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Official STS-124 Discovery Mission Thread  
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4842 times:

Launch dates are currently in flux due to External Tank manufacturing issues, but STS-124 is still expected to launch in late May or early June.

Flight: STS-124 (123rd flight of the Space Shuttle)

Mission: Space Station Assembly Mission 1J

Orbiter: OV-103 Discovery (35th flight of Discovery)

Payload: Japanese Experiment Module - Pressurized Module "Kibo"

Crew:
Mark Kelly, Commander (STS-108, STS-121)
Kenneth Ham, Pilot (first flight)
Karen Nyberg, Mission Specialist (first flight)
Ronald Garan, Mission Specialist (first flight)
Michael Fossum, Mission Specialist (STS-121)
Akihiko Hoshide, Mission Specialist (JAXA, first flight)
Gregory Chamitoff, International Space Station Expedition 17 (launch, first flight)
Garrett Reisman, International Space Station Expedition 16 (return)

Launch:
Saturday, May 31, 2008 (approx. 5:00pm ET)
Launch Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Landing:
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Shuttle Landing Facility, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

STS-124 will be the third Shuttle flight of 2008. It is the first Space Station assembly mission dedicated to the Japanese space agency (Mission 1J). 1J will deliver the main section of the Japanese Experiment Module, JEM. Japan's three-piece laboratory complex is collectively known as Kibo (Hope). The JEM laboratory module will be launched with four system racks as well as its own small robot arm. JEM will be the largest single module (in pressurized volume) at the International Space Station. The External Logistics Module, delivered on STS-123, will be relocated to a berthing point atop Kibo and the eight racks it carries will be transferred to and installed in the JEM laboratory. Two spacewalks are scheduled for STS-124/1J to hook up the JEM and its robot arm.

STS-124 will be the first Shuttle flight since the loss of Columbia not to conduct an intensive survey of the Shuttle's underside after launch, looking for critical damage. The OBSS boom could not be carried on this flight due to clearance issues with JEM's grapple fixture. The Discovery crew will use the standard robot arm to look for damage, but the arm cannot reach far beneath the Shuttle. However, the normal Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver upon arrival at the Space Station will allow a close-up search for launch debris damage, and cameras on the External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters and radar at Kennedy Space Center should detect any significant launch debris. After arrival at the Space Station, the Discovery crew will grapple the OBSS boom left behind by Endeavour on STS-123 and complete the damage survey.

STS-124 will be the first flight of an External Tank that was built "from the ground up" with post-Columbia safety modifications, including the new ice-frost ramp design and titanium parts where aluminum parts were used on older tanks. That tank, ET-128, arrived at Kennedy Space Center on March 26.

59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3517 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4825 times:

Will the new tank be better in terms of weight, as well, so that the payload increases, or is it only a safety measure?
Since the last mission went so flawless, I just hope we will see another nice mission.

Next step, of course, will be the ATV now. Lets hope this goes as planned...


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4798 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 1):
Will the new tank be better in terms of weight, as well, so that the payload increases, or is it only a safety measure?

It's 99% the same as the previous tanks, this is just the first one that didn't need to have parts and sections of foam removed, like the Bipod Ramp that doomed Columbia or the PAL ramp that popped off on STS-114 and caused another year's standdown. I suppose its a fraction lighter because of the switch from aluminum to titanium in a few parts, but that would be lost in the noise.


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21528 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days ago) and read 4780 times:



Quoting Thorny (Thread starter):
STS-124 will be the first Shuttle flight since the loss of Columbia not to conduct an intensive survey of the Shuttle's underside after launch, looking for critical damage. The OBSS boom could not be carried on this flight due to clearance issues with JEM's grapple fixture. The Discovery crew will use the standard robot arm to look for damage, but the arm cannot reach far beneath the Shuttle.

Does this mean they'll try for the rendezvous and docking on FD2 instead of FD3?

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4743 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
Does this mean they'll try for the rendezvous and docking on FD2 instead of FD3?

No, that's still a function of launch time and date, irrespective of OBSS surveys.


User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4701 times:

I wonder how much they'll be able to utilize Kibo with a three man crew on the station. I understand they're fairly busy with what they already have.
Also, if they have trouble with the beta gimbal on P6 again, maybe one more repair will need to be scheduled. If I'm thinking of it right, that thing's been doing 360s all those years instead of the minor back and forth tracking moves it was designed for.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4460 times:

Discovery was towed from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building just after dawn this morning. In the VAB, the Orbiter will be attached to its External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters this week. Roll-out to Launch Pad 39A is planned to begin at midnight next Saturday.

Launch remains scheduled for about 5:01 pm on Saturday, May 31.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4355 times:

Discovery arrived at Launch Pad 39A shortly before sunrise today.

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/ima...h=519&fn=08pd1109&sn=KSC-08pd-1109


User currently offlineBrendows From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4274 times:



Quoting Seefivein (Reply 8):
where did you find that photo?

I'd guess he found it here:
Kennedy Media Gallery  wave 


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3517 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4072 times:

Maybe its time to revive this article, especially with the ISS toilet glitch... Lets see if this will have any impact on launch date or payload of discovery.

User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4049 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 9):
Maybe its time to revive this article, especially with the ISS toilet glitch... Lets see if this will have any impact on launch date or payload of discovery.

Spare parts can be taken up on Discovery's middeck, which can still be loaded late in the countdown. Apparently, the onboard spares have all broken the same way. A production flaw is now suspected, and the condition of ground spares is probably the same.

The countdown for STS-124 begins this afternoon. Weather forecast is 80% 'go' for Saturday afternoon's launch.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4007 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
Spare parts can be taken up on Discovery's middeck, which can still be loaded late in the countdown. Apparently, the onboard spares have all broken the same way. A production flaw is now suspected, and the condition of ground spares is probably the same

There has got to be a two-wholer joke in here.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3517 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3951 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):

Spare parts can be taken up on Discovery's middeck, which can still be loaded late in the countdown. Apparently, the onboard spares have all broken the same way. A production flaw is now suspected, and the condition of ground spares is probably the same.

How precise is the payload calculated in terms of weight, btw? Is it always maxed out 100%, or is there any margin, so that you could actually add some kgs extra on the flight? If so, how much kgs more could be put on the shuttle?


User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3948 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
How precise is the payload calculated in terms of weight, btw? Is it always maxed out 100%, or is there any margin, so that you could actually add some kgs extra on the flight? If so, how much kgs more could be put on the shuttle?

It's very precisely calculated, but not usually maxed out. If you want to add more, you just need to let the flight computers know about the extra weight and maybe the shift in balance. As old as those computers are, they might load a new flight configuration in that they came up with on real computers. If it is close to max, like STS-124 is, you can carry more by sacrificing launch window time.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3938 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
How precise is the payload calculated in terms of weight, btw? Is it always maxed out 100%, or is there any margin, so that you could actually add some kgs extra on the flight? If so, how much kgs more could be put on the shuttle?

It's pretty precise, but I don't know the exact tolerance. They removed several spare parts for the Station (some wrenches and a new filter for Columbus) from Discovery's middeck to make room/mass available for the new toilet pump.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Now less than one hour from launch. The countdown is proceeding smoothly toward launch at 5:02pm EDT. Weather is go.

User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3702 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 3769 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

STS-124 has cleard the tower. God speed on your journey.

filler



Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21528 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

Liftoff of Discovery, carrying hope to the skies!

And more importantly, a toilet pump.  Wink

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 3765 times:

Debris impact about 3 mins after launch. Something came off the Tank and bounced off Discovery's belly.

User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 947 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 3757 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Thorny (Reply 18):
Debris impact about 3 mins after launch. Something came off the Tank and bounced off Discovery's belly.

I saw two pieces came off at around 3:40 into the flight.

Godspeed, Discovery!

BEG2IAH



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21528 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 3752 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 18):
Debris impact about 3 mins after launch. Something came off the Tank and bounced off Discovery's belly.

Saw that on the camera, but I thought it went clear of the wing and didn't hit anything. Isn't 3 minutes too late for something to cause damage?

I guess they'll take a look at it when they get to station and do the OBSS survey. I hope it's nothing too bad if anything at all.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 3739 times:

Looks like the "from the ground up" new Tank left a little to be desired. There were at least three foam/debris liberation events, one is quite sizable (not nearly as big as the PAL Ramp on STS-114, fortunately) and ricochets off the Discovery's belly/right wing-root area.

I think all were high enough up (low pressure) to have not caused serious damage, but that one big one probably left a mark that will show up on the Station's photo survey.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7943 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 3730 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 20):
Saw that on the camera, but I thought it went clear of the wing and didn't hit anything. Isn't 3 minutes too late for something to cause damage?

Hopefully.
Anyway, nice launch.

Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
Liftoff of Discovery, carrying hope to the skies!

And more importantly, a toilet pump.

Exactly.  bigthumbsup 



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

That was the first launch I've watched on HDnet, and while the picture was great the announcer could have shut his pie hole and just let the NASA people do their thing. He constantly talked over the comms and trailed off in mid-sentence because he was repeating something just said and what not. Whatever... it was a beautiful show!  Smile

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2098 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 3714 times:

Watched it from my driveway, was a gorgeous launch and conditions were such that I could see the boosters seperate and tumble for a short bit. 5 minutes later the rumble came, and was quite pronounced.


Here Here for Severe Clear!
25 Thorny : Believe it or not, HDNet has actually gotten better! When they first started carrying Shuttle launches, that announcer had no clue whatsoever what he
26 MadameConcorde : I watchede it Live on NASA TV on my old desktop computer, the same as every time. A beautiful launch. Unfortunately the weather here in Monaco has bee
27 CURLYHEADBOY : I'm confident there will be little or no damage from that piece of debris. As you correctly pointed out at that altitude the air pressure shouldn't b
28 Nomadd22 : The debris coming off that high might not bother them that much. It probably pops off from small bits of moisture that got trapped expanding once it's
29 Mir : They don't, but it's sitting up at ISS, and they will certainly be using it once they get there. -Mir
30 TedTAce : But he's better then Wolf Blitzer!! I wish I could slap them both, but in WB's case I'd like a 2X4 as well. I watched it @ a hotel on a 50" LCD, and
31 TedTAce : 124 is docked with the ISS
32 Seefivein : NASA TV NOW PAD DAMAGE WOW
33 Post contains links and images KPDX : http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/02/1730256 A short article regarding the launchpad damage. Interesting.    Edit: Some great picture
34 CURLYHEADBOY : What a mess... that's odd... aging launch pad?
35 Nomadd22 : Any chance the hold downs were blown a half second later than normal from an engine taking a little long to get up to speed? Or is someone saying "I t
36 DfwRevolution : The vehicle doesn't wait for a slow engine to build-up thrust. If the SSME don't reach adequate thrust by T-0:00:03 the Redundant Set Launch Sequence
37 Thorny : Well, we're not really talking about the place where the SRBs are bolted down, that's called the Mobile Launch Platform and is a big (baseball infiel
38 L-188 : Probably 1 brick failed and then the exhaust gasses where able to get underneath the others and popped them. Holland Tunnel works the same way, 1 bric
39 Nomadd22 : I wasn't referring to the hold downs causing damage, but the engines firing a second longer than normal before liftoff, causing more than usual stress
40 Thorny : Ah, okay. But no. As Dfw mentioned, the pads have hosted Flight Readiness Firings when the SSMEs burned for 20 seconds (14 seconds longer than a laun
41 Chksix : There's no delay once the SRBs light up. They would lift the pad if they had to The damage is on the SRB side BTW. Big trouble in the airlock at the m
42 CURLYHEADBOY : For the matter of this discussion, I thought I would add this slideshow showing some of the damage to pad 39A and related debris. Have a look:
43 Post contains links Nomadd22 : http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5439 Apparently, it was just a matter of age. Metal tabs holding the bricks together were severely corrode
44 Post contains links Fsnuffer : If you want to watch their ride up from the cockpit camera view it is here http://www.space.tegoor.nl/videos/st...may-2008/sts124-launch_cockpit.htm
45 Post contains links Thorny : Its been a busy week, but here are some updates... - Discovery docked at the Harmony PMA on Monday afternoon. Photographs of Discovery's thermal prote
46 TheSonntag : Both vehicles have separated now. Lets hope we see a good landing in a few days. With this mission completed, the ISS took a huge step towards being c
47 Post contains images CURLYHEADBOY : Some concerns about a thingie protruding from the rudder...:
48 MadameConcorde : Will this new floating item go into orbit? Could it become dangerous to any of the futre missions or even to un-manned crafts?
49 Thorny : It looks pretty lightweight, so I suspect it will fall out of orbit fairly quickly.
50 Post contains links Thorny : Here are the entry groundtracks for tomorrow's landing... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sh...emissions/sts124/news/landing.html First landing oppo
51 MadameConcorde : I am keeping an eye on NASA TV on my computer while doing other things. The weather for landing looks cloudy but it is said no risk of shower or thund
52 ZANL188 : I believe the Ku band antenna was stowed last night in preparation for payload bay door closing this morning. No TV without Ku.
53 MadameConcorde : I believe if there are boats when they fly over and also above Central America the sonic booms must be heard by those who are there? Is it one or two
54 NoUFO : Welcome back Discovery.
55 MadameConcorde : Very nice landing! I did not hear much of the double sonic booms. I thought the noise level was rather low! Now they are safely on the ground! Congrat
56 Thorny : No, no boats. The old tracking ships were replaced by the Tracking And Data Relay Satellite System in the 1980s. In Central America, you might hear t
57 Post contains links GDB : Another mission done, good work NASA. Discovery returns; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7454810.stm
58 CURLYHEADBOY : Thumbs up to NASA for anothe succesfull mission, it was great to watch! Now Thorny, you have to start the thread for the next mission...
59 Thorny : It's a long way away: four months! But then we get two within a month.
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