NASA’s Return to Flight with the launch of Discovery July 13th!
Discovery’s seven-member Return to Flight crew will fly to the International Space Station primarily to test and evaluate new safety procedures.
Yes, its great to see that they are finally making it back to space. I am excited to watch the launch from my apartment. All the launches before the disaster in 2003 i watched from my home in Ft. Lauderdale and on a clear day you could see the shuttle. Now that my apartment is only about 25 miles away from the launch site i get a much better view. I will take some pics if its a clear day outside.
My prayer’s go out to everyone involved with this launch
Thanks for posting Rich. I was just listening to the details on the radio and got goose bumps immediately. If you recall STS-107 went down in Feb 2003, right in the middle of build season for us. The impact resonated throughout the world and the FIRST community in profound ways. Even in the immediate aftermath, I was astounded and inspired by everyone’s resolve (including the families of the fallen) to solve the problems and continue forward.
Let’s all celebrate the return to flight with great enthusiasm, delight in the fact that this important work continues, and take a moment to remember the brave souls aboard STS-107: Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Commander Rick Husband, Mission Specialists Laurel Clark and David Brown, Pilot Willie McCool, Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon and Payload Commander Michael Anderson.
Good Luck and Godspeed to the Crew of STS-114 for a successful return to flight.
yes it’s wonderful to live just a few miles from the launchsite. seeing as i live like 12 miles from the cape i get a nice view. i just hope everything happens and goes as planned. no one could blame me for being skepticle after all of the delays…
dont take that as saying its not gonna fly…im just absolutely hoping it does…
Each one of the Shuttles built are engineering feats, reusuable spacecraft capable of taking large payloads as well as large (by comparison) crews into space. I just find it amazing that they are bringing it back into space.
Anyway I was reading up on the improvements they have made to the shuttle and its launching systems. I thought it was pretty cool, heres a list:
-A new Foam Clad Fuel Tank, the original tank damaged Columbia
-Sensors on the Wings to Detect Debris Impact during flight
-A new attachment to the Payloadbay arm, that will scan for more damage to the shuttle “skin” it uses Lasers and High Resolution Camera to scan for it, pretty nifty.
-Also they are testing fabric blankets, chemical washes, and mechanical braces. All 3 of those are going to be used to make repairs done while in space easier and better.
-A digital camera was also installed on the belly of the shuttle to take images while of the craft during lift off. (correct me if i’m wrong, i think it used to have a standard 35mm camera.)(no i don’t know how i know that)
i’m sure there are many more upgrades, many of them safety related. I think this may be one of the safest launches of all time, it’s just been awhile since one has happened.
If the Columbia was STS 107, why is this STS 114? It appears as if there have been missions labeled STS 108 through STS 113, but they occured before the Columbia accident. Are the mission numbers assigned per shuttle?
Ok i was a bit confused also, it appears that the mission labeling is not by Craft or in Numerical Order. Its on the Mission Goal.
Heres an Example: STS 1 to STS 4- these were the first flights that Columbia took back in 1979 when it was first delievered to NASA, the title of these missions was the Orbital Flight Test Program
STS 108-109 were missions to upgrade Hubble
STS 110-121 are missions to add on secondary capsules to the International Space Station to finish that before the Space Shuttles are retired in 2010. Missions 110-113 are already completed
Old space shuttles make excellent museum pieces. There is one shuttle (Discovery, I believe) in the new Air and Space center just outside of Washington, DC. I’m sure many museums would build a wing around that.
2010!?! That is only 5 (or less) years away! Will we have a capable replacement by then or are we taking a few years off from the space program? Also, what do they plan to do with the shuttles?[/quote]
yes… thats very sad. when i realized that was 5 years away i freaked out… im very attached to the orbiters. i’ve grown up with them… and i guess i thought they’d last forever. but that is not the case! NASA is creating new launch vehicles that will be safer and more efficient than the Space Shuttle today. there WILL be a replacement, and the 2010 retirement date is still a little fuzzy. it has been said that NASA will wait until we for sure have a replacement vehicle before the Orbiters are truly retired. i wish i could tell you all more… but you’ll just have to be patient and see how the next few years play out. we are NOT taking a few years off of the space program… we just got a new Exploration Mission: to the Moon, Mars, & beyond. there is plenty for NASA civil servants and contractors to do in the meantime. Remember… the Space Program is not just about launching Space Shuttles… there are our Martian rovers Spirit and Opportunity, there are surveyors of different planets around our solar system… there is even a lot that NASA does here on Earth… like helping out with the environment. and like Daniel said… Space Shuttles will make excellent museum specimens once they are retired.
There are only five Orbiters in the Space Shuttle fleet; none have been retired, and two [strike]were lost[/strike] are no longer in service. Discovery is sitting on the pad right now. Atlantis is prepped for launch and sitting on the pad as well… it will be the rescue vehile if needed. last time i checked, Endeavor is sitting in the middle of a lot scaffolding… Challenger and Columbia are gone… so that leaves… Enterprise? Yeah… my brother (Crazybear) works for Camp KSC (formerly known as Space Camp) and he has confirmed that Enterprise is in a hanger in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. The Museum is in D.C., but its so big that some of it is actually somewhere else in Virginia… thats where Enterprise is. There were 3 “Test Articles” used before the actual Orbiter fleet was created (remember… each Orbiter costs $1 Billion each)… they were Pathfinder, Explorer, and Enterprise. They were buit as 1:1 scale to the actual Orbiters, and were used to test certain aspects… Pathfinder tested the hardware, Explorer tested equipment, and Enterprise tested the gliding system, and is the closest replica to the actual Space Shuttle Orbiters.
They got it repaired, and we should be Go for launch. it wasnt that big of the deal… the Orbiters can handle a bit more than that. its just in the grey areas that you have to be reaaaly careful.
Personally, i’m absolutely extatic about Launch. Tomorrow i’ll be working as an escort for some of the Crew’s Extended Families. i hope it launches… but if its not ready… i dont want to push it. a whooole lot of people are gonna be dissapointed if it doesnt launch tomorrow though. KSC is expecting over25,000 visitors (rumoured around 40,000!!), and i heard that over 1 MILLION people are expected to visit Central Florida from all over the globe to visit. thats a heck of a lot of people…
i just pray that whatever happens, launch or no launch, everything goes smoothly and no one gets hurt. its all about safety now… and the entire world is putting a lot of pressure on everyone involved in the Program… i’m looking forward to a spectacular launch tomorrow ar 3:51pm, and thunderous applause!
(sorry this post is so long… i’m a geek and extremely excited… and I’m an intern out at NASA KSC for the summer… so i’ve been educated. ;))
I am excited to see the return to flight for the shuttles tomorrow. I hope I can pull my self away from my desk to go out and watch (not the best view, but we can still see almost all launches from over here in St. Pete). I hope everything remains green for a safe and successful launch and that the shuttle makes it to space free of problems.
Enterprise is in the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum. A quick check of the web cam…yup, still there.
The Udvar-Hazy center was built next to Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia to showcase more planes and space craft that the Smithsonian had no room to display at the museum downtown. There are TONS of aircraft on display there, it’s really cool.
what Ive heard is that if they can repair it on the launch pad than theyll launch by saturday or next week. if they have to move it back to the hangar then itll be until september before they can launch it. either way ill be outside my house sittin at the pool waiting. there’s really nothing like a shuttle launch in mid-afternoon.