posted on Oct, 23 2007 @ 06:22 PM
Why all the hullabaloo regarding the shuttle's schedule? Since Return-to-Flight after the Columbia accident, the shuttle has always done the robotic
arm survey of the entire shuttle on the second day in space, then either docked later that day or the next.
After they get to orbit they MUST verify that all systems are working properly and configure the shuttle for LOE (they do things such as open the bay
doors for heat dissipation, set up the communication antennas, verify the robotic arm is ready for tomorrow, and make sure everything is working
properly after the violent launch.) They need to check the arm today, because if there is anything wrong, they will need to correct it tonight so
they don't hold up the entire mission.
The next thing they need to do is the robotic arm survey of the wings and tiles -- but this takes several hours, and they can't do it on the first
day...they do need to sleep, too. On this particular mission, they have some time at the end of the first day, but not enough to start the survey, so
the astronauts have some personal time before it's time to sleep.
On the second day they will do the survey of the outside of the craft and check out the docking equipment, among other things. The tile and wing
survey takes most of the day. The reason (again) for checking the docking ring early is to fix any problems BEFORE they need to dock.
It's not really that hard to understand what they are spending time doing...I can't imagine they would have any time left over to go visit a
"secret space station". They definitely don't have the time today, considering all that they do (as listed above), and they certainly don't have
the time tomorrow due to the tile and wing survey. I suppose they can pull an all-nighter and visit the secret station overnight
EDIT TO ADD:
By the way...why don't they just do secret launches to re-supply and re-man the secret space station (if it exists)? Why use this very public
shuttle mission at all?
[edit on 10/23/2007 by Soylent Green Is People]