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STS-118: Omnibus Thread

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posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 05:45 PM
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EVA 1 seems to be going well, almost finished at 6:35PM EDT. All primary tasks complete and some "get aheads". Excellent. One bolt played up by not tightening enough for a ground strap to make contact (not a big deal) and a bit of capton tape came off Rick M's PGT (Pistol grip Tool) and got stiuck in a fold of the the Photo-Voltaic Radiator (no big deal).

I did notice as the Asrtos first came out of the Destiny module some debris... several bits appeared to come off the boot bottoms of one astro. and a washer-like thing departed as one Astro clipped his tether to a grab handle. I have no idea where it came from... it really shoud not have been there. There may be a good explanation... but the Astro's were not carrying any washers as parts for this EVA to my best knowledge. They are back in the airlock and de-press checklist has begun.


A pic of the debris...



There should be a Post-EVA1 MMT Briefing... maybe not.

Cheers,

Vic

EDIT: I forgot to add that at about 3 PM EDT ISS Destiny module lost it's primary C and C computer, the backup kicked in and the standby went to backup. No big deal. I came across a piece of ISS that I do not recognize, anyone know? A pic:



Vic

Nuther' EDIT: Sorry I got the date on the above 2 pics wrong they were from the 11th of August. LOL, sorry.

[edit on 11-8-2007 by V Kaminski]




posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by V Kaminski
I came across a piece of ISS that I do not recognize, anyone know? A pic:




I don't know what it is, but it sure looks like an obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey.




Someone tell Dave not to go in there.............



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 06:33 PM
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One by four by nine, perfect to six decimal places. My favorite movie. LOL. I was thinking it's a radiator or antenna of some sort... I've been browsing through some pics and haven't come across it yet... no biggie, it's Earth-Person built.

Cheers anx', I'm bettin' on an OBSS inspection of the belly tomorrow. Also the starboard side of the belly aft of the propellant line umbilical door is discoloured and there's a big "shmootz" on the port wing belly-side that I don't recognize as a pattern I've seen on the other RTF missions belly's. It could be anything. I hope they have an MMT Briefing for the media tonight.

Vic



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 08:51 PM
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More in a bit... story's changed from foam to ice to ice and foam... no real big deal... focussed inspection tomorrow.


Vic

EDIT: For some reason the last pic link doesn't show, I don't know why. Sorry.

[edit on 11-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 09:29 PM
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The MMT press briefing has just ended. The C&C computer problem is "software" related. Tracey Caldwell will be prime robo tomorrow for the inspection which will have a "first"; a hand-off from Canadarm to Canadarm 2 on the MTS of the OBSS and then back to Canadarm to do the belly inspection. Cool.

As I mentioned in an earlier post the folks at Michoud are going to have to perform some more "ET magic" to try and deal with this not unknown type of foam loss from the feedline bracket. They'll figure it out. This time was a very unlikely, unlucky strike. There are three tanks in the flow that are post RTF-spec but don't have the new bracketry - potentially a big hassle. They'll figure it out - it's what they do, I like that.

Wake up time should be about 7:00AM EDT. Depending on tomorrow's inspection and the continued good performance of the SSPTS the mission timeline is in a bit of flux but shoud be finalized in the next day-ish.

Tomorrow, Flight Day 5 Sunday

- MTS Canadarm 2 handoff of Boom Sensor System for Focused Inspection from STS
- Focused Inspection of Endeavour’s Thermal Heat Shield
- Cargo Transfer Operations to continue
- EVA 2 Campout Rick Mastracchio and Dave Williams
- Education Payload Operations Kit C video (Plant growth chambers)

Here's to very a successful day had by for those fortunate enough to be in orbit and a better one tomorrow!


Vic

[edit on 11-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 11:48 AM
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Some early images from the belly scan... not the main gouges.





More in a bit,

vic



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:04 PM
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Great coverage, good buddy.

One question. Do you understand why they consider a personal inspection difficult. I'd think having one of the Astronauts look it over would be the best way.

I think I heard someone say a 'hard to reach area'. Just why is that? I mean obviously it's the underbelly, but you'd think they could use the gantry to string the umbilicals. Maybe it's too long for a normal umbilical to reach.

Figured you'd know.


Also, wouldn't the area near the landing gear be closed during re-entry? Maybe I'm not visualizing the right location.

THIS JUST IN: Just heard them say MC thinks they could land OK in a pinch with this damage 'as is'. That's good to hear.




[edit on 12-8-2007 by Badge01]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:14 PM
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Here's a zoomed closeup of the larger gouge:



Can't see the depth, but I suppose the laser imaging would be needed for that.

(Edit, that image was a blatantly stolen screen cap from the kindly and generous NASA-TV, and zoomed in by me in Paintshop. :lol



[edit on 12-8-2007 by Badge01]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:21 PM
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Originally posted by Badge01
One question. Do you understand why they consider a personal inspection difficult. I'd think having one of the Astronauts look it over would be the best way.

I think I heard someone say a 'hard to reach area'. Just why is that? I mean obviously it's the underbelly, but you'd think they could use the gantry to string the umbilicals. Maybe it's too long for a normal umbilical to reach.

Also, wouldn't the area near the landing gear be closed during re-entry? Maybe I'm not visualizing the right location.
[edit on 12-8-2007 by Badge01]


With the STS docked - it's really tough and never been done; they already have to do some serious robotics just to get a camera on it. I'm sure it's been simulated with an Astro on the arm with the foot restraint system... but tough. If they need to do it - they will do it. It is verboten to touch the flight surfaces of the tiles as they are held on with glue to a felt-cloth base unless absolutely neccessary.

They have lots of long tethers... no umbilicals to worry about as the current EVA suit is self-contained unlike the new CEV spec suits which will use an Apollo style umbilical.

The belly doors are all closed for re-entry... the current area of concern is the underside of the starboard wing close to the fuselage bulkhead or wing root. Not a big deal unless the tile is cracked or gouged through.

Me? I'd go for the paint fix... just to try it. If cracked I'd use the pink "goo" and a plate and paint. A pic of the "Big-un" 3" x 3". Scan starting with those Canadian laser eyes. The pic:



There have been some hassles caliburating the arm movement and the laser system to get the best imaging.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 12-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:29 PM
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Cool, thanks for your input.

I like the idea of doing the minimal needed repair, i.e. paint.

I've done enough model making to know that once you start slapping on too much glue and paint, things can get mucked up, but quick.


I think someone needs to make a withdrawal from the super-secret 'Alien Technology' vault and come up with a better heat shield.

Mr Corso, (or his successor) are you listening?



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:46 PM
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Actually there is better heatshielding materials as evidenced by the RCC wing leading edge materials. Not exactly retro-fittable for all surfaces of a legacy design.

If there ever were a new space shuttle-like system it could be very, very good - but expensive. A great many lessons learned at the highest of costs. STS OV's days are winding down... I still love them - payload mass and size counts - so does cost per pound to orbit. I like the space-truck concept.

Yurchikin and Kotov have both mentioned shuttle in Russian very favourably recently... something close to "why don't we have one". They are two days into a five day job changing out the computer cabling for the GNC box that failed because of corrosion from the air-management system.

This "gouge", once imaged for depth and cracks will be well understood... the best repair or lack thereof will be selected. What is not so well understood is how a piece of foam (and perhaps ice) can strike a round cross-section ET rear tank strut and bounce "up" so perfectly as to cause this damage.

The odds of such a perfect strike are bizzare. Normally, BX tank foam hits anything - "poof"... ice or metal, not poof so much as bounce. It would be really bad if they were to find evidence of a feedline bracket design flaw or manufacturing flaw. Three tanks in the loop might have to be refit. We'll see. They do have extensive radar and imaging data.

Cheers,


Vic

EDIT: To add pic of downstream "gouge-ettes" from the main hit.



[edit on 12-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:19 PM
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Here's a shot of the three lesser "gouges"



Here's a shot of what the robotic arm looks like, reaching around and under the shuttle. Not sure if this is a simulation or what.




posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:58 PM
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I believe the shot you posted is by a CATIA software program that NASA uses for sims and emu's Badge'. I could be mistaken. I think they've been using that system for a long time... perhaps since the early nineties.

The "Boom" hand-off is coming up... a pic of another strike:



Cheers,

Vic

EDIT: To add, at about 4:00PM EDT I saw a streak of light between the orbiter and the Earth, likely a Perseid or a video anomaly, it crossed the path of ISS and was not parallel to the direction of travel.

[edit on 12-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:58 PM
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SSPTS is a big success. The Mission is "GO!" for 14 days! Another late night for the Image Analysis Team in Houston.

Cheers,

Vic

EDIT: MMT Briefing coming up shortly on NASA-TV or www.nasa.gov/ntv

24 to 48 hours before a decision on repair... depends on some testing using Arc Jet Facilities, a tech PDF on Arc Jet Screening here, and a better pic of the main "hit".



[edit on 12-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 05:40 PM
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Today's Post-MMT Press Briefing has ended... NASA will compile the laser study data into a "point cloud" and "print it out" in 3-D and then Arc-Jet testing on some samples will be done according to NASA's John Shannon at Johnson... I would have thought Ames. No big deal. They have time to get it right. 24 to 48 hours should tell.

A fair bit was made by the Reuters representative about the "characterization" of similar incidents since RTF. Mr. Shannon did say there was a case where 85 cubic inches of tile were missing upon a successful landing... he isn't hiding anything.

Mr. Shannon handled all questions very, very well. It's easy when you tell the truth. The critical section is 0.2" by 1" long and 1.12 inches deep. The exposed portion may be filler-bar or filler-bar and a bit of SIP (Structural Isolation Pad - thinner than half inch felt). The aluminum directly beaneath the damage is in a "good spot" owing to a structural member being directly beneath the "hit" to act as a good heatsink.

The issue was raised of the ET feedline brackets and potential modifications... Shannon assured the Press that Michoud "was on it". It is being studied and are a real threat to the schedule. Shannon answered truthfully when he said he "didn't know how the schedule would be affected".

Crew goes to sleep tonight at about 10:30PM EDT, and wakes at about 6:30AM EDT. Rick M. and Dave W. will be doing the air-lock campout for tomorrow's EVA-2.


The TVSKED will be revised tonite look for Rev G at www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Tomorrow's schedule of on-orbit events for Monday Flight Day 6:
- 11:30AM EDT EVA 2  Rick Mastracchio and Williams; Control Moment Gyroscope‐3 Replacement on Z1 Truss 
- Deactivate External Stowage Platform‐3 (ESP‐3) Power Connection
- Cargo Transfer Operations from SpaceHab to ISS

Some related links: NASA Arc-Jet FAQ link and the Ames Arc-Jet Facility (where they tested the STS-117 blanket repairs) here.

So far a successful day! No mention word on the EPO plant stuff from today. But I'm looking forward to see some of the educational aspects of this mission in the days to come.


Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 12-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 08:43 AM
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Preparations for ISS support spacewalk number 90 are well underway and may start a bit earlier than the 11:30AM EDT that EVA 2 is skedded for. They'll be changing out a CMG (Control Moment Gyro) one of four used to control ISS atitude. A CMG pic courtesy of NASA:



For those with an interest NASA-TV has released TVSKED_Rev_I in PDF format. It can be downloaded from the NASA-TV schedule page here.

The MT (Mobile Transport) system was moved during the night down to work site 7 to support this EVA... pretty cool rail device.

SpaceHab transfer continues today. This is Spacehabs's last scheduled flight. It's cargo and experiment capacity will be missed.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 13-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 03:14 PM
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A quick update. EVA 2 is going well (a couple of difficult bolts - no problem) and winding down after the successful installation of the CMG and ESP 2 (External Storage Platform).

CBC Radio has announced that "if" a belly repair is to be performed that Astronaut Williams will "get the call". There will be a Post-MMT Press Briefing shortly after the spacewalk concludes at about 6:00PM EDT-ish and there may be a more "full" press briefing sometime this evening.

More in a bit,

Vic



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 04:56 PM
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posted by V Kaminski
The belly doors are all closed for re-entry... the current area of concern is the underside of the starboard wing close to the fuselage bulkhead or wing root. Not a big deal unless the tile is cracked or gouged through. Me? I'd go for the paint fix... just to try it. If cracked I'd use the pink "goo" and a plate and paint. A pic of the "Big-un" 3" x 3". Scan starting with those Canadian laser eyes. There have been some hassles calibrating the arm movement and the laser system to get the best imaging. Cheers, Vic


The Shuttle program's future is riding on this one. If Endeavour follows on Columbia the program will never fly again. It is my opinion the shuttles are worn out. They did about 22 missions each. It was claimed when the program was launched that the shuttles could do 50 missions each. That claim which now looks excessive was made to lower the apparent cost per flight by half. Whether it was false from the begining we don't know. To exaggerate is understandable but now that reality has set in, we need honesty. We are not entitled to put astronauts at risk.

The Endeavour just completed an overhaul that took from 2002 to 2007. I have no idea how much money NASA spent on that. The real trouble has been in the insulating foam on the main fuel tank. There seems to be no “fix” for that. Apparently we have been “lucky” from the first. And now our luck has run out.

I wish the astronauts a Safe Return.

[edit on 8/13/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 05:15 PM
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More...






EDIT: For some reason the last pic link doesn't show, I don't know why. Sorry.

Vic

[edit on 13-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 05:55 PM
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donwhite is correct; some aspects of STS are flawed and dated. Everything "rides" on every flight every time. Any time you strap your spaceship on the side of your cryo-propellant tank... some trouble should be expected. It's absolutley amazing they fly as well as they do going "uphill". I want Endeavour to follow Discovery. Discovery has a strong flight history. Skedded for another flight this Fall.

The Post-MMT Briefing is winding down. The Press asked more questions than normal... some were good. John Shannon did really well... I'd imagine he's a bit busy the last few days or so. Looks like Wednesday before a decision on repair. Mastracchio has previous T-RAD (space-goo) experience in testing so it would make sense he does the repair if it proceeds.

The cracked bracket was mentioned... maybe it set up a harmonic and popped a latent bit of ice and foam off an upstream bracket. If so... bummer - no more flights for a while or until a fix is found. It may not be crack related. Whatever it was that struck hit at 217 FPS after striking the ET upright bar at 300 FPS and bouncing.

A "Team 4" has been struck - a Tiger Team to work the practicalities of a repair. I would expect Heidi Stefanyshin-Piper to be lead like on the 117 blanket deal.

Arc-Jet stuff starts tonight. A further MMT (Mission Management Team) will be held at 7:00PM EDT.

A Mission Status Briefing will be held sometime in the next hour... stay tuned: www.nasa.gov/ntv

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 13-8-2007 by V Kaminski]






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