posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 11:35 PM
The Station to Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS) seems to be operating fine and Rick Mastracchio reported that it was AOK.
There are still a number of checks and tests but I think the 68 million dollar extension cord is a real testament to how sometimes a "make-do"
situation can be made to adapt a legacy system very successfully. Expensive, but much cheaper than changing the shuttle fleet from 28 Volt to 120
These STS "extra" days on-orbit that this offers are a real boon to reducing schedule time pressure... in fact if it is successful some of the
station assembly may happen eariler than currently scheduled. The real bonus is in mission flexibilty and safety. Nice upgrade.
Um, on the ride uphill, according to several MSM sources the STS didn't exactly go where they had wanted (they do fly upside down and backwards) with
several course adjustments on the way to ISS... and it passed within 2 Km of yet more space junk than I reported in an earlier post. This time it was
a big piece a Delta rocket body... been "coming down" for the last 32 years. Bummer avoided by luck. NASA did not hide this fact.
The ice strike on the orbiter belly could have struck the edges of the folding umbilical door on the starboard side. This could explain the lack of
telemetry indicating "good" door closure and seating. The hinges of these doors used to crack regularly as a quick Google will show. The OBSS
focused inspection on Sunday will tell the tale of the ice strike and door.
It was a warm and not unhumid day in Florida for launch. The NASA video clearly shows the spray of the belly hit. According to NASA's John Shannon
more like ice than foam (I believe him). At T-Plus 58 seconds the vehicle's travelling pretty quick. There were at least 9 minor bits of foam lost
from the ET at non-critical times. Maybe they need a Mission Rule for humidty/heat?
The tank was inspected very closely for ice before launch but it's a big tank and some nooks and crannies may defy view and there is nothing to say
that ice didn't form after launch but before 58 seconds. The folks at Michoud won't like this at all. Every effort possible to minimize icing
has been efforted. I'm not sure they can do much more, but never bet against NASA - smart folks.
Yurchikin and Kotov each got about 150 high res pics of Endeavour's exterior. I'm betting the Image Analysis Team at Johnson in Houston are pulling
a late or an all-nighter.
After docking, the video of the astros and cosmos on ISS showed some very, very happy people. I saw several micro-gee high fives that have a "twist"
to them; they "smack and grab" to avoid action-reaction gymnastics.
I saw Commander Yurchikin perform a module transit that would blow any gymnasts mind, a double-twisting quad somersault coming out and catching the
module entry with one hand while he wasn't looking at it. Let's see Pastrana do that on a scoot'. This is not a young or small man; very, very
skilled but neither young nor small. Coolest thing I've seen an astro do since Skylab... 'cept maybe for Suni Williams' food tricks.
Flight Day 4 Saturday:
- SSPTS pre-EVA deactivation
- crew wake up at 8:36 EDT PM
- Canadarm 2 S5 Installation to S4 Truss Segment
- EVA 1 with Rick M and "Super-Dave" Williams for S5 install and P6 radiator retraction.
- there will be lots of cargo transfer from SpaceHab to ISS tomorrow.
- SSPTS post-EVA reactivation.
If it looks like they'll do a repair on the tiles I can provide some data on that but it's a bit "thick" technically. The SFA "goo" is pretty
bizzare stuff and the tests done on the earlier on-orbit RTF repair technique tests show it can work in theory. The most likely repair is an
application of emissivity paint to seal the surface.
It was really good to see happy faces on ISS, that hasn't happened enough lately. There are 62 days consumables onboard ISS/STS-118 for the 10 people
there should Endeavour not be able to de-orbit... this is "up" from earlier tallies by several days. It won't be too long before ISS can go to a
full time crew of six, that will be interesting.
The EVA guys are sleeping in the Quest airlock getting ready for a big day and Clayton Anderson said "it was like a Darth Vader convention" (they
sleep with Oh-Two masks on). He was extra happy to see some friendly faces and was notably "brighter" than over the past couple of weeks which have
been really, really busy on ISS.
[edit on 10-8-2007 by V Kaminski]