Thorny
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Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:27 pm

Atlantis is still in orbit, but Endeavour arrived at Launch Pad 39A this morning and we are just over three weeks from launch, so it is time for the STS-123 thread.

Flight: STS-123 (122nd flight of the Space Shuttle)

Orbiter: OV-105 Endeavour (21st flight of the Endeavour)

Mission: International Space Station Assembly Mission 1 J/A (25th Space Station U.S. assembly flight)

Crew:
Dominic Gorie, Commander (STS-91, STS-99, STS-108)
Gregory Johnson, Pilot (first flight)
Richard Linnehan, Mission Specialist (STS-78, STS-90, STS-109)
Robert Behnhen, Mission Specialist (first flight)
Michael Foreman, Mission Specialist (first flight)
Takao Doi, Mission Specialist, JAXA (STS-87)
Garrett Reisman, ISS Expedition 16 (launch)
Leopold Eyharts, ISS Expedition 16, ESA (return)

Payload:
Kibo External Logistics Module, Pressurized Section (ELM-PS)
Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (DEXTRE)
Remote Manipulator System
Orbiter Boom Sensor System (launch only)

Launch:
2:31am Eastern Daylight Time (6:31am UT)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Duration:
16 Days

STS-123 is highlighted by the first of three launches to add Japan's "Kibo" ("Hope") experiment laboratory to the International Space Station. The Kibo laboratory itself follows on STS-124 now planned for late April or early May. STS-123 will deliver the pressurized logisitics module (ELM-PS) carrying four System Racks, three science racks and 1 storage rack. The ELM-PS will be temporary berthed to Node 2 Zenith, and will be relocated to atop Kibo after its arrival this spring. Unlike the U.S. logistics modules, ELM-PS will be a permanent addition to the Space Station, serving as a storage room for Kibo. Kibo is the only module of the old Space Station Freedom design that was never reduced in size as a weight or cost-saving measure. It is the largest module on the Space Station and is too heavy to launch fully-outfitted. Eight of its internal racks are being launched first on the ELM-PS. They'll be relocated after Kibo's arrival. (The U.S. and European modules were forced to adopt a similar philosophy when Freedom became ISS in 1994 and the Station's orbit shifted to the much more difficult to reach 51.6 degree inclination.)

STS-123 also features the launch of Canada's next major contribution to the International Space Station, the DEXTRE robot hand. DEXTRE will allow much finer robotic arm activities than is possible with the CANADARM 2 robot arm alone. It is expected to greatly reduce the need for spacewalks in future Space Station operations.

Five spacewalks are planned for STS-123, three for the installation and outfitting of the ELM-PS and DEXTRE, and two to accomplish other Space Station tasks. Because of the Kibo laboratory's size, the Orbiter Boom Sensor System cannot be launched with Discovery on STS-124. Therefore Endeavour will leave its OBSS boom at the Space Station, where it will be available for tile damage surveys by Discovery. The boom will be returned with Discovery in May.

Endeavour is planned to remain in orbit for at least 16 days, again using the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System to extend its stay.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:05 pm

I think it is interesting that the smaller part of Kibo is launched before the real Kibo module. I think it is very nice that Kibo is launched directly after Columbus, making the station really international.

Since all of the research modules have different experiments, it is maybe like comparing apples to oranges, but which module is the best, most advanced for research: The planned russian module, Destiny, Columbus or Kibo?
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:53 pm

Kibo is probably the most diverse of the laboratories. It has more internal accomodations and facilities for external experiments, including its own robot arm to manipulate them. Columbus is probably second, with Destiny (which is half control room) third and the Russian module, should it ever see the light of day, a distant fourth.

But Destiny is in the microgravity sweet spot, and has that big, beautiful window (WORF) for optical experiments.

The U.S. gets to use 50% of Columbus and 50% of Kibo in return for launching them and providing them with power, data connections, coolant, etc., so the U.S. really has the best of all worlds.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:43 pm

Will the russians be able to use Kibo and Columbus, as well? What do they get out of the ISS, since they are providing quite a lot in terms of support, living and transportation?
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:06 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
Will the russians be able to use Kibo and Columbus, as well?

No. They planned to provide their own research modules (two of them) but have cancelled them. Now they are planning a combination laboratory/storage module for launch in 2009 or 10. They have interesting plans for massive expansion of the Russian side, but they still don't seem to have the funds to actually build it.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
What do they get out of the ISS, since they are providing quite a lot in terms of support, living and transportation?

The Russians aren't "providing" transportation. They sell it, both Europe and the U.S. pay cash for the priviledge. The living quarters, Zarya, is actually owned by the United States (which bought it through Boeing in 1995-96.) Russia basically provides only the Zvezda service module. The U.S. supplies the Russian side electrical power from the truss and will launch Russia's small Docking and Cargo Module (similar to Piers) on STS-131.

Russia has some experiment space in Zvezda, but like the U.S. space in Destiny, hasn't done much with it yet.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:04 am

Still, living and sleeping and other things which are not experiments mostly takes place in the Russian part, is this correct? When the station is expanded to 6 people, where will they sleep, in Node 3 or Zvezda, or both?

When you say that the Russians do not have access to, lets say, Columbus, will this mean that a Russian member of an ISS expedition will not enter it, or will he actually perform experiments for the Americans and Europeans when he is not occupied with maintenance? I mean, later when we get 6 people aboard tasks can be split better between the members, but at the moment I guess there is more capability in the labs than 3 people can serve, anyway, right?
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:52 am

What I find a bit interesting is Eyharts will be based on ISS for a relatively short period of time. The fact that Tani was up there since Oct. and then just two short stints to finish out Expedition 16 in April, which includes one more Flight Engineer with Reisman going up in March. Is there a particular reason for the variations of the rotation of the 3 position besides Whitson and Malenchenko?
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:48 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 5):
Still, living and sleeping and other things which are not experiments mostly takes place in the Russian part, is this correct?

No. The living quarters module, Zarya, is owned by the United States, not Russia (although they still act as if it is their's). The U.S. bought it in 1995, long before launch. It is not correct to say that living and sleeping is done in the Russian part, because Zarya is American.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 5):
When you say that the Russians do not have access to, lets say, Columbus, will this mean that a Russian member of an ISS expedition will not enter it, or will he actually perform experiments for the Americans and Europeans when he is not occupied with maintenance?

The Russians can go anywhere they want on ISS and certainly will be in Columbus and Kibo often. But the Russians do not get experiment space in Destiny, Columbus, or Kibo.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 6):
Is there a particular reason for the variations of the rotation of the 3 position besides Whitson and Malenchenko?

Launch delays.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:06 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 7):
The U.S. bought it in 1995, long before launch. It is not correct to say that living and sleeping is done in the Russian part, because Zarya is American.

True, but the module uses Russian technology, thats my point (smaller hatches, different coulours, different electrical system and so on).

If I understand you correct, there is a difference between who is actually planning experiments, and who is on board to conduct the experiments, so that a Russian ISS member might conduct a experiment in Columbus or Destiny, which was planned, paid for and is under the supervision of Europe/US?

Ok, maybe its time to get back on topic, I am just fascinated on the ISS, also from a legal point of view. I still do not think Nasa will drop it in 2016 already. I rather think we won't see anybody on the moon until maybe 2020-2025...
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:52 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):
If I understand you correct, there is a difference between who is actually planning experiments, and who is on board to conduct the experiments, so that a Russian ISS member might conduct a experiment in Columbus or Destiny, which was planned, paid for and is under the supervision of Europe/US?

I think we're on the same page. But I think the Russians have a much smaller role in the science objectives. It is my impression that most of the science is being done by the third crewmember aboard ISS, what the U.S. calls the Science Officer, which has generally been an American or European so far. The commander or flight engineer (the positions rotate between US and Russia) undoubtedly help, but I don't think they have a big role in performing experiments.
 
Mir
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:47 am



Quoting Thorny (Thread starter):
Because of the Kibo laboratory's size, the Orbiter Boom Sensor System cannot be launched with Discovery on STS-124. Therefore Endeavour will leave its OBSS boom at the Space Station, where it will be available for tile damage surveys by Discovery. The boom will be returned with Discovery in May.

So I guess this means that Discovery will be launched without an OBSS, and they'll do the scanning post-docking or post-undocking instead of on FD2?

Where will the OBSS sit while it's on the station?

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:35 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
Where will the OBSS sit while it's on the station?

On the S1 Truss segment. STS-118's fourth EVA last August installed attach points for the OBSS boom.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:46 pm

The living and sleeping is done in the Russian section. Living quarters are in Zvezda. Zarya is used mostly for storage.
Anon
 
zanl188
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:34 pm



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 12):
The living and sleeping is done in the Russian section.

The sleeping is also done in Destiny. Galley & toilet are in the Russian section, I believe. If I'm not mistaken a US galley is going up soon or went up recently.
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nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:06 am

I know they're thinking about crew quarters in Node 3. Maybe Bigelow will lease them something a little better than a double rack to sleep in.
Anon
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:52 pm



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 12):
The living and sleeping is done in the Russian section. Living quarters are in Zvezda. Zarya is used mostly for storage.

D'oh! Thanks for the correction.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 13):
If I'm not mistaken a US galley is going up soon or went up recently.

I think it is on STS-126 this fall. That's the big logisitics flight (heaviest logistics flight to date.)
 
zanl188
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:35 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 15):
I think it is on STS-126 this fall. That's the big logisitics flight (heaviest logistics flight to date.)

i tried to find the real deal on it and couldn't. I know it's needed before they start 6 crew ops though...
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:32 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 16):
i tried to find the real deal on it and couldn't. I know it's needed before they start 6 crew ops though...

It's on STS-126.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/st...ce/experiments/EXPRESS-Rack-6.html

Most of the other hardware needed for six crew (sleep station, crew healthcare system, treadmill) goes up on STS-128.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:16 am

I find it interesting that the ATV launch takes place only few days before the Shuttle launch. Will the ISS crew have taken out everything off the ATV before the Shuttle arrives?
 
chksix
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:37 am

The ATV will stay in a safe orbit away from ISS until the shuttle has undocked. It will commence the approach tests after that.
The conveyor belt plane will fly
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:19 pm

Right now, btw, you can see a landing video of STS 122. I know that Shuttle comes in very steep, but to me it looks as if it came down below the glideslope, so that I thought it might land before the runway. Certainly that wasn't the case, as it landed right on the runway, but it looks pretty spectacular.

http://anon.nasa-global.edgesuite.ne...obal/ksc/ksc_022008_sts122_pov.asx
 
brendows
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:39 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 20):
but to me it looks as if it came down below the glideslope, so that I thought it might land before the runway.

As far as I know, that's how every approach is flown.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:57 am

I remember the White Sands landing when the pilot pitched the nose way up to kill speed, and about 50 NASA reps wet their trousers.
I'm not sure how much play between stall and max touchdown speed those bricks have.
Anon
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:12 pm



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 22):
I remember the White Sands landing when the pilot pitched the nose way up to kill speed, and about 50 NASA reps wet their trousers.

That was "the wheelie" after main gear touchdown on STS-3. Jack Lousma said he thought the nose was coming down too fast.

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 22):
I'm not sure how much play between stall and max touchdown speed those bricks have.

Depends on landing weight.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:21 pm

To get back on topic, Endeavour is Go for launch on March 11th...

Lets hope this will be as smooth as STS 122, but without sensor glitch  Wink

Michael
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:45 am

Launch date has been set. It will be March 11th, 2.28 AM EDT.

Does this mean we have a night launch?
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:14 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 25):
Launch date has been set. It will be March 11th, 2.28 AM EDT.

Does this mean we have a night launch?

Yes. Night launch and night landing.
 
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mke717spotter
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:29 pm

Around what time do you think the landing would be? Would it be sometime in the late evening or early in the morning?
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:42 pm

It seems like they haven't made much progress with that starboard rotary joint. Do they have any plans to do anything with it this trip, or will further inspections and repairs probably be handled by station crew between Shuttles?
Anon
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:51 pm



Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 27):
Around what time do you think the landing would be? Would it be sometime in the late evening or early in the morning?

8:35pm EDT, Wednesday, March 26.

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 28):
It seems like they haven't made much progress with that starboard rotary joint. Do they have any plans to do anything with it this trip, or will further inspections and repairs probably be handled by station crew between Shuttles?

I think they've determined that they can go on with the two Kibo flights (STS-123 and STS-124) with the SARJ the way it is, so they're pushing repair work off until this fall, probably spread between STS-126 and STS-119, along with EVAs by the ISS crew in between. This gives them time to prepair and train the crews for the repair.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:11 pm

Not really important for the STS mission, but the ATV is ready to launch tomorrow, Esa has stated. Lets hope it won't be a firework as the first ever Ariane V launch, but I am rather confident they will manage it...
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:32 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 30):
Not really important for the STS mission, but the ATV is ready to launch tomorrow,

Not tomorrow. Saturday night/Sunday morning, depending on where you live. 4:03am UTC on 9 March. Launch was delayed 24 hours.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:27 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 31):

Not tomorrow. Saturday night/Sunday morning, depending on where you live. 4:03am UTC on 9 March. Launch was delayed 24 hours.

European point of view strikes again  Wink In fact, I always have problems getting adopted to the Nasa timetable stating EDT, as well  Wink

I just hope they will manage to do it right with the ATV...
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:18 pm

Just found out I got bleacher seats to this launch. The Commander, Dom Gorie, is a former A-7 driver who flew with my dad (was in my parent's wedding no less), so he hooked us up...although I only found out about it last night. I went to his last Endeavour launch, always quite a spectacle, but this night launch will be very cool.

Oddly enough, Dom is doing this is as a civilian...he's a retired Navy Capt and is now entirely under NASA's roof.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:41 pm

Endeavour remains on schedule for launch tonight at 2:28am EDT. Loading the External Tank with Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen will begin at about 5:00pm EDT today. The crew will arrive at Launch Pad 39A around 11:00pm EDT.

Weather forecast is 90% favorable.
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:47 pm

External Tank loading is underway. The ECO (engine cutoff) sensors, which caused the big delays for STS-122, have passed their tests and are go for flight.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:03 pm

Lets hope the launch happens in time. If it does, it will launch right when I have woke up again  Wink
 
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phatalbert
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:22 am

Ah Thorny Your a good "Nasa Intelligent Guy" lol... You know too much, according to me.. im not that smart on this stuff... or anyone else can answer this.... Is the Big yellow accordian like hose for ventilation/heating and cooling?
**Isaac**
 
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KPDX
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:26 am

T-minus 14 minutes!

Go Endeavour!  

Edit: Ugh long hold now.  Sad

[Edited 2008-03-10 22:38:23]
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Thorny
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:41 am



Quoting PhatAlbert (Reply 37):
Is the Big yellow accordian like hose for ventilation/heating and cooling?

Air. It keeps positive pressure inside the cabin, so nothing floating around outside can get in.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:02 am

How will NASA know whether foam or ice hits the Endeavor's wings on a night launch? I know that NASA closely monitors falling foam and ice on shuttle launches, so how do they plan to do this type of photo analysis on night launches?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:17 am

Less than three minutes left in the built in hold.

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brendows
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:25 am

Nice to see that everything seems to go so smoothly so far  Smile Have a good journey Endeavour!
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:33 am

Lift off!

Alas, I wonder..."Endeavour, go at throttle up. No action on RCS messages required."

Something up with the reaction control thrusters?

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stasisLAX
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:42 am

Awesome launch and even better camera shots from the cam on the external tank. Endeavor now safely in orbit with no incident  bigthumbsup 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
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mke717spotter
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:44 am

Awesome launch! Guess it was worth getting up and out of bed in the middle of the night after all heh  Silly.
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Sinlock
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:45 am

Clean MECO. Left side RCS error message, primary flash evap cooler fail, good secondary B sys.
Back to bed.

[Edited 2008-03-10 23:55:19]
 
glidepath73
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:55 am

Hi!

Nice to see her save in Orbit. Is there any video of the launch available?

Regards,
Patrick
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av8orwalk
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:18 am

I went outside my condo seconds after liftoff fully expecting to see the Shuttle like normal. I suppose the cloud cover was too thick in Orlando to allow any view. Anyone in the downtown Orlando area able to catch a glimpse? I should've driven over to the Cape. Probably would've been the least amount of traffic jam with this launch, since it was so early in the a.m.

Have a good journey! I look forward to the double-boom in 16 days, welcoming you home!


Cheers
Drew MCO
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Mir
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RE: Official STS-123 Mission Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:50 am



Quoting AV8orWALK (Reply 48):
Probably would've been the least amount of traffic jam with this launch, since it was so early in the a.m.

Not at all. I was at Titusville and it was absolutely packed. I parked at the US-1 end of the causeway and was standing well beyond the Indian River bridge when it went off, and even with the long walk back to my car I still got out of there long before some of the people who had parked further out did.

It was over very quickly, but what twenty seconds there were were very impressive. Some photos:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/miyridian/IMG_1662.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/miyridian/IMG_1664.jpg

-Mir
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