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  STS-123: ISS goes global with 'hand and hope' (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   STS-123: ISS goes global with 'hand and hope'
Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2008 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The orbiter boom is now docked to the space station's truss.

Robert Pearlman
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Behnken is now starting his second attempt at attaching the MISSE experiment to the side of the Columbus lab, while Foreman inspects the starboard array joint.

The two spacewalkers are running approximately an hour ahead of their time line and are about 2.5 hours into the EVA.

Robert Pearlman
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Behnken has successfully installed one of the two suitcase-like MISSE experiments.

Foreman has tested an area of concern on the SARJ, confirming that what was seen in earlier photos did appear to be a divot in the race ring. "I feel a little roughness,' he reported, "it doesn't feel like a protrusion."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2008 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Behnken has installed the second of the MISSE experiments (the "evil" MISSE that gave them trouble during the earlier EVA) however its attachment pins would not fully go in. "Its hammer time!" said Behnken, getting the tool to drive the pins in further.

"So Houston, that completes the MISSE adventure," radioed Rick Linnehan.

"I guess your new nickname will be Thor," replied capcom Steve Robinson.

"Alright! Bam Bam, Thor, whatever it takes! We're here to serve," agreed Behnken.

"And we are really glad we are making humor up here because it relieves some of the stress," reflected Linnehan, "and we're really happy for the MISSE investigators and that we were able to get these payloads installed for them because we know there is a lot of good science to be had. I know they have been walking on egg shells through all this, so everything's good."

Foreman meanwhile, continued his inspection of the rotary joint, removing thermal covers and photographing the condition of the race ring underneath. "Yeah, I think you are doing great with that camera, Mike," commented Garrett Reisman. "We're going to hire you do my cousin's bar mitzvah."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2008 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The spacewalkers are so far ahead in their time line that one get ahead task has been added to their EVA: the installation trunnion covers on the Japanese logistics module.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2008 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The fifth and final spacewalk for the STS-123 mission came to a close after 6 hours and 2 minutes at 9:36 p.m. CDT.

This was the third spacewalk for both astronauts. Bob Behnken now has a career total of 19 hours and 19 minutes outside in space. Mike Foreman has 19 hours, 34 minutes.

This was the 109th spacewalk dedicated to the assembly and servicing of the ISS. In total, astronauts and cosmonauts have devoted 687 hours and 11 minutes to EVAs outside the station.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2008 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now that the spacewalks for this flight are over, I can reveal the secret behind my live blogging the EVAs: the right wardrobe.

Kidding of course, but there was a complete EMU glove in the JSC newsroom tonight and I couldn't resist the opportunity for a photo.

MCroft04
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posted 03-23-2008 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And no typo's; impressive! Perhaps NASA has a job for you Robert?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-23-2008 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the shadow of the station...

John Youskauskas
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posted 03-23-2008 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Youskauskas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's more like the station is "in the shadow of the shuttle"

Nice shot!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-24-2008 03:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE:
Astronauts see influences of Arthur Clarke, past crew members on space station
quote:
The crews of the International Space Station and the visiting space shuttle Endeavour spoke from space Sunday night to reporters gathered at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

During the event, collectSPACE asked the astronauts to reflect on the influences of science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who died March 18 at age 90, and of the previous visitors to the space station.


Jay Chladek
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posted 03-24-2008 04:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay Rob. I would love to see you take a typing test with that glove on. Also, don't forget to do typing glove inspections every 30 minutes to see if there is any damage to it.

"In the Shadow of the Station" LOL. I should have considered that as a title for my UNP book. But I already have something picked out (and a bit less cheesy at that).

Robert Pearlman
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The hatch separating Endeavour and the space station was closed at 4:49 p.m. CDT with each crew on their respective sides and in their respective vehicles.

Before parting ways, the joint crews gathered in the station's Harmony module to commemorate their 11 days, 16 hours and 21 minutes together. ISS Expedition 16 commander Peggy Whitson began the ceremony.

We were just getting ready to say goodbye to our friends but before we do that I wanted to first hand over our flight engineers.

Expedition 16 has had a number of flight engineers, I've already called Garrett 'Clay' once, and I'm sure I'll be messing up some more, but we've really had the privilege of having some great flight engineers and Yuri and I have seen a lot of nice faces and a lot of different personalities, which has also been a lot of fun for us to watch.

But I wanted to especially thank Leo for being here at a special time when we inaugurated the Columbus module and especially thank him all the work he did inside the Columbus module. I think the ground team is just as proud of him as I am really glad he was here during this stay.

And I'm really looking forward to all the laughs I'm going to have with Garrett cause he is just a lot of fun and I think its going to be a great time the next few weeks we have together before Yuri and I bail on him and I wanted to give these guys a chance to say a few words.

Departing European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts, who arrived on the station in February with the STS-122 crew, was next to speak.
Thanks a lot Peggy. It's hard for me to believe it is already finished. I still like Dan [Tani] is here right beside me and saying 'bye'.

It has been a great flight. It was with a great team, a great crew. I would, of course, like to thank all that have made that flight possible, I mean bringing the station up to what it is now, bringing the Columbus here and activating him and making it a scientific laboratory.

This was a great time. It has not been boring at all. I remember when on the station there were two people on-board, during six months it was probably boring but that was not the case for me. There were traffic jams all the time during my stay here. I'm really glad to have been able to do these things and have such a great team.

Of course, I would like to wish all the best to Garrett. I know he has a lot of things coming on his plate. He will do well. I would like to thank Peggy and Yuri and the 122 and 123 crews for their tremendous help and for their friendship, too.

Eyharts completed his remarks with a few words in Russian and then conveyed his thoughts to fellow ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier on the death of his wife, Susana.

Eyharts then passed the microphone to his replacement, "So, up to you Garrett. It's your turn. C'est la vie!"

Thanks Leo, I have to tell you it's a little intimidating taking over and replacing Leo because Leo is a general in the French air force and I never even made it through Weebelows let alone getting onto to Boy Scouts. So I feel a little mismatched but I will do my best.

I wanted to thank Leo for leaving us in such great shape especially all the hard work and long hours you put in to Columbus. You did a fantastic job getting Columbus activated and checked out and we're all going to benefit from that, so thank you very much. I appreciate that.

And then finally, I just want to say that I already feel the nostalgia coming on about the STS-123 crew. It was really fantastic being a part of this crew. It is a crew that excels not only professionally, a professional level, but also in a human level. And I mean that with all sincerity in the sense that it has just been a wonderful chapter in my life to be part of all that. And I want to say thank you to all of you guys. I really am going to miss all of you... except for you Rick! (laughs) and I look forward to seeing you. Have a great landing... don't forget the gear! (pointing at pilot Greg Johnson) and I look forward to seeing you all back home in a couple of months.

Reisman then passed the microphone to STS-123 commander Dom Gorie.
Thanks Garrett. We launched with seven good friends and we're leaving with ten. So, I appreciate that Peggy, your all's friendship and assistance has just been incredible.

If this mission is considered a success when we're done, it's only because of the help you gave us. Getting through those five EVAs was pretty scary hurdles to overcome and you guys made it easy for us, so we sure appreciate that. We had a great time here, looking forward to a wonderful trip home.

It's sort of a strange feeling to want to see your families but not want to leave such a wonderful place and you made it that way, so thank you very much.

Whitson concluded the event, which was broadcasted live from the space station in high definition.
And we had a great time with you guys. It's a lot of fun spending time with people that you can laugh and joke with and we did a little of that as well as getting a lot of work done. So, thanks.

Robert Pearlman
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Space shuttle Endeavour and the crew of STS-123 undocked from the International Space Station at 7:25 p.m. CDT, while flying 212 miles above the Indian Ocean.

"Houston, Endeavour, we have physical separation," reported STS-123 commander Dom Gorie.

The separation came about a half hour later than expected due to the time needed for ground controllers to stabilize a solar array rotary joint on the port side of the station.

"Endeavour, departing" reported Garrett Reisman, continuing a tradition of ringing a bell on the space station.

"We're the happy recipients of the Kibo module and Dextre," said ISS Commander Peggy Whitson. "We really appreciate everything you've done for us over the last couple of weeks. Thanks a bunch and especially thanks for being such great guys."

"Thanks my friends," replied Gorie, "see you on the ground here in about a month."

Robert Pearlman
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Pilot Greg Johnson has begun Endeavour's flyaround of the space station.

Robert Pearlman
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Endeavour's flyaround is now more than halfway completed.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-24-2008 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour now approaching the point directly below the station.

Robert Pearlman
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Endeavour now more than three-quarters of the way complete in its circle around the station.

Robert Pearlman
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Endeavour completed its flyaround of the space station and successfully fired its first separation burn at 8:36 p.m. CDT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-24-2008 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Deorbit Opportunities for STS-123 (all times are EDT) Updated: March 24, 2008
DateOrbitSiteTIGLanding
Wed, Mar. 26248KSC5:58:14 p.m.7:05:08 p.m.
249KSC7:33:14 p.m.8:39:06 p.m.
Thu, Mar. 27264KSC6:24 p.m.7:27 p.m.
265KSC8:00 p.m.9:02 p.m.
266EDW9:30 p.m.10:32 p.m.
267EDW11:06 p.m.12:08 a.m.
Fri, Mar. 28279KSC5:12 p.m.6:15 p.m.
280KSC6:48 p.m.7:50 p.m.
281EDW8:18 p.m.9:21 p.m.
NOR7:19 p.m.8:22 p.m.
282EDW9:53 p.m.10:56 p.m.
NOR9:55 p.m.10:57 p.m.
283EDW11:30 p.m.12:31 p.m.
TIG = Time of Ignition for Deorbit Burn
KSC = Kennedy Space Center
EDW = Edwards Air Force Base
NOR - Northrup Flight Strip (White Sands)

Deorbit Timeline for the First KSC Landing Opportunity March 26
(all times are EDT)

2:05 p.m.Deorbit Prep begins
3:18 p.m.Payload Bay Door closing
3:28 p.m.Transition to Reentry Software (Ops 3)
4:33 p.m.Donning ACES flight suits
4:58 p.m.Seat ingress
5:11 p.m.OMS Gimbal Check
5:25 p.m.APU Prestart
5:40 p.m."Go-No Go" decision for deorbit burn
5:47 p.m.Maneuver for deorbit burn attitude
5:58:14 p.m.Deorbit burn
7:05:08 p.m.KSC landing

Additional ground tracks for the first day's KSC opportunities are here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-25-2008 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the final execute package before end of mission (EOM):

Federal authorities may be there at EOM to question you about some alleged "crimes against fashion" committed during the Farewell Ceremony. Nothing to get too excited about, just answer their questions (but you might consider burying those shirts DEEP in the return laundry bin).

Robert Pearlman
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The following photographs were sent to collectSPACE by a reader.

Seen here, a small 'ding' on Endeavour's leftmost three-pane, 2.5-inch thick window (next to the commander's seat) caused by a micrometeorite impact. The ding is about 1/8th to 3/16th of an inch in diameter.

NASA's engineers evaluated the damage for reentry, and deemed it to be safe.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-25-2008 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jelly Beans... in... Spaaaaaaace!

ASCAN1984
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posted 03-26-2008 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Jelly Beans... in... Spaaaaaaace!
Just watched the video of this on Spaceflight Now. Hilarious. Great video to cheer me up. At the end capcom Jim Dutton says "Endeavour we appreciate the entertainment, but we'll have to ask you to get back to work". Was this a subtle way of telling them off?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2008 03:14 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 ASCAN1984:
Was this a subtle way of telling them off?
I think it was just some good humored ribbing by Mission Control.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2008 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour's payload bay doors were closed a little over an hour ago for today's 7:05 p.m. EDT landing on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida.

The crew of STS-123 have transitioned the orbiter's flight software for reentry and are donning their pressure suits.

Soon they will begin "fluid loading" to help with their re-adaptation to gravity. Each crew member had a choice of drinks:

CDR Gorie
PLT Johnson
MS1 Behnken
MS2 Foreman
MS3 Doi
MS4 Linnehan
MS5 Eyharts
16 oz of water and 24 oz of chicken consommé
24 oz of water and 24 oz of chicken consommé
24 oz of chicken consommé and 24 oz of orange ade
24 oz of water and 24 oz of chicken consommé
32 oz of water
40 oz of lemon-lime drink
32 oz of Water

Should weather cooperate, Endeavour will fire its deorbit burn at 5:58:14 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
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"Unfortunately, the weather trend did not improve as we had hoped, so we are going to be waving off for one orbit," radioed capcom Jim Dutton to STS-123 commander Dom Gorie.

Cloud cover and moisture in the vicinity of the Kennedy Space Center was deemed "too unstable" to support a landing during the first opportunity.

Should the weather improve as the forecast predicts, the second landing attempt would see a deorbit burn at 7:33:14 p.m. EDT with a touchdown at 8:39:06 p.m., one hour after sunset, for the 16th night landing at the Kennedy Space Center in history.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2008 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour's crew has been give the 'go' for the deorbit burn at 7:33 p.m. EDT to bring them home to Kennedy Space Center at 8:39 p.m.

Just before radioing the approval for their reentry, capcom Jim Dutton asked STS-123 commander Dom Gorie his opinion of the situation.

"Dom, we'd like to get your thoughts on this, what we're looking at right now is pretty good observation but a possibility that we could see some clouds come in between 5 and 6,000 feet broken and we're just weighing that versus bringing you back tomorrow during the daylight opportunity. Wanted to know your thoughts," asked Dutton.

"Jim, we trained for the last couple of months at night, both Box and I feel really comfortable with that and we're comfortable with that weather, if you guys are," replied Gorie.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2008 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour's crew has completed the 2 minute, 45 second deorbit burn, slowing their velocity by about 200 mph, beginning their descent into the atmosphere.

Robert Pearlman
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Endeavour has reached "entry interface", feeling the first effects of the atmosphere at an altitude of 400,000 feet and a distance of 4,400 miles from its landing site.

Robert Pearlman
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Touchdown! Space shuttle Endeavour landed on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida at 8:39 p.m. EDT.

"Houston, Endeavour, wheels stop," reported STS-123 commander Dom Gorie.

"Welcome home, Endeavour! O-kaeri nasai, Takao! Bienvenue, Leo! Congrats to the entire crew, to JAXA and to CSA on a very successful mission delivering the JLP and Dextre to their new home aboard ISS," responded capcom Jim Dutton from Houston Mission Control.

"Thanks Jim, it was a super rewarding mission, exciting from the start to the ending, and we just thank you for all your help. Looking forward to seeing you in Houston," replied Gorie.

On-board Endeavour, the STS-123 crew completed 250 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6,578,000 miles during 15 days, 18 hours, and 11 minutes in space, of which 11 days, 16 hours and 21 minutes were spent docked with the International Space Station (ISS).

Joining the crew for their ride home was European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts, returning after 48 days in space, most of which was spent living and work on the orbiting outpost.

Eyharts replacement on the ISS, Garrett Reisman launched with the STS-123 crew on March 11.

Endeavour's arrival was the 16th night landing at the Kennedy Space Center in shuttle program history. At touchdown, the orbiter weighed 207,582 lbs, approximately 62,185 lbs. lighter than when it was launched, having delivered the Kibo Japanese Logistics Module and Canadian Dextre robotics system to the space station.

STS-123 marked the 25th shuttle mission to assemble and service the International Space Station. It was the 122nd flight in space shuttle history, the 21st for Endeavour and the 150th U.S. orbital mission.

Greggy_D
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posted 03-26-2008 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's that on fire?

Edit: Never mind...APU venting. I just don't recall seeing it like that.

spaceman1953
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posted 03-26-2008 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an absolutely spectacular way to end a mission... I thought watching the Shuttle/ISS fly overhead at night was cool, but watching a landing on NASA TV on the Internet is way cool too.

Welcome home! And thank you!

Gene

MCroft04
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posted 03-26-2008 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The video on NASA TV of Endeavour coming home was spectacular! Plus an ISS sighting slightly prior to landing made for a great night.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2008 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Landing times:
  • Main gear touchdown:
    15 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes, 54 seconds
    7:39:08 p.m. CST
  • Nose gear touchdown:
    15 days, 18 hours, 11 minutes, 3 seconds
    7:39:17 p.m. CST
  • Wheels stop:
    15 days, 18 hours, 12 minutes, 27 seconds
    7:40:41 p.m. CST

ejectr
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posted 03-26-2008 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't recall those APU exhaust flames on any other night landing. Impressive!

Fra Mauro
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posted 03-26-2008 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was too bad that the cable networks provided so little coverage of the STS-123 landing. FoxNews showed about two minutes with Tom Jones but CNN thought that a political psychologist was more interesting. Granted that it was a night landing but with each flight we get closer to the end of an era. Perhaps we space enthusiasts should voice our displeasure to the networks with emails.

garymilgrom
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posted 03-27-2008 06:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fra Mauro you should definitely voice your opinion to the networks and your cable company. Comcast in Atlanta carries NASA TV and it was great to watch. You are correct this is the end of an era, we will never see a vehicle like this again.

Jay Chladek
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posted 03-27-2008 06:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got home and tuned in to see them go right over the numbers on Fox. Beautiful landing. Indeed CNN coverage of these things isn't what it used to be as for the launch of Endeavour, they broke over to CNN International coverage rather then having Miles and his team down there.

As for the APU vent, to me it didn't look any more spectacular then previous night landings. I've seen that orange/yellow glow before from APU ventings. Of course the most spectacular one of all was an early Challenger flight where the APU had a malfunction and it was really spitting a tongue of flame like an exhaust stack from a WW2 era P-51 fighter during engine start.

Excellent coverage as always Rob. BTW, the mention of water had me wondering if mission control determined that apparent high PH reading in the water line from the fuel cells last night was indeed a false reading or not. Did they cover that topic at all today prior to the deorbit and reentry coverage? Granted the astronauts had backup water supplies, but I am curious.

cspg
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posted 03-27-2008 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
I got home and tuned in to see them go right over the numbers on Fox. Beautiful landing. Indeed CNN coverage of these things isn't what it used to be as for the launch of Endeavour, they broke over to CNN International coverage rather then having Miles and his team down there.

Unbelievable! And I thought that you guys living in the States had access to CNN-US instead of this awful (and I'm being awfully polite here) CNN-International...I'm baffled by this.

In the networks' defense (except Fox which is indefensible but then again last time we had this "channel" was a few years ago), you don't see much during a night landing....Even the launch was not that good. Nothing beats a day launch/landing (with no clouds).

Chris.


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