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STS-118: Omnibus Thread

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posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 07:14 PM
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Kudos to Vic for staying on this for those of us otherwise occupied.

It's nice to log on to this thread that he's maintaining for us almost single-handedly. Appreciate it, man.


Those last clear shots look pretty deep. Looks a lot deeper and more damage that I'd ever have imagined ice could do - not that I'm doubting NASA - they seem to being very honest and open this time.

It might be nice to see a heat diagram overlaid on the damaged areas. It's not clear to me if they are in prime abatement areas, though as MC has stated, we've landed with more tiles gone.

Having said that, I agree, the Shuttles are probably at the end of their mission usefulness. Hope they get home safely.




posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 07:46 PM
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posted by Badge01
Kudos to Vic for staying on this for those of us otherwise occupied. Those last clear shots look pretty deep. Looks a lot deeper and more damage that I'd ever have imagined ice could do - not that I'm doubting NASA - they seem to being very honest and open this time. It might be nice to see a heat diagram overlaid on the damaged areas. It's not clear to me if they are in prime abatement areas, though as MC has stated, we've landed with more tiles gone. Having said that, I agree, the Shuttles are probably at the end of their mission usefulness. Hope they get home safely.


On the “more tiles gone.” I too have heard that stated occasionally in the past. Perhaps I have missed the explanations, but is it possible the missing tiles came off after the re-entry was completed? Or, were the missing tiles in the least dangerous areas?

Memory fades and I forget whether anyone knew about the missing wing root tiles on Columbia before its attempted re-entry. I don’t think anyone knew about those which is why we have so many cameras in play today.

Challenger was lost due to every prior mission succeeding despite some chances that were taken. All of us grew complacent. Taking a shuttle to low space was much like catching a Greyhound to Miami. From Canaveral. Routine. As Vic pointed out, every space flight is a high risk adventure. I’m thinking we ought to change the ground control people every 2 or 3 years. Just to keep us on the good side of the learning curve and hopefully, alert.

[edit on 8/13/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 08:03 PM
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Don,

I'm not sure it was merely complacency, but it does seem to me that certain missions were 'pushed' to proceed even though everything might not have been perfect.

When you have an 'urgent' mission, istm, this spells 'military'. Changing out a spy satellite, perhaps.

So I'd guess it was more of a type of 'pressure' put on NASA to get flights up. Even on the best years I don't think they had more than 8 or 9 missions in one calendar year - so that's a significant downtime given there were three shuttles flying most of the time.

Not making any allegations here, just pondering, mind you.

So I'm not sure that changing out controllers would make a difference.

If you recall, NASA frequently -talks- safety, but I've heard people inside the agency say that safety was never actually a prominent agenda item.

It bothers me also when the Deputy Chief and the shop supervisor says they're not aware of a 'problem' wrt drinking. That tells me they're out of the loop or something.

Once again lack of communication up and down the chain is still much the same problem it was when mentioned by Richard Feynman back in the late 80s post Challenger Disaster. I'd like to see them get to the root cause of that. Is it due to a military type chain of command or what?



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 08:31 PM
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A small update; the TVSKED is up to Revision J. At least one PWC (a type of water container sort of like a big IV bag) leaked and there was some yelling and laughing in the background as the Spacewalkers were decompressing. It was "mopped up" according to Clay Anderson.

Yurchikin and Kotov's day was not so good... having pulled panels and uninstalled the bad wiring and routed the new stuff to the Bok 3 GNC box... the wire loom turned out to be "short". This was not expanded upon in the second Press briefing of the evening. I wonder if they will find any mold behind the panels as has been found before. ISS is "ripe" for growth of flora and fauna being a closed system... it could be trouble down the road.

At the news conference some mention was made of "fix 'N' fly" and how that seems to have been somehow short-sighted. Um, good point, the schedule pressure is entirely arbitrary and would not exist except for the Presidential "no fly after 2010" decree.

There are competing interests of safety and schedule that would seem to be a "no-brainer". Perhaps the President's brain will re-consider and buy NASA enough time to get ISS completed. These same pressures may also have repercussions in the Constellation program but that will be for a future thread(s).

The spot that may be "the hot spot" is the aft edge of the "divot" and will see temps in the plus 2000 degrees F range. Aluminum deforms at about 400 F. There is lots of aluminum directly beneath the worst spot in the form of a structural stringer that should act as a heatsink - "should". If a tile blows off while in the early stages of descent... that would be "bad". A Criticality One malfunction is a possibility.

Tile material is very brittle and not very strong so any "hit" that can overcome the "cushion" of the RTV and felt SIP beneath is likely to cause a crack. I am surprised how much was gouged-out with no apparent cracking.

A great many very, very bright people at NASA are not going to get much sleep until this bird is home safe. They will do their best in a difficult circumstance. It is unfortunate that this set of circumstances has arisen but one plays the cards one's dealt. SpaceHabs last flight brings many needed spares to ISS... that don't neccessarily "fit" inside a Progress.

Tiles have fallen off post-flight by some accounts (not from NASA), some on landing and some while parked. They are only glued onto to a cloth material with a type of RTV silicone and that cloth is glued to the aluminum skin of the orbiter. John Shannon did say yesterday that as much as 85 cubic inches (1400cc) of tile material had been missing on at least one landing. This damage is in the neighbourhood of a couple of cubic inches.

I am still concerned about the starboard feedline umbilical door... lose one of those and... The door may have been struck by the same piece of whatever that should have gone "poof" on the ET upright but didn't. Those doors have cracked hinges on other flights with no strikes.

Should they not do a repair and the OV lands safe? OK. Repaired and lands safe? OK. Have any problem or not land safely... "Houston we have a problem."

More will be known in the next day or so. The stakes are as high as the crew's performance has been exemplary. There can be only one winning hand.

On a lighter note the Canadian PMDIS (perceptual-motor deficits in space) series of experiments dreamed up by Doc Fowler at York U in Toronto have been going well and looks to understand the whole hand-eye co-ordination bugaboo that over half of astros experience. It isn't very complicated and looks to establish a data-set to study who is most likely to develop the trouble. A PMDIS NASA link and a CSA link.

The crew has just been informed that the earliest repair op would be Flight Day 10 and may be a combination of emissivity wash and T-RAD goo.

Tomorrow's Agenda for Flight day 7:
- External Stowage Platform‐3 (ESP 3)Unberth from Endeavour’s Payload Bay and Installation on P3 Truss
- Destiny Lab Window Scratch Pane Replacement
- Cargo Transfer Operations
- Educational Event B. Morgan
- U.S. PAO (Public Affairs Office) Event
- EVA 3 Campout R. Mastracchio and C. Anderson

Cheers,

Vic

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



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 09:38 PM
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I trust they will take the safer course and keep the Endeavor docked and send up a rescue shuttle should there be any question.

Nice summary, Vic.

Catch ya here tomorrow!



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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posted by Badge01
Don,
I'm not sure it was merely complacency, but it does seem to me that certain missions were 'pushed' to proceed even though everything might not have been perfect.

Once again lack of communication up and down the chain is still much the same problem it was when mentioned by Richard Feynman back in the late 80s post Challenger Disaster. I'd like to see them get to the root cause of that. Is it due to a military type chain of command or what?


Very serious questoins you have raised Mr Vic. Communications up and down the chain of command. I have about 6 years 6 months in the military. I have worked for very large corporations and for very small businesses. I doin’t like to give orders. Heck, I like even less taking orders. But unless you’re born rich or beautiful, you have to take orders. Or if you have a special talent, you can be a entrepreneur and go it alone.

Bureaucracies. Institutions. There is no way in 2007 with 300 million people living in 3.6 million square miles that we can do without either. We can see this same problem manifest itself in our legislative bodies. I look at CSpan a lot. I’m single and retired. We have a similar channel that watches the state legislature and another that looks at the City Council. I’m too well informed! In the 1999-2001 time frame I was more than passingly familiar with the 5 man board of directors of a $300 million a year local sewer authority . Well, it’s called waste water treatment nowadays. It’s high tech too.

People are overwhelmed by the enormity of the task they face. I can see that in committee hearings regardless of what level of government. It is as hard for a person to get a handle on Jacksonville’s annual budget of $870 million as the state’s $34 b. or the Feds near $3 t. budget. I haven’t even mentioned Jacksonville’s $1.1 b. school budget. It really does not matter if you are a city councilman, state legislator or US Congressmen, it is more than one person can grasp. Yet we must all act as if we know what we are doing.

Well, Mr Vic, I meant to offer you a magic formula how uppers can communicate with lowers and vice versa, but I have merely shown why I can’t. The task is overwhelming. I guess I’d have to say better luck next time!

[edit on 8/13/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 11:23 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite

On the “more tiles gone.” I too have heard that stated occasionally in the past. Perhaps I have missed the explanations, but is it possible the missing tiles came off after the re-entry was completed? Or, were the missing tiles in the least dangerous areas?


Yes on both counts. Shuttle is most apt to lose a tile at lower speeds and in the atmosphere. At high speeds the tiles are actually forced against the belly in compression. But get a hole throught the thermal displacement material into the structure beneath and...


Originally posted by donwhite

Memory fades and I forget whether anyone knew about the missing wing root tiles on Columbia before its attempted re-entry. I don’t think anyone knew about those which is why we have so many cameras in play today.


Did anyone know? Officially they say not. It actually wasn't a tile issue on STS-107 but rather the leading edge of the wing which wasn't much more than fancy carbon fiber was struck by a big - no giant piece of BX Foam and likely ice. There's video around. I can't watch it. It's all in the CAIB report.

You don't think the Commander looked out the windows at the wing leading edges or used the original Canadarm camera to look at anything? Perhaps not, but I would. Boat, airplane and race car/bike folks are "funny" that way.

It is somewhat likely that the STS-107 occupants felt the hit on the way up... maybe didn't "hear" it but felt something. It was a big piece hitting with big league kinetics. It's all in the CAIB report. The wing leading edge is far more critical than the belly area concerned with STS-118 if that's any consolation. The leading edges of STS wings are now state of the art RCC and studded with "hit" sensors.


Originally posted by donwhite
Challenger was lost due to every prior mission succeeding despite some chances that were taken. All of us grew complacent. Taking a shuttle to low space was much like catching a Greyhound to Miami. From Canaveral. Routine. I’m thinking we ought to change the ground control people every 2 or 3 years. Just to keep us on the good side of the learning curve and hopefully, alert.


Yup, 117 out of 119 so far, luck is "good", bad management and lack of imagination are not. Complacent? How about demanding? Demanding of perfection every time and while your at it do it faster and with less staff and less money... oh and by the way your being laid-off in 2010 for four years... and the public doesn't "care" about NASA. Not complacent - "we" just looked the other way... practically ignored NASA post Apollo 11, make that 13. Got some people dead twice with this STS platform. It must be difficult. Change ground control? Managers maybe, "grunts" no... aren't any left to lose anyway.

Hey remember when Shuttle was going to be "shirt sleeves to orbit"? I do.

Don't get overwhelmed don, there's only so much one individual can do really other than watch and perhaps wish "good luck" to any venture where humans altruistically offer themselves into exploration that adds to our species chances. Think about them - they're people, right now 10 people, 2 Russkies, a Canuck and seven Americans. 215 miles up, going 17,500 MPH, space junk, computer and orbiter problems. I envy them.

The voice transmissions from orbit tonight have been absent and the crew should have gone to sleep about 10:30PM EDT. Normally there's some stuff from ISS and some chatter on the big loop with ISS... solid two hours of nothing.


Originally posted by Badge01
I trust they will take the safer course and keep the Endeavor docked and send up a rescue shuttle should there be any question.


That's actually doable, almost, technically sort of. It involves a bunch of stuff and caveats and risks and both known and unknown unknowns, like losing an orbiter and possibly evac of ISS and maybe it's loss too, maybe risking the rescue orbiter too, lotsa stuff.

There could be a different scenario, maybe. Bringing in an orbiter unmanned? The Russian Buran did it in 1988 I think (it was missing many, many, many tiles - only seen the footage once). But I don't know enough about avionics to say whether shuttle can go "data-silent" during the plasma-ball time of re-entry and "do all computing and networking" to bring in Endeavour, say to White Sands or Edwards via remote or onboard computer - away from population in case someting were to "not go well", maybe one of the TLA sites.

An orbiter can be flown by 3 people nominally, 2 in a pinch and one-up left seat if required with ground assistance... between Soyuz and Shuttle (which would have the same spec ET as 118 - same risk) you could recover the crew, if all went perfectly. Earliest Discovery can be up is October, second or third week and that's with no glitches or ET modifications. I bet there's folks in Houston right now thinking about these same things and far, far, far more; all the "other" stuff. It must be difficult. It may be "hardest" to do nothing. A protruding repair could do more damage should it "get a run" and lift a series of tiles.

I think the combination of first applying emissivity "paint" to seal all the divots and nicks and then filling in the big divot with T-RAD "pink-goo" and smoothing it off with a trowel, let it set and shrink in, apply a second "scratch coat" smooth it out and when dry "paint the whole works over" with a layer of emissivity paint. After some thought I find the "plate" repair a little scary with drywall-like screws and a 16 or 20 inch square plate. I'll have the "goo" with the paint garnish, hold the plate.

I still maintain that this damage is not a "show-stopper" but it could be depending on what happens in the decision phase. Ultimately Commander Kelly has last say. I like that.

Can an "ice-free" external tank be built? Yes. It will weigh almost double if a dual wall thermos design is used, more if heaters are required for localized ice points... which was one of the original Shuttle proposals for the ET design - lost out because of cost, go figure. Whole bunch of problems follow with the extra mass, not enough motor, etc., etc. Had America to do a Shuttle-like system again it could be very, very good if done from a clean-sheet. That's not going to happen.

Can the existing three external tanks in the flow be trusted? Good question. Maybe with a "fix" from Michoud or maybe on days that don't promote icing like in high humidity and maybe that when a crack on a feedline bracket is seen that such an occurence is a "show stopper". Hard to say, that's NASA's job. The entire planet takes NASA for granted in some ways, me included. Imagine how.

Cheers,

Vic

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



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 11:29 PM
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DW, I'm confused. You quote me but seem to think you're replying to Vic.

At any rate, NASA though not unlike a big city wrt budget, they are supposed to be directed towards a common goal, which is different than a city or town.

I think there is a block to communication somewhere due to higher ups thinking they're too important to be bothered, or they think the little guy should just shut up and do what they are told.

Trouble is, it's the little guy, the nagging inspector, that might have a serious problem to discuss. You can't cover up stuff like that when you're launching rockets into space. You have to deal with it in a timely fashion.

As I understand it there have always been warnings, but they were unheeded.

Somebody, or some portion of the Agency is pushing the program and they won't take 'no' for an answer (i.e., delay while problems are fixed)

I just hope they make it through this phase and get a more reliable replacement flying without more catastrophe.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by V KaminskiA protruding repair could do more damage should it "get a run" and liftt a series of tiles.


Yes, this is what I was silently worried about and didn't want to mention. I'm sure they'll consider this kind of thing.

Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.

Intriguing about bringing the shuttle back unmanned; thanks for going over that.



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 04:52 AM
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posted by Badge01
DW, I'm confused. You quote me but seem to think you're replying to Vic.


Oops, sorry about that Mr Badge01. You are right. I was referring to the very superior pictures and commentary by V Kaminski. However I have found your posts informative, too.

[edit on 8/14/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 10:56 AM
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Tuesday August 14th, Happy Birthday Tracey "TC" Caldwell! The wake up music today was Mission Specialist One's nieces singing Happy Birthday to their Auntie.

The first major element of the ISS (Zarya) punches through the 50,000 orbit threshold today - well over a billion statute miles. I don't think the 74' GMC Silverado will make it that far but it has made it that long, longer. LOL.

Zariya has performed really, realy well for a "one-off" unique module... it's had some troubles but none "unworkable". A small piece with Zariya's "ride up" on the pad and some history from zariya.info, here.

The robotic operations of getting ESP 3 out of the payload bay and on to the zenith side of ISS is continuing and going well. Sooner or later there will be some potential difficulties with this particular STS Canadarm. Two nights ago the the "Charlie" and "Delta" cameras overheated to the point where Houston had them shut off ASAP and it was already "night". There are heaters which may have malfunctioned or some cooling provisions aren't performing as expected... it should not end arm ops and there are backup procedures. Arms have overheated before but not failed outright during any on-orbit operations. There is always a first time.

Today, like last night ISS/STS crew transmissions on the big loop are somewhat "less" than on 117, 116, 115, 121, or 114. I suppose they are busy... some Korolev transmissions were heard today but only sporatically and nothing more than a few words.

An inner window in ISS will be replaced today... the FD-7 execute package (available at www.nasa.gov/shuttle) shows it as being pretty complicated, with various heateing elements and seals and covers.

Around 2 O'Clock Eastern the PAO event will be broadcast, about 7 PM EDT the Education Event should begin.

A quote from the FD-7 execute package:

"We found the photos of the special foam ops – thanks so much – we’ve forwarded them to the KSC guys."

I never heard anything about special foam ops before. This was Houston's message to STS/ISS this morning. It may mean nothing, or might be about inventory of T-RAD repair stuff or could just be an inside joke.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 14-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 06:11 PM
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Today's on-orbit operations seemed to go pretty well. There were only a few times today when the big loop was broadcast, mostly just Air To Ground 2.

The PAO thing went OK with the "high light" being B. Morgan's hair and some joking by CNN. The TVSKED has been revised again... no mention was made of the ISS interior window changeout.

There were some water issues in the EMU suits helmet. Just one I think. It was recommended that it be mopped up. I'd imagine that a good bit of payload was transfered from SpaceHab to ISS today.

There should be a combined MMT and Mission Status briefing on NASA-TV within the hour. It's on now.

Cheers,

Vic



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 07:32 PM
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I've just watched the combined Post-MMT and Mission Status Briefing, twice. The repair issue is in the best of hands and is independently being verified in a number of ways.

The piece that "hit" was 4" x 3.8" and had a mass of 0.21 pounds. None of the External Tanks in the workflow (3) have the upgraded post-RTF titanium LOX feedline brackets. Will it effect the schedule? According to John Shannon, "I have no idea." I like truth told plain. I liked that. It was mentioned that this bracket foam loss has been more prevalent since RTF. They don't seem to be hiding anything.

Every way imaginable is being used to explore the repair issue. NASA does this very, very well. They are even having the results of testing peer-reviewed. The next 24 to 36 hours should see a decision.

I found it very interesting that the extra hour spent on the pad post-RTF while "tanked" for detail ice inspection have a contributory effect to icing. This was mentioned by MMT Chairman John Shannon.

Somehow Kotov and Yurchickin "found" some extra length in the routing for the wiring loom to the Bok 3 GNC box. The cabling sent up on Progress 26 was too short. I saw both Cosmos (but didn't hear) laughing and smiling very broadly today. The computers will be "kicked in" to the avionics mix after Endeavour leaves, they finished the job about a day sooner than expected.

The CMG changed out on ISS is running at 6600RPM and providing atitude control with the other CMG's. There are no spares until another STS flight.

The Press threw whatever they had at Kirk Shireman and John Shannon, they fielded it all successfully and left no question unanswered. Very thorough.

The NBL (pool) will be busy tomorrow as the proposed repair EVA will be simulated. The Arc-Jets will be hummin' and the computational fluid dynamics folks will be busy...

Cheers,

Vic



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 09:07 PM
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Tomorrow FD-8 Wednesday is about EVA 3, Anderson and Mastracchio.

The controller for the Mobile Transport shut down while in transit to worksite 4 in support of the spacewalk at about 9:30PM EDT. No big deal they'll switch to manual control.

Tomorrow's spacewalk will largely be disconnecting and repositioning the ISS S-Band antenna array to a temporary spot to allow the work "room" to complete that end of the station. The CETA carts with then have to be moved along with the MT to allow work on the P6 Truss. The other task is to retrieve the MISSE 3 and 4 materials test pallets.

NASA's announcer this evening featured the NBL (near Johnson) and the Building 9 STS mock ups at Johnson. I'm sure there's a bunch of activitiy in a great many NASA centers. Anderson and Mastracchio are in the "air-lock camp-out" and should awake with the crew at about 6AM EDT and the EVA should get started at about 11AM EDT.

A couple of pics:





Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 14-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 02:08 PM
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Today's spacewalk was going well up to about an hour ago (2:00PM EDT) when Mastracchio's LH glove (thumb) got damaged, piercing the outer layer. There is no leak and he is in the air-lock as a precaution while Clayton A. finishes up the P6 transponder stowage. All major EVA tasks are complete and it was "monster" complicated as spacewalks/robotics go. They may not get the MISSE stuff recovered. The walk will terminate shortly.

Cheers,

Vic

EDIT: To add a glove damage pic:





[edit on 15-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 09:03 PM
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Today was the first time in US Spaceflight history that a walk had to be ended early by a suit-related problem. Post STS-116's Curbeam glove cut incident, glove checks were instituted on a regular basis. Those checks paid off today in the discovery of a 3/16" hole in the outer Vectran layer of Mastracchio's glove. There was no leak.

The material that was involved is a fiber called Vectran and it's used in a variety of consumer products and space gloves. A link to the Vectran homepage for those who would like to know more.

A NASA pic of the glove damage:


A NASA pic of the Phase VI glove system not including the two fabric gloves that fit inside the bladder:


Tomorrow and the day after will be more or less study and planning days with the earliest date for EVA 4 now Flight Day 11, Sunday.

Some of the Arc-Jet tile testing is done and indicates what John Shannon called "tunneling"... judging by the original damage and comparing to after tunneling modelling... Yikes! (John Shannon did say that the Arc-Jet shows "worse" that expected on re-entry). A pic:



None of the revised schedules are "ready" and seem to change several times a day as the schedule is adapted to the challenges presented. No spacewalks until Sunday.

Should there be a repair using the T-RAD pistol handle dispenser and SFA-54 "goo", plans are well underway according to John Shannon. He said his team was tired. That's a smart, smart manager. Bravo!

They'll take the time needed to make sure if a repair is performed it will be performed as well as is humanly possible. This STA-54 stuff put on after the emissivity "wash" takes 24 to 48 hours to cure and shrink in so an EVA 4 on Sunday would seem to fit the schedule with a contingency EVA 5.

The data isn't all in yet, nor the peer review of the data or the proposed fix. NASA would seem to be doing everything right; checking twice then having everything peer-reviewed and checked again. There are always unknown unknowns "out there" and imagination of the possibilities is daunting. Lack of imagination can and has killed people in the past. I think NASA is doing it's very, very best work in years in dealing with these problems.

None of the sims so far indicate a possibility of wing penetration or failure with the current damage left unrepaired. Repair info links... A Chemical & Engineering News article on Lockheed's proprietary SFA-54, here another piece from the ABQJournal describes the genesis of SFA-54 through Lockheed, Sandia and NanoPore here.

A little advanced digging at NASA does yield some FOIA data on SFA-54 (little Lockheed - Boeing hassle) at this NASA PAO PDF. Document search terms "SFA-54" and "failure".

There are a variety of technical articles out on the Net but none describe the propreitary blend of GE 511 silicone RTV and silica and NanoPore nanotech other than "goo", SFA-54 and the fact that it is messy and pink.

I like that NASA is taking all the time they can to "think" about this repair and it's potential risks and rewards.

I wish I could have taken today to describe today's spacewalk. It was beautiful, not glamorous or big, just beautiful. The robotics involved were the most "pretzel-like" one can imagine with both arms operating in never before attempted on-orbit configs in combination with spacewalkers. It may have been boring, but beautiful. Man and man's machines doing together today things not possible until today.

I'll try and post a revised schedule link as soon as one is available... I'll try and update this thread tomorrow once more solid data is available.

The crew is supposed to wake at about 6:30AM EDT with a full day of transfer and repair contingency planning and tool preparation. Friday night or Saturday (latest) will see the decision whether to go EVA for the repair.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 15-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 06:56 AM
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One of the STS Educational events will start on NASA-TV at about 8:00AM EDT. Today is a think, plan and study day regarding the OV-105 proposed on-orbit repair.

All the gloves on-orbit are being photographed and documeted in detail - including the Russian spec gloves which are "harder to use" but very, very sturdy. Russian gloves are not "generic" but custom... the US Phase VI glove is sort of generic with a variety of sizing options but each requires significant teguderm pad and tape application to fit each astro's hands to prevent rubs. The proposed EVA 4 (with repair task) goes no where near the places on ISS that may have produced the glove damage as experience by Curbeam on STS-116 and by Mastracchio yesterday.

The new TVSKED_Rev_M is available at NASA-TV... a PDF link.

A couple of background links... a NASA link to an overview of Shuttle Thermal Protection Systems here and a Realplayer link to a short NASA "How things work" video on TPS here.

More later on today...

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 16-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:01 PM
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Breaking News: NO REPAIR EVA. Repeat: NO REPAIR EVA FOR TILE DAMAGE on STS-118!

More after MMT Briefing

Cheers,

Vic



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 09:12 PM
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Dang, Vic, that Arc-Jet tunneling, looks borderline deep, to this Average Joe.

Do you know, off hand, how many minutes the Shuttle is flambéed , during re-entry?



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 09:18 PM
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NASA's John Shannon, "The damage is not a threat to crew safety". Ames and Langley thermodynamic analysis show "good" margin. Two Arc-jet test results are in agreement; "no loss of vehicle case".

Decision choices? Return "as is" or repair. There was a dissenting engineering opinion in favour of repair. A very important opinion; JSC Engineering. Now I'm concerned about the crew. Ames and Langley and Marshall (flight crew office management) and the various safety organizations say, "no repair".

I would like to point out that JSC flies spaceships with real live humans in them, that's what they do. That's where the astronauts live and work, home. The Ames and Langley thermo-data is simulated and largely done on small scale slabs about 2 feet by 2 feet. Much theory. This dissenting engineering opinion is "good" no matter what happens on re-entry.

John Shannon said "a large cross-cut of NASA centers were polled". OK. Over 30 different organizations).

The EVA glove issue is still being looked at. Not much one can do but add more RTV strips to the outside of the Vectran glove material at rub points.

Commander Kelly's window was hit by a micro-meteroid and according to crew reports the "pit" is estimated at a depth of 1mm. The ISS/Shuttle has been repositioned to compensate. This has occurred before.

Oh yeah, and there's a hurricane coming to Texas maybe. Bummer. Hand off to Moscow or maybe Vandenberg? Or maybe "elsewhere-classified"? Don't know. Problem if they have to evac JSC.

I'm not sure what to think of this yet. They are way-well versed in their jobs, the best quite likely that this planet has to offer. Nothing was hidden. I am concerned... storms a brewin', hopefully not "perfect". I can say this was not what I expected. Normally I'm all "GO FLIGHT!"... I am concerned and maybe a tad worried. I would have thought a repair as an option particularly after seeing "tunneling" in the aft side of the arc-jet test from yesterday. But you know they know - they're NASA.

today's pics:


and



I caught the ISS/STS overflight in Toronto tonight at 9:34PM EDT. Ten people inside that little amber tinted light booking at 17,500MPH 214Miles up. I envy them.

If folks have a chance before STS-118 de-orbits, and if you think it might help, please say an extra prayer or express a spiritually positive sentiment for the machine OV-105 and her seven crew.

Thanks,

Vic

[edit on 16-8-2007 by V Kaminski]




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