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  STS-130: viewing, questions and comments (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-130: viewing, questions and comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2010 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-130: mission viewing, questions, comments
This thread is intended for comments and questions regarding the STS-130 mission and the reports published as part of collectSPACE's Flight Day Journal.

Endeavour is scheduled to launch the STS-130 crew in February 2010 to deliver the Tranquility node to the International Space Station.



NASA release
NASA Invites Public To Tweet Their Way Into Space Next Week

The Twitterverse and universe will converge during space shuttle Endeavour's upcoming mission to the International Space Station. NASA is inviting the public to send questions for the astronauts via Twitter and have them answered live from space.

Astronaut Mike Massimino will be accepting questions for the crew from the public via his Twitter account until Thursday, Feb. 11. Massimino will be a shuttle Capcom, or spacecraft communicator, at NASA's Mission Control in Houston during Endeavour's flight, scheduled for launch Feb. 7.

At 2:24 a.m. CST on Feb. 11, Massimino will host an interactive event with the crew from his console in Mission Control. He will ask the astronauts as many submitted and live questions as practical during the 20-minute event. The shuttle will be docked to the station during the live question and answer session. The event with Endeavour's crew will be broadcast live on the Web and NASA Television.

The public is invited to start tweeting questions for Endeavour's crew today to Massimino's Twitter account, @astro_Mike, or add the hashtag #askastro to their tweets.

Endeavour's 13-day STS-130 mission will include three spacewalks and the delivery of the Tranquility node, the final module of the U.S. portion of the station. Tranquility will provide additional room for crew members and many of the space station's life support and environmental control systems.

Attached to Tranquility is a cupola, which houses a robotic control station and has seven windows. The windows will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. After the node and cupola are added, the orbiting laboratory will be approximately 90 percent complete.

The time and day of the Twitter session are subject to change due to mission priorities.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2010 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
HDNet release
HDNet to Provide Live Coverage of the Last Scheduled Night Launch for the Space Shuttle Program

Live coverage of the launch of Endeavour begins at 4:00 a.m. ET, Sunday, February 7

HDNet will air live coverage of the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, Mission STS-130, to the International Space Station. This is the last scheduled nighttime launch for the Space Shuttle program. HDNet's coverage, LIVE from the Kennedy Space Center, will be hosted by "World Report" correspondent Greg Dobbs. Joining Dobbs live will be NASA astronaut Mike Foale and Fred Gregory of the Coalition for Space Exploration.

The mission of Endeavour and her crew will be to deliver the last connecting module to expand the International Space Station - the Italian-built "Tranquility" node. "Tranquility" will provide additional room for many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. "Tranquility" is among four additional modules on the station: the Destiny laboratory, the Quest airlock, the Unity node and the Harmony node.

The Endeavour crew will conduct three spacewalks lasting approximately 6.5 hours in length during their mission.

The mission takes place at a time when Congress and the Obama Administration are re-assessing the entire future of NASA's manned space program.

WHEN: Coverage begins on Sunday, February 7, at 4:00 a.m. ET on HDNet with the scheduled launch of Endeavour set for 4:39 a.m. ET. HDNet will also re-broadcast the launch of Endeavour on Sunday, February 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-06-2010 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting collection of VIPs for this launch. I wonder if David Hartman will be as excited for this launch as he was for STS-2 as the ABC coverage that somebody uploaded to YouTube last month showed.

I hope she flies tonight!

StarDome
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posted 02-07-2010 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Launch scrubbed for today!

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-07-2010 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, anyone know if the crew had a chance to watch the Super Bowl when they woke up?

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-08-2010 03:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like the weather is good now. Time to go fly. Good luck Endeavour!

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-08-2010 03:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful launch on TV. It looks like you guys at KSC had a really spectacular view though when the stack punched through the clouds, causing the sky to lighten a little. It seemed like everything was clear going uphill.

Kudos to Fox News for covering it and NOT talking over the NASA feed until very late into the flight. They just let the imagery do the talking. One could just reflect in the moment of what they were seeing.

GACspaceguy
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posted 02-08-2010 03:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looked like a long piece of foam came off the left (on the right hand side of the TV view) forward side of the ET. It happened about 8-10 sec before SRB sep. At SRB sep you could see a white streak on the ET where the foam came off. When it departed it looked like it went up and forward and we could not see if it hit anything. Anyone else see it?

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-08-2010 04:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just checked my video tape. I saw it and it broke loose at 1:58 on the time stamp. To me it didn't look that long, but it was crescent shaped. The camera is located just in front of the LOX main feed line and it appears to have come from that (or a bracket to the side of of the feed line). Judging by its behaviour on seperation though, I don't think it came off at the critical speed point to cause damage, although it is worth checking.

Another oddity I saw was right at SSME ignition where there was a flare up for a red plume that seemed to extend outward from the bottom of the orbiter a bit further then I had seen before. I wonder if it was some gaseous hydrogen igniting or something else?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-08-2010 04:34 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 GACspaceguy:
When it departed it looked like it went up and forward and we could not see if it hit anything. Anyone else see it?
NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier, speaking at the the post-launch press conference, addressed the foam loss and reported that they did not see impact damage given a good view of the orbiter upon external tank separation.

Cliff Lentz
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posted 02-08-2010 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great early morning appearance today by Robert on SpaceflightNow.com! I didn't remember Miles being quite the "comedian" he was trying to be. You guys kept me up for a few more hours! It's really terrific to see launch coverage that doesn't disappear right after ET Sep (or during as Fox news did)!

drjeffbang
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posted 02-08-2010 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drjeffbang   Click Here to Email drjeffbang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone in Virginia wake up to see the launch?

We had an absolutely clear sky last night and at about T+7 minutes we saw a white dot streaking from South to North. Simply incredible.

astroborg
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posted 02-08-2010 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astroborg   Click Here to Email astroborg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I live in Woodbridge, VA and caught the last minute through MECO. I had a clear eastern sky. The shuttle was a bright object, impossible to miss, as bright or brighter than Sirius. Through my 7x50 binoculars I thought I could see some detail in the flame plume. My deck wasn't cleaned off enough (too tired from the snow excavations the last two days) for me to use my 94mm refractor on an Alt-az mount. I wished I had have done that! To me the object appeared to have a nice red color. I followed it by watching Spaceflight Now on my laptop - their calls for MECO matched what I observed; no delay over the 'net. I was concerned there might be a lag, as I don't have access to NASA select, other than the internet.

garymilgrom
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posted 02-08-2010 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Shuttle was viewable from Atlanta also. Starting about two minutes after launch a small bright dot was seen moving in the SE sky. It was moving a lot slower than an orbital overpass as it flew in a northeasterly direction. Terrific!

ilbasso
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posted 02-08-2010 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After following the space program since Alan Shepard's flight in 1961, I finally saw my first launch! The view from the Causeway was totally awesome.

After Sunday morning's scrub, I guess that the crowd at KSC last night/this morning was less than 20% of the previous night. Those who were present were really dragging, after staying up past dawn one morning, then having to stay up again all night the next day. There were a lot of people sleeping on the floor in the IMAX theatre lobby and any place they could get out of the cold. With all the bodies covered in blankets on the floor, it looked like a makeshift hospital or morgue!

It was cold again on the Causeway, but a lot less windy than Sunday morning. It was mighty chilly sitting out in the damp air for 2 hours with temps in the low-mid 40's. We watched the sky clear up, then gradually cloud over again, threatening another scrub. But then, during the final countdown hold at T-09:00, the clouds started breaking up and we knew we had a good chance that the launch would finally go through. The 45 minutes of the final hold really dragged on as we begged the clouds to stay away for just a little bit longer! When the hold ended, the final 9 minutes until launch passed in a heartbeat.

I can't adequately describe the reds, oranges, and yellows of the first part of the launch, as the engines lit up the steam and smoke. It was extraordinarily beautiful. Cameras can't capture the colors because cameras get overwhelmed by the brightness of the light from the engines. You go from squinting through the darkness to make out the Shuttle and the lights of the launch tower, to suddenly the whole landscape being brilliantly illuminated in a bright yellow light as the Shuttle rises above the tower. It flew out so much faster than I expected. I know that it's traveling over 100 mph even before it clears the tower, but then it just keeps accelerating and within seconds it's halfway up the sky. It illuminated the thin layers of clouds from inside as it punched through them, really a cool effect.

The sound caught up with us about 50 seconds after launch. It wasn't quite the bone-jarring noise we were expecting, but still you get an idea how powerful those engines are when you consider that you're nearly 7 miles away from the launch pad. I couldn't see the solid booster separation with my naked eye. With one's night vision overwhelmed by the bright engines, you can't really see anything of the Shuttle - and by then, it was too far away to make out any detail anyway.

After about 5 minutes, they made us get back on the buses, with the PA announcement that the exhaust cloud contains droplets of hydrochloric acid and that it was blowing our way! We continued to see the Shuttle off in the distance until we finally had to get inside the bus and the windows were fogged up from the humidity.

If you haven't seen a launch, you owe it to yourself to get down here for one of the four remaining flights.

Two side benefits to being here this week: (1) I missed 2+ feet of snow at home by leaving to come here Friday morning, and (2) I'm missing another 12+ inches tomorrow by staying here through the end of the week!

bruce
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posted 02-08-2010 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome photo of the LO Robert! Very cool watching the orbiter punch through the cloud bank right after the roll program!

webhamster
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posted 02-08-2010 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for webhamster   Click Here to Email webhamster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just out of curiosity after looking at today's Image Of The Day ...does anyone know who the guy is in the center of the picture who seems to rate two bodyguards?

cspg
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posted 02-09-2010 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Astronomy Picture of the Day: that's an unusual shot! Does the camera survive the launch?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2010 03:21 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 cspg:
...that's an unusual shot!
Ben (Cooper) set up a similar fisheye remote for this launch.

rwhite502
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posted 02-09-2010 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rwhite502     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saw Endeavour from Reading, Pennsylvania, from about T+7:00 to MECO. Clear night, 20 degrees.... camera was not cooperating in the cold but managed to capture one picture:

Rob Joyner
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posted 02-09-2010 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, after spending about three hours out on the causeway awaiting the launch for the second night in a row I actually thought about how much warmer it may have been on the ground under one of the tour bus engines! Boy, was it ccccold! The wind seemed to be almost steady with lots of gusts that just went right through you. And that's with double sox, sweaters, jackets, hat and gloves! I guess there's no thickening my thin southeast blood.

The stars were out and shining brightly but slowly disappeared as it got closer to launch time. The rays of the bright spot lights at Pad A slowly began to bend horizontally in the thickening low lying clouds as they did the night before. I was really expecting another scrub and dreading another night of having to endure the cold. Thankfully the clouds cleared enough to send Endeavour on her way. The sound wasn't as loud as some previous launches but it was exciting to see the shuttle light up a few clouds as she plowed through them.

As usual, I met many people who had never seen a launch or been to KSC. Some had been before but had to leave without seeing a launch due to scrubs. Because the program is winding down I also met those who actually live closer to KSC than I do, (230 miles) but had never seen a shuttle lift off the pad in person! One guy who lives in Jacksonville had never even been to KSC before! Because there's only so many LTTs available I'm betting that Titusville's population will at least triple during the last four launches! While driving back after the launch, and the night before, the traffic was literally stopped in the Orlando bound lanes.

On the way home I thought about the many times I've been to KSC for shuttle launches and how my trips there will be less frequent after September. Unless the schedule changes again, I've just seen the very last night launch of a space shuttle. Like Atlantis, Endeavour now has only one more mission. After Discovery launches next month each of the three will only have one launch left. After the last one in September I wonder if I will ever be on a bus headed for the causeway again. Will I ever see astronauts launched from there again in a new vehicle? It's all sinking in. And it is sad to think it all comes down to money and who can lobby for it the best.

It's been said before that if you see a shuttle launch in person it is a sight that will be etched into your memory forever, how no photo or video can capture it. This is all quite true. You're reading this because you are a fan of spaceflight in some respect. If you have never seen a shuttle launch in person due to time restraints or cost I cannot stress enough to do whatever you can to see one of the last four launches. I promise that whatever hurdles you have to jump to do so will seem insignificant after the launch. And because the last four are scheduled in warmer months you won't have to dress like an Eskimo!

tegwilym
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posted 02-10-2010 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob pretty much summed it up very well. It was cold! But definitely worth the shivering and the 2 nights out in the dark. I didn't get to bed until about 6:30. Here is my video that I took. Not super fancy or anything, but just taken with the video mode on my little pocket digital camera.

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-11-2010 01:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"But I'm not done yet!" LOL

Nice video. How new is that camera of yours. My Sony Mavica from 2003 can record digital video as well, but the resolution is not nearly as good as what your camera achieved. I've got a video I took of 121 from the press site, but I didn't pan it up as I was using a higher resolution still camera to get close up shots while I let the second camera shoot pictures of the exhaust cloud around the pad.

Well, I'll be headed down for 131 next month. While not a night launch, it will hopefully be just as spectacular to watch fly.

Playalinda
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posted 02-11-2010 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Playalinda   Click Here to Email Playalinda     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really cool video. I listened to the communication provided and I noticed that at about 2:45 into the flight that they say the OMS (orbital maneuvering system) engines are firing and providing the extra boost needed. I thought these smaller engines left and right of the much bigger SSMEs are only firing after the SSMEs shut down to achieve circular orbit. Anybody can explain? Thanks.

tegwilym
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posted 02-11-2010 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the comments! The camera isn't anything too fancy just a little Panasonic digital that I have had about a year now. Kind of similar to this.

They tried to chase us back to the buses, but I could still see the shuttle, so there was no way I was leaving until it was gone!

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-11-2010 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Playalinda:
I thought these smaller engines left and right of the much bigger SSMEs are only firing after the SSMEs shut down to achieve circular orbit.
OMS assist was first proposed after Challenger to give the shuttle a little more excess thrust going uphill. The OMS motors by themselves don't offer much thrust compared to the SSMEs, let alone the SRBs. But after the SRBs are gone, a little bit of OMS thrust at that point in the flight can help out in getting slightly heavier payloads into orbit with power to spare. They aren't operated for very long, maybe only a minute or two at most.

Playalinda
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posted 02-11-2010 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Playalinda   Click Here to Email Playalinda     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, thank you. Very interesting. That means that five engines are firing at the same time. Three SSMEs and the two OMS engines. For some reason I was not aware of this fact. I know the payload was about 15 tons and I believe that a shuttle can carry up to 28 tons depending on altitude. So the shuttle payload bay cargo was not very heavy after all but a little extra boost is always welcome. Does anybody you know how long exactly the OMS were fired on this STS-130 flight? Thanks again.

FFrench
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posted 02-12-2010 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is Nick Patrick the third British-born spacewalker, after Foale and Sellers, out of curiosity? Off the top of my head, Greg H. Johnson, Helen Sharman and Richard Garriott didn't.

cspg
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posted 02-13-2010 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isn't this one of the most beautiful shuttle pictures ever?

Playalinda
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posted 02-13-2010 12:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Playalinda   Click Here to Email Playalinda     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonderful shot.

The ISS will be in low Earth orbit until 2020. That means the Node 3 and Cupola will only be in service for 10 years. Isn't this STS-130 mission and hardware too expensive for only 10 years of usage?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-13-2010 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Current projections suggest that the ISS could remain in service through 2028. The 2020 extension is a budget extension, but NASA has already begun discussions with its international partners to look past that date.

OV-105
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posted 02-13-2010 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great shot. One of the best of the of the Shuttle/ISS programs.

East-Frisian
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posted 02-14-2010 02:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A photo of the year.

dogcrew5369
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posted 02-14-2010 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even though this is a sunrise, for me it captures the shuttle riding off into the sunset. It's a poignant photo when taken into those contexts. Beautiful and memorable for sure.

cspg
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posted 02-14-2010 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Current projections suggest that the ISS could remain in service through 2028.
I guess engineers thought a lot about this. After all, Mir lasted 15 years and the ISS service module (Zvezda), originally meant to be Mir-2, has already been in orbit 9.5 years. Will it last another 18?

teopze
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posted 02-14-2010 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for teopze   Click Here to Email teopze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also took some pictures from the STS-130 launch and the KSC. Nothing spectacular... I missed the launch in Titusville [had to go back to NY] but took some few shots from Orlando. I guess I'll have to go once again, and again and again, if necessary.

You are welcome to see it:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2010 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shuttle Boosters Provide New Views of Launch

Cameras attached to each of the two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) that helped propel space shuttle Endeavour into orbit have been recovered; they provide unique video of the STS-130 launch on Feb. 8 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center as well as point-of-view documentation of the reusable SRBs' separation from the orbiter and their subsequent return to Earth in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida.

ilbasso
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posted 02-15-2010 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the right forward SRB view (about 6-1/2 minutes into the video), you can see a lot of debris blowing over Endeavour, from T+0:06 seconds until about T+0:10 seconds. I assume those things were the Tyvek covers from the forward attitude control engines?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2010 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct, they are designed to fall away like that. Essentially wax paper, they are harmless to the orbiter at the velocity they are traveling.

Mike Z
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posted 02-17-2010 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Z   Click Here to Email Mike Z     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know which flight day and time the SRB Launch Views were played on NASA TV?


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