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STS-117: Omnibus Thread

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posted on Jun, 6 2007 @ 09:56 AM
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The countdown has begun for STS-117's launch on Friday June 8th. I'm a spaceflight fan going into my 5th decade of study now, and I thought since STS-117 has a number of issues, and since folks saw so much "of interest" on STS-115 that an omnibus thread might be a handy "one-stop".

For those with an interest I will capture the entire NASA-TV coverage from just before launch to "wheel stop" on landing. I have two PC's set up to "grab" alternating hours. On STS-116 I was able to capture all but those "times" when I was asleep and the NASA-TV internet stream craps-out - the software does not automatically reconnect. Nothing much came out of STS-116, certainly not like the "weirdness" of STS-115.

STS-117 has some, "bugs". There are three main areas of concern for launch - the mega-repair of the External Tank (damaged in the March hailstorm), the new "Redline" Engine Health Management System software which will for the first time will be active and live on one of the three Shuttle main engines and a bolt insert potential "problem" on the main-motor turbopumps.

There were dissenting engineering opinions expressed during the Flight Readiness Review on all three issues. This was not expanded upon by Wayne Hale during the FRR Press Conference.

As many UFO-folk are aware, "stuff" can happen when Shuttle flies so please post any STS-117 questions and answers/sightings to this thread and ATS members can sort the related material and follow along as the mission progresses.

Fingers-crossed,

Vic

[edit on 6-6-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the post. I'll be checking back tomorrow to see how things are going. Any idea as to what time launch is set for?



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 04:47 PM
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The launch for tomorrow is supposed to be at 7:30 PM.



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 05:50 PM
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7:38PM EDT is the nominal time for lift-off. Weather can always be an issue in Florida and in the Launch Readiness Review News Conference yesterday much was made of the possibilty of more hail - again. I think one senior spokesperson said, "Please not more talk of hail, this mission needs some good luck for a change." or something to that effect.

There was a previously undisclosed issue concerning the 17" diameter high pressure propellant pipe and it's alignment between the ET and Orbiter.

Apparently they had to take it apart and shimmed and glued it. The fore-aft alignment was a big problem in the early days as the length of pipe and the ET change size owing to thermalling. These problems were solved by extensive quality control jigs and fixtures with lots of careful measurement... for a time the problem went away and since STS-75 the Q+A measures and standards had been relaxed in ET tank proccessing at KSC. Fingers-crossed.

It was not mentioned whether there were any dissenting engineering opinions in regard to this non-publicized potential concern.

Both the Flight Readiness Review' and the L-1 Launch Readiness Review' News Conferences are looping on NASA Media TV and on the NASA-TV public channel on the web... try www.nasa.gov.

Related Links:
NASA-TV
There is a link to the Broacast schedule on that page.
For a nifty online Flash mission timeline here. Click the mission timeline link.
And a link to the STS-117 Mission Homepage here.

The media was shown Lockheed's "Pencil Sharpener" today in Florida that was used to fix the hail strikes on the nose of the ET... I hope for a safe flight.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 7-6-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 07:54 PM
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Night launch? That'll be nice!

Thank you for opening the thread and for the information summary you're doing!

[edit on 7-6-2007 by Byrd]



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 08:16 PM
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If one can get the NASA HD signal the launch is always awesome... seen one shuttle launch live and I was at the launch of Apollo 11. Both are "peak-experiences" - Apollo by far was the more seismic event. The sound was way, way, more on Apollo.

The STS-117 mission has several very challenging spacewalks coming up and are adding another set of solar arrays.

The "sort of last minute" bumping up of Astronaut Anderson adding a seventh crew member to STS-117 to spell out Astronaut Sunita Williams from ISS Increment 15 crew has added to the mission schedule but should be no big deal. She did very well for 6.5 months in orbit and is now America's top female spacewalker and endurance record holder. Hair clogging fan jokes, and "Flat Gorby" aside she represents the program and herself very well.

Night launches are always spectacular and sometimes you can see the slag from the solid rocket motors kind of sparkle a bit and drop out sometimes as it pulls beyond the roll program and throttles back arcing out to sea.

Cheers.

Vic

[edit on 7-6-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 08:20 PM
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So will this crew be relieving a crew that has been on the ISS for sometime now, or is it empty at the moment? Sorry, I haven't been up to speed on how the program is going up there.



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 08:38 PM
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No, currently Cosmonaut Yurchikin and Kotov are on orbit with Astronaut Sunita Willams. Most recently, crew change overs have been via a mix of Soyuz-TMA and STS. More Soyuz-TMA since the STS-107 tragedy.

The "big deal" of this flight will be (or is supposed to be) the addition of the last major solar array components... the science modules follow in the next 3 years and the French ATV and the Japanese H2 cargo vehicles are on schedule to add "uphill" capacity.

The real deal is Shuttle is the delivery truck and crane for all the large stuff to be delivered with precision to orbit. At this time there is no other way to complete the project to the point where all the partners (5 main partners and many secondary) can get their science done. Shuttle has to complete this, there is no other way.

One spacewalk involves some significant bolts that must be released for the solar array gimbal to free and track the sun... they will be using a torque multiplier - anyone who has had a bolt snap while wrenching can appreciate the danger an uncontrolled slip could do to a space suit.

On STS-116 they had to break one bolt off without a torque multiplier, they did it... but they really had to exert themselves.

Now I want to seem something, anything, "off-nominal" or "other" that shouldn't be there while they are in orbit... sort of a hobby.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 7-6-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 09:02 PM
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I'm in Australia, Ive never seen a launch and I would be mad keen to watch it live! I'm in the Brisbane time zone (GMT+10). Am I correct in calculating that launch is about 9:40am Saturday 9/6/07? I really don't want to miss it, after all in 2010 when the shuttle is retired this footage will be valuable historical footage. Kudos for your enthusiasm and preparation.



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 09:08 PM
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Oh gee I'm not sure what time it will be in Brisbane... EDT is GMT minus 5 hours. I agree that these flights are historic and it's great to find others with similar views.


Cheers,

Vic



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 11:15 PM
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Hey Vic,

Whats the BEST video streaming source for the launch, any sources that have a split screen or any fancy gadgetry like that?!

Thx much!

Hopefully the launch goes off w/o a glitch with all the hub-bub going on with Grifin/Global Warming/Press releases/Technical issues



posted on Jun, 7 2007 @ 11:37 PM
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The only one's I'm aware of are the NASA TV public channel, and the NASA media channel both are available through NASA.

Actually since STS-107 there is a hu-freakin'-mungous amount of video shot from a bunch of angles and hundreds of cameras... a great many are HD resolution. Some of these are made available on line but in low resolution.

There is a shot from one on the airborne high altitude weather planes taken during the day that is just fantastic... that's the fastest 8 minutes - gettin' to orbit. LOL.

Yes, yes, greatlakes, Director Griffin - Global Warming - and riding a bicycle backward and forward at the same time, he'll be awarded a medal for sure... and in the same political-ish vein the NASA-IG investigation or the influence investigation or the Nowak/Billy-O weirdness.

I'm lookin' at Atlantis now all lit up on the pad with the RCC retracted. Some folks are non-plussed by Shuttle, I think it's awesome. Dated and flawed, yes, and beautiful just the same.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 7-6-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 08:42 AM
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The weather forecast is at this time 80% favourable for launch at 7:38PM EDT. NASA has some related video clips on their absolutley huge web-presence.

Copy and paste this NASA-TV URL into Mediaplayer to watch the launch online. The live coverage is to start at 1:30PM EDT. Here is a link to the Mission TV Schedule page that has a PDF you can download the "best times" to watch (please someone, if they have the capability grab what you can capture of the mission on HD format). It's at this link If all goes according to plan they should be back on Terra Firma on FD-12 (Flight Day 12) June 19th for a nominal mission profile.

For those with an interest in more detail the Mission Timeline Overview is available within the Press Kit which is free for the public to download... at NASA here it's a PDF and seems pretty complete.

For those who like quickie fact lists NASA can also accomodate in PDF with the STS-117 mission fact list.

People fly this bird, interested in the "who" part? Seven brave, exceedingly smart well-qualified folks. A very strong curriculum vitae.
Interviews for the crew, Commander Frederick Sturckow , Pilot Lee Archambault, MS James Reilly II, MS Steven Swanson, MS John D."Danny" Olivas, MS Patrick Forrester, MS Clayton Anderson who is staying on ISS as crew of ISS Increment 15 and 16 and is due back "downhill" in October, also musn't forget Sunita L."Sunny"Williams who becomes an STS-117 crew member to return. She has a journal and it's an interesting overview of some facets of space-living that one might not at first expect.

NASA also has a Launch Blog which is supposed to be active at 1:30PM EDT... I've never used it as source before, it can be found here.

T - Minus 10:01 coming up on a built in hold.

Enjoy,

Vic

EDIT: This site's clock is off by about 3 minutes. LOL.

[edit on 8-6-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:16 PM
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The crew are all strapped in and performing sound checks. How long till launch, V?
Oh they just showed the clock 1 hr 25 mins. Cool!

[edit on 8-6-2007 by DuncanIdahoGholem]



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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Approximately 2.5 hours... time to pull them belts tight one more time... com-checks in progress. All is nominal, T -minus 2 hours and 28 minutes on my mark. Mark!

Vic



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:33 PM
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Hey V, what was that white thing that flew around the launch tower about 5 mins ago? I doubt they would allow a plane in that airspace so close to a launch. NASA spotter plane or UFO? It kinda left a trail....Also all commentary has stopped....
Whoa, hear that? Theresa "Did you flick the so and so switch"
Support Crew Member "Actually it was already on"
Theresa "Whaaa?"
Support Crew Member "It was already on so we're good to go"
Theresa "So you're sure you're ready to leave the cabin at this time?"
Support Crew Member "Yeah we're good to go"

Scary stuff.

[edit on 8-6-2007 by DuncanIdahoGholem]

[edit on 8-6-2007 by DuncanIdahoGholem]

[edit on 8-6-2007 by DuncanIdahoGholem]



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:42 PM
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I didn't see it, but it is not unusual foe birds to stray across the launch area. The KSC staff have taken extensive bird control measures over the years and nothing works 100%. Theey've tried hunting, sound, bangers all manner of stuff and the gulls are still there. It's in primo wildlife area being all closed off.

Can you imagine what these folks are feeling? Sitting on 353000 gallons of liqiud hydrogen and and 140 some odd thousand gallons of liquid oxygen not to mention the1.4 million or so pounds of thrust from the SRB's. I'm jealous, totally jealous.

The ride "uphill" must be something else! I want Atlantis STS-117 to have the best luck. She has a great crew.


Vic



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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The clock you see doesn't have the built in holds. There are planned holds at different points in the countdown. I believe there are two holds left. Launch time is 1 hour and 58 minutes, 1:02 on the mission countdown clock.

Cheers,

Vic



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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It was a lot bigger than a bird and birds don't leave vapour trails.... I edited my post above....



posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:48 PM
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Oh, sorry. There are some security and range choppers at KSC. Also they usually have one T-38 to check Kennedy emergency anding conditions and one B-557 based weather aircraft up.

Cabin and whiteroom closeout gettin' close.

Vic

[edit on 8-6-2007 by V Kaminski]




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