STS-128 (Discovery) Pre Launch Thread

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MeteorWayne

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Yes, Andrew, the early AM launch makes the weather not much of an issue then. Of more conceren is the tanking weather this afternoon (EDT) which should start very soon, weather permitting.

I'll start checking that out now...putting millions of pounds of LOX and LH2 into the tanks during lightning should be avoided if possible :)
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
From NASA:

Fueling of Discovery's external tank with 500,000 gallons of super-cold liquid oxygen and hydrogen is scheduled to begin at 4:11 p.m. EDT, depending on weather conditions at the time.

.... All systems aboard the shuttle are functioning normally and no issues are being reported. ....

Weather continues to be 80 percent acceptable for a 1:36 a.m. Tuesday launch.
 
M

MeteorWayne

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From Spaceflightnow:

1925 GMT (3:25 p.m. EDT)
The forecast for the first hour of fueling beginning at 4:11 p.m. EDT includes a few low and some scattered high clouds, inland thunderstorms, launch pad winds from the northeast at 8 peaking to 12 knots and a temperature of 85 degrees F. There is a 20 percent chance of lightning in the area.
1915 GMT (3:15 p.m. EDT)
In the pre-fueling weather update just given to mission managers, the outlook for this afternoon has a 20 percent chance of lightning within five nautical miles of the launch pad

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/s ... tatus.html
 
3

3488

Guest
I will try & get up earlier for the launch tomorrow.

Latest entries from Justin Ray / Spaceflightnow.

2108 GMT (5:08 p.m. EDT)
The low-level sensors in the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks have now reading "wet" as they get submerged by the cryogenics.

2102 GMT (5:02 p.m. EDT)
Liquid hydrogen loading switched to the "fast-fill" mode at 5:00 p.m. and liquid oxygen entered the same mode at 5:02 p.m. EDT as fueling of space shuttle Discovery proceeds via remote control at launch pad 39A.
There are two tanks inside the shuttle's external fuel tank. The liquid oxygen tank occupies the top third of the bullet-shaped tank. It will be filled with 143,000 gallons of liquid oxygen chilled to minus 298 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid hydrogen tank is contained in the bottom two-thirds of the external tank. It holds 385,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen chilled to minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit.

2049 GMT (4:49 p.m. EDT)
Liquid oxygen loading has completed chilldown and gone into slow-fill.

2021 GMT (4:21 p.m. EDT)
The liquid hydrogen loading has transitioned from chilldown to the "slow-fill" mode. This fills a small fraction of the tank, then the loading switches to "fast-fill" mode.

Justin Ray / Spaceflightnow.

Conversion.

LOX Minus 298 F = Minus 183 C / 90 K.
LH2 Minus 423 F = Minus 252 C / 21 K.

Both sets of lower sensors are reading 'wet' Talk about having a cold bath. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Andrew Brown.
 
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3488

Guest
Justin Ray / Spaceflightnow.

2134 GMT (5:34 p.m. EDT)
The Merritt Island tracking station, commonly known as MILA, is beginning to align its tracking antennas with the launch pad.

2127 GMT (5:27 p.m. EDT)
A current check of the launch weather rules shows the lightning and anvil clouds rules are "red" due to the approaching thunderstorms.

2111 GMT (5:11 p.m. EDT)
All is going well one-hour into the fueling operations for space shuttle Discovery.

Justin Ray / Spaceflightnow.

Looks like fuelling is still continuing & launch will still go ahead as scheduled @ 01:36 HRS EDT / 05:36 UT / 06:36 CET.

Andrew Brown.
 
3

3488

Guest
Looks like fuelling is nearly complete & there are no leaks or anomalies reported.

Justin Ray / Spaceflightnow.

2225 GMT (6:25 p.m. EDT)
While the hydrogen is being topped off, the liquid oxygen tank is about 77 percent full.

2224 GMT (6:24 p.m. EDT)
No leakage is being seen around the ground umbilical carrier plate on the backside of shuttle Discovery's external tank as the liquid hydrogen system is topped off. It was during this point on previous shuttle missions in March and June that leaks developed. But a tight system is being reported today.

2216 GMT (6:16 p.m. EDT)
The liquid hydrogen tank has reached the 98 percent level and beginning the topping sequence.

2211 GMT (6:11 p.m. EDT)
Now passing the two-hour mark into this afternoon's fueling operations. No troubles have been reported by the launch team during tanking.

Justin Ray / Spaceflightnow.

I'm off to get some shut eye now as it is getting late here. Good night all.

Andrew Brown.
 
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earth_bound_misfit

Guest
I'm starting to get excited. Got the alarm set so I don't miss it :)
 
O

ozspace

Guest
From NASA PAO:
"Ice Formation Spotted at Launch Pad 39A
Tue, 25 Aug 2009 11:25:10 AM EST

The Final Inspection Team is continuing its survey out at Launch Pad 39A. The inspection lasts about 2.5 hours and begins after the external fuel tank is loaded for flight. The team has reported an ice formation on the liquid hydrogen T-0 umbilical. Measuring about 4.5 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and one quarter of an inch in thickness, the ice is a milky color and bridges across from the umbilical to the orbiter. The team has seen this before during previous launch countdowns and this latest discovery is being assessed by launch managers."
 
O

ozspace

Guest
They are going for a 24-hour postponement, that's a Wednesday morning liftoff at 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 GMT). Weather is predicted to be 70% go for tomorrow.
 
3

3488

Guest
Rain & cloud rules were violated. Launch now scheduled for 01:10 EDT / 05:10 GMT / 06:10 CET tomorrow.

Weather pics here.

Spaceflightnow. Justin Ray.

0630 GMT (2:30 a.m. EDT)
Discovery's hatch has been reopened.

0608 GMT (2:08 a.m. EDT)
The Orbiter Closeout Crew has arrived back at the launch pad to assist the astronauts off the shuttle.

0605 GMT (2:05 a.m. EDT)
Photos showing this morning's lightning and poor weather that scrubbed the launch can be seen here.

0530 GMT (1:30 a.m. EDT)
A formal cutoff of the countdown has occurred.

0525 GMT (1:25 a.m. EDT)
The official odds of acceptable launch weather tomorrow are 70 percent.

0525 GMT (1:25 a.m. EDT)
SCRUB! Stormy weather around the Kennedy Space Center will prevent space shuttle Discovery from blasting off on its mission to the International Space Station today. Launch director Pete Nickolenko has ordered a 24-hour postponement, setting up for a Wednesday morning liftoff at 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 GMT).

0523 GMT (1:23 a.m. EDT)
The lightning rule is back green. But clouds and rain are still violating criteria.

0523 GMT (1:23 a.m. EDT)
Local weather remains "no go" both for launch and the emergency landing site at Kennedy Space Center.

Spaceflightnow. Justin Ray.

Andrew Brown.
 
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earth_bound_misfit

Guest
Do they De-tank the ET for overnight postponements?
 
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ozspace

Guest
earth_bound_misfit":1a7iag8q said:
Do they De-tank the ET for overnight postponements?
Yes, I believe they do for safety reasons, lightening, ice build up, etc.
 
S

shuttle_guy

Guest
ozspace":2pcusxp3 said:
earth_bound_misfit":2pcusxp3 said:
Do they De-tank the ET for overnight postponements?
Yes, I believe they do for safety reasons, lightening, ice build up, etc.

Correct.

The ET is being reloaded now for tonight's launch attempt
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Yes, it is drained once the crew is removed. Tanking should begin today about 3:45 PM EDT (1945 UTC/GMT)
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
The mission management team will meet at 3 p.m. EDT today to give the “go- no go” for fueling Discovery. Weather for tanking and launch is currently at 70 percent acceptable for a 1:10 a.m. Wednesday morning launch.

Tanking coverage of Discovery will begin at 3:30 p.m. and launch commentary at 8 p.m. on NASA TV.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
MMT is to decide whether (or weather) to go ahead with tanking near 3 PM EDT.

From spaceflightnow:

"An upper level trough is located in the Eastern U.S. and a surface boundary is located over Central Florida. The boundary will migrate slowly northward as the upper level trough gradually weakens. There is still a possibility thunderstorms may affect the area near tanking time as the boundary moves north. By launch time, the boundary will be northwest of KSC. There is a chance of showers near the area at launch time.

"Our primary concerns for launch are cumulus clouds within 10 nautical miles of the launch pad and showers within 20 nautical miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF).

"Easterly flow will prevail the following two days increasing the chance for showers in the area near launch time. Also, a tropical wave near Puerto Rico may develop and impact seas for SRB recovery if the launch delays beyond Wednesday morning."

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/s ... tatus.html
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Latest visible sat looks very good for tanking.

To see it go here:


http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/goeseastconus.html

Click the "Animation" radio button, select 12 from the dropdown box to the right, select 100% from quality dropdown box.

Then click on the image along the northern Florida coast.

When the zommed loop comes up, the Cape is the bump along the NE Fla coast. It seems the sea breeze showers are inland, and the stuff offshore is moving away.

Meteorology Wayne
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Tue, 25 Aug 2009 03:25:02 PM EDT


From NASA:

The "Go" was given to load space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank. Discovery’s launch was postponed early Tuesday morning due to lingering thunderstorms in the vicinity of the launch pad.

The current weather forecast is 70 percent favorable conditions for launch. The primary concern is cumulus clouds and showers within 20 nautical miles of the shuttle landing facility at the time of launch.

Tanking commentary on NASA TV will begin at 3:30 p.m. and fueling operations will start at approximately 3:45 p.m. EDT. Launch commentary will begin tonight at 8 p.m.

Weather permitting, launch is scheduled for 1:10 a.m.


NASA TV Live coverage of the tanking operation has begun; tanking is scheduled to be gin at 3:45 PM as I predicted.
 
3

3488

Guest
Discovery just looks wonderful in the sunshine under that clear blue sky, very different to yesterday.

Latest entries from Spaceflight Now / Justin Ray.

2105 GMT (5:05 p.m. EDT)
The current version of the NASA Television schedule, which is Revision A, can be viewed here.

2100 GMT (5:00 p.m. EDT)
A reminder that if you will be away from your computer but would like to receive countdown updates, sign up for our Twitter feed to get text messages on your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting "follow spaceflightnow" to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)

2054 GMT (4:54 p.m. EDT)
Loading of both liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen have switched to the "fast-fill" mode as fueling of space shuttle Discovery proceeds via remote control at launch pad 39A.

There are two tanks inside the shuttle's external fuel tank. The liquid oxygen tank occupies the top third of the bullet-shaped tank. It will be filled with 143,000 gallons of liquid oxygen chilled to minus 298 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid hydrogen tank is contained in the bottom two-thirds of the external tank. It holds 385,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen chilled to minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit.

2045 GMT (4:45 p.m. EDT)
No technical issues are being reported in the countdown for tonight's 1:10 a.m. EDT launch of Discovery.

2038 GMT (4:38 p.m. EDT)
Liquid oxygen loading has completed chilldown and gone into slow-fill.

2000 GMT (4:00 p.m. EDT)
The liquid hydrogen loading has transitioned from chilldown to the "slow-fill" mode. This fills a small fraction of the tank, then the loading switches to "fast-fill" mode.

1958 GMT (3:58 p.m. EDT)
Today's filling of space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank started at 3:45 p.m. with the chilldown thermal conditioning process. This will be followed by the slow-fill mode and then the fast-fill mode to load the tank over the next three hours.

1955 GMT (3:55 p.m. EDT)
To help readers follow along with the voyage of Discovery, we have posted updated ascent and flight plan charts.

Spaceflight Now / Justin Ray.

I am off to sleep now as I do not feel 100% but will hopefully be awake for the launch as from here it is still quite early.

Andrew Brown.
 
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