By David Hitt
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Extra info for Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986
And that all settled down certainly after Skylab, and maybe even after ASTP [the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project]. Then we started working. I remember Phil Shaffer was designated as the lead for pulling together all of our software and stuff. Because the shuttle is such a highly integrated vehicle, it has the [software] architecture that makes the system run, and then it’s got all of the applications which are the heart of the vehicle. And so we were building all of this from scratch, and in Apollo we were astounded we had computers.
Still, it would not be an economic wonder, but it would be economically okay, were it not for these huge wings. Of course, that requirement, in hindsight, was never used, was never needed, but the current Space Shuttle will forever be burdened with these wings. Mattingly also said that the design missions established the capabilities that the Space Shuttle system would need to have. Each specification let to a variety of trickle-down requirements, and gradually the vehicle began taking shape. These requirements we set really had some interesting things.
Since the pilot and commander are busy with the tasks of making sure the vehicle is operating properly during ascent, they don’t have the luxury of stopping to really take in the experience of the launch. While the astronauts on the mid-deck don’t have the same view as those on the flight deck, they have the freedom to focus more on the sensations. Hart, for example, recalled being able, as a mission specialist, to really enjoy the experience. 8 | the feeling of flying You talk a lot [to other astronauts about what launch is like], obviously, and you see a lot of pictures, and you think about it a lot, so you think you’re pretty well prepared and you probably won’t have too many surprises, but I had a couple of surprises.