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NASA 112301main 114 pk july05

NASA 112301main 114 pk july05


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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 02, 2007
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There is a definite order of preference for the
various abort modes. The type of failure and the
time of the failure determine which type of abort is
selected. In cases where performance loss is the
only factor, the preferred modes would be ATO,
AOA, TAL and RTLS, in that order. The mode
chosen is the highest one that can be completed
with the remaining vehicle performance.

In the case of some support system failures, such
as cabin leaks or vehicle cooling problems, the
preferred mode might be the one that will end
the mission most quickly. In these cases, TAL or
RTLS might be preferable to AOA or ATO. A
contingency abort is never chosen if another abort
option exists.

The Mission Control Center-Houston is prime for
calling these aborts because it has a more precise
knowledge of the orbiter's position than the crew
can obtain from on-board systems. Before main
engine cutoff, Mission Control makes periodic
calls to the crew to tell them which abort mode is
(or is not) available. If ground communications
are lost, the flight crew has on-board methods,
such as cue cards, dedicated displays and display
information, to determine the abort region.

Which abort mode is selected depends on the
cause and timing of the failure causing the abort
and which mode is safest or improves mission
success. If the problem is a Space Shuttle main
engine failure, the flight crew and Mission
Control Center select the best option available at
the time a main engine fails.

If the problem is a system failure that
jeopardizes the vehicle, the fastest abort mode
that results in the earliest vehicle landing is
chosen. RTLS and TAL are the quickest options
(35 minutes), whereas an AOA requires about
90 minutes. Which of these is selected depends
on the time of the failure with three good Space
Shuttle main engines.

July 2005



The flight crew selects the abort mode by
positioning an abort mode switch and
depressing an abort push button.

RSLS Abort History:
(STS-41 D) June 26, 1984

The countdown for the second launch attempt
for Discovery’s maiden flight ended at T-4
seconds when the orbiter’s computers detected
a sluggish valve in main engine No. 3.The
main engine was replaced and Discovery was
finally launched on Aug. 30, 1984.

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