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NASA's Most Dangerous Mission Ever, set for tomorrow 5/11/09- being stranded in space possible

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posted on May, 10 2009 @ 08:51 PM
It seems the space shuttle is blasting off tomorrow on the most dangerous mission ever, to fix the Hubble Telescope, it could leave the shuttle stranded in space, if anything goes wrong. NASA will have a second shuttle crew standing by in case of their needing to save the other astronauts.

I didn't even know a shuttle lift off was scheduled until I read this news article.
It seems this is an emergency problem that NASA has been delaying fixing, but now they can no longer delay the mission.

I wonder what is wrong with the Hubble in the first place, they have not specified exactly what the problem is.

link to article:

Nasa is set to dispatch seven astronauts on its most dangerous ever shuttle mission as it attempts to rescue the $7 billion Hubble Space Telescope from meltdown.
Led by former US Navy fighter pilot Scott Altman, 49, a one-time stunt flier for actor Tom Cruise in the film Top Gun, the crew of Atlantis will repair and upgrade the orbiting observatory, risking a potentially deadly space-junk collision that could leave them stranded 350 miles above Earth.
The mission, which is costing Nasa $1.4 billion and is due to blast off from Florida tomorrow, is considered so perilous that it was once cancelled by space agency chiefs who feared that it could cost the astronauts their lives.

It was resurrected only after they agreed to place a second shuttle and crew on emergency standby, ready to blast into space to save their colleagues should a catastrophe occur. The move is unprecedented in the 28-year history of the shuttle fleet.

'It’s a belt-and-suspenders kind of approach - but when your suspenders fail, you’re glad to have the belt,' said Cdr Altman, who is due to launch with his crew from Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral tomorrow evening, returning in 11 days

Has anyone else heard about this beforehand? This seems like an awfully rushed mission. I had not seen anything about this on the internet anywhere previously.

Should a rescue become necessary, it would provide the greatest space drama since the abortive Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970, say Nasa insiders, when three astronauts limped their crippled spacecraft home just hours from death, following an on-board explosion.

Among the greatest hazards facing Atlantis is the intense amount of space junk - such as broken satellites and dead rockets - that is cluttering the area where the shuttle will rendezvous with Hubble.

Shuttle flights usually only go to the International Space Station no more than 250 miles up - but at 350 miles, where Hubble flies, the hazards are far greater.

If Atlantis suffers damage, the crew would be marooned.
Hubble is considered the most valuable astronomical tool since Galileo first designed a telescope in the 17th century.

Of course since this IS a conspiracy site - I just feel something seems a little off here, because they are risking lives for a space telescope, why is that?

'I would consider this the climbing Mount Everest of spacewalking missions,' said Mr Grunsfeld, 51.
'The big unknowns are where we’re pushing the envelope further than its been done before in spaceflight…we’re trying some techniques that haven’t been done before.

There have been previous servicing missions to the Hubble, but this will be the last – and the most risky.
'You could say "Oh it’s going to be a piece of cake, we’ve done this five times" - except on this mission we are going to be repairing instruments that were never designed to be repaired in orbit,' explained Ed Weiler, Nasa’s associate administrator for science missions.

Does anyone else find this odd - a quick rushed space mission to the telescope - risking the astronauts lives with another space shuttle on standby? Besides that - the cost of it seems outrageous in these days and times - why spend all that money on this mission - what is so important?

Do they have to do this, because they are wanting and having problems watching something "big" out in space that seems to be orbiting around the sun?

Edit - added the below information from a post of mine on 2nd page - thought better in OP

I will be watching the NASA t.v station here

to watch the action.

I will say right now - my thoughts and prayers are with this crew - I do not want any drama regarding the shuttle mission - the only drama I hope will be their success and nail biting successful moments of accomplishing their mission!!

Here is all kinds of information on it:

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters improved on the forecast, now giving the team a 90-percent chance to launch Atlantis at 2:01 p.m. EDT tomorrow without weather interfering.

Also this morning, STS-125 Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Gregory C. Johnson once again practiced landings in the Shuttle Training Aircraft as the entire crew readies for their mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Live countdown and launch coverage begins tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. on NASA TV and on the Web at


At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the STS-125 crew poses for a group portrait. From left are Mission Specialists Megan McArthur and Michael Good, Pilot Gregory C. Johnson, Commander Scott Altman, and Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Andrew Feustel. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossman

[edit on 10-5-2009 by questioningall]

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 08:54 PM
S&F for you my friend Great Find !!

I guess it goes without saying that this trip to Hubble will not be on T.V like the last time ?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 08:56 PM
reply to post by Max_TO

I would hope it is on TV - this I guess is REAL Life drama! They are risking lives with this mission.

Funny too - it only mentions the commander of the group - no other members of the group/astronauts are mentioned. hhhmmm......

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 08:59 PM
This mission was planned for last year, I even started a thread on it but when the mission was pushed back the thread became pointless.

As for what the problems are, decrepitude. The batteries are dying and need to be replaced. They're charged by the solar panels but they can only remain effective for so long before no amount of charging will hold. Several instruments needs to be upgraded or replaced.

The Hubble is old.

This mission will give it a new lease on life, and I'm happy about that. I've grown fond of the old girl and would hate to see her pass on.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:01 PM
And sense this is a conspiracy site

Can you imagine the P.R , prestige as well as funding that N.A.S.A would receive if something did go wrong and N.A.S.A and it's other shuttle rushed to put life and limb on the line to save there comrades and actually puled it off ?

And sense this is a conspiracy site

Is it shear coincidence that N.A.S.A scraped there moon mission just last week , was it ?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:09 PM

Does anyone else find this odd - a quick rushed space mission to the telescope - risking the astronauts lives with another space shuttle on standby? Besides that - the cost of it seems outrageous in these days and times - why spend all that money on this mission - what is so important?

It is not a quick rushed mission, it has been one the planning for nearly four years. And yes, it is a risky one. I will not deny that, but think of this fact. Hubble is one of the most iconic objects in the world. It has the distinction of being the first telescope in space. All the current knowledge we have about the universe is primarily due to hubble and the research done using that. Hubble deserves to get a new lease of life, when it gets the chance, because once the shuttle retires after the completion of the ISS, there will not be any option, the telescope has to be de-orbited once it dies.

Just do a google search on the images taken by hubble, they are the best ever taken. So, all the risk is worth it.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:09 PM
reply to post by mrwupy

So you had heard about this mission taking off tomorrow or knew they would be doing one?

It seems normally there is mention about it a few weeks ahead of a space shuttle launch - but I had not seen anything before about it.

I like the telescope too - but why the super fast rush now?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:11 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:22 PM

Originally posted by questioningall

It seems normally there is mention about it a few weeks ahead of a space shuttle launch - but I had not seen anything before about it.

I like the telescope too - but why the super fast rush now?

I believe it was ABC News that did a segment every day last week on the upcoming launch and even made them their people of the week. It's received it's share of publicity, but shuttle launches don't get the publicity they used to.

It's not a rush launch either, this has been planned for years.

The only odd thing is when I started a thread last year, there was not a shuttle on standby for possible rescue. Suddenly there is. If the mission is that dangerous, why wasn't a shuttle on standby last year?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:23 PM
Why do they allow so much junk to "clutter" the already crowded orbits?
I mean, I understand the debris from the sat-killer missiles that china and I think the US had launched and those resulting debris fields along with the Russian's sat mishap, but why not have spent rockets/missiles do the burn up on reentry thing?

At the very least, they could maybe use the debris as target practice for whatever energy based space weapons they have. Maybe they're limited on ammo or something.

The longer we procrastinate and keep on sending expensive space instruments into potentially hazardous orbits, the more daunting the clean-up will be.

I can see it now: Yeah, we have ships that can go into space now that we cracked the major hurdles, but there's this space debris issue we need to address before we can actually use the things safely.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:31 PM
reply to post by questioningall

Excellent find!

I am glad you brought this to my attention.

About the conspiracy.. Where is John Lear when you need him?? (This is not a knock on him, but a serious statement) I might try and find out some speculations from some sources who know him. Of course this is all prolly nothing,lol.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:32 PM
Do to the reported danger to this mission by " space junk " I thinks is only fair to mention , in all seriousness , that it will be " space junk " that prompts mankind to develop energy shields and not the Klingon Empire .

Even if we do not find a way to protect our crafts from space junk how will we ever confront other forms of " junk " on future missions to Mars & beyond , assuming we go of course .

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by Max_TO

Agreed, that probably will be what forces the development of force fields. There are already some good small scale operational cool plasma force fields in the labs now.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:43 PM
reply to post by Max_TO

Actually, the space junk is not the biggest danger for this mission, becuase NASA has space junk monitoring programmes and they can change their flight path it anything endangers them. The real threat the possibility of damage to the heat shields on the underside of the shuttle, due to the insulating foam falling from the external tank during launch.

Edit:Recall space shuttle columbia.

[edit on May 10th, 2009 by peacejet]

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:47 PM
The drama is already picking up !

I will be following this thread with great interest !

Are there any reports on how the MSM is covering this story ?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:48 PM
The Hubble is hubbled by more then bad batteries.

It has a .22 cal hole in it.....

The great telescope in space has an antenna with a hole in it the size of a .22-caliber bullet. One of the telescope's main cameras has died. So has an instrument called a spectrograph. Three of six stabilizing gyros are kaput. A data router failed, and a backup had to take over. The telescope is getting slower about latching onto guide stars. The batteries are running down. And the shiny exterior has been torn up by countless collisions with tiny particles.

Yet, despite the battering and the ravages of old age, the Hubble Space Telescope is still 500 million times as sensitive as the human eye, and astronomers say its best days may yet be ahead. That depends on what happens in coming days when astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis attempt to give the orbiting observatory new instruments, new batteries and a new lease on life.

I always wondered where my bullets went when I fire my rifle in the air.


The old girl needs a makeover.

The issue at hand needs to be resolved and this is the perfect time as we need a big diversion as we allow GM to die.


What is the most critical intel situation in the good ole USA? According to the new CIA chief it is the "economy stupid".

So NASA can bring America's view toward Hubble while they "fix" the economy and bomb the crap out of the Taliban.

Killing two or three birds with one stone would be the phrase I would use when looking at this event.

All of the worlds attention will be on the Shuttle Flight crew as the economy hits some bumpy roads.

[edit on 10-5-2009 by whiteraven]

(ex tags)

[edit on Mon May 11 2009 by Jbird]

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:52 PM
Wouldn't it be better to make an improved Hubble than to repair the old one?

If money would be the issue then I don't think they should risk lives because all the money in the world is not worth a life.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:54 PM
reply to post by danielsil18

Probably because if they did that it would be another 15 or so years away

I could be wrong but I do believe that they are working on the next space telescope in some fashion as we speak , no ?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:54 PM
The launch is set for 2:01 EST and you can watch it live here. I just hope and pray everything goes as planned and our Astronauts are kept safe on this journey.

It should be an exciting day tomorrow.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:57 PM

Originally posted by mrwupy
The launch is set for 2:01 EST and you can watch it live here. I just hope and pray everything goes as planned and our Astronauts are kept safe on this journey.

It should be an exciting day tomorrow.

Amen to that brother.

Seems the team is gung ho.

Although the focus will be on the spacewalking astronauts, engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt will be busy running through a 550-page checklist as they give the telescope commands. Among other things, the Goddard staff will shut down power to parts of the telescope to prevent electrical arcing that might puncture an astronaut's glove.

"We have this choreographed almost down to the minute of what we want the crew to do. It's this really fine ballet," said Keith Walyus, the servicing mission operations manager at Goddard.

So, is he anxious about the mission?

"This is great!" Walyus answered. "We've been training for this for seven years. We can't wait for this to happen."

(ex tags)

[edit on Mon May 11 2009 by Jbird]

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