STS-128 (Discovery) Pre Launch Thread

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MeteorWayne

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CAPE CANAVERAL - The orbiter Discovery is in the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building today after a move Sunday from its nearby processing hangar.

From SDC:

Mounted atop a 76-wheel transporter, the spaceship was backed out of its hangar around 7:22 a.m. and rolled into the 52-story assembly building about an hour later.

Discovery is tentatively scheduled to launch Aug. 25 on an International Space Station outfitting mission. Its move into the assembly building was delayed so engineers could perform tests on its external tank.

An unusual amount of foam loss was noted on Endeavour's intertank area during its July 15 launch. Engineers tested Discovery's tank to ensure that the problem would not recur on NASA's next mission to the station.

Discovery's flight will be the 128th shuttle mission and the 30th devoted to station assembly. It is one of seven remaining before the shuttle fleet is retired late next year.
 
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3488

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Hopefully Wayne, this time Discovery unlike Endeavour will not have to be tanked, detanked, tanked again with liquid Hydrogen, stand outside in powerful thunderstorms, then blazing sunshine, then get retanked, again & again

I still think that is part of the cause of the foam loss from Endeavour STS 127.

It looks like that there are no major issues with STS 128 Discovery being prepared, so lets hope Discovery does not suffer the same series of delays that Endeavour did.

Perhaps they've found a solution to the ET foam problem???

Andrew Brown.
 
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shuttle_guy

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The ET for STS-128 was tested for loose foam and none was found.

The Orbiter is now hard matted to the ET, electrical connector mate is inwork. The vehicle will be powered tomorrow
to verify all the interfaces. Roll out to the pad could be as early as Aug. 3rd.
 
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MeteorWayne

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shuttle_guy":3ome1klv said:
The ET for STS-128 was tested for loose foam and now was found.

.
That was supposed to be "none was found" right :)
 
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shuttle_guy

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MeteorWayne":380wjs2y said:
shuttle_guy":380wjs2y said:
The ET for STS-128 was tested for loose foam and now was found.

.
That was supposed to be "none was found" right :)

Yes,,,,,thanks for keeping my spelling correct MW.

Correction completed.
 
M

MeteorWayne

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From NASA:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shutt ... index.html

Space shuttle Discovery reached Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday afternoon following a slow drive on the top of the crawler-transporter from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The 3.4-mile rollout began at 2:07 a.m. and ended with the launch platform secured in place at about 1:50 p.m. The move took longer than expected because of weather conditions, including lightning. The crawler also had to pause occasionally so mud could be removed from its treads and bearings. Technicians will quickly ready the shuttle to host the crew’s countdown dress rehearsal known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT. Discovery’s seven astronauts plan to fly to Kennedy on Wednesday for the training activity which concludes later in the week with a complete practice countdown, minus liftoff, involving the crew and the launch team.
 
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Fomalhautian

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MeteorWayne":3m3cc60a said:
The move took longer than expected because of weather conditions, including lightning.
I know weather can be a pain in the neck, but it sure makes for some "Kodak Moments" though.


I'm a little excited for this mission just because COLBERT is finally going up. I really enjoyed watching Steven Colbert weasel his way into space history.
 
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shuttle_guy

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The crew completed their practice countdown withthe launch team. We are working 24/7 to launch as quickly as possible. August 24 or 25 look good if all goes well.

The launch time would be just after midnight local time..

The female crewmember, Stott, was a engineer at KSC. She will be the third KSC person to fly on the Shuttle.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Oooh, a moon free night launch up the east coast. Very cool.

Thanx for the update s_g.

Wayne
 
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MeteorWayne

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From Tariq Malik:

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/09 ... pdate.html

WASHINGTON - NASA has ordered some last-minute tests on the space shuttle Discovery's giant fuel tank to see if the spacecraft is safe to blast off later this month.

Discovery is slated to launch toward the International Space Station on Aug. 24, but only if its fuel tank passes new round of pull tests to make sure that foam insulation in certain areas won't peel off and damage the orbiter during launch, mission managers said Thursday. An Aug. 24 launch would lift off at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), if approved.

NASA shuttle program manager John Shannon said engineers this weekend will pull samples from part of the 15-story tank called the "intertank" - a ribbed, barrel-like area just above the mid-point of the tank. An unusually high amount of foam fell from a similar area during the launch of the shuttle Endeavour last month and NASA is not sure why.

After Endeavour's launch, engineers performed an initial round of pull tests on the backside of Discovery's tank and found the foam insulation in good health. The new tests will check regions on the front of the tank to be sure foam there won't pop free and damage Discovery, Shannon said.

Engineers are also using a special X-ray machine to scan a series of ice-frost ramps, essentially foam-covered brackets, on the next shuttle fuel tank to fly after Discovery's current mission. Some foam popped off a similar ice-frost ramp during Endeavour's launch and NASA wants to be sure there are no generic flaws with the fuel tanks before clearing Discovery for flight.

"We have a lot of confidence that we're in good shape," Shannon told reporters Thursday. Aside from the extra fuel tank tests, Discovery is in fine shape for its planned launch later this month, he added.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
MEDIA ADVISORY : M09-155 NASA Sets Briefing about Shuttle Discovery's Readiness to Launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA managers will hold a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to discuss the status of the next space shuttle launch. The briefing will begin after the end of the Flight Readiness Review, a meeting to assess preparations for shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station.

Live status updates, including the start time for the news conference, will be provided via the NASA News Twitter feed during the meeting. To access the feed, visit:


http://www.twitter.com/nasa


The review is expected to include the selection of an official launch date. Discovery currently is targeted to launch at 1:58 a.m. on Aug. 24.

The briefing participants are:
- Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations
- John Shannon, Space Shuttle Program manager
- Pete Nickolenko, STS-128 launch director

NASA Television and the agency's Web site will broadcast the news briefing live. Journalists may ask questions from participating NASA locations. Reporters should contact their preferred NASA center to confirm its participation.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/ntv


I probably won't be home for this (funeral) so if anyone else can take notes, I'd appreciate it.

This twitter outlet for info stinks. {Insert luddite/curmudgeon rant} I have a cellphone for one purpose...to make phone calls. I don't web browse, or need data on it. That's what I have a freakin' computer for.

{end rant}

Wayne
 
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MeteorWayne

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Tariq Mailik from SDC writes:

Top NASA officials postponed making an official decision Tuesday on when to launch the space shuttle Discovery next week in order to allow an extra day of deliberations over fuel tank concerns.

NASA shuttle mangers and engineers hoped to set a launch date for Discovery during a day-long meeting today at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Instead, they will convene Wednesday to finish reviewing recent fuel tank tests and decide if Discovery is ready to launch next week or should stand down until October for more repairs.

"There's obviously a lot of thorough discussion going on," said Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesperson at the Florida spaceport. "They're making sure that everybody gets the opportunity to present their side."

Beutel told SPACE.com that Discovery is currently slated to launch no earlier than Aug. 25, one day later than an earlier target, due to delays associated with weekend fuel tank tests. Liftoff for that Tuesday target would occur at 1:36 a.m. EDT (1736 GMT), if approved.

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/09 ... cerns.html
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Tariq Malik reports:

NASA Sets Aug. 25 Launch Date for Shuttle
19 August 2009 11:14 p.m. EDT

NASA decided Wednesday to launch the space shuttle Discovery on Aug. 25 after settling outlying concerns with the foam insulation covering the spacecraft external fuel tank. A press conference is set for 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT ) to discuss the decision. Click here to watch NASA TV live.



Discovery is now slated to blast off aboard at 1:36 a.m. EDT (1736 GMT) from a seaside launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. The launch date decision followed an extended, two-day meeting to review whether the shuttle was safe to fly.

http://www.space.com/spaceshuttle/index.html
 
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summoner

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Hopefully Hurricane Bill tracks as expected. Would this strong of a storm even if it did stay off shore effect take off?



 
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MeteorWayne

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Not at all. It's coming no where near Florida. Note that the 5% cahnce of tropical storm force winds in the envelope you pictured are hundreds of miles offshore.

The greater weather threat will com from the northwest if a cold front approaches.

At 1:36 AM, the afternoon sea breeze thunderstorms won't be an issue :)
 
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shuttle_guy

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The only real concern for adverse weather now is the weather for loading the External (propellant) Tank known as the ET. That loading time on Monday is the prime time for storms this time of year. Otherwise all is well with the vehicle.

Loading of the Fuel Cell power generating system with Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen starts in a few hours.
 
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3488

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shuttle_guy":5t3p8yno said:
The only real concern for adverse weather now is the weather for loading the External (propellant) Tank known as the ET. That loading time on Monday is the prime time for storms this time of year. Otherwise all is well with the vehicle.

Loading of the Fuel Cell power generating system with Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen starts in a few hours.
Thanks shuttle_guy for the update.

STS 128 Discovery appears to be getting readied quickly & without incident.

Looks like there will be no repeat of the STS 127 Endeavour delays hopefully.

Andrew Brown.
 
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shuttle_guy

Guest
Fuel Cell Croyo load is complete. The launch team is not tracking any issues. The Launch minus 1 day crew briefing was performed by the engineering team near midnight last night. This briefing was by telecon since the crew is in medical isolation.

External Tank propellant loading starts tomorrow afternoon.
 
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faho

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Does anyone have a link to launch trajectory? Wife and I have been trying to catch a launch for ages, and have struck out on 7 between us due to delays going beyond vacation time. We would hate to miss the last opportunity for a night launch, but doubt we can make it any closer than somewhere between Savannah and JAX by launch time. Will this be a NE launch or SE? Any chance we could get a reasonable view to justify an 18 hour RT drive in that area? (weather cooperative, of course)

If anyone can point to projections, please respond here and email directly to cfarleyhoward at yahoo dot com. We appreciate all the help we can get!

thanks!
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
All shuttle ISS launches are at 51.6 degrees to the northeast. It's rougnly parallel to the US coast between Jacksonville and Cape Hattaras, ~ 150 miles off the coast. It can be seen as far north as Cape Cod just before MECO.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/au ... LBERT.html

NASA To Air Stephen Colbert Message On Eve Of Shuttle Launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA will broadcast a special message from comedian Stephen Colbert on Monday, Aug. 24, as the space shuttle Discovery prepares to deliver the COLBERT treadmill to the International Space Station.

The message will air on NASA Television after the shuttle's fueling commentary concludes at approximately 7:15 p.m. EDT.

The name Colbert received the most entries in NASA's online poll to name the station's Node 3 module, so NASA named its new space station treadmill the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT. NASA named the module Tranquility.

Colbert, the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," took an interest in the poll and urged his viewers to suggest his name, which received the most entries.

Discovery and its seven-member crew are set to launch at 1:36 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 25, on a 13-day mission to deliver scientific experiments, equipment and supplies to the station.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

After the initial broadcast, the video also will be available at:

http://www.youtube.com/NASATelevision

For more information about the Node 3 module naming poll, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/name_ISS/index.html

For more information about the COLBERT treadmill, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stati ... dmill.html
 
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3488

Guest
Thanks Wayne, should be one hell of a launch.

Looks like preparations have gone smoothly & the weather appears to be co-operating, unlike STS 127 Endeavour, though I suppose in the early hours, thunderstorms are not a big problem, unless they are associated with hurricanes or are sitting on a strong cold front.

Convectional storms, Anvils, etc should pose no problem at that hour. The countdown for STS 128 Discovery certainly looks much smoother.

Andrew Brown.
 
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