Thorny
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Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:43 pm

With Atlantis's STS-125 delayed until early next year, the next Space Shuttle flight will now be Endeavour's STS-126 to the International Space Station.

Flight: STS-126 (124th flight of the Space Shuttle)

Orbiter: OV-105 Endeavour (22nd flight of Endeavour)

Mission: International Space Station Utilization and Logistics Flight 2 (ULF-2)

Crew:
Chris Ferguson, Commander
Eric Boe, Pilot
Heidi Stefanyshyn-Piper, Mission Specialist
Don Pettit, Mission Specialist
Stephen Bowen, Mission Specialist
Robert Kimbrough, Mission Specialist
Sandra Magnus, ISS Expedition 18 (launch)
Greg Chamitoff, ISS Expedition 17 (return)

Launch:
7:55pm EST, Friday, November 14, 2008
Launch Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Landing:
2:18pm EST, Saturday, November 29, 2008
Shuttle Landing Facility, Kennedy Space Center

STS-126 is the second "Utilization and Logistics Flight" to the International Space Station, a new mission category implemented after the Columbia accident to combine assembly, resupply, and research in a single flight. (ULF-1 was STS-121 in 2006.)

The principal payload of STS-126 is the Multipurpose Pressurized Logsitics Carrier Leonardo. This will be the fifth flight of Leonardo and will be the heaviest MPLM load to date. Leonardo will be carrying racks and supplies to outfit the newly-installed Columbus and Kibo laboratory modules, as well as equipment to prepare the Space Station for six permanent crew members beginning in mid-2009.

STS-126 will also feature four spacewalks, mostly to disassemble the troubled SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) which is clogged with debris and no longer can be rotated to allow the solar panels on the starboard side to track the sun. Astronauts will remove the SARJ's damaged trundle bearings and also add more lubrication to the functioning-normally portside SARJ. NASA's forward plan is to completely replace the SARJ in 2010, a complicated procedure never expected to be attempted in space.
 
KPDX
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:57 pm



Quoting Thorny (Thread starter):
Don Pettit, Mission Specialist

Cool! He is a local from around here.

Go STS-126!  bouncy 
View my aviation videos on Youtube by searching for zildjiandrummr12
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:49 pm

Oops... You were faster  Smile
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:21 pm

Endeavour completed the "Rollaround" from Launch Pad 39B to Launch Pad 39A late this afternoon. Rollaround was advanced two days due to bad weather forecast for Kennedy Space Center during the originally planned Saturday rollaround.

Launch remains on schedule for 7:55pm EST, November 14.
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:19 pm

Thorny:

Couple questions for you.

1. What is the story about honoring states? I heard on local media around here that the remaining shuttle flights will be featuring or honoring all 50 states.

2. If the shuttle program is extended, will they scrap the plans to retire Endeavour in 2010 so they don't have to rely on the remaining fleet?

2a. When is the study due about the possibility of the program extension? In your opinion, would the extension to be a good thing for NASA and its ability to continue human spaceflight while the Orion program is still being developed?
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
cloudy
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:41 pm

It may be that no one is seriously interested shuttle operations beyond that neccesary to complete the ISS plus the Centrifuge Accomodation Module, etc. There is another possible reason congress put language into law that dissalows actions that would prevent the use of the shuttle after 2010. That would be to prevent Griffin from destroying critical infrastructure that may be needed for "Direct" or other alternatives to Ares I. Most of those "in the know" seem to think the Ares I is not going to work, or if it does, that it will simply suck. NASA's friends in congress have ways of finding this out, and so are interested in preserving alternative options.
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:44 am



Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 4):
1. What is the story about honoring states? I heard on local media around here that the remaining shuttle flights will be featuring or honoring all 50 states.

First I'd heard of it. But here is a little more...

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.rss.html?pid=26753

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 4):
2. If the shuttle program is extended, will they scrap the plans to retire Endeavour in 2010 so they don't have to rely on the remaining fleet?

Atlantis, not Endeavour. The current proposal calls for Atlantis retiring and being a donor to the other two, although she'll still be in condition to return to service, if necessary.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 4):

2a. When is the study due about the possibility of the program extension?

November.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 4):
In your opinion, would the extension to be a good thing for NASA and its ability to continue human spaceflight while the Orion program is still being developed?

Only if funding is increased to allow continued Orion development while Shuttle keeps flying. I don't see that happening in this economic climate.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 5):
It may be that no one is seriously interested shuttle operations beyond that neccesary to complete the ISS plus the Centrifuge Accomodation Module, etc.

CAM is dead. It's been sitting out in the elements outside a Japanese space center for a while now. No chance of being returned to flight condition. Worse, even if there is funding to keep flying Shuttle, there is no funding to build any additional modules. Perhaps they could convert one of the MPLMs into a Hab-lite or a CAM-lite, but still that will take funding from Orion/Ares.
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:02 am



Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):

Thanks for the answers Thorny.
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:59 am



Quoting Thorny (Reply 6):
Perhaps they could convert one of the MPLMs into a Hab-lite or a CAM-lite, but still that will take funding from Orion/Ares.

I heard some static about leaving one of the Italians attached permanently for much needed storage space if nothing else. Has anyone heard of any serious consideration of that? It seems like all they'd have to worry about is maintaining pressure and keeping it warm if it was just a storeroom. One port of Node 2 for that and one for transients.
Anon
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:18 pm



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 8):

I heard some static about leaving one of the Italians attached permanently for much needed storage space if nothing else. Has anyone heard of any serious consideration of that?

Serious discussion, no. But it is a suggestion that is floating around, primarily about Donatello, the MPLM that will likely fly only once before the Shuttle retires.

The problem is that an MPLM will need improved MMOD (micrometeoroid/orbital debris) shielding if it is to remain permanently attached, even if only as a seldom used storage shed (this is partly why NASA didn't leave MPLMs at the Station between Shuttle flights, even though that would have enormously helped the storage situation in the Station's early years.) That will cost some money... not a lot, but no one has much to spare these days. Another obstacle is that ISS isn't hurting for storage space anymore (JEM's cargo module is mostly empty now, and I don't think Destiny, Columbus and JEM are going to be filled to capacity with racks once assembly is complete.) The success of ATV also eases storage concerns for ISS.

These, along with the heavy requirements for the limited remaining "down mass" (cargo brought back by the Shuttle in an MPLM) means that it isn't very likely to happen as long as Shuttle retires after STS-133 or 134. If the program is extended, then an uprated MPLM (either as a storage room or as a "Hab-lite") is a possibility.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:38 pm

STS 126 is go for launch on November, 14th... So while no Hubble, at least the Station gets some new equipment...
 
lnglive1011yyz
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:16 am

Any new news on the launch details? Is the hurricane in the gulf going to affect launch?

1011yyz
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Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:59 am



Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 11):
Any new news on the launch details? Is the hurricane in the gulf going to affect launch?

No. Weather is looking a little shaky, but not because of Paloma, which is dissipating and moving out to sea.
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:48 pm

The countdown for launch of STS-126 began at 10:00pm EST, Tuesday. Launch is scheduled for 7:55pm Friday, November 14.

Weather is forecast to be 40% 'no-go' for launch, and worsens for Saturday, but thereafter will be several days of good weather.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:16 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 3):

The launch will be at stupid o'clock in the night for me here ECT.  expressionless 
I will have to watch a replay. I hope all will be safe for them.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
KPDX
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:05 pm

So is STS-126 launching today?
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:27 pm



Quoting KPDX (Reply 15):
So is STS-126 launching today?

Launch is scheduled for 7:55 EST tonight. Weather is looking good so it looks likely that the launch will be today.
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:29 pm



Quoting KPDX (Reply 15):
So is STS-126 launching today?

Yes. Weather forecast has improved to 70% 'go'.

6:55pm EST.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:44 pm

Lets hope all goes well... I have time to watch this one on Nasa TV, finally...
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:37 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 17):

6:55pm EST.



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 16):

Launch is scheduled for 7:55 EST tonight.

Whoops. Sorry, I'm in Central Time and forgot to adjust. Launch time is indeed 7:55pm EST.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:19 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 19):
Launch time is indeed 7:55pm EST.

Which translates to Impossible O'clock in the night for me here CET  biggrin  and I have to travel tomorrow from early morning so I won't have time to watch the launch replay on NASA-TV.  Sad
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:24 pm

Will they start rotating S5 again after the bearing replacement and lube job or wait till the new race is in? I never did hear if the overloaded bearings were an installation problem or a design problem. Somebody misfiguring thermal expansion or something. Or why the P side doesn't have the same problem.
I was also never clear on if the six body crew would wait till Node 3 arrived.

Hopefully, everything will go right and Thorny won't get tired of all the questions tossed his way.
Anon
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:45 pm



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 21):
Will they start rotating S5 again after the bearing replacement and lube job or wait till the new race is in?

They'll be able to rotate it again (it is currently inop) but it won't be fully operational. The benefit is that they'll be able to position the array for the best solar collection most of the time, but also be able to "feather" it for Soyuz/Progress/Shuttle dockings and re-boosts.

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 21):
I was also never clear on if the six body crew would wait till Node 3 arrived.

No. Six crew is still targeted for May/June 2009. Node 3 launch is First Quarter 2010.
 
KPDX
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:14 am

40 more minutes or so! Go Endeavour. (And Don Pettit, Oregon native).  bigthumbsup 
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seefivein
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:52 am

the white room door, has that happened before, not being tied back?
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:07 am

Great launch. Godspeed, Endeavour!

BEG2IAH
 
jfktowerfan
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:09 am

Night launches are awesome!

Corey
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TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:09 am

Main engine Cutoff normal... Welcome in orbit.
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:39 am

The OMS-2 firing was successful, completing tonight's launch.
Docking with the International Space Station is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
 
UAopsMGR
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:17 am



Quoting Seefivein (Reply 24):
the white room door, has that happened before, not being tied back?

For a moment there, i'll bet someone on the closeout crew was praying they would still be employed when tomorrow rolled around!
Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.- Homer Simpson
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:42 am



Quoting UAopsMGR (Reply 29):
For a moment there, i'll bet someone on the closeout crew was praying they would still be employed when tomorrow rolled around!

I expected the same thing, but launch director Mike Leinbach said that there would be no disciplinary action (Mike's exact words: "Absolutely not"). The guy who forgot to put that pin in place came up to him and told him that he forgot to do it. I guess things would've been very different had he not admitted.

BEG2IAH
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:13 am

Preliminary report (source: NASA TV) says that two pieces of debris were seen behind the orbiter at 33 and 137 seconds into the flight. I hope these didn't hit Endeavour.

BEG2IAH
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:53 am

Godspeed New Kid. You had a hard act to follow in Challenger, and you've done a helluva job. It's hard to believe that many years have passed.
Anon
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:06 pm



Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 30):

Think about the consequences for the safety culture if this would lead to someone lose the job. Mistakes can happen, but people admitted them, and no harm was done.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:34 pm

Took the girlfriend down to the Sunglow Pier near Ponce Inlet, FL to view the launch. We were probably 35 miles line of sight from the launch pad. You could see it almost from the moment of launch and it was stunning. Lit up the entire sky and reflected off of the water beautifully. You could clearly see the SRB's seperate and trail behind, but unlike any time before I couldn't see them 'tumble'. Usually you can see the orange glow point towards us and dim as it tumbles then see the lit end again. And a few minutes after launch you could hear the rumble very distinctly. The pier was packed with people and they all applauded as she climbed skyward. Very nice launch.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
zanl188
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:40 pm



Quoting Seefivein (Reply 24):
the white room door, has that happened before, not being tied back?



Quoting UAopsMGR (Reply 29):
For a moment there, i'll bet someone on the closeout crew was praying they would still be employed when tomorrow rolled around!



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 33):
Think about the consequences for the safety culture if this would lead to someone lose the job. Mistakes can happen, but people admitted them, and no harm was done.

Amazing that this kind of thing can happen with the Quality Assurance (QA) guy standing right there with his checklists and what not.

Heck, as they were bringing non-flight items out of the orbiter they were taking a piece of tape (with the item number) off of the item and attaching it to the back of the QAs clipboard to prove it had been removed.

Makes a guy wonder how many other checklist items were missed.....
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UAopsMGR
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:10 am



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 33):
Think about the consequences for the safety culture if this would lead to someone lose the job.

With all due respect, think about the consequences of a pencil whipped checklist causing the OAA panel door to blow off and impact the shuttle on ascent.

BTW, does anyone know the outcome of what happened with the door and damage from booster vibrations in the white room? When the OAA was retracted it didn't look like the door was flopping around as much as they anticipated. They indicated minor damage to white room lights etc. could be expected.
Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.- Homer Simpson
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:05 am



Quoting UAopsMGR (Reply 36):
With all due respect, think about the consequences of a pencil whipped checklist causing the OAA panel door to blow off and impact the shuttle on ascent.

Yes, but it was indeed discovered before they launched and deemed acceptable, which is a sign to me that the system worked.
 
zanl188
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:37 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 37):
Yes, but it was indeed discovered before they launched and deemed acceptable, which is a sign to me that the system worked

The "system" did not work. Both the USA rep and the NASA QA should have caught this before they left the white room. It was only caught because someone noticed it flopping around on the TV.

What items were missed that we didn't see on the tv?
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Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:20 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 38):
Both the USA rep and the NASA QA should have caught this before they left the white room. It was only caught because someone noticed it flopping around on the TV.

I think this is one of the often-overlooked dangers of low flight rate. We didn't see this sort of thing when the Shuttle was flying 6-8 flights a year in the '90s. Now we've gone six months between flights (a month longer than planned because of the Hubble delay) and everyone fell out of the groove again and got rusty. Working too hard for too many flights can lead to disaster, but so can not flying often enough to maintain proficiency.

I hope that if the Shuttle is extended past 2010, someone points that out and NASA is allowed to go four a year instead of two or three as is currently under consideration.
 
zanl188
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:57 pm

Docking in 5 minutes
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MadameConcorde
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:59 pm

STS-126 - EVA 1 Tool Bag Overboard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flZRps0pBEo

The bag drifts off at 4:58
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:00 pm

According to a german TV station, the bag can be seen from earth with a small telescope...

Apart from that, the coverage of this ISS mission was very sparse, don't you agree?
 
Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:38 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 42):
Apart from that, the coverage of this ISS mission was very sparse, don't you agree?

It's a very low-key mission, with most of the media attention on the Water Recovery System (and endless 'drinking urine' jokes on late-night TV and cable news) and the lost toolbag. Even though NASA went way out of its way to tell the press "we expect to have problems getting the WRS working properly, that's why we launched it eight months before we need it," we're still getting lots of "$19 million toilet doesn't work!" reports in the media.  Sad

But it looks like the WRS is working well now, following tweaks on Monday.

The four spacewalks were successful despite the lost toolbag. The Starboard SARJ ran constantly for two orbits this morning and tracked the sun, power use and vibration levels are still being studied, but it looks like the repairs went well at first glance.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:45 pm

If the starboard sarj still looks good in six months they might decide to skip the race replacement. I hope they don't regret that if this puppy is still operating in 2025.
It appears the lube job will be at least an annual event.
I wonder if they'll make Heidi pay for that bag by docking her $10 a month for...uh....833 years.
Anon
 
SNA350
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:56 pm

According NASA TV weather conditions are not good for the first landing attempt at KSC
the second one is looking better

For the two landing opportunities at EDW AFB, the weather is good
Aircraft flown: B733, B734, B736, B737, B738, B744, B752, B763, B772, A319, A320, A321, A343, A346, Do328, CRJ7, E190
 
zanl188
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:37 pm

NASA just waved off on the first KSC opportunity. Thunderstorms & turbulence below 10000ft.
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zanl188
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:54 pm

2nd opportunity at KSC waved off. Maintaining the option for Edwards but no decision yet.
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Thorny
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:55 pm

Tornado Watch for most of Central and Northern Florida.

Anyone in Southern California might think about heading out to try and see an Edwards landings this afternoon.
 
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blackbird1
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RE: Official STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle Mission Thread

Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:12 pm

'Entry Flight Director Bryan Lunney waved off space shuttle Endeavour's second Florida landing opportunity. The STS-126 crew still has two landing opportunities today at Edwards Air Force Base in California at 4:25 p.m. and 6 p.m. Mission Control Center in Houston is also looking at potential landing opportunities for Monday at Kennedy Space Center.'

Looks like Edwards gets some traffic today, weather wise high pressure is in command there, however, no official decision yet....

Edwards weather at 8am local time:

Wind Calm
Visibility 95 mile(s)
Sky conditions mostly clear
Temperature 42.4 F (5.8 C)
Dew Point 42.4 F (5.8 C)
Relative Humidity 100%
Pressure (altimeter) 30.26 in. Hg (1024 hPa)

Humidity seems to be a bit unusual for this location.
I'd rather be flying!

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