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Author Topic: MECO: Space Shuttle Discovery now in space.  (Read 9184 times)
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« Reply #15: February 27, 2011, 08:26:41 am »

And I wouldn't rule out South Korea, India and some South American countries.  Maybe Australia would like to get in the game.  The ISS is teaching us to work together, so why not take advantage of it?
I lovelovelove how much international collaboration is going on in space science these days (talk about "things you never thought you'd see in your lifetime"!).

Chile in particular comes to mind among SA countries, though they might piggyback on the ESA in much the same way we Canucks are adjunctive to NASA.  I'm thinking here of their importance to the European Southern Observatory organization:  Chile has the superb observatory sites, but needs Europe's help on infrastructure to make full use of them; Chileans are fiercely proud of their significance in the astronomy community, and astronomy is something of a national passion.  It seems natural that this'd carry over to involvement in space exploration.

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Back to the video of the launch - at 5:48 you can see the insulating foam pieces breaking off the EFT.  One of them smacked into the shuttle but I think it was too small to do any damage.
As I understand it, it's thought that serious damage is unlikely because of how high the shuttle was in the atmosphere at the time (I picked this up in comments to one of the post-launch articles on UT; shouldn't be too hard for you to track down if you want it better explained than I can do).  But that's the reason for the spectacular pics taken from the ISS - they're carefully checking Discovery for damage.

I'm looking forward to the pics they're planning to have the Soyuz go out and take, of the ISS with docked craft from all the nations that send vehicles to the station - I hope it's a go; rare opportunity to catch that beautiful international collaboration in visuals.  I'll post a link if/when; UT is sure to have them.

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« Reply #16: February 27, 2011, 08:11:10 pm »

...Discovery had the "Return to Space" missions subsequent to both Challenger and Columbia.  This is the shuttle that represents our will to face the inevitable risks of new frontiers.  (I'd call her "courageous" but that's too anthropomorphic for me even though - or, really, because; I have to know projection when I see it - I'm an animist.  But she stands for courage.)

And she is indeed a she, in the best sense.  Stalwart, powerful and loyal.


Still more pics, accompanying UT's item on the docking - the ones taken from the ISS in particular made me think "must link on TC for Warhorse."

This I do appreciate, and there is an interesting coincidence here.

Astronaut Leland D. Melvin attended the University of Richmond on a football scholarship.  After joining the pros, he was retired due to a pulled hamstring before playing.

So he joined NASA.

So R2 (I like the word-play) won't be the only football star on this mission. Smiley

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« Reply #17: February 27, 2011, 08:17:50 pm »

Chile in particular comes to mind among SA countries, though they might piggyback on the ESA in much the same way we Canucks are adjunctive to NASA.

Chile was my first pick, followed by Argentina.


As I understand it, it's thought that serious damage is unlikely because of how high the shuttle was in the atmosphere at the time (I picked this up in comments to one of the post-launch articles on UT; shouldn't be too hard for you to track down if you want it better explained than I can do).  But that's the reason for the spectacular pics taken from the ISS - they're carefully checking Discovery for damage.

I agree - it was a little surprising that there was enough atmosphere to cause that much turbulence.


I'm looking forward to the pics they're planning to have the Soyuz go out and take, of the ISS with docked craft from all the nations that send vehicles to the station - I hope it's a go; rare opportunity to catch that beautiful international collaboration in visuals.  I'll post a link if/when; UT is sure to have them.

I'm looking forward to that - definitely a keeper!

This will leave Endeavour and Atlantis.  They both seem so young.

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« Reply #18: February 27, 2011, 09:02:21 pm »

This will leave Endeavour and Atlantis.  They both seem so young.

Endeavor was scheduled to be decommissioned after its next flight into space. That flight was originally scheduled for November 2010, but has been pushed to 2011 as of right now. Atlantis is scheduled for final flight some time in June, followed by its decommissioning.
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« Reply #19: February 28, 2011, 07:14:43 pm »

This I do appreciate, and there is an interesting coincidence here.

Astronaut Leland D. Melvin attended the University of Richmond on a football scholarship.  After joining the pros, he was retired due to a pulled hamstring before playing.

So he joined NASA.

So R2 (I like the word-play) won't be the only football star on this mission. Smiley
Either you've taken to following UT for yourself (as well you should!), or there's even more coincidence going on.  I very much enjoyed reading their article on Melvin that was posted yesterday.

But unless you're using "on this mission" in a very broad sense, Melvin isn't actually on it; he's here on earth being NASA's Associate Administrator for Education.  The STS-133 crew are Steven Lindsey, Eric Boe, Nicole Stott, Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, and Stephen Bowen - and, of course, R2.

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« Reply #20: March 01, 2011, 09:03:00 pm »

But unless you're using "on this mission" in a very broad sense, Melvin isn't actually on it; he's here on earth being NASA's Associate Administrator for Education.  The STS-133 crew are Steven Lindsey, Eric Boe, Nicole Stott, Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, and Stephen Bowen - and, of course, R2.

Sunflower

I've lost the link that connected Melvin with STS-133, so I don't know quite how I got there. Huh  But in the search I found that Stephen Bowen is the first astronaut to go on successive launches.  A small landmark reached.

A little toast to mankind's primitive explorations.  *clink*  Bottoms up and tops away!

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« Reply #21: March 09, 2011, 01:07:07 pm »


"Wheels stop."

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/launch/index.html

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« Reply #22: March 09, 2011, 04:36:35 pm »

"Wheels stop."

Safely back on the ground. Yeah.
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« Reply #23: March 09, 2011, 07:45:54 pm »

Safely back on the ground. Yeah.

I didn't post any more because I was so close to tears, and chastising myself for it.  But space travel is never safe.

One down, two to go.

As an aside: Discovery is a "Machine with Personality."

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« Reply #24: April 12, 2011, 09:16:37 pm »

One down, two to go.

Video of the landing.  Perhaps worth your time.

(Embedding disabled:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luvhKl5mBWI&NR=1

"...the glide slope is seven times steeper than that of a commercial airliner."

The video from the HUD is especially interesting, if not frightening.


I am trying to compile the list of emotions we have shared here, and it is difficult.

The Discovery was part of a fleet, and that suggests a greater power behind it.  But this power must be all Humanity, not just NASA or the US.  We did not do it alone.

Decisions have been made as to the fate of the fleet.

Now it is up to Endeavour and Atlantis, and their respective crews, to bring us to conclusion.

After reading that line, I realize that I am anthropomorphizing the machines again.  But I will leave it as it is.

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« Reply #25: June 12, 2011, 08:21:06 am »

I'm looking forward to the pics they're planning to have the Soyuz go out and take, of the ISS with docked craft from all the nations that send vehicles to the station - I hope it's a go; rare opportunity to catch that beautiful international collaboration in visuals.  I'll post a link if/when; UT is sure to have them.
So in the end, that plan wasn't a go.  Instead, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli made a point of taking pics of Endeavour (and a European cargo carrier) docked at the ISS, while coming back to Earth in a Soyuz (there's also video).  Not quite as comprehensively representative at the visual level, but still a fine example of the international collaboration.

Both Nespoli and I, it seems, are subject to imperfect memory under stress - first he forgot the SD data cards in the Soyuz when he got back, so the pics weren't processed and released immediately (see UT story in first link), then I kept forgetting to dig out this thread and post the links.  But, here they are!

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« Reply #26: June 13, 2011, 09:51:56 pm »

So in the end, that plan wasn't a go.  Instead, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli made a point of taking pics of Endeavour (and a European cargo carrier) docked at the ISS, while coming back to Earth in a Soyuz (there's also video).  Not quite as comprehensively representative at the visual level, but still a fine example of the international collaboration.

Both Nespoli and I, it seems, are subject to imperfect memory under stress - first he forgot the SD data cards in the Soyuz when he got back, so the pics weren't processed and released immediately (see UT story in first link), then I kept forgetting to dig out this thread and post the links.  But, here they are!

Sunflower

That video is very serene, thank you. Smiley

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