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  STS-128: viewing, questions and comments (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-128: viewing, questions and comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2009 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-128: mission viewing, questions, comments
This thread is intended for comments and questions regarding the STS-128 mission and the reports published as part of collectSPACE's Flight Day Journal.

Discovery is scheduled to launch the STS-128 crew in August 2009 to deliver supplies, including the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT), to the International Space Station.

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

tncmaxq
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posted 07-21-2009 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Launch date remains fluid but is there any idea on when causeway passes will go on sale? I have heard August 21 is a NET date. I almost hope they delay it beyond that since August 22 is the STS-41D reunion in Kansas I would love to attend. Can't do both though.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-24-2009 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per Jose Hernandez, writing on Twitter:
Our launch date is now tentative set to no earlier than August 25th.
Launch transportation tickets should go on sale soon after STS-127 lands, slated for July 31.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-31-2009 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Crew Takes YouTube Questions In Spanish And English

NASA's next space shuttle crew will answer questions submitted by YouTube users in both English and Spanish during the upcoming mission to the International Space Station. The crew is targeted to launch on the STS-128 mission in late August.

Questions may be submitted at: youtube.com/user/ReelNASA

Several questions will be selected to be answered live from orbit by the crew during a special event that will be broadcast on NASA Television. STS-128 astronaut Jose Hernandez, one crew member who will answer questions, is providing insights on his training in both English and Spanish via Twitter.

Shuttle Discovery's 13-day flight will deliver supplies and equipment to the station and a new crew member. The station equipment includes new science hardware and experiments, additional sleep quarters, an air purification system and the COLBERT treadmill.

Astronaut Rick Sturckow will command Discovery. He will be joined by Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Pat Forrester, Hernandez, Danny Olivas and European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang.

NASA astronaut Nicole Stott will fly to the complex aboard Discovery to begin a scheduled three-month mission as a station resident, replacing NASA's Tim Kopra, who will return home on Discovery. STS-128 is the first shuttle mission to feature two Latino astronauts among the crew. Hernandez and Olivas are both of Mexican descent.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2009 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tickets to view the STS-128 launch from the NASA Causeway and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Friday, August 7 on the KSCVC website, as well as by phone at +1 321-449-4400.

Rob Joyner
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posted 08-07-2009 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All KSC LTT packages sold out by 9:04!

tncmaxq
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posted 08-07-2009 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Re: Sold out by 9:04. I'm not surprised. Did anyone manage to get a ticket?

Rob Joyner
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posted 08-07-2009 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did!

tncmaxq
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posted 08-19-2009 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like I am set to make the trip. Any meetings of cS folks planned?

StarDome
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posted 08-24-2009 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just been watching tanking, and saw the big orange flame from the gaseous hydrogen vent.

The guy on NASA TV commented they sometimes in the past have seen that flame over 200 feet long... anyone have any pics of that event or similar event?

irish guy
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posted 08-24-2009 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Safe travels to all traveling to Brevard Co, wish we could be there. We still hope to make it over for STS-129. Looking forward to all your photos and stories. While there in May we got to meet Hugh Harris we spent a really enjoyable time with him he even took the trouble to search for our address at the media center and wrote to us when we got home and sent us disks packed with photos of STS-125.

Take care and goodnight from Ireland.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-24-2009 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those who might be wondering, I decided after last mission's multi-day delays not to do pre-launch status updates but rather begin our Flight Day Journal with the mission's launch...

With the weather trending the way it is, it clearly doesn't look good for tonight.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-25-2009 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scrub! Looks like they missed the weather window by "THAT" much (i.e. about thirty minutes).

jimsz
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posted 08-25-2009 06:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another Shuttle launch day to go into low earth orbit, another scrub.

Just how did NASA get to the moon?

James Brown
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posted 08-25-2009 06:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They had good weather on those days?

Mr Meek
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posted 08-25-2009 07:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
Just how did NASA get to the moon?

They had much longer launch windows (4+ hours), lower requirements for weather, and no need for RTLS or TAL abort landing sites.

StarDome
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posted 08-25-2009 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like Jimmy's reply.

He has a good sense of humour! I have witnessed it first hand.

Let's hope the weather plays ball tonight. Good luck guys if you are in attendance! I'm envious.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben Cooper caught a dramatic shot as to why we didn't launch earlier this morning:


Photo credit: NASA/Ben Cooper

MCroft04
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posted 08-25-2009 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully Alan Bean and Dick Gordon see this picture. Very impressive!

tegwilym
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posted 08-25-2009 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
Just how did NASA get to the moon?
Launched into thunderstorms. The Saturn V was a tough old bird, nothing would hurt it, even getting hit by lightning twice. Just flip that SCE to Aux breaker and keep on going!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those interested, I will (again) be a guest on Spaceflight Now's launch webcast with hosts Miles O'Brien, David Waters and Leroy Chiao at 10:45 p.m. EDT tonight.

An hour and 15 minutes later (at midnight EDT), I will be a guest on Florida Today's launch webcast with host Todd Halvorsen.

On both shows, I will have a small collection of STS-128 related memorabilia and artifacts to share with viewers.

spaceman48263
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posted 08-25-2009 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman48263   Click Here to Email spaceman48263     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well there goes my pre-launch nap!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Liquid hydrogen fueling of Discovery's external tank has been halted due to what appears to be broken fill and drain valve, threatening a scrub.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A broken liquid hydrogen fill and drain valve located on Discovery's aft has led to a scrub of tonight's (early Wednesday morning) STS-128 second launch attempt.

Early word is that we're looking at a 48 hour turnaround at least.

The STS-128 launch window closes on August 30 and then NASA will stand down until October due to Japanese HTV and Russian Soyuz launches.

irish guy
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posted 08-25-2009 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's bad luck may be Irish and Great Britain's shuttle watchers good luck: a 24 hour turnaround will bring the shuttle and tank over our skies just before sunrise!

In all the shuttle launches and scrubs I've watched over the years,I don't recall seeing any pictures/film of the crews leaving the shuttle afterwards, or of them at the pad, or at crew quarters. What are their plans now?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To quote Christer Fuglesang via Twitter:
Just got the news that we are scrubbing again, due to technical problem. Bad luck again, but maybe we can have dinner with the families.
And similarly Jose Hernandez:
Drats! 24 hour scrub! Won't launch until tomorrow! I guess I get to sleep one more night in a bed! More to come...
This was before he knew what the issue was as a 24 hour scrub is not very likely.

In today's case, the crew were still in their quarters at the time of the scrub. They will remain there, waiting for the next attempt, unless mission managers decide to push to October.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Twitter updates from Fuglesang...
No attempt tomorrow either. Earliest Fri 28th, just after midnight our time. Indeed, we can make 2 attempts 28th, also right before midnight.
...and Hernandez:
Earliest launch attempt Fri 28th after midnight @ 00:17 but can make 2nd attempt on same day @ 23:50.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2009 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a belief that the valve issue that scrubbed tonight's launch attempt may be an instrumentation problem rather than a hard failure. To test that theory, engineers plan several dry cycles of the valve on Wednesday.

The data collected from those tests will be what leads mission managers to decide whether to press forward with another launch attempt or whether the valve needs to be inspected and/or replaced, requiring access to the orbiter's aft compartment.

For now, NASA is targeting a launch on Friday at 12:22 a.m. EDT.

KSCartist
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posted 08-26-2009 04:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If for some reason they could not launch at 00:22 (AM) on Friday would they keep the ET in stable replenish mode all day for a 23:50 (PM) attempt?

DCCollector
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posted 08-26-2009 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DCCollector   Click Here to Email DCCollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If a launch goes ahead this Friday or this weekend, any chance that it could be seen from the Washington, DC area?

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-26-2009 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have heard occassionally of people in extreme southern South Carolina seeing a white ball going up the coast on the horizon during shuttle night launches into high inclination orbits. So I suppose from DC it MIGHT be possible assuming no clouds obscure the low horizon.

As for the ET, no, they would likely drain it and begin tanking again as normal (would waste too much cryo to keep the ET tanked that long due to heat loss and fuel boil off at the pad). It would be no different then a "24 hour" turnaround. Technically it would be about a 23 1/2 hour turnaround since the orbit track of the ISS just moves the launch attempt up by about 25 minutes each day.

The weird bit is if shuttle does fly at the next launch it will be Saturday Morning Eastern Time while in Houston it will be Friday Night Central Time.

thump
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posted 08-26-2009 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DCCollector:
If a launch goes ahead this Friday or this weekend, any chance that it could be seen from the Washington, DC area?
Per Space.com, it should be visible as far north as New York.

Ben
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posted 08-26-2009 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, if it is clear you can see it in DC, NYC anywhere along the eastern seaboard up to almost Boston. For DC I would say start looking six minutes into flight, generally coming from the south, across the southeast sky and into the eastern sky. It is a bright orange light, swiftly moving, occasionally appearing to blink especially as it nears engine cutoff at just after eight minutes.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-26-2009 08:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Valve Cycle Test Complete, No Issue, Other Testing Continues

Teams at Kennedy Space Center have completed a portion of the testing of a liquid hydrogen fill and drain valve in space shuttle Discovery’s main propulsion system. The valve opened and closed when commanded five different times with no issues. This "cycle testing" of Discovery began at 6:28 p.m. EDT and finished at 6:59 p.m.

Teams are now performing a pressure test of the propulsion system, and recording the leak rate of small amounts of liquid hydrogen. Data from tonight's tests will be brought to tomorrow’s mission management team for evaluation at the noon meeting.

NASA is targeting Discovery's next launch attempt for no earlier than Friday, Aug. 28 at 12:22 a.m., depending on the results of the testing and a review of the data by the mission management team.

Discovery's countdown is expected to resume at the T-11 hour mark at 8:57 a.m. Thursday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-27-2009 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Mission Managers to Meet Today at Noon

The testing of the liquid hydrogen fill and drain valve in shuttle Discovery's main propulsion system is complete. The valve and its position indicator both operated normally during yesterday's testing. And all leak checks were within specification.

The evaluation of the low-level hydrogen leak detected in a tail service mast on the mobile launcher platform on Launch Pad 39A following Tuesday's launch scrub is complete, and no leaks were detected.

All the test data will be brought to the mission management team for review at the noon EDT meeting. Mission managers also are scheduled to meet at 2:15 p.m. to give the "Go - No Go" for tanking.

If Discovery gets the "Go", tanking commentary on NASA TV will begin at 2:45 p.m. and fueling operations will start at approximately 3 p.m. Launch commentary will begin tonight at 7 p.m.

Discovery's seven astronauts are sleeping and will wake up for their launch day preps at 1:30 p.m.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-27-2009 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems that the mission management team has decided they need more time to study the situation, and thus Friday's early morning launch attempt for STS-128 will be delayed another 24 hours (to Friday night at 11:59 p.m. EDT at earliest).

jut2y
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posted 08-27-2009 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jut2y   Click Here to Email jut2y     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Arrived back in England from Florida this morning, disappointed that mother nature reared it's head on the causeway last Tuesday am.

All seemed well until about 11.00pm on the Monday evening a few distant lightning strikes and rumbles of thunder but odds were still good for launch at that point.

Then what seemed like minutes a breeze built up and suddenly we were looking at thick low lying cloud on the shore side of pad 39 the causeway sky above was quite clear by this time we had a 40% go 60% no go.

Fingers crossed I was ever hopeful. We then reached 4 minutes to the end of final hold time and launch control at KSC had given a green light on all counts as the storms seemed to have moved away.

I was praying we could get through those final minutes then came the devastating ruling from Houston it was a no go due to the 20 mile rain violation.

It would have been a fantastic show that evening and probably the last chance myself and my family will have to witness a launch but understandably safety comes first.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-28-2009 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mission managers have given a "go" for tonight's launch attempt with liftoff set for 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Tanking is scheduled to begin at 2:34 p.m., weather pending.

I will be a guest on Spaceflight Now's launch webcast with Miles O'Brien, David Waters and Leroy Chiao at 9:15 p.m.

At 10:30 p.m., I will be a guest on Florida Today's launch webcast with host Todd Halvorsen.

On both shows, I will have a small collection of STS-128 related memorabilia and artifacts to share with viewers.

chappy
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posted 08-28-2009 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please could anyone let me know what time the shuttle will be launched in UK time so I can get up to watch NASA TV to watch the live launch...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-28-2009 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch is set for 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 28, which is 0359 GMT on August 29.


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