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  STS-129: viewing, questions and comments (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-129: viewing, questions and comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-13-2009 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-129: mission viewing, questions, comments
This thread is intended for comments and questions regarding the STS-129 mission and the reports published as part of collectSPACE's Flight Day Journal.

Atlantis is scheduled to launch the STS-129 crew in November 2009 to deliver spare components to the International Space Station.

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

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-13-2009 04:14 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 Launches Tweetup for Space Shuttle Atlantis Liftoff

For the first time, NASA Twitter followers are invited to view a space shuttle launch in person at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA is hosting this unique Tweetup on Nov. 11 and 12. Space shuttle Atlantis is targeted to launch at 4:04 p.m. EST, Nov. 12 on its STS-129 mission to the International Space Station.

"This will be NASA's fifth Tweetup for our Twitter community," said Michael Cabbage, director of the News Services division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Each event has provided our followers with inside access to NASA personnel, including astronauts. The goal of this particular Tweetup is to share the excitement of a shuttle launch with a new audience."

NASA will accommodate the first 100 who sign up on the Web. An additional 50 registrants will be added to a waitlist. Registration opens at noon EDT on Friday, Oct. 16.

The two-day event will provide NASA Twitter followers with the opportunity to take a tour of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, view the space shuttle launch and speak with shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts and managers. The Tweetup will include a "meet and greet" session to allow participants to mingle with fellow Tweeps and the staff behind the tweets on @NASA.

Rob Joyner
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posted 10-13-2009 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would it help speed up the registration process to already be a member of Twitter or will the registration process be the same for everyone on Oct 16?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-13-2009 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The tweetup is planned specifically for Twitter users (who plan to tweet the launch), and previous tweetups have requested your Twitter account when registering, so yes, if you do not already have a Twitter account, you should create your account before Friday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-19-2009 09:12 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-129 launch from the NASA Causeway and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, October 20 on the KSCVC website, as well as by phone at +1 321-449-4400.

Rob Joyner
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posted 10-20-2009 08:11 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 were sold out as of 9:05am!

Their new order format is great. No hurried typing needed to get to the confirm button the quickest before packages sell out. Just wish they would have thought of that years ago!

Rob-68
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posted 10-20-2009 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob-68   Click Here to Email Rob-68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know if STS-129 is planning on landing at Edwards? Also do they allow the general public to watch the landings from a designated area inside the base? I would really like to see a landing but scheduling hasn't allowed me the opportunity in the past. I want to make a strong effort this time if it's possible.

Delta7
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posted 10-20-2009 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that Kennedy Space Center is the primary and preferred landing site for shuttle missions. Edwards is only to be used when and if conditions do not permit a KSC landing (a decision that is made within a day of landing there).

tegwilym
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posted 10-20-2009 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How long did it take for the tickets to the launch to sell out this morning? Anyone know? I need to try for one more. Maybe the next one.

ApolloAlex
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posted 10-21-2009 06:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I have my tickets but only to watch from the KSC but with the addition of Dinner with an Astronaut and if I am correct it will be Bill Pogue on the 36th anniversary of his own flight which adds a very good angle on the day, but that apart I did try for tickets from the causeway and it was crazy as when I finished my own filling in of details and then confirmed it came back saying SOLD OUT but nevertheless I truly hope that this is not scrubbed like the other two I have been over for and with the addition of the Delta and the Atlas launches looks like a holiday to remember!

Rob Joyner
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posted 10-21-2009 02:27 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 ApolloAlex:
...when I finished my own filling in of details and then confirmed it came back saying SOLD OUT
I don't know if it would help getting a LTT for this launch but contact KSC and explain that after you had completed your order within the eight minutes allowed that it came back as sold out. Their new order system is supposed to hold tickets after you choose the quantity for eight minutes before releasing them back to the public. There could possibly be a glitch in the new system they should certainly know about.

I really took my time entering my order info and had no problem getting the confirmation even after the 9:03am mark.

Good luck!

jdcupp
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posted 10-22-2009 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jdcupp   Click Here to Email jdcupp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those of use here at Tennessee Tech will be proudly cheering on our alum Pilot Barry Wilmore. Way to go Golden Eagle!

PowerCat
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posted 11-02-2009 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe someone out there can answer a question for me. Is this the first flight where there will be a different flight engineer for ascent and entry. I noticed that Bresnik is scheduled for ascent and Melvin is scheduled for entry. I didn't remember this before on a flight. Thanks.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-02-2009 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as my (and Spacefacts) records show, there has been only one other shuttle flight in history where the same person did not serve as flight engineer for ascent and landing, and that was the very first mission with a flight engineer: STS-5. Bill Lenoir and Joe Allen traded places, Lenoir on the flight deck as FE for launch with Allen on the middeck, and then vice versa for landing.

As to why Melvin and Bresnik are swapping seats, according to CBS's Bill Harwood who asked Melvin about this very question, STS-129 commander Charlie Hobaugh wanted to give both astronauts the experience, given that Bresnik would have flown as pilot were there more space shuttle missions.

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posted 11-13-2009 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am leaving from South Carolina for the cape in the morning as a VIP guest of Langley Research Center. I am very excited, we will be touring Sunday and viewing from Banana Creek on Monday.

This will be my third launch but the other two were from Titusville and Daytona over 20 years ago and so this should be unique. I am taking my girls out of school for this so wish us luck for an on schedule launch.

Rob Joyner
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posted 11-13-2009 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The view from the Banana Creek VIP site is simply fantastic. You and your girls will be talking about it for years to come! And right now there is a 90% chance of good weather on launch day!

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posted 11-14-2009 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben Watson   Click Here to Email Ben Watson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My family and I are leaving for the launch tomorrow. This is our first one, so I am curious about a few things.
  1. We have the causeway tickets. Is there a public address system out there that carries the launch commentary? If not, is it broadcast on a local AM or FM station?

  2. We are staying in Cocoa Beach and have a 7:00 am arrival time at the KSC vistor center. I am planning on leaving Cocoa Beach one hour prior to that time to account for traffic. Is this enough?
Many thanks for your help.

GACspaceguy
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posted 11-14-2009 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  1. Yes they have a PA system, vendors for food/drinks as well as pot-a-potties
  2. An hour should be plenty of time

chappy
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posted 11-14-2009 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could anyone let me know what time the launch is in U.K time please?

NavySpaceFan
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posted 11-14-2009 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Launch is 7:26 p.m. GMT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2009 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tomorrow (Sunday) begins a two-day NASA tweet-up at the Kennedy Space Center in conjunction with the STS-129 launch.

The day begins with a series of presentations starting at 8:00 a.m. EST, which will be broadcast live via UStream.

The schedule of presentations is as follows:

  • 8 a.m. -- Program begins with welcome by John Yembrick (@NASA), NASA public affairs officer
  • 8:10 a.m. -- Jon Cowart, Ares I-X deputy mission manager
  • 8:40 a.m. -- Wayne Hale, strategic program planning manager
  • 9 a.m. -- Mike Massimino (@Astro_Mike), astronaut, STS-109 & 125
  • 9:30 a.m. -- Veronica McGregor (@veronicamcg), public affairs, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • 9:40 a.m. -- Miles O'Brien (@milesobrien), veteran space reporter, former CNN anchor
I will be at the tweet-up and plan to share photos and updates from the event both on this thread and via Twitter (@RobertPearlman).

lewarren
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posted 11-14-2009 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lewarren   Click Here to Email lewarren     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jon Cowart also tweets @Rocky_Sci
Wayne Hale also tweets @waynehale

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-15-2009 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Live from the NASA Tweet-Up...

Space tweeps, from upper left to bottom right: @flyingjenny and @bethbeck; @astrogerly and @milesobrien; @Rocky_Sci (John Cowart) with flame trench brick; @apacheman, @catherineq and @robertpearlman.
Space shuttle artifacts and power strips, from upper left to bottom right: flame trench brick; hold down bolt; external tank foam; thermal blanket.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-15-2009 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space tweeps listen (and tweet) as former space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale talks about preparing for launch.
Mike Massimino (@astro_mike), the first astronaut to tweet from space.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-15-2009 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Veronica McGregor (@veronicamcg), who started NASA tweeting with @MarsPhoenix, and Miles O'Brien speak to space tweeps.
After the morning presentations, the NASA Tweet-Up attendees were taken on a tour of Kennedy Space Center, including a stop at Pad 39A to see space shuttle Atlantis and the space station processing facility to see, among other components, Tranquility Node 3 and the Leonardo multi-purpose logistics module.

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posted 11-16-2009 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch was so grand from the Banana Creek site... I feel so proud to have been there. I'll try to write again with details. Headed back to South Carolina now.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-16-2009 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was again a guest today on two launch webcasts: Spaceflight Now and Florida Today. On both, I discussed the mementos the STS-129 crew members were flying, as well as shared history trivia about the mission.

Here are a couple of photos taken during the Spaceflight Now webcast with hosts Miles O'Brien and Leroy Chiao:


Photos credit: Bill Hartenstein

moorouge
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posted 11-17-2009 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The British in Space...

Enjoying their first day in orbit aboard Atlantis are 4000 British citizens. OK! They are worms but they are engaged in some serious research into muscle degeneration caused by weightlessness. And, alright, they didn't exactly volunteer being recruited, as they were, from a rubbish tip in the Bristol area.

Still - it's comforting to know that the British space programme is alive and well!!!

spaced out
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posted 11-17-2009 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw Atlantis fly over Paris. The sky was still quite bright so I wasn't sure I'd be able to see it but the Shuttle was even brighter. Beautiful.

garymilgrom
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posted 11-17-2009 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any news on the fires reported at the pad after liftoff?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-17-2009 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a grass fire, which is not uncommon. Here is a photo of the scorched area:

There was some damage to the flame trench as well. Fondue and concrete (but not bricks) from the original construction of 39A was forced free.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-17-2009 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a video showing the condition of Pad 39A after the launch...

328KF
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posted 11-17-2009 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone else notice the bright spots in the main engine plumes just after Atlantis cleared the tower? I have seen some streaks in the exhaust in the past but this seemed like a lot of debris or ice.

I thought that maybe it was just more visible due to the HD video, but they were caught on still photography too. See photo #12 here. Any ideas?

Ben
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posted 11-17-2009 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are the Tyvec RCS covers falling off as designed post-Columbia.

moorouge
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posted 11-18-2009 02:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aren't the bright spots in the exhaust from the main engines quite normal and simply caused by the exhaust gases going supersonic?

James Brown
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posted 11-18-2009 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some photos from the launch. I also put a nice one on the Home Page.

Ben
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posted 11-18-2009 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
Aren't the bright spots in the exhaust from the main engines quite normal and simply caused by the exhaust gases going supersonic?

He is referring to the bright specs seen here, which are the Tyvec covers.

moorouge
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posted 11-19-2009 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, Tyvec covers. However I would have thought they might have been more clustered as is suggested by this photo from the 121 launch.

Gilbert
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posted 11-20-2009 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch was spectacular. I got to view Atlantis lifting off from the causeway courtesy of Jimmy Brown. I enjoyed the entire weekend with Jimmy, Joel Katzowitz and Gary Milgrom. Thanks guys.

issman1
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posted 11-20-2009 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the Tom Joyner interview was flippant on the part of the radio presenter(s). Kudos to Leland Melvin and Bobby Satcher!!


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