manager,

for Bioastronautics

Manned Space Flight Support Operations

(INTENTIONALLY BLANK)




DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

MANNED SPACE FLIGHT SUPPORT OFFICE

Patrick AFB FL 32925-3239

15 February 2003


ANNEX W TO DDMS CONTINGENCY FUNCPLAN 3610-03

SPACE SHUTTLE - OVERVIEW


1. General. The Space Shuttle (referred to as orbiter in this FUNCPLAN) is the prime element of the Space Shuttle system. It is a true aerospace vehicle: It takes off like a rocket, maneuvers in earth’s orbit like a spacecraft, and lands like an airplane.
a. Satellites of all types can be deployed and recovered by the orbiter. Carrying payloads weighing up to 50,000 pounds, the orbiter can carry most satellites in use today and is capable of launching deep-space missions into their initial low earth orbit. It is also the first system capable of returning payloads from orbit on a routine basis.
b. Orbiter crews are able to retrieve satellites from earth orbit and repair and redeploy them, or bring them back to earth for refurbishment and reuse. The orbiter may also be used to carry construction personnel and materials to build a space station.





2. Space Shuttle Components. The Space Shuttle has four main components: the orbiter, the external tank (ET), and two solid rocket boosters (SRB). See Fig. W-1.


a. The orbiter carries the crew and payload, and is the only component that actually achieves orbit. It is 37 meters (121 ft) long, has a wingspan of 24 meters (79 ft), and weighs approximately 68,000 kilograms (150,000 lbs) without fuel. It is approximately the size and weight of a commercial DC-9. See Fig. W-2.
b. The orbiter can transport a payload of 22,700 kilograms (50,000 lbs) into orbit. It carries its cargo in a payload bay 18.3 meters (60 ft) long and 4.6 meters (15 ft) in diameter. The payload bay is flexible enough to provide accommodations for unmanned spacecraft in a variety of shapes, for fully equipped scientific laboratories, and to carry modules for construction of the International Space Station (ISS).
c. The orbiter's three main rocket engines each have a thrust of 470,000 pounds and are fed propellants from the ET. These engines are only used during the launch phase of each mission. In orbit, the orbiter uses its orbital maneuvering system (OMS) to adjust its orbital path; to conduct rendezvous operations; and, at the end of the mission, to slow down (retrofire) for the return to earth. See Fig. W-3.
d. The SRBs operate in parallel with the orbiter main engines for the first 2 minutes of flight to provide the additional thrust needed for the orbiter to escape the gravitational pull of the earth. At an altitude of approximately 45 kilometers (24 NM), the SRBs separate from the ET, descend on parachutes, and land in the Atlantic Ocean. They are recovered by NASA ships, returned to land, and refurbished for reuse. At launch, each SRB produces 2,650,000 lbs of thrust using a solid fuel composed of atomized aluminum powder and ammonium perchlorate. See Fig. W-4.
e. The ET contains the propellants for the three Space Shuttle main engines (SSME) and forms the structural backbone of the shuttle system in the launch configuration. At lift-off, the ET absorbs the total 6,425,000 lb thrust loads of the three SSMEs and two SRBs. When the SRBs separate, the orbiter, with the main engines still burning, carries the ET piggyback to near orbital velocity, approximately 113 kilometers (70 miles) above the earth. There, 8.5 minutes into the mission, the now nearly empty tank separates and breaks up while falling in a planned trajectory into the Indian or Pacific Oceans. The ET is the only major expendable element of the Space Shuttle system. The ET has an empty weight of 35,425 kilograms (78,100 lbs) and holds 541,482 liters (143,060 gallons - 1,359,142 lbs) of liquid oxygen and 1,449,905 liters (383,066 gallons - 226,237 lbs) of liquid hydrogen, giving it a gross weight of 756,441 kilograms (1,667,677 lbs). See Fig. W-5

Figure W-2 Orbiter Dimensions

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