Discovery is coming home...
Around now (6.06am EDT) STS114 is due to commence firing its orbital maneuvering engines for 2 minutes and 42 seconds and commence its entry of the atmosphere to return home to Edwards Air Force base. Florida was declared a "no go" both yesterday and today due to weather conditions.
Weather at Edwards is good
Landing tracks from NASA available here
BBC story with live video footage is here
Pilot Jim Kelly is handling the de-orbit burn, according to commentary and mission commander Eileen Collins will make the final approach and touch down at Edwards.
Best of luck, Discovery, I'm sure I speak for all when I say that all of our thoughts are with you.
posted by tomcosgrave
on Aug 9, 2005 -
your own space station (requires printer, paper, scissors, glue and a lot
posted by Pendragon
on Aug 5, 2005 -
Next to last words from Columbia reentry, at 9 seconds into this
-- wma (windows media audio) file at the first link -- very brief. listen to the audio link, first -- just twelve or so seconds long -- and give your brain the chance to hear what it hears. then, see what nasa made of it in the transcript. this and much more can be found at chris valentine's website. the particular page which he discusses this audio file is
but don't miss the movies at his home page.
I can agree with Chris Valentine (whose movies are at the same site and much worth watching) that NASA may honestly not hear what he heard -- and I hear -- in this bit of audio.
But, as I listen to and watch NASA TV live right now, I notice that every time we start to hear anything at all revealing of plain old humor, or comments about having to reboot Windows again or power cycle when shutdown won't work, or much else, Houston intervenes with "hot mike" and the sound goes away for a while. They micromanage what we get to hear.
Valentine's movies have far better video than we see live from NASA too.>
posted by hank
on Aug 1, 2005 -
And we thought it was just a load of Soviet propaganda: Buran was pretty sweet
Well, no doubt a little bit of industrial espionage helped them in its design, but the Soviet Buran really was an impressive technological achievement and in many ways superior to the United States space shuttle. Of particular interest is the impressive technology the Soviet's developed for heavy-lift boosters. Does anyone know what's become of any of this, or know of any other interesting bits of Soviet -v- American space race trivia? This stuff always fascinates me. (Great website for geeky-cool aerospace information as well)
posted by tgrundke
on Sep 26, 2004 -
"These are good people"...but changes must be made. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report was released on Tuesday.
Putting technical answers aside for the moment, the report targets the organizational
and behavioral issues
that led to a breakdown in communication, safety and responsibility. While acknowledging the good will at NASA, the report holds no illusions that changing this culture will be very difficult and very necessary in order to return to flight. What types of management/behavioral obstacles have you encountered in home, work, school or social organizations? How did you try to effect change and what obstacles did you encounter in an effort to make it more effective, safe, productive or enjoyable?
posted by tgrundke
on Aug 28, 2003 -
Did downsizing and inexperience lead to Columbia's destruction?
In the rush to cut costs and 'downsize' NASA in the 1990s the agency outsourced most Space Transportation System (STS, or the Shuttle) functions to a private consortium called United Space Alliance. Now, senior engineers at Boeing (lead member of the USA) are beginning to talk about the lack of experience, 'brain drain', and negative effects of downsizing and privatization. This begs the issue of market imperatives, relative value of privatization and the question of how to better manage projects of this magnitude in a mixed private/public arrangement.
posted by tgrundke
on Feb 23, 2003 -
"I imagine this is the last we will hear of this."
Or not. NASA releases email between NASA engineers leading up to the Columbia disaster documenting significant concerns regarding damage done to the shuttle on takeoff. Engineers calculated the likelihood of a 7" x 30" gouge in the heat shields, but when they let management know of their concerns, they weren't taken seriously, were forced to work "at night" to do simulations, and found that requests for additional information were "treated like the plague."
posted by insomnia_lj
on Feb 22, 2003 -
Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster
- Scientists poring over 'infrasonic' sound waves
Federal scientists are looking for evidence that a bolt of electricity in the upper atmosphere might have doomed the space shuttle Columbia as it streaked over California, The Chronicle has learned.
posted by y2karl
on Feb 7, 2003 -
A short, creepy yarn, and easily dismissed... "The loss of the Columbia space shuttle is suffused with symbols begging for attention. Columbia is named, in part, after Christopher Columbus and symbolically points to the very discovery of the American nation. Strangely, on the threshold of America's preemptive invasion of Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, the shuttle's hold contained the first Israeli astronaut who in 1981 himself participated in a preemptive attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor to eliminate its capacity for developing weapons of mass destruction. An uncanny echo, but certainly not the only one...As we are on the precipice of a war with Iraq, the whole Arab world screams that it is not Iraq but America's relationship with Israel and the Palestinian crisis that is the root cause of all Arab anti-American sentiment and certainly all terrorism. Suddenly the Columbia crashes with an Israeli astronaut over George Bush's home state as debris rains down on "Palestine, Texas."
posted by troutfishing
on Feb 6, 2003 -
Shuttle "Achille's Hell"
According to this article, Shuttle has one. Curiously it's in the area in which that piece of insulation hit during launch.Were the astronauts warned ? Did they do some space walk to see what was wrong ? I would stop my car to go out and see if I heard a loud "thump" coming from somewhere.
posted by elpapacito
on Feb 3, 2003 -
"There is something noteworthy a rocket can do that the shuttle cannot. A rocket can be permitted to fail." Gregg Easterbrook's 1980 Washington Monthly
cover story looks into the Columbia's beginnings, the hazards he saw in the shuttle, and its weaknesses compared to rockets.
Once you get into space, you check to see if any tiles are damaged. If enough are, you have a choice between Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is hope they can get a rescue shuttle up in time. Plan B is burn up coming back. [via Slate]
posted by kirkaracha
on Feb 2, 2003 -
17 years ago today,
the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven aboard. I share this primarily as I recall this being the first where-were-you-when of my childhood. So where were you?
posted by xmutex
on Jan 28, 2003 -
taken from the space shuttle have revealed what is believed to be a 1.75 million b.p. human-made bridge
from India to Sri Lanka
. Incredibly, legend says
the army of Vanaras (monkeys) built a bridge
across the ocean to enable Rama
(a Hindu Moses) to conquer Sri Lanka, possibly makeing it a 1.75 million year oral tradition. It is proposed
to be a land bridge again.
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 20, 2002 -
My house's windows just rattled from a sonic boom, so that means the space shuttle's home again
. I kind of forget about these things until a little visceral something like that brings you back in touch. Int'l Space Station that much closer to completion. Living in the future is cooooool.
posted by logovisual
on Jul 24, 2001 -
of the Space Shuttle and the ray of "shadow" from the moon is pretty cool. I even think I buy the explanation.
posted by aflakete
on Feb 19, 2001 -
I'm surprised that none of us thought to post this: January 28 was the 15th anniversary of the Challenger explosion.
For most of us Generation Xers, that day was the ultimate "where were you?" event, a moment as defining to our generation as the JFK assassination was to Boomers. Or at least that's what the media wants us to believe. In any case, it affected most people very strongly, and threw a hell of a monkey wrench into the US space program that we're arguably still recovering from. Worse, the shuttle's almost guaranteed to blow up again at some point, due to design problems and the inherent risks of space flight. So where were you on that day? How did it affect you? Do you think the nation was permanently affected?
posted by aaron
on Jan 30, 2001 -