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Official STS-120 Thread  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3632 posts, RR: 29
Posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6591 times:

So after Endeavour made it back home, it is time to talk about the next launch...

Since Endeavour had some issues, I'd start to ask a few questions...

1. Will STS 120 launch?
2. When will it launch?
3. Will we even see Columbus module on orbit already this year?

102 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6563 times:

I doubt we'll see much of a delay in the launch of STS-120 Discovery. The schedule for that mission is padded quite a lot already, having been recently pushed back from October 20 to October 23 to deconflict with the Soyuz TMA-10 departure (they want a few days between Soyuz arrival/departure and Shuttle arrival/departure.) So there is plenty of time to think about what to do to the External Tank.

I suspect in the end they won't do anything to the Tank, but they'll get rid of the extra hour in the countdown for the ice inspection team, added post-Columbia but ironically perhaps allowing time for more ice to form... and then break off during ascent.

Discovery is planned to go to the pad three weeks from today, and then spend about two weeks longer on the pad than usual missions. This is so that NASA can start stacking the STS-122 vehicle in High Bay 3 (the only High Bay available until November due to door repairs, High Bay 3 repairs were finished earlier this year) in order to meet STS-122 Atlantis's December 6 launch date.

But a delay in Discovery's rollout (which probably won't impact the STS-120 launch date) will delay the start of stacking for STS-122, so the longer NASA takes to decide what if anything to do about the Tank, the less likely Atlantis will make the December 6-13 launch window.

So it is looking questionable that Columbus will make orbit this year. Perhaps early January.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6515 times:

Here's the scoop on STS-120...

Flight:
STS-120 (120th flight of the Space Shuttle)

Orbiter:
OV-103 Discovery (34th flight of the Discovery)

Crew:
Pamela Melroy, Commander (STS-92, STS-112)
George Zamka, Pilot (Rookie)
Scott Parazynski, Mission Specialist 1 (STS-66, STS-86, STS-95, STS-100)
Stephanie Wilson, Mission Specialist 2 (STS-121)
Douglas Wheelock, Mission Specialist 3 (Rookie)
Paolo Nespoli (Italy), Mission Specialist 4 (Rookie)
Daniel Tani, ISS Expedition 16 (launch) (STS-108)
Clayton Anderson, ISS Expedition 15 (return)

Mission:
International Space Station Aseembly Flight 10A (23rd Shuttle flight to the Space Station)

Payload:
Node 2 "Harmony" (4 Power Distribution Racks, 4 Storage Racks)

Launch:
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 (early afternoon)

Duration:
13 Days

STS-120 will kick off the final phase of construction of the Space Station. It's primary payload is Node 2, which will enable the expansion of the Station with the European "Columbus" (STS-122) and the Japanese "Kibo" laboratory modules (STS-123, STS-124 and STS-127) in 2007-08.

Node 2, recently christened "Harmony", is slightly longer than its sibling, Node 1 (launched in 1998). Where Node 1 "Unity" has accomodations for one ring of four International Standard Payload Racks around its internal circumference, "Harmony" has two rings, for eight racks. One ring is entirely dedicated to transferring power, cooling, and communications between the rest of the Station and the upcoming Columbus and Kibo. The second ring provides much needed storage space. The rest of Harmony is dominated by six hatches, four at 90 degree intervals around the circumference, and one at each end.

Harmony will be temporarily berthed at the Node 1 +y (left, or port side) attach point, across from the Quest airlock module. This temporary parking area is necessary because Discovery will block the position Harmony will ultimately occupy. After Discovery departs, the Pressurized Mating Adapter at the forward end of the Destiny laboratory module will be disconnected from Destiny and mounted at the open end of Harmony. Then Harmony will be relocated to the forward end of Destiny. One spacewalk by the Discovery crew will be performed to hook up temporary connections between Unity and Harmony.

STS-120 will also be highlighted by the relocation of the P6 Solar Array truss segment from its temporary (since 2000) point atop the Z1 module (itself mounted atop Node 1 "Unity") to the left end of the Station's truss. P6's two solar wings were folded up by spacewalking astronauts on STS-116 and STS-117, and its radiator was folded by STS-118's crew last week. STS-118 also relocated a work cart on the truss's "rail system" so that the Mobile Servicer, with its robot arm attached, can reach the end of the truss for the P6 re-installation. The STS-120 crew will then also unfold the two solar wings of P6. This will effectively increase the Space Station's electrical power by 50%.

STS-120 promises to be a visually exciting spaceflight, with a lot of action.

Discovery has now been updated with the new Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System, which worked exceptionally well on its debut flight earlier this month, enabling a longer flight than when STS-120 was planned to fly on Atlantis earlier this year (before the schedule-busting hail storm.) STS-120 will also carry astronaut Dan Tani to the Station for ISS Expedition 16, replacing Clay Anderson of ISS Expedition 15. The other two EXP-16 crew, Peggy Whitson and Yuri Malenchenko are scheduled to launch on Soyuz TMA-11 on October 10, along with scientist Sheikh Shukor of Malaysia, who will return on Soyuz TMA-10 with the rest of the Expedition 15 crew.

[Edited 2007-08-23 03:41:54]

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3632 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6492 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 2):

Once again a great and very informative information post. I'd add you on my RU list if you weren't there already... I hope we'll see this mission without any hurricane delay...


User currently offlineAM From Mexico, joined Oct 1999, 590 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6433 times:

Great to see Pam Melroy in her first STS mission as CDR.

By the way, I found this picture:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/...e/sts-120/html/jsc2007e043538.html

Do CDRs and PLTs receive DC-9 type rating during mission training? Are they fully qualified to operate this airplane during all stages of flight? If the answer is yes, it just amazes me how many different types of aircraft and spacecraft these admirable people are simultaneously qualified to fly. The T-38 and Gulfstream STA are two of them...

Looking forward to STS-120!

AM

[Edited 2007-08-24 04:43:08]


"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1662 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6378 times:

Quoting AM (Reply 4):
Do CDRs and PLTs receive DC-9 type rating during mission training? Are they fully qualified to operate this airplane during all stages of flight? If the answer is yes, it just amazes me how many different types of aircraft and spacecraft these admirable people are simultaneously qualified to fly. The T-38 and Gulfstream STA are two of them...

I think that part of it is that the DC-9 they are sitting in might be specially modified to mimick the shuttle so that they can practice landing. The first time the CMDR can land the space shuttle is when they are 1 minute from touchdown on the runway at the end of the mission. Personally, I would flip out is if the first time I got to land something for real, was the only time. And add on to that, it is a multi-billion spacecraft and 5-6 other lives in my hand.

Go STS-120



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6369 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 5):
I think that part of it is that the DC-9 they are sitting in might be specially modified to mimick the shuttle so that they can practice landing.

No, that's done in the Shuttle Training Aircraft... a modified Grumman Gulfstream II. I don't know what the purpose of the DC-9 is, except that the aircraft is also used for "parabola" (brief microgravity) research so perhaps it is for both heavy aircraft time and for practice handling an aircraft in micro-g.

In the meantime, X-ray inspections have revealed cracks in the insulation on the External Tank LOX feedlline support brackets for both STS-120 and STS-122. This is where the debris which damaged Endeavour originated.

Engineers are already removing foam in those areas. ET/SRB mating will be delayed during the repair and rollout to Pad 39A will be delayed about 10 days, but still no impact on the October 23 launch date.

NASA is trying to find a workaround to keep STS-122 on schedule for December 6, possibly moving the STS-120 stack (only SRBs) around to the Safe Haven High Bay 2 and start stacking the STS-122 SRBs in High Bay 3 until STS-120's Tank is ready and the two stacks switch places. (High Bay 1 is still out of service for door repairs.)


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21696 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6309 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
No, that's done in the Shuttle Training Aircraft... a modified Grumman Gulfstream II.

A.net has a cockpit shot of the old-style STA:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages



-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6284 times:

Interesting to note that Dave Williams on the recent Endeavour mission is currently the last Canadian scheduled to fly. I have read that CSA (Canadian Space Agency) is negotiating with NASA to get another Canuck up before the shuttle era ends in 2010.

Julie Payette to me seems the logical choice: trained as an MS, has flight experience. Chris Hadfield would be the next choice, but already has done two missions.

Is it just me or is the 2010 shutdown date for the shuttle program arbitrary ? The whole Constellation program seems to be moving very slowly and it's not like they're actually inventing something new, it's kind of an Apollo on steroids. The J-2X is a new thing, however. If possible, why not stretch the shuttle program out another couple years to support ISS prior to the advent of Constellation/Orion ?



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6268 times:

I'm surprised a Canadian isn't on STS-123, the flight launching Canada's next major contribution to ISS... the SPDM "Canada Hand" for the Station's robot arm, Canadarm II.

The 2010 deadline came from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which recommended that NASA conduct a complete recertification of the Orbiter fleet if it plans to fly the Shuttle beyond 2010. Both NASA and the President accepted the CAIB's findings and recommendations. A complete recertification would be costly and time-consuming, so the President decided to end the Shuttle program in 2010 and move on to Constellation.

Constellation is moving very slowly because the $1 billion in extra NASA funding that the President promised when he inaugurated the program in 2004, has never materialized. This funding shortfall will not get better by extending the Shuttle program into 2011 or 2012. As long as Shuttle is flying, there is no serious funding available for development of Ares/Orion.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6245 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 9):
The 2010 deadline came from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which recommended that NASA conduct a complete recertification of the Orbiter fleet if it plans to fly the Shuttle beyond 2010. Both NASA and the President accepted the CAIB's findings and recommendations. A complete recertification would be costly and time-consuming, so the President decided to end the Shuttle program in 2010 and move on to Constellation.

Constellation is moving very slowly because the $1 billion in extra NASA funding that the President promised when he inaugurated the program in 2004, has never materialized. This funding shortfall will not get better by extending the Shuttle program into 2011 or 2012. As long as Shuttle is flying, there is no serious funding available for development of Ares/Orion.

Aware of the re-cert stipulation from the CAIB. I guess it would be robbing Peter to pay Paul to keep the shuttle program going. They have so much capability, though, even if they are fragile.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1662 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6242 times:

I am surprised Stephanie Wilson is assigned to this mission. She was on the shuttle like a year ago or so. I have never seen an astronaut in the recent shuttle mission history to be assigned to two missions so close together


Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6231 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 11):
I am surprised Stephanie Wilson is assigned to this mission. She was on the shuttle like a year ago or so

There was a crew shuffle for undisclosed reasons. Michael Foreman had been with STS-120 since the crew was assigned in mid-2006, but early this year he moved to STS-123 and Wilson replaced him on STS-120. Usually, that's because of a medical or other problem preventing an astronaut from staying with his/her original crew, and then NASA substitutes him with someone having recent experience, so that the replacement isn't too far behind on the training curve. Maybe Foreman had an appendectomy or something like that.

It happens from time to time. John Blaha stepped in to replace the late David Griggs on STS-33, eight months after Blaha flew STS-29 in 1989. I think it happened again in the 90s, but I don't remember when.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3632 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6047 times:

There seems to be a problem with the landing gear. Also, they plan another spacewalk to practice repairs...

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5980 times:

The problem with the right-hand main landing gear has been resolved. Discovery is now scheduled to roll to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Sunday and rollout to Launch Pad 39A on September 30. Launch remains scheduled for October 23.

There was a lot of padding in the schedule for STS-120 (because the launch date is driven by Space Station and Soyuz scheduling), and it has certainly come in handy. There is still one day of padding left in the schedule.

Launch of STS-122 remains scheduled for December 6.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts120/070920repairs/


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days ago) and read 5900 times:

Discovery rolled to the Vehicle Assembly Building at midday Sunday.

Liftoff of STS-120 remains on schedule for 11:38am, Tuesday, October 23. One month from today.

Elsewhere, NASA has now officially cancelled the retirement of Shuttle Atlantis and added the final two Shuttle missions (STS-131 and STS-133, previously unfunded) to its manifest. Atlantis had been slated for retirement after next summer's STS-125, due to the expense and time of completing another Orbiter Major Modification period (normally after every seven flights.) Boeing and NASA engineers have decided than an entire OMM (formerly Orbiter Maintenance Down Period) won't be necessary, and that the parts of an OMM that are necessary can be accomplished as part of Atlantis's normal turnaround between flights. Discovery will also run past the normal 7 flights before the end of the Shuttle program in 2010 and will also get some of this mini-OMM treatment.

Atlantis will now fly two more missions after STS-125. Having Atlantis in the rotation will ease launch scheduling problems, particularly the launch-on-need rescue requirement, which would have been difficult with only two flying Shuttles. Atlantis' participation in the 2009-2010 rotation should allow NASA to end the Shuttle program in March 2010 instead of July 2010, but more likely it will improve NASA's chances of ending the program before October 1, 2010 as planned.

Atlantis will likely also be outfitted with the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System, enabling longer stays at the Space Station.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3632 posts, RR: 29
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5869 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 15):

Very interesting... Is the 2010 date absolutely strict, or will they re-think that schedule, if the following missions continue to be as succesful as they have been? Budget wouldn´t allow further missions, right?


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days ago) and read 5844 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
Very interesting... Is the 2010 date absolutely strict, or will they re-think that schedule, if the following missions continue to be as succesful as they have been? Budget wouldn´t allow further missions, right?

I suspect they'd get permission from the White House and Congress to fly out the remaining flights if something happens that they can't meet the Sep 30, 2010 deadline. But NASA very much wants to avoid that, because the budget is a zero-sum game. If they have to use Fiscal Year 2011 funds to fly out a Shuttle mission or two, that funding will come from Constellation, which in turn will be delayed. And it has already been massively delayed.

NASA now hopes to fly the last Shuttle mission in March 2010, six months before the deadline, and use the remaining FY10 funding to begin shutting down the Shuttle program, freeing up some FY11 funds to help Constellation stay on schedule for first flight in October 2014 (and early 2015 is already much more likely.)

The window to add more Shuttle flights beyond STS-133 is rapidly closing because of the long lead-times needed for some hardware, including the ET/Orbiter fittings. They could probably squeeze in an extra flight or two, as there are two External Tanks that are not now scheduled to fly (one Lightweight Tank from the pre-Station era, one Super Lightweight Tank damaged by Hurricane Katrina but possibly repairable.) After that, they'd have to wait for subcontractors to put parts back in production. The next President could order it, but by then we probably wouldn't get new Shuttle flights much sooner than we'd get Orion flights, so I think this unlikely.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5766 times:

Update...

Discovery arrived at Launch Pad 39A at midday Sunday.


User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 589 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5702 times:

Can the ISS be thought of as a two dimensional structure in terms of layout? And is there a graphic available to make sense of Thorny's description?

Also, is the ISS certified for a certain number of years, after which components (or the whole thing) will no longer be man-rated?

Thanks in advance,

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlineKDTWFlyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 830 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5702 times:

I wish I could get launch tickets to see this launch at the causeway. Pilot George Zamka attended the same high school as I.


NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5702 times:

Quoting SLCPilot (Reply 19):
Can the ISS be thought of as a two dimensional structure in terms of layout? And is there a graphic available to make sense of Thorny's description?

No. There are modules attached on all three axes.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/143942main_ISS_config.jpg

When you see a photograph or illustration of the International Space Station, the end to which the Space Shuttle docks is the forward end. That's the direction the Station is travelling in orbit.

At the rear is Russia's Zvezda module. This is a control and propulsion module. At its aft end are two rocket engines and a docking port for visiting Soyuz or Progress spacecraft. The engines have a finite lifetime, so Russia generally uses them sparingly, preferring to use the engines of the attached Progress to raise the Station's orbit from time to time. The Zvezda engines can't be fired while a Progress or Soyuz is docked there. At the other end of Zvezda is a "node" with three docking ports, one facing forward, one facing upward and one downward.

The upward port on Zvezda is unoccupied. It was to support the Russia Power Platform, a set of solar arrays on a mast standing upward. Those arrays were cancelled after the Columbia accident.

The downward port on Zvezda is occupied by Pirs, Russia's small airlock module. Pirs has a hatch for spacewalking cosmonauts on one side. The lower end of Pirs is a docking port for visiting Soyuz spacecraft. Russia plans to attach a large laboratory module here in 2009. This module will also have a Soyuz/Progress docking port. Pirs may be relocated to the upward port on Zvezda at that time.

Attached to the forward port of Zvezda is Zarya, the Functional Cargo Block (FGB in Russian) which contains crew living quarters, storage areas, and propellant tanks. Zarya was paid for by NASA (through Boeing) but built by Russia. Zarya was the first element of the Space Station launched into orbit, in November 1998.

The forward end of Zarya also has a node with three docking ports, one forward, one up and one down.

The upward port is unoccupied.

The downward port is a docking port for Soyuz spacecraft, since during crew rotations two Soyuz must be docked at the same time. The Space Shuttle will attach a Russian docking module, somewhat like Pirs, here in 2009 or 2010.

The forward port of Zarya is attached to the U.S. Node 1 "Unity" module, by way of a tunnel called a Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA-2 in this case) which bridges between the large, square hatches on the U.S. side of the Space Station and the smaller, circular hatches of the Russian elements.

Unity has six ports: one upward, one downward, one portside, one starboard, one forward and one aft.

The aft port is occupied by PMA-2 and attached to Zarya.

The upward port on Unity is occupied by the Z1 module, a mostly unpressurized unit which houses the Station's four giant Control Moment Gyroscopes (for attitude control) as well as its High Gain Antenna.

The downward port is vacant. This is where the large Multipurpose Logistics Modules are docked after carried to the Space Station by visiting Shuttles.

The portside (left-facing) port was occupied by PMA-3, a third, spare docking tunnel for visiting Shuttles until a few weeks ago, when it was moved to a temporary berth on Z1, clearing that port to be a temporary berth for the upcoming Node 2.

The starboard port is occupied by Quest, the U.S. airlock module from which astronauts take spacewalks.

The forward port on Unity is occupied by the U.S. Laboratory Module "Destiny", the primary U.S. laboratory and control center.

The forward end of Destiny has another hatch, to which is attached PMA-1, the docking tunnel used by visiting Space Shuttles (which use Russian-built hardware, hence the needed for the hatch-diameter-changing PMA.)

Mounted on struts atop Destiny is the U.S. Integrated Truss Structure, centered on Destiny and utlimately to span 310 feet, running to port and starboard. The Truss contains batteries, solar panels and heat radiators, as well as various support hardware.

STS-120 Discovery will deliver Node 2 "Harmony", a slightly longer sister of Node 1 "Unity". It too has six docking ports... up, down, port, starboard, forward and aft. Node 2 will eventually by attached to the forward end of the Destiny U.S. Lab module, where PMA-1 is now. Because the Space Shuttle Discovery will be docked to PMA-1, the crew cannot immediately attach Node 2 in its final position. Node 2 will temporarily be berthed to the portside docking port of Node 1 (where it can receive keep-alive power) until Discovery departs. Then the Space Station crew will disconnect PMA-1 from Destiny and install it to the forward end of Node 2. Then Node 2, with PMA-1 attached, will be installed on the forward end of Destiny. (This will all take place in the month between Discovery's STS-120 and Atlantis's STS-122.)

Europe's laboratory module "Columbus" will be attached to Node 2's starboard docking port on STS-122.

Japan's "Kibo" laboratory complex (it has three distinct elements) will be berthed to Node 2's portside docking port in 2008.

Node 2's upward port was to be occupied by the Centrifuge Accomodation Module, which was unfotunately cancelled after the Columbia accident.

The Shuttle's Multipurpose Logistics Module (MPLM) will be attached to the downward-facing port of Node 2 while Shuttles are present. It is likely one MPLM will be modified with improved micrometeoroid shielding and will be permanently berthed here to serve as a storage facility after the Shuttle's retirement in 2010.

PMA-3 will be berthed to the downward port on Node 1 "Unity" after Node 2 is installed, since that port will no longer be used by Shuttle-borne MPLMs.

A third Node is due for launch in 2010. It will be berthed to the downward facing port on Node 1. PMA-3 will be relocated to its forward end, where it may someday be used by visiting Orion or commercial spacecraft. Node 3 will contain life support hardware and sleeping berths, as well as a large, multi-windowed observation deck called the Cupola.


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 973 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5702 times:
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The seven STS-120 astronauts arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday evening in their T-38 training jets, in advance of next week's launch dress rehearsal activities. During the week, the astronauts and ground crews are scheduled to participate in various simulated countdown activities and training exercises.

Source: NASA

BEG2IAH



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5666 times:

Potential major delay looming...

Looks like three of Discovery's wing leading edge RCC panels are suspect. Replacing them requires rollback to the VAB and demating. If replacement is ordered, STS-120 will slip to the launch window that opens on December 6. NASA is still reviewing the situation and might fly "as is", but it doesn't look good.

In the meantime, Soyuz TMA-11 launched at 1:22pm GMT Wednesday with the ISS Expedition 16 crew.


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 973 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5586 times:
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Quoting Thorny (Reply 23):
Potential major delay looming...

This is the last info from NASA.gov (excerpt):

While the astronauts practiced for launch, shuttle program managers started two days of meetings Tuesday in preparation for next week's Flight Readiness Review, which is scheduled for Oct. 16.

One of the topics discussed before the conclusion of the program review Wednesday involved the reinforced carbon carbon, or RCC, on Discovery’s wing leading edge panels. In the past, there have been post-flight indications that the edges of a couple of panels have lost small amounts of their upper-level coating. Thermography, or thermal imagery, has been used to inspect the panels in order to identify any internal defects that could lead to coating loss.

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) has been working with shuttle engineers to better understand the potential causes of coating loss. At Wednesday's meeting, NESC recommended replacing three of Discovery's 44 panels.

Discovery has flown at least twice with these panels in the current condition, and with no indications of degradation based on thermography. At this point, the Space Shuttle Program has determined that Discovery's astronauts can safely carry out their mission without having to replace the panels.

BEG2IAH



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
25 Post contains links and images Eksath : Picture from Rollout View Large View MediumPhoto © Suresh A. Atapattu
26 TheSonntag : It seems the shuttle is go for launch for october 23rd, 2007... Lets see if they manage to launch in time...
27 Post contains links NYC777 : You guys should check out the followign site: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/ There insider info in ther ethat you won't find on other sites. They bro
28 Thorny : Launch of Discovery remains on schedule for 11:38 am Eastern Time on Tuesday. Launch weather forecast is 40% probability of acceptable weather. The fo
29 NYC777 : Ice formation on the LH2 line and could be a harzard at launch. This may scrub the launch is the ice doesn't melt.
30 Chksix : GO now since the ice is melting.
31 Thorny : It's now a race against approaching bad weather.
32 Thorny : Ice problem has been cleared. Weather is go.
33 SLCPilot : Strange dream about three nights ago..... It involved watching this launch, and a hydrogen leak during the ascent, somewhere between the orbiter and t
34 AGC525 : T - 3:00! Good Luck STS-120!!!!
35 TheSonntag : The external tank has been separated. Good luck for the rest of the mission...
36 Yellowstone : Beautiful launch. Good luck to the crew of STS-120.
37 NoUFO : Nice liftoff. Before the separation of the external tank, one could see some kind of condensation clouds, and I always thought air would be too thin o
38 NYC777 : Yeah that's the SSMEs shutting down.
39 Thorny : The plume from the Main Engines gets wider and wider as air pressure drops off with altitude and starts to become visible (in daytime) when the Shutt
40 AGM100 : Congratulations to all the folks from all the countries involved , what a beautiful scene ! Never gets old to me !
41 NoUFO : That explains it. Thanks folks.
42 Post contains images MadameConcorde : I watched the take-off live and subsequent replays on NASA TV. I am always amazed! I have a question. What happens to the external tanks after they se
43 Thorny : They burn up over the South Pacific Ocean.
44 GDB : Another one away, good luck for the rest of the mission.
45 RedFlyer : I always thought it was the Indian Ocean? Or does it vary based on each missions trajectory?
46 Yellowstone : I was also under the impression that they burned up over the Indian Ocean.
47 Thorny : It originally was. That was called the "Standard Insertion" launch. The last Standard Insertion was STS-30 in 1989. On those launches, the Shuttle fl
48 BEG2IAH : Great launch! Godspeed, Discovery! BEG2IAH
49 RedFlyer : Thanks for the explanation, Thorny. I had no idea it's been that long since the last tank was dropped in the Indian Ocean. What was the motivating fa
50 Scouseflyer : Brilliant she flies - I had forgotten that the launch was this week and as there was no mention at all on the UK media I'd assumed that it'd been slip
51 Thorny : Performance. Direct insertion is more fuel efficient. It also eliminates one OMS firing, increasing safety a little.
52 Mir : Sad that the launches don't get all that much coverage anymore. Here in Daytona they only started getting live coverage on the radio about ten minute
53 JetBlueGuy2006 : Everything is looking good for foam that fell off, reports out of NASA are 6 piecies came off, too small to pose a hazard. Also, this is the first tim
54 Da man : Nope, unless Pam gets another one before the end of the program this will be the final Shuttle mission commanded by a woman. The others were the two
55 Thorny : No. Melroy is the only one eligible and she will likely retire after 120. Eileen Collins (STS-114) has already retired. The only other female Shuttle
56 Thorny : The Node 2 "Harmony" module was successfully installed to Node 1's left port this morning. Node 2 will remain there for about two weeks before being r
57 Post contains images BEG2IAH : It was real fun to watch Flight Day 3 Highlights yesterday. They showed how CDR Pam Melroy guided Discovery to a successful docking. I don't remember
58 BEG2IAH : I had a question. You can hear pretty frequently things like "nadir, zenith, ram, wake, Earth-limb (directions)". What are these? I know about starboa
59 Thorny : Zenith is the upward direction, relative to the spacecraft's direction of flight*. Nadir is downward. Generally speaking, zenith is toward the sky an
60 BEG2IAH : Thanks, Thorny! BEG2IAH
61 YHMYYZspotter : This sounds cool! Do you know where I can watch that or was it only live? Is there a clip to the video somewhere? I can't seem to find it anywhere bu
62 Thorny : Update... STS-120 has been extended one day. Landing is now scheduled for 3:38 am EST, Wednesday, 7 Nov. Discovery has been cleared for landing, with
63 RedFlyer : Are the metal shavings from the fabrication process? Or have they not determined that yet?
64 Thorny : No, not from the fabrication process. They definitely weren't there before launch. But they don't know where they're from yet. They had Tani collect
65 LTU932 : That's pretty early in the morning for a landing. Is such a early morning landing at KSC (or EDW if it was at 03:38 PST) even common for a space shut
66 Post contains links BEG2IAH : I hope they will post it in some of their video galleries. It's not currently available at the NASA web site, but it is here (although you have to su
67 Mir : Yeah, it's pretty common. Good thing about that is that I can get down there to hear the booms without having to worry about missing class. EDIT: I s
68 RedFlyer : What's up with the tear in the solar panel. I just saw it come across on the news. What are the ramifications of this?
69 Thorny : It tore in the same place (Panel 11) that gave the STS-116 crew fits and starts during retraction last December. From a power-generation standpoint,
70 Post contains images Mir : The resourcefulness never ceases to amaze.... -Mir
71 RedFlyer : Another tear was found this morning, although it appears to be smaller. Thorny, if they resolve the power issues, do they leave the tears as-is or wil
72 Thorny : The problem is structural integrity of the wing, which is mostly a mast issue, not a blanket issue. First order of business is to get the array fully
73 Post contains links Thorny : MAJOR UPDATE... With the mission extension and potential further extensions, Mission Control has approved shifting landing from pre-dawn to the after
74 JetBlueGuy2006 : True, but STS-114 was pretty exciting as well. First time In-flight "repair" was practiced/attempted (Blanket outside Cmdr. window, IIRC) as well as
75 Post contains images BEG2IAH : Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson removed protruding gap fillers on the front underside of the shuttle. Thermal blanket located next to the commander's w
76 MadameConcorde : I have missed out quite a bit of the mission as I was away to do the Sydney to Singapore A380 inaugural flight. My wonderful trip ended up sort of abr
77 LTU932 : Just for the sake of argument: if Discovery was told to go for EDW instead of KSC, would they, in this case, also come more from the Northwest? I did
78 Thorny : Yes.
79 Chksix : Fatigue is a dangerous thing and especially when you're landing "dead stick". The day of reentry can get long incase two attempts are missed due to we
80 Chksix : Torn solar array has been repaired now with homemade straps. This was a totally un-rehearsed EVA that went off without a hitch (if a dropped tool isn'
81 Thorny : Woohoo! EVA-4 Spacewalk safely complete after 7 hrs, 19 mins. Parazynski and Wheelock are back in the Quest airlock and it is repressurizing. Only neg
82 Chksix : Undocking in progress. They will do a full flyaround of the station.
83 Thorny : Landing is now set for 1:02pm EST Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center. Weather forecasts are favorable for all three sites (KSC, White Sands, Edwards) o
84 Post contains links Thorny : ENTRY GROUNDTRACKS FOR WEDNESDAY, 7 NOV... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sh...emissions/sts120/news/landing.html First Opportunity (Orbit No.238):
85 Mir : Any chance of seeing the shuttle from Daytona (assuming it does come in the first opportunity)? -Mir
86 Thorny : No, probably not. Too far west and too high. Never hurts to try, though.
87 Chksix : We are nearing the time for deorbit burn and re-entry. I hope all people below the flightpath across the US will look skywards!
88 SLCPilot : Thanks to all for the "heads up"! I will be looking from SLC, UT My folks from Denver, CO Girlfriend and others from Stillwater, OK and another friend
89 SLCPilot : Nobody saw it at all! We tried!
90 Post contains images KPDX : 240 miles out now at 132,000 feet.
91 Longhornmaniac : 6 minutes to touchdown. 81,000 feet. Cheers, Cameron
92 Longhornmaniac : 5 minutes to touchdown, 68,000 feet, 875 mph. Cheers, Cameron
93 Longhornmaniac : 4 minutes to touchdown, 44,000 feet, 600 mph Commander has control. Cheers, Cameron
94 Longhornmaniac : 180 degrees to go. 24,000, 500 mph. Goin around the circle for 33 at KSC. Cheers, Cameron
95 Longhornmaniac : Wheel Stop. Welcome home Discovery! Cheers, Cameron
96 Post contains images KPDX : Great landing, amazing video picture quality. Congrats on a successful safe mission Discovery crew! KPDX
97 JetBlueGuy2006 : Congrats Discovery, Pam Melroy and her crew. One of the most difficult Shuttle Missions and it went off without any problems. Great job Discovery
98 Mir : No joy in Daytona either, but I did hear the booms. Congrats on a fantastic mission. -Mir
99 JetBlueGuy2006 : Does anyone know where I can send a letter requesting a signed picture from the STS-120 crew? Thanks JetBlueGuy2006
100 Thorny : Write and ask your Congressman, and at the same time tell him/her you support increased funding for NASA.
101 GDB : Outstanding. A great recovery from the array damage, I think we can forgive the odd lost wirecutters after such a difficult, unplanned EVA!
102 Post contains links and images Eksath : View Large View MediumPhoto © Suresh A. Atapattu
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