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  STS-133: Viewing, questions, and comments (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   STS-133: Viewing, questions, and comments
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-21-2010 01:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Discovery's roll from Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building has been delayed to work an issue with the leveling system on the crawler. More details here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2010 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Discovery's rollback — its sixth and the shuttle program's 20th — was completed Wednesday morning at 7:01 a.m. EST.

The 3.4 mile trek got underway yesterday evening at 10:48 p.m. EST. More details here.

moorouge
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posted 12-23-2010 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why the water spray in front of the crawler?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-23-2010 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The water dampens the rocks on the crawlerway, reducing the amount of dust churned up by the passage of the shuttle.

moorouge
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posted 12-23-2010 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert - obvious really.

Rob Joyner
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posted 12-30-2010 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per Space.com, new cracks found on Discovery's ET.

moorouge
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posted 12-30-2010 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As per NASA's shuttle site today -
The X-rays showed four additional small cracks on three stringers on the opposite side of the tank from Discovery, and managers elected to repair those cracks in a similar fashion to repairs made on cracks discovered after the Nov. 5 launch attempt. That work is estimated to take 2–3 days.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-03-2011 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shuttle managers decided Monday to further modify 34 of Discovery's external tank stringers. Read more in collectSPACE's STS-133 Flight Day Journal.

KSCartist
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posted 01-04-2011 06:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have the ET's for Endeavour and Atlantis been X-rayed to see if they have any similar cracks?

FullThrottle
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From: Seattle, WA, USA
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posted 01-04-2011 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FullThrottle   Click Here to Email FullThrottle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Supposedly the Endeavour "Katrina damaged" tank is made of a different material that has not been shown to fatigue/crack like the ultra-light weight Discovery tank...

Watching this shuttle launch has started to run and control my life! Hell or high water, I am going to watch Discovery lift off the pad!! I watch these delays and read all the stories religiously.

It's my first time to see a launch and I went 7000 miles round trip the first time and didn't see it. My STS-133 causeway tickets are still good so I need to take off for 10 days within days notice when I see they're go for launch and rolling the stack out to 39 for its final flight!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-06-2011 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA managers met Thursday and while no decisions were made, they are leaning toward the further modification of the remaining stringers on Discovery's external tank intertank region.

As a result, Discovery will not be ready to launch during the Feb. 3-10 window. The next window currently opens Feb. 27, but is under review.

Read more in collectSPACE's STS-133 Flight Day Journal.

issman1
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From: UK
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posted 01-07-2011 02:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why hasn't NASA simply switched SRB/ET stacks, as in the past?

STS-134's was deemed safe. The STS-133 tank could then be repaired and prepped for STS-135. Odd.

Delta7
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posted 01-07-2011 06:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's called the "Extend the Shuttle program to 2012" initiative.

Neil Aldrin
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posted 01-09-2011 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil Aldrin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at the recent pictures (example) of the work being done on the External Tank I am noticing areas where they applied many small circles/leopard spots.

I have seen this in a few photos in different locations. Any explanation?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-09-2011 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The spots (or dots) were added to support the tanking test performed before Discovery was rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Along with measuring stresses and temperatures, stereo cameras will be focused on thousands of small dots painted on the tank to document subtle changes indicative of internal components shrinking on exposure to low temperatures.

Neil Aldrin
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posted 01-09-2011 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil Aldrin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The spots (or dots) were added to support the tanking test performed before Discovery was rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Thank you Robert. I learn something new every day!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-10-2011 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA managers will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. CST Tuesday at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Participating in the news briefing will be:

  • Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations
  • John Shannon, space shuttle program manager
  • Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager
Managers have approved a plan to modify the remaining untouched stringers on Discovery's external tank intertank region to fortify them for the stresses exerted during ascent.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-12-2011 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has re-targeted Discovery's STS-133 launch for no earlier than Feb. 24 at 4:50 p.m. EST.

Engineers have identified the root causes of the cracks in Discovery's external tank and have approved a "simple and elegant fix" that is now underway.

Read more in collectSPACE's STS-133 Flight Day Journal.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-12-2011 09:04 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:
Why hasn't NASA simply switched SRB/ET stacks, as in the past?
According to space shuttle program manager John Shannon, the reasons are two-fold:
  1. A tank swap would itself have delayed the STS-133 mission to April. They are confident they can complete the repairs and modifications to make the Feb. 24 window.

  2. Of the two remaining tanks, Atlantis's ET-138 will require the same radius block modifications now being made to Discovery's ET-137. Endeavour's ET-122 will likely require a tanking test before a determination can be made about modifying its stringers.

Aeropix
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Registered: Apr 2010

posted 01-12-2011 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aeropix   Click Here to Email Aeropix     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given the extended delay of this launch, will Launch Transportation Tickets be made available again? I'm sure most of the folks who planned to attend in September will not be able to reschedule.

As it happens I have two weeks of leave in the USA beginning 25th February and I'm keen to see it (that's an understatement)!

Do you think Grayline or Gator tours will be selling more tickets, or tickets unused in previous launch attempts?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

tegwilym
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From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-13-2011 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aeropix:
Given the extended delay of this launch, will Launch Transportation Tickets be made available again?
I'm interested too!

BMckay
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From: MA, USA
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posted 01-13-2011 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just received a survey asking if I will still be going because I had purchased tickets for the launch. So it looks like they are thinking of something - maybe releasing more tickets.

ggelb
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From: Toledo, Ohio
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 01-25-2011 08:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ggelb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just found out the family vacation is being extended a few days to see our first shuttle launch, STS-133. Is there still a "reasonable" way to get tickets? Gray Line, US Representative etc? Or should we plan on Titusville? Thinking about staying in Orlando... Advice would be greatly appreciated!

FullThrottle
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From: Seattle, WA, USA
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posted 01-28-2011 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FullThrottle   Click Here to Email FullThrottle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got an email from Grayline/Gator Tours. They are asking people who currently have tickets to confirm that they need transportation still. It also says to refer to their Facebook page for ticket sale and transfer rules.

They also gave a quick ticket status update at the bottom of the email:

If you have any further questions in regards to launch tickets please do not hesitate to ask... however if you are looking for further tickets currently, we don't have any. We will be getting some stock however we are not allowed to hold tickets for anybody in any situation as we would break our Kennedy contracts. We will be posting it on our Facebook/Twitter when we have tickets available.

Rob Joyner
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posted 01-31-2011 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gray Line/Gator Tours is selling STS-133 causeway viewing tickets Feb 1 at 9:00 am. EST, and "may have another release of tickets next week."

tegwilym
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posted 02-01-2011 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I woke up early expecting a crashed web server on Gator's site. Not at all. They changed the web page at 6:10 (Pacific) and I was able to easily get in and order a Causeway ticket.

I'm going to the launch! Woohoo!!

So what other cSers are going to be there?

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 02-02-2011 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could I have some informed comment on how likely/unlikely the proposed launch-date of 24th February is? Are there any niggling issues threatening a delay or does everything seem to be "go"? (Weather permitting, obviously, as it's too early to assess the weather prospects.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2011 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spoke with Discovery's flow director Stephanie Stilson yesterday afternoon. She said that they are working no issues and are expecting pre-launch preparations to proceed smoothly.

Should an issue arise, they still have five contingency days built into the schedule.

tegwilym
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From: Renton, WA USA
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posted 02-03-2011 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whew! Good to know all is going well. I plan on being there, but still trying to figure out what days to be over there. I should figure this out soon before the airfare goes up.

I'm hoping the curse of bad luck in November is cleared and it will go as planned!

This is always a stressful time for planning a trip over there. I relax once I'm on the plane and everything is planned out.

BMckay
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posted 02-03-2011 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any get togethers in the works for people heading down?

Blackarrow
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posted 02-03-2011 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Robert. I'm giving this serious thought. I can do other things next year!

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-08-2011 07:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be in the area for DISCOVERY's launch conducting two book signings (details here). Please come by and say hi!

tegwilym
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posted 02-08-2011 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NavySpaceFan:
I'll be in the area for DISCOVERY's launch conducting two book signings
Cool! I think I know where I'll go after I pick up my rental car. I get to MCO at about 11 and check-in is 3 pm at the hotel, so I'm going to wander around looking at stuff. Are you going to be outdoors at the walk or at the museum? I'll stop by and get a signed book!

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-09-2011 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be at the Museum since I'll be giving a short presentation along with the book signing. See you there!

tegwilym
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posted 02-10-2011 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NavySpaceFan:
I'll be at the Museum since I'll be giving a short presentation along with the book signing.
Great! Probably be there at your 2-4 time.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
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posted 02-10-2011 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florida Today reports that members of the U.S. House of Representatives space committee may come to the launch.
The chairman, Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, said the government would provide a plane if there is enough interest among committee members to attend the Feb. 24 launch of space shuttle Discovery. At an organizational meeting of the committee, he asked lawmakers to sign up by Monday.

"It's an exciting thing," Hall said of a shuttle launch...

Watching a launch would be a treat for panel members, who often have some particular interest in space flight. For example, the father of Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., worked on the Apollo program.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2011 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those holding viewing tickets (launch transportation tickets) for the STS-133 launch through the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:
ARRIVAL TIME UPDATE: NASA Causeway, Visitor Complex and Astronaut Hall of Fame STS-133 ticket holders: the arrival time listed on your vehicle placard remains the same. Please arrive at the original time that is listed on your placard for the original launch attempt.
For additional updates, see the Visitor Complex's shuttle launch viewing website.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2011 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Because today's ATV-2 launch ended in a scrub, STS-133's launch date may change.

If the Ariane 5 launches ATV-2 on Wednesday, Discovery's liftoff will be postponed to Friday, Feb. 25 at 4:24 p.m. EST.

If Wednesday's ATV launch attempt also scrubs, then they will try again on Friday and Discovery's liftoff will be re-targeted for Sunday, Feb. 27 at 3:36 p.m. EST.

If ATV-2 still cannot launch on Friday, then Discovery's launch date returns to Thursday, Feb. 24 at 4:50 p.m. EST.

If ATV launches on or before Friday, then Discovery's launch still cannot proceed without first confirming that the cargo craft has docked to the space station. (If ATV slips past Friday, then it will continue to attempt launching, but will wait to dock at the station until after Discovery departs in March.)

tegwilym
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posted 02-15-2011 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the update Robert! I was freaking out a little when I saw that news, but seems that either way I should be okay. I'm flying home on standby, so that should make my flights more flexible. *whew!*

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 02-16-2011 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA is now saying even if the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV-2) launches as scheduled at 3:50 p.m. CST today, space shuttle Discovery's target launch date will not necessarily move from Feb. 24. NASA managers will discuss the options and decide Discovery's official launch date during Friday's STS-133 Flight Readiness Review.

Update: ATV-2 did indeed launch on Wednesday.


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