The Shuttle is Flying!

Just a reminder that NASA has continual coverage of the Shuttle and the ISS, now that the Shuttle took off last night to meet the ISS. It’s the same setup as the one they use to transmit the Regionals and Championship games:

They got 12 days up there (schedule During sleep periods they replay highlights and exterior shots, as well as Mission Control. It’s fun supervising their activities and “helping” them do their work. They have cameras everywhere (well, almost:o) even on the helmets when they do their spacewalks.

Docking is Sunday afternoon (US time), and it isn’t as quick as you think. It’s even slower than you can imagine. Even after they dock and lock they wait an hour for everything to stop shaking before opening the door. Star Wars it’s not.

I think the major project this mission is attaching another solar array. Last Shuttle they had problems closing up one they had to move. It was frustrating to watch it live. I knew they had to send someone out there to do it right (and after eight hours of remote folding not working, they did.)

Landing is also live (June 19th, if all goes to plan). You get a cockpit view of the landing and they drop down fast!

Somewhere on the NASA website is a Shuttle/ISS locator. Pick your location and it’ll give you the times they fly overhead. After sundown or before sunrise are the best times.


Oh My! I could see myself wasting a lot of time watching this! I just caught the replay of the launch! :ahh: (It must be sleeping time) Thanks for the link!

Yeah, it can be a time-waster, but it’s better than watching tv… :slight_smile:

I usually put the screen under my work and listen.

Wake up is usually 9am (central time). Why Mission Control has to send them a song every day to wake them up is beyond me. Couldn’t they pack an alarm clock?

hrm if I were up there I would want to enjoy as much of that time away from Earth as possible and enjoy the quiet sleeping time. No Police or other noisy vehicle passing by. =) But then again you do hold a valid point why not pack an alarm clock OR build one into the Shuttle. They got everything else attached to it, how hard could it possibly be to wire an alarm clock into the system? OR maybe the crew voted on having a song be played to wake them up instead of the traditional alarm clock.

It sounds like the families pick a song that is used as the wake-up song. So in addition to being an alarm clock it is a communication from the family and friends of each crew member. I thought it was cute! :smiley: The interesting thing on Saturday was that they seemed to be up and doing stuff about an hour before the “wake-up” song.

Louie Armstrong’s version of What A Wonderful World.
That would be amazing.

That was the wakeup for flight day 3 back on STS-114

I got on just in time to see the big welcoming party. (Or it might have been a replay; it’s hard to tell sometimes.) The room? Science wing? Main Entrance? (All of the above?) where the connection gets made gets very crowded with (I lost count) eight or nine people going thru. But a 10’x10’ pit space is still smaller, though you can’t float overhead to get to the other side. It looks like the astronaut’s bags are already packed in front ready to go. And some party balloons in the corner.

One bit of trivia I heard this morning: The “mission” start and stop dates have an official position in the schedule. Not when the Shuttle attaches. Not when they greet each other, nothing like that. It’s when the seat for the astronaut that comes up to stay is placed in the Souyez emergency capsule. Then the mission number changes.

The map shows them now flying off the east coast of the US, then down thru Europe. Next pass (around 9pm here in Walpole – maybe) is right on the east coast of the US, then mid-US. Everybody go out and wave this evening when they fly over! (You can see them as a bright moving star.)

I hesitate to give you this website. It’s very confusing. They had an old one that had a nice interface that would search for just the ISS. This one seems to search for every satellite. I’m not even sure if it’s a 9pm flyover for the ISS or something else.

Regarding the music wake-up call. I suspect it’s a NASA tradition since Gemini days. No room for an alarm clock back then.

This link seemed ok for me. :slight_smile: It gave me two lists, one labeled “ISS” and one labeled “Shuttle.” For the next week, the two lists are identical, separating next Sunday night. That seems to match the mission schedule.

Well the ISS/Shuttle fly-over list worked for me! I set my phone alarm to go off a minute before the time. When it went off I ran to the highest window point in my house facing the right direction (since it was supposed to be fairly low to the horizon…) and there it was! Gliding across the sky! Way Cool! :yikes: Thanks Roger!

What’s really cool is watching it blink out going into the Earth’s shadow, or (if you’re lucky) watching it pop out of Earth’s shadow. Now you see it, now you don’t.

So everything is slowly coming back on line after all the computers on the ISS crashed. The Russians spent the midnight shift (Earth time, of course) separating their stuff from the ISS, putting them on autonomous mode (which means to them putting on battery power) and somehow getting everything rebooted on their end. A couple of fire alarms later (literally, but no fires) and we’re back in business. I guess they were seriously thinking of abandoning ship if things didn’t get back up.

The good news (speaking as a programmer:cool:) is they’re saying it wasn’t a software error. The bad news is that if its a hardware problem, it’ll take a while for manufacturing to admit to it (also speaking as a programmer ;).)

Okay, so there’s not much chatter here about ISS/Shuttle activity. Half the week I’m away from my computer which can get a live feed, but I’ll be on line Thursday for the landing.

According to the NASA schedule (which is always subject to change) it’ll be just before 2pm EDT, so if you get on by 1:30pm EDT you can watch the nail-biting land/no-land decisions. The last landing I watched they were keeping a careful eye on the weather and how this one cloud may get too close. Once you decide to land there’s no going back up!

Sigh. I can’t wait for 2001 when this becomes a ho-hum commute.

For all you space nuts out there on CD, the following is the link to track the ISS flyover/sightings. Navigate to your location, look up the data, go outside at the required time, look up…BINGO! There it is! (If there are no clouds)

You have no idea how much trouble this is causing my family! Every night I’m out there (sometimes twice depending on the schedule) annoying my family and especially my daughter since I always text her with the 5 minute warning. Her response last night…“Aww mama, you are nerdy”

Last night I had my son (age 20) and about a half dozen neighborhood kids with me. I told them that it would be about as bright as the planet Venus that was visible near the moon last night. None of them knew that was a planet! What are they teaching in school these days!?

And then the ISS/Space Shuttle flyover was outstanding! The kids were definately impressed! My son was so proud that he had such a cool mom! I can’t wait to look tonight to see the difference with the two objects separated! I hope it isn’t cloudy! Am I really nerdy? :rolleyes:

That answer would be yes, Cynette.
Take heart, nerdy = way cool.

Enjoy it. May the sky be cloudless tonight.

I have had several nights of flyovers where I had neighbors and the kids in my backyard also…the kids thought I was out of my mind…then as they got older, they understood…

“My dad makes the space suit and life support hardware on ISS and Shuttle!”, they would tell their teachers.

Make popcorn for those “double fly” nights. Like tonight…:smiley:

Keep bringing the kids out. They’ll understand later.

Getting there.

Ask again when you get binoculars to see ISS/Shuttle up close.

Even better when you get a telescope to look at (I think) Saturn coming up in the east in the evening. May be Jupiter. Or Mars. (ISS is too quick for a telescope.)

When you start searching for Mercury…

Missed the one for today. :frowning: I’ll try to remember the one for tomorrow. I should be up at that time (Just before 11 PM) Now I’m going to reinstall my skywatching software. It’s been a while since I have had it up and running.

Last night’s dual flyover was not visible because of clouds. :frowning:

The space flight list says it was updated today, but it still looks like the two objects are flying together and that the shuttle will be up on Thursday and Friday night.

Do any of you regular satellite watchers have a sense for how far apart the shuttle and the ISS will be tonight? I’m hoping the weather cooperates for one last shuttle viewing for this mission!