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  STS-127: viewing, questions and comments (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-127: viewing, questions and comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-12-2009 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-127: mission viewing, questions, comments

This thread is intended for reader comments and questions regarding the STS-127 mission and the reports published as part of collectSPACE's Flight Day Journal.

Tickets to view the STS-127 launch from the NASA Causeway and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 13 on the KSCVC website, as well as by phone at +1 321-449-4400.

Endeavour is scheduled to launch the STS-127 mission on June 13 at 7:19 a.m. EDT to deliver the final components of the Japanese Kibo lab to the International Space Station.

For more information about shuttle launch viewing, see: LaunchPhotography.com.

tegwilym
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posted 05-12-2009 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any ideas on how fast causeway tickets sell out? I heard these Hubble flight tickets sold in 2 minutes!

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-14-2009 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two minutes is about right. All Launch Transportation Ticket (LTT) packages have been selling out within just minutes for a while now. There was a time I could call the day after they went on sale and still get tickets for the causeway but those days are now gone because the program is winding down and the demand is much higher.

tegwilym
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posted 05-14-2009 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems there are a couple of tour packages that still can get to the causeway though. About $115.

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-14-2009 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you're referring to the Florida Dolphin Tours & Gray Line which do offer LTT packages at about twice the KSC price. The bus pick-up sites for both are in the Orlando area, however Gray Line has a pick-up scheduled for the Titusville K-Mart the night before the launch.

All of the KSC LTT packages sold out Wednesday morning.

There are usually some LTTs available on eBay too.

Rick
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posted 05-25-2009 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As much as I love the manned spaceflight program, I've never been able to attend a space shuttle launch. That's going to change with STS-127. My family and I have tickets for the NASA causeway, and I absolutely, postively cannot wait.

That said, the launch is scheduled for just after 7 a.m. Any suggestions or hints on what to do or where to go on the morning of launch with a couple of eight-year-old boys in tow? The information we have says to plan on being there four to six hours in advance. If we get there at 1 a.m., will we be taken directly to the causeway? If that's the case, fine. I'm just looking for an idea of what to expect...

ejectr
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posted 05-25-2009 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My advice is throw the camera in the trash and watch it with your naked eyeball.

Having never seen one and maybe not seeing another, don't watch it through some cheap plastic lense.

Once the naked eyeball view gets small, use a good set of binoculars.

You'll see plenty of pictures of it. Burn the one you see through your own eyes in your brain.

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-25-2009 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congrats on getting the (LTT) Launch Transportation Tickets! Those gems sell out within minutes! With your tickets you should receive in your package a car placard which will have your arrival time printed on it. You will need to arrive by that time in order to get through the armed security which is usually set up around the outside of the Astronaut Hall of Fame Museum entrance off of U.S. 1.

Once at KSC you may have to wait a short while before getting through the visitor complex security depending on the traffic. Do not be in a hurry at all once parked as you'll have a few hours to wait before the busses start running to the causeway. The causeway busses usually start running about three hours before launch, the last leaving about an hour before launch. I always take one of the last busses out because if the launch is scrubbed and you've already given your LTT to the KSC employee then your ticket is spent and no good for when the launch actually occurs. If you take this route it is always wise to check in with the KSC employees at the bus entrance line just outside the Space Shop at times to confirm when the last bus will leave. Depending on how many people have already been bussed out sometimes the last bus will leave 15 or 20 minutes before the advertised time.

This agenda helps save you from having to get up very early the next morning after a scrub to go stand in line with hundreds of others at the KSCVC ticket plaza in hopes of getting more LTTs.

Once inside the visitor complex everything should be up and running to keep the kiddies happy. The regular bus tours should start soon after launch, however the viewing gantry leg may be excluded depending on post-launch procedures.

Per ejectr's above sincere post, some people are shutterbugs and some are not. I've always taken a few photos or taped some video during launches. Just be true to your nature and keep in mind that only two minutes after launch the shuttle will be just a little speck in the sky.

The launch experience goes by so very fast.

If you have any more questions please feel free to email me. Have fun!

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-07-2009 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So how many of my fellow cSers will be going to the launch?

I'll be there for the 3:30am Breakfast w/a Astronaut. For those of you who are also attending one of the 'Dine with' add-ons Crouch was once scheduled for this date but was rescheduled to an earlier date. Bartoe is now scheduled to be there on launch day.

If you're going let me know if you'd like to meet once at KSCVC. I have an LTT and will be taking the bus out to the causeway at about 6am.

Also, it seems KSCVC is one of the very few venues still showing the new Star Trek film in IMAX. There are 4:30pm and 7:00pm showings scheduled, though I've learned the 7pm showing for the Friday night before the launch has sold out. KSC will be showing the film until September 7, 2009.

neke
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posted 06-07-2009 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neke   Click Here to Email neke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My family and I will be watching from Titusville. Then we'll hop in the car and drive back across Florida to attend my sister's wedding. Back again a couple days after that to visit KSC for the first time!

Rick
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posted 06-07-2009 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob ...we'll be there!!! Hot dang, yes sir, we're going to be there!!! Our placard says to be at KSC at 3:30, and we're probably gonna go ahead and take a transport out to the causeway. Maybe we could meet up out there?!?

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-08-2009 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rick, you'll have to wait just a short while before the busses start running to the viewing causeway. They usually start about three hours before and up until an hour or so before launch.

Keep in mind that once you hand your LTT to the KSC employee your ticket is spent, even if a scrub is announced ten seconds later and you haven't even stepped on the bus!

I always play it as safe as possible by taking one of the last busses out just in case of a scrub. I saw this afternoon the Weather Channel has Merritt Island listed as having 30% chance of rain this weekend.

I'll be the guy in khaki shorts, black shoes, glasses and ponytail. Hope to see you!

dogcrew5369
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posted 06-09-2009 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where can I find a rundown of personal items that will be carried onboard Endeavour? Since Thomas Marshburn was born and spent his early years in my town of Statesville, NC, I sent him a Statesville All-American City lapel pin to hopefully wear in space (I casually mentioned it in my letter). It is very small so maybe he will carry it with him. I have to hope.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-09-2009 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Official Flight Kit manifest will be published during the mission (it hasn't yet been approved for release by NASA).

If Marshburn chose to fly the pin on behalf of the city, then it will be in the OFK and inaccessible to him during flight.

If he chose to fly the pin as part of his personal preference kit, you will need to ask him post-flight if it flew. A recent astronaut office policy forbids the crew from discussing the contents of their PPKs before the mission and the manifest is not available as it is with the OFK.

On edit: No sooner than I wrote this, did the STS-127 OFK manifest arrived in my inbox. The full manifest will still be published during the mission (along with crew commentary about some of the items, as has become a regular feature for us), but I am happy to confirm that there is indeed a gold lapel pin for the city of Statesville, North Carolina! As noted, as it is in the OFK, it will remain stowed for the length of the mission.

Voyager1975
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posted 06-09-2009 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager1975   Click Here to Email Voyager1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well speaking of lapel pins, exactly how many or around how many of the Winco International mission lapel pins are usually flown in one of the flight kits on board the shuttle?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-09-2009 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on the official flight kit manifests for the past few shuttle missions (you can find them listed under the Resources section of this site), very few (less than 100) mission lapel pins fly in the OFK, if at all (STS-125 carried none).

If they are flown, they are provided by Winco.

(The astronauts can choose to fly a few inside their PPKs, but that is up to them.)

On edit: As per above, I can now confirm that there are no mission lapel pins in the STS-127 OFK either.

dogcrew5369
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posted 06-09-2009 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert, that is very exciting to know a pin from my town will be on Endeavour. I hope it's the pin I sent him about a month ago. How far ahead is the OFK manifest set and how close from liftoff can something be added? Where can I find the OFK manifest? If you will, can you send it to my personal email. Maybe I will hear from Marshburn after they return home. Thanks again.

Rick
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posted 06-09-2009 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there someone who plans to record STS-127 activities (leaving crew quarters, ingress, launch, flight activities and landing) on NASA TV, that they could possibly transfer onto DVD?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-10-2009 06:37 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 dogcrew5369:
Where can I find the OFK manifest?
When it is published next week, a link to it will appear on the front page of this site, and I will e-mail you as well. That said, the OFK contents are generally in place months ahead of time and given that this flight would have flown earlier had STS-125 not slipped, there is little if any chance that something mailed last month got on-board.

dogcrew5369
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posted 06-10-2009 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a bummer. I still hold out hope he'll carry my pin in his PPK if possible. I laid awake last night thinking about my pin in orbit. Still hoping. Thanks for the info on the manifest.

davjones
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posted 06-10-2009 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for davjones   Click Here to Email davjones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I plan to ride down to see Endeavour leave this Saturday morning from my home in north-central Florida. I'm also new to this activity -- this will be my first launch.

Being a newbie and in view of the very early time, I'll start out by just trying to find a good place from outside the complex, and from what I've been able to find so far I'm thinking I might be best off going to one of the parks along US 1 in Titusville. But which one? The City website lists about six parks under viewing locations, but only one -- Space View Park -- is given any billing as a good location. Don't know if that's because it's the best one or if it's where the city wants to direct all the spectators for whatever reasons they may have.

I also found a post on this site saying: "To see her lift off the pad take the first Titusville exit off I-95, from Jax. Turn left and keep going until you reach U.S. 1, (the Indian River is just beyond) and then turn right. The road merges to the left after a few minutes and you'll be able to see the VAB and launch pads on your left at 12 miles away."

What's there? Is this one of the parks or just a place along the road where you can watch from? How difficult is parking likely to be?

How about radio broadcasts to keep up on progress? I've seen a few AM stations listed, but I don't know if they're all just broadcasting the same thing.

Also, I see an area of parkland to the north (Canaveral National Seashore?) with a Road #3 out of Oak Hill running down through it, yet I see no mention of this area for viewing. Can't get down there? No decent places to watch from? It's a little puzzling to someone who has never been there, but I'm sure obvious to those who have.

Looking ahead to the next time, am I to understand that if you buy (very expensive!) tickets to watch from the causeway or where ever that you're out the money if they cancel? Sounds like quite a gamble!

Anyway, I have many questions as you can see and would appreciate any pointers. Sorry for the length of my post.

I'm more interested in a view all the way down to the ground than being especially close. Jetty Park is out because of the obstructed view of the horizon, and I'll be coming from the north anyway so Titusville will be closer.

Many thanks for any/all help!

Dave Jones
Fort McCoy, Florida USA

KSCartist
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posted 06-10-2009 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are correct in looking at Space View Park. The reason that the city directs people there is because there are rest rooms, benches, vendors - everything you need to enjoy a launch.

Also thanks to the Space Walk of Fame and the National Space Society you can listen to live NASA feed to know what is going on.

There are no bad places to watch the launch from in Titusville. If you can see the river, you can see the VAB and Launch Complex 39 pads.

You'll want to arrive around 4AM as the place will become busy. Remember this is not only a Saturday, but it's also summer vacation time for many people.

Look forward to seeing you there! I'll have my display of commemorative patches available for sale and since Jorge Cartes (cS'er KAPTEC) and I designed this patch - this launch is extra special to us.

GACspaceguy
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posted 06-10-2009 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tim, thanks for the info. I just saw this post and must say that an early arrival time is a must for this one. I have a number of people I have directed to the Park, I think this one will be packed. If a fellow working for Gulfstream sharing your first name introduces himself to you, he works for me.

KSCartist
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posted 06-10-2009 07:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fred, I'll look for him. Is he picking up some patches for you?

GACspaceguy
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posted 06-11-2009 12:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Never thought to ask him to pick up a patch for me but I would think that would fall under "other duties as assigned" in his job description.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 06-13-2009 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Academic at this point, but its logical to conclude the GH2 leak would have also plagued STS-400, rendering as dubious the viability of the rescue plan.

spaceman48263
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posted 06-13-2009 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman48263   Click Here to Email spaceman48263     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Endeavour had been needed for a rescue mission wouldn't this delay because of the leak have been a major issue?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-13-2009 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, it's not a foregone conclusion: though the cycling of the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate is a good guess to the cause (as STS-119 also experienced the same type of changeout prior to its scrub) a "smoking gun" was never identified in March and therefore more information is required before drawing a link between what may have happened on STS-400 with what occurred on STS-127.

Even were it to cause a problem, the turnaround would have been four days, which was still within the margin that STS-125 had on-orbit.

James Brown
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posted 06-14-2009 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few 127 photos to share.

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-15-2009 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those with launch transportation tickets or watching from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex - per the KSC site, "The outer gates to Kennedy Space Center will close at 11:00 p.m." Tuesday night.

Bob M
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posted 06-15-2009 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by James Brown:
A few 127 photos to share.

Great photos as usual, Jimmy

James Brown
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posted 06-15-2009 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Bob. Wish I had some launch photos to share.

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-15-2009 08:37 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 Rob Joyner:
For those with launch transportation tickets or watching from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex - per the KSC site, "The outer gates to Kennedy Space Center will close at 11:00 p.m." Tuesday night.
I've since received info from KSC about when to arrive if you already have a car placard. You need to be there at least two hours earlier than the original time posted on your placard - ex. Old time - 1:30am, New time - 11:30pm (Tues).

The previous KSC site info is misleading. It seems the 11pm KSC gate "closing" actually only pertains to those who would like to purchase visitor complex viewing tickets.

ASCAN1984
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posted 06-17-2009 03:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's a really tough break guys who went to see the launch. Really dissapointing. I truly hope that you will all get the see the launch after all in July or if not this one another real soon. Keep the chin up

garymilgrom
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posted 06-17-2009 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry for the folks who were there earlier today. They are now aiming for July 11 at 7:39 p.m. (thanks Robert!). Is there an online tool for finding launch times for any particular date?

Philip
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posted 06-17-2009 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary, there's this launch dates preview.

Ben
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posted 06-17-2009 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well the launch time for ISS flights gets 23-25 minutes earlier per day. This was the list for June. A July one should be posted soon.

garymilgrom
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posted 06-17-2009 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Philip and Ben.

Walter II
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posted 07-07-2009 01:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Walter II   Click Here to Email Walter II     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A photo of Endeavour I took the other day as the service structure is beginning to close.

KSCartist
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posted 07-07-2009 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just an FYI for all of our cS friends. You all know the story of Jorge and I designing patches. We've worked together for more than two years but have never met - or even spoken on the phone.

Well on Saturday, July 11th that will change. Jorge and I along with our families will meet for the first time at Paul's Smokehouse restaurant on US 1 in Titusville around 5PM. We'll enjoy dinner together and (hopefully) toast a beautiful launch with champagne.

Come on by - the restaurant promises to be busy but you'll get a chance to have an artists autographed completion on your favorite STS-127 memorabilia - at no charge!

Who knows someday if we're lucky and are as famous as Paul Calle and Robert McCall -(we can dream can't we?) - our artwork will be selling for a lot more than it does today.

Hope to see some of you there.


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