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  STS-122: December 9, SCRUB! (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-122: December 9, SCRUB!
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 04:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-122 crew is now awake for a launch attempt of Atlantis at 3:21 p.m. EST.

The mission management team is scheduled to meet soon to discuss whether to proceed with tanking. Should they decide favorably, then fueling will begin as the countdown lifts from a planned T-6 hour hold at 5:55 a.m.

At 6:41 a.m., the four low level fuel sensors should become immersed in liquid hydrogen, providing the first opportunity to test the system and assess whether the countdown will continue. [See STS-122: December 6, SCRUB! for discussion]

The weather forecast calls for an 80% chance of acceptable conditions at launch.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 05:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Managers gave the 'go' to begin fueling at 5:56 a.m. EST and tanking procedures began two minutes later. T-minus 5 hours, 52 minutes and counting...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 05:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Controllers have seen their first indications that the four low level fuel sensors have gone "wet" as they are immersed in liquid hydrogen inside the external tank.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 05:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 5% sensors inside the liquid hydrogen tank have now gone wet and fueling is transferring into fast fill.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 05:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As was expected by mission managers, all four low level fuel (ECO) sensors have been cycled and are confirmed to be working properly.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 05:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ECO sensor Number 3 has failed. Troubleshooting is proceeding.

"This is not good news," said NASA spokesperson George Diller.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 05:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tanking will continue for the next half hour as troubleshooting continues.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An official scrub has not yet been called.

However, per the launch commit criteria for today's attempt all four sensors must be working, thus today's attempt is not expected to proceed.

Fueling of the liquid hydrogen tank will continue for the next half hour, as launch controllers troubleshoot why ECO sensor Number 3 failed, showing an open circuit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mission management team has asked the propulsion team to provide a timeline as to draining the liquid oxygen tank, then draining the liquid hydrogen tank to the 5% level and then emptying the tank.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"In a way this might be a good thing," said NASA spokesman George Diller, explaining that what controllers learn today might help them get to the root of the problem.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 06:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Managers have officially called a scrub to today's launch attempt.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 06:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
De-tanking of the liquid oxygen is underway.

Controllers will be watching closely ECO sensor Number 3 to see when it resets, if ever, during the draining process.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-122 launch director Doug Lyons provided an overview of the situation from inside the Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center.

"We've got two things we look at," explained Lyons, "the voltages on the circuit and those were all good on all four circuits. Then we also look at the [sensors], whether they are indicating 'wet' or indicating 'dry'. And all of them went wet as expected.

"And then once we were in fast fill for about 10 minutes or so, we went and did the system checkout. That's when we send simulated dry commands sequentially, and see if they go from wet to dry. If they do operate in that manner, that's what we were expecting and that's a good checkout.

"So we were watching of course, with great interest in the firing room and we had a lot of the [mission management team] members on and we started the test. Sensor Number 1 went dry; Sensor Number 2 went dry; Sensor Number 3, and if you recall, 3 and 4 were the ones that failed last tanking, 3 went dry; and 4 went dry. So it appeared, and I should say also that all the voltages were reading good values as well, so it looked like we had a good system.

"We continued to monitor the system and two or three minutes after this test was run, they were all dry and we were keeping them in that condition. Then we saw sensor Number 3 go from dry to wet, which was a failure.

"At that point, based on our revised [launch commit criteria], which called for four or four sensors, we were scrubbed for the day," said Lyons.

According to Lyons, a troubleshooting plan is in place, though what happens next is still under discussion.

"We have a 9 o'clock mission management team meeting and we'll be discussing our options an our forward plan. It would be speculation at this time on my part to try to make a guess at which direction we head. We do have multiple options and folks have been thinking about 'what-ifs' if we didn't have joy today, so we'll put something together and be ready to implement it," Lyons concluded.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An example of the ECO system assembly, including shock mount and four sensors:

View an enlargement (413k)

And as installed in the external tank:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch of space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-122 has been reset for no earlier than January 2, 2008.

Mission managers decided that there was not enough time remaining in the December launch window to troubleshoot the problems with the low level fuel sensors.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Statement from the STS-122 crew:

"We want to thank everyone who worked so hard to get us into space this launch window. We had support teams working around the clock at KSC, JSC, and numerous sites in Europe. We were ready to fly, but understand that these types of technical challenges are part of the space program. We hope everyone gets some well-deserved rest, and we will be back to try again when the vehicle is ready to fly."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"We're all a little disappointed we didn't get to see a launch today but, I think we need to step back and look at the bigger perspective of what really's been accomplished," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations. "The fact that we even had a chance at December is a real tribute to both the station team and also the shuttle processing team an the shuttle program team here at KSC."

"If you look what this means moving into January from a big picture standpoint, it's not that big an impact to us overall. It won't impact the next mission, the February flight will be able to accomplish that on time as its planned. There is also some schedule time between that February flight and the April flight, there's a couple weeks of margin in there, so that can slip to the right. So from a big picture standpoint, it is really not an impact to us overall from a mission assembly standpoint or an assembly of space station standpoint. There is enough margin in the system that we can accommodate this move into January without a big impact," said Gerstenmaier.

"We're taking full advantage of the opportunity to gather some data here for a failure that has been very hard for us to get to the bottom of," explained Leroy Cain, chair of the mission management team. "The best thing we can hope for is that it can repeat for us, even after today."

"Starting today, we set up what we are calling our short-term KSC troubleshooting team to put together, brainstorm ideas and troubleshooting methods that we might want to go do for the system we have out at the launch pad. They are going to report out for the first time to the program board, the PRCB, on Tuesday of this week. From there, we will determine what steps we take... to include possibly a tanking test, to include a possible look at some of the feed-through connector areas and other connecting and wiring and cabling areas," said Cain.

"We're targeting the early January time frame preliminarily here, and we'll see if we can make that for the system and vehicle we have out on the launch pad. It's all going to depend on what we find out when we go out and begin doing some more in-depth troubleshooting," concluded Cain.

cspg
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posted 12-09-2007 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know that everything is on table right now but does the postponement imply a rollback to the VAB? From a previous post, it was mentionned that if the problem was with defective sensors, a rollback would be done. But then? De-stack everything? Change the ET? Or change the sensors (but how?)?

And is there a reason why there are ECO sensors in the LH2 tank but not on the LOX tank?

Chris.

P.S. Will the postponement have an effect on the 2008 shuttle schedule and ATV launch (which was planned for Jan. 31)?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
I know that everything is on table right now but does the postponement imply a rollback to the VAB?
"We've got very good access, particularly inside the orbiter aft, so there's almost limitless troubleshooting we can do [at the launch pad]," said STS-122 launch director Doug Lyons. "We couldn't do anything more in the VAB, so there is nothing there that would drive us for a rollback. We've got very good access to the tank, so we can do extensive troubleshooting out there before we would even entertain rolling back."
quote:
From a previous post, it was mentioned that if the problem was with defective sensors, a rollback would be done.
"We have different views on that," said Lyons. "We have changed the sensors out at the pad I've been told. That was quite some time ago. You have to build enclosures, the foaming and all. I don't think that we have currently a certified method of taking the foam off, getting the panel out, getting the sensors on, and then re-spraying the foam. That's not saying we couldn't do that in the vertical, I'm not saying we couldn't get there, but that would really be a challenge. But everything thus far points to the fact that it is not the sensors, so that is something that is probably remote."
quote:
And is there a reason why there are ECO sensors in the LH2 tank but not on the LOX tank?
There are four identical sensors inside the liquid oxygen tank. They just haven't failed.
quote:
Will the postponement have an effect on the 2008 shuttle schedule and ATV launch (which was planned for Jan. 31)?
"In terms of ATV, it is currently scheduled for February 14 launch, which is compatible with the shuttle launch on the 14th, and we've looked at that," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations. "In terms of the cargo that the ATV is carrying, it's important cargo to us but it is not mandatory cargo that needs to be delivered at any specific points. So in that sense, if it is delayed, deferred a little bit, or what happens to us, it is not so critical that it disrupts the entire sequence.

"There is no constraint on which vehicle [Columbus or ATV] is there first. We can accommodate either way."

Delta7
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posted 12-09-2007 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They're saying the delay won't impact the launch schedule for STS-123, scheduled for Feb. However, that significantly reduces Leopold Eyhart's time aboard the station, as he's scheduled to fly home on STS-123. I wonder if it will impact his ability to get Columbus "up and running" in that time, or if there's a bit of leeway with his time-line. I know Dan Tani characterized his time aloft preparing Harmony as tightly scheduled, unlike the normal ISS crew regimen.

I suppose one result of this delay could result in him coming home on STS-124 instead.

This has got to be quite frustrating for the Europeans.

ejectr
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posted 12-09-2007 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, think of Dan Tani planning to spend Christmas with his family. Now he'll be spending it in a very different manner.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2007 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
Hey, think of Dan Tani planning to spend Christmas with his family.
Tani (in his interview with collectSPACE) said that he was planning not to spend the holidays with his family, so as to avoid any disappointment should he not be able to come home in time.

"In fact the worse thing sort of, in this situation that could happen is that we anticipate I will be home for Christmas and then something happens, and all of sudden I am not," Tani said. "My wife and I are talking about it as if I am not going to be there, so if I am home for Christmas, it would be a great pleasure and a pleasant surprise."

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-09-2007 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does sound to me like it is a problem with something higher up in the chain then the sensors themselves. As such, I don't think there will be a need to open the tank to go inside. They will figure it out and I know some engineers at KSC WANT to figure it out since the problems reared their ugly heads on three previous launches.

Leopold Eyhart will still have about a month to prep Columbus before he comes home and in a sense, it will be no less intense a work schedule then what Tani had with Harmony. Besides, a crewmember who is busy tends to be a happy crewmember.

As for the disappointed Europeans who wanted to see Columbus fly this month and were down at KSC to watch it, I can empathize. I was a victim of that first STS-114 launch scrub (when ECO sensor became a four letter word) and couldn't make it back for the next attempt when Discovery did fly. It will fly and at least this time, many of them have the perfect excuse to come back to Florida to celebrate the new year in style!

cspg
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posted 12-10-2007 12:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert for all the information you provide. It's greatly appreciated!

Chris.

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posted 12-10-2007 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand why they changed the launch window from 5 minutes to 1 minute in order to maximize fuel, but why, exactly, did they change the LCC from 3 of 4 to 4 of 4 working ECOs? Was this done as an added safety factor? Trouble shooting tool?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2007 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To quote Wayne Hale, speaking after the first launch attempt's scrub:

"If all four of the sensors are working at liftoff," Hale added, "we think there is a good probability that the system will be working late in the ascent when you need it to work. That's kind of the logic behind the whole subject."

As I interpret what he said, given they are already working with a suspect system, they wanted to insure that they had the maximum number of good sensors working, which meant requiring that all four be operational. This approach would give them the most leeway were sensors to fail during flight.

cspg
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posted 12-11-2007 12:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are the ECO sensors that trigger the shuttle's computers to shut down the engines? Or is MECO command specified by a mission elapsed time or by manual command (during launch ascent, ground control usually says "press to MECO")? I always thought that the fuel consumption by the SSME was known in advance so you would know when to shut down the engines before the tank runs dry (much like the fuel gauge in your car). I've come to wonder why we need those sensors anyway. The LOX sensors are not located in the tank but in the oxygen feed line.

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA will host a media teleconference with space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale at approximately 2:30 p.m. CST, today, Tuesday, December 11, to discuss the status of shuttle Atlantis' launch.

The teleconference will follow a meeting chaired by Hale that will lay out options to better understand recurring problems with the low-level engine cutoff, or ECO, sensor system.

Live audio of the event will be streamed online.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2007 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Are the ECO sensors that trigger the shuttle's computers to shut down the engines?
The ECO sensors are only there as a back-up to the shuttle's computers. They do not control nomimal MECO.

In fact, the ECO sensors are ignored for most of the ascent, until just before the computers calculate when the fuel should be depleted (referred to as the "arming mass").

If an ECO sensor reads "dry" before reaching arming mass, it is deemed failed and ignored. After arming mass, it requires two or more ECO sensors to read dry before the computers interpret it as fuel depletion and an abort (TAL or ATO) follows as a result.

The ECO sensors are needed in the case of a fuel leak or other anomaly that would cause the actual fuel level to be at odds with the projected fuel depletion by the shuttle's computers.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2007 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation Week: Internal NASA Emails Reveal Atlantis Safety Debate
quote:
Internal NASA emails from the director of Shuttle Safety at the Johnson Space Center and the Shuttle Program Manager show how they struggled with the potential risk to astronauts’ lives in assessing how to proceed with the launch of Atlantis in the wake of engine cutoff (ECO) sensor malfunctions.

Aviation Week & Space Technology obtained exclusive copies of these emails, which are reproduced largely in full here on AviationWeek.com to retain the context intended by their authors.

The emails were sent to the team by astronaut Bill McArthur, Jr. who heads the Space Shuttle Safety and Mission Assurance Office at the Johnson Space Center and Wayne Hale, shuttle program manager.

McArthur has launched into space three times on the shuttle, a fourth time atop a Russian Soyuz and he also commanded the International Space Station.

The emails were sent Dec. 7. This was a day after the Atlantis countdown was scrubbed Dec. 6 when two ECO sensors failed and managers debated whether they could proceed Dec. 8 or needed more time.

They ultimately slipped the next attempt to Dec. 9 after setting new flight rules that 4 good ECO sensors would be required.

This was a change to the original Atlantis launch rule that said the vehicle could fly with 3 of 4.

The Dec. 9 attempt was then scrubbed when one ECO sensor failed in the countdown, a situation that two days before, would have been "go" for launch.

The emails indicate that some of NASA’s highest managers believe that the design of the total system would enable safe launch of the shuttle, without use of any ECO sensor system at all.


Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2007 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has scheduled a tanking test for Dec. 18, during which additional instruments will be used to monitor the ECO system's reaction to the cryogenic liquid hydrogen as it is pumped into Atlantis' external tank at Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A.

Elsewhere, the companies that built the sensor system are continuing tests to help determine a cause.

"This is part of broad-ranging effort," shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said.

Read more from Spaceflight Now: Atlantis to be fueled again for more troubleshooting

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-12-2007 11:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am guessing that the firing rooms were switched to eliminate equipment in one firing room as being a potential cause for the ECO sensor reading anomolies. But since one dropped offline anyway in the next launch attempt (in the different firing room), that elimated it as a cause. Sounds to me like it was a brainstorm idea on the part of the KSC crew. It was a nice idea, but didn't work in this case.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-13-2007 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
quote:
NASA Targets Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch on Jan. 10

NASA's Space Shuttle Program managers have targeted Jan. 10 for the launch of shuttle Atlantis' STS-122 mission to the International Space Station.

"The workforce has stepped up to and met every challenge this year," said Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Moving the next launch attempt of Atlantis to Jan. 10 will allow as many people as possible to have time with family and friends at the time of year when it means the most. A lot has been asked of them this year and a lot will be asked of them in 2008."

The liftoff date from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, depends on the resolution of a problem in a fuel sensor system. The shuttle's planned launches on Dec. 6 and Dec. 9 were postponed because of false readings from the part of the system that monitors the liquid hydrogen section of the tank.


If STS-122 launches on January 10, liftoff would be targeted for 2:26:10 a.m. EST.

TellingHistory
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posted 12-14-2007 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TellingHistory   Click Here to Email TellingHistory     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I asked Bob Jacobs, deputy assistant administrator of Public Affairs for NASA, this morning, if he thought a now mid-January (10th) proposed launch for STS-122 would threaten to push out the planned mid-February launch of STS-123? Here's what he said:
quote:
It’s a possibility and it all rests on coming to resolution on the ECO system issue. However, there are contingency days built into the schedule that give us time to adjust launch schedules. It will be tight but it is possible.
This ECO sensor issue is a real bugger for STS-122.

I kinda wished NASA would've never re-scheduled STS-122 for Jan 2nd now that they've pushed it out to Jan 10th. Their stated reason for this new date (the 10th) is so shuttle program employees can spend time with their families for the holidays.

I plan to attend the STS-123 launch in mid-February (my first launch) so I hope it stays on course. But nowadays it seems "scrubs" the word.

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http://www.TodayinSpaceHistory.com

James Brown
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posted 12-14-2007 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, it took a little time, but I finally posted some pictures from the launch attempt last week. After driving home, I realized I had left my digital camera at the press site. In a panic, I called and was told it had been found safe and sound. It arrived FedEx today, and now I can share some of what I did.

James

gliderpilotuk
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posted 12-15-2007 04:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow Jimmy, Those reflection shots are beautiful.

Paul

TellingHistory
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posted 12-15-2007 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TellingHistory   Click Here to Email TellingHistory     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are nice pics.

Cool pictures of your memorabilia too.

Quality stuff.

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MarylandSpace
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posted 12-16-2007 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can one of you direct me to the new launch window for STS-122?

Thank you, Garry

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2007 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quoting Ben from another thread:
quote:
There is no 'window' per say. The shuttle can launch to the ISS any day of the year except during beta angle cutouts (like the current one of Dec. 14 to 29). In 2008 there are cutouts from around May 10-23 and July 7-21.
With regard to the time of launch, if STS-122 launches as presently targeted on January 10, liftoff would be targeted for 2:26:10 a.m. EST.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-18-2007 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
NASA has scheduled a tanking test for Dec. 18...
NASA fueled Atlantis' external tank as scheduled earlier this morning, giving engineers an opportunity to test the ECO sensors and collect data as to why they are intermittently failing.

NASA commentator George Diller said this morning that two of the four sensors were performing intermittently as the liquid hydrogen tank was filled. Sensors no. 2 and 3 were acting up, while another — sensor no. 1 — failed outright.

Engineers are using a circuit monitoring tool similar to that used by cable television and telephone companies to seek breaks in the lines. The tool is currently being used to monitor ECO sensors 2 and 3.

Data from the failed sensor no. 1 and working sensor no. 4 will be recorded.

Wayne Hale, NASA's space shuttle program manager, will discuss the test during a news conference scheduled to begin no earlier than 3:30 p.m. CST.

A wiring board set up for the tanking test on Atlantis' external tank. The wiring has been spliced into an electrical harness in the aft main engine compartment connected with the ECO sensor system. The attached wiring leads to the interior of the mobile launcher platform where time domain reflectometry, or TDR, test equipment is located.


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