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  STS-133: Viewing, questions, and comments (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   STS-133: Viewing, questions, and comments
irish guy
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From: Kerry Ireland
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posted 11-04-2010 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If there is another scrub and they have to wait till the December window will there be a roll back for the 6 or 7 weeks?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-04-2010 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch can scrub several more times before they slip until December (the current window closes Sunday, Nov. 7 but Monday launch may be possible).

But should they slip to December, barring a technical problem with Discovery, the shuttle will remain on the pad.

johnraiders
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posted 11-04-2010 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnraiders   Click Here to Email johnraiders     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How does the weather look for Saturday and Sunday?

328KF
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posted 11-04-2010 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Spaceflight Now:
Friday @ 3:04 p.m. EDT: 60 percent favorable, concerns for low-cloud ceilings and launch pad winds

Saturday @ 2:41 p.m. EDT: 40 percent favorable, concern for launch pad winds

Sunday @ 1:15 p.m. EST: 70 percent favorable, concerns for crosswinds at emergency KSC runway and launch pad winds

Monday @ 12:52 p.m. EST: 90 percent favorable, slight concern for crosswinds

Fezman92
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posted 11-04-2010 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So Monday would be the best day?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-04-2010 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The best day is the day when the weather cooperates at launch time.

Remember: forecasts are just that... space shuttles have launched when the forecast has been 90% unfavorable.

Greggy_D
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posted 11-04-2010 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Remember: forecasts are just that... space shuttles have launched when the forecast has been 90% unfavorable.
Or when the actual weather was 99.99999% unfavorable (STS-51-I)

"That cloud is BLACK!", Joe Engle T+17 seconds.

OV-105
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posted 11-04-2010 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This last flight of Discovery is almost as hard to get off the ground as its first flight.

KSCartist
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posted 11-05-2010 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's just hope that at MECO Discovery's not still sitting on the pad. Don't let the orbiter see Steve Hawley.

garymilgrom
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posted 11-05-2010 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SCRUB! Robert Pearlman has tweeted:
STS-133 launch officially scrubbed for today at 8:11 a.m. EDT due to gaseous hydrogen leak from ground umbilical carrier plate.

apolloprojeckt
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posted 11-05-2010 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How it come there are so many leaks?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2010 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If by many leaks you are referring to the fuel, helium, nitrogen and now hydrogen leaks experienced during the lead up to this mission, each are unrelated to each other. These are simply the normal difficulties of preparing a very complex machine for flight.

ilbasso
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posted 11-05-2010 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by apolloprojeckt:
How it come there are so many leaks?
I'm getting old and creaky, too, and I have a lot of gas leaks that can be annoying.

issman1
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posted 11-05-2010 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This problem has occurred twice before, so how come it's still happening.

I suspect December's launch windows will be in the middle of the night?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2010 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correction: a leak from the same area has occurred before. We do not know yet if this is the same problem.

As launch director Mike Leinbach described, the magnitude of this leak suggests the issue is not the same.

If Monday's 12:53 p.m. EST launch is not possible, then the next launch attempt will be Nov. 30 at 3:05 a.m. (Dec. 1 will be 2:40 a.m.).

apolloprojeckt
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posted 11-05-2010 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the answers...

How they test the system is leak-tight, they perform a certain pressure on the fuel lines? Or the weight of the fuel is sufficient for the pressure?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2010 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only way to test the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) is to fill the external tank as you would on launch day...

gliderpilotuk
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posted 11-05-2010 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
I'm getting old and creaky, too, and I have a lot of gas leaks that can be annoying.
Do you carry a "No naked flame" warning sign?

The angst amongst ASF show attendees must be intolerable, with all this on-off activity.

issman1
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posted 11-05-2010 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be surprised if STS-133 launches on November 8. But a delay until December means that ISS will only have a crew complement of three.

My understanding was that Fyodor Yurchikin and Shannon Walker would take images of Discovery during the Rendevous Pitch Manoeuvre.

But they'll be on Earth by then, so will it be Scott Kelly by himself? And how will it affect the Permanent Multipurpose Module installation and other activities? Or have any impact on the next Soyuz launch in mid-December?

OV-105
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posted 11-05-2010 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
Let's just hope that at MECO Discovery's not still sitting on the pad. Don't let the orbiter see Steve Hawley.

Is he at KSC right now? They need to get him off site.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2010 10:44 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 issman1:
But a delay until December means that ISS will only have a crew complement of three.
The primary impact to STS-133 without six people on the space station is the loss of sortie science, experiments that were to be performed on the ISS and then returned to Earth on Discovery.

With only three ISS crew members onboard, it is unlikely the experiments could be carried out.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 11-05-2010 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BBC just reported that launch has been delayed until the end of the month.

NASA website says: No earlier than Nov. 30, 2010. Launch Time: 4:53 a.m. EST.

teopze
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posted 11-05-2010 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for teopze   Click Here to Email teopze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is the exact time frame of the next Nov/Dec launch window? What is the last day including possible extensions? Thanks!

Even though I'm a bit disappointed not to see Discovery launch this week I really hope to see in in December. If it goes on schedule it will be a night launch.

jasonelam
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posted 11-05-2010 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florida Today says the next window is from November 30 to December 6th. After that the next attempts would not fall until the STS-134 window in February.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2010 02:02 PM     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 gliderpilotuk:
NASA website says: No earlier than Nov. 30, 2010. Launch Time: 4:53 a.m. EST.
Thanks Paul, for updating the thread. Further details can now be read here.

Note that the cited launch time above is incorrect: the targeted time on Nov. 30 is 4:05 a.m. EST.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2010 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those looking at rescheduling their travel plans for the November/December window, keep in mind that Nov. 30 is only a planning date right now as the first day in the new window (Nov. 30-Dec. 6). NASA may choose to target a date later in the window or skip the window entirely depending on many factors, including crew training requirements* and the results of the repairs to both the hydrogen leak and foam crack.

* The STS-133 will need to be re-planned a bit if launched in the next window due to the fewer number of ISS residents who will be present to take part in the mission.

issman1
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posted 11-07-2010 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jasonelam:
After that the next attempts would not fall until the STS-134 window in February.

If that were to happen then the Kelly brothers are unlikely to meet in space.

After all the extensive PR that NASA has done lately, I'm sure this could be a factor in determining that STS-133 launches in December. Or have either the next ATV or HTV make way for a January 2011 attempt.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-07-2010 12:21 PM     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 issman1:
I'm sure this could be a factor in determining that STS-133 launches in December.
Not very likely; public affairs does not factor into launch decisions.

The Kelly brothers' opportunity to be in space together was not planned but rather the result of delays to the shuttle schedule. As they are the first to remind those who ask, a delay could just as easily rule out their on-orbit meeting.

On edit: A January launch is not possible, regardless of other vehicles' schedules, due to a beta angle cutout.

issman1
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posted 11-09-2010 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious about this "beta angle cut out". I remember several Space Shuttle missions in the 1990s were flown with the orbiter in continuous sunlight for many days.

If they could tolerate it back then, such as Spacelab missions flying in the gravity-gradient vector, what's the danger today? I recall that on STS-73, with Columbia carrying USML-2, its underside was faced towards the sun to ensure proper tyre pressure was maintained.

Are Soyuz vehicles not susceptible to this phenomenon? And will future US manned vehicles, such as Dragon, Cygnus, Orion and the CST-100, be better insulated than the shuttle orbiters are?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-09-2010 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The beta angle, which is measured as the degree between the spacecraft's orbit and the direction that the sun is shining, determines how much heating the spacecraft will be subjected to by direct exposure to sunlight.

On missions when the shuttle is free-flying and the beta angle is high, heating is managed by performing a "barbecue" or "rotisserie" roll, slowly rolling such that one side was not overexposed.

When the shuttle is docked to the space station, such a roll is not possible and therefore there are periods of "cutout" -- times when the shuttle cannot safely stay at the station for the projected length of the mission without encountering problems due to excessive heating to one side.

Soyuz and other spacecraft -- even the ISS itself -- are subject to beta angle heating concerns as well, which are mitigated by adjusting the orientation of the station.

Since the attitude requirements of the ISS and shuttle conflict when docked, shuttle flights to the station are scheduled to avoid periods when the beta angle exceeds 60 degrees.

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-11-2010 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kind of neat to see the design similarities between the shuttle GUCP (which has been the source of so much consternation of late) and the Saturn V S-IVB LH2 Vent Disconnect in particular its probe assembly. Not too surprising since they perform(ed) the same function but still cool none-the-less.

SpaceAngel
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posted 11-12-2010 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read on Florida Today website today that another crack was found on "Discovery's" external tank, adjacent to the one already identified ("stringers"). From reading the article, could this futher impact the November 30th launch?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-12-2010 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We'll know better on Monday after the teams have had a chance to calculate the loads on the tank in that area. The additional crack was not entirely unexpected, as collectSPACE's own Flight Day Journal notes...
"To the engineers, this was not entirely unexpected," explained Kennedy Space Center news chief Allard Beutel to collectSPACE. "When the load exceeded the initial stringer, which caused it to crack, it transferred its load to adjacent stringers, as they are designed to do, and one of them cracked."

apolloprojeckt
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posted 11-15-2010 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read that there is found a fourth crack in the external tank. Is this not now almost become dangerous? So much cracks? Maybe this has happen before, I don't know.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-15-2010 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm writing an update for the Flight Day Journal but in the meantime, CBS's Bill Harwood addresses the history:
External tank crack repairs are not unusual. Some 29 stringer cracks were found in 18 previous tanks, according to an official familiar with their history. Four have now been found in Discovery's tank, ET-137, and three were found in a tank scheduled for use by the shuttle Atlantis next summer, ET-138. Doublers were used in 23 repairs.

Engineers suspect the use of a lightweight aluminum-lithium alloy in the tanks may be contributing to the crack problem.

While crack repairs are not unusual, the cracks in Discovery's tank are the first to be found at the launch pad, where access is more difficult. An environmental enclosure has been erected around the known damage site to facilitate repairs and the eventual application of fresh foam insulation.

It's not yet known whether more defects remain to be discovered, but engineers are optimistic high-tech instruments capable of detecting damage beneath the foam can be used to find any additional problems.

onesmallstep
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posted 11-15-2010 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could it be that these series of cracks in ETs were caused by the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina five years ago through the Michoud Facility in Mississippi?

xlsteve
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posted 11-16-2010 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by onesmallstep:
Could it be that these series of cracks in ETs were caused by the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina five years ago through the Michoud Facility in Mississippi?
My (admittedly uneducated) guess would be that all the fueling and un-fueling that's taken place has caused the tank to expand and contract multiple times which could have caused the cracking.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-16-2010 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to NASA, the current line of thinking is that the cryogenic loading -- as Steve observed -- led to Discovery's external tank stringers cracking, but that it was a larger symptom of the lighter and more brittle lithium-aluminum beams being more susceptible to damage than the earlier, heavier metal used prior to the Super Lightweight Tank (SLWT).

Cryogenic loading is not needed for the stringers to crack. ET-138, which is set to fly with Atlantis on STS-335/135, experienced a cracked stringer that was repaired with a doubler while still at the Michoud Assembly Facility.

The damage in that case -- and the previous 17 similar cases -- was, according to NASA, attributed to slight-misalignments coupled with the use of the weaker lithium-aluminum stringers.

The important thing is that the cracks were found, repaired with doublers, and the tanks flew safely. The same scenario seems to be now playing out with Discovery's ET-137, with the difference being that this was the first time a cracked stringer has presented itself on the launch pad.

onesmallstep
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posted 11-16-2010 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...oops-I meant to say the Michoud Facility in Louisiana, not Mississippi. I confused the location with the Stennis Space Center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-18-2010 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Discovery's launch is now no earlier than 2:52 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 3 - more details here.


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