Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites


Thread Closed  Topic Closed
  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  STS-127 / Endeavour: "Completing JAXA's Kibo" [Flight Day Journal] (Page 1)

Post New Topic  
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   STS-127 / Endeavour: "Completing JAXA's Kibo" [Flight Day Journal]
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-12-2009 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

STS-127 / Endeavour: Completing JAXA's Kibo

Mark Polansky will command Endeavour for the 16-day, STS-127 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with Doug Hurley as his pilot. Joining them are mission specialists Chris Cassidy [the 500th person in space], Tom Marshburn, David Wolf and from the Canadian Space Agency, Julie Payette.

STS-127 will deliver Tim Kopra to the station as a flight engineer and return JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata to Earth.

Endeavour carries the final elements of JAXA's Kibo laboratory to be added to the station, including the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility and Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section. The facility will provide a type of "front porch" for experiments and a robotic arm to position them outside the ISS. The mission will include five spacewalks.


Photo credit: NASA

Endeavour stands poised for launch on Pad 39A.

Do you have comments and/or questions about the STS-127 mission? Post to our mission viewing and commentary thread.

For prior status updates about readying STS-127 see Endeavour to complete Kibo.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-12-2009 11:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Gaseous Hydrogen Leak Postpones Endeavour Launch

A gaseous hydrogen leak on a vent line for space shuttle Endeavour scrubbed this morning's launch at 12:26 a.m. EDT. Launch teams began draining Endeavour's external fuel tank of its liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at 12:06 a.m.

Fueling was halted after the leak was detected near the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, or GUCP, which attached to the external tank at its intertank area. The line leads from the GUCP back to the launch pad and to the "flare stack" where vented gaseous hydrogen is burned off.

The leak is similar to what happened during the first launch attempt of space shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission in March.

After the leak is assessed, shuttle managers plan to meet Saturday morning to discuss what steps to take next, including targeting a new launch date for Endeavour's STS-127 mission to the International Space Station.


Photo credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-13-2009 01:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Dueling dates for spacecraft launches

Mission managers have preliminarily reset the launch of STS-127 for no earlier than Wednesday, June 17 at 5:41 a.m. EDT given the four days needed to re-seat the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate that led to today's scrub.

Even if Endeavour is ready to go, NASA must first negotiate for use of the range... with itself. The space agency had planned to launch Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that day on its mission to the Moon. Should LRO go as planned, then the soonest STS-127 could launch would be on June 20.

If instead NASA chooses Endeavour to go first, then the soonest the moon probe could depart would be June 19.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-14-2009 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

NASA defers decision to Monday

NASA will decide on Monday if space shuttle Endeavour or the Atlas carrying Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will launch on June 17.

Teams at Pad 39A have begun the process to change out internal seals in the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, which is attached to Endeavour's external tank, addressing the hydrogen leak that led to Saturday's scrub.

If NASA decides to proceed with STS-127 first, it will have only June 17 as a launch attempt before standing down for LRO to launch on June 18*, 19 or 20. If the Atlas V launches on Wednesday, then Endeavour will only have June 20 to launch before either flying a shortened mission (including canceling the fifth of STS-127's five planned spacewalks) or standing down until July 11 due to a "beta angle cutout" limiting the power supply needed to support the mission once docked to the International Space Station.

The forecast for Wednesday predicts a 70% chance of weather conditions being acceptable for STS-127 to launch at 5:40 a.m. EDT, or a 60% chance for a 3:51 p.m liftoff for LRO.

(*June 18 is only an option for LRO if STS-127 scrubs early in the countdown to a June 17 launch.)


Teams work on the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate. Photo credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-15-2009 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Moon probes will wait Wednesday for shuttle launch

NASA will attempt to launch space shuttle Endeavour on Wednesday, June 17, deferring the scheduled liftoff of two moon-bound probes by at least a day.

Technicians at Kennedy Space Center completed early on Monday changing out internal seals in the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) connecting Endeavour's external tank to Pad 39A. They are now in the process of reattaching the vent line that routes gaseous hydrogen away from the launch pad to a "flare stack" where it can be safely burned off. The reattachment is expected to be completed late tonight.

A hydrogen leak stemming from the GUCP caused NASA to scrub Endeavour's first launch attempt on Saturday. The leak was similar to what happened during the first launch attempt of shuttle Discovery in March. Technicians are using the same repair method now as they did then, which led to Discovery's successful launch on its next attempt.

Endeavour's STS-127 launch to the International Space Station (ISS) is targeted for 5:40 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. Forecasts call for an 80% chance of acceptable weather conditions.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LRO/LCROSS), which had been scheduled to launch on Wednesday, will now liftoff on June 18 at earliest.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-16-2009 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Endeavour exposed for Wednesday launch

Space shuttle Endeavour has once again been positioned for launch, following the rollback of Pad 39A's rotating service structure.

The countdown to STS-127's liftoff at 5:40 a.m. EDT Wednesday will begin counting back from the T-11 hour mark at 1:15 p.m.

Mission managers are expected to meet at 7:30 p.m. to give the "go" or "no-go" to begin loading Endeavour's external tank with cryogenic liquid propellants. With their approval, fueling will begin at 8:15 p.m.

The weather forecast predicts an 80% chance of favorable conditions for launch during the final hours of the countdown.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-16-2009 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Fueling awaits the weather

Although launch managers have given a "go" to begin filling space shuttle Endeavour's external tank, current weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center have delayed the start of fueling, which was scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. EDT.

There is currently a 40% chance of weather prohibiting tanking as a result of anvil clouds and lightning in the area. Managers will continue to monitor the conditions.

Tanking can begin as late as 10:00 p.m. without impacting tomorrow's launch attempt. T-5 hours, 40 minutes and counting...


Lightning near Pad 39A and Endeavour. Photo credit: NASA via @herrea

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-16-2009 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Tanking to begin as weather clears

After waiting nearly three hours for thunderstorms in the area to clear, preparations began at 11:04 p.m. EDT at Pad 39A to fuel space shuttle Endeavour for its scheduled 5:40 a.m. launch on Wednesday.

Tanking was originally planned to start at 8:15 p.m. and as a result of the delay, the remainder of the countdown will be compressed, with more activity occurring during the planned holds. The crew's activities will also be delayed by about an hour, with their departure for the pad now scheduled at 2:50 a.m.

It will take about three hours to load Endeavour's external fuel tank with 500,000 gallons of cryogenic liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants.


Photo credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-17-2009 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Leak leads NASA to halt hydrogen tanking

A hydrogen leak detected in the same area that led to scrubbing Endeavour's first launch attempt last Saturday has led technicians to halt hydrogen fueling at 1:02 a.m. EDT.

Technicians cycled the vent valve on the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate (GUCP) in an effort to mitigate the leak, but the concentration of the escaping gaseous hydrogen remained high.

Engineers cycled the valve again and saw a slight decrease in he leak. They are continuing to troubleshoot the issue.


The area of the leak, the ground umbilical carrier plate and hydrogen vent line. Photo credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-17-2009 12:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Hydrogen fueling restarted to troubleshoot leak

Managers have given the "go" to restart filling Endeavour's external tank with cryogenic hydrogen in an effort to continue troubleshooting a leak detected near the vent line through which excess hydrogen is moved away from the vehicle and pad.

As the pressure builds as the tank fills, engineers plan to cycle a vent valve, in an effort to stem the leak.

UPDATE: The flow of hydrogen has been halted again due to an "out of spec" parameter, now being discussed by engineers.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-17-2009 12:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Second launch attempt scrubbed

Managers scrubbed today's launch of space shuttle Endeavour at 1:55 a.m. EDT after again encountering a hydrogen leak coming from the vehicle's external fuel tank.

A similar leak, stemming from the area of the ground umbilical carrier plate and a vent line that piped excess gaseous hydrogen away from the shuttle and pad, led to NASA canceling Endeavour's first attempt at launching the STS-127 mission last Saturday.

Engineers had worked to replace the carrier plate's seals in the four days between the first and second launch attempts, employing a repair that was successful in correcting an earlier leak-driven scrub for the March STS-119 mission. This time though, the leak presented itself earlier and at a higher concentration, and despite initial hopes that cycling a vent valve might mitigate the issue, ultimately resulted in NASA postponing the launch.

Endeavour's next opportunity to launch the STS-127 mission will not come before July 11 at 7:39 p.m. In addition to needing the time to resolve the hydrogen leak, NASA is standing down the shuttle to allow its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to launch and to wait through a period of limited power generation aboard the International Space Station.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-24-2009 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Tanking test on tap

Engineers now believe they understand why a hydrogen gas vent line has been leaking, leading to NASA postponing Endeavour's launch twice.

According to space shuttle program manager John Shannon, the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) that attaches the vent line to Endeavour's external tank was installed slightly misaligned, allowing gaseous hydrogen to escape during the fueling process.

Crews began removing the plate on Wednesday for repair after leak checks were performed at ambient temperatures using helium gas. No leaks were detected. Previously, the only time leaks were seen were during launch attempts when cryogenic hydrogen was passing through the vent line.

The repairs will be confirmed by a "tanking test" set for Wednesday, July 1, during which Endeavour's external tank will be filled with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, as if it was being fueled for launch. If no leaks are detected, Endeavour's launch will be scheduled for July 11 at 7:39 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-01-2009 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Tanking test tops off with no leak

The "tanking test" to prove if repairs to space shuttle Endeavour's external tank were successful began at 6:52 a.m. on Wednesday and was completed at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

No abnormal leaks were reported during the fueling like those that led to NASA postponing Endeavour's STS-127 launch, necessitating the repair and today's test.

At about 9:00 a.m., the hydrogen tank was 98% full and the "topping" mode began. A vent valve at the top of the hydrogen tank began cycling, as planned, to disperse excess gaseous hydrogen through a vent system that carries it safely away from the launch pad. It was at that point during two June launch attempts that a gaseous hydrogen leak was detected outside the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, where the vent line is attached.

NASA has set Endeavour's next STS-127 launch attempt for July 11 at 7:39 p.m.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-07-2009 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Astronauts arrive

The seven astronauts set to launch aboard space shuttle Endeavour returned at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday afternoon, touching down on the Shuttle Landing Facility in a Gulfstream jet.

"I can tell you that this crew and the entire operations team are both eager and ready to get to work," said STS-127 commander Mark Polansky after the crew stepped onto the runway. "Hopefully the next time we talk to you will be from orbit."

The STS-127 launch countdown will begin Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. EDT when clocks begin ticking backward from the T-43 hour mark. Liftoff is set for July 11 at 7:39 p.m.


Video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-11-2009 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Endeavouring to launch

At Pad 39A, the rotating service structure was rolled away from space shuttle Endeavour at 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Launch countdown operations remain on schedule as Endeavour and its crew of seven astronauts prepare for today's scheduled launch at 7:39 p.m.

"Everybody is 'go' for launch; we have no major issues at all," said Mike Moses, chairman of the mission management team.

However, unfavorable weather including showers, thunderstorms and anvil clouds could interfere with the final hours of the countdown.

"By the time we get to launch time, we are going with a 60 percent chance of [Kennedy] weather prohibiting launch, so only a 40 percent chance of weather that is good for launch," said weather officer Kathy Winters.

The launch team will meet this morning at 9:30 a.m. for a weather briefing before fueling space shuttle Endeavour. Tanking coverage will begin at 10:00 a.m. on NASA Television.


Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-11-2009 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Strike one eleven, scrub three

NASA's third attempt to launch space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-127 mission was scrubbed Saturday morning so that engineers could evaluate the spacecraft's myriad systems following 11 lightning strikes in the are of Pad 39A.

None of the strikes hit the shuttle or its external tank and solid rocket boosters, but there were strikes to the pad's lightning mast and water tower. The launch pad is equipped with a lightning protection system of wires that is intended to steer bolts away from the shuttle.

"We've seen nothing so far that shows anything affected any of the systems," said Mike Moses, chair of the mission management team.

Two of the strikes were strong enough to trigger an evaluation by engineers just to make sure all of Endeavour's systems are ready for flight. Although their preliminary evaluations showed no problems, engineers wanted more time to make sure everything was checked correctly.

"We need to be 100 percent confident that we have a good system across the board," Moses said.

The launch time for Sunday is 7:13 p.m. EDT. The weather forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions.


Video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-12-2009 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Cleared for launch, tanking begins

NASA's mission management team has given the "go" this morning to begin filling space shuttle Endeavour's external tank, having cleared the vehicle from any damage as a result of lightning strikes on Friday evening that in turn scrubbed Saturday's launch attempt.

Tanking began at 9:48 a.m. EDT. Liquid hydrogen "topping", the point at which gaseous hydrogen leaks were detected in June forcing the launch to be postponed while a vent valve was repaired, will begin at about noon.

Tonight's launch is scheduled for 7:13:55 p.m. The forecast for the Kennedy Space Center predicts a 70% chance of acceptable weather conditions for liftoff.

Update: Fueling of Endeavour's external tank with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen was completed at 12:50 p.m. EDT. No gaseous hydrogen leaks were detected.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-12-2009 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Astronauts aboard

The seven-person STS-127 crew are now all on-board Endeavour, in preparation for their launch at 7:13:55 p.m. EDT.

Commander Mark Polansky, pilot Doug Hurley together with missions specialists Julie Payette and Chris Cassidy -- soon-to-be the 500th person in space -- are strapped aboard the flight deck.

Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf and soon-to-be station flight engineer Tim Kopra are seated on the middeck.

Note: Updates to this thread may be delayed through the remainder of the countdown.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-12-2009 11:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Waiting on the weather

Mission managers called off Sunday's liftoff of space shuttle Endeavour due to inclement weather. Cumulus clouds and lightning violated rules for launching Endeavour because of weather near the Shuttle Landing Facility. The runway would be needed in the unlikely event that Endeavour would have to make an emergency landing back at Kennedy.

The STS-127 launch is now scheduled for Monday, July 13 at 6:51 p.m. EDT.

The STS-127 astronauts left Pad 39A at about 8:35 p.m. Saturday to return to their crew quarters at the Operations and Checkout (O&C) building for the night.


Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2009 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Fueling begins for fifth launch attempt

As they've done four times before, NASA's space shuttle team have begun fueling Endeavour's external tank in preparation to launch the 16-day STS-127 mission to the International Space Station.

"While we all hope that today's the day, we have a saying that you never know for sure until the solid rockets light off," wrote commander Mark Polansky early Monday morning on Twitter.

Tanking, which began at 9:33 a.m. EDT, will take approximately three hours.

Shuttle managers met late last night to discuss a partially unattached Tyvek cover on one of Endeavour's reaction control system (RCS) thrusters, ultimately deciding that no action was required to reattach it. The Tyvek cover, which is attached by adhesive, had come partially unattached during the yesterday's countdown but wasn't a constraint to launch. It is used to keep rain and other debris out of the thruster while the vehicle is still on the pad.

Today's launch attempt is targeted for 6:51:24 p.m. Forecasts call for only a 40% chance of acceptable weather conditions for liftoff.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2009 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Fuel filled

Endeavour's external tank was declared full at 12:37 p.m. EDT with a half-million gallons loaded of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

Both cryogenic propellants reached "stable replenish," the point at which any small amounts of fuel that boil away are replaced until the final minutes before launch.

The STS-127 crew is scheduled to depart their quarters for Pad 39A at 3:01 p.m. to board Endeavour for their 6:51 p.m.-targeted launch, weather permitting.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2009 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Astronauts aboard, hatch latched

The closeout crew completed locking the 15 latches on Endeavour's crew cabin hatch just before 4:45 p.m. EDT, sealing the seven STS-127 astronauts inside. A leak check followed to insure the cabin was able to maintain pressure.

Launch remains scheduled for 6:51 p.m. EDT, though as is common in Florida in the summer, the weather situation today is very dynamic. Launch managers and weather officers are monitoring conditions closely.


Photo credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2009 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Weather woes scrub shuttle launch until Wednesday

NASA's fifth attempt to launch space shuttle Endeavour ended much like the fourth, scrubbed due to weather violations.

Lightning and anvil clouds in the area of the Kennedy Space Center, as well as a "field mill rule" violation, which determines the potential for lightning strikes, drove the decision to postpone the start of the STS-127 mission before resuming the countdown from the planned T-9 minute hold.

Mission managers have decided to stand down for one day, resetting the next launch attempt for Wednesday at 6:03:10 p.m. EDT.

In the interim, shuttle technicians will close Pad 39A's rotating service structure around Endeavour and repair a torn Tyvec cover to protect the thruster it shields before launch.

Like today, the weather forecast for Tuesday called for a 60% chance of conditions preventing launch. The situation is expected to improve on Wednesday, with a 40% chance of violating the criteria for a liftoff.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2009 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

Launch attempt six: All systems green... except the weather

All seven STS-127 astronauts are again strapped aboard Endeavour and are ready for the final few hours of today's countdown, the sixth such attempt at their launch.

While there are no technical issues being worked, there are several weather concerns that are being monitored. The Eastern Range is "red" due to anvil clouds, cumulus clouds, field mills and lightning. Storms to the northwest of the launch area are expected to dissipate, while a system northeast of Kennedy is also being closely watched. Overall, the forecast calls for a 60% chance of favorable weather by launch time.

Endeavour's external tank was loaded with its cryogenic liquid oxygen and hydrogen propellants beginning at 8:38 a.m. EDT and proceeded smoothly throughout the three-hour process. Weather permitting, liftoff remains on schedule for 6:03:10 p.m.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2009 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

At T-20 minutes, the weather is green...

The Eastern Range is now "green" on all weather constraints. Storms to the northwest have dissipated, while a system to the northeast is not interfering with the countdown at this point.

Space shuttle Endeavour and its crew of seven STS-127 astronauts are awaiting liftoff at 6:03:10 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2009 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

A brief history of STS-127's launch vehicle

Endeavour is preparing to launch on its 23rd mission, the 127th flight of the space shuttle program, STS-127.

Powering it to orbit will be three space shuttle main engines (SSMEs), one of which is making its first launch and two with eight (beginning with STS-101) and 10 (beginning with STS-89) flights respectively.

The twin solid rocket boosters that will boost Endeavour during its first two minutes of flight are comprised of new and previously flown segments, as detailed in the graphic below.


Image credit: ATK

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2009 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Countdown

T-9 minutes and counting...

The countdown has resumed and there are no further holds planned before the liftoff of space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-127 mission. No technical issues and no weather violations are being discussed as launch time approaches. Endeavour and its crew of seven astronauts are "go" for launch at 6:03:10 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2009 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: One

Endeavour embarks to complete Kibo

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch that put the first humans on the Moon, space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-member crew launched at 6:03:10 p.m. EDT from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on a mission to deliver the final segment to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Kibo laboratory and a new crew member to the International Space Station (ISS).

Endeavour's 16-day mission includes five spacewalks and the installation of two platforms outside the Kibo module. One platform is permanent and will allow experiments to be directly exposed to space. The other is an experiment storage pallet that will be detached and returned with the shuttle.

During the mission, Kibo's robotic arm will transfer three experiments from the pallet to the exposed platform. Future experiments also can be moved to the platform from the inside of the station using the laboratory's airlock.

Shortly before liftoff, STS-127 commander Mark Polansky thanked the teams that helped make today's launch possible after five scrubs that resulted from hydrogen leaks, lightning strikes and poor weather conditions.

"Endeavour has patiently waited for this," said Polansky. "We're ready to go, and we're going to take all of you with us on a great mission."

Polansky is joined on STS-127 by pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Chris Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette and soon-to-be space station flight engineer Tim Kopra.

Kopra will replace ISS crew member Koichi Wakata, who has been aboard the station for more than three months. Kopra will return to Earth during the next station shuttle mission, STS-128, targeted to launch in August 2009.

Hurley, Cassidy, Marshburn and Kopra are first-time space fliers. Cassidy became the 500th person in space as Endeavour flew above 62 miles (100 km).

STS-127 is the 127th space shuttle flight, the 29th to the station, the 23rd for Endeavour and the third in 2009.


Video, photo credit: NASA

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2009 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: One

Debris dings Endeavour during launch

Astronaut Alan "Dex" Poindexter, serving as capcom, or spacecraft communicator, in mission control advised STS-127 commander Mark Polansky that debris had been seen during their launch impacting Endeavour's tiles forward of the right wing's leading edge reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panels.
"At about 107 seconds during ascent we did see some debris events," radioed Poindexter. "It appeared to impact the starboard chine area. The impact appears to be less than what we experienced on [STS-125] and we will certainly take a look at this throughout the evening and through the day tomorrow."

"We're also anxious to take a look at the [rendezvous pitch maneuver] photos during rendezvous day."

"Okay, well, thanks for the information," Polansky replied. "I'm sure we'll get a good chance for all of us to get a good look at that."


Photo credit: NASA TV
Endeavour's crew was to head to sleep just after 11:00 p.m. CDT with their wakeup set for 7:03 a.m. on Thursday.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-16-2009 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Two

Flight Day Two

The STS-127 crew rose for their first full day in space at 7:03 a.m. CDT on Thursday to the song "These Are Days" by the band 10000 Maniacs, played for first time flier and soon-to-be space station flight engineer Tim Kopra.
"I really enjoyed the music this morning and it is really beautiful up here," radioed Kopra.
Kopra and his six crewmates will spend most of today focusing the initial inspection of Endeavour's heat shield.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2009 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Two

En route to the International Space Station

Astronauts aboard space shuttle Endeavour spent their first full day in space conducting a routine inspection of their thermal protection system ahead of docking at the International Space Station at 12:55 p.m. CDT Friday.

While inspections took place to ensure Endeavour's wing leading edge panels and nosecap were in good shape, imagery experts continued to assess the overall health of the shuttle's thermal protection system. An early review indicated only a few minor dings in some tiles due to some unexpected losses of small foam pieces from the vehicle's external tank.

Thursday's inspection took five hours to complete, during which Endeavour's crew checked out the spacesuits to be used during their mission's five planned spacewalks. In preparation for docking, the crew also tested rendezvous equipment, installed an orbiter docking system "centerline" camera and extended the docking ring before heading for their eight hour sleep period beginning about 10 p.m. CDT.

The STS-127 crew is scheduled to wake at 6:03 a.m. Friday to begin rendezvous activities leading toward docking.


Video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2009 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Three

Flight Day Three

The population aboard the International Space Station will grow to a record 13 people today once the space shuttle Endeavour completes its orbital rendezvous and docks at 12:55 p.m. CDT.

Today's wake-up call, "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles, was chosen for STS-127 commander Mark Polansky. He and his crew began their day at 6:03 a.m.

Endeavour's astronauts began rendezvous preparations at 7:23 a.m. and were to perform a terminal initiation engine burn at 10:17 a.m. to begin their final approach.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2009 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Three

Endeavour docks at the space station

Commander Mark Polansky docked space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station's Harmony node at 12:47 p.m. CDT while flying about 220 miles above the Gulf of Carpentaria, off the north coast of Australia.

Following leak checks, the hatches between the two craft will open at 2:43 p.m., creating the first 13-member crew in space history.

Before docking, Endeavour executed a rendezvous pitch maneuver from a point about 600 feet below the station. The nine-minute back flip allowed ISS crew members Gennady Padalka and Michael Barratt to take high resolution photos of the orbiter's heat shield. The images will be sent to mission control to aid in evaluating the status of Endeavour's thermal protection system.


Video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2009 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Three

One spacecraft, thirteen aboard

On the 34th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project's docking, space shuttle Endeavour docked to the International Space Station at an official time of 12:47:11 p.m. CDT.

Hatches between Endeavour and the space station were opened at 2:48 p.m. and STS-127 astronauts Mark Polansky, Doug Hurley, Chris Cassidy, Julie Payette, Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf, and Tim Kopra joined station crew members Gennady Padalka, Michael Barratt, Koichi Wakata, Roman Romanenko, Frank De Winne and Robert Thirsk to form the first-ever 13-member crew.

During a "welcome ceremony," Expedition 20 commander Padalka rang the ship's bell, signaling Endeavour's arrival at the station.

Said Padalka, "This is a remarkable event for the whole space program."

"Thirteen is a big number, but we are thrilled to be here," STS-127 commander Polansky replied.

The new arrivals received a safety briefing from the station veterans, and at 4:13 p.m. Kopra and Wakata exchanged Soyuz seatliners.

Video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2009 06:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Three

Shuttle steers station clear of debris

Before going to bed, the STS-127 crew performed a minor reboost of the International Space Station at 7:27 p.m. CDT to ensure clearance from an unknown piece of space debris. That maneuver, using Endeavour's small vernier thrusters, lasted about 15 minutes and changed the overall velocity of the shuttle-station complex by about 0.8 meter per second.

Spacewalkers Dave Wolf and Tim Kopra began their "campout" at 8:28 p.m., spending the night in the station's Quest airlock to reduce the time needed to prepare for their spacewalk on Saturday.

The ISS crew retired to bed at about 9:30 p.m. with the shuttle crew following them just 30 minutes later. Wake up Saturday is scheduled for 6:03 a.m.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2009 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Four

Flight Day Four

The joint crew of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station awakened at 6:03 a.m. CDT to the strains of "Home," by Marc Broussard for lead spacewalker Dave Wolf, who heard the call while camped out in the Quest airlock with Tim Kopra, the newest addition to the Expedition 20 crew.
"Take me home!" Wolf sang along with the song. "This will be a heck of a day of teamwork between robots and people in space and all over the world."
The first spacewalk of the STS-127 mission begins at 10:58 a.m. Wolf and Tim Kopra will perform a number of tasks, including preparing the Kibo Japanese Experiment Facility (JEF) for installation on the Kibo laboratory at 4:38 p.m.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2009 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Four

JEF in hand, first spacewalk begins

At 10:06 a.m. CDT, STS-127 pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Koichi Wakata used the International Space Station's robotic arm to grapple the Japanese Exposed Facility (JEF) from inside Endeavour's payload bay.

They are scheduled to lift it out of the bay at 12:43 p.m., hand it to the shuttle robotic arm at 1:43 p.m., and then move the station's arm into position for installation at 2:53 p.m.

The shuttle arm will then hand the JEF back to the station arm at 4:23 p.m., and finally the station arm will move the Exposed Facility into position for installation to the Kibo laboratory at 4:38 p.m.

Mission specialist Dave Wolf and ISS Expedition 20 flight engineer Tim Kopra began their spacewalk, the first of five planned during the STS-127 mission, at 11:19 a.m. as their spacesuits were switched to internal power.

Wolf, who is making his fourth spacewalk, is wearing the suit with solid red stripes. Kopra's spacesuit for his first spacewalk is all white.

Their tasks include:

  • removing insulation from Kibo's berthing mechanism
  • disconnecting power cables providing electricity to the shuttle's Integrated Cargo Carrier
  • using a specially designed tool to release the station's Earth-facing Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Attachment System
  • securing covers on the Harmony and Unity modules' common berthing mechanisms, and
  • setting up a payload attach system on the station's backbone.
Mission specialists Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn will coordinate the spacewalk from inside Endeavour.

Back on Earth, mission managers decided that a focused inspection of the shuttle's heat shield will not be required.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2009 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Four

First spacewalk ends as JEF nears installation

Dave Wolf and Tim Kopra completed the 214th spacewalk in U.S. history, the 126th spacewalk devoted to International Space Station assembly and first of five planned for the STS-127 mission in 5 hours and 32 minutes at 4:51 p.m. CDT.

As Wolf and Kopra pressurized the Quest airlock to return inside, astronauts Doug Hurley and Koichi Wakata were using the station's robotic arm to attach the Japanese Exposed Facility (JEF) to the Kibo laboratory.

In addition to preparing the Japanese lab for the JEF installation, Wolf and Kopra removed insulation and power cables from the Integrated Cargo Carrier, restrained brake handles on the Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart on the left side of the Mobile Transporter, and deployed an Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Attachment System (UCCAS) on the station's Port 3 truss that failed to unfurl during STS-119 in March.

The UCCAS, which will be used in the future to store equipment and supplies on the outside of the station, was freed today by using a new tool designed to press its detents out of the way so that the pallet could be put in its correct configuration.

"That was the right tool they built for that job, no doubt," said Wolf.

"That was definitely the right tool," replied Kopra."

Running about an hour behind schedule, Wolf and Kopra had to defer installing a similar payload bracket on the opposite side of the station's truss.


Photo, video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2009 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Four

Kibo complete!

After a series of robotic arm "hand offs," the Japanese Exposed Facility (JEF) was attached to the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory at 6:29 p.m. CDT. The Exposed Facility is the final component of Kibo, Japan's major contribution to the station, and will serve as a type of porch for experiments that require direct exposure to space.

The process involved three robotic arm systems. The space station and shuttle arms moved JEF from Endeavour's payload bay to the Kibo laboratory and Kibo's robotic arm was used to view the installation. There was a slight delay while verifying the structural latch between JEF and Kibo.

The station crew is scheduled to go to bed at about 9 p.m. with the shuttle crew following about 30 minutes later. Wake up on Sunday is scheduled for 5:33 a.m.

Photo, video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-19-2009 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Five

Flight Day Five

The astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station will take a break from spacewalking today, but continue their robotics work to prepare for the following day's excursion.

The joint crews began their day at 5:33 a.m. CDT to "Learning to Fly," by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, for former Navy SEAL Chris Cassidy, who is making his first space flight aboard the space shuttle Endeavour.

"It's certainly an appropriate song," said Cassidy. "I'm excited to start another fun day in space."
With the focused inspection of Endeavour's heat shield deemed unnecessary, its crew will have additional time to complete transfers of supplies and equipment from the shuttle to the station and review plans for Monday's second spacewalk of the mission.

STS-127 commander Mark Polansky and pilot Doug Hurley will begin the day by using the shuttle's robotic arm to grapple the Integrated Cargo Carrier from inside Endeavour's paylod bay, lift it and hand it off to the station's robotic arm.

Mission specialist Julie Payette and Expedition 20 flight engineer Tim Kopra will then guide the station's arm as it accepts the carrier and installs it on the mobile base system, positioning it for spacewalkers to transfer its spare parts to an external stowage platform on the station.

Speaking of the spacewalkers, Dave Wolf and Tom Marshburn will configure their suits and tools, and review the procedures for their outing on Monday.

Departing Expedition 20 astronaut Koichi Wakata, now a member of Endeavour's crew, will work on the station's Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED). He'll replace a shock absorber, known as a "dashpot", that helps prevent vibrations from simulated weightlifting from interfering with sensitive science experiments on the station.

Canadian astronauts Julie Payette and Bob Thirsk will talk with Canadian dignitaries and news media in a 20-minute event starting at 5:08 p.m.

Continued on page two...


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Open Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement