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Shuttle Launch Countdown Begins

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posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 05:33 AM
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The US space agency has begun a three-day countdown to the launch of its next space shuttle mission.
At 2200 BST (1700 EDT) on Wednesday, launch team members at Kennedy Space Center in Florida set the clock running ahead of Saturday's planned lift-off.



The shuttle Discovery is set to visit the International Space Station on a 12-day mission to deliver supplies and equipment and test safety improvements.

But Nasa says there is a strong chance of weather delaying the launch.

Thunderstorms and anvil clouds brought the threat of lightning strikes, the agency said, estimating the chance of postponement at about 60%.

BBC.co.uk

Is it me or has there been an increase in shuttle launches lately? I don't think I can remember there being this many launches in such a small time. It's a shame there is a 60% chance of postponement.

I don't really understand why it's a 12-day mission, they're only delivering supplies and testing safety "improvements". Surely the "improvements" will be tested during the actual flight?

Edit: Forgot to put in the source url! D'oh!

[edit on 30-6-2006 by xeroxed88]




posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 06:25 AM
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well i did read somewhere that the schedule for the shuttle flights was x amount until the time they plan to retire this, i cant remember the exact figures, but they had not done nearly as much as they had wanted to, especially with the recent disasters.

Hope this flight goes well, if anything goes wrong thats the end for this design.


jra

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by xeroxed88
Is it me or has there been an increase in shuttle launches lately? I don't think I can remember there being this many launches in such a small time.


Umm the previous launch was about a year ago (July 26, 2005) and before that, January 16, 2003 (when Columbia broke up on re-entery). There has been a major lack of Shuttle launches actually


They used to launch about half a dozen (give or take) every year.


I don't really understand why it's a 12-day mission, they're only delivering supplies and testing safety "improvements". Surely the "improvements" will be tested during the actual flight?


Well they will probably spend some time examining the heat shield to make sure it's all fine and also test some new equipment thats ment for repairing the heat shield while in orbit. That would probably require several EVA's. Plus they won't get to the ISS till the 3rd day of the mission as well. Here's more info on STS-121 and if anyone is interested here's the whole list of all the Shuttle missions en.wikipedia.org...

Anyway I really hope all goes well.



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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Ahh, thanks for clearing that up for me, jra!

The last launch was a year ago? Are you sure? I swear there was a launch sometime within the last six months.


Well, now I know what it's like to lose your memory, and I'm only 18! God help me when I'm about 40!



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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Yeah, 40 was bad...I think..
My wife gave me a surprise birthday party, I was surprised!
"It's my Birthday?" wow


Anyway...Good luck to the Shuttle..I'll be watching the launch on NASATV



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 07:56 PM
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Hopefully they launch as scheduled, my friend bought tickets to watch the launch as he is travelling through the US on holidays - i hope he gets to see it. We don't get many launches here in Australia


Better to be safe than sorry I guess.



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 05:24 AM
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hope that they can bring it of because we have stil got to launch 4 flights a year for 4 years coming to a number of 16 in total.
before the ISS is ready and the hubble is serviced.
I am realy nervously awaiting a good launch.



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 05:27 AM
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Yep, gonna retire the fleet in 2010. Does anyone reckon they can get something from the drawing board to active service in six years?



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 05:50 AM
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Originally posted by xeroxed88
Ahh, thanks for clearing that up for me, jra!

The last launch was a year ago? Are you sure? I swear there was a launch sometime within the last six months.


Well, now I know what it's like to lose your memory, and I'm only 18! God help me when I'm about 40!

Hehe, IF you'll make it to 40


Anyway, the shuttle hasnt flown for almost a year now, so you must be confused with other launches. There have been quite a low of Atlas and Delta IV launches in the past couple of months. Earlier this week, for the first time ever, a Delta IV was launched from the west coast of the US.
I really hope they'll go for launch today, but with a 60% chance of bad weather conditions I doubt it.

If they do launch it, it's best to watch it via Yahoo, last year the Yahoo video feed was much more stable than NASA's own Realplayer and Windoze Media streams.

You can check it out here: www.nasa.gov...



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 06:41 AM
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Something's up with the safety issues, but there seems to be a cover-up over it.

Key NASA Officials Don't Think It's Safe To Launch


Key NASA officials who oversee the agency said they don't believe the shuttle is safe for launch, according to a Local 6 News report.


E-mails sent to NASA's administrator from the agency's inspector general's office obtained by the Orlando Sentinel said they didn't believe shuttle Discovery should launch without more work to prevent foam insulation from breaking off the external fuel tank.



Local 6 News partner Florida Today and The Associated Press asked the agency to release records from the Flight Readiness Review meetings under the Freedom of Information Act. The records outline the safety issues raised during the June 16-17 meetings at Kennedy Space Center.

'The question that we have at this point is that last year, NASA was able to release the documents that were used during their flight readiness review -- which is the meeting where the decision is made to go forward with launch," Florida Today's John Kelly said. "This year they have decided in the face of the same request to deny release of the records."



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 10:08 AM
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It's the same mentality that doomed Challenger. "We have gotten away with it before, we can get away with it again." They're under so much pressure to get the shuttle up and running again to finish the ISS before they retire it that they HAVE to launch, ready or not. Nothing else can haul the modules up to the ISS except the shuttle.



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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T-9 and holding. Currently looks like a no go today due to anvil clouds in the area. If it's no go today they'll try again tomorrow.



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 02:45 PM
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Scrubbed at T-9 due to clouds at the emergency landing site. 3:26 EDT Sunday July 2nd is the next attempt.



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Yup, I'm sure the astronauts are disappointed, but the launch director said it's just too close
so they'll try again tomorrow.

It's kind of ironic that I rented the movie Failure to Launch last night Ugh



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 11:07 PM
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I was quite upset that the launch was scrubbed...I work at the Space Life Sciences Lab inside KSC, and I had left there around 1:30pm to go watch the launch. I knew the launch would be scrubbed - you could clearly see the cloud build up around the area. My guess is it'll be scrubbed tomorrow...quality assurance didn't even want a Sunday launch to begin with.



posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 12:20 AM
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It's greeat to see that the launch was cancelled, because I would have been unable to watch it. What's the exact time in GMT of the next attempt, does anybody know?



posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 12:28 AM
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Uhm, I THINK it's 826pm GMT. EDT is -5 IIRC.



posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 01:42 AM
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Ok, ta. I like watching the launches at home because I can flick around about 5 different news channels, each with a different view of the launch. I really hope nothing happens, what with NASA ignoring the advice of it's chief mechanic and all. I wonder what the astronauts think?



posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 02:18 AM
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I watched the NASA channel for about the last 2 1/2 hours and after seeing what it took just to get
the crew suited up and strapped into the shuttle, then having to sit there virtually imobilized for another hour and a half while running their pre-flight checks, I really felt bad for them.

The weather that scrubbed the mission was over the emergency recovery site and there were also
concerns for lightening coming from an large anvil cloud about 20 miles out.

I'm glad they are being cautious, but I'm sure there was alot of ¶§•ƒ¥£¢†!!!!!
for all concerned.



posted on Jul, 2 2006 @ 04:15 AM
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The Real reason y they want the shuttle up is beacuse of a asteriod the size of half a mile will be passing earth about the distance of our moon on July 4th, they want the best seat in the house.



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