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  STS-125: mission viewing, questions, comments (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   STS-125: mission viewing, questions, comments
tncmaxq
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posted 05-12-2009 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was glad I watched the spaceflightnow.com webcast, which I thought was quite good. Robert Pearlman was on after launch and had a good interview with Miles O'Brien.

I was surprised again that George Diller counted down from 10 to zero without stopping for "main engine start" again. That always sounds a bit unusual but that has been the trend with recent launches. His post liftoff commentary went on a bit long I thought but who am I to criticize.

I will criticize CNN though for some rather bad coverage. I was glad I set the DVR to record Fox News as well as CNN. I don't know how MSNBC did. Anyway, the banter on CNN just did not stop. At the point of ignition the anchor lady finally said "oh are they going now?" or words to that effect, and they finally let us hear the voice of launch control. Though this was accompanied by other annoying video and graphics on the screen. Within seconds after launch they had another screen next to Atlantis attempting to show the news conference by Sec of Defense Gates. I think it would have been very difficult for a viewer to concentrate on either. Next time if I am not home I won't even bother with CNN.

Voyager1975
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posted 05-12-2009 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager1975   Click Here to Email Voyager1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is why nothing beats NASA-TV!

neke
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posted 05-12-2009 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for neke   Click Here to Email neke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tncmaxq:
At the point of ignition the anchor lady finally said "oh are they going now?" or words to that effect, and they finally let us hear the voice of launch control.
I thought that was annoying too. I was going back and forth between CNN and the Science Channel and neither of them would shut up! I would rather have minimal commentary for the last moments of the countdown and the first couple of minutes after launch. I watched the last one on CNN and I don't recall it being anywhere near as bad -- maybe because they didn't have another press conference they were also trying to focus on.

mjanovec
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posted 05-12-2009 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA TV really is the most preferable channel to watch, if you have it. The nice thing is that after the launch, they go back and do about 30 minutes worth of replays from all of the different camera angles.

alanh_7
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posted 05-12-2009 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree, CNN was a mess. They cut to press conference with Robert Gates about a minute after launch. Fortunately I had NASA TV on my computer and while there was a few seconds delay in the feed, I could live with that, and turned off the TV rather than watch the awful coverage CNN provided.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-12-2009 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat videos from NASA giving the press and spectator experience:

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-12-2009 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
I believe Rob was referring to the causeway west of KSC...
That's correct.

OV-105
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posted 05-12-2009 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
NASA TV really is the most preferable channel to watch, if you have it.
I have to agree on NASA TV. Once you watch a launch or landing on it you just can go back to TV news coverage. When the shuttle is up my TV is on 213, Dish Networks NASA TV Channel.

teopze
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posted 05-13-2009 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for teopze   Click Here to Email teopze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend asked me this question and I didn't know how to answer. What would have to be done to go from Hubble orbit to ISS orbit? Would it even be possible to fly from Kennedy Space Center to Hubble via ISS (STS or Orion)?

MCroft04
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posted 05-13-2009 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, awesome coverage! Imagine, sitting in my study in Maine and getting first hand coverage, even though I can't see the Hubble and shuttle this far north.

KSCartist
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posted 05-13-2009 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by teopze:
What would have to be done to go from Hubble orbit to ISS orbit?
Draw a circle on a piece of paper and then draw a line from left to right across the center. That line is your equator.

Then take a protractor and with it resting on the equator draw a diagonal line at 28 degrees and a second line at 51 degrees.

The 28 degree line is the Hubble orbit. The 51 degree line is the ISS orbit.

Explain to your friend that both of these satellites travel in their own paths continuously. But then explain that they are also at different altitudes above the Earth's surface therefore they are also at slightly different speeds.

So while their orbits might take one of them over the other it is impossible to travel from one orbit to the other because no spacecraft has the fuel (and power) to change orbits that drastically.

The problem with movies like Star Wars is that spacecraft can't dive and pull up and turn like a jet fighter. They move in a straight but curved line in orbit around a body. Or they can be designed to increase speed and then leave the orbit of one body and travel to another as we did during Apollo or when we send a satellite to the farthest reaches of the solar system.

I know it's a little verbose but I hope this helps.

cspg
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posted 05-14-2009 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Viewing the YouTube HQ launch replay was really nice - my first time!

How does the shuttle move from a heads-down to a heads-up position (amazing sight, btw)? SSME gimballing or thruster firings?

JPSastro
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posted 05-14-2009 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JPSastro   Click Here to Email JPSastro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Been watching the outstanding video coverage via NASA TV on the web. Just remarkable. Even took the laptop down to the laundry room in my apartment complex (we have free WiFi) and had people watching with me. A majority did not know there was a launch, let alone a repair mission! Folks were amazed at the EVA live video...

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-14-2009 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by teopze:
What would have to be done to go from Hubble orbit to ISS orbit?
The way I picture trying to get from one orbit to the next is like two cars that can only travel at one speed on different highways. They can only change from one highway to the other at two intersections as they loop around (where the orbits intersect). At 65mph it is relatively easy to change course from one to the next. Increase speed it becomes harder as one car would go out of control and crash on the interchange. If both are traveling at 17,500 mph (give or take a few mph difference) then it becomes really hard.

In the case of a shuttle, all its OMS propellant might be able to change orbits just a few degrees and it would only be able to get maybe 1/30th of the way to the proper inclination for the ISS before running out of gas. And it could only be done gradually two times each orbit as they intersect as the shuttle's OMS engines are not powerful enough to do that much of a change in Delta V (enough for rendezvous and slight orbit changes when the inclination is the same, but not for extreme changes to the orbital inclination itself).

dogcrew5369
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posted 05-16-2009 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Directv HD offers HDNet channel which scheduled a half hour of beautiful HD coverage of the launch. Trust me, HD is the next best thing to being there. Since I can't get NASA channel in HD (not offered) I tape the whole thing on a rudimentary VCR set to NASA channel in a different room and watch HDNet for the half hour. It works for me. Much, much better than any news channel if you can get it plus they offered several cool launch replays. The Science channel also covered it in HD, but three channels was too much for me to handle.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 05-16-2009 05:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Check out these amazing images of the shuttle and Hubble transiting the Sun.

Thierry Legault's website has some stunning photography, including an ISS/Atlantis transit of the Sun (see "best of").

micropooz
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posted 05-17-2009 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got a chance to sit in the Banana Creek viewing stands for the launch. Here is the link to the pics I took. Not professional pics, but this amateur is pretty happy with them...

sara1861
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posted 05-17-2009 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sara1861   Click Here to Email sara1861     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As an amateur astronomer, I love Hubble. What a treat it has been to watch the guys tinker in their "garage". This is a one-time incredible event. It will never be seen again. Some of my family lives in Maryland near the Goddard Space Flight Center.

When I have a decent amount of money, I am going to visit every scientific facility that I can. I have already visited the MacDonald Observatory where they shoot the ruby laser to the Moon. The Apollo astronauts left the reflectors on the Moon. A sad note: Our Moon is moving away from Earth. In about 10,000 years there will no more eclipses.

I have been to Kitt Peak Observatory and saw the sun in hydrogen alpha light. They are a part of the planetary-wide Earth flare network. I've been to Mt. Palomar with the 200-inch telescope. I saw the observatories on Mauna Kea Volcano from a distance (the observatories are at 10,000-foot altitude).

I want to go to JPL in Pasadena, Ca. There are observatories in Australia that will knock your socks off.

Did you know that most all scientists love to talk about their work? Why not? Wouldn't you?

HUBBLE RULES!

James Brown
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posted 05-17-2009 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had a great time at the 125 launch. Got to meet up with several CS members, including my good friend Eamonn (irish guy), his lovely wife Siobhan, Rick Mulheirn, Andy (StarDome), Robert, Ken Havekotte, Ben Cooper and Stefan (contra) just to name a few. Dinner at Durango's was excellent. I hope we can all get together again someday for another launch.

I also have some pictures on my site from the launch.

tncmaxq
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posted 05-17-2009 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic pictures. Were you folks at Banana River or the Press Site able to hear some of the comments from mission control to the crew in the first seconds after liftoff? I know the engine noise sometimes hits you very quickly. I just wondered if you could hear the "no action across the board" call. Any time they deviate from the "script" like that during liftoff I am concerned of course. So I wondered what your reaction was.

I remember seeing STS-93 from the press stands in 1999 and was unaware for a minute or so that they were having some malfunctions. It was only after the sound subsided and mission control said "you are critical to controller A" etc that I knew something was out of order. Eileen Collins' original comment about the electrical system glitch was inaudible because of the sound from the vehicle. Quite an experience.

James Brown
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posted 05-18-2009 06:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was, the only reason being the guy standing next to me had a scanner. I also remember the 93 launch. We were glued to the conversations during launch. We watched from the press site, but were not around public speakers.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 05-20-2009 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Viewing the launch of STS-125 was remarkable enough but the occasion was made all the more memorable for sharing it with friends.

James, Eamonn, Siobhan and Andy... it was a BLAST. More when I get home...

cspg
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posted 05-20-2009 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why is this image of Hubble in the cargo bay just before release blurred/fuzzy?

mjanovec
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posted 05-20-2009 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Why is this image of Hubble in the cargo bay just before release blurred/fuzzy?
Because it's not in focus.

cspg
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posted 05-20-2009 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You don't say...

Let me rephrase then: why post a blurred/fuzzy/not-in-focus image, especially in the Image of the Day gallery section? It would have been a nice photo... (there must be a couple of authors scratching their heads about this...).

contra
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posted 05-21-2009 05:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for contra   Click Here to Email contra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am back in Germany after the STS-125 launch. I had a great time during the three day countdown. I was very happy to meet some of you (Eamonn, Siobhan, James, Robert).

I have put together some photos I would like to share with all of you. You can find my photo page.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-21-2009 07:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice photos Stefan! It was good seeing you again at KSC, too.
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Why post a blurred/fuzzy/not-in-focus image
At the time, it was the only shot sent down of Hubble on deployment day. A blurry shot is better than no shot. (Of course, some truly spectacular, in-focus photos were sent down and released since.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-21-2009 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Johnson Space Center notice:
You're invited to Ellington Field Hangar 990 on Saturday, May 23, at 4 p.m. for the STS-125 Crew Return Ceremony. Along with Center Director Mike Coats, family, friends, colleagues and public guests are invited to wish the Atlantis crew well as they return from a successful mission in space. Gates to Ellington Field will open at 3:30 p.m.

Note: If the crew lands on Friday, May 22, the ceremony will be Saturday, May 23, at 4 p.m.; and if the crew lands later, the ceremony will be Tuesday, May 26, at 4 p.m.

contra
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posted 05-22-2009 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for contra   Click Here to Email contra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just put some more pan´s on my photo page. Here is one example. Enjoy.

ejectr
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posted 05-23-2009 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why don't they just land at Edwards and keep it there. They're going to retire it anyway and put it on display.

Why not land it at Edwards, tow it over to Palmdale to display it and save the money?

mjanovec
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posted 05-23-2009 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
Why not land it at Edwards, tow it over to Palmdale to display it and save the money?
Because they need to fly it again for STS-132. Having three shuttles in rotation somewhat reduces the stress on the orbiter processing facility... increasing the amount of time available to service each orbiter between missions.

If Palmdale was to someday get Atlantis (and that's a big "if"), then it might make some sense to land Atlantis at Edwards at the conclusion of it's last mission... though I suspect that won't be a factor in where they land it.

Delta7
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posted 05-23-2009 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The orbiter might have to go to KSC after it's last flight anyway, for post-flight processing and/or "decomissioning".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-23-2009 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis has two missions remaining: STS-129 targeted for November of this year and STS-132 in May 2010.

It also is slated to serve as the launch on need vehicle for the very last flight of the space shuttle, STS-134.

Palmdale no longer has the capability to service shuttles. Its large support structures have been in the process of being removed and discarded over the past couple of years.

Before a shuttle can go on display, it needs to be safed, removing (for example) the materials that were contaminated by its hypergolic fuel systems. Were those to outgas in a confined space (like a museum hall), it would pose a health risk to the curators and visitors.

So as was said, regardless of where they land, all the orbiters will be returning to Florida to be readied for exhibition.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2009 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dryden Public Advisory:
Officials at Edwards Air Force Base have advised that the Rogers Dry Lake east shore viewing site for space shuttle landings, as well as the base itself, is NOT open to the public this morning.

robsouth
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posted 05-24-2009 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome home Atlantis, congratulations on a successful mission.

DChudwin
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posted 05-24-2009 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I liked this comment by John Grunsfeld:

John Grunsfeld, an astronaut who has made eight spacewalks to work on Hubble over the years, said from the Atlantis that going to low Earth orbit, where the space telescope lives and where the space shuttle can reach, has been fun. But he added: “It’s time to leave low Earth orbit, go out and explore the cosmos. It’s a great solar system and it’s time for humans to start going out.”

ejectr
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posted 05-24-2009 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert:

Thanks once again for the incredible job you did on the flight day link. I don't even bother going to the NASA site when I miss something. I just go to your flight day journal and get everything I need to know and more.

Voyager1975
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posted 05-24-2009 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager1975   Click Here to Email Voyager1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where was Megan McArthur during these remarks? She is not with the crew here. She was around the whole time when they were doing the walk around.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2009 07:21 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:
Thanks once again for the incredible job you did on the flight day link.
Thanks Bob, Mel, John and the others' who have e-mailed with your support for the Flight Day Journal. It's great to hear that it has been of some value and enjoyment.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2009 07:24 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 Voyager1975:
Where was Megan McArthur during these remarks?
She probably returned to the crew transport vehicle. From the video of the walk-around, it looked as if a flight surgeon was keeping closer tabs to her.


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