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Cylinder
2006-Aug-28, 12:17 PM
To start things out with bad news - Tuesday's launch has been scrubbed (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html).


NASA mission managers Monday morning decided to scrub Tuesday's scheduled launch attempt of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Preliminary preparations are also under way to roll the orbiter back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, although no final decision has been made to allow for possible changes in Tropical Storm Ernesto's track. That decision is expected by midday Tuesday.

NASA TV will cover today's 10AM EDT briefing.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-28, 01:15 PM
FNC is reporting that Atlantis is to be rolled back to the VAB. The NASA site has not provided this update and I have yet to see the same report from other news sources. Stay tuned for updates.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-28, 01:24 PM
I'm guessing the switch in Ernesto's forecast track to the east prompted this scrub.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT05/refresh/AL0506W_sm2+gif/115600W_sm.gif (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/115600.shtml?3day?large)
Image courtesy NOAA. Click for hi-res.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-28, 02:36 PM
OK - the NASA presser is on now. The key point is that rollback is being implemented and, unless something very unlikely happens today in regards to Ernesto, Atlantis is headed for the VAB.

Personnel are being sent back to their home centers.
Reactant offload has begun and should be complete by 1200 EDT.
Ordnance disconnect is scheduled next, then partial stack roll-around.
Stack should be on the road by 0900 EDT Tuesday.

It was termed very unlikely that Atlantis could remain on the pad. If Atlantis stays, late this weekend is the earliest window. If Atlantis rolls back, Sept. 7 is the very earliest possible date with the window closing Sept. 13. There is also a window in October.

Wolverine
2006-Aug-28, 02:41 PM
Bah. Dang storms.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-28, 02:56 PM
Bah. Dang storms.

It was the lightning strike that really did them in. And the hurricane. NASA gets all the breaks! :)

If the September window is not met, then they have took look at delaying Discovery's December mission while Atlantis is turned-around as the rescue shuttle. Not very good.

ToSeek
2006-Aug-28, 04:55 PM
A whole bunch of what-iffing (http://www.floridatoday.com/floridatoday/blogs/spaceteam/2006/08/whole-bunch-of-what-iffing.html)


Best case: Cuba kills Ernesto
The shuttle is not rolling back until the crawler starts to move on Tuesday afternoon. All of the preparations under way today can be undone if Tropical Storm Ernesto breaks up over Cuba today and never regains its full strength once it gets back out over water south of Florida. A severely diminished storm would let NASA leave the shuttle at the pad and reverse course, setting back up for a launch attempt perhaps by the weekend.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-29, 10:47 AM
If anyone knows the timing of this (Tuesday) morning's briefing, I'd appreciate a heads-up. Thanks. :)

Cylinder
2006-Aug-29, 10:55 AM
Good news/bad news from NOAA (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT5%2Bshtml/252030.shtml):


AT 500 AM EDT...0900Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.6 NORTH...LONGITUDE 78.9 WEST OR ABOUT 230 MILES...370 KM...SOUTHEAST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA AND ABOUT 235 MILES ...380 KM...SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF MIAMI FLORIDA.

ERNESTO IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF ERNESTO WILL BE NEAR THE FLORIDA KEYS OR SOUTHEAST FLORIDA BY THIS EVENING. HOWEVER...
SQUALLY EAINBANDS WILL BE MOVING ONSHORE THESE AREAS DURING THE AFTERNOON.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 45 MPH...75 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS...
AND IT IS POSSIBLE THAT ERNESTO COULD BE NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH WHEN IT MAKES LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN FLORIDA PENINSULA.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 85 MILES...140 KM FROM THE CENTER.

The good news is that Ernesto has significantly lost strength with its interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba. This should limit any damage sustained at KSC.

The bad news is that the forecast makes the rollback a near-certainty, since they will be above the 40 knot wind threshold as early as Wednesday AM. My guess is that Atlantis is going back to the barn.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-29, 12:27 PM
The crawler is now in position:

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/2118/atlrollbackia7.jpg
Image courtesy NASA/KSC

Image was taken from the KSC webcam (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/video.html) at 0820 EDT.

Maksutov
2006-Aug-29, 01:10 PM
Bah. Dang storms.The Sunshine State (http://www.myflorida.com/)

BTW, when's the last time that a launch from White Sands got canceled due to weather? ;)

Cylinder
2006-Aug-29, 02:08 PM
For anyone interested, NASA-TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/) is carrying live footage of the actual rollback which is set to begin any at moment.

Cylinder
2006-Aug-29, 02:45 PM
Progess on the way back to the VAB:

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/9336/atlrb2fl5.jpg
Image courtesy NASA/KSC.

This image was taken from the KSC webcam at 1030 EDT.

Nicolas
2006-Aug-29, 03:18 PM
And of course, the local newspaper had to formulate its title as to make this sound a bit like another grounding of the shuttle fleet...

Roy Batty
2006-Aug-29, 05:14 PM
For anyone interested, NASA-TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/) is carrying live footage of the actual rollback which is set to begin any at moment.
Will they be showing the speeded up edited highlights? :D

Cylinder
2006-Aug-29, 05:17 PM
Will they be showing the speeded up edited highlights? :D

Don't blink!

Cugel
2006-Aug-29, 09:46 PM
Amazingly, it seems like the shuttle is heading back to the launch platform.
(source: nasawatch.com)

Wolf-S
2006-Aug-29, 10:27 PM
Yes, indeed!


Atlantis Heading Back To Launch Pad

NASA managers have decided to roll the shuttle Atlantis back to the launch pad. It should arrive at around 8 p.m. EDT tonight. A new launch date is not yet scheduled.

The latest forecasts show Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to weaken enough to allow the shuttle to ride out the storm at the pad. (nasa.gov)

ToSeek
2006-Aug-29, 10:41 PM
Wonder how long it takes 'em to stop that thing and get it moving in the other direction.

Doodler
2006-Aug-29, 11:34 PM
Wonder how long it takes 'em to stop that thing and get it moving in the other direction.

At less than walking speed, I can't imagine too long.

Blob
2006-Aug-29, 11:52 PM
Hum,
according to Zeno it will take forever.

Roy Batty
2006-Aug-30, 12:44 AM
Brakes, reverse! :) Now where did I mislay that formula for infinite momentum & infinitesimal velocity?
Edited highlights looking more interesting already! (Thunderbird 2 never had this problem I'm sure) :D

NEOWatcher
2006-Aug-30, 12:01 PM
Brakes, reverse! :) Now where did I mislay that formula for infinite momentum & infinitesimal velocity?
Edited highlights looking more interesting already! (Thunderbird 2 never had this problem I'm sure) :D
Just turn the wheel hard, let the rear treads break loose, and do a 180...No problem.
http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/verschiedene/f050.gif
Heck of a skid mark.

Nicolas
2006-Aug-30, 12:12 PM
Can't wait for the Japanese space agency to start building nice crawlers. Drift racing while negotiating the turns towards the platform :cool:

In fact the crawler does not reverse or turn around. He stays in place for 12 hours, waiting for the earth to have turned 180 degrees. It works by the physics standards of some documentaries I have seen on the net.

---------
On a more serious note, the local newspapers were horribly late with their articles. they claimed it was driven back into its stable for a long sleep. That article was published more than half a day after hearing about the shuttle returning to the pad.

I'm curious what they'll report on tomorrow...

I do hope they don't get too much delays with this shuttle launch! They should be launching with such frequency that vortices become an issue ;).

ToSeek
2006-Aug-30, 06:33 PM
Extra Launch Day Available for Shuttle Atlantis, NASA Says (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/060830_sts115_launchwindow.html)


NASA flight controllers now have an extra day to launch the shuttle Atlantis towards the International Space Station (ISS) this month as mission managers added Sept. 8 among possible dates for the planned liftoff, agency officials said Wednesday.

“We do have the option for the eighth, I can confirm that,” NASA spokesperson Katherine Trinidad told SPACE.com.

On Tuesday, NASA launch integration manager LeRoy Cain said Atlantis’ best bet for a potential liftoff ranged between Sept 6-7, the last two days in the shuttle’s flight window. A launch pad lightning strike and subsequent checks, as well as what is now Tropical Depression Ernesto, have delayed the shuttle’s launch from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

The initial launch window for Atlantis’ STS-115 mission to deliver new solar arrays and trusses to the station stretched from Aug. 27 to Sept. 13, but NASA agreed to a Sept. 7 cutoff date to avoid conflicts with a planned ISS crew swap mission aboard a Russian Soyuz vehicle.

tofu
2006-Aug-30, 07:24 PM
Is there any danger to the orbiter - as in, something that could cause loss of the shuttle - from everything that has happened so far? They've unloaded all that propellant and now they're going to reload it. For some reason, I have a really bad feeling. I hope they check and double-check (I'm sure they will) and that we don't have another 20:20 hindsight moment like the last two catastrophic loses: "oohhh, freezing rain is bad because chunks of ice fall off? We never thought of that!" "ooohhh, frozen o-rings are bad? Oops."

I'm telling you, I have a really bad feeling. I don't normally get this way.

Nicolas
2006-Aug-30, 10:23 PM
note that every time the shuttle is kept on the pad but not launched (but an attempt undertaken), it is being fully loaded and subsequently unloaded with fuel.

So its joyride doesn't change a thing compared to staying on the pad, considering fuel cycles.

Jason Thompson
2006-Aug-31, 11:56 AM
They've unloaded all that propellant and now they're going to reload it.

They don't have a great deal of choice. The external fuel tank was not designed to be a long term storage vessel for cryogenic propellants. I imagine it is far safer in the long run to return the propellants to facilities designed to cope with them for days, weeks or months than leave them in a container that is designed to be full for a few hours at most before being emptied, especially as any failure of that container has potentially disastrous consequences.

ToSeek
2006-Aug-31, 01:50 PM
My recollection is that there's something on the order of a 48-hour rule: if it's two days or more till liftoff, then they unload the fuel.

Jason Thompson
2006-Aug-31, 02:56 PM
Do they load and unload fuel in a simulated countdown to check systems prior to launch, or do they wait for the actual countdown and just scrub if they find a problem then?

Cylinder
2006-Aug-31, 07:41 PM
Russia postpones Soyuz to extend Atlantis window (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4154214.html)


The Russian space agency on Thursday postponed by four days its launch next month of a Soyuz capsule carrying an American who is the first female space tourist to the international space station, a spokesman said.

The postponement until Sept. 18 follows repeated delays in the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis to the ISS. That launch, initially scheduled for Aug. 27, was pushed back to an unspecified date because of Tropical Storm Ernesto and a lightning strike at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Spokesman Igor Panarin confirmed the Soyuz postponement to The Associated Press, but did not comment on the reason. The news agency RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying "the decision was taken in connection with the postponement of the launch of the shuttle Atlantis."

Nicolas
2006-Aug-31, 08:34 PM
Go Mrs Ansari!

What will she be doing in space?

Blob
2006-Sep-01, 02:12 AM
Following a detailed inspection of NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, the six-member crew has a new launch date to begin the STS-115 mission to the International Space Station. The lift-off from Kennedy is set for 12:29 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Read more (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/aug/HQ_06308_Atlantis_launch_update.html)

Joff
2006-Sep-01, 03:39 AM
They've unloaded all that propellant and now they're going to reload it.

They don't have a great deal of choice. The external fuel tank was not designed to be a long term storage vessel for cryogenic propellants. I imagine it is far safer in the long run to return the propellants to facilities designed to cope with them for days, weeks or months than leave them in a container that is designed to be full for a few hours at most before being emptied, especially as any failure of that container has potentially disastrous consequences.

Loading the External tank with propellants starts at the T-6:00 hold (which would be at least 10 hours before expected launch). This launch was scrubbed at T-11:00, so the external tank has avoided that particular cycle.

They did load the hypergolic propellants for the orbiter (OMS) engines and cryogenics for the fuel cells, which I assume were taken off prior to rollback, for safety.

Cugel
2006-Sep-03, 09:18 AM
A series of images showing the travels of Atlantis

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts115/060831travels/

The first few images nicely show the balancing act of the crawler when the shuttle moves of the ramp to the launch platform. Later images show how to do a donut with a space shuttle on your back.

ToSeek
2006-Sep-03, 03:13 PM
Launch Countdown Begins Anew for Space Shuttle Atlantis (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/060903_sts115_countdown.html)


The clock is once more ticking down towards the launch of NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis as six astronauts prepare to rocket towards the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday.

The launch countdown for Atlantis’ STS-115 mission to deliver new solar arrays and trusses to the ISS began at 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) as planned, NASA officials said. The shuttle is set to launch at about 12:29 p.m. EDT (1629 GMT) on Wednesday.

“There’s a saying that says if you work hard you bring yourself good luck,” STS-115 shuttle commander Brent Jett said Saturday of the mission controllers, technicians and workers preparing Atlantis for flight. “And if that’s true, these guys deserve some good luck with the weather.”

Jett and his fellow Atlantis crewmates – shuttle pilot Chris Ferguson and mission specialists Joseph Tanner, Daniel Burbank, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steven MacLean, of the Canadian Space Agency – have trained for their 11-day orbital construction mission for more than four years and weathered delays following NASA’s 2003 Columbia accident.

Wolverine
2006-Sep-04, 10:27 PM
After being without a television since this spring, I finally scored a replacement and am now enjoying some HD programming for the first time. It just came to my attention that HDNet will be covering the launch (http://www.hd.net/pressrelease.html?2006-09-01-01.html).


HDNet’s coverage of the liftoff of NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-115 will resume on Wednesday, September 6th at 8:00 am EDT with liftoff set for 12:29pm EDT. HDNet will be the only television network to bring viewers the launch coverage in stunning high-definition television.

From today's NASA release (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html):


U.S. Air Force First Lt. Kaleb Nordgren of the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station provided an update on the prospects for launch-day weather issues. Conditions continue to look favorable, with only a 20 percent chance of a "no go" due to weather at the liftoff time of 12:29 p.m.

Can't wait. :D

Maksutov
2006-Sep-06, 07:28 AM
Go, baby, go!

Best wishes to the crew of STS-115 for a successful mission!

BTW, I wonder how "official" the 2010 shuttle retirement date is. Perhaps after 2008/2009, there might be an extension if more work needs to be done and the CEV/Orion isn't yet available.

:think:

Blob
2006-Sep-06, 10:34 AM
NASA has postponed the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis by 24 hours because of a problem with a power system aboard the ship.

The launch of Atlantis had been scheduled for 16:29 GMT, Wednesday.
The next launch opportunity is at 16:03 GMT, on Thursday, 7 September.

jt-3d
2006-Sep-06, 11:53 AM
They seem determined to never let me watch a launch live.

Wolf-S
2006-Sep-06, 12:34 PM
They seem determined to never let me watch a launch live.Yeah! I can't watch it tomorrow...

ToSeek
2006-Sep-06, 06:42 PM
Fuel Cell forces Atlantis scrub (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=4761)


NASA have been forced to scrub Wednesday's launch of Shuttle Atlantis, following a "lost phase A on the FC coolant pump motor" on Fuel Cell 1.

Engineers are working on a troubleshooting plan, although Atlantis will not be able to launch in the early September window if a replacement of the Fuel Cell is called. Live updates are being posted, along with supporting presentations that are being evaluated by NASA.

Wolverine
2006-Sep-06, 10:08 PM
Launch status briefing is currently underway on NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html).

Cylinder
2006-Sep-06, 10:13 PM
Launch status briefing is currently underway on NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html).

Thanks for the heads-up.

Wolverine
2006-Sep-06, 11:02 PM
My pleasure.

Synopsis: a Friday morning launch is still possible at this point while evaluation of the problematic fuel cell continues. The MMT will meet tomorrow afternoon to review the engineering data and reach a decision.

Wolverine
2006-Sep-08, 02:47 AM
They're pressing on (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html) without replacing the cell.


Sept. 7, 6:40 p.m. EDT
Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-115 crew is set to launch Friday morning on an assembly mission to the International Space Station. The launch time for Atlantis is targeted for 11:41 a.m.

The conditions at Kennedy Space Center for Friday's launch look promising with only a 30 percent chance that weather could ground the flight. The primary weather concerns for the morning launch are of cumulus clouds or isolated thunderstorms in the area.

NASA TV coverage of tomorrow’s launch attempt begins at 5:30 AM EDT. Complete high-definition coverage starts at 7:00 AM EDT on HDNet, including commentary and analysis provided by Charles D. Gemar, a veteran of three shuttle missions (STS-38, STS-48, and STS-62).

If weather gets in the way tomorrow, the final launch opportunity for this window will be Saturday (11:14:55 AM). A more comprehensive look at today's green light decision has been posted at Spaceflight Now (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts115/060907go/).

Mmm. HDTV launch coverage. :cool:

doma
2006-Sep-08, 07:00 AM
Wolverine> Mmm. HDTV launch coverage

On the last launch I watched the HD coverage. It was great! Lots of detail, and the launch was a beauty on HD... until about halfway through ascent. At that point I realized all they were showing was the ground view of the system climbing to orbit - which by then looked like a shaky light in the sky, even in hi res. I guess they only had ground cameras and no access to the onboard cameras or other non-HD NASA video feeds. At that point I then switched to NASA tv and they were carrying an excellent view from a camera attached to the external tank. Fuzzier, but at that point in the launch much more interesting. I hope tomorrow's HD coverage will be better, but if not, that's ok; NASA TV will be there to switch to halfway through the launch.

Nicolas
2006-Sep-08, 07:13 AM
At least they had the sound OK last time.

*bass growl*

Maksutov
2006-Sep-08, 09:09 AM
At least they had the sound OK last time.

*bass growl*Yeah! And digital too! :dance:

Nicolas
2006-Sep-08, 10:46 AM
Any sound heard through an internet broadcast tends to be rather digital in at least one stage of its life :)

Wolverine
2006-Sep-08, 12:46 PM
Sept. 8, 8:23 a.m. EDT
The launch team has reported that an ECO sensor on the hydrogen side of the external tank has failed. At this time the team is pressing forward with launch preparations. Mission Management Team members are meeting to determine if they will consider launching with three working sensors or if it will be necessary to de-tank and come back tomorrow.

Launch weather remains at 70 percent "go" for launch, with the primary concern for rain within 20 miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility. No other issues are being addressed by the launch team at this time.

Meanwhile, the launch coverage in HD sure beats the heck out of staring at a dinky NASA TV feed. :)

Damburger
2006-Sep-08, 01:22 PM
Interesting to see the inside of the shuttle on NASA TV. I hadn't realised how small it was.

Also, why is the name of the space shuttle written on the inside of the hatch? In case the astronauts forget?

Nicolas
2006-Sep-08, 01:49 PM
I guess to avoid mixing up hatches of different orbiters during maintenance?

Damburger
2006-Sep-08, 01:57 PM
I guess to avoid mixing up hatches of different orbiters during maintenance?

I was actually joking, but thinking about it - if the hatch from Atlantis can't be used on Discovery, and the hatch from Endeavor can't be used on Atlantis, I'm beginning to see why the shuttle programme cost so much.

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 02:04 PM
L minus 42 minutes

According to NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham a fuel sensor that has given NASA headaches in the past began acting up early Friday morning as space shuttle Atlantis' crew prepared for lift-off.
The agency is fixing the problem. Launch preparations are continuing...

The space shuttle is still expected to lift-off from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre at 15:40 GMT (11:40 EDT ).

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 02:24 PM
From up here i can see that weather conditions are green for launch

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 02:36 PM
Asset checklist complete

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 02:43 PM
T minus 20 minutes and counting...

Trantor
2006-Sep-08, 02:50 PM
One hour to go! I got a long climb up to the top of one of my company's large evaporation towers, where me and a couple of others are going to see the launch. They better go this time. It's a long climb(about 200 ft) and it's hot here in Florida.

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 02:52 PM
T minus 9 minutes and holding

jt-3d
2006-Sep-08, 03:00 PM
And scrubbed.

Damburger
2006-Sep-08, 03:01 PM
Looks like its off for today.

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 03:01 PM
Todays launch has been scrubbed.

Trebuchet
2006-Sep-08, 03:01 PM
CNN says it's been scrubbed for today, but may go tomorrow.

Blob
2006-Sep-08, 03:04 PM
Tomorrow's launch time is 15:15 GMT (11:15 a.m. EDT).

Wolverine
2006-Sep-08, 03:04 PM
Yep. Bummer.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-08, 03:06 PM
No-Go due to ECO sensor issue. They will try again tommorow.

jt-3d
2006-Sep-08, 03:13 PM
I just logged on the nasa tv and the first thing I heard was a controller asking if they were going with a 24hour hold. What great timing.

Trantor
2006-Sep-08, 03:24 PM
Oh well, at least they scubbed it before I climbed up the tower. I wonder what the problem was this time? Perfectly clear weather today.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-08, 03:34 PM
Oh well, at least they scubbed it before I climbed up the tower. I wonder what the problem was this time? Perfectly clear weather today.

An ECO sensor malfunction.


Sept. 8, 10:54 a.m. EDT

The launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis has been scrubbed until Saturday due to a problem with one of the vehicle's fuel system sensors. The new launch time is targeted for 11:14 a.m. EDT.

Earlier in today's countdown, launch controllers detected a problem with one of the four ECO sensors inside the hydrogen portion the space shuttle's orange external tank. The sensors monitor hydrogen levels inside of the tank and trigger the orbiter's engines to shutdown when gas levels drop below a specified level.

NASA Launch Director Mike Leinbach explained the issue to the crew adding that the launch weather for Saturday looks good and controllers will just have watch to see how the shuttle responds once the tank is again fueled for flight.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Sep-08, 04:17 PM
ECO sensors again

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 01:54 PM
L minus 25 minutes

Countdown activities remain on track for launch at 15:15 GMT.

Moose
2006-Sep-09, 01:57 PM
Looks good so far. :)

Arneb
2006-Sep-09, 02:04 PM
9:45 a.m. - The astronauts flying in the Shuttle Training Aircraft are heading out to check the status of a cloud to our west which could potentially become an issue with our launch weather criteria.

Hmmm, :think:

tribe30
2006-Sep-09, 02:08 PM
The area of clouds aren't a problem right now, just thin clouds.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 02:08 PM
7 minutes left of the `T - 20min and holding for 10min`.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 02:15 PM
T - 20min and counting

The Orbiter Closeout Crew has left the launch pad area.
Area clear for launch.

Launch remains scheduled for 15:15 GMT.

tribe30
2006-Sep-09, 02:15 PM
T - 20 & counting

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 02:27 PM
T Minus 9 and holding

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 02:47 PM
25 minutes remaining in the T minus 9 hold.

Weather is still green for launch

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 02:55 PM
Moron, Spain is to be the prime TAL site, followed by Istres, France.

Thomas(believer)
2006-Sep-09, 03:01 PM
Moron, Spain is to be the prime TAL site, followed by Istres, France.
What is a TAL site?

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:10 PM
If something goes wrong then they can land there.

Countdown will resume in one minute

Moose
2006-Sep-09, 03:11 PM
I'm not sure what the T stands for, but the rest of it is Abort Landing site.

Thomas(believer)
2006-Sep-09, 03:11 PM
If something goes wrong then they can land there.

Thanks.

Roy Batty
2006-Sep-09, 03:11 PM
TAL: Transoceanic Abort Landing. What Blob said :)
Off hold, T-9 minutes & counting.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:16 PM
T minus 5 minutes

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:18 PM
T-minus 3 minutes.
Orbiter steering check is now complete; the main engine nozzles are in their start positions.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:20 PM
We have launch.

The Atlantis space shuttle has left the launch pad.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:25 PM
Solid rocket booster separation.

Negative return to KSC

Wolverine
2006-Sep-09, 03:29 PM
Pretty launch.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:30 PM
Main engine cut off.
Separation of main external tank

Roy Batty
2006-Sep-09, 03:38 PM
Pretty launch.
Nice, now my new desktop! you take that yourself?

Wolverine
2006-Sep-09, 03:43 PM
Nice, now my new desktop! you take that yourself?

Yes, thanks to the HDTV coverage. :)

I didn't have a way of getting a screen capture, so got the camera out instead. It really was fantastic in high-def... I'm officially spoiled now.

There should be some excellent launch photos posted by the end of the day in the KSC media archive (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=62).

Arneb
2006-Sep-09, 03:45 PM
Orbit! Atlantis flying over Greece.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 03:56 PM
L plus 35 minutes.

All systems nominal.

Atlantis is on course to dock with the international space station on Monday at 12:45 GMT

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 04:05 PM
Orbital manoeuvre burn complete.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Sep-09, 04:17 PM
This is kind of the power mission, the ISS has been low on energy for years now they finally get those giant solar panels. The arrays are the enormous "wings" that make up the largest visible part of the Space-station shown in the fancy graphics presentations and NASA videos of how the ISS was 'supposed' to be.

Shuttle is going to deliver and install the P3/P4 truss this includes a set of giant solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics. The arrays eventually will double the station's power capability.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-09, 04:35 PM
The post-launch breifing is coming up next on NASA-TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/) for those interested.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-09, 05:25 PM
Briefing Notes:

1. Flawless countdown and launch from a vehicle perspective.

2. Early post-launch cloud obstructions should not have obscured camera coverage.

3. Earliest indication of debris shedding came at 4:07 post-launch, well into the ascent phase and past the critical debris strike window. As the orbiter "climbs the hill" the air becomes less dense and the shedding debris is not able to build a significant difference in speed in relation to the orbiter - thus minimizing the force imparted by any potential impact. It is unknown at this time if the debris struck Atlantis. "Aerodynamic Sensible Transport Time" 4PM EDT briefing will provide definitive details.

4. Flash Evaporator System (FES) needed to be cycled mid-flight due to rainwater collecting in FES ducting. Should not pose any issues on orbit.

5. STS-115 does not have any confliction with Soyuz - full mission, full-extension contingency.

6. Failed ECO sensor took 4-1/2 hours after detanking to go dry - it should have gone dry immediately. ECO sensor went wet and complied with test commands when re-tanked. APU performed nominally.

7. Hubble Servicing Mission Question - When we go to Hubble, we will have no ISS platform support for orbiter inspection. Ice frost ramps would need to be replaced before Hubble flight. Only one more mission will probably be flown with current ramp. We have clearly been trying to find a way to fix Hubble rather than finding a way to can it.

8. Return to Night Missions: May have night-time launch windows in next mission but with the new ice frost ramps comes a new daytime photography requirement until performance is understood. [Someone should confirm this - I hope I did not misunderstand Griffin]

9. Joke: ECO sensors = launch prevention devices

10. Need 4-1/2 launches per year to meet ISS requirements.

11. Micheal Griffin traveling to China for a "get acquainted" meeting. This is the first visit for a NASA administrator.

12. Rescue shuttle contingency will remain for rest of program as it stands.

13. Post-launch assessment briefing at 4PM EDT.

Maksutov
2006-Sep-09, 05:29 PM
Great launch.

Hopefully no significant damage to the TPS (per the "fly-around" inspection).

Anyone have information on how much brighter the ISS will appear from Earth once those additional solar panels are installed and deployed?

Roy Batty
2006-Sep-09, 05:30 PM
Good summary Cylinder! caught over 90% of it on NASA TV.
Really interested about the Hubble stuff, he said decisions to be made by November?

Cylinder
2006-Sep-09, 05:58 PM
MCC just called a preliminary debris assessment to Atlantis.

Foam from the outboard LOX feed line struck the underside of Atlantis on its starboard side. Good imagery of strike showed no secondary damage to orbiter. The strike occurred at 4:05 - well outside the Aerodynamic Critical Transport Time.

Wolverine
2006-Sep-09, 06:02 PM
Really interested about the Hubble stuff, he said decisions to be made by November?

Same here.

To the best of my knowledge, an administrative decision on a Hubble servicing mission is contingent upon a comprehensive assessment of STS-121 and STS-115 data by the engineering staff and mission management. I'm not sure what sort of timeframe will be required, but it sure would be nice to hear something before year's end. (I caught this story (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=4758) the other day, but can't gauge the accuracy of its content.)

More eye candy:

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/thumbnails/06pd2116-t.jpg (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/detail.cfm?mediaid=30030)
(click)

Roy Batty
2006-Sep-09, 08:13 PM
And Atlantis, we are looking good for a smooth transition from the STS-115 Launch thread to the EVA one (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=46142) :)

Cylinder
2006-Sep-09, 08:30 PM
STS-115 Ascent Imagery Quick-Look Briefing coming up next on NASA-TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/) for those interested.

jt-3d
2006-Sep-09, 08:37 PM
Ya'll can thank me that they launched today. Had I decided to get up and watch it, it would have been scrubbed again. I make accomodations to watch, twice, and they scrub. I gamble on another scrub so I can rest up before going to work and they go.
Not everybody works 9-5/M-F, NASA. They have once again sucessfully kept me from seeing a launch live. Bah, go play with your rockets then, I won't be watching.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-09, 09:09 PM
Briefing notes:

Short briefing - very little to tell. No significant debris event during aerodynamically sensitive time - from launch to 2:13 post-launch (SRB separation). This translates to around 200,000 ft. "Pop-off velocity" (the force at which the foam peels away from the ET) is ~ 15 feet per second. Transport velocity during AST can be up to hundreds of fps.

There were three debris events:

4:05 - Spray of potential foam debris with multiple potential strikes to orbiter near starboard underside near wheel wells. Atlantis was near 300,000 feet.

5:28 - Spray of debris outboard of LOX feed line. Spray traveled outboard of Atlantis with no evidence of impact.

8:44 - Single piece of ice near umbilical area. Ice traveled forward along fuselage and impacted Atlantis fuselage near nose gear and umbilical well. This impact was after ET separation.

No mass estimates for any event at this point. No event of any remote consequence. "Nothing to see here, folks."

A data fusion exercise will be conducted over the few days to correlate RADAR, photo and sensor debris data to see how the various methods rate in relation to one-another.

External tank performance improvements tend to point toward December night launch possibility. The daylight flight requirement in effect has been dropped.

Blob
2006-Sep-09, 09:56 PM
TLE Data

STS-115
1 29391U 06036A 06252.66299270 .00002495 11506-4 69765-5 0 14
2 29391 051.6324 112.4071 0042079 185.7416 352.7333 16.06426244 08

Roy Batty
2006-Sep-09, 10:42 PM
Ya'll can thank me that they launched today. Had I decided to get up and watch it, it would have been scrubbed again. I make accomodations to watch, twice, and they scrub. I gamble on another scrub so I can rest up before going to work and they go.
Not everybody works 9-5/M-F, NASA. They have once again sucessfully kept me from seeing a launch live. Bah, go play with your rockets then, I won't be watching.
Should of been wearing your fake Groucho (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2412026&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312) disguise! :D

Edited for accuracy & link.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-10, 09:50 PM
I caught the very tail end of today' NASA STS-115 breifing. Here are some notes:

Flight engineers have a "high confidence" in Atlantis' Thermal Protection System. After an exhaustive review, no data collected suggests any debris events during the aerodynamicly critical window. The high-res imagery is being evaluated and they will know by Flight Day 4 if any focused inspections will be required. To this point, no anomolies have been found.

Wolverine
2006-Sep-10, 11:57 PM
Fantastic launch images (click):

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/thumbnails/06pd2129-t.jpg (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/detail.cfm?mediaid=30043)

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/thumbnails/06pd2131-t.jpg (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/detail.cfm?mediaid=30045)

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/thumbnails/06pd2130-t.jpg (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/detail.cfm?mediaid=30044)

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images/thumbnails/06pd2127-t.jpg (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/detail.cfm?mediaid=30041)

:cool:

Nicolas
2006-Sep-11, 12:53 PM
The launch was on continuous repeat video projection at the central meeting point here at ESA. We've got a very competitive mind, but we're not blind for the achievements of others.

And they sure have some beautiful launch photos :). And impressive mach cones! I hope the construction of the ISS goes smooth from now on, and things like the Columbus lab actually will get to work!

What's the current plan regarding how far the ISS will be finished in the end?

Blob
2006-Sep-11, 07:06 PM
The space shuttle Atlantis has successfully docked with the international space station.

ToSeek
2006-Sep-13, 03:02 PM
Even NASA celebrated my birthday. :D

Nicolas
2006-Sep-13, 05:22 PM
Pffff I share my birthday with Orville Wright. :cool:

(As well as John Deacon, Ian Gillan, Lane Staley, Ginger Baker, Jonathan Frakes and Bill Clinton. That implies I'll have a beautiful aerospace engineering career, a successful but turbulent rock star career, a cheesy but popular scifi series, and an apprentice secretary)

Happy birthday, ToSeek!