Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Waspie_Dwarf

[Archived] Space Shuttle - Latest News

4,932 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Waspie_Dwarf
Space Shuttle -
Latest News


Next Shuttle Crew Readies for Mission

user posted image
Image above: The STS-121 crew members pause for a portrait during the
recent Crew Equipment Interface Test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center
in Florida.
Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
+ View High-Res Version


The crew of space shuttle Discovery is preparing for the launch of the STS-121 mission, currently targeted for launch no earlier than July 1.

The flight will continue the evaluation of flight safety procedures, including shuttle inspection and repair techniques. It also will deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

Steve Lindsey will command the mission, flying with pilot Mark Kelly, spacewalkers Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers and mission specialists Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is also part of the crew and will remain on the station for several months. Reiter's arrival will give the station its first three-person crew since May 4, 2003.

+ STS-121 Mission | + STS-121 Crew


Source: NASA - Space Shuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
Discovery: Then and Now


04.17.06

Times change, people change, and even orbiters and astronauts change.

As Discovery stands ready to be the "go-to" shuttle for the next mission, an astronaut who flew on Discovery's first flight will be with them in spirit. "You always transport yourself back to that moment when you were inside and it does get your heart rate up," says Mike Mullane.

The year was 1984. Discovery sat on Launch Pad 39-A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, awaiting its maiden voyage. Five of the six crew members were rookie astronauts primed for their first trip into space, including Mullane. After several delays, together the new orbiter and space travelers embarked on a successful 2.5-million-mile journey.

user posted image
Image above: On Aug. 30, 1984, Discovery rises from its seaside launch
pad and is silhouetted against the sun's reflection on the Atlantic Ocean
surface as mission STS-41D begins.
Image credit: NASA


"It was a particular thrill for all of us to pass the 50-mile altitude because that's the point at which you are officially an astronaut," says Mullane, now an author of a book called "Riding Rockets" that details his experience in space. "We broke into cheers. At that point, we were no longer rookies; we were veteran astronauts."

More than two decades later, Mullane figures the anticipation of today's rookies, including the three set to fly on the upcoming STS-121 mission, is the same. Yet time has brought about definite changes -- both in the orbiters and in the diversity of the astronauts who fly them.

Among the crew who flew that first flight of Discovery was one woman, Mission Specialist Judy Resnick, who was only the second American woman in space.

user posted image
Image above: In the mock-up flight deck of a shuttle trainer, STS-41D
rookie astronauts (from left) Judy Resnik, Mike Mullane and Steve Hawley
(in back) work with veteran Commander Henry Hartsfield (in foreground).
Image credit: NASA


NASA's next shuttle mission counts two women among its crew, and Mullane feels the status of women as astronauts today has changed significantly since Resnick's first flight.

"The aura of being a feminist pioneer has long past. It's not newsworthy anymore that a woman is flying," he reflects. "There are lots of female astronauts out there."

After all, the STS-114 Return to Flight mission in July 2005 was commanded by Eileen Collins.

Just as the makeup of the astronaut corps has changed, so has its work in space. Building the International Space Station is now the primary focus of the remaining shuttle missions, but the hardware that would bring the space station to life was just being developed when Discovery first flew. As part of that inaugural mission, the crew tested a "solar wing" that carried different types of solar cells. It was extended from the payload bay to its full 102-foot height several times, demonstrating that large, lightweight solar arrays could be viable for building future facilities in space -- a reality in today's International Space Station.

user posted image
Image above: In this photo taken from Discovery's
window by the STS-41D crew, the extended solar array
experiment panel is deployed.
Image credit: NASA


Many of the changes experienced by the astronauts have been mirrored by Discovery.

Beginning in the fall of 1995, the shuttle underwent a nine-month maintenance period that included the addition of an external airlock to support its new role on missions to the International Space Station. In 2002, along with scheduled upgrades, technicians began making additional safety modifications as part of the preparations for the Return to Flight.

Since its inaugural flight in 1984, Discovery has completed more than 30 successful missions, surpassing the number of flights made by any other orbiter in NASA's fleet.

user posted image
Image above: Inside the Orbiter Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy
Space Center, rookie crew members for the next shuttle mission --
(from left) Mission Specialists Michael Fossum, Lisa Nowak and Stephanie
Wilson -- join veteran Pilot Mark Kelly (right) in getting a close look at
Discovery, their launch vehicle for mission STS-121.
Image credit: NASA


With the shuttle flights coming to an end and the new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) on the horizon, Mullane's thoughts turn to what it would be like to help write the next page in space exploration history.

"It would sure be a kick to go to the moon in a CEV!"

Indeed, some things never change.

Read more about:
+ STS-121
+ STS-41D
+ Discovery

Cheryl L. Mansfield
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center


Source: NASA - Shuttle - Behind The Scenes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zandore

One era may have passed but another will take it's place!

Let us hope it will be as exciting still

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Next Space Shuttle Mission:

STS-121 Discovery/ International Space Station Flight ULF1.1

Launch Pad: 39B

Launch Window: No earlier than July 1, 2006

Landing: To Be Determined

Duration: 11 days

Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles

Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

Countdown begins: T-43 hours

user posted image

Image above: External tank 119 is moved out of a checkout cell and

into the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Credit: NASA/Cory Huston

+ View High-Res Version

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery prior to its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building, scheduled for May 12. The right and left payload bay doors were opened earlier in the week in preparation for reinstallation of the remote manipulator system, or "shuttle arm." The arm was transported from the lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building to the processing facility on April 12 and installed in the vehicle April 14.

Program managers have determined the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 will need to be replaced due to the possibility of a crack in a solder joint in the controller. During the certification of similar controllers, engineers observed cracking after thermal testing of the units. The engine replacement has no impact on the overall processing schedule.

Source: NASA - Shuttle - Launch and Landing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Next Space Shuttle Mission:

STS-121 Discovery/ International Space Station Flight ULF1.1

Launch Pad: 39B

Launch Window: No earlier than July 1, 2006

Landing: To Be Determined

Duration: 11 days

Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles

Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

Countdown begins: T-43 hours

user posted image

Image above: In the Vehicle Assembly Building's transfer aisle at NASA's

Kennedy Space Center, external tank No. 119 is suspended in a vertical

position. The tank will soon be lifted into high bay 3 for stacking with

solid rocket boosters.

Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

+ View High-Res Version

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery prior to its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building, scheduled for May 12. The right and left payload bay doors were opened earlier in the week in preparation for reinstallation of the remote manipulator system, or "shuttle arm." The arm was transported from the lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building to the processing facility on April 12 and installed in the vehicle April 14.

Program managers have determined the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 will need to be replaced due to the possibility of a crack in a solder joint in the controller. During the certification of similar controllers, engineers observed cracking after thermal testing of the units. The engine replacement has no impact on the overall processing schedule.

Source: NASA - Shuttle - Launch and Landing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Next Space Shuttle Mission:

STS-121 Discovery/ International Space Station Flight ULF1.1

Launch Pad: 39B

Launch Window: No earlier than July 1, 2006

Landing: To Be Determined

Duration: 11 days

Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles

Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

Countdown begins: T-43 hours

user posted image

Image above: In high bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, the external

tank designated for Space Shuttle Discovery is lowered into position

between the solid rocket boosters on the mobile launcher platform.

Credit: NASA/Amanda Diller

+ View High-Res Version

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery prior to its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building, scheduled for May 12. The right and left payload bay doors were opened earlier in the week in preparation for reinstallation of the remote manipulator system, or "shuttle arm." The arm was transported from the lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building to the processing facility on April 12 and installed in the vehicle April 14.

Program managers have determined the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 will need to be replaced due to the possibility of a crack in a solder joint in the controller. During the certification of similar controllers, engineers observed cracking after thermal testing of the units. The engine replacement has no impact on the overall processing schedule.

Source: NASA - Shuttle - Launch and Landing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Station Cargo Readied

04.27.06

user posted image

Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a technician observes as the hatch closes on the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo. The Italian-built module is part of the payload that Space Shuttle Discovery will carry to the International Space Station on the next mission. The module contains more than two tons of equipment and supplies to be delivered to the station by Discovery's crew during the STS-121 mission.

Leonardo is one of three such modules that act as "moving vans" for the Space Station, carrying cargo and supplies for delivery, and returning spent materials to Earth. Designed to fit in the space shuttle cargo bay, each module is approximately 21 feet long and 15 feet in diameter. They weigh almost 4.5 tons and can carry 10 tons of cargo packed into standard "racks."

+ View High Resolution Photo

Source: NASA/KSC - Station Payloads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
NASA Successfully Completes Solid Rocket Motor Test April 28


The NASA / Marshall Space Flight Center press release is reproduced below:



NASA Successfully Completes Solid Rocket Motor Test April 28
04.28.06

June Malone
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

News release: 06-061

NASA's Space Shuttle Program successfully static fired a full-scale, full-duration reusable solid rocket motor Friday, April 28, at a Utah test facility. The two-minute test was performed at ATK Launch Systems, an Alliant Techsystems Inc. group, in Promontory.

The flight support motor, FSM-12, burned for approximately 123 seconds, the same amount of time each reusable solid rocket motor burns during an actual space shuttle launch. The test firing included 62 specific objectives and used 711 instrumentation channels to collect and evaluate the motor's performance.

Preliminary data indicates that all test objectives were met. After NASA technicians analyze all final test data, results for each objective will be published in a final report which will be available later this year.

Regular static-fire tests of space shuttle reusable solid rocket motors maintain the highest safety, quality and reliability standards of solid rocket motors used for human space flight. Testing provides the highest confidence possible on the performance of motors in NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

"Full-scale static testing continues to be a key element of our 'test before you fly' standard that we apply to our processes, material, hardware and design changes," said Jody Singer, manager of the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Project, part of the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "Testing such as this is important to ensure continued quality and performance."

The shuttle's reusable solid rocket motor is the largest solid rocket motor ever flown, the only one rated for human flight and the first designed for reuse. Each shuttle launch requires the boost of two reusable solid rocket motors to lift the 4.5-million-pound shuttle vehicle.

During space shuttle flights, solid rocket motors provide 80 percent of the thrust during the first two minutes of flight. Each motor generates an average thrust of 2.6 million pounds and is just over 126 feet long and 12 feet in diameter. It is the primary component of the shuttle's twin solid rocket boosters.

During a shuttle launch, the solid propellant rockets take the shuttle to an altitude of 28 miles at a speed of 3,094 mph before they separate and fall into the ocean to be retrieved, then refurbished and prepared for another flight.

ATK Launch Systems manufactures the shuttle's solid rocket motor at its Promontory plant north of Salt Lake City.

For more information about the Space Shuttle Program, visit:


For supporting materials for this news release -- such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more -- please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at:


Source: NASA/MSFC- News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
user posted image

A reusable solid rocket motor successfully fires during testing April 28 at a Utah test facility. The static-fire test was conducted by ATK Launch Systems in Promontory for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. (ATK Thiokol)

user posted image

A reusable solid rocket motor successfully fires during testing April 28 at a Utah test facility. The static-fire test was conducted by ATK Launch Systems in Promontory for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. (NASA)

Source: NASA/MSFC- News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
Marshall Center to Test 48-Inch Solid Rocket Motor Today


The NASA / Marshall Space Flight Center press release is reproduced below:



Marshall Center to Test 48-Inch Solid Rocket Motor Today
05.04.06

June Malone
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

News release: 06-064

A static -- or stationary -- firing of a scaled-down version of the Space Shuttle’s Reusable Solid Rocket Motor will occur in the afternoon of Thursday, May 4, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The 28-second test firing of the modified NASA motor may be heard in the Huntsville area surrounding the Marshall Center.

Static firings of modified NASA motors are part of the ongoing verification of components, materials and manufacturing processes required by the Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Motor Project Office and the Space Shuttle program.

The test, which produces near flight motor internal environments, will be used to evaluate the performance of a new internal insulation material that will be used in the aft dome of the motor. It will also allow engineers to assess potential instrumentation including one that offers a sharper chemical "map" of the motor’s plume during launch and another that provides more information on the temperature of the nozzle’s phenolics -- resin-impregnated fiber reinforced material cured under heat and pressure.

The test motor is deemed one-sixth scale, based on its 9-inch nozzle throat diameter versus the full scale motor's 54-inch diameter nozzle throat. The duration of Thursday’s test will be approximately one-fourth the amount of time that motors perform during Shuttle flights.

Engineers from the Marshall Center Space Engineering Directorate, ATK's Science and Engineering Huntsville Operations group and the Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor project office will conduct the test. ATK Thiokol, a unit of Alliant Techsystems, Inc., in Promontory, Utah, manufactures the Shuttle's Solid Rocket Motor.

Following the test, the data will be analyzed and the results for each objective will be used to better understand the motor's performance.

For supporting materials for this news release -- such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more -- please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at:


Source: NASA/MSFC- News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Next Space Shuttle Mission:

STS-121 Discovery/ International Space Station Flight ULF1.1

Launch Pad: 39B

Launch Window: No earlier than July 1, 2006

Landing: To Be Determined

Duration: 11 days

Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles

Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

Countdown begins: T-43 hours

user posted image

Image above: In high bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, the external

tank designated for Space Shuttle Discovery is lowered into position

between the solid rocket boosters on the mobile launcher platform.

Credit: NASA/Amanda Diller

+ View High-Res Version

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery before it is moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building on May 12. The payload bay doors were closed April 26 for the final time prior to flight.

Last week, technicians removed the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 and replaced it with a new one. Engine leak checks were successfully completed April 25. Interface verification tests were completed for sensors No. 1 and 2 on the new orbiter boom sensor system.

Source: NASA - Shuttle - Launch and Landing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
NASA Names Doi to Shuttle Crew to Launch Japanese Module


The user posted image press release is reproduced below:

May 5, 2006
Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-5111

RELEASE: 06-216

NASA Names Doi to Shuttle Crew to Launch Japanese Module


NASA; Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have named Japanese astronaut Takao Doi to the space shuttle crew that will deliver the first module of the Japanese laboratory, Kibo, to the International Space Station.

Doi is the first crew member named to the mission, which will be the eighth of the upcoming space shuttle missions to the space station. Doi's duties will involve attachment and initial set-up of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Logistics Module. Doi's crew mates will be named at a later date.

The mission will be Doi's second space flight. During his first flight, shuttle mission STS-87 in 1997, he performed two spacewalks.

Doi holds a bachelor's degree, master's degree and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Tokyo. He also has a doctorate in astronomy from Rice University, Houston.

For complete biographies of Doi, NASA and International Space Station partner astronauts, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/home

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: NASA Press Release 06-216

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Next Space Shuttle Mission:

STS-121 Discovery/ International Space Station Flight ULF1.1

Launch Pad: 39B

Launch Window: No earlier than July 1, 2006

Landing: To Be Determined

Duration: 11 days

Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles

Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

Countdown begins: T-43 hours

user posted image

Image above: In high bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, the external

tank designated for Space Shuttle Discovery is lowered into position

between the solid rocket boosters on the mobile launcher platform.

Credit: NASA/Amanda Diller

+ View High-Res Version

Technicians continue final preparations on Discovery prior to its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The move is scheduled for May 12. Shuttle program managers will discuss readiness for the move and any final technical details during the Orbiter Rollover Review on May 8.

As a precautionary measure to provide protection from the tin whiskering phenomenon, a reaction jet driver was replaced in an avionics bay and successfully retested early this week. Whiskering is a phenomenon identified decades ago whereby certain metals, primarily tin, zinc and cadmium, develop pure metallic crystalline extrusions.

During retesting of the reaction jet driver replacement, an unrelated problem was discovered in the load control assembly in a line replacement unit box in the forward avionics bay. The remotely controlled assembly provides power to the reaction jet driver. Technicians have replaced the assembly and planned to retest the equipment over the weekend.

Source: NASA - Shuttle - Launch and Landing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
Discovery Reaches the Vehicle Assembly Building


user posted image
Image above: Workers accompany the orbiter Discovery as it moves
away from NASA's Orbiter Processing Facility toward the Vehicle
Assembly Building (VAB) atop an orbiter transporter.
Image credit: NASA/KSC

+ View High-Res Photos


A wave of excitement rippled across NASA's Kennedy Space Center on May 12 as the orbiter Discovery rolled out of its processing facility and into the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. Inside, the shuttle's external tank and twin solid rocket boosters stand ready for the orbiter, which will soon be attached to the rest of the assembly. Space Shuttle Discovery is set to launch on the STS-121 mission, currently targeted for launch no earlier than July 1.

The flight will continue the evaluation of flight safety procedures, including shuttle inspection and repair techniques. It also will deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

Steve Lindsey will command the mission, flying with pilot Mark Kelly, spacewalkers Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers and mission specialists Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is also part of the crew and will remain on the station for several months. Reiter's arrival will give the station its first three-person crew since May 4, 2003.


Source: NASA - Space Shuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Next Space Shuttle Mission:

STS-121 Discovery/ International Space Station Flight ULF1.1

Launch Pad: 39B

Launch Window: No earlier than July 1, 2006

Landing: To Be Determined

Duration: 11 days

Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles

Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

Countdown begins: T-43 hours

user posted image

Image above: The orbiter Discovery rolls down the short roadway

between the Orbiter Processing Facility and the nearby Vehicle Assembly

Building. Credit: NASA/KSC

+ View High-Res Version

Discovery was moved today from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 to the Vehicle Assembly Building, a major step toward a launch to the International Space Station. Technicians and crane operators began preparations to lift Discovery into the assembly building's high bay 3 and attach the shuttle to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters. After final integration, a crawler transporter is scheduled to carry Discovery to the launch pad May 19.

Discovery was scheduled to move Thursday, but a sheared left-hand jack screw on the lifting sling in the assembly building postponed the rollover until today. Both the right and left-hand screws were removed and replaced. The replacements were inspected, analyzed, proof loaded and installed on the sling.

The payloads that will launch aboard Discovery were loaded into the payload transportation canister this week and are scheduled to roll out to the launch pad on May 16. Discovery's payloads include the Italian-built logistics module, known as Leonardo, which will carry food, clothing, spare parts and research equipment to the station. Other payloads include two cargo carriers which contain heat shield tile samples, a spare pump module and a replacement mobile transporter reel assembly.

Source: NASA - Shuttle - Launch and Landing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
Short Trip, Big Milestone

user posted image
Photo credit: NASA
+ View High Resolution Photo


At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Discovery -- sitting atop an orbiter transporter -- nears the Vehicle Assembly Building. The orbiter's "rollover" from its processing facility is a milestone in prelaunch preparation. Once inside, Discovery will be raised to vertical and lifted up and over into high bay 3 for stacking with its redesigned external tank and twin solid rocket boosters. In about a week, Discovery is expected to roll out to Launch Pad 39B, with the launch of mission STS-121 scheduled to take place during a window extending July 1 to 19.

Kennedy Space Center workers display a banner as Discovery rolls from the Orbiter Processing Facility toward the Vehicle Assembly Building.

user posted image
Photo credit: NASA
+ View High Resolution Photo


Source: NASA - Space Shuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
Discovery Mated to Tank and Boosters


user posted image
Image above: The orbiter Discovery is lowered via a crane and
sling into high bay 3 of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building.
Discovery will be mated with its external tank and twin solid
rocket boosters waiting below on the mobile launcher platform.
Image credit: NASA/Charisse Nahser

+ View High-Res Version


A wave of excitement rippled across NASA's Kennedy Space Center on May 12 as the orbiter Discovery rolled out of its processing facility and into the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. Inside, the orbiter was mated to the external tank and twin solid rocket boosters over the weekend. Space Shuttle Discovery is set to launch on the STS-121 mission, currently targeted for launch no earlier than July 1.

The flight will continue the evaluation of flight safety procedures, including shuttle inspection and repair techniques. It also will deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

Steve Lindsey will command the mission, flying with pilot Mark Kelly, spacewalkers Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers and mission specialists Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is also part of the crew and will remain on the station for several months. Reiter's arrival will give the station its first three-person crew since May 4, 2003.


Source: NASA - Space Shuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Master Sage

Sigh, NASA, the 80's are OVER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

Sigh, NASA, the 80's are OVER

So what do you suggest Master Sage? Do you really think NASA should stop manned space flight for 6 years (the earliest date at which the replacement CEV will fly is 2012)? In the meantime Russia will continue to fly with it's Soyuz vehicle first flown in the 60's on a rocket first flown in the '50's.

NASA has finally been given the go ahead to replace the Shuttles but this is not something that can be achieved overnight.

The Space Shuttle has its faults (as was all too evident with Columbia) but as a rocket it is the most reliable launch vehicle ever built, with only one launch failure. It has placed more people into space than Vostok, Mercury, Voskhod, Gemini, Apollo and Soyuz vehicles combined and has failed only twice in 25 years in service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
STS-121 Payloads Arrive at the Launch Pad


user posted image
Image above: The payload canister approaches the rotating service
structure on Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The
canister holds the payloads for mission STS-121.
Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

+ View High-Res Version


Carried in a special canister mounted on a transporter, the payloads for mission STS-121 trekked across NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 17, arriving at Launch Pad 39B in early afternoon. The payloads will be loaded into Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay after the vehicle reaches the launch pad. Discovery is set to roll out to the pad May 19 from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The STS-121 mission is targeted for launch no earlier than July 1.

The flight will continue the evaluation of flight safety procedures, including shuttle inspection and repair techniques. It also will deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

Steve Lindsey will command the mission, flying with pilot Mark Kelly, spacewalkers Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers and mission specialists Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is also part of the crew and will remain on the station for several months. Reiter's arrival will give the station its first three-person crew since May 4, 2003.


Source: NASA - Space Shuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery Cargo Ready for Flight


The user posted image press release is reproduced below:

May 17, 2006
Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(321) 867-2468

RELEASE: 06-223

NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery Cargo Ready for Flight


The payloads that will launch aboard the next space shuttle mission, STS-121, arrived Wednesday at Launch Pad 39-B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Space Shuttle Discovery's cargo includes the Italian-built logistics module Leonardo, which will carry 11 large racks filled with food, clothing, spare parts and research equipment to the International Space Station. Also included in the cargo is the Oxygen Generation System, which can provide enough oxygen each day to support a six-member crew. The system will be operational before the first six-person crew arrives aboard the station in 2009.

An integrated cargo carrier will deliver a spare pump module and replacement mobile transporter reel assembly to the station. Another carrier containing pieces of the shuttle's heat-shielding material is also installed in Discovery's payload bay. The material will be used to test heat shield repair methods in orbit during a potential third spacewalk.

Discovery's launch to the International Space Station is targeted for July 1 in a launch window that extends to July 19. During the 12-day mission, crew members will test new hardware and techniques to improve shuttle safety.

Imagery from the transfer and the latest information on the STS-121 mission and crew is available at:



Video highlights of the transfer to the launch pad will air on Thursday's NASA TV's Video File segments. NASA TV's Video File news feed is on the Media Channel (Program 103) at 6 - 8 and 9 - 11 a.m.; 12 - 2 and 4 - 7 p.m.; and 10 p.m. - midnight. All times are Eastern.

The Media Channel is available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal via satellite AMC-6; 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, it's on AMC-7; 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. A digital video broadcast compliant integrated receiver decoder is required for reception. For media unable to receive the Media Channel, a modified version of Video-File airs on the Public Channel at 9 a.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. (Eastern). For downlink, Media and Public Channel information and links to streaming video, visit:



For information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: NASA Press Release 06-223

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
NASA Finalizes Crews for Upcoming Shuttle Missions


The user posted image press release is reproduced below:

May 17, 2006
Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-4769

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-5111

RELEASE: 06-221 (CORRECTED)

NASA Finalizes Crews for Upcoming Shuttle Missions


NASA has finalized crew assignments for two space shuttle missions targeted for launch in 2007 to continue assembly of the International Space Station.

Astronaut John D. Olivas will join the crew of shuttle mission STS-117. Astronaut Tracy Caldwell will join the crew of shuttle mission STS-118. Olivas and Caldwell will be making their first space flights.

Astronaut Richard A. Mastracchio, previously assigned to STS-117, has been reassigned to STS-118. Veteran shuttle flier and spacewalker Scott Parazynski, previously assigned to STS-118, has left that crew to prepare for assignment to another mission.

With the changes, the STS-117 crew is commanded by Marine Lt. Col. Frederick W. Sturckow. The mission's pilot is Air Force Col. Lee J. Archambault and the mission specialists are James F. Reilly II, retired Army Col. Patrick G. Forrester, Steven R. Swanson and Olivas. STS-117 will deliver the second starboard truss segment to the space station with the third set of U.S. solar arrays, batteries and associated equipment.

STS-118 will be commanded by Navy Cmdr. Scott J. Kelly. The pilot will be Marine Lt. Col. Charles O. Hobaugh. The mission specialists are Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dr. Dafydd R. Williams, educator astronaut Barbara R. Morgan, Mastracchio and Caldwell. STS-118 will deliver to the station the third starboard truss segment; an external stowage platform; and logistics and supplies in a SPACEHAB single cargo module.

Olivas was born in North Hollywood, Calif., and raised in El Paso, Texas. He received a bachelor's from the University of Texas-El Paso, a master's from the University of Houston and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Rice University, Houston. Upon completing his doctorate, Olivas worked as a senior research engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998.

Caldwell was born in Arcadia, Calif. She received a bachelor's from California State University in Fullerton and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Davis. She was selected as an astronaut in 1998. Her assignments have included spacecraft communicator in mission control, shuttle flight software verification and support of shuttle launch and landing operations.

For complete astronaut biographical information, visit:



For more information on space shuttle missions and crews, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

- end -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: NASA Press Release 06-221 Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TooFarGone

I really don't know if I'd fly in the Shuttle anymore. I mean, she's an incredible bird, but after 25 years, so much wear, and with the accidents...I dunno.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf

I really don't know if I'd fly in the Shuttle anymore. I mean, she's an incredible bird, but after 25 years, so much wear, and with the accidents...I dunno.

I'm not sure wear and tear is such a huge issue. The shuttles were designed for 100 missions each. In fact the 5 orbiters combined have only just exceeded this figure.

Both accidents were the result of design flaws (Challenger was only on it's 10th mission when it was destroyed). In the case of Challenger this design flaw has been repaired. In the case of Columbia the same problem should be discovered before the orbiter attempts reentry

In the cases of Discovery and Endeavour they have both recently completed a full mid-life overhaul. Atlantis is due for this in a couple of years but will be retired early instead. The shuttles are probably safer to fly now than when they were built.

The problem with the shuttles is that they were sold to the public as operational vehicles. Instead they should always have been considered experimental vehicles. If you compare them with the research programmes that came before, especially the X15 programme, their safety record compares favourably.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waspie_Dwarf
Discovery Ready to Move to the Launch Pad


user posted image
Image above: The payload canister approaches the rotating service
structure on Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The
canister holds the payloads for mission STS-121.
Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

+ View High-Res Version


Space Shuttle Discovery will make the long, slow crawl out to its seaside launch pad today, a major step toward the STS-121 mission. Mounted on the Mobile Launcher Platform and carried by the mammoth Crawler-Transporter, Discovery is expected to roll out of the Vehicle Assembly Building at 12 p.m. EDT and begin the four-mile journey to Launch Pad 39B. Moving along at less than one mile an hour, it could take seven or more hours for the "stack" to reach the pad. The STS-121 mission is targeted for launch no earlier than July 1.

The flight will continue the evaluation of flight safety procedures, including shuttle inspection and repair techniques. It also will deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

Steve Lindsey will command the mission, flying with pilot Mark Kelly, spacewalkers Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers and mission specialists Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is also part of the crew and will remain on the station for several months. Reiter's arrival will give the station its first three-person crew since May 4, 2003.


Source: NASA - Space Shuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.