[OT] Shuttle grounded again

snipped-for-privacy@time2diespammer.com says...


Ick. Bless Tivo.
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Tweak

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nedtovak wrote:

Everything tastes better if You deep fry it.
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More importantly, how about that new Burger King website!
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-Fred Shecter
remove zorch two places to reply
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I thought grounding was only required for the sensor wiring! Now they have to ground the foam too?
David

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Pointer? I don't see anything obvious on their web site.
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Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Bob Kaplow wrote:

Falling debris during launch draws concern
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN) -- There will be no more shuttle launches until NASA engineers determine the effect of debris that fell from the shuttle Discovery during blastoff Tuesday, said Bill Parsons, space shuttle program manager.
"We are treating it very seriously," he told reporters. "Are we losing sleep over it? Not yet."
He added, "We will continue to do the evaluation."
Discovery is due to return to Kennedy Space Center in Florida on August 7.
The date of the next planned mission had not been set.
Earlier Wednesday NASA lead flight director Paul Hill said that, based on engineers' "first-blush" analysis of falling debris, there was "no significant problem" with the orbiting shuttle.
Hill spoke to reporters after astronauts, using a robotic arm equipped with a camera and laser, spent "one hell of a day" poring over every inch of Discovery, looking for surface damage.
Although the mission had been scheduled to search for damage, concern about the issue was heightened after videotape from an array of cameras trained on Discovery during Tuesday's liftoff showed a piece of debris falling away from the underside of the orbiter.
NASA officials said the debris could have broken off from a tile near a door covering the nose landing gear. Space shuttles have shed tile during previous missions without consequences.
But falling debris from the shuttle Columbia during its ascent was blamed for damage to the craft that led to its destruction and the deaths of all seven crew members upon its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in February 2003.
The subsequent grounding of the shuttle fleet and the investigation into the disaster prompted NASA to make safety-related activities a priority for this first post-Columbia mission.
Appearing at a news conference at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Hill said that NASA engineers' "first blush, when they looked at this, was it wasn't going to be a significant problem." But, he added, engineers have seen "some things" in video from the launch that cause "some concern."
"This has been one hell of a day," Hill said, referring to Discovery's seven-member crew's operation of the 50-foot robotic arm and its 50-foot boom extension. "The crew has had three crew members fully employed, doing nothing but this all day long. And when any of the rest of them had a spare moment, they were also there helping to look out the windows and look at camera views."
NASA was analyzing data from video and from the robotic arm, the launch and elsewhere to decide what steps -- if any -- to take next.
"We should start seeing the jury coming in on those decisions by the end of the crew's day tomorrow," Hill said. "My guess is we're not going to have a problem."
At a Tuesday news conference, NASA flight operations manager John Shannon predicted that the space agency would have enough information by Sunday to decide whether any repairs are needed and, if so, whether such repairs would be possible.
Shannon said the initial estimate of the debris showed it was about 1.5 inches long. He said it might be the tile covering rather than the tile itself.
Footage of Discovery's launch also showed a piece of debris falling from the external fuel tank at the time it separated from the orbiter, Shannon said. However, it did not strike the orbiter, he said.
Footage also showed that the external fuel tank's nose cone hit a bird about 2.5 seconds after liftoff -- when Discovery was probably traveling too slowly to sustain any damage, he said.
Hill said it has not been lost on controllers that this is the first mission after the Columbia disaster.
"We have seven folks living on this space shuttle and counting on us to do the right thing and keep them safe and not to get all giddy and high-fiving each other," he said.
"There's a certain amount of almost shock that we really are here, we really are doing these things that so many folks ... thought that we couldn't do."
As the orbiter approaches the international space station for a scheduled Thursday 7:18 a.m. ET docking, the station's crew will photograph Discovery to look further for any damage.
Shuttle crew members plan to test repair techniques during three scheduled space walks by astronauts Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi of Japan. During their space walks, Robinson and Noguchi also plan to service the space station.
As part of the safety changes instituted after Columbia, NASA developed contingency plans for astronauts to try to repair damaged shuttles so they can return to Earth. In the event a spacecraft cannot be repaired, plans call for the crew to take refuge in the space station until a rescue mission can be launched.
Make sure to visit the Flagship website:
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writes:

[snip]
ET photos from the orbiter http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts114/050727foam /
--
David Stribling
NAR 18402 SR
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http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/07/27/space.shuttle/index.html http://www.space.com/returntoflight / http://www.spaceflightnow.com /
NASA is always last to post their own press releases. Just look at how often they update the Mars Rover status nowdays... you're lucky to see an update every 10 days.
-- David
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David Erbas-White wrote:

Wasn't the ET foam covered with some white coating for the first few flights? IIRC, this coating was removed as a weight savings. Seems to me the extra weight would be a smell price to pay for a little better structural integrity.
Bill Sullivan
"Thin air? Why is it always thin air? Never fat air, chubby air, mostly-fit-could-stand-to-lose-a-few-pounds air?" -- Garibaldi
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The Rocket Scientist wrote:

The white coating was called paint. I don't know that it contributed much to the structural integrity of the foam coating.
Mario
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The Rocket Scientist wrote:

Yeah, it was paint.
I don't know if the weight was a significant factor, so much as the labor and time involved to paint the only non reusable component of the shuttle system.
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Once again, using the magic of "search" and the magic words "external tank paint weight" we find the following:
http://students.db.erau.edu/~kalier/et.html
http://www.getnet.com/~mjmackowski/ref/sts/etank.html
http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/kids/L&W/launtriv.htm
http://www.space.com/news/spaceshuttles/interactive_sts_externaltank.html
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Dave Grayvis wrote:

Yes, weight was a significant factor -- 800 pounds.
David Erbas-White
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The white paint WAS eliminated due to weight.
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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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On 28 Jul 2005 08:44:09 -0700, "The Rocket Scientist"

The 'coating' was merely white paint. I agree, though - covering the foam with something to help maintain its' integrity is a good thing. :-)
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wrote:

Shrink-wrap it. Like they do for palletized cargo these days. ;-)
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Jim Yanik
jyanik
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They should wrap it in panty hose.
-- David
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wrote:

With sewn-together old socks, for all I care. The mere fact that they've been compromising safety to add a mere 1000 pounds of payload (less than 1/30th of its' total capacity...) is verging on criminal! :-)
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Now wait a minute.
First of all the weight difference you are talking about was nothing more than paint. The paint gave no additional structural integrity to the foam. It did make the Shuttle stack look nice but when you consider that removing it means an additional half ton of science experiments or life support supplies for the crew of the Space Station, well, orange looks beautiful to me. When deletion of the paint was first considered there was concern that rain could penetrate into the foam adding weight but extensive testing was performed and the foam was more impervious to water than had ever been expected. So you choose, 1000 lbs. of paint or 1000 lbs. of valuable cargo.
Secondly, netting, shrink wrap, foam chemistry and many other reinforcement methods have been studied. There were also studies on foam application methods, insulation shaping and alternate insulation techniques but none have been deemed viable. Yet. Stay tuned for further developments. This problem will be fixed and we will fly again.
Thirdly, if you think we'd reject an idea that would improve flight safety for a few extra pounds of payload then consider the fact that these are people we know personally. There is no one who cares more about the crew of the Space Shuttle than those of us who work in the NASA community. The astronauts are more than just names to us. They are our coworkers, our neighbors and our friends. We work every day to improve the safety of space flight. I take issue with anyone who would suggest otherwise and suggest that they ask themselves if they would be as careless with their friends and coworkers' lives as they suggest we are.
Dave
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On Fri, 29 Jul 2005 22:32:35 GMT, "David Bacque"
I apologize - I've been having a bad day. :-(
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