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  STS-125: Preparing Atlantis to service Hubble (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-125: Preparing Atlantis to service Hubble
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-12-2008 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John Frassanito & Associates
Launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has become the foremost astronomical research instrument in history. From neighboring planets in our solar system to the most distant objects in the cosmos, Hubble has investigated the most intriguing questions in science.

Later this year, Space Shuttle Atlantis will rendezvous with Hubble. During several spacewalks, astronauts will repair, replace, and upgrade the observatory's instruments and other systems to far surpass current performance. Hubble's scientific exploration of the Universe continues...

NavySpaceFan
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posted 06-13-2008 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice video for what is sure to be a spectacular mission. Between IMAX and HD TV, the footage should be amazing!!!!

tegwilym
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posted 06-13-2008 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice! I really like that first shot where the camera is still, and Hubble/shuttle shoot across the screen. Give you a good impression that they are moving and not just the earth below.

I really like these NASA mission 'movie trailers' that they are putting out these days. Phoenix "7 Minutes of Terror" was great!

...now if it would just get more people interested in this stuff.

Tom

issman1
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I was surprised to discover that STS-125 will be a night launch. Considering there is no "safe haven" of the ISS for this flight, I would have thought a daylight launch would be prudent just in case Atlantis was hit by foam during the first 2 minutes? Unless of course NASA is confident that visual cues are unnecessary.

mjanovec
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posted 06-28-2008 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The on-orbit inspection of the thermal protection system should catch any damage that was done during launch... so having clear views of the shuttle during launch is not necessary.

One reason for daylight launches after STS-107 was to look for foam shedding events and determine where they originated and at what time in the flight they occurred. This necessitated having the best views possible. Now that NASA is more confident that the foam shedding problem has been minimized, night launches are once again possible.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-01-2008 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today, the media was invited to Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for a series of briefings about STS-125 and the center's role in the mission.

In addition to performing the daily orbital operations, servicing mission development and overall management of the Hubble Space Telescope Program, GSFC is also where all the hardware for the flight has been tested and is now being prepared for shipment to the Kennedy Space Center for launch.

As part of the day's activities, the press was provided an opportunity to view the clean room (the largest in the world) where the STS-125 payloads are being readied for their July 14 departure to Florida. Click on photos to enlarge.

This high fidelity mechanical simulator of the aft section of the telescope is used to test the integration of Hubble components.
In the foreground, technicians work atop the orbital replacement unit carrier, a Spacelab pallet that previously flew on the prior three HST servicing missions. The box to the left of the two men will house the Fine Guidance Sensor; the box to the right, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (both instruments were also in the room but covered as their carrier was being prepared). The device between them is an IMAX 3D camera.

In the background, is the flight support system that will mechanically hold Hubble during servicing, as well provide the telescope power and position it as needed during the mission's five spacewalks.

Pictured here is the super lightweight integrated carrier (SLIC) that will support the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) for flight. The camera, which replaces WFC2, the imaging system responsible for some of Hubble's most iconic imagery, will be the first Hubble wide field camera capable of spanning ultraviolet, visible and infrared spectrums.

To the left, among the technicians, can be seen four individuals wearing blue-colored head coverings; they are the STS-125 EVA crew members John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Drew Feustel and Mike Good.

An overview of the STS-125 flight pallets, less the multi-use logistics equipment (MULE) carrier.
Other photographs will be posted as the mission draws near, but to close this post, a bit of humor courtesy some of the STS-125 crew members, who at one point noticed the press snapping photos and decided to have a little fun...

Philip
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posted 07-02-2008 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally an interesting mission... the complete science community have been waiting (too) long for this final HST repair mission.

Max Q
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posted 07-02-2008 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The final repair mission or is it?

Man I hope not but if it is I hope they find a way to bring it home and display in the Smithsonian as was talked about. I for one would go and worship at the alter of science that it would become but alas I doubt they will. It will just die in the atmosphere.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-02-2008 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-125 will add a soft capture mechanism to the aft bulkhead of Hubble, greatly increasing the likelihood of a future, successful autonomous rendezvous and capture. It is essentially a risk reduction opportunity for a de-orbit mission.

That said, if a commercial proposal was put forth to boost the telescope after its end of mission to a higher orbit for later retrieval (or, however unlikely, a commercial solution can be found to returning it safely to Earth) than I am sure NASA would consider that option.

Either way, barring some unforeseen development, STS-125 is the last time astronauts will visit the orbiting observatory.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 07-02-2008 11:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NOVA Science Now will air a segment entitled Saving Hubble on 9 July.

------------------
Scott Schneeweis
http://www.SPACEAHOLIC.com/

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-11-2008 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Thursday, July 10, External Tank 127 (ET-127) was rolled out of the Michoud Processing Facility in Louisiana to a waiting barge and is now on its way to the Kennedy Space Center to fly on STS-125.

Philip
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quote:
Originally posted by Max Q:
It will just die in the atmosphere.
Hubble Space Telescope's original orbit was 600 Kilometers and the decay of the orbit is about 15 Kilometers per year. Of course the orbit will be corrected during this last service mission

Philip
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Well, someparts of Hubble Space Telescope might survive the re-entry, the large 2.5 meter mirror for instance.

It's certainly NOT the plan to bring HST back home, moreover I believe none of the orbiters is equipped to return the large telescope as the airlock is situated in the cargo bay. Early shuttles, had an internal airlock at the lower deck and thus more space in the aft cargo bay.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-16-2008 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ET-127 arrived at Kennedy Space Center on July 15. After being offloaded and moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building, the tank will be raised to vertical, lifted and moved into a checkout cell. Stacking of the tank and solid rocket boosters in support of STS-125 is planned to start on August 7.
Meanwhile, in the Orbiter Processing Facility, the STS-125 crew was taking part in their crew equipment interface test (CEIT), which provides hands-on experience with hardware and equipment for the mission. Seen here, the astronauts are lowered into Atlantis' payload bay for a close look at the hardware.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-16-2008 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
First Hubble Flight Hardware Arrives At Kennedy For STS-125

The first major flight hardware for the fifth and final space shuttle servicing mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is starting to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to begin preparations for its targeted October launch.

Three carriers, which are pallets that will hold equipment in space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay, were delivered to Kennedy Wednesday. They will be prepared for the integration of telescope science instruments, both internal and external replacement components, as well as the flight support equipment to be used by the astronauts during Atlantis' mission, designated STS-125 and SM4.

The three payload carriers are the Flight Support System (FSS), the Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier (SLIC), and the Orbital Replacement Unit Carrier (ORUC). At the end of July, a fourth and final carrier, the Multi-Use Lightweight Equipment (MULE) carrier, will join the others in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility where the Hubble payload is being prepared for launch.

The Flight Support System will attach, secure and provide power to Hubble and also contains the Soft Capture Mechanism that will assist in the de-orbiting of the telescope when its science mission is over. Among the components to be integrated onto the carriers are the Wide Field Camera 3 that will be placed on the SLIC with Hubble's two new battery modules. The Fine Guidance Sensor and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph will be on the ORUC, as well as the replacement gyros. The Relative Navigation Sensors and the New Outer Blanket Layers will be on the MULE. These components, which will be integrated onto the carriers, will be delivered to Kennedy during the first half of August.

Numerous crew aids and tools that the astronauts will use during their five planned spacewalks also will be integrated onto the carriers. The new hardware will ensure Hubble is at the apex of its scientific capability and that it functions efficiently for a minimum of five more years.

The processing and integration of the Hubble flight hardware will take approximately two months. The payload is scheduled to go to Launch Pad 39A in mid-September to be installed into Atlantis' payload bay.

Atlantis is targeted to launch Oct. 8 at 1:34 a.m. EDT.

spaceman48263
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posted 07-16-2008 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman48263   Click Here to Email spaceman48263     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When will the roll out be?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-16-2008 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rollout of Atlantis to Pad 39A is targeted for August 29 (Endeavour is targeted to rollout to Pad 39B in support of the launch on need requirement for STS-125 on September 23).

lunarrv15
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posted 07-17-2008 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On NASASpaceflight.com, NASA managers has requested a change to 125 and 126 launch date. Think this will happen?

There will be a chance then to see 125.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-17-2008 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I was at Goddard Space Flight Center on July 1 for the first set of media briefings about STS-125, Hubble Program Manager Preston Burch said of the launch date:
We're planning to launch on October 8. You may also have heard, I understand was the scuttlebutt on the internet about us going early. I can tell you that we are working very, very closely with our counterparts on the shuttle program. Yes, they right now think they can be ready to launch as much as six or seven days earlier than this launch date, however we don't have that type of flexibility. Our hardware hasn't left Goddard yet, we're finishing up the test program. The hardware will be shipping here within the next week and a half, or two weeks from Goddard to go to the Cape and so there is not a lot of flexibility. The remaining couple of weeks that we have here at Goddard are to finish up our work. At the Cape, approximately half of that time at the Cape is shuttle orbiter processing activities that go on. They don't have a lot of flexibility to compress that time more than what they are currently advertising. As far as Hubble goes, we've got, at most, maybe three days of embedded slack in our schedule. If everything goes extremely well for us, it might be possible for us to be one or two days earlier to launch and the shuttle program, in theory, will be poised to take advantage of that. I wouldn't put a whole lot of money on us going much earlier than October 8. So, that's the real story, so our chances of going a week early, like someone was telling me a while ago are zero, I would say.
During the same meeting, Burch said that the hardware would leave Goddard on July 14, which was met as noted by the NASA release about its arrival at Kennedy Space Center yesterday (July 16).

With regards to the change request, which has been circulated to other news sites, in addition to NSF, to be approved KSC needs to gain a better understanding of the processing flow for Hubble's hardware thus it be ready to be moved to the pad in mid-September. That decision will come next month when managers meet again.

astro-nut
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posted 07-20-2008 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anybody know who the STS-400 crew will be? This will be the crew to rescue the STS-125/Hubble Space Telescope crew if needed. Thank you.

Robert Pearlman
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The STS-400 crew, if needed, will be the flight deck crew from STS-123: Dom Gorie, Greg H. Johnson, Bob Behnken and Mike Foreman.

Robert Pearlman
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Bill Harwood reports that the launch date change request submitted earlier by NASA managers has been updated:
As originally written, the CR would have moved launch of STS-125, a long-awaited mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope, from Oct. 8 to Oct. 2. The flight after that, STS-126, would have moved from Nov. 10 to Nov. 4 - election day in the United States.

But crew training, payload processing and work to ready external tanks for flight prompted managers today to request Oct. 5 for launch of the Hubble servicing mission and Nov. 7 for the subsequent space station assembly flight. A decision on whether to actually approve those target dates is expected Aug. 14.

Assuming the revised target dates are selected, the shuttle Atlantis would take off on the Hubble servicing mission at 3:02:18 a.m. EDT on Oct. 5. The telescope would be grappled around 1:28 a.m. on Oct. 7 and the first of five back-to-back spacewalks to service and upgrade the observatory would begin later that day at 8:17 p.m. If all goes well, Hubble would be released from the shuttle around 9:13 p.m. on Oct. 12 and Atlantis would land back at the Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 16 at 12:04 a.m.

In regards to payload processing, three of the instrument carriers are being serviced in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.

From left are the Flight Support System or FSS, the Orbital Replacement Unit Carrier or ORUC, and the Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier or SLIC. The Multi-Use Lightweight Equipment carrier will be delivered in early August.
Meanwhile in OPF-1, Atlantis' payload bay doors have been closed in preparation for its rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building, currently expected on or about August 18.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2008 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-05-2008 12:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On August 3, External Tank 127 was lowered between STS-125's solid rocket boosters for mating on the mobile launcher platform.

Philip
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posted 08-07-2008 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Superb HST artist impression: Poster: The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-07-2008 08:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA TV to Air Interviews With Hubble Servicing Astronauts

NASA Television will air interviews with each of the seven astronauts who will fly to the Hubble Space Telescope beginning at 8 a.m. EDT, on Monday, Aug. 11.

The crew includes Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Gregory C. Johnson, and mission specialists Michael Good, Megan McArthur, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Andrew Feustel.

The interviews will run repeatedly on NASA TV prior to launch. For information on when and for the complete NASA TV schedule and training footage, visit NASA's website.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-14-2008 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just received word (via a colleague at SPACE.com) that STS-125's launch date will remain October 8.

The change request to October 5 was not approved.

NavySpaceFan
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posted 08-14-2008 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any explanation given? It seemed to be a done deal with the smooth pad flow to date for both ATLANTIS and ENDEAVOUR.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-14-2008 10:45 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 NavySpaceFan:
Any explanation given?
As earlier noted, it was payload processing: when it came down to it, the Hubble program could only support a one day move, which was deemed by NASA managers to be too constrained to justify changing the date.

The Atlas 5 that was scheduled for launch from CCAFS on Oct. 10 is moving, giving STS-125 more opportunities to launch.

(The two-day stand down by JSC for Eduordo also affected the decision for STS-126, as the crew lost sim time, leading to training load concerns.)

cspg
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posted 08-14-2008 11:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought Atlantis' nose gear issue and Endeavour's fuel cell and ET issues also came into play for not moving launch dates early.

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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Neither issue was reported by NASA as playing a part in the launch date decision.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-15-2008 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per NASA:
Atlantis is scheduled to move from its processing hanger to the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, on Monday, Aug. 18, where it will be attached to an external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.

The shuttle will roll out to Launch Pad 39A the week of Aug. 24. The date will be finalized early next week.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-15-2008 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There might be a monkeywrench in that plan as apparently there is a tropical storm in the Carribean right now named Fay and there are concerns it might track towards Florida. Most of the predictions are that it will stay west and do the loop back towards Pensacola like a few of the storms from the last four years have. Plus, the plots also have it going over Cuba, which will probably keep it from becoming a Hurricane. But, one predicted track has it going up through Florida directly like one of the storms in 2004 did.

I don't think this one will hit hurricane strength or stay that way if it tracks over the state, but it could dump a bit of rain on Central Florida if it does indeed track up the middle of the state.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-17-2008 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceflight Now: Tropical weather delays move of shuttle Atlantis
Space shuttle Atlantis will remain inside its hangar until after Fay, the tropical weather system expected to hit Florida on Tuesday, passes clear of the spaceport. The shuttle had been scheduled to move into the Vehicle Assembly Building on Monday morning for attachment to its fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.

"It is uncertain that the rollover could be followed completing the operation to mate Atlantis to the external tank/solid rocket booster stack before possible tropical storm conditions arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday evening," NASA spokesman George Diller said in a statement.

A new date for Atlantis' move has not been set. Officials say the delay should not impact the planned October 8 launch on the fifth and final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-18-2008 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per NASA, rollover of Atlantis from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building is to occur no earlier than Thursday, August 21. This delay is not expected to impact the Oct. 8 target launch date.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-21-2008 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I take it that the rollover probably didn't occur today since Fay is still dumping rain on the region?

Robert Pearlman
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Correct; Kennedy Space Center delayed "reopening the center for mission essential personnel Thursday morning because of slow-moving Tropical Storm Fay."

Plans call for the center to open to all employees and return to full operation Friday. As such, the earliest we could expect to see rollover would be this weekend.

Based on initial assessments, there are no injuries or damage to flight hardware associated with Fay at the center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-22-2008 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florida Today reports:
The orbiter Atlantis is being readied to roll over to the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building as early as noon today.

The agency only needs about a 40-minute period of clear conditions to get the winged spaceship from one building to the other. The forecast right now calls for some rain, some wind and some sun, and chances are the move will take place before the end of business today.

Update:
NASA is holding up the rollover of the orbiter Atlantis to make certain there will be a two-hour window of good weather prior to backing the priceless spaceship out of its hangar.

Engineers also are concerned that loose siding panels on the Vehicle Assembly Building could get blown off by high winds and strike the winged orbiter.

The four suspect panels are on the west side of the building near the doors to the bay closest to the giant American flag that was painted on the south side of the facility for the bicentenniel in 1976.

NASA meteorologists also remain concerned about the chance of rain and high winds, so the latest word is that the quarter-mile move could take place anytime between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-22-2008 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to NASA KSC news chief Allard Beutel as of 10 p.m. EDT, technicians were given the "green light" to begin moving Atlantis from its OPF to the VAB shortly.

The loose VAB siding panels that were of an earlier concern were secured, leaving only the weather as a factor as to when to begin the rollover.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-22-2008 10:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis came to a stop in the VAB's transfer aisle at 10:50 p.m. EDT after rolling over from OPF-1.


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