View Full Version : STS-128 Launch and Delays

2009-Mar-16, 03:06 AM
I'm going to be travelling around Canada and the USA in late July and August. One of the things on my to do list is to be at the launch of STS-128 on 6 August of this year. I'll only have a small window of opportunity to see the launch if it doesn't actually launch on the target date.

So ... I'm trying to get an idea of what sort of delays I'm in for, as I'm sure there will be some.

Does anyone know of somewhere I can find all the targeted and actual launch dates for shuttle flights for the last few years? I'm hoping to work out a ballpark time of depays and then plan as long as I might need to be in Florida to get a chance at seeing the launch for STS-128. I really don't want to miss seeing this, but can't afford to spend too much time in the area.

2009-Mar-16, 03:56 AM
CBS News Space Place (http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/current.html) (under CBS Quick Links) has a news archive for each recent mission. There might be enough there to reconstruct the slips.

For instance, a slippery one, sliding 2 months, STS-122 (http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/122/STS-122_Archive.html):

02/07/08: Shuttle Atlantis rockets into space (UPDATED at 5:25 p.m. with quotes from post-launch news conference; initial debris report)
02/01/08: NASA managers opt to press ahead for 02/7 launch pending successful flex hose retraction, final engineering analysis
01/11/08: Russian Progress launch moved up; Atlantis retargeted for Feb. 7; station spacewalk on tap
01/03/08: Shuttle launch no earlier than Jan. 24 as NASA pursues parallel ECO testing/hardware replacement
12/13/07: Launch no earlier than Jan. 10; station spacewalk, tanking test on tap Dec. 18
12/09/07: Launch delayed to January; station crew told to plan for possible spacewalk to inspect stalled rotary joint
12/07/07: NASA tentatively resets shuttle launch for Sunday pending final analysis
12/06/07: Launch delayed at least 48 hours; engineers trying to develop rationale to fly as is
12/06/07: Shuttle launch scrubbed
12/06/07: Engine cutoff sensor issue
12/06/07: Shuttle Atlantis fueled for launch
12/03/07: Atlantis crew flies to KSC; countdown begins
11/30/07: Atlantis cleared for Dec. 6 launch

2009-Mar-16, 08:41 AM
So ... I'm trying to get an idea of what sort of delays I'm in for, as I'm sure there will be some.

Oh, tough decision time.. at least you'll have a shot at seeing a launch live, which is more than many here can hope for :)

It's difficult to put an average delay time on technical issues. It does seem that NASA is a lot more willing to delay launches for weeks over what seem to be relatively minor technical issues, than before Columbia. (And rightfully so, even if at times very frustrating.)

You may get something useful by looking at average weather-related delays for launches during that particular season. I would expect that for that cause you will probably find it to be up to two or three days (as I wildly speculate from memory), occasionally more if they have to recycle all the way back to step 1 (due to fuel cell issues IIRC), or if extreme weather damages the pad or vehicle.

2009-Mar-16, 11:06 AM
If I keep the dates as they are, I might get there just in time for the STS-125 launch.

It should be a nice summers day for STS-128. Still ... there's little else I'm going to Florida for. In fact .. there's nothing else I'm going there for (suggestions welcome). So, I'm thinking a max of 5 days there .. waiting for a launch. Going all that way from Australia to USA to NOT see a launch will be ... disappointing.

2009-Mar-16, 03:04 PM
Well, you can always visit Melbourne...... Florida!:)

If you like to fish, snorkle, SCUBA or swim, then there's plenty to do on the east coast. If you like theme parks then Orlando has all you could possibly want, only an hour or so from KSC. And the KSC tour is fun by itself, especially around a launch.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/&ei=3mm-SeP_K4L6yAW1kvyMBg&sig2=geYzpbc-fCmA1Z8HY5HmdA&usg=AFQjCNGIXlBqmjvo8sl3YWft16XZAFBkIQ)
Orlando Travel & Visitors Bureau - Orlando Florida Vacation (http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=11&q=http://www.orlandoinfo.com/&ei=C2q-SdaVJof-yAXg8YSRBg&sig2=eFv9J-WfKIpCPBAoQ35Z_Q&usg=AFQjCNHen6VypjZPVfGe1Vx2X2afmukn7w)

2009-Mar-16, 09:59 PM
Yeah, I was going to look into the SCUBA diving over that side of the country. Theme parks, no.

I think slang has the right idea. Check out the delays due to weather and use that as a ballpark. Technical delays are inestimatable.

And thanks 01101001 for the CBS link. It's a slow process but I'm getting there.

2009-Jul-02, 06:11 AM
Damn ... they've pushed the launch date til the 18th. I'll already be back in Australia.

I .. am .. gutted.