David Kirkpatrick

January 28, 2010

Oh, that crazy bunch at NASA

Filed under: et.al., Science — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:44 pm

A little Space Shuttle humor …

The attachment point on the Space Shuttle’s 747 transport.

(Hat tip: FlyingPhotog)

March 6, 2009

Space shuttle Discovery to launch March 11

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:42 am

A NASA release fresh from the inbox:

NASA Gives ‘Go’ for Space Shuttle Launch on March 11

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA managers completed a review Friday of space shuttle Discovery’s readiness for flight and selected the official launch date for the STS-119 mission. Commander Lee Archambault and his six crewmates are now scheduled to lift off to the International Space Station at 9:20 p.m. EDT on March 11.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

Discovery’s launch date was announced following Friday’s Flight Readiness Review. During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle’s equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight.

The review included a formal presentation of the shuttle’s flow control valve work, initiated after NASA identified damage to a valve on shuttle Endeavour during its November 2008 flight. Using a detailed inspections, there are three valves that have been cleared of crack indications now installed in Discovery to support the STS-119 mission.

The three flow control valves, one for each space shuttle main engine, channel gaseous hydrogen from the engines through the main propulsion system and back to the external fuel tank. This flow regulation maintains the tank’s structural integrity and delivers liquid hydrogen to the engines at the correct pressure.

Discovery’s STS-119 flight will deliver the space station’s fourth and final set of solar array wings, completing the station’s truss, or backbone. The arrays will provide the electricity to fully power science experiments and support the station’s expanded crew of six in May. The 14-day mission will feature four spacewalks to help install the S6 truss segment to the starboard, or right, side of the station and the deployment of its solar arrays. The flight also will replace a failed unit for a system that converts urine to potable water.

Archambault will be joined on STS-119 by Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold, John Phillips and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will replace space station crew member Sandra Magnus, who has been aboard the station for more than four months. He will return to Earth during the next station shuttle mission, STS-127, targeted to launch in June 2009.

Former science teachers Acaba and Arnold are now fully-trained NASA astronauts. They will make their first journey to orbit on the mission and step outside the station to conduct critical spacewalking tasks.

For more information about the upcoming shuttle flights, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: NASA
   

Web Site:  http://www.nasa.gov/

February 19, 2009

NASA message for teachers and students

Filed under: Media, Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:47 pm

A release from a little while ago:

NASA Teachers Turned Astronauts Have Messages For Educators and Students

HOUSTON, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA astronauts and educators Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold, members of the next space shuttle crew, have special announcements for teachers and students.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

The messages from Acaba and Arnold, both former middle and high school science teachers, urge students and educators to take advantage of teaching materials on NASA’s Web site as a compliment to their mission. Acaba’s video also is available in Spanish.

The brief messages will air on NASA Television’s video file beginning Friday, Feb. 20.

The 14-day STS-119 shuttle mission will install a final set of solar arrays on the International Space Station and includes four spacewalks. Acaba and Arnold will conduct two and three spacewalks, respectively. The educational materials focus on NASA’s spacesuits.

To view the educational materials and the astronauts’ messages on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/education/spacesuits

  For NASA TV downlink information and streaming video, visit:

  http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: NASA
   

Web Site:  http://www.nasa.gov/

February 3, 2009

Shuttle launch no earlier than February 19

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:40 pm

A release from NASA:

Shuttle Discovery Launch now no Earlier than Feb. 19

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — During a review of space shuttle Discovery’s readiness for flight, NASA managers decided Tuesday to plan a launch no earlier than Feb. 19. The new planning date is pending additional analysis and particle impact testing associated with a flow control valve in the shuttle’s main engines.

Discovery’s STS-119 mission to the International Space Station originally had been targeted for Feb. 12.

The valve is one of three that channels gaseous hydrogen from the engines to the external fuel tank. One of these valves in shuttle Endeavour was found to be damaged after its mission in November. As a precaution, Discovery’s valves were removed, inspected and reinstalled.

The Space Shuttle Program will convene a meeting on Feb. 10 to assess the analysis. On Feb. 12, NASA managers and contractors will finalize the flight readiness review, which began Tuesday, to address the flow control valve issue and to select an official launch date.

The 14-day mission will deliver the station’s fourth and final set of solar arrays, completing the orbiting laboratory’s truss, or backbone. The arrays will provide the electricity to fully power science experiments and support the station’s expanded crew of six in May. Altogether, the station’s 240-foot-long arrays can generate as much as 120 kilowatts of usable electricity — enough to provide about forty-two 2,800-square-foot homes with power.

Discovery also will carry a replacement distillation assembly for the station’s new water recycling system. The unit is part of the Urine Processing Assembly that removes impurities from urine in an early stage of the recycling process. The Water Recovery System was delivered and installed during the STS-126 mission in November, but the unit failed after Endeavour’s departure.

Joining Archambault on STS-119 will be Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, Richard Arnold, John Phillips, Steve Swanson and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will replace Sandra Magnus aboard the station. She will return home with the Discovery crew after three months in space.

Former science teachers Acaba and Arnold are now fully-trained NASA astronauts. They will make their first journey to orbit on the mission and step outside the station to conduct critical spacewalking tasks.

STS-119 will be Discovery’s 36th mission and the 28th shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.

For more information about the STS-119 mission, including images and interviews, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

Source: NASA
   

Web Site:  http://www.nasa.gov/
http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

November 30, 2008

Endeavour lands safely

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:30 pm

The release:

NASA’s Shuttle Endeavour Glides Home After Successful Mission

EDWARDS, Calif., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Space shuttle Endeavour and its crew landed at 1:25 p.m. PST Sunday at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing a 16-day journey of more than 6.6 million miles.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO )

The STS-126 mission featured important repair work and prepared the International Space Station to house six crew members on long-duration missions beginning next year. The new station equipment includes a water recovery system, additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and an exercise device. During four spacewalks, the crew serviced the station’s two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun, and installed new hardware that will support future assembly missions.

Chris Ferguson commanded the flight and was joined by Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. Magnus remained aboard the station, replacing Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, who returned to Earth on Endeavour after more than five months on the station.

Weather concerns prevented the crew from returning to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the primary end-of-mission landing site. In 7-10 days, Endeavour will be transported approximately 2,500 miles from California to Florida on the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet. Once at Kennedy, Endeavour will be separated from the aircraft to begin immediate processing for its next flight, targeted for May 2009.

STS-126 was the 124th space shuttle mission, the 22nd flight for Endeavour and the 27th shuttle visit to the station.

With Endeavour and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the launch of STS-119, targeted for Feb. 12, 2009. Discovery will deliver the final pair of U.S. solar arrays, which will be installed on the starboard end of the station’s truss. The truss serves as the backbone support for external equipment and spare components.

Lee Archambault will command the 14-day flight that will include four planned spacewalks. Joining him will be Pilot Tony Antonelli, Mission Specialists John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will replace Magnus on the station as a flight engineer.

For more about the STS-126 mission and the upcoming STS-119 mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

  For more about the International Space Station, visit:

                       http://www.nasa.gov/station

Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: NASA
   

Web site:  http://www.nasa.gov/
http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
http://www.nasa.gov/station

November 28, 2008

Endeavour set for Sunday landing

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:34 pm

The release from a few minutes ago:

Space Shuttle Endeavour Set to Land Sunday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The space shuttle Endeavour crew is expected to complete its mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:19 p.m. EST on Sunday, Nov. 30. This will conclude a 16-day flight, 11 of which were spent docked to the station.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO )

The STS-126 mission began Nov. 14 and prepared the space station to house six crew members for long-duration missions. The new station cargo includes a water recovery system, additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and a resistance exercise device. During four spacewalks, the crew serviced the station’s two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun, and installed new equipment in support of future assembly missions. The flight also delivered station resident Sandra Magnus to the outpost. Greg Chamitoff will return to Earth aboard Endeavour after spending more than five months aboard the complex.

The entry flight control team in Mission Control, Houston, will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Endeavour to return to Earth. Sunday landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 1:19 p.m. and 2:54 p.m.  The secondary landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., will be activated Sunday for consideration as well. The opportunities at Edwards are 4:24 p.m. and 5:59 p.m.

Approximately two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a media briefing to discuss the mission. The participants will be:

  — Michael Griffin, NASA administrator
  — Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations
  — Mike Leinbach, NASA space shuttle launch director

After touchdown in Florida, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. The STS-126 crew is expected to hold a news conference at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday.  Both news events will be broadcast live on NASA Television.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

  For the latest information about the STS-126 mission, visit:

  http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

  For more on the International Space Station, visit:

  http://www.nasa.gov/station

Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: NASA
   

Web site:  http://www.nasa.gov/

October 30, 2008

News from NASA — the 11/14 launch is a go

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:00 pm

A release from this late afternoon:

NASA Gives ‘Go’ for Space Shuttle Launch on Nov. 14

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA managers completed a review Thursday of space shuttle Endeavour’s readiness for flight and selected the official launch date for the STS-126 mission. Commander Chris Ferguson and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off to the International Space Station at 7:55 p.m. EST on Nov. 14.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

Endeavour’s STS-126 flight will feature important repair work to the station and prepare it for housing six crew members during long-duration missions. The primary focus of the 15-day flight and its four planned spacewalks is to service the station’s two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun. Endeavour will carry about 32,000 pounds to orbit, including supplies and equipment necessary to double the crew size from three to six members in spring 2009. The new station cargo includes additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and a resistance exercise device.

Endeavour’s launch date was announced after the conclusion of Thursday’s Flight Readiness Review. During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle’s equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight.

Ferguson will be joined on STS-126 by Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Donald Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. Magnus will replace space station crew member Greg Chamitoff, who has been aboard the station for more than five months. She will return to Earth during the next shuttle mission, STS-119, targeted to launch in February 2009.

For more information about the upcoming shuttle flights, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: NASA

Web Site:  http://www.nasa.gov/

Update 11/14 — The shuttle is off. Godspeed.

October 22, 2008

Space shuttle Endeavour prepping for November launch

Filed under: et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:18 pm

The release:

NASA’s Shuttle Endeavour Moves to Launch Pad, Practice Liftoff Set

Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to move from Launch Pad 39B to Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., as early as 8 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, as preparations for the STS-126 mission move forward. Endeavour is targeted to lift off Nov. 14 to the International Space Station.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO )

Early Thursday morning, NASA managers will decide when to move the shuttle based on the progress of removing the payload canister from the pad following installation into the pad’s changeout room.

The payload was delivered to Pad A early Wednesday morning. Endeavour had been scheduled to move Saturday, Oct. 25, but possibly severe weather now is forecast for the area.

The latest information about the rollaround will be available by calling 321-867-2525.

NASA Television will provide live video of Endeavour’s rollaround beginning at 8 a.m. Video highlights of the rollout will air on the NASA TV Video File.

Reporters with Kennedy credentials for this event are invited to a photo opportunity of the move and interview availability with Endeavour Flow Director Ken Tenbusch at 1:30 p.m. For the photo opportunity, media need to be at Kennedy’s News Center by 7 a.m. for transportation to the viewing site. For the Tenbusch interview, media need to be at the News Center at 12:30 p.m. for transportation to the launch pad.

The move will take approximately seven hours. After reaching its launch pad, Endeavour will await its next major milestone. A launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, is scheduled to take place at Kennedy from Oct. 27 to 29.

During Endeavour’s 15-day mission, the shuttle’s seven crew members will deliver supplies and equipment necessary to double the station crew size from three to six members and during four spacewalks, service the station’s two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun. The shuttle also will deliver Expedition 18 crew member Sandra Magnus and return Expedition 17 flight engineer Greg Chamitoff, who has been aboard the station for more than five months.

Chris Ferguson will command Endeavour. Eric Boe is the pilot. Mission specialists are Steve Bowen, Shane Kimbrough, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Donald Pettit and Magnus.

The Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

The following media events are associated with the test. All times are Eastern.

– Oct. 26: STS-126 crew arrival. The crew will arrive between 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Shuttle Landing Facility and make a statement. Arrival will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

– Oct. 28: STS-126 crew media availability. The astronauts will take questions from reporters at Launch Pad 39A at 8:30 a.m. The session will be carried live on NASA TV.

– Oct. 29: STS-126 crew walkout photo opportunity. The astronauts will depart from the Operations and Checkout Building at 7:45 a.m. in their flight entry suits in preparation for the countdown demonstration test at the launch pad. The walkout will not be broadcast live but will be part of the NASA TV Video File.

Schedule updates are available by calling 321-867-2525.

To attend crew arrival, reporters must pick up badges before 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at the Kennedy Badging Facility on State Road 405. For information about covering these events, including proper attire and meeting locations, credentialed media should visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/media.html

Video b-roll of the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test will be available on the NASA TV Video File. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

  For more information about the STS-126 mission and crew, visit:

  http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

  /PRNewswire-USNewswire – Oct. 22/

Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO
AP Archive:  http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: NASA
   
Web Site:  http://www.nasa.gov/

March 20, 2008

Joyride in space, anyone?

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:29 am

Looks like the doors are open and the keys are in the ignition. Let’s go for a a spin …
(link above goes to the full-sized image)

iss016e032312.jpg

(Hat tip — Bad Astronomy)