Today should have been the launch of the last shuttle mission ever but NASA knew that sidepodcast would miss it too much so we have one last bonus mission after this.
Today however is the last mission for the shuttle Endeavour. Rather than waffle on at length I will just give few relevant facts.
- Commander Mark Kelly radio call sign CDR
- Pilot Greg H. Johnson radio call sign PLT
- Mission Specialist 1 Mike Fincke MS1
- Mission Specialist 2 Roberto Vittori MS2
- Mission Specialist 3 Drew Feustel MS3
- Mission Specialist 4 Greg Chamitoff MS4
Endeavour was built as a replacement for the Challenger shuttle.
Pilot Greg Johnson was born in the UK but grew up in America
Roberto Vittori is a European Space Agency Astronaut.
When the mission was originally scheduled Mark Kelly's identical twin brother was in command of the ISS. Due to all the delays experienced with the previous shuttle mission Scott Kelly has already completed his mission.
Commander Mark Kelly is married to congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head earlier this year in an assassination attempt. For a while it looked like he would be replaced by Rick "CJ" Stuckrow but the delays in the previous mission meant she has recovered enough for him to fly and for her to attend the launch.
Also attending the launch today is President Barack Obama. He is the first president to attend a launch since Bill Clinton.
Launch is due at 3:47pm Eastern/8:47pm UK.
Update: The launch was scrubbed because of an electrical fault involving two heaters for one of the auxiliary power units which power the hydraulics that move the flight surfaces during ascent and descent.
yay! today is the best day ever :)
Oooh, not a bad time to tune in as well
OK it was 5 minutes ago
The astronauts are suited up and ready for the van ride to the pad.
i'm gonna be outt! :(
A couple of useful links for video. They are not always showing the same thing.
If the shuttle has to land in France or Spain due to tech problems the flight across the Atlantic takes 35 minutes. I think I see a use for this thing
Thanks for the updates here, too. Pesky work, I can't focus on the important things, like happy weddings and space shuttle launches. :)
If the president is at the launch you should all be allowed to watch. It should be compulsory for all American kids and their teachers to watch
Houston we have a problem
Two of the heaters on one of the auxiliary power units(APUs) have failed. Technicians are investigating the problem.
The Astravan with the crew has not gone to the pad. This could be a scrub already
The APUs are absolutely vital because they power the hydraulics for the aerosurfaces on ascent and descent.
Minimum 48 hour delay.
No launch till at least Sunday peoples
well thats a downer :(
I thought you would be happy Lou could see the launch now
yay for that though :)
I thought you were going to be out and miss it
That is a very good thing!
i am, but i'm sad you guys will miss it today.
You have to be careful in the comments or it can end up costing you lots of Milky Bars
It will be at least two hours before we get a plan for the next launch attempt. That plan will then be varied depending on what the heater fault is and what caused it.
Even if that fault had not occurred there was still a chance that the poor weather at the three trans_Atlantic abort sites would have scrubbed the launch anyway.
Boo, but good for safety.
>>It seemed like the problem cropped up just as they left. I had not heard a hint of it until they were on their way. (comment copied from daily thread)
I was thinking the same - maybe it was part of the prebus briefing ? and that's when it became "public" to NASATV?
they might need more than 48 hours to re set up.
While the astronauts are getting ready mission control are probably running systems checks and warming things up. I assumed they just tried the APU heaters and that is when the problem appeared. If they knew about it there was no point putting the astronauts in the van.
I hope so!!!
Looks like a possible longer delay
We should get a news conference in the next 20ish minutes that whould give us a clue to at least the minimum delay.
According to the white house, obama was about to leave in five minutes from Alabama. I guess he's got the afternoon off now? He was due to do a tour and then a commencement speech at a college in Miami so I guess he'll still head south...
Whatever replacement they get for the shuttle, I hope they're more scheduleable....
They will go for a conventional rocket stack and they are less complex and a lot less weather sensitive because you never need to land them. Today's launch could have been scrubbed because of weather in Spain or France. That is never going to happen with a conventional rocket. I still think scrapping the shuttle is like scrapping Concorde. Who ever thought we would reach the point where we would scrap the most capable technology we had without having a more capable replacement.
Spain or France - were they the emergency landing sites for the shuttle if something went wrong on the launch?
Yes. There are several abort modes depending how far into the flight they are. They have abort to launch site which is why the weather there is a huge issue. The trans-Atlantic abort to Istres in France or Zaragoza or Moron in Spain. If they are a bit further on when the problem occurs they have an abort once a round where they literally fly right round the world and land either back in Florida or White Sands, New Mexico. If they are even further on they can actually abort to orbit.
With a conventional rocket it either goes up or it doesn't. If it fails anywhere the crew module is separated and parachutes back down
72 hours minimum for next space shuttle launch attempt
Mike Leibach saying there appears to be a failure in a switch box. And of course the box is really awkward to get at.
Minimum scrub time is now 72 hours and may increase
Press Conference scheduled for 4pm Eastern(?) Summer Time - three hours from now.
Time for lunch. see you all later.
News conference is now set for 4pm Eastern / 9pm UK. Originally it was going to be half an hour after the scrub so I guess the problem is pretty serious
Looks like Obama has just arrived. I know he was complaining about the lack of technology at the White House but surely they have internet access
Maybe he is going to have a go at fixing it. for the amount of time its been in service you would think the nasa people would be better at it by now.
I get the impression that it is a bit like the original Mini. Designed to make the build easy but if you want to change a minor component you have to remove the engine and tip it on its side to get at it
Obama plus kid plus a plane-load off other folk just appeared.
He got out of the plane and went straight into a helicopter. Dozens of people came out of the plane but only about 6 got in the helicopter. I guess the rest get a bus
I'm a space/tech geek - and when I lived in Auckland, NZ back in 2005, the shuttle made a south to north reentry over the south-Pacific to California - I knew this thing was 'fast' but never knew how fast 'til that night - Watched it reenter above AUS/NZ (looked like a shooting star) and made it to Los Angeles in a whopping 13 minutes! That's 9,000 miles that took me 11 hours to fly at roughly 500mph in a 747! (and the Shuttle crew was slowing as it entered!) - Amazing!
Shame it didn't fly today... but the 2nd will come soon enough... Sad that this is the end of the Shuttle programme - USA won't launch any manned stuff for 2-3 years now :(
They were discussing the trans-Atlantic abort sites in France and Spain today. From a standing start it takes the shuttle 35 minutes to cross the Atlantic.
The next launch attempt is scheduled for Monday at 2:33pm Eastern / 7:33pm UK.
Until the technical problems are sorted the launch time is only an earliest estimate.
ohhh! i'll be back at uni then, may set a reminder on my phone so i can watch it while i cook dinner. :)
You can your boys to cook while you educate them on space stuff
most of us have a deadline on tuesday, and i know for a fact the boys haven't done theirs yet. so i think i may been cooking monday evening... but i can certainly teach them spacey stuff. I have tried before. Taught them some star constellations and discussed what a star actually is. :) Need to be nice to Dom though, cause i'm hoping to stay at uni and watch the turkish gp.. if i can borrow his tv..
You really had to start with the basics.
oh yes. I've promised if we ever get another few nights like we did with the Persieds I'd take them all up to the park (which is really high up) and we'll sit with flasks of tea and coffee watching them. They seemed up for it at the time..
There are quite a few sizeable showers every year. I will make sure you know about any I find as soon as poss
Thank youu! hopefully we'll be at uni when it happens, cause we get even less light pollution there than i do at home!
You can go to http://www.youtube.com/pbsnewshour and submit video questions for the crew of Endeavour. The crew will select some of the questions and answer them live on YouTube.
List of annual meteor showers visible from the UK
Wonder if we should ask them a F1 question!?
Thanks Steven - the France/Spain comment is what jarred my memory of all that... Really is amazing to see in action -
Launch of the shuttle Endeavour now looks like being between 8th-15th. The crew have returned to Houston which is their home base. Normally they would be in Florida 3 days before a launch.
The crew are being loaded into the shuttle.
Launch is due at 8:56am eastern/1:56pUK
Everything still on schedule. Some clouds moving in but they don't seem to be an issue
There are 13 Lego sets on the shuttle which will be left on the space station for the crew to build. Imagine trying to build Lego when all the bricks are flying around your head
I dont have to imagine!
I dont have to imagine!
You have built Lego in zero G?
Whenever i build lego its flying around my head.
I have done Duplo (big lego) in scuba gear though, not really around my head though as they float and we had them in a net
Should have said launch video is running at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts134/status.html also has launch coverage that is much better than NASA's own.
They are closing the shuttle door. All the crew are in and the com checks have all be completed
Is Obama there?
Not as far as I know
T-2 hours to launch
For anyone who doesn't know why the countdown clock says 1 hour and 8 minutes when there is 2 hours to go
Some tile damage being reported that exceeds some criteria. Don't know if this will result in the launch being scrubbed.
The close out crew spotted damaged tiles from the white room. On the last mission there was slight damage to one tile when some tape was removed. The close out crew were able to carry out a quick repair and it did not affect the launch
The white room crew are repairing the damaged tile with a slurry. Looks like they expect to be able to launch on schedule
Looks like the tile has been successfully repaired.
Rick Sturckow who became temporary stand in commander of this mission when Mark Kelly's wife was shot has just taken off in the shuttle training aircraft to asses weather conditions should the shuttle need to land back at Kennedy
Just tried spacevidcast.com for the first time and am enjoying their launch coverage.
spaceflightnow seem to be having all sorts of signal drop out problems today
T- 1 hour 15 minutes
The hatch is closed and the close out crew have left the launch pad area
Nothing much happening. Everything is progressing as it should but there really isn't much to see
Everything still looking good to go.
They are working a few minor issues but these are not expected to cause any problems. NASA describes them as paperwork issues
Everything still on schedule
T-20 minutes to launch
If anyone is looking for a video feed
The flight director has polled all his people and they say no constraints. Go for launch
All good so far then?
What are Spaceflightnow going to do when there are no more launches?
What are Spaceflightnow going to do when there are no more launches?
They cover all sorts of things other than shuttle. Have a look at the front page of their site
That was some speech....
about ten minutes to go....
Best video is at http://www.spacevidcast.com/
I have 3 feeds and they are so far out of sync with each other. No way I am refreshing this late though. I did that before and missed the launch
The countdown clock has re-started after the last hold
Its white, i was kinda hoping for a hot pink for a bit of a send off
>Its white, i was kinda hoping for a hot pink for a bit of a send off
The only do that when they're raising money for breast cancer research :)
The rudder works.
The engine gimbals work too
Did you ever see the Beagle 2 (Mars Lander) report? I was following some links yesterday and all were bad links thanks to site redesigns etc. Even the freedom of information site wouldn't provide working links.
off goes the top
I read that as gerbils.
Thought NASA was supposed to be high tech! :)
I read that as gerbils.
is there any audio right now? i changed my setup and ahven't had audio lately.
Telemetry on spacevidcast.com
It's a bit cloudy. Bad for TV.
I have never seen launch telemetry before
woohooo, just caught it. phew!
1300 miles per hour in a minute. Amazing.
SSME Thrust > 100%
Went back to my monitors - I lost audio on the TV. boo. wanted true HD :(
Those circle patterns looked weird
Just caught this. Wow. I always watch with my heart in my throat now since the accident years ago....so anxious for all to go well...
Never seen those before
Every time they say throttle up I stop breathing
Never seen those before
They seemed to be temporary - I was thinking cloud cover dispersing light / camera out of focus?
Hi Kai :)
Hi Scott. :)
0-5000 mph in 4 minutes
Next significant event is the main tank separation at 8 minutes 30 ish
I thought the tank had gone early but it was just the shadow
CBS news reporting that Congresswoman Giffords exchanged wedding rings with hubby Capt Kelly pre launch http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/16/earlyshow/main20063158.shtml
Go for the pinch?
Work is once again ruining my plans for watching.... :)
See you later.
It;s altitude is dropping
i'm really gonna miss these launches... :(
Go for the pinch?
Don't forget you can check out where to view the ISS/Space Shuttle - check back to this site often as they update it with latest data
Annoyingly, few chances here in the northern US :(
Pitch is like roll except that pitch is in the nose up/down plane
later Kai. I delayed going to work for this. My luxury for a monday morning....
Ooh, okay. I need to get back on that X-plane game!
You should be so much better at it now
Safely into space.
Safe is all relative, I guess :)
Compared to the alternatives making it to orbit is safe
is that a star trek pin/badge on the spacevidcast...
the ISS still makes me think of the Vermicious Knids from Charlie & Great Glass Elevator... safe :)
Thanks for the chat. I'm going off to do some work. I like the guy walking around with the backpack - is he just sneaking in to work late or on the way out?
Back in Florida someone just found the instruction booklet for one of the LEGO sets...
After all the problems we had a textbook launch.
I will have a look at the mission schedule later and let people know when they can see spacewalks and landing etc.
That could be a problem because the astronaut scheduled to build them is leaving the ISS soon and won't be able to do them
and now to wait for the NASA high-res launch pics for a new iMac desktop :D
Only one of them is allowed to do them?
That is so unfair!
As Neil Tyson said on twitter earlier.
how long would it take if it went direct? it's going up at the moment, what if it went across?
Well... that's a hard question to answer because the speed is related to its pull from gravity, so I guess it could go faster if it were not going up at the same time. But lets pretend that isn't the case (this pretence does you will appreciate mean the number is nonsense for practical terms, but is useful for visualising terms I guess?)
The fastest speed the shuttle reaches is 17,500 miles an hour and the Atlantic is 2,450 miles wide. So it covers the width of Atlantic in 8 minutes and 24 seconds.
The reason, I guess that it only takes 15 minutes to cross the Atlantic even though you were going just up is because a) you aren't coming down again in the time and b) the world moves quite fast from the point of view of up there. The earth is moving at 1,040 miles an hour on its own. So if you stop being turned with it by gravity then you will see the movement. But obviously you have to go quite high to stop being turned. Geostationary satellites are still being moved by the earth.
Alex can explain gravitational physics but struggles with simple suspension :)
Wed 18th docking with the ISS. Shuttle robot arm to remove the Express Logistics Carrier-3 and hand it of to the station arm
Thurs 19th Shuttle arm to unberth the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 and hand it off to the station arm which will install it
Fri 20th Spacewalk 1 which includes several tasks but nothing massively exciting
Sat 21st Off duty time and preparation for spacewalk 2
Sun 22nd Spacewalk 2 Port solar alpha rotary joint inspection and lubrication. This is one of the main rotating joints that allows the solar panels to track the sun. These have suffered wear problems in the past and bits of the moving parts have been ground off
They are also doing some work on one of the ammonia tanks used for cooling
Mon 23rd Off duty and spacewalk 3 preparation
Tues 24th Spacewalk 3 PDGF installation. Apparently it is a power and data grapple fixture. WHo knew?
Wed 25th Inspection of Endeavour's thermal protection and preparation for spacewalk 4
Thurs 26th This includes a range of tasks and is the final scheduled spacewalk by shuttle crew. This really is an ending
Fri 27th Press conferences and hatch closure between the two vehicles.
Sat 28th Undocking. Normally the shuttle undocks and does a quick fly around of the ISS but this time it will do that then drop back about 5 miles. It will then make another approach to the station simulating that to be used by the shuttle replacement vehicle.
Sun 29th Tidying up and preparing for re-entry to the atmosphere and landing.
Mon 30th Landing
All information taken from page 9 of http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/538352main_sts134_presskit_508.pdf
That's a big press release. What time is the landing scheduled for?
S'ok. I got it
Landing Time: PrimarylandingSite: KennedySpaceCenter
ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC3) Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2(AMS)
May 13, 2011 9:28 a.m. EDT
But that was last week?
You beat me to it
That must be based on the last launch date. Not sure I have seen an update
The pdf has 63 matches for the word 'Landing' :D
This page says June 1st 02:32 EDT
That's quite early here then
What a stupid time for a landing
After a successful docking earlier today the astronauts are already hard at work. They are using both the shuttle and station robotic arms to position the ELC3 (glorified pallet).
Video and info at http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts134/status.html