Saturday, January 24, 2009
Space Shuttle Orbiter Crew Cabin
Yesterday afternoon I was able to sit in the crew cabin of Atlantis. I entered through the mid-deck where the astronauts spend a majority of their time before they get to the ISS as there is a little more space.
During a launch, the flight deck seats the commander (where I happen to be sitting for this picture) and pilot, with two mission specialists behind them. The mid-deck, which is below the flight deck, has three more seats for the rest of the crew members. The galley (or kitchen area), toilet, sleep locations, storage lockers, and the side hatch for entering/exiting the vehicle are also located on the mid-deck, as is the airlock hatch. The airlock has another hatch into the payload bay (bottom picture). It allows two astronauts, wearing their Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) space suits, to depressurize before a space walk.
I had never been in the orbiter's crew cabin, and after I got out, I couldn't wipe the ear-to-ear grin off my face. It was amazing!!! (Thanks for the tour Theo)