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  STS-122: Columbus sets sail for space station (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   STS-122: Columbus sets sail for space station
tegwilym
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posted 02-08-2008 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting to see all the 'chunks' from the main engines before MECO this time. I guess it was the sun angle behind the ship that made that more visible this time?

mjanovec
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posted 02-08-2008 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
Interesting to see all the 'chunks' from the main engines before meco this time. I guess it was the sun angle behind the ship that made that more visible this time?

Maybe, as Atlantis gets older, they are putting more fiber in her diet.

Philip
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posted 02-08-2008 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw the ISS passing overhead twice here in Belgium, each time with a little dot (shuttle) in its path about 15 minutes later...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-08-2008 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mission Management Team chair John Shannon said during an afternoon mission briefing that given the data they have thus far, "it looks like we had an extremely clean launch and ascent."

They did record a few minor instances of shedding external tank foam, but none were believed to be a risk to Atlantis. One piece, released at 440 seconds into flight, may have struck the orbiter, as it appears in a video taken from the feedline on the external tank to change its angle. However, as Shannon explained, he would expect "no marks at all from something that releases at that time" as there is not enough imparted energy that late in the flight.

Michael Sarafin, STS-122 lead flight director, said today that orbiter surface inspections conducted by the STS-22 crew today had proceeded well. "We saw no significant problems," he said.

Shannon, describing a board the MMT uses to track issues during flights, shared that until this mission, he had never seen a "completely blank board of problems."

icarkie
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posted 02-09-2008 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for icarkie   Click Here to Email icarkie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I passed on the times and dates from Heaven Above to a few of my customers on my round, although not into the space theme there's a few with young kids that will go out this weekend and look for them both

I got an email last night from a 10 yr old boy who I deliver mail to his parents. It was the first time the little chap with his mum and dad had seen the ISS (their main hobby as a family is bird watching). Bloody big bird if you ask me (lol). Anyway I've given them the link to NASA TV, etc. I might have got him converted.

Have a good weekend,
Ian

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During today's rendezvous (R-Bar) pitch maneuver (starting approx. at 10:23 a.m. CST), the ISS crew has been asked to take additional photographs of Atlantis' starboard OMS pod, specifically a thermal blanket that appears to have lifted up (similar in nature to what happened on STS-117 but further back on the opposite OMS pod).

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-09-2008 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the "sewing kit" put together during STS-117 now standard equipment?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "sewing kit" was always standard it is simply a few of their disposable suture staplers from a med kit.

BA002
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posted 02-09-2008 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BA002   Click Here to Email BA002     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too saw the ISS and Atlantis pass over my house in Utrecht, Holland, yesterday evening.

The view of ISS especially was spectacular, from the 7th floor of my apartment block. The sun had only just set, so there was still a hint of orange on the horizon, the moon was a thin crescent with the dark side lit up by earthshine, despite living in a city I could make out a number of stars and then suddenly there is this bright light moving through the panorama that you know is ISS. Wow!

And it was nice to see Atlantis again, after I last saw it disappearing as STS-117 into the sky last June at the KSC UACC. Wow again!

Leo Bakker

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Views during Atlantis' rendezvous pitch maneuver:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Views of Atlantis' OMS pods during the rendezvous pitch maneuver:

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-09-2008 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the resolution of those pictures, the starboard OMS pod looks clean.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis docked at the International Space Station at 11:17 a.m. CST, while flying over
the coast of Australia. This is the first time a shuttle has docked to the Harmony node.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shared by a reader (someone@nasa.gov), the lifted blanket on the starboard OMS:

(NASASpaceflight.com had similar imagery posted earlier today.)

And a couple of different views from NASA TV:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crews of STS-122 and Expedition 16 are now working together inside the space station, having opened hatches between their two spacecraft at 12:40 p.m. CST. (Footage of the two crews greeting each other has yet to be shown due to a lack of KU band availability.)

STS-122 lead flight director Mike Sarafin briefed the media about the mission's status, describing two problems that his team were currently addressing.

"We are working two technical issues: one was a computer failure of one of our guidance and navigation computers [GPC]. It happened when we brought it up out of a powered-down config today. It had what we call a common set fail," he said.

"Basically, when you bring up multiple computers, they all start talking to each other, and that computer started talking to the other computers to make sure it was in synchronization, and then it stopped. We've off investigating."

Sarafin said that they believe the computer is healthy and can still be used but further study is needed into why it failed.

"The other issue that has some work and analysis ahead of us is a small tear in the starboard OMS pod thermal blanket. We have some work to figure out if we need to gather some additional inspection imagery. We have already gathered some of that information and we may have to do some analysis to clear that for reentry."

He clarified the size of the tear as smaller than what was seen during STS-117 but as it is in a different location, work is needed to determine what effects atmospheric reentry might have on it.

Meanwhile, in orbit, STS-122 commander Steve Frick and mission specialist Stan Love were controlling Atlantis' arm, using it to grasp the orbiter's inspection boom (OBSS) and hand it off to the station arm controlled by Leland Melvin and Leopold Eyeharts. The SSRMS is moving the OBSS out of the way so that ESA's Columbus module can be later unberthed from Atlantis' payload bay and attached to the ISS.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Capcom Chris Cassidy has radioed the crew with a change to the mission's first spacewalk.

"EVA 1 will be delayed 24 hours and Stan [Love] will take Hans' [Schlegel's] place on the first EVA. For tomorrow's plans, we'll have them to you as soon as we have them and we will have words to you shortly as to the EVA prep changes."

Schlegel had been scheduled to start EVA 1 tomorrow morning with Rex Walheim.

fireflyer21
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posted 02-09-2008 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fireflyer21   Click Here to Email fireflyer21     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is presumably related to the surprise Private Medical Conference that was requested during the rendezvous. During the post-MMT briefing, chair John Shannon confirmed their was a non-life threatening medical issue on board, but would not state which crew member was involved or what illness was.

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posted 02-09-2008 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunatiki   Click Here to Email Lunatiki     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm assuming it will eventually be public information, whatever is ailing the astronaut. I've seen one teaser that just describes him as "unwell". If I had to bet, I'd just say it is typical of what has struck several astronauts in space, like CDR Borman. Although if it were more serious, which I hope it isn't, it will be interesting to see what is done.

Joel

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As has been noted, flight controllers have called for a change to STS-122's first spacewalk due to a crew medical issue.

"The crew called down and asked for [a private medical conference] during rendezvous, which was a little bit of a surprise to us," said Mission Management Chair John Shannon during an afternoon media briefing. "[The flight surgeons] talked to the crew members, they understood what the issue was."

"I will just say that it will not impact any of the objectives of this mission. It will cause us to rearrange some activities."

"I think you heard a call up to the crew a little bit earlier that we're going to delay EVA 1 by one day and it will be executed on flight day 5. They also called up that Stan Love will replace Hans Schlegel as an EVA crew member. Stan has practiced all the activities of EVA 1 extensively and we talked it over with the crew and they are very happy with that," Shannon explained.

According to Shannon, medical privacy policies prevent NASA from commenting on the nature of the medical issue or which crewman/men it is affecting, but he did confirm that it "was not life threatening".

Leland Melvin is this crew's medical officer.

No decision has been made as to who will perform the later scheduled spacewalks. Schlegel was scheduled to conduct EVA 2 as well.

Given the 24-hour delay to the first spacewalk, the mission has now been extended by one-day to preserve the day-on, day-off schedule between EVAs. Further, they are trying to reserve power such that an additional day may be available to accomplish a fourth EVA, which was planned pre-flight to be added if possible.

Delta7
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posted 02-09-2008 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Schlegel's flown before, so an unexpected severe case of SAS would be unusual. Maybe he broke a finger or pulled a muscle, or something like that. To call a conference during the rendezvous itself would seem unusual for a case of SAS, unless Schlegel was in such a state that he was limited in his ability or unable to perform his duties.

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posted 02-09-2008 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunatiki   Click Here to Email Lunatiki     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully this isn't a stupid question, but I'm assuming if he did have to return to earth, quickly, it would be via the shuttle and not the Soyuz capsule? But, wouldn't the shuttle be unable to re-enter/land until the lab is out?

Joel

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He could not return by Soyuz; he does not have a seat liner but more importantly, it would leave the ISS crew without an assured return vehicle.

The shuttle could return with the lab in its payload bay (remember that it has to be able to land in the case of an abort during launch).

But this is not a "life threatening" issue. Schlegel was seen smiling while floating through the station during the replay of the crew's arrival at the ISS.

Dirk
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posted 02-09-2008 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Earlier this evening (when I saw the ISS passing over Belgium) on the ISS tracking site you saw the names of all crew members (STS-122 + ISS-16). Now you only see the names of the ISS-16 members. Has the shuttle left the station?

Dirk

issman1
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posted 02-09-2008 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am quite surprised to hear that NASA has taken the radical step of removing Schlegel from the EVA. Presumably, it is so serious that he may not perform a spacewalk at all unfortunately (he is 56 years old)?

Has ESA said anything? And why was Love chosen to replace Schlegel instead of Eyharts? Surely, symbolism should count with Columbus aboard!

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posted 02-09-2008 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunatiki   Click Here to Email Lunatiki     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Realizing this isn't life-threatening, the situation did make me wonder what they would do IF they had to get him, or another astronaut, back quickly and how they would do it. A fully fueled passenger jet is capable of landing, but it isn't something you would want to do unless you absolutely had to. I'm guessing the same would apply to a shuttle in regards to payload weight. If anyone has any links to NASA's "plans" on a very quick shuttle abort from the ISS, I'd appreciate a link. Should be interesting reading.

Dirk
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posted 02-09-2008 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Eyharts mission was only to start up the Columbus module. I don't think he had to do an EVA.

Dirk

CosmicKnight
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posted 02-09-2008 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CosmicKnight   Click Here to Email CosmicKnight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During the playback of the video of the hatch opening and STS-122 crew arriving on the station, I heard a couple of comments that made it sound like that Schlegel may have lost his voice. Certainly not a serious medical condition, but it would present a problem for doing the EVA.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 05:56 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 issman1:
Presumably, it is so serious that he may not perform a spacewalk at all unfortunately (he is 56 years old)?
I would highly suggest not presuming anything. At this time, the only decision has been to replace Schlegel on EVA 1. He may still make EVA 2 yet. Only time (and NASA) will tell.
quote:
And why was Love chosen to replace Schlegel instead of Eyharts?
Love is trained to conduct the tasks scheduled for EVA 1, Eyharts is not.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 06:01 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 CosmicKnight:
During the playback of the video of the hatch opening and STS-122 crew arriving on the station, I heard a couple of comments that made it sound like that Schlegel may have lost his voice.
From the Associated Press:
quote:
At one point, space station astronaut Daniel Tani is heard asking someone, "What did you do to your voice?"

NASA's public affairs office refused to speculate whether the question was directed to Schlegel. But it would be a safety issue if a spacewalker could not speak.


However, in a call down just now from the ISS, Peggy Whitson said that she was reading back a checklist to the ground because "Leo has a scratchy voice," which may hint that Tani's earlier question was directed at Leopold Eyharts.

martyn20
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posted 02-09-2008 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for martyn20   Click Here to Email martyn20     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Losing his voice could be a sign of vomiting, I can't see why they would call the medical team at such an important time during docking just for a sore throat.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 06:07 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 Dirk:
Has the shuttle left the station?
No, Atlantis remains docked with the ISS (which if you turn on NASA TV or watch via the web, you can presently see). I suspect that what you saw earlier was before docking, when both the shuttle and ISS were represented on the map by separate icons. Now that they are one vehicle, only the ISS is shown and someone has yet to add the STS-122 crew's names to its constituency.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In other news, as of 5:20 p.m. CST, ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts has become a member of the ISS Expedition 16 crew, and Dan Tani, who he replaces, has joined the STS-122 crew. This swap was made official by the replacement of Tani's Soyuz seat liner with one sized for Eyehart.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2008 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Capcom Stephen Robinson has radioed the crews of the shuttle and ISS about the plan for Sunday (flight day 4). In addition to EVA review meetings and some off-time, the STS-122 crew will conduct a focused inspection of the protruding thermal blanket on the starboard OMS pod.

The crews were also told of the plan noted by John Shannon earlier today, that for now they will preserve the day-on, day-off schedule for the spacewalks by extending the mission by one day. Beyond that, controllers are looking to add another docked day, bringing the planned 11 day mission to 13 days.

cspg
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posted 02-10-2008 12:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, as usual, great coverage of the mission. Thanks a lot.

From the New York Times:

quote:
Mr. Shannon said the crew requested two private medical conferences with flight surgeons at about the same time, and shortly afterward mission control advised astronauts on both craft that a Sunday spacewalk would be delayed and that a different crewman would be involved.
So are there one or two astronauts who are sick?

Chris.

stsmithva
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posted 02-10-2008 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The main BBC news webpage has a rather arresting high-speed video of the rendezvous pitch maneuver. Look for the "back-flip" video at the middle left.

By the way, I met about a dozen of my students at Udvar-Hazy yesterday, and they liked seeing a live view from the ISS of the shuttle's approach... on a big monitor set up right next to Enterprise.

Steve

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-10-2008 09:10 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:
So are there one or two astronauts who are sick?
NASA said that they could not confirm who or how many crewmen were affected by this medical issue, nor could they comment on the nature of the issue (i.e. whether it was an illness, injury, etc.).

ESA however confirmed it was Schlegel as they radioed from their mission control. "Please forward to Hans all our best wishes. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for him to get better soon."

This morning's wake-up call, "Maenner" by Herbert Groenemeyer was played for Schlegel.

Responding to the music, Schlegel said, "Thank you very much for this piece of music. It's a German song about the nature of man, it was selected by my dear wife, Heike. Greetings to everybody in America, in Europe and in Germany and especially, of course, to my close family and my lovely wife, Heike."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-10-2008 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ESA's Columbus Blog has reprinted an e-mail from Dr. Volker Damann, Head of the Crew Medical Support Office at ESA's Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany:
quote:
Hans Schlegel went into space in perfect health condition. However, he has developed a condition that is neither life threatening nor does it impact the health of other crew members - but is currently not compatible with a space walk (EVA).

Therefore, the operational decision to exchange EVA crew members had to be made to achieve the mission objectives. At the moment, the medical community is confident that Hans will be able to perform his second EVA.


Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-10-2008 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From today's (FD4) execute package providing direction to the crew from flight controllers:
quote:
Pictures of the starboard OMS pod blanket appear to show that a corner of the blanket is lifted. That is why it was decided to do a focused inspection of this area today. The MMT has not yet had a chance to discuss what a "lifted blanket corner" in this area means for entry, but the OPO [Orbiter Project Office] and MER [Mission Evaluation Room] is going to recommend that it be categorized as a "TPS Degraded" case, which carries no restrictions on entry "as is". Of course, this is preliminary and based on the view that we have. The focused inspection will tell us more, but we just wanted you to know how it is seen at this time.
And a graphic from yesterday's briefings that illustrates the location of this mission's lifted blanket versus that seen on STS-117:

Delta7
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posted 02-10-2008 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It's a German song about the nature of man, it was selected by my dear wife, Heike.
I'm reminded of an interesting aside. Schlegel's wife is actually a former German Astronaut, Heike Walpot, who was selected by the German government in 1987 along with her future husband and 3 others (Ulrich Walter, Renate Brumer, and Gerhard Thiele). She retired without having flown in space, however.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-10-2008 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis' underbelly has been cleared for reentry. The only issue that is still being studied, in part by a still-underway close inspection by the crew, is the lifted or torn thermal blanket on the starboard OMS pod.

The plan moving forward after tomorrow's EVA is to pick up on the original schedule (+1 day), with all crew members resuming their original assignments.


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