posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 07:20 PM
Both press briefings this afternoon were informative. Wayne Hale did "characterize" the potential hazards of the ET feedline brackets as "not
possible catastrophic". OK. He then added that the status is "under review".
Um, any "luckier" a hit on the OV belly - say losing two tiles in sequence - and that could well be catastrophic. I hope they do some sort of
"fix" to the external tanks with the same brackets designs whether coating, or some foam removal, a tanking restriction or a new bracket or some
combination of all. The flaw is there, it can, and has happened - "fix it" is the first thought in my head.
Tomorrow the weather (Dean) doesn't seem as much an issue... two tries at KSC and Edwards as backup. It was mentioned that Edwards "wasn't in the
picture" for Tuesday unless Wednesday's forecast is worse. Endeavour can stay on-orbit unassisted till Friday when she runs out of "air-scrubber"
- a return to ISS is not out of the question in an emergency.
The Ku band antenna is now stowed so no more live video from Endeavour this trip. Things will get interesting tomorrow at about 10:00AM EDT with a
"Go/No Go" for de-orbit burn about an hour or so later.
The belly damage is still a concern for me. Even more of a concern is the feedline umbilical door condition which hasn't been commented on since
Flight Day 1. They didn't get a closed light - it "looks" closed so - "fingers-crossed".
It was stated that the station will be changing config on Aug 30th (nominal) when some modules will be restacked in preparation for the next flight
with a nominal launch date of October 23rd.
The Endeavour 7 wake at 4:36AM EDT (which fits my sked!), payload bay doors close at 8:45AM EDT and the first opportunity for the de-orbit TIG burn is
11:25AM with a KSC touchdown at about 12:30PM EDT.
Cheers for the Endeavour 7,