Telescope & Crew Control Module

Fig. 1   Inside far  left wall, lights out

Updated: 11 Oct 2020
After 15 years of operation from October of 1996, with the great but cumbersome 16" f/4.5 and STU (Scope Transport Unit) to April 4, 2011, the TCCM was operational. The first mission was number 45 and the last mission was 77 on July 20, 2014. There were 33 missions. The first three scanning missions used the LPI camera, and the next 30 were conducted with the new C
elestron Neximage Solar System Imager (SSI) at prime focus with an effective ocular of 5 mm. The image sensor of the SSI is a 1/4" CMOS chip with a VGA resolution of 640x480 in full color. The scan rate is 30 frames per second.

Fig. 2   Inside left wall view

Fig. 3   Inside left wall right view

Fig. 4   Inside right wall

All of the working equipment was mounted on the left side so that two chairs had their backs to the right side where there were some useful maps and charts.  Right behind the left front seat were three computers, two shown here, and the DOB Driver guidance computer mounted on the upper scope turret.

Fig. 5.   8" f10, 2032 mm f/l Celestron on DOB mount

Fig. 6   Quad multiplexer view of all 4 cameras

                       Fig. 7    LIVE SSI camera feed

The compact Schmidt-Cassegrain is mounted on a custom-designed computer-driven Dobsonian mount. The four live images were displayed on separate monitors and also on the quad multiplexer display showing the findercam, the cabcam, current VMA graphics, and the breath-taking SSI camera view at a SIMRANGE of 600 miles and an FOV of 400 miles.

Fig. 8   Stacked electronics on rack 1

Fig. 9   Part of VMA (Virtual Moon Atlas) graphics cued up to the scanning time shows the target area right on the terminator on camera 3.

Fig. 10   Digital-to-analog converters used to display and record images from the programed sources.

On the far left of the console was the rack system with the Sennheiser receiver, picking up the the WWV time signal from the transmitter in the lab, the quad processor, the DVR, and a VHS recorder. In the center photo is the graphic representation of the current moon phase, but without the Ephemeris and data normal shown on the right side such as in Fig. 6.

Fig. 11   SSI camera view on camera 4.l

This image on camera 4 was taken during mission 55 with the SSI camera and illustrates the stark contrast between the dark side as opposed to the daylight portion. The mission lasted over 90 minutes and was to study sunrise on the central peak of Alphonsus (bottom center) and possible LTPs as observed in 1958 by Russian scientists. The largest of the three craters is 95 mile-wide Ptolemaeus. The FOV is roughly 430 miles and the simrange at 400 power is about 600 miles. Part 2 of the mission can be viewed and studied on our YouTube site.

Fig. 12   The DOB mount upper turret plate with DOB Driver-II guidance computer and hand control.

Also see the original STU (1995-2005) and the later trailer configuration, LIMO 2014-2015).