Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
High on orbit 220 miles above the good earth, the international space station and her crew closed out the final spacewalk of 2008 to install equipment and experiments as NASA and her global partners take one more step in the completion of the orbital outpost in space.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Ariane 5's liquid hydrogen main engine fired up as the countdown clock hit zero, and then nearly seven seconds later, the twin solid rocket boosters ignited at 5:35:14 pm EST today to begin the launch profile.
Twenty-seven minutes after leaving it's launch pad in French Guiana, the first of the two EuTelSat spacecraft - Hot Bird 9 - separated from the upper stage. Next, the W2M deployed three minutes later.
The next Ariane 5 launch is currently targeted for mid-February and will carry aloft the Hot Bird 10.
Friday, December 19, 2008
The three person crew aboard the international space station spent today preparing for Monday's spacewalk, as NASA and their international partners prepare for a busy 2009 on orbit.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Now take a step back from this picture, and visualize having the latest NASA high def video saved to your computer or iPhone. I have the enjoyment of watching NASA HDTV anytime I want on my iPhone via apple's iTunes.
Available to download for free [http://apple.com] on any Mac or PC, iTunes offers NASAcast and many other free NASA video clips which run several minutes each. From the latest shuttle launches and landings, to Hubble & space station updates, you can stay up to date and carry the cool video short movies with you.
Also, I put "Apollo" into iTunes music search and downloaded recently the Apollo 13 motion picture soundtrack, and several audio-only NASA Apollo launch countdown clips, too. Comment below on what you have downloaded, I'd love to find it.
Cool history embedded in my phone and to watch when I want - mine to keep. So when your doing your Holiday shopping, think about implementing new multimedia technologies into your life.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Crew members aboard the international space station will perform a short spacewalk on Monday, December 22 to install a European science experiment and a navigation unit for Russia.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Located in the northwest corner of Louisiana, Barksdale will be the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft /Endeavour duo's hotel this evening as the Boeing 747 is refueled and KSC personal traveling with the aircraft combo wait out the inclement Florida weather. The pair arrived Barksdale, AFB after swinging south by Houston at 2:14 pm EST.
Endeavour / SAC 747's arrival at Barksdale was delayed slightly due to strong winds associated with the cold front which had just passed through; and a series of military aircraft performing touch-and-go's at the airbase. Among the planes landing on Endeavour's future runway were a few F-16's, a KC-135 tanker plane and three A-10's. It was a busy afternoon for air control there.
Weather permitting, Endeavour is scheduled to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility around 2:30 pm EST on Friday afternoon.
The NASA 747 shuttle carrier aircraft with Endeavour riding piggyback, spent last evening near Fort Worth, Texas, and due to very bad weather from Louisiana to Florida may stay in Texas another day.
The last time a space shuttle orbiter visited here in Fort Worth was 1997 during another NASA ferry flight.
After refueling last night, NASA support personal are watching the inclement weather over Florida today, however a planned stop over in Louisiana may be ruled out or delayed until tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Watching it via NASA-TV [located at top, right column] we enjoyed a beautiful surise departure from Edwards and the Dryden Flight Research Center, where Endeavour had returned from her 15-day space station flight on Nov. 30th.
The 747 /Endeavour duo will likly spend the night tonight near Ft. Worth, Texas, and depart late morning tomorrow pending a weather front over the lower southeastern states.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Spacecraft readiness and not the launcher is the root cause for the launch slip, stated the NRO this morning. This means that the next Cape launch will either be this Delta IV launch or space shuttle Discovery's flight now targeted for February 12th.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Weather and a slight hardware issue has kept Endeavour at the Dryden Flight Research Center a few days longer than planned. Endeavour should arrive here at the Kennedy Space Center midday Thursday.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The space shuttle Endeavour will remain in California until Monday morning as she is prepared for her cross country flight which will end here at the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier, we had reported that KSC engineers at Edwards, AFB in California were ahead of the timeline in preparing the orbiter for her return. However, an issue with the aerodynamic tail cone attachment on Friday will keep the shuttle's return on the normal timeline of a Monday departure.
According to the offices at Edwards and the Dryden Flight Research Center, three of the eight custom made pins which are used to bolt the tail cone over the orbiter's main engines were too large. Technicians then went to work on Friday to reduce the size of those three pins which were only a micro size to big.
Later today, crews will attach the tail cone and begin hoisting the orbiter to prepare for mating to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft - a modified Boeing 747.
Endeavour landed at Edwards on Nov. 30th, following her NASA-touted home improvement mission to the international space station.
Friday, December 05, 2008
The ET-130 tank [right, today] was hoisted several hundred feet up into a vertical climb in the Kennedy Space Center's vehicle assembly building high bay #2, where it will soon be attached to its booster's and the orbiter Atlantis sometime after February.
Launch of Atlantis of mission STS-125 is now targeted for this May 12th on the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Orbiter Endeavour continues to be serviced following her Sunday landing at Edwards, AFB in California, and will prepare for her cross-country flight beginning next week.
On Tuesday, about 200 of Kennedy Space Center's finest will arrive at Edwards to assist in the rollover to the mate/demate device which will allow Endeavour to be hoisted atop a modified Boeing 747 aircraft for the ferry flight.
Currently, they have targeted December 8 for the trip home to KSC to begin. Endeavour should be fully atop the 747 on Saturday.
Endeavour's STS-126 flight crew will depart Edwards this afternoon for the trip home to Ellington Airfield and a grand welcome by family, friends and coworkers.
Meanwhile aboard the international space station, crew members of Commander Mike Fincke, Yury Lonchakov and Sandy Magnus are spending this morning working on experiments with the ground; Finke performed a HAM radio chat with a school in India; Magnus [above] checked family e-mails; and at 12 noon EST, Magnus began a private medical conference on air to ground two.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Today's planned 1:19 pm EST landing here at KSC will not occur, so now Mission Control is working two thoughts: an Edwards, AFB in California attempt, or waiving off for today and landing Endeavour in Florida on Monday. The later is what the scientists and ground crews like in order to 1) get the just arrived from space experiments to their labs; and 2) get Endeavour turned around quicker for her next flight this May 15th. It takes a shuttle one week to return back to KSC from a California landing.
The first Edwards, AFB in southern California landing attempt would see Endeavour's main gear hit the dry lake bed at 4:25 pm EST, on orbit 250.
The Spaceflight Meteorology Group latest weather forecast for the Cape calls for winds of 19 knots with gusts to 28 knots at KSC for both landing opportunities. Anvil clouds are expected to be over the shuttle landing runway with thunderstorms within 30 nautical miles. All of this shows either a waive off or a California landing today.
++ Watch continuous LIVE coverage via our NASA-TV link at upper right.++
Progress 31 was to have automatically docked, however station flight engineer Yury Lonchakov had to manually guide the Progress 31 spacecraft to a 7:28 am EST docking while the pair flew high over eastern China.
During the next half hour, system latches in the docking port will hard dock the Progress. This will be followed by leak checks and hatch opening later this morning.
Russia normally sends up a new Progress to the station every six to eight weeks on average; and beginning next year, Japan will begin sending up their own supply vehicle for docking with the Kibo module.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Latest ground track image for landing.
Friday, November 28, 2008
+ Watch continuous LIVE coverage via the NASA-TV link at upper right.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Hugs and well wishes were exchanged at about 6 pm EST tonight, and moments later, the crews will begin closing the hatches between the two vehicles. Watch SLN Video of the well wishes:
The crews of the shuttle Endeavour and the international space station will pause today and give thanks as they reflect on both the successes of their mission, and their great new freedom in space.
The space station is truly the new world for several countries - America, several in Europe, Russia, Japan - and like the Puritans did four hundred years earlier, we are now traveling under the stars. Except as we travel today, we cross the ocean of space to unite several countries in support of making earth a better planet to both live and play.
And, as the new Pilgrims did in 1621, the nine Americans and one Russian will share a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal on orbit today about 12 noon EST. On the Menu includes: smoked turkey, green beans & mushroom casserole, candied yams, cornbread dressing, cranapple dessert and tea.
Here, the crew discusses their Thanksgiving meal on SLN Video.
This morning at 8:26 am EST, as the orbital complex flew over the southern tip of South America [image above] at an altitude of 221 miles, former Station Expedition 17/18 crew member Greg Chamitoff who is nearing the end of exactly six months in space, gave a few farewell comments to the ground.
"...we have a beautiful, amazing space station... a spectacular accomplishment... I had a great time for the last six months... Happy Thanksgiving." He went on minutes later to address the several payload countries including Munich, Germany, Japan and Russia as he thanked them for their work together and bid them farewell. Greg launched on STS-124 on May 31st.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The space station's Canadaarm2 is seen with Leonardo at about 5pm EST.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Endeavour astronauts Steve Bowen and Shane Kimbrough took a stroll in space this afternoon finishing up space station support work as they conclude the final spacewalk of the STS-126 mission.
The pair are finishing the right solar array rotary joint bearing regreasing...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
NASA reported late this afternoon that equipment and supplies transfers are 76% complete. Two new sleep bunks and a new toliet have already been set-up. A system for removing water from crew urine continues to undergo trouble shooting due to readings that state the system's motor is not working at full power. The Water Recovery System will be a useful tool once working as this current NASA-dubbed Home Improvement mission makes the station habitable for six people beginning this May.
Also today, several of the crew members spoke with several media outlets [above at 4:10 pm EST] about the current mission.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
SLN: Up to the Minute, I'm Charles Atkeison. A new water purification system brought up to the international space station by Endeavour is not operating as it should, and the flight control teams are working the issue along with the station's crew.
The Water Purification System, a two section system, has a bad centrifuge motor which is moving to slow for the system to start up properly. The WPS is built to turn crew urine into clean drinking water as NASA and her international partners expand crew size durations this May from three to six.
According to mission management, Endeavour's crew are scheduled to have the system working prior to undocking next week, and bring home a few samples for testing here on earth. Undocking is planned for Thanksgiving afternoon EST, however as SLN.com continues to report, a one day extension is very likely. The extra day should be announced by this Tuesday to assist in the WPS issue.
Meanwhile, spacewalking crew members Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen will sleep tonight in the space station’s Quest Airlock as they beging their normal prebreathe of pure oxygen to purge the nitrogen out of their bodies. The airlock's pressure will be lowered from 14.7 PSI to 10.2.
The third spacewalk of Endeavour's docked mission to the space station is scheduled for 1:45 pm tomorrow, and will likely start earlier as has the last two "walks" which began ahead of the timeline.
And today, Endeavour boosted the space station's orbit by one mile to assist with the Russian Progress supply vehicle's docking in one week.
At a MET+ 6 days, 22 hours into the mission of Endeavour, this is spacelaunchnews.com.