Affiliates finden und erfolgreich kontaktieren

*Update: Punkt 7 hinzugefügt

Einleitung: gäääähn, bla bla, DD bloggt wieder :)

Wow, es sind schon wieder fast 2 Jahre vergangen und wahrscheinlich hat niemand mehr daran geglaubt aber ich lebe noch!!! Ich will den Blog eigentlich nicht sterben lassen und da ich gerade nicht schlafen kann, sag ich mal Hallo :)

In den letzten 2 Jahren ist sehr viel passiert, mit dem Resultat, dass ich mich nun aus dem Affiliate Marketing zurückziehe und mir erst mal eine Auszeit nehmen werde. Was ist passiert? Ach, ich mag euch nicht langweilen… :)

Allerdings wird es nun mal wieder Zeit etwas Wissen, Erfahrungen und Kritik an der Branche loszuwerden. Nicht weil ich ein arroganter, selbstverliebter Affiliate mit Profilneurose bin sondern auf Grund der Tatsache, dass konstruktive Kritik uns allen hilft. Ich hoffe ich kann einigen Agenturen und Netzwerken die Augen öffnen und vor allem natürlich auch anderen Affiliates helfen.

Mein erstes Thema: Affiliates finden & kontaktieren: die wichtigsten Regeln

Ich würde mich freuen, wenn der Beitrag den richtigen Leuten zugespielt wird, WENN ihr mir den inhaltlich zustimmt: ob auf Facebook, Twitter, eurem Blog oder einfach nur per E-Mail. Ich verdien damit gewiss kein Geld aber die Branche brauch ein paar Tipps durch die sie sich verbessern kann, was wiederum jedem zu gute kommt.

Mein letzter Beitrag bzgl. den Erwartungen eines Affiliates an ein Partnerprogramm wurde ja zu einem Renner, den Affiliates gerne ihren Affiliate Managern schicken (wurde mir gerade eben mal wieder bestätigt), während manche gekränkt waren, haben sich ja auch einige echt die Vorschläge angenommen oder die Regeln sogar im Büro aufgehängt. Vielleicht kann man das ja mit diesem und weiteren Beiträgen wiederholen.

Wie finde ich die richtigen Affiliates?

Es ist völlig banal aber dennoch: Affiliates, die bei Google in den Top 3 für eure besten Keywords ranken als auch Affiliates, die bei Adwords in den Top5 auf entsprechende Keywords buchen sind im Prinzip immer das was man als erstes angehen sollte. Auf hinteren Plätzen verdient man kein Geld und Affiliates, die ähnlichen Umsatz machen sind entweder Postview Publisher, Betrüger oder sind sehr schwer ausfindig zu machen bzw. erfordern sehr viel Zeit. Ich will nun gar keine Wertung zu Postview abgeben, nur ist es eben doch die Frage was in erster Linie zumindest wertvoller ist: Postview, im Prinzip eher Branding oder Themenwebseiten, die den Kunden vom Produkt überzeugen?

Ich bin aber ziemlich geschockt davon WIE WENIG man eigentlich angeschrieben wird und WIE WENIG Kontakt zu bestehenden Affiliates gesucht wird, um die Partnerschaft auszubauen und wenn doch, dann nur sehr schlecht.

Wieso kontaktiert ein Partnerprogramm nicht den Top-Affiliate, der die komplette Konkurrenz bewirbt? Es gibt dafür keinen Grund.

Wenn ich mir überlege, dass ich ein Produkt habe und meine Agentur kontaktiert nicht die naheliegenden Affiliates, frage ich mich schon: Was machen die Agenturen dann überhaupt? Es kann doch nicht nur um die Verwaltung des Programms gehen. Ich würde von einer Agentur erwarten, dass sie das Ziel hat mein Produkt so oft es geht zu verkaufen und da eine Agentur auch nur so ihr Geld verdient, bin ich überfragt woran es liegt?

Im nächsten Schritt kann man immer weiter von den Haupt-Keywords weggehen, indem man eben spezielle Kooperationen mit Portalen erarbeitet, die eben nicht exakt das Thema behandelen aber als Ergänzung gut passen bzw. eben eine Menge Schnittpunkte bilden. Auch ist es möglich aus anderen Themengebieten die Top Affiliates Deutschlands anzuschreiben, das Produkt und die Branche zu erklären in der Hoffnung, dass sie auch dort ein Projekt aufsetzen. Zugegeben ist dies eher etwas langfristig gedacht aber ein Affiliate, der in mehr als einem Themenbereich Top Affiliate ist, der wird es auch in anderen Branchen schaffen. In meiner Definition heißt das, dass er wenigstens bei zwei völlig unterschiedlichen Partnerprogrammen locker 50.000 € an Provisionen im Jahr generiert.

Wie kontaktiere ich einen Affiliate richtig?

Regel1: Grundsätzlich per E-Mail

Anrufe sind einfach unpassend, ich brauche eine E-Mail, in der ich die Informationen in Ruhe anschauen kann und DANN kann man telefonieren, wenn der Affiliate weiß was er mit dem Programm machen kann bzw. entscheiden kann, was er grundsätzlich vom Partnerprogramm hält. Deswegen gerne auch immer die Telefonnummer mitschicken oder ein Telefonat zumindest anbieten.

Regel 2: Persönliche E-Mails

Wer es nicht schafft eine persönliche E-Mail an einen Affiliate zu schreiben sollte von der Affiliate Branche in die Newsletter Branche wechseln oder gleich „ich haben 100 Millione f#r Du“ SPAM Mails verschicken. Man kann doch wohl erwarten, dass man nicht die gleiche E-Mail bekommt wie jeder x-beliebige Affiliate. Die Branche ist groß und die Themen sehr vielfältig. Es passt nun mal nicht jede E-Mail zu jedem Affiliate.

Wenn eine Agentur es noch nicht mal beim Kennenlernen für nötig hält die 5 Minuten (oder auch mal eine halbe Stunde) in eine persönliche E-Mail zu investieren, die uns beiden helfen würde, dann will ich nicht wissen wie es langfristig in der Betreuung aussieht.

Regel 3: Mit ausreichenden Informationen

Extrembeispiel, wie man es bitte nicht macht:

„Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

wir sind eine Affiliate Agentur, die Ihre Webseite sehr gut findet und suchen für unsere Programme Affiliates?

MFG

i.A. Max Mustermann

Junior Affiliate Marketing Managers DACH

Klar: die E-Mail ist nicht unhöflich aber sie bringt mir wenig. Ihr wollt doch etwas VON MIR, warum muss ICH dann EUCH wieder fragen was denn für Programme, welche Konditionen, welche Webseite soll es denn bewerben usw. um dann am Ende zu erfahren, dass ja doch nichts dabei war weil ich eben keine Brustimplantete verkaufe. Hätte man das nicht in der E-Mail davor schreiben können?

Welche Informationen sollte eine E-Mail enthalten?

  1. Name des Programms
  2. Auf welche Webseite von mir bezieht sich die E-Mail? (auch für Regel2 gedacht)
  3. Provisionen – Standard als auch was denn als Premium möglich ist
  4. Wie stellt man sich die Zusammenarbeit vor? Passend zum Thema Premium Konditionen auch Vorschläge über die Einbindung des Programmes wie „Auf Platz 1 könnten wir dir 100€ pro Sale anbieten“ usw.
  5. Wodurch zeichnet sich das Programm aus? Was sind die Besonderheiten gegenüber der Konkurrenz? Also WARUM soll ich denn euer Programm bewerben? Im Idealfall: Top Produkte mitschicken.
  6. Bei Vergleichen die passenden Logos, die auf der Webseite verwendet werden oder für ganz fleißige gleich eine Excel Datei mit den einzelnen Feldern des Vergleiches mit den Infos, die der Affiliate braucht.

Regel 4: Ohne Floskeln, ohne Lügen…

Ja, manchmal frage ich mich echt ob ich träume. Ein weit verbreitetes No-Go ist, dass man einfach nur belogen wird. Es wird ständig gesagt „unser Produkt ist das billigste in ganz Deutschland“, dabei ist es das teuerste Produkt. Ihr sollt uns nichts verkaufen sondern mit uns zusammenarbeiten. Wir haben Besucher, die euer Produkt suchen und ihr wollt, dass wir euer Produkt dort bewerben. Wir sind nicht dumm und wollen ehrliche Informationen, mit denen man arbeiten kann und nicht irgendwelche Aussagen, die gut klingeln aber fernab jeder Realität sind.

Jedes Produkt sollte etwas haben wodurch es sich auszeichnet und damit kann ich als Affiliate arbeiten. Wenn es teuer ist und eigentlich kein Mensch braucht aber der Affiliate Manager MIR – quasi einem Experten auf diesem Gebiet – vorlügt, dass es billig ist anstatt zu sagen „okay, es ist preislich nicht ganz konkurrenzfähig aber dafür bietet es Extras, die die anderen nicht bieten wie z.B. […]“

Regel 5: Private Netzwerke nur mit entsprechender Provision

Wenn man als Top Partner ins Private Network gehen soll und dort die gleiche oder nur geringfügig höhere Provision erhält, fühle ich mich verarscht. Es sollte da doch darum gehen, dass man als Agentur alles selbst unter Kontrolle hat ohne ein Netzwerk dazwischen und der Affiliate mehr geboten bekommt, um sich von der Konkurrenz in Sachen Provision abzuheben bzw. mithalten zu können. Eine Nachricht mit „Premium Konditionen können wir dir nur geben, wenn du ins Private Network kommst. Dort zahlen wir dir statt 20 € dann gleich 22€ und zwar NUR DIR, mehr geht leider nicht“ heißt für mich so viel wie „Hallo David, du dummer Affiliate, du bist unser bester Mann und wenn du ins Private Netzwerk kommst spare ich 6€ pro Sale, damit du mitspielst zahl ich dir auch 2€ davon – dann bist du nicht nur unser bester Affiliate sondern auch noch der Affiliate, der uns am wenigsten kostet – EPIC WINNING“

Und es reicht auch nicht von Premium Konditionen zu sprechen, wenn man nur die Netzwerkgebühr draufschlägt…

Regel 6: die Anrede

Der Punkt ist geschenkt ;-) es ist aber ratsam lieber noch nicht zu duzen weil manche damit doch ein Problem haben. Als Zwischenweg kann man ja am Ende der E-Mail das Du anbieten.

Regel 7: ein vernünftiger Betreff

Aus aktuellem Anlass ;-) ein Betreff sollte aussagen worum es in der Mail geht wie z.B. “Mustermann.de – Affiliate Kooperation mit ihredomain.de” oder dergleichen und nicht “hi” oder dergleichen…

So macht man es:

Damit es ganz klar ist, was zu tun ist und jetzt auch dem letzten klar sein sollte, dass das KEIN “ich sag nur was schlecht ist ohne Lösungsansätze”-Beitrag ist.

Hallo David,

mein Name ist Max Mustermann, ich arbeite bei der Mustermann Agentur und betreue das Mustermann Partnerprogramm. Ich möchte dir kurz unser Produkt nahe legen, wenn du lieber telefonierst ruf mich  unter XYZ an oder sag mir wann und unter welcher Nummer ich dich anrufen darf.

Ich sehe, dass Du auf mustermann.de einen Vergleich / Preisvergleich / whatever zum Thema Musterthema anbietest und dort unser Produkt noch nicht aufgenommen hast, hättest Du Interesse unser Produkt aufzunehmen? Wir haben 3 Produkte, die für dich relevant sind. […] am besten zu deiner Webseite passt dazu das Produkt XYZ.

Möglichkeit 1 bzgl. des Absatzes zur Provision: Die Standardprovision beläuft sich auf 30 € pro Sale. Premium Partnern zahlen wir ab 25 Sales im Monat 45 € pro Sale. Wir würden dir die Provision gerne von Beginn an anbieten und dann können wir ja nach 6-8 Wochen sehen wie es gelaufen ist.

Möglichkeit 2 bzgl. des Absatzes zur Provision: Die Standardprovision beläuft sich auf 30 € pro Sale. Premium Partnern zahlen wir ab 25 Sales im Monat 45 € pro Sale. Wir wären dir bereit einen WKZ in Höhe von 500 € zu zahlen, wenn du unser Produkt – wenn möglich – in der oberen Hälfte des Vergleiches aufnimmst, unabhängig von der Anzahl der Sales.  Danach können wir sehen wie es gelaufen ist und entsprechend entscheiden wie wir weiter verfahren, um für beide Seiten das meiste rauszuholen.

Unser Produkt ist preislich nur Durchschnitt aber durch die Kundenzufriedenheit und die Testsiege bei Stiftung Warentest sind viele Kunden bereit mehr zu zahlen. Siehe Quelle im Anhang.

Wie ich sehe benötigst du Informationen zu unserem Produkt für deinen Vergleich / deine Texte, daher habe ich dir im Anhang etwas zusammengestellt, das dir hoffentlich hilft. Sollte etwas fehlen, melde dich bei mir und ich versuche dir zu helfen.

Die Anmeldung zum Programm gibt es bei den folgenden Netzwerken:

www.affilinet.de/partnerprogrammid=XYZ

www.zanox.com/partnerprogrammid=XYZ

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Max Mustermann

Okay, ich wette ab sofort gibt’s Leute, die meinen Text versenden ohne die Platzhalter zu ersetzen, tut mir leid! :) Aber sollte ich mal eine solche E-Mail wie oben erhalten, dann wäre ich echt überglücklich!

Eure Meinung? Ergänzungen?

3,499 Responses to “Affiliates finden und erfolgreich kontaktieren”

  1. Here, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder celebrates after making a decisive pass to teammate Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic on April 6, 2013 at the Route de Lorient stadium in Rennes, western France.

  2. Hannen says:

    is a gateway of information for business owners. The site compiles a complete U.S directory that includes businesses catered to poker services, including gambling activities, entertainment, poker equipment, and dealer that can benefit from the .poker extension. By pre-registering for a .POKER domain name on PokerDomainia.com, business owners can secure a better, more professional domain name for their passion. Registrants will be instantly identified as relevant and valuable members of the poker industry, will stand out among their peers and appear stronger to online consumers; all the while increasing their Search Engine Optimization.

  3. Senior Housing Properties Trust () – up 3%

  4. “Then the second really big task that we have are the EVAs, the spacewalks that Rick Mastracchio and I will do. The main point of those is to replace a couple key pieces of hardware, the ammonia tank assembly on the outside of the station and then a rate gyro assembly that helps the station understand what its attitude is.”

  5. “It’s going to be amazing,” Patrick said of the cupola. “It’s like an observation bubble on an aircraft that let’s you get right out there and look all the way around, forwards, aft, left and right and down towards the planet. It’s an unprecedented view for people on the space station.

  6. The next day, Mastracchio and Anderson will stage the first of three spacewalks needed to install the ammonia coolant tank on the space station’s main power truss. A spent ammonia tank will be removed and placed back in the shuttle’s cargo bay for return to Earth and relaunch later this year.

  7. With Tranquility mated to Unity’s left port, Behnken and Patrick will work to connect power and data cables. But the systems those cables support will not be activated until later, after the ammonia coolant lines are connected during the second and third spacewalks. In the meantime, Patrick will connect a cable to provide keep-alive power to the module’s internal heaters.

  8. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: April 18, 2010The Discovery astronauts tested the shuttle’s re-entry systems Sunday and packed up for landing Monday at the Kennedy Space Center, weather permitting, to close out a space station resupply mission with a fiery dawn plunge across the heartland of America.This is the ground track for Discovery’s first landing opportunity on Monday leading to an 8:48 a.m. EDT touchdown. Credit: NASACommander Alan Poindexter and pilot James Dutton plan to fire Discovery’s brakingrockets for three minutes and 11 seconds starting at 7:43:20 a.m. EDT Monday,slowing the ship by about 217 mph and setting up a landing on runway 15 at theFlorida spaceport at 8:48:36 a.m. A second opportunity is available one orbit laterat 10:23:30 a.m.There are no technical issues of any significance with the space shuttle, butforecasters are predicting an overcast sky with a broken deck of clouds at 8,000feet and a chance for rain showers within 30 nautical miles of the runway.Conditions are expected to improve slightly on Tuesday, but good weather is expectedboth days at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., NASA’s backup landing site.NASA is not staffing Edwards Monday and if the weather prevents a Florida landing,Discovery’s flight will be extended another day and the crew will try again Tuesday.In that case, Edwards would be staffed and available.”It’s always a great time to spend (an extra day) on orbit,” Poindexter told areporter earlier Sunday. “We’re confident the folks in Houston and the folks inFlorida will do everything they can to get us home when the weather will allow it.”Entry flight director Bryan Lunney said Discovery has enough on-board supplies toremain in orbit until Wednesday at the latest. But NASA holds the final day inreserve to handle technical problems, so if Discovery doesn’t get down Monday,Lunney will attempt to bring the crew home, on one coast or the other, Tuesday.”We’ll see what happens overnight,” he said. “If it violates our flight rules andit’s not a good day to go land, then we’ll wave off until Tuesday.”This is the ground track for Discovery’s second landing opportunity on Monday leading to a 10:23 a.m. EDT touchdown. Credit: NASAIf the Florida weather cooperates Monday or Tuesday, it likely will be the lastchance for viewers in the continental United States to witness the fiery streak of ashuttle re-entry.In the wake of the 2003 Columbia disaster, NASA has favored southwest-to-northeastentry trajectories that carry the shuttle above the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean,avoiding seasonal, potentially dangerous noctilucent clouds in the northernhemisphere.The favored trajectories also require less propellant and, while not a requirement,keep descending shuttles well away from any densely populated areas in the UnitedStates.Discovery’s return is the second so-called “descending node” entry since 2003. NASAmanagers ordered the change of plans to give the astronauts more time to completethe station resupply mission and to bring in a daylight landing opportunity at theend of a long flight. The high, icy clouds that can be a concern are not an issue atthis time of year.”The neat thing about the descending opportunities is it’s going to come across thecountry and folks will get a good opportunity, hopefully, to see the orbiter as itgoes overhead,” Lunney said.Assuming an on-time descent, Discovery will plunge back into the discernibleatmosphere at an altitude of about 76 miles above the central Pacific Ocean south ofthe Aleutian Islands at 8:17 a.m., crossing the western Canadian coast “just abovewhere the Winter Olympics were,” Lunney said.”The vehicle will be about (43 miles up) at that point, traveling at a speed ofabout Mach 23, moving very fast, very high,” Lunney said. “We took a quick look atthe weather forecast and we think the western side of the United States will berelatively clear. So hopefully folks there will get a view. The eastern side mightbe a little bit more cloudy, so hopefully you’ll get a hole and you can see itthrough the clouds.”With the shuttle surrounded by superheated plasma as atmospheric friction reducesits 5-mile-per-second orbital velocity, viewers in the west will see a “streak ofwhite light way up high,” Lunney said. “When it’s down lower, it’s going to be morethe glowing cloud plowing through. I think both will be clearly visible if theclouds allow it to be.”Here are timeline overviews for both Florida landing opportunities Monday (in EDT;best viewed with fixed-width font):Rev. 222 Deorbit to KSCEDT………..EVENT03:43 AM……Begin deorbit timeline03:58 AM……Radiator stow04:08 AM……Mission specialists seat installation04:14 AM……Computers set for deorbit prep04:18 AM……Hydraulic system configuration04:43 AM……Flash evaporator checkout04:49 AM……Final payload deactivation05:03 AM……Payload bay doors closed05:13 AM……Mission control ‘go’ for OPS-3 entry software load05:23 AM……OPS-3 transition05:48 AM……Entry switch list verification05:58 AM……Deorbit maneuver update06:03 AM……Crew entry review06:18 AM……Commander, pilot don entry suits06:35 AM……IMU alignment06:43 AM……CDR/PLT strap in; other crew dons suits07:00 AM……Shuttle steering check07:03 AM……Hydraulic system prestart07:10 AM……Toilet deactivation07:23 AM……Mission control ‘go’ for deorbit burn07:29 AM……Astronaut seat ingress07:38 AM……Single APU start07:43:20 AM…Deorbit ignition07:46:31 AM…Deorbit burn complete08:16:59 AM…Entry interface08:22:15 AM…1st roll command to left08:35:13 AM…1st roll left to right08:35:36 AM…C-band radar acquisition08:44:55 AM…Velocity less than mach 2.508:46:56 AM…Velocity less than mach 108:47:03 AM…339-degree left turn to runway 1508:48:36 AM…LandingRev. 223 Deorbit to KSC08:57 AM……MCC ‘go’ for deorbit burn09:03 AM……MS seat ingress09:12 AM……Single APU start09:17:48 AM…Deorbit ignition09:17:55 AM…Deorbit burn complete09:51:56 AM…Entry interface09:57:18 AM…1st roll command to left10:12:47 AM…1st left -to-right roll reversal10:10:30 AM…C-band radar acquisition10:20:00 AM…Velocity less than mach 2.510:22:02 AM…Velocity less than mach 110:22:07 AM…274-degree left turn to runway 1510:23:30 AM…LandingIf the Discovery is not able to land Monday, the astronauts have multipleopportunities at the Kennedy Space Center and Edwards Air Force Base throughWednesday (all in EDT):ORBIT…SITE..TIG………..LANDING04/19:222…..KSC…07:43:20 AM…08:48:36 AM 223…..KSC…09:17:48 AM…10:23:30 AM04/20: 237…..KSC…06:31:00 AM…07:33:00 AM238…..EDW…07:59:00 AM…09:00:00 AM……..KSC…08:07:00 AM…09:08:00 AM239…..EDW…09:34:00 AM…10:36:00 AM240…..EDW…11:09:00 AM…12:11:00 AM04/21:253…..KSC…06:52:00 AM…07:53:00 AM 254…..EDW…08:19:00 AM…09:21:00 AM……..NOR…08:21:00 AM…09:23:00 AM……..KSC…08:27:00 AM…09:28:00 AM255…..EDW…09:54:00 AM…10:56:00 AM……..NOR…09:56:00 AM…10:58:00 AMAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA FROM LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION VIDEO:JETTISONED FUEL TANK FALLS AWAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 14 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SUNDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BOSTON, ASSOCIATED PRESS AND OREGON INTERVIEWS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 13 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:STATION FLYAROUND BY THE SHUTTLE VIDEO:DISCOVERY UNDOCKS FROM THE STATION VIDEO:SHUTTLE AND STATION CREWS BID FAREWELL VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:CREW’S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 12 VIDEO:FRIDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LEONARDO PLACED INTO SHUTTLE BAY FOR LANDING VIDEO:THURSDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:ROBOTIC ARM PLUCKS LEONARDO OFF THE STATION VIDEO:SEALING LEONARDO FOR DETACHMENT FROM HARMONY VIDEO:THURSDAY AFTERNOON’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:NASA RULES OUT EXTRA EVA FOR DISCOVERY CREW VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 11 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:WEDNESDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR POSSIBLE FOURTH EVA VIDEO:EDUCATIONAL EVENT WITH NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:JOINT SHUTTLE AND STATION CREW NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:TUESDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:CREW’S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 9 VIDEO:TUESDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:ROBOT ARM MOVES OLD TANK SHUTTLE PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS REMOVE HANDLING BAR FROM OLD TANK VIDEO:UMBILICALS HOOKED UP TO NEW AMMONIA TANK VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 9 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:MONDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:MONDAY AFTERNOON’S MISSION STATUS UPDATE VIDEO:RUSSIAN PRESIDENT CALLS THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:SPACE STATION CREW MARKS COSMONAUTICS DAY VIDEO:ABC, MSNBC, FOX NEWS AND KUSA-TV INTERVIEWS VIDEO:JAXA EVENT WITH JAPANESE ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:SUNDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7:MEAL TIME IN ZVEZDA HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7:GRUELING 7.5-HOUR EVA FINSHES HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7:VENTURING OUTSIDE THE STATION HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7:GETTING READY FOR ANOTHER EVA HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7:OLD CREW SLEEP BUNK REMOVED HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7:TRANSFERS AND MORE TRANSFERS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:CREW’S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 7 VIDEO:SUNDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FINALLY WINNING THE BATTLE WITH TANK BOLTS VIDEO:NEW COOLANT TANK MANEUVERED INTO POSITION VIDEO:DEPLETED AMMONIA TANK REMOVED FROM STATION VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP WALKTHROUGH OF EVA NO. 2 VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 7 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:SATURDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 6:LIFE OF A SHUTTLE ASTRONAUT HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 6:”BUCKET BRIGADE” ON THE STATION HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 6:WORF INSTALLED IN DESTINY LAB VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:CREW’S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 6 VIDEO:SATURDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SCIENCE RACK INSTALLED BY JAPANESE ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL EVENT VIDEO:CBS AND NEBRASKA MEDIA INTERVIEWS WITH CREW VIDEO:SMOKE ALARM IN THE ZVEZDA SERVICE MODULE VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 6 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:MISSION EXTENSION NEWS FROM FLIGHT DIRECTOR HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5:SPACEWALKERS RETURN TO AIRLOCK HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5:UNLOADING THE LEONARDO MODULE HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5:STATION’S NEW EXERCISE MACHINE HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5:OPERATORS OF THE ROBOTIC ARM HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5:SPACEWALKERS FREE AMMONIA TANK VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:CREW’S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 5 VIDEO:STOWAGE RACKS MOVED INTO STATION VIDEO:NEW LABORATORY FREEZER FOR KIBO VIDEO:FRIDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:RATE GYRO ASSEMBLY REMOVED FROM STATION VIDEO:NEW AMMONIA TANK STOWED IN TEMPORARY SPOT VIDEO:ANCHORING FIXTURE ATTACHED TO AMMONIA TANK VIDEO:EXPERIMENT RETRIEVED FROM JAPAN’S SCIENCE DECK VIDEO:STATION’S ROBOTIC ARM LIFTS TANK FROM SHUTTLE VIDEO:NEW AMMONIA COOLANT TANK UNBOLTED FROM CARRIER VIDEO:SPACEWALKER PREPS AMMONIA TANK IN SHUTTLE BAY VIDEO:THE START OF MISSION’S FIRST SPACEWALK VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP WALKTHROUGH OF EVA NO. 1 VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 5 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:THURSDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:THURSDAY AFTERNOON’S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:RADIO AND TV INTERVIEWS WITH CREW VIDEO:THURSDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LEONARDO MODULE ATTACHED TO SPACE STATION VIDEO:STATION’S ARM GRAPPLES THE LEONARDO MODULE VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF LEONARDO’S INSTALLATION VIDEO:WEDNESDAY EVENING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON’S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION VIDEO:POST-DOCKING OF THE SHUTTLE BAY AND TAIL VIDEO:DISCOVERY DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:SHUTTLE PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP VIDEO:PREVIEW OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING ACTIVITIES VIDEO:OBJECT LOST FROM SHUTTLE TAIL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:TUESDAY AFTERNOON’S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:THE FULL STS-131 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:TUESDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 2 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:NARRATED TOUR OF DISCOVERY’S PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:DESCRIPTION OF KU-BAND ANTENNA PROBLEM VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SHUTTLE DISCOVERY BLASTS OFF! VIDEO:GO INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AFB VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 070 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 071 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: KSC WEST TOWER VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS LEAVE CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:CREW FINISHES GETTING SUITED UP VIDEO:NARRATED REVIEW OF SHUTTLE’S PREPARATIONS VIDEO:NARRATED REVIEW OF PAYLOADS’ PREPARATIONS VIDEO:PREPARING AN EXTERNAL TANK FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ROLLING BACK FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH PAD’S SERVICE TOWER RETRACTED VIDEO:PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS INSPECT THE PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:STS-131 MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER POINDEXTER VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH PILOT JIM DUTTON VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH RICK MASTRACCHIOVIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH METCALF-LINDENBURGER VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH STEPHANIE WILSON VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH NAOKO YAMAZAKI VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH CLAY ANDERSON VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER OUTLOOK VIDEO:PREVIEW OF DISCOVERY’S LAUNCH COUNTDOWN VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:FULL FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:RECAP OF THE FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW VIDEO:HELIUM VALVE NO CONSTRAINT TO LAUNCH VIDEO:MANAGERS ASSESS ISSUES BEFORE FLIGHT VIDEO:UPDATE ON PRE-LAUNCH PREPS AT PAD 39A VIDEO:SPACEWALKING SUITS LOADED ABOARD VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH STS-131 PAYLOAD MANAGER VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH BOEING PAYLOAD MANAGER VIDEO:PAYLOADS DELIVERED TO LAUNCH PAD 39A VIDEO:TRANSPORT CANISTER ROTATED VERTICALLY VIDEO:LEONARDO PLACED INTO THE TRANSPORTER VIDEO:STATION’S NEW AMMONIA COOLANT TANK VIDEO:LEONARDO HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT VIDEO:FILLING UP ONE OF THE SUPPLY RACKS VIDEO:CAN THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM AVOID LOOMING RETIREMENT? VIDEO:WHAT ABOUT ADDING ONE MORE SHUTTLE MISSION? VIDEO:FULL BRIEFING BY SHUTTLE AND STATION OFFICIALS VIDEO:THE STS-131 MISSION OVERVIEW PRESENTATIONS VIDEO:PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION’S SPACEWALKS VIDEO:THE ASTRONAUTS’ PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE VIDEO:CREW MODULE HATCH IS CLOSED VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS BOARD DISCOVERY VIDEO:CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES VIDEO:TEST-DRIVING AN EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK VIDEO:NIGHTTIME APPROACHES IN TRAINING AIRCRAFT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH REPORTERS AT PAD 39A VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:GANTRY PLACED AROUND DISCOVERY VIDEO:DISCOVERY REACHES PAD 39A VIDEO:OVERNIGHT ROLLOUT BEGINS VIDEO:SHUTTLE HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK VIDEO:CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY VIDEO:DISCOVERY MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS VISIT THEIR SPACECRAFT VIDEO:CREW GOES INSIDE LEONARDO MODULE VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ATTACHED TO BOOSTERS VIDEO:FUEL TANK LIFTED INTO CHECKOUT CELL VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ARRIVES AT SPACEPORT VIDEO:DISCOVERY’S NOSE POD ATTACHED VIDEO:INSTALLING DISCOVERY’S MAIN ENGINES VIDEO:KSC’S SHUTTLE MAIN ENGINE SHOP VIDEO:GASEOUS NITROGEN TANK REMOVED STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space shuttle crew comes to town for Monday’s launchSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: April 1, 2010With their training in Houston now complete, the seven space shuttle Discovery astronauts flew to the Florida spaceport this morning in preparation for Monday’s predawn blastoff to the International Space Station. See crew arrival Commander Alan Poindexter, pilot Jim Dutton and mission specialists Rick Mastracchio, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Naoko Yamazaki and Clay Anderson traveled from Ellington Field to the Kennedy Space Center in a Gulfstream jet, touching down at 6:48 a.m. EDT.”It’s a beautiful morning here at Kennedy Space Center and the crew is very happy to be here as you can see,” Poindexter told reporters after stepping off the plane.In addition to a large group of journalists and photographers at the runway, also greeting the crew were KSC director Bob Cabana and launch director Pete Nickolenko.”We had a short flyby of the pad and saw the good ship Discovery out there and it looks great. And we’re ready to go. Just a short 96 hours from now we should be launching,” Poindexter added. The crew patch for Discovery’s flight deliveringscience and supplies to the space station isavailable in the Spaceflight Now Store. Discovery’s mission to the orbiting station will deliver critical resupply items and new science equipment amounting to thousands of pounds. All activities remain targeted for launch at 6:21 a.m. EDT (1021 GMT) on Monday.”The crew’s ready to go and we’re looking forward to our mission to the International Space Station. It’s a complex 13-day mission, it’s main mission is resupply. We also have three very challenging EVAs,” Poindexter said.”We have seven racks to deliver to the International Space Station, including four research and science racks. We’re looking forward to getting those onboard,” Poindexter said.After making the brief statements to the press and posing for photos, the crew was bussed away to the crew quarters building where they had dinner. Later, the astronauts visited launch pad 39A to perform a final inspection of the mission payloads installed in the orbiter before the cargo bay doors are closed for flight this afternoon.Bedtime will be 12 p.m. EDT, as the crew shifts its wake/sleep cycle for the overnight work hours of the mission. They will be awakened at 8 p.m. EDT tonight for a day devoted to landing practice using the Shuttle Training Aircraft, prepping their flight data files, checking out the spacesuits that will be worn during launch and entry.”It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year now that we’ve been preparing for this mission. It’s just great to be here this week, just four days out from launch,” Dutton said.At launch pad 39A, technicians are running through the routine final steps to ready Discovery for the launch countdown. Clocks are scheduled to start ticking at 3 a.m. EDT Friday for the three-day sequence leading to Monday’s liftoff.”We wanted to thank the dedicated team of professionals down here that’s been working so far for the past several weeks to put the final touches on the vehicle and getting ready to get into the launch countdown early tomorrow morning,” Poindexter said.The weather forecast for launch time is calling for an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions. The chance of fog or a low-cloud ceiling are the two potential worries.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:PREVIEW OF DISCOVERY’S LAUNCH COUNTDOWN VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:FULL FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:RECAP OF THE FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW VIDEO:HELIUM VALVE NO CONSTRAINT TO LAUNCH VIDEO:MANAGERS ASSESS ISSUES BEFORE FLIGHT VIDEO:UPDATE ON PRE-LAUNCH PREPS AT PAD 39A VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH STS-131 PAYLOAD MANAGER VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH BOEING PAYLOAD MANAGER VIDEO:PAYLOADS DELIVERED TO LAUNCH PAD 39A VIDEO:TRANSPORT CANISTER ROTATED VERTICALLY VIDEO:LEONARDO PLACED INTO THE TRANSPORTER VIDEO:STATION’S NEW AMMONIA COOLANT TANK VIDEO:LEONARDO HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT VIDEO:CAN THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM AVOID LOOMING RETIREMENT? VIDEO:WHAT ABOUT ADDING ONE MORE SHUTTLE MISSION? VIDEO:FULL BRIEFING BY SHUTTLE AND STATION OFFICIALS VIDEO:THE STS-131 MISSION OVERVIEW PRESENTATIONS VIDEO:PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION’S SPACEWALKS VIDEO:THE ASTRONAUTS’ PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE VIDEO:CREW MODULE HATCH IS CLOSED VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS BOARD DISCOVERY VIDEO:CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES VIDEO:TEST-DRIVING AN EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK VIDEO:NIGHTTIME APPROACHES IN TRAINING AIRCRAFT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH REPORTERS AT PAD 39A VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:GANTRY PLACED AROUND DISCOVERY VIDEO:DISCOVERY REACHES PAD 39A VIDEO:OVERNIGHT ROLLOUT BEGINS VIDEO:SHUTTLE HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK VIDEO:CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY VIDEO:DISCOVERY MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS VISIT THEIR SPACECRAFT VIDEO:CREW GOES INSIDE LEONARDO MODULE VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ATTACHED TO BOOSTERS VIDEO:FUEL TANK LIFTED INTO CHECKOUT CELL VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ARRIVES AT SPACEPORT Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space shuttle Discovery soars into predawn skyBY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  9. “I think the space shuttle, as a machine, is the single most incredible machine humanity has ever built,” Ham reflected. “Space station might be right up there with it, but it is an incredible machine. The fact of the matter is, if we want to use our national assets to do space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, you can’t do that in a space shuttle. So there’s the logical side of all of us that realizes the program has to come to an end at some point. And it is an honor and a privilege for us to represent being part of that crew at the end.”

  10. The astronauts also will deliver replacement hardware to overhaul the lab’s water recycling system, the complex equipment that turns sweat and urine into ultra-pure water for drinking, crew hygiene and oxygen generation. The system has been out of action in recent weeks because of higher-than-expected calcium concentrations in a critical distillation assembly.

  11. Posted: May 14, 2010 The shuttle Atlantis launched at 2:20 p.m. EDT Friday on potentially its final mission after nearly 25 years of service to America’s space program. The shuttle is carrying a Russian module and supplies to the International Space Station.These images were taken from the Kennedy Space Center press site about 3.1 miles from launch pad 39A.Photo credit: Spaceflight Now Click for larger panorama from the press site of Atlantis’ dramatic launch.Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowPhoto credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight Now | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Atlantis completes flawless visit to the space stationBY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  12. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: February 13, 2010Astronauts Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick prepared for a plannedsix-and-a-half-hour spacewalk Saturday to hook up ammonia coolant lines between thenew Tranquility module and the International Space Station.Credit: NASAMission managers, meanwhile, approved a one-day extension to the shuttle Endeavour’sflight to give the astronauts more time to move life support system racks andexercise gear into the new module. Undocking from the station is now targeted forFeb. 19 with landing back at the Kennedy Space Center around 10:24 p.m. EST on Feb.21.The primary objective of the crew’s second spacewalk is the connection of ammoniacoolant loops to carry away the heat generated by Tranquility’s electrical systems.Two independent coolant loops will be connected but only one of them – loop A – willbe activated, allowing engineers to begin powering up the new module.The spacewalk was scheduled to begin around 9:09 p.m. EST. For identification,Behnken, call sign EV-1, will be wearing a suit with red stripes around the legs.Patrick, EV-2, will be wearing an unmarked suit.This will be the 139th spacewalk devoted to station assembly since constructionbegan in 1998, the second of three planned by Behnken and Patrick and the third sofar this year. Total station EVA assembly time stood at 861 hours and 34 minutesgoing into Saturday’s excursion.The Tranquility module, also known as node 3, was attached to the left side of thestation’s central Unity module during the crew’s first spacewalk overnight Thursday.The astronauts worked overnight Friday to make internal connections between the newmodule and the station and to prepare a multi-window cupola attached to the far endof Tranquility for relocation to the module’s Earth-facing port overnight Sunday.But the crew ran into problems installing a protective cover on the outboard side ofthe Tranquility hatch where the cupola is currently attached. Engineers aretroubleshooting an interference issue that is preventing the cover from going intoplace. Plans to depressurize the cupola in preparation for its upcoming move weredelayed.Station commander Jeffrey Williams reported Saturday that a closer inspectionindicated removal of a few bolts would eliminate the interference. Photos weredownlinked to engineers in Houston while Behnken and Patrick pressed ahead withtheir spacewalk preparations.”The major activities, of course, are installing the ammonia lines and wrapping themin protective insulation,” said station Flight Director Bob Dempsey. “This is goingto be the major portion, the first half of the EVA.”All four ammonia jumper lines will be installed, but only two of them, what we callthe A loop, will be integrated into the external thermal control system. At thatpoint, the ground will have already prepared the node 3 by activating some of thebasic computer and power systems. Once we have that thermal control systemactivated, we will then complete the activation of the module. At that point, at theend of the EVA, we’ll have one leg of our redundant system fully operational.”The remainder of the EVA will be preparing some gap spanners, which the crew usesfor (moving around the module’s exterior), putting some handrails in place, puttingin some sockets that will be used for foot restraints down the road if we ever needit, general outfitting of the module. They will also be preparing the node 3 nadirport, the common berthing mechanism, by removing some launch locks so we can openthe petals we’ll use to berth the cupola.”NASA originally planned to attach Tranquility to the Unity module’s Earth-facingport, but engineers decided to move it to the left side of the module to improvevisibility for robot arm operators and to provide more clearance for Soyuzspacecraft docking at a nearby Russian port.But connectors needed to circulate ammonia coolant to and from Tranquility were notcorrectly positioned, or “clocked,” for Tranquility to be attached to Unity’sleft-side port. Custom 16-foot extension hoses were ordered, but problems duringrecent pressure tests forced NASA to develop an alternative approach.NASA managers ultimately decided to connect shorter flight-qualified hoses to solvethe problem while improvements were ordered to bring the longer hoses up to flightstandards as a backup.For redundancy, the space station has two independent cooling loops and duringSaturday’s spacewalk, Behnken and Patrick plan to connect the supply and returnlines for both loops. But only loop A will be pressurized. Loop B will bepressurized during a third spacewalk overnight Tuesday.Saturday’s flight plan calls for Behnken and Patrick to unfold a large sheet ofmulti-layer insulation and tether it in place. Then, the coolant lines will be laiddown and the insulation wrapped around them.”That’s the biggest single challenge in all three of the EVAs, is getting theammonia lines right,” said Patrick. “Because there are four of them, and thenthere’s this huge piece of insulation that we call MLI, for multi-layer insulation,it’s about 20 feet long but it looks like it’s a hundred feet long, shaped like a Y.”It comes out of the bag very carefully and deliberately and we lay that down alongthe path of the ammonia jumpers. We put that MLI insulation behind some tethers thathold it in the right place and then, one at a time, we take the ammonia jumpers outof their bag and connect them to the lab and the new node 3 and open the valves.”While no one expects any leaks, the astronauts will be prepared for possibledecontamination procedures if any problems are encountered.”When we first open up the valve and allow the ammonia to flow, that’ll be our firstindication if there’s any leaking,” Dempsey said before launch. “If there’ssomething that happens at that point, there’s not really any automated computerresponse. We will shut down the lines, have the crew take some sort of response,which may be to close the valve or something like that.”If you didn’t do anything with a leak, you could drain a large quantity ofammonia,” he said. “However, we do have a number of valves at various places, mainlyright on both sides where we will open the valves and connect them, that we couldshut.”Here is an updated timeline of today’s activity (in EST and mission elapsed time;includes revision F of the NASA television schedule):EST……..DD…HH…MM…EVENT02/1304:14 PM…05…12…00…Crew wakeup04:54 PM…05…12…40…EVA-1: Airlock repress/hygiene break05:39 PM…05…13…25…EVA-1: Airlock depress to 10.2 psi07:34 PM…05…15…20…EVA-2: Spacesuit purge07:39 PM…05…15…25…Starboard deck IMV install07:39 PM…05…15…25…Node 3 overhead IMV cap07:49 PM…05…15…35…EVA-2: Spacesuit prebreathe08:04 PM…05…15…50…Node 3 VAP cap removal08:39 PM…05…16…25…Starboard overhead IMV install08:39 PM…05…16…25…EVA-2: Crew lock depressurization08:54 PM…05…16…40…Node 3 PPRV cap removal09:09 PM…05…16…55…EVA-2: Spacesuits to battery power09:14 PM…05…17…00…EVA-2: Airlock egress09:39 PM…05…17…25…Node 3 ISP stowage transfer09:49 PM…05…17…35…EVA-2: Node 3 MLI layout10:09 PM…05…17…55…EVA-2: Ammonia jumper install11:34 PM…05…19…20…EVA-2: Ammonia MLI install02/1412:19 AM…05…20…05…EVA-2: EV2: Open lab loop A QDs12:19 AM…05…20…05…EVA-2: EV1: Open node 3 loop A QDs12:39 AM…05…20…25…EVA-2: Ammonia MLI closure12:54 AM…05…20…40…Node 3 ISP 1 removal01:09 AM…05…20…55…EVA-2: EV2: Node 3 outfitting01:19 AM…05…21…05…EVA-2: EV1: Node 3 outfitting01:39 AM…05…21…25…Node 3 ISP 2 removal02:24 AM…05…22…10…Starboard deck IMV checkout02:54 AM…05…22…40…Starboard overhead IMV checkout03:09 AM…05…22…55…EVA-2: Cleanup and ingress03:39 AM…05…23…25…EVA-2: Airlock repressurization03:54 AM…05…23…40…Node 3 CDC troubleshooting03:54 AM…05…23…40…Spacesuit servicing05:30 AM…06…01…16…Mission status briefing on NTV07:44 AM…06…03…30…ISS crew sleep begins08:14 AM…06…04…00…STS crew sleep begins09:00 AM…06…04…46…Daily highlights reel on NTV01:30 PM…06…09…16…Flight director’s update on NTV04:14 PM…06…12…00…Crew wakeupAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 5 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SACRAMENTO, MOBILE AND ST. LOUIS MEDIA INTERVIEWS VIDEO:WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON’S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MORNING’S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 4 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MORNING’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:HATCHWAY OPENED BETWEEN TWO SPACECRAFT VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:SHUTTLE FLIES OUT IN FRONT OF STATION VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP VIDEO:STUNNING SHOT OF SHUTTLE AGAINST HORIZON VIDEO:STATION’S VIEW OF SHUTTLE ENGINE FIRING VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 3 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:TUESDAY AFTERNOON’S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:AMAZING LAUNCH FOOTAGE FROM COCKPIT CAMERA VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:TUESDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF WING INSPECTIONS VIDEO:INSPECTION BOOM READIED FOR USE VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 2 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:NARRATED TOUR OF ENDEAVOUR’S PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:THE FULL STS-130 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR BLASTS OFF! VIDEO:GO BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL VIDEO:JETTISONED EXTERNAL FUEL TANK TUMBLES AWAY VIDEO:PAYLOAD BAY DOORS OPENED FOLLOWING LAUNCH VIDEO:CREW FINISHES GETTING SUITED UP VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS LEAVE CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39A VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS BOARD THEIR SPACECRAFT VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 070 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 071 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BANANA CREEK SITE VIDEO:NARRATED REVIEW OF SHUTTLE’S PREPARATIONS VIDEO:NARRATED REVIEW OF PAYLOADS’ PREPARATIONS VIDEO:EXPLANATION OF WEATHER PROBLEMS VIDEO:LOW CLOUDS SCRUB FIRST COUNTDOWN VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR PAD 39A VIDEO:CREW GETS SUITED UP FOR LAUNCH ATTEMPT VIDEO:PAD SERVICE GANTRY RETRACTED VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF MOBILE TOWER ROLLBACK VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER GEORGE ZAMKA VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH PILOT TERRY VIRTS VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 1 KAY HIRE VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 2 STEVE ROBINSON VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 3 NICK PATRICK VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 4 BOB BEHNKEN VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:THURSDAY STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE VIDEO:COUNTDOWN PREVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH DATE SET AT FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW VIDEO:PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:CREW SEES TRANQUILITY LOADED INTO SHUTTLE VIDEO:SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS BOARD ENDEAVOUR VIDEO:THE LAUNCH DAY SIMULATION BEGINS VIDEO:PAD BUNKER TRAINING FOR THE CREW VIDEO:CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES VIDEO:TEST-DRIVING AN EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK VIDEO:NIGHTTIME APPROACHES IN TRAINING AIRCRAFT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH REPORTERS AT PAD 39A VIDEO:SPACEWALKER UPDATES COOLING HOSE FIX VIDEO:ROBINSON’S THOUGHTS ON SHUTTLE RETIREMENT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:TRANQUILITY DELIVERED TO PAD 39A VIDEO:PAYLOAD TRANSPORTER GOES UPRIGHT VIDEO:PACKING UP PAYLOAD FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR’S FRIGID ROLLOUT TO PAD VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK VIDEO:CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE SHOWS ENDEAVOUR ASCENDING IN VAB VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE SHOWS THE MOVE TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:ORBITER READY TO LEAVE HANGAR VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ATTACHED TO BOOSTERS VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR’S MAIN ENGINE INSTALLATION VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS VISIT THEIR SPACECRAFT VIDEO:CREW INSPECTS MISSION PAYLOADS VIDEO:FUEL TANK UNLOADED FROM THE BARGE VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ARRIVES AT SPACEPORT VIDEO:FORWARD THRUSTER POD CHECKED OUT VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR TOWED OFF RUNWAY FROM STS-127 VIDEO:TRANQUILITY HATCH SEALED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:CUPOLA ATTACHED TO TRANQUILITY VIDEO:THE SPACE STATION’S NEW CUPOLA VIDEO:TRANQUILITY UNPACKED IN FLORIDA VIDEO:NEW MODULE ARRIVES FROM EUROPE STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spacewalking plumbers make Tranquility coolerBY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  13. The Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador was built in 2013and seats 48,747 spectators. .

  14. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 28, 2008Space station commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Dan Tani are preparing for a critical, riskier-than-usual spacewalk Wednesday to replace a faulty solar array motor assembly on the right side of the lab’s power truss. The motor, which malfunctioned Dec. 8, is needed to pivot a solar blanket from side to side to improve power generation. A different problem in a massive rotary joint used to turn the right-side solar panels like a giant paddle wheel will take longer to resolve. But a successful motor swap-out Wednesday should permit the station to generate the electricity needed to permit attachment of new European and Japanese research modules in February, March and April.The spacewalk is a bit riskier than most for two reasons: A mistake managing the latches that hold the motor and its housing in place could result in the solar panel’s inadvertent release; and because of the shock hazard associated with unplugging and replugging power cables that route 160-volt electricity from the array into the station. To eliminate any chance of a potentially fatal shock, the work will take place when the station is in Earth’s shadow and the arrays are not generating any significant power.”The choreography for the EVA will be very complex, both on orbit and with the ground,” Tani said. “Because we’re dealing with a solar array that produces kilowatts of power, we have to be very conscientious of when we’re going to be opening connections that will expose us to that power. So the bulk of the activities will have to be performed at night when the solar array is not producing any power, or much power, at all.”The bearing motor roll ring module, or BMRRM (pronounced “broom”), is roughly the size of a garbage can and weighs more than 200 pounds. Replacing it is complicated, Whitson said, “because it’s really the guts of what’s holding the solar array in place. And so Dan and I will have to coordinate when we release and grapple onto the (motor housing) canister in order not to lose the solar array. That would lose us a whole lot of style points!”The planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, the 101st devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998 and the first so far this year, is scheduled to begin around 5:20 a.m. Whitson and Tani will exit the Quest airlock module and make their way to the far end of the right-side, or starboard, solar array truss segment. They will await the start of an eclipse period before beginning the repair work.Here is a timeline of events, including when live television from the station is possible (in EST):02:00 AM…Crew wakeup 03:55 AM…Oxygen pre-breathe procedure 04:00 AM…NASA TV coverage begins04:09 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens04:45 AM…ISS TV downlink window closes05:12 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens05:20 AM…Spacewalk begins05:49 AM…ISS TV downlink window closes06:10 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens06:22 AM…ISS TV downlink window closes06:47 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens07:00 AM…Failed BMRRM removal begins in eclipse07:35 AM…ISS TV downlink window closes08:24 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens08:30 AM…New BMRRM installation begins in eclipse09:10 AM…ISS TV downlink window closes10:00 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens10:05 AM…Solar alpha rotary joint inspection begins11:20 AM…ISS TV downlink window closes11:35 AM…ISS TV downlink window opens11:50 AM…Spacewalk ends 12:59 PM…ISS TV downlink window closes”We think the actual remove and replace will take around two-and-a-half hours,” said Kieth Johnson, NASA’s lead spacewalk planner. “The way we have this planned out, we need to do the critical tasks in an eclipse. So the crew members are going to come out of the airlock and they’ll have about 90 minutes to run through all the set up procedures to get them into position. As part of that, they’re going to review all the steps that they need to do during the eclipse and they’ll go through and make sure all the tethering and everything is routed. We hope to have about 10 minutes of wait time until the eclipse comes up before they jump into the actual tasks of disconnecting the connectors and driving the bolts to remove the failed broom.”We have about a 35-minute eclipse period,” he said. “And we’ve been told from the engineering community that about the first minute and the last two minutes of that eclipse are unusable because we’re waiting for the power to ramp down at the beginning and then to ramp back up again at the end. So roughly 32-and-a-half, 33 minutes of that time is useful to get the steps complete.”We’ve discussed some back-out plans if we get to the end of the eclipse and we haven’t gotten the new broom installed or are having problems, we can remove that broom, set it off to the side, we’ll pull a cover over the beta gimbal assembly housing and the crew will have to wait until the next eclipse to start back in and finish the tasks,” Johnson said. “What we’re hoping to do is get the new broom installed, the center bolt latched and the vice clamp in place. If we have enough time, we’re going to go through the rest of the connectors and get it all hooked up.”Astronauts Tom Marshburn and Sunita Williams practiced the repair procedure last week in a huge water tank near the Johnson Space Center.”They’ll want to be very meticulous, making sure they’re making the right connections at the right time,” Marshburn told reporters. “A little bit of a timeline crunch when they’re performing some of the activities during the eclipse. On our run when we actually went through the timeline step by step last Friday at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory underwater in the suits, we found it’s very doable to get all this done within the time constraints.”The starboard side of the station’s power truss is made up of a solar alpha rotary joint, or SARJ, and two solar panels making up the starboard 4 – S4 – power module. One wing of the array is known as S4-1A and the other, extending in the opposite direction, is known as S4-3A. The two panels stretch some 240 feet from tip to tip. A second set of arrays, known as S6, will be attached to the starboard power truss next fall.To maximize power generation, the arrays must be constantly repositioned to keep them face on to the sun as the station orbits the Earth. The starboard SARJ, which features a 10-foot-wide motor-driven gear supported by 12 so-called trundle bearings, is designed to turn the outboard arrays like a giant paddle wheel, completing one 360-degree rotation per 90-minute orbit.But the sun’s position relative to the space station’s orbital path changes from day to day and simply rotating the arrays end over end is not enough to maximize power production. To permit the panels to be aimed to either side of the station’s orbital path while the SARJ rotates them as required, each array wing is equipped with a beta gimbal joint. The beta gimbal assembly pivots the blankets from side to side about their long axis in a motion similar to changing the pitch of an airplane propeller.The port-side of the station’s power truss is finished and now features four solar array wings. The BGAs on those four wings are working normally, as is the port-side SARJ.But only one set of arrays is in place on the right side of the truss and one of them – panel S4-1A – suffered a BGA failure Dec. 8. Engineers initially believed a cable or some other component might have been hit by space debris or a micrometeoroid. But during a spacewalk inspection by Whitson and Tani on Dec. 18, no such damage was found. Subsequent tests showed the problem involved a fault inside the BGA motor assembly itself, the BMRRM or broom.”This kind of a garbage-can sized device not only transmits all of the power from the solar array to the truss structure where it’s accumulated and given to the station, but also provides the mechanical connection,” Tani said. “So to simply replace this item, we need to use latches that are already in place and make sure those are tied down so that the solar array doesn’t go floating away. That’s probably the biggest danger to this EVA.”The loss of a single BGA would not normally be a critical issue. But NASA is on the verge of launching European and Japanese research modules and the station needs all of the power it can generate.What makes the BGA problem serious in the near term is that earlier this fall, engineers noticed high vibration levels in the starboard SARJ. Impromptu spacewalk inspections revealed unexpected damage to the surface of one bearing race surface and large amounts of metallic shavings, presumably the result of some sort of friction or grinding in the mechanism that eroded the outer layer of the bearing race in question.Engineers still do not understand the root cause of the race ring damage. The current plan is to possibly lubricate the damaged race in the near term and then, during a shuttle visit later this fall, move the 12 bearing assemblies and two drive motors to a redundant inboard gear. But engineers do not want to consider such a drastic step until they figure out what is causing the problem with the active gear and race ring.If time is available after Wednesday’s BMRRM changeout, Whitson and Tani will move back to the starboard SARJ for additional inspections.The goal is to collect additional data “to help the ground troubleshoot the problems the SARJ is experiencing,” Tani said. “The ground just completed a good visual inspection of that SARJ using the camera on the station’s robotic arm. Any data we will get looking under some covers we were not able to access during the last EVA (in December) will provide just additional data to help them figure out what’s going on and come up with the best plan to get that SARJ back in action.” John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Station gyro problem no threat to shuttle missionBY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  15. The University of Maryland space physics group specializes in measurements of space plasmas and of suprathermal and energetic ions found in solar, planetary, and interplanetary environments. The work for which the group is internationally recognized includes studies of the composition and ionization states of the solar wind, solar energetic particles, and interstellar neutral atoms which have been “picked up” in the solar wind. This work, carried on at Maryland since the late 1960s, has given key insights into solar energetic particle acceleration and conditions in the solar atmosphere.Other work has provided fundamental information about the energizing of particles by traveling interplanetary shocks and such diverse topics as the origin of oxygen and sulfur ions in Jupiter’s magnetosphere from the volcanoes on the moon Io and the composition and energy content of the Earth’s radiation belts.The plasma and energetic particle observations carried out by the Space Physics Group require novel instrumentation carried on Earth-orbiting satellites and deep-space probes. Instruments are designed and constructed on campus by the group’s technical staff, with participation by graduate as well as undergraduate students.Experiments built by the group are currently operating on 13 spacecraft, including Cassini. Other missions carrying the group’s sensors include the Voyager deep-space probes, the Ulysses probe to the solar poles and near-Earth missions such as Geotail, the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), WIND, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE).Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:WATCH FRIDAY’S SCIENCE NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:THURSDAY’S NEWS BRIEFING ON CASSINI’S FIRST PICTURES VIDEO:RING PICTURES ARE PRESENTED WITH EXPERT NARRATION VIDEO:CASSINI RE-DISCOVERS TINY MOONS ATLAS AND PAN VIDEO:CASSINI BOOMING SOUNDS FROM BOW-SHOCK CROSSING VIDEO:CASSINI BEGINS ENGINE FIRING TO ENTER ORBIT VIDEO:BURN ENDS SUCCESSFULLY TO PUT CASSINI IN ORBIT VIDEO:POST-ARRIVAL NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S 12 P.M. EDT CASSINI STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:A LOOK AT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION VIDEO:’RING-SIDE CHAT’ ABOUT SPACE EXPLORATION VIDEO:AN OVERVIEW OF CASSINI’S RADIO SCIENCE VIDEO:TUESDAY’S CASSINI MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:CASSINI’S ARRIVAL AT SATURN EXPLAINED VIDEO:SCIENCE OBJECTIVES FOR CASSINI ORBITER VIDEO:HUYGENS LANDER SCIENCE OBJECTIVES Ferryflight Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!”The Final Mission” – NASA emblem developed for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew and their support teams to deliver the orbiters to their final destinations at museums.Columbia ReportA reproduction of the official accident investigation report into the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. Choose your store: – – – Mars PanoramaDISCOUNTED! This 360 degree image was taken by the Mars Pathfinder, which landed on the Red Planet in July 1997. The Sojourner Rover is visible in the image. Choose your store:Apollo 11 Mission ReportApollo 11 – The NASA Mission Reports Vol. 3 is the first comprehensive study of man’s first mission to another world is revealed in all of its startling complexity. Includes DVD!Choose your store: – – – Rocket DVDIf you’ve ever watched a launch from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg Air Force Base or even Kodiak Island Alaska, there’s no better way to describe what you witnessed than with this DVD.Choose your store: – – – Soviet SpaceFor the first time ever available in the West. Rocket & Space Corporation Energia: a complete pictorial history of the Soviet/Russian Space Program from 1946 to the present day all in full color. Available from our store.Choose your store: – – – Viking patchThis embroidered mission patch celebrates NASA’s Viking Project which reached the Red Planet in 1976.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 7 DVDFor 11 days the crew of Apollo 7 fought colds while they put the Apollo spacecraft through a workout, establishing confidence in the machine what would lead directly to the bold decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon just 2 months later. Choose your store: – – – Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn in full view for Cassini spacecraft CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: August 2, 2004Two weeks after orbit insertion, Cassini glanced back at Saturn, taking in the entire planet and its expansive rings. Currently it is summer in Saturn’s southern hemisphere. Notable here is the bright spot located near the planet’s southern hemisphere, where the line from the day and night side of the planet meets. The angle of illumination hints at Saturn’s tilt relative to the Sun. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload a larger version of image The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera on July 13, 2004, from a distance of about 5 million kilometers (3.1 million miles) from Saturn. The Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase angle of this image is 95 degrees. The image scale is 299 kilometers (186 miles) per pixel. Contrast has been enhanced slightly to aid visibility. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn in infrared CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: June 18, 2004 Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version Saturn’s bright equatorial band displays an exquisite swirl near the planet’s eastern limb. This image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft’s narrow angle camera on May 18, 2004, from a distance of 23.4 million kilometers (14.5 million miles) from Saturn.The camera used a filter sensitive to absorption and scattering of sunlight by methane gas in the infrared (centered at 889 nanometers). The image scale is 139 kilometers (86 miles) per pixel.No contrast enhancement has been performed on this image. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn lightning, rotation discoveries made UNIVERSITY OF IOWA NEWS RELEASEPosted: December 20, 2004As NASA’s Cassini spacecraft approached Saturn last July, it found evidence that lightning on the planet is roughly one million times stronger than lightning on Earth.That’s just one of several Cassini findings that University of Iowa Space Physicist Don Gurnett will present in a paper published in Science Express, an online version of the journal Science, andin a talk delivered at a meeting of the AmericanGeophysical Union in San Francisco.Other findings include:Cassini impacted dust particles as it traversed Saturn’s rings.Saturn’s radio rotation rate varies.The comparison between Saturn’s enormously strong lightning and Earth’slightning began several years ago as the Cassini spacecraft preparedfor its journey to Saturn by swinging past the Earth to receive agravitational boost. At that time, Cassini started detecting radio signalsfrom Earth’s lightning as far out as 89,200 kilometers from the Earth’ssurface. In contrast, as Cassini approached Saturn, it started detectingradio signals from lightning about 161 million kilometers from the planet.”This means that radio signals from Saturn’s lightning are on the order ofone million times stronger than Earth’s lightning. That’s just astonishingto me!” says Gurnett, who notes that some radio signals have been linkedto storm systems observed by the Cassini imaging instrument.Earth’s lightning is commonly detected on AM radios, a technique similar tothat used by scientists monitoring signals from Cassini.Regarding Saturn’s rings, Gurnett says that the Cassini Radio and PlasmaWave Science (RPWS) instrument detected large numbers of dust impacts onthe spacecraft. Gurnett and his science team found that as Cassiniapproached the inbound ring plane crossing, the impact rate began toincrease dramatically some two minutes before the ring plane crossing,then reached a peak of more than 1,000 per second at almost exactly thetime of the ring plane crossing, and finally decreased to pre-existinglevels about two minutes later.Gurnett notes that the particles areprobably quite small, only a few microns in diameter, otherwise they wouldhave damaged the spacecraft.Finally, variations in Saturn’s radio rotation rate came as a surprise.Based upon more than one year of Cassini measurements, the rate is 10hours 45 minutes and 45 seconds, plus or minus 36 seconds. That’s about sixminutes longer than the value recorded by the Voyager 1 and 2 flybys ofSaturn in 1980-81.Scientists use the rotation rate of radio emissionsfrom the giant gas planets such as Saturn and Jupiter to determine therotation rate of the planets themselves because the planets have no solidsurfaces and are covered by clouds that make direct visual measurementsimpossible.Gurnett suggests that the change in the radio rotation rate is difficult toexplain.”Saturn is unique in that its magnetic axis is almost exactlyaligned with its rotational axis. That means there is no rotationallyinduced wobble in the magnetic field, so there must be some secondaryeffect controlling the radio emission. We hope to nail that down duringthe next four to eight years of the Cassini mission.”One possible scenario was suggested nearly 20 years ago. Writing in theMay 1985 issue of “Geophysical Research Letters,” Alex J. Dessler, a seniorresearch scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University ofArizona, argued that the magnetic fields of gaseous giant planets, such asSaturn and Jupiter, are more like that of the sun than of the Earth. Thesun’s magnetic field does not rotate as a solid body. Instead, its rotationperiod varies with latitude.Commenting earlier this year on the work ofGurnett and his team, Dessler said, “This finding is very significantbecause it demonstrates that the idea of a rigidly rotating magnetic fieldis wrong. Saturn’s magnetic field has more in common with the sun than theEarth. The measurement can be interpreted as showing that the part ofSaturn’s magnetic field that controls the radio emissions has moved to ahigher latitude during the last two decades.”The radio sounds of Saturn’s rotation – resembling a heartbeat – andother sounds of space can be heard by visiting Gurnett’s Web site at:.Cassini, carrying 12 scientific instruments, on June 30, 2004 became thefirst spacecraft to orbit Saturn and begin a four-year study of the planet,its rings and its 31 known moons. The $1.4 billion spacecraft is part ofthe $3.3 billion Cassini-Huygens Mission that includes the Huygens probe,a six-instrument European Space Agency probe, scheduled to land on Titan,Saturn’s largest moon, in January 2005.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the EuropeanSpace Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of theCalifornia Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. manages theCassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington,D.C. JPLdesigned, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn Orbit Insertion is a time of nervous anticipation BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  16. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 14, 2005A huge radio telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia, was able to detectand lock onto a faint carrier signal from the Huygens Titan probe for morethan two hours this morning, confirming the spacecraft’s continued descentthrough the moon’s atmosphere following a high-speed entry around 5:13 a.m. EST (1013GMT).A second radio telescope now has picked up the signal as well and EuropoeanSpace Agency project scientist Jean-Pierre Lebreton said engineers were evenable to confirm at least one of the probe’s six on-board instruments hadactivated as planned.Touchdown on Titan’s surface was expected around 7:34 a.m.But detection of a carrier – a feat equivalent to picking up a cell phonecall from 751 million miles away – only means the spacecraft was alive andthat it survived the rigors of atmospheric entry. Confirmation that actualscience data was collected won’t be available until 11:15 a.m. EST, afterNASA’s Cassini spacecraft relays recorded data to Earth.”We’ve got a long way to go,” said ESA science director David Southwood.”As far as i’m concerned,the baby is out of the womb, but we’ve yet to countthe fingers and toes, so we’ve still got a long way to go. But it’s a majorstep, a major engineering step. You can probably detect a certain relief onmy face. That’s real. But there’s still a long way to go before the fullbaby is revealed.”NASA science chief Al Diaz said detection of the carrier signal “meansthat probably one of the most difficult entry activities ever done has justbeen accomplished successfully.”Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Huygens mission ends BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  17. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 14, 2005Initial pictures of Saturn’s moon Titan snapped by Europe’s Huygens probe during its historic atmospheric descent and touchdown today show an active world likely carved by the flow of cryogenic liquids that may still pool on its frigid surface, a leading planetary scientist says. This raw image was returned by the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer camera onboard the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe after the probe descended through the atmosphere of Titan. It shows the surface of Titan with ice blocks strewn around. The size and distance of the blocks will be determined when the image is properly processed. Credit: ESA/NASA/University of ArizonaLarger than Pluto and Mercury, Titan is the only moon in the solar system with a thick atmosphere and researchers expected Huygens to find a truly alien landscape under the smoggy haze. They got what they wanted.”Surprises are always the things that get you,” said Torrence Johnson, a member of NASA’s Cassini imaging team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We’d hoped for a strange surface, it’s always nice to see something like a science fiction movie or whatever, but this is exceeding our expectations.”I mean, this is not a landscape filled with impact craters and a few ridges and hills. It’s an active, living place that’s interacting with its atmosphere just like Earth and ancient Mars did. And yet it’s doing this in a completely different environment, where it’s not water and rain from clouds of water that are doing things. You’re dealing with what we would regard as cryogenic things here on the Earth, cold liquid gases, basically, and yet it’s producing a place that looks strangely familiar.”The European Space Agency released three images from Huygens’ camera late today, showing the looming surface from 10 miles up, from five miles and finally, from the surface itself. The first image shows what appear to be erosion-carved gullies snaking down through light-shaded terrain to what looks like a long shoreline bordering a dark, featureless plain. Or lake.Scientists speculated for years that ethane and methane should exist in liquid form on Titan’s surface because of the nature of its nitrogen-dominated atmosphere, low temperatures and other factors. But recent ground-based observations seemed to rule out the possibility of global oceans. Initial data from the Cassini orbiter that carried Huygens to Titan found no definitive evidence of smaller bodies of liquids.But the Huygens photo indicates liquids almost certainly flowed in the past, if not the present. They also show light-shaded areas seen in Cassini orbiter photos likely are slightly elevated and that darker areas are relatively flat, lower-lying features. The latter are candidates for past or present lakes or flood plains. This is one of the first raw images returned by the ESA Huygens probe during its successful descent. It was taken from an altitude of 16.2 kilometres with a resolution of approximately 40 metres per pixel. It apparently shows short, stubby drainage channels leading to a shoreline. Credit: ESA/NASA TV”This picture, many people have told me, that looks something like the Earth, sort of like Mars,” Johnson said. “The reason it has that impression to you is that is an eroded surface, you see things that look like channels and so forth. When you look at the moon, when you look at the uplands of Mars, you don’t see that, you see barren landscapes with impact craters on them. So this is telling us for sure, this is an active area.”It also implies very strongly that the light area is, in fact, slightly elevated because you don’t have stream channels that run up hill. They all run downhill, and it looks like a lot of that darker area is, in fact, smooth, dark area. Now, we don’t know whether that’s liquid now, but it certainly looks like liquid and in this case, water is not what we’re talking about. On Mars, when you’re talking liquid and liquid erosion, you’re talking water. On Titan, what you’re talking about with the temperatures at Titan’s surface, less than 300 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the only thing that’s liquid is natural gas. And that’s coming out of the atmosphere, liquid ethane and methane.”So these channels have probably been cut in slightly elevated ice, which is playing the role of rock, and then producing tarry substances that run down hill and make these smooth areas,” Johnson said. “How long ago that occurred, whether there’s still liquid in some of those areas, we don’t know. But a picture like that can really start unlocking some of the mysteries we’ve been debating about looking at the data from the orbiter. And in turn, that means we can take the orbiter data and get a much better global perspective about what’s going on on Titan.” An artist’s concept shows Huygens parachuting to Titan after deployment from the Cassini orbiter. Credit: EADS AstriumThe picture Huygens snapped on the surface of Titan showed what looks like rocks strewn over a plain stretching away to a hazy horizon. The scene looked remarkably similar to pictures taken by the Mars rover, Spirit, in Gusev Crater. But Huygens didn’t spot silicon-based rocks like those on Earth.”It’s probably ice, water ice,” Johnson said. “Water ice is a really good rock at the temperatures at Titan’s surface. Again, to a geologist, that shouts erosion and you see the blocks are rounded like rocks in the bottom of a stream bed on Earth.”While no liquids are visible in the picture, “I think most of my geological colleagues would agree that what’s happened here, we’re probably looking at an area that’s flowed out from someplace that has been eroded by these ethane, methane liquids, it carried ice boulders of water ice with them, rounded them in the process and left them in sort of an outwash plain.”Johnson said the data seen today represents “the tip of the iceberg.”"These are just a few snippets out of the data set from the images alone,” he said. “We also have a vast array of chemical data about the atmosphere. … In the next few days, we’ll start getting detailed read outs about what’s in the atmosphere, what’s raining down on the surface and what that surface looks like in great detail.”Stay tuned!Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:THE FIRST PICTURE FROM HUYGENS IS REVEALED VIDEO:HUYGENS POST-LANDING NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:STATUS REPORT DURING DESCENT AUDIO:TODAY’S STATUS REPORT DURING DESCENT VIDEO:HUYGENS PRE-ARRIVAL NEWS BRIEFING AUDIO:HUYGENS PRE-ARRIVAL NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF HUYGENS PROBE’S SCIENCE OBJECTIVES VIDEO:JULY NEWS BRIEFING ON CASSINI’S PICTURES OF TITAN VIDEO:PICTURES SHOWING TITAN SURFACE FROM OCT. FLYBY VIDEO:WHAT’S KNOWN ABOUT TITAN BEFORE THE FIRST FLYBY VIDEO:NARRATED MOVIE OF CLOUDS MOVING NEAR SOUTH POLE VIDEO:OCT. BRIEFING ON RADAR IMAGES OF TITAN SURFACE Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Plasma noise burst welcomes Cassini at Saturn UNIVERSITY OF IOWA NEWS RELEASEPosted: June 29, 2004Although the Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to officially arrive at theplanet Saturn on June 30, scientists studying the planet’s magnetospherereceived an official welcome on June 27 when a burst of plasma wave noiseindicated that Cassini had crossed the planet’s bow shock — the regionwhere charged particles flowing outward from the sun collide with Saturn’smagnetic field or magnetosphere.University of Iowa Space Physicist Don Gurnett, head of the team that isanalyzing radio and plasma wave emissions, says, “This is exciting. Afternearly seven years, we finally got there! This marks the beginning of thescientific investigation for the people who will study the planet’smagnetosphere.”Bill Kurth, Cassini team member and UI senior research scientist, comparedthe bow shock to a sonic boom.”The bow shock is similar to a jet aircraft sonic boom that forms across thefront of the plane. The charged particles flowing from the sun, called thesolar wind, pass Saturn and the other planets at a speed of about onemillion miles an hour. We can compare the position of the bow shock with thepressure of the solar wind to learn something about the size of Saturn’smagnetosphere and how much its size is controlled by the solar wind,” hesays.The June 27 Cassini bow shock crossing occurred at a distance of 49.2 Saturnradii (2.97 million kilometers or 1.84 million miles) from Saturn and standsin contrast to first encounters by previous spacecraft, all of which tookplace much closer to the planet. The Pioneer spacecraft first crossedSaturn’s bow shock at 23.7 Saturn radii, while Voyager 1 and Voyager 2recorded crossings at 26.2 and 31.9 Saturn radii, respectively. Gurnett saysthe difference between Cassini and the other spacecraft is probably due todifferent flight trajectories.”Cassini has encountered the bow shock quite a bit further out because thespacecraft is coming in from the side of the planet. So our approach angleis different from those of the other craft, primarily because Cassini isgoing to be placed into orbit about Saturn, while the other spacecraft madefly-bys,” he says.The radio sounds of Saturn and other sounds of space can be heard byvisiting Gurnett’s Web site at: Cassini, carrying 12 scientific instruments, is on its way to the June 30,2004 planetary rendezvous, when it will become the first spacecraft to orbitSaturn and begin a four-year study of the planet, its rings and its 31 knownmoons. The spacecraft is part of the Cassini-Huygens Mission that includesthe Huygens probe, a six-instrument European Space Agency probe, scheduledto land on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in January 2005.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the EuropeanSpace Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. manages the Cassini-Huygensmission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL designed,developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Probe travels to surface of Saturn’s moon Titan Friday BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  18. The Arena da Baixada in Curitiba was renovated in 1999and seats 41,500 spectators. .

  19. The Arena Corinthians in S?o Paulo was built in 2014and seats 48,000 spectators. .Battered and grooved: Saturn’s moon Tethys CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: November 27, 2004Having now passed closer to Tethys than the Voyager 2 spacecraft, Cassini has returned the best-ever natural color view of this icy Saturnian moon. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version As seen here, the battered surface of Tethys (1,060 kilometers, or 659 miles across) has a neutral hue. The image here is a mosaic of two footprints. Three images taken in the red, green and blue filters were taken to form a natural color composite. The result reveals a world nearly saturated with craters – many small craters lie on top of older, larger ones, suggesting an ancient surface. At the top and along the boundary between day and night, the moon’s terrain has a grooved appearance. This moon is known to have a density very close to that of water, indicating it is likely composed mainly of water ice. Its frozen mysteries await Cassini’s planned close flyby in September 2005. The view shows primarily the trailing hemisphere of Tethys, which is the side opposite the moon’s direction of motion in its orbit. The image has been rotated so that north on Tethys is up. The images comprising this color view were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Oct. 28, 2004, at a distance of about 256,000 kilometers (159,000 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 50 degrees. The image scale is 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Cassini posterJust in time for the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival at Saturn, this new poster celebrates the mission to explore the ringed planet and its moons. 2005 CalendarThe 2005 edition of the Universe of the Hubble Space Telescope calendar is available from our U.S. store and will soon be available worldwide. This 12×12-inch calendar features spectacular images from the orbiting observatory.Moon panoramaTaken by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, this panoramic poster shows lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell as a brilliant Sun glare reflects off the lunar module Antares.Mars Rover mission patchA mission patch featuring NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover is now available from the Astronomy Now Store.Columbia ReportThe official accident investigation report into the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. Includes CD-ROM. Choose your store: | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Before and after look at Saturn’s moon Titan CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: December 16, 2004Cassini’s second close flyby of Titan completes a ‘before’ and ‘after’ look at the fuzzy moon and provides the first direct evidence of changing weather patterns in the skies over Titan. Cassini has found Titan’s upper atmosphere to consist of a surprising number of layers of haze, as shown in this ultraviolet image of Titan’s night side limb, colorized to look like true color. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version In images obtained less than two months ago, the Titan skies were cloud free, except for a patch of clouds observed over the moon’s south pole. In images taken Monday, Dec. 13, during Cassini’s second close flyby of Titan, several extensive patches of clouds have formed.”We see for the first time discrete cloud features at mid-latitudes, which means we see direct evidence of weather, and we can get wind speeds and atmospheric circulation over a region we hadn’t been able to measure before,” said Dr. Kevin Baines, Cassini science-team member with the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.The latest data and other results from Cassini’s close observations of Saturn’s moons Titan and Dione were presented today at a news conference during the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco. Cassini swept within 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) of Titan’s surface on Monday, and took a close look at the icy moon Dione just one day later. During the flyby, Cassini captured a stunning view of Titan’s night side with the atmosphere shimmering in its own glow. This allows scientists to study the detached haze layers, which extend some 400 kilometers (249 miles) above Titan.Images from Cassini’s cameras show regions on Titan that had not been seen clearly before, as well as fine details in Titan’s intermittent clouds. The surface features may be impact related, but without information on their height, it is too soon to know for sure. No definitive craters have been seen in these images, though several bright rings or circular features are seen in dark terrain. Cassini imaging scientists are intrigued by the complex braided structure of surface fractures on Dione. To the surprise of scientists, the wispy terrain features do not consist of thick ice deposits, but bright ice cliffs created by tectonic features. “This is one of the most surprising results so far. It just wasn’t what we expected,” said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader, Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. As it zoomed in on Saturn’s moon Dione for a close flyby, the Cassini spacecraft captured a set of images of the icy moon which have been combined into a mosaic here to provide a stunningly detailed global view. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version Other Cassini results presented at the meeting included observations made by the ultraviolet imaging spectrograph instrument, which indicates that the nearby environment of the rings and moons in the Saturn system is filled with ice, and atoms derived from water. Cassini researchers are seeing large changes in the amount of oxygen atoms in the Saturn system. A possible explanation for the fluctuation in oxygen is that small, unseen icy moons have been colliding with Saturn’s E ring,” said Dr. Larry Esposito, principal investigator of the imaging spectrograph instrument, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo. “These collisions may have produced small grains of ice, which yielded oxygen atoms.” Esposito presented these findings at the meeting, and a paper on the subject appears in the online version of the journal Science. According to Esposito, Saturn’s ring particles may have formed originally from pure ice. But they have since been subjected to continual bombardment by meteorites, which has contaminated the ice and caused the rings to darken. Over time, continuous meteorite bombardment has likely spread the dirty material resulting from the collisions over a wide area in the rings. “The evidence indicates that in the last 10 to 100 million years, fresh material probably was added to the ring system,” said Esposito. These renewal events are from fragments of small moons, each probably about 20 kilometers (12 miles) across.Images and more information about the Cassini mission are available at .The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The European Space Agency built and managed the development of the Huygens probe and is in charge of the probe operations. The Italian Space Agency provided the high-gain antenna, much of the radio system and elements of several of Cassini’s science instruments.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Breathtaking vista of Tethys CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: November 23, 2004This dazzling view looks beyond gigantic storms near Saturn’s south pole to the small but clear disc of Tethys (1,060 kilometers, or 659 miles, across). Clouds and ribbons of gas swirl about in the planet’s atmosphere in the foreground, while a tremendous chasm is visible on the icy moon. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Oct. 18, 2004, at a distance of 3.9 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 61 degrees. The view is in wavelengths of visible red light centered at 619 nanometers. The image scale is 23 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Cassini posterJust in time for the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival at Saturn, this new poster celebrates the mission to explore the ringed planet and its moons. 2005 CalendarThe 2005 edition of the Universe of the Hubble Space Telescope calendar is available from our U.S. store and will soon be available worldwide. This 12×12-inch calendar features spectacular images from the orbiting observatory.Moon panoramaTaken by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, this panoramic poster shows lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell as a brilliant Sun glare reflects off the lunar module Antares.Mars Rover mission patchA mission patch featuring NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover is now available from the Astronomy Now Store.Apollo patchesThe Apollo Patch Collection: Includes all 12 Apollo mission patches plus the Apollo Program Patch. Save over 20% off the Individual price.Choose your store: – – – | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini and Huygens craft are well equipped for science BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  20. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: March 28, 2009Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka took over manual control and guided the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft to a smooth docking with the international space station today to cap a two-day orbital chase that began with blastoff Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.Sailing 220 miles above central Asia, the Soyuz capsule’s forward docking mechanism engaged its counterpart on the Zvezda command module’s aft port at 9:05 a.m., a few minutes ahead of schedule.”We have contact… we have capture,” someone said. “We have capture.”"Congratulations,” Russian flight control radioed.”Thank you,” Padalka replied.The Russians typically take two 90-minute orbits to complete post-docking leak checks before hatches between the two spacecraft can be opened.Returning to the space station for a second tour of duty as commander, Padalka was joined by NASA flight engineer Michael Barratt, a physician-astronaut making his first flight, and Charles Simonyi, a wealthy software developer making his second paid trip to the station.Today’s approach to the station was uneventful until a few minutes before docking when Padalka was told to abort the Soyuz’s automated approach and to take over manual control at a distance of a few hundred feet. The veteran cosmonaut had no problems with the final approach, commenting at one point that it was “just like the simulations.”Russian managers said later the automated control system had problems with a specific thruster, prompting the call for manual control.Padalka and Barratt are replacing outgoing Expedition 18 commander Mike Fincke and flight engineer Yury Lonchakov, who were launched to the outpost last October. Their crewmate, newly arrived Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, will join Padalka and Barratt to form the station’s 19th full-time crew.Another Soyuz is scheduled for launch May 27 to carry three more crew members to the station: cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk. The transition to a six-person crew marks a major milestone in the evolution of the international space station.Fincke and Lonchakov will spend the next 10 days or so in a handover period, familiarizing their replacements with the intricacies of station operation. If all goes well, Fincke, Lonchakov and Simonyi will return to Earth on April 7, landing in Kazakhstan aboard the same Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft that carried the outgoing station crew to orbit last October.Simonyi, a Hungarian-born software developer, is the first private citizen to make two trips to the international space station. Such flights list for about $35 million each.”I think it will be an interesting experience,” Simonyi said in a telephone interview before launch. “I had a discussion with Sergei Krikalev, who is probably the most experienced cosmonaut in the world, and he told me the big difference between going first and going second, the first time people just learn how to live in space. And the second time, one can actually accomplish work, really work effectively.”During his second visit, Simonyi plans to chat with school kids via ham radio, write about his experiences on his web site and help Russian engineers calibrate space radiation sensors.While he will spend most of his time in the Russian segment of the station, “with the permission of the commander I can go to other segments as well, and I plan to visit the American segment as well as the two new segments that weren’t there before, the Japanense and the European segments.”There is a lot of room. The way I describe it, it is the size of three city buses. And now, they’ve added two more RVs on the side with the European and the Japanese segments. So if you have three people up there, it’s enormous. With six people, it will still be very, very comfortable and you can hide if you want and get solitude and privacy if you want.”While Simonyi would not discuss how much he actually paid for his second trip, he said “the price is going up. Future seats that NASA has bought are even more expensive. This has to be put into perspective because other means of getting to space are even more expensive, so this one is actually quite cost effective at the current state of technology.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:FULL EXPERIENCE FROM LIFTOFF TO ORBIT VIDEO:SOYUZ ROCKET LAUNCHES EXPEDITION 19 VIDEO:THREE CAMERA REPLAYS OF THE LAUNCH VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF CREW’S LAUNCH PREPS VIDEO:CROWD WELCOMES CREW AT BAIKONUR PAD VIDEO:CREW DEPARTS SITE 254 FOR LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:VIPS MEET THE CREW ON LAUNCH MORNING VIDEO:CREW MEMBERS DON THEIR SOKOL SPACESUITS VIDEO:LAUNCH MORNING TRADITIONS AT CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:SOYUZ MOVED TO LAUNCH PAD FOR EXPEDITION 19 VIDEO:ROCKET HOISTED VERTICALLY ONTO LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH ISS DEPUTY PROGRAM MANAGER VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH FORMER ISS COMMANDER VIDEO:ASSEMBLY OF SOYUZ ROCKET COMPLETED VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF CREW’S ACTIVITIES AT BAIKONUR VIDEO:EXPEDITION 19 CREW PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space planes, rocket launches on UK’s wish list SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: July 17, 2014 FARNBOROUGH, England — The British government has announced plans to develop a spaceport, revealing candidate sites across the United Kingdom and fostering closer ties with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to revamp regulations and lure space tourism, and potentially small satellite launches, to Britain. Artist’s concept of a UK spaceport. Credit: UK Space AgencyThe announcement Tuesday is the latest move by the government to expand Britain’s space industry, which grew by 7.2 percent over the last two years, according to David Parker, head of the UK Space Agency.Parker said the expansion made the UK space business an ?11.3 billion, or about $19 billion, industry employing 34,300 people.The government announced it would raise its contributions to the European Space Agency, including its involvement in the International Space Station, in 2012. Last year, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne committed ?60 million, or nearly $100 million, to an air-breathing rocket engine for the Skylon space plane being studied by Reaction Engines Ltd.”What are the new opportunities in space? Commercial spaceflight, we believe, is one of those opportunities that could matter for the UK,” Parker said. “In the years to come, we see the need for providing low-cost access to space, not only for our existing low-cost satellites but also the opportunity for the person on the street to go to space — the opportunity for space tourism.”Aviation minister Robert Goodwill revealed eight candidates to host a future British spaceport:Campbeltown Airport (Scotland)Glasgow Prestwick Airport (Scotland)Llanbedr Airport (Wales)Newquay Cornwall Airport (England)Kinloss Barracks (Scotland)RAF Leuchars (Scotland)RAF Lossiemouth (Scotland)Stornorway Airport (Scotland)The British Civil Aviation Authority did a study on potential spaceport locations, recommending the facility be placed at an existing airport rather than start a fresh development.Goodwill said the site will need transport links by land sea and air, and they must be secluded from large population centers and busy air space. The spaceport will also need a 3,000-meter, or 10,000-foot, runway.”These areas meet the criteria, but I could stress other areas in the UK may also do so,” Goodwill said.Six of the locations are in Scotland, and the spaceport initiative could change its plans based on the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum in September, officials said.The spaceport should be ready for operations by 2018, according to Goodwill.The British government also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees regulations for commercial space launches, space tourism and spaceport operations in the United States.The non-binding agreement establishes a foundation for cooperation in commercial space transportation between the FAA and UK authorities, said George Nield, the FAA’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation.The FAA will share information on its work in developing licensing regulations for space launches and passenger spaceflights, Nield said.According to Nield, the memorandum will “serve as starting point if there’s a need for the government to issue regulations in the future.”The FAA uses a licensing regime for commercial spaceflight instead of certification, which Nield says could stifle growth in the burgeoning industry. Regular commercial airlines must be certified by the FAA before flight operations.”We’re the first European country to take the challenge of space plane regulations seriously,” Goodwill said of the British government initiative.”Space planes are currently regulated as aircraft because they use lift to go through the atmosphere, but in the short term, what we’re going to do is treat them as experimental aircraft, which is, of course, what they are,” Goodwill said.Officials want to attract future operators of suborbital space planes, such as Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace and Swiss Space Systems, for space tourism jaunts. Small satellite launchers could also operate from the British spaceport.The Civil Aviation Authority’s spaceport review included discussions with space tourism companies, according to Catherine Mealing-Jones, director of growth at the UK Space Agency.Mealing-Jones said the UK wants to evaluate best practices in the industry, and she says the FAA is currently the global standard for developing and implementing commercial spaceflight regulations.Executives from U.S.-based Virgin Galactic and XCOR attended Tuesday’s announcement here.Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer of XCOR, said suborbital space planes are the natural first users of a British spaceport, calling them the “low-hanging fruit” before moving on to satellite launches.”I think the seriousness which which the UK government took on this task was impressive and something to be commended,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic.Virgin Galactic and XCOR are working on space planes to take paying passengers on brief flights to the edge of space, where tourists can experience a few minutes of weightlessness and enjoy dazzling views.Goodwill participated in the announcement at the Farnborough International Airshow here the same day British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a shake-up in the government’s cabinet.Former space minister David Willetts was replaced by Greg Clark in the government’s reshuffle.Andy Green, president of the British trade association UKspace, lauded the work of Willetts in his four-year tenure. The period saw the establishment of a new European Space Agency facility in Harwell, England, and an increase in spending on space programs by the British government.”It’s a testament that the space industry in Britain is once again competent and flourishing,” Goodwill said.ESA also announced the first professional British astronaut, Tim Peake, will fly to the International Space Station on a six-month flight beginning in late 2015.”We’re beginning to move in front of the curve,” Green said. “We’re beginning to dream the dream, and I think that’s what matters in thinking about what the next steps are for all of us.”Lockheed Martin plans to open a space technology office at the UK Space Gateway in Harwell, the company said Tuesday.”We want the UK to be at the forefront of the next stage of spaceflight,” Goodwill said.Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: .Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. –> | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space shuttle launch times no longer a secret BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  21. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 15, 2005A missing computer command – apparently the result of human error – caused the loss of half the pictures taken by Europe’s Huygens probe as it descended to the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. But project officials said today the 350 pictures that made it back, along with high-quality data fromthe spacecraft’s other instruments and unexpected measurements by Earth-based radio telescopes, should fulfill all of the mission’s primary objectives. This color image was returned January 14 by ESA’s Huygens probe during its successful descent to land on Titan. Initially thought to be rocks or ice blocks in front of the probe, they are more pebble-sized. The two rock-like objects just below the middle of the image are about 15 centimetres (left) and 4 centimetres (centre) across respectively, at a distance of about 85 centimetres from Huygens. The surface is darker than originally expected, consisting of a mixture of water and hydrocarbon ice. There is also evidence of erosion at the base of these objects, indicating possible fluvial activity. Credits: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona”I’m very, very happy to report that we have received a very good dataset that will surely allow us to achieve all of our objectives and probablymore than what we had initially set out,” said Jean-Pierre Lebreton, theEuropean Space Agency’s Huygens project scientist. “We can now start to seea clearer picture of Titan emerging.”Researchers today unveiled a dramatic 360-degree panorama shot by Huygensdescent imager showing the probe’s path across the moon as it descendedtoward touchdown. The mosaic put in context three photos released Fridayshowing channels, an apparent shoreline, an unusual heart-shaped feature andwhat appeared to be ice blocks at the landing site itself.You can see our montage of Huygens pictures showing the landing area .The mosaic shows the channels and shoreline behind Cassini with thelanding site, near the heart-shaped feature, dead ahead. The channels inlight-shaded, elevated terrain flow down toward what look like a shorelinealong large expanses of dark, smooth-looking areas. It’s not yet knownwhether ethane, methane or other hydrocarbons exist in liquid form in theseareas, but additional data analysis may resolve the matter in the weeks andmonths ahead.”It’s almost impossible to resist the speculation that this flat, darkmaterial is some kind of drainage channel, that we’re seeing some kind of ashoreline,” said University of Arizona researcher Martin Tomasko, principalinvestigator with the descent imager team. “We don’t know if this still hasliquid in it or whether the liquid has drained away or drained into thesurface. You have the feeling maybe this was wet not so long ago.”Tomasko also unveiled a color version of a photo released Friday thatshowed what appeared to be ice boulders strewn across the surface near theHuygens landing site. The boulders, Tomasko said today, were actually closerin size to pebbles, based on additional data analysis. But he saiddepressions in the surface material around the small rock-like chunks of iceindicated possible erosion patterns due to the flow of some as-yet-unseenliquid.Huygens entered Titan’s thick nitrogen atmosphere around 5:13 a.m.Friday. John Zarnecki, principal investigator of the surface sciencepackage, said it took the spacecraft two hours 27 minutes and 50 seconds tocomplete its parachute descent to the surface. It hit that surface at avelocity of 10.1 mph and experienced a very brief impact deceleration of 15Gs. The jolt knocked one sensor off line, but it came back to life on itsown a few minutes later.A “penetrometer” on the bottom of the probe extended six inches into thefrigid soil. That data, coupled with the deceleration experienced by Huygensas it hit the ground, provided new insights into the nature of the surfacematerial at the landing site.”What we’re seeing is, we think, a material which might have a thin crustfollowed by a region of relatively uniform consistency,” said Zarnecki. “Interms of this (impact) force, the closest analog that I can give you – andremember, this is not suggesting these are the materials we hit, but thatthe mechanical consistency is similar – then I would say wet sand or clayare materials which give a similar sort of trace.”PHOTO: PHOTO: PHOTO: PHOTO: PHOTO: Huygens sampled the atmosphere as it floated toward the surface in windsmeasured at about 16 mph between six and 12 miles altitude. A microphoneeven recorded the sound of the wind rushing past. On-board instrumentsdetected a thick methane haze, or cloud deck, 11 to 12 miles above theground where atmospheric pressure measured about 7.3 pounds per square inch.The outside temperature when the descent began was 70.5 Kelvin, or minus332.8 degrees Fahrenheit, while the temperature on the surface was slightlywarmer: 93.8 Kelvin, or minus 290.8 degrees Fahrenheit.Huygens was programmed to transmit telemetry and scientific data toNASA’s Cassini Saturn orbiter for relay to Earth using two redundant S-bandradio systems. Channel A was the sole path for an experiment to measure windspeeds by studying tiny frequency changes caused by Huygens’ motion. In oneother deliberate departure from full redundancy, pictures from Tomasko’sdescent imager were split up, with each channel carrying 350 pictures.As it turned out, Cassini never listened to channel A because of asoftware commanding error. The receiver on the orbiter was never commandedto turn on, according to officials with the European Space Agency.”We should remember we’re human and we should learn lessons, so I willinstitute an ESA inquiry on how the command came to be missing,” DavidSouthwood, director of science for the European Space Agency, told reporterstoday. “I’m not going to say any more about that, I’m not going to speculate(about blame).”In an obvious reference to NASA and earlier news reports, he did say”there have been some erroneous messages implicating one of the other spaceagencies involved. No. It’s an ESA responsibility.”According to published reports, an ESA official said earlier that themissing command was part of a software load developed by ESA for the Huygensmission and that it was executed by Cassini as delivered.”There isn’t any doubt that the command was missing,” Southwood saidtoday. “But I’m not going to say any more because the point of an inquiry isto find out. We will certainly have NASA representation on the inquiry, butI don’t want to make a big thing about it.”Tomasko said that before the mission began, his team debated whether tosend all pictures and spectral data in two independent sets using channels Aand B to ensure full redundancy. In the end, they decided to send spectraldata through both channels but to double their picture output by sendingdifferent photos through each radio. The loss of channel A means the teamonly gathered 350 pictures instead of the 700 planned.”So we do have some holes in our panoramic mosaics, but we have a lot ofoverlap in our coverage and I think we can still do a fine job,” he said. “Ithink the quality of the images will continue to get better … as weassemble these mosaics in the days and weeks ahead.”Even the lost wind measurement data will be made up, thanks to aremarkable effort on the ground to monitor a faint carrier signal broadcastby Huygens – the equivalent of a cell phone call at a distance of 751million miles – using a network of 18 radio telescopes around the world.That data, which not as precise as the Doppler information that was lost,should fill in the blanks.Leonid Gurvits, a researcher with the Netherlands-based Joint Institutefor Very Long Baseline Interferometry in Europe, said his team achieved windspeed accuracy levels of one meter per second, or 2.2 mph even thoughHuygens was three-quarters of a billion miles away.”Just as there are malign gods, there are benign gods and with anextraordinary effort that i still frankly can’t believe, the radioastronomers of the world gathered together to look at the littletelephone-level signal coming from the other side of the solar system andwe’re expecting that will be able, with an enormous amount of work … wewill get back wind profiles as we need to get our full picture of the Titanatmosphere.”Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:THE NEW PICTURES PRESENTED WITH EXPERT NARRATION VIDEO:LISTEN TO SOUNDS FROM HUYGENS WITH NARRATION AUDIO:LISTEN TO SOUNDS FROM HUYGENS WITH NARRATION VIDEO:RESULTS FROM HUYGENS’ SURFACE SCIENCE PACKAGE VIDEO:CHIEF SCIENTIST EXPLAINS COMMUNICATIONS ERROR VIDEO:TODAY’S PHOTO AND SCIENCE BRIEFING AUDIO:TODAY’S PHOTO AND SCIENCE BRIEFING VIDEO:THE FIRST PICTURE FROM HUYGENS IS REVEALED VIDEO:HUYGENS POST-LANDING NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:STATUS REPORT DURING DESCENT AUDIO:MISSION STATUS REPORT DURING DESCENT VIDEO:HUYGENS PRE-ARRIVAL NEWS BRIEFING AUDIO:HUYGENS PRE-ARRIVAL NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF HUYGENS PROBE’S SCIENCE OBJECTIVES VIDEO:JULY NEWS BRIEFING ON CASSINI’S PICTURES OF TITAN VIDEO:PICTURES SHOWING TITAN SURFACE FROM OCT. FLYBY VIDEO:WHAT’S KNOWN ABOUT TITAN BEFORE THE FIRST FLYBY VIDEO:NARRATED MOVIE OF CLOUDS MOVING NEAR SOUTH POLE VIDEO:OCT. BRIEFING ON RADAR IMAGES OF TITAN SURFACE Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Scientists marvel at photos BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  22. Size Chart says:

    STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 23, 2004NASA unveiled a spectacular high-resolution mosaic of Saturn’s enigmatic moon Phoebe today, along with other data from the Saturn-bound Cassini probe showing the moon formed in the extreme outer solar system and later was captured by the ringed planet’s gravity. During its historic close encounter with Phoebe, the Cassini spacecraft captured a series of high resolution images of the small moon, six of which have been put together to create this mosaic. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version “The data that we gathered with the Cassini spacecraft have now given us our first look at this very strange object,” said Torrence Johnson, a senior scientist and Cassini team member at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “And what it’s told us is that it’s a collection of ice and rock and probably carbonaceous compounds.”We believe this object has many characteristics in common with things like Pluto and (Neptune’s moon) Triton in the outer solar system. In other words, it’s a first look at one of these denizens of the outer solar system that we’ve (seen previously) only from afar.”The $3.3 billion Cassini probe, launched in 1997, is scheduled to brake into orbit around Saturn the night of June 30. On June 11, it made a close flyby of Phoebe, giving scientists their first close-up look at the strange moon since Voyager 2 captured a few grainy images in 1981. Voyager 2 imaged Phoebe from a distance of 1.4 million miles. Cassini passed within about 1,285 miles.”The Phoebe encounter was a tremendous success scientifically, but also all the instruments worked great, the spacecraft performed beautifully, the nav team put us in exactly the right place and we have wonderful data from all of the experiments,” Johnson said. “It’s a great warm up for Saturn.”Discovered in 1898, Phoebe measures just 137 miles or so across, orbits Saturn at a distance of about nine million miles and circles the planet in the opposite direction from its other moons. Because of that, and the tilt of its orbit, scientists long suspected Phoebe was a captured asteroid or an outer solar system Kuiper belt object left over from the birth of the solar system.The Cassini data indicate the moon almost certainly did, in fact, originate in the Kuiper belt in the extreme outer solar system.Roger Clark, a Cassini researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey said in a new release that “all our evidence leads us to conclude Phoebe’s surface is made of water ice, water-bearing minerals, carbon dioxide, possible clays and primitive organic chemicals in patches at different locations on the surface.”Cassini also detected as-yet-unknown compounds. But the presence of carbon dioxide provides clear evidence of Phoebe’s origin.”Phoebe is definitely not an asteroid,” said Bonnie Buratti, a member of the Cassini visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team. “It did not form in the asteroid belt because you don’t see CO2 in the asteroid belt.”It formed some place in the outer solar system beyond the orbit of Jupiter. We believe this is evidence that it came from the Kuiper belt and that it was dragged into the Saturnian system early in the formation of the solar system. So what we see is a very diverse body.”With a density of 1.6 grams per cubic centimeter, Phoebe is heavier than pure ice but lighter than most rocks. Johnson said the ratio of water ice to rocky material is similar to that of Pluto and Triton.”We believe that four-and-a-half billion years ago, when the solar system was forming, that there were a lot of bodies like Phoebe in the outer solar system,” Johnson said. “Since then, most of those bodies have either been accreted in the planets, they have become part of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, or been gravitationally flung out of the system, out into the outer solar system. Apparently, Phoebe managed to hang around to be captured around Saturn.”Cassini project scientist Dennis Matson said Cassini had provided more data about Phoebe in two weeks than scientists on the ground had been able to collect over the past century.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:WATCH TODAY’S PHOEBE FLYBY SCIENCE RESULTS BRIEFING VIDEO:ANIMATION SHOWS CASSINI’S ENCOUNTER WITH PHOEBE Ferryflight Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!”The Final Mission” – NASA emblem developed for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew and their support teams to deliver the orbiters to their final destinations at museums.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Apollo 12 tribute DVD setNew!Featuring the jovial crew of Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 mission was struck by lightning shortly after liftoff but proceeded on the second successful exploration voyage to the lunar surface. This three-disc DVD brings the mission to life with extraordinary detail.Choose your store: – – – Fallen Heroes special patchThis special 12-inch embroidered patch commemorates the U.S. astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice, honoring the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.Choose your store: – – – Women in SpaceWomen of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier is for girls, young women, and anyone else interested in learning about exciting careers in space exploration. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Mars rover posterThis new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA’s amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.Choose your store:Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn’s moon Phoebe revealed in stunning detail CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: June 13, 2004Extraordinary new images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its close encounter with Saturn’s mysterious moon Phoebe were released by scientists Sunday. The must-see pictures show in great detail the cratered surface of the tiny moon. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version FIRST IMAGE: Phoebe’s true nature is revealed in startling clarity in this mosaic of two images taken during Cassini’s flyby on June 11, 2004. The image shows evidence for the emerging view that Phoebe may be an ice-rich body coated with a thin layer of dark material. Small bright craters in the image are probably fairly young features. This phenomenon has been observed on other icy satellites, such as Ganymede at Jupiter. When impactors slammed into the surface of Phoebe, the collisions excavated fresh, bright material — probably ice — underlying the surface layer. Further evidence for this can be seen on some crater walls where the darker material appears to have slid downwards, exposing more light-colored material. Some areas of the image that are particularly bright – especially near lower right – are over-exposed. An accurate determination of Phoebe’s density – a forthcoming result from the flyby – will help Cassini mission scientists understand how much of the little moon is comprised of ices. This spectacular view was obtained at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 84 degrees, and from a distance of approximately 32,500 kilometers (20,200 miles). The image scale is approximately 190 meters (624 feet) per pixel. No enhancement was performed on this image. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version SECOND IMAGE: Phoebe delivers on its promise to reveal new wonders to Cassini by showing probable evidence of an ice-rich body overlain with a thin layer of dark material. The sharply-defined crater at above center exhibits two or more layers of alternating bright and dark material. Imaging scientists on the Cassini mission have hypothesized that the layering might occur during the crater formation, when ejecta thrown out from the crater buries the pre-existing surface that was itself covered by a relatively thin, dark lag deposit over an icy mantle. The lower thin dark layer on the crater wall appears to define the base of the ejecta blanket. The ejecta blanket itself appears to be mantled by a more recent dark surface lag.This image was obtained on June, 11 2004 at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 79 degrees, and from a distance of 13,377 kilometers (8,314 miles). The image scale is approximately 80 meters (263 feet) per pixel. No enhancement was performed on this image. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version THIRD IMAGE:This eye-popping high-resolution image of Phoebe’s pitted surface taken very near closest approach shows a 13-kilometer (8-mile) diameter crater with a debris-covered floor. Part of another crater of similar size is visible at left, as is part of a larger crater at top and many scattered smaller craters. The radial streaks in the crater are due to downslope movements of loose fragments from impact ejecta. Also seen are boulders ranging from about 50 to 300 meters (160 to 990 feet) in diameter. The building-sized rocks may have been excavated by large impacts, perhaps from some other region of Phoebe rather than the craters seen here. There is no visible evidence for layering of ice and regolith or a hardened crust in this region, as on other parts of this moon. Some of the relatively bright spots are from small impacts that excavated bright material from beneath the dark surface. Images like this provide information about impact and regolith processes on Phoebe. This image was obtained at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 78 degrees, and from a distance of 11,918 kilometers (7,407 miles). The image scale is approximately 18.5 meters (60.5 feet) per pixel. The illumination is from the right. No enhancement was performed on this image.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn’s outer rings may be eroding, Cassini data shows UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASEPosted: December 18, 2004A massive eruption of atomic oxygen from Saturn’s outer rings, seen by Cassini’s ultraviolet camera as the spacecraft neared its destination, may be an indication that the planet’s wispy E ring is eroding so fast that it could disappear within 100 million years if not replenished. An artist’s concept shows the Cassini space probe at Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPLCassini’s Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) detected the oxygen atoms spewing into a huge cloud on the dark side of Saturn’s rings as Cassini prepared to enter orbit around Saturn in January 2004, said Donald Shemansky, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Data indicated that about 275 million pounds (125 million kilograms) of oxygen was abruptly released in a short period of time. “This was our first surprise in the ultraviolet,” said Shemansky, who will analyze ultraviolet data during Cassini’s four-year tour of Saturn and its rings with Janet Hallett, a postdoctoral aerospace research associate in the USC Viterbi School. “We aren’t sure yet whether this was a transient event or part of a routine recycling process in Saturn’s magnetosphere,” he said. “Right now scientists are speculating that the oxygen eruption may have been caused by a collision of ice particles from the planet’s distant E ring with material in one of the main ring systems, A, B or C. Or it could have been a meteorite collision or an eruption of icy slush on Enceladus, a moon that orbits in the E ring.” Shemansky, a co-investigator on the 16-member Cassini ultraviolet imaging team, reported their findings in the Dec. 16 issue of Science Express . Despite Saturn’s placid appearance from Earth, the planet is anything but that. The first detailed UV images from the Cassini mission show that Saturn commands a dynamic world of complex, braided ice rings, cannibalistic moons, 1,100 mile-per-hour planetary winds and electrifying auroral displays high in the night skies. Saturn, its moons and highly structured rings live inside a huge cavity in the solar wind created by the planet’s strong magnetic field. The magnetosphere is a bubble of particles including electrons, various species of ions, neutral atoms and molecules, several populations of very energetic charged particles like those found in Earth’s Van Allen Belts, and charged dust grains. The ionized (electrically charged) gases are called plasmas. However, unlike Jupiter’s magnetosphere, Shemansky said Saturn’s magnetic cocoon, which is smaller, is filled primarily with neutral gas rather than ions. “Saturn’s magnetosphere is turning out to be very different from Jupiter’s,” he said. “It’s dominated by neutral gas and water-rich ingredients produced by its rings, as icy moon debris collides, or by the more energetic collisions of incoming meteorites. It doesn’t have nearly as many charged particles, and many of them are absorbed by the rings, so the plasma processes we are observing are entirely different.” Two months after his initial observations, Shemansky and his ultraviolet team reported that the large cloud of escaping oxygen atoms had dissipated just as rapidly as it had appeared. Shemansky discounted theories that the rapid loss of material could be explained by “satellite sweeping,” a process whereby tiny shepherding moons gobble up debris or deflect it as they clean out gaps between the rings. “The rate at which we saw material escaping from Saturn’s outer rings implies that mass equivalent to the entire E ring, even including larger fragments and parent bodies, would be consumed in a period of about 100 million years if no replenishment processes are at work,” he said. The rings of gas giants are made up of rocky debris from moons that have been torn apart by tidal waves or by an asteroid or comet collision during heavy bombardment periods. Rings are considered ephemeral and thought to disappear over time spans of billions of years. But Saturn’s colorful rings appear to be younger than the planet itself, said scientists ? perhaps only 100 million years old, which is young in cosmological time. They also suspect that Saturn has had several ring systems in its history, although they have never had direct evidence on which to base their assumptions. “These observations are a first in solar system exploration,” Shemansky said. “We have direct evidence now that the rings are made up of pure ice and that they are shaped by processes that happen fast,” he added. “They aren’t the same processes that shaped our solar system 4.5 billion years ago. “Given the fact that the outer rings are present at this time means that the system is being replenished by interactive plasma processes,” Shemansky continued. “Clearly, the fact that something is eating up micron-sized grains in the outer ring zones at a high rate tells us that some sort of recycling process must be going on to rebuild them.” Cassini’s UV imaging spectrograph has made other significant observations. In the ultraviolet, scientists were able to see dust on the rings. Data showed variations in the amount of water-ice contained in the surfaces of ring particles, suggesting that darkened portions had been dusted with powder from pulverized moons or incoming meteoroids. The Cassini UVIS team also obtained ultraviolet images of Phoebe, Saturn’s most distant large moon, during the inbound flight to Saturn. Data showed the absorption lines of water-ice on Phoebe’s dark surface, which gave scientists more clues about its origins. The only moon in the Saturnian system to orbit in a retrograde, or backward, direction, Phoebe is similar to a common C-type carbonaceous asteroid. Scientists theorize that it was flung out of the Kuiper Belt, a region well beyond Neptune’s orbit where thousands of small, icy comets reside, and sucked up by Saturn’s strong gravitational field, but no one is absolutely sure of its origin. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft and science instruments are part of an international mission by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency to explore Saturn and its many moons and rings. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn’s rotation is a puzzle NASA/JPL NEWS RELEASEPosted: June 28, 2004On approach to Saturn, data obtained by the Cassini spacecraft are already posing a puzzling question: How long is the day on Saturn? Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version Cassini took readings of the day-length indicator regarded as most reliable — the rhythm of natural radio signals from the planet. The results give 10 hours, 45 minutes, 45 seconds (plus or minus 36 seconds) as the length of time it takes Saturn to complete each rotation. Here’s the puzzle: That is about 6 minutes, or one percent, longer than the radio rotational period measured by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Saturn in 1980 and 1981.Cassini scientists are not questioning Voyager’s careful measurements. And they definitely do not think the whole planet of Saturn is actually rotating that much slower than it did two decades ago. Instead, they are looking for an explanation based on some variability in how the rotation deep inside Saturn drives the radio pulse.The radio sounds of Saturn’s rotation, which are also the first sounds from Saturn studied by Cassini, are like a heartbeat and can be heard by visiting “The rotational modulation of radio emissions from distant astronomical objects has long been used to provide very accurate measurements of their rotation period,” said Dr. Don Gurnett, principal investigator for the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument, University of Iowa, Iowa City. “The technique is particularly useful for the giant gas planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, which have no surfaces and are covered by clouds that make direct visual measurements impossible.”The first hint of something strange about that type of measurement at Saturn was in 1997, when a researcher from Observatoire de Paris reported that Saturn’s radio rotation period differed substantially from Voyager. Dr. Michael D. Desch, Cassini Radio Plasma Wave Science team member, and scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has analyzed Saturn radio data collected by Cassini from April 29, 2003, to June 10, 2004. “We all agree that the radio rotation period of Saturn is longer today than it was in during the Voyager flyby in 1980,” he said.Gurnett said, “Although Saturn’s radio rotation period has clearly shifted substantially since the Voyager measurements, I don’t think any of us could conceive of any process that would cause the rotation of the entire planet to actually slow down. So it appears that there is some kind of slippage between the deep interior of the planet and the magnetic field, which controls the charged particles responsible for the radio emission.” He suggests the solution may be tied to the fact that Saturn’s rotational axis is nearly identical to its magnetic axis. Jupiter, with a more substantial difference between its magnetic axis and its rotational axis, shows no comparable irregularities in its radio rotation period.”This finding is very significant. It demonstrates that the idea of a rigidly rotating magnetic field is wrong,” said Dr. Alex Dessler, a senior research scientist at the University of Arizona, Tucson. In that way, the magnetic fields of gas giant planets may resemble that of the Sun. The Sun’s magnetic field does not rotate uniformly. Instead, its rotation period varies with latitude. “Saturn’s magnetic field has more in common with the Sun than the Earth. The measurement can be interpreted as showing that the part of Saturn’s magnetic field that controls the radio emissions has moved to a higher latitude during the last two decades,” said Dressler.”I think we will be able to unravel the puzzle, but it’s going to take some time,” said Gurnett. “With Cassini in orbit around Saturn for four years or more, we will be in an excellent position to monitor long-term variations in the radio period, as well as investigate the rotational period using other techniques.”Cassini, carrying 12 scientific instruments, is just two days from its planetary rendezvous with Saturn. On June 30 it will become the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, when it begins a four-year study of the planet, its rings and its 31 known moons. The spacecraft recently flew past Saturn’s cratered moon Phoebe, where it captured spectacular images as well as data on its mass and composition.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.?Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Saturn’s swirl imaged CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: June 15, 2004 Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteOn its approach to Saturn orbit insertion, the narrow angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft snapped this image of a turbulent swirl in the high clouds of Saturn’s atmosphere. The disturbance occurs in the southern edge of the equatorial band. The image was taken on May 21, 2004, from a distance of 22 million kilometers (13.7 million miles) from Saturn through a filter centered at 889 nanometers. The image scale is 131 kilometers (81 miles) per pixel. Contrast in the image was enhanced to aid visibility. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Scientists await descent BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  23. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 1, 2004; Updated at 2:10 a.m. EDTNASA’s $3.3 billion Cassini probe completed a seven-year, 2.2-billion mile voyage tonight, firing its main engine for a nerve-wracking 96 minutes to successfully brake into orbit around the ringed planet Saturn. Credit: ESAThroughout the all-or-nothing rocket firing, flight controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., could only sit and wait, monitoring events that had already taken place 934 million miles away. At that distance, radio signals, moving at 186,000 miles per second, needed an hour and 24 minutes to complete a one-way trip between Saturn and Earth. As a result, Cassini’s on-board computer was responsible for carrying out the most critical maneuver since launch Oct. 15, 1997, a maneuver that simply had to work or the mission would end in failure. To everyone’s relief, Cassini’s main engine fired up on time at 10:36 p.m. EDT and shut down at 12:12 a.m., putting the craft in its planned initial orbit around Saturn. “Flight, telecom,” the Cassini communications officer called out. “The Doppler has flattened out.” Translation: Cassini’s engine had shut down and Cassini was in orbit. Flight controllers burst into cheers, sharing hugs and high fives as Cassini lived up to its reputation for near flawless operation. “It feels awfully good to be in orbit around the lord of the rings,” said Charles Elachi, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It’s going to be a huge leap in our understanding of the Saturnian system.” Ed Weiler, NASA’s associate administrator for space science, described the rocket firing as 96 minutes of purgatory during a news briefing Wednesday. Halfway through the burn, “I started to think gee, here we are sitting on this little pale blue dot, third rock from the sun. We just landed on Mars twice. We flew by a comet and picked up some comet dust (with the Stardust mission) and all within six months, we’re about to go into orbit around a planet a billion miles away. How do we get away with having so much fun? “This has just been an incredible ride,” he said. “This wasn’t NASA going into orbit around Saturn, it’s the Earth going into orbit around Saturn because 17 countries made this happen. This is the way exploration should be done: by the Earth.” David Southwood, director of science for the European Space Agency agreed Cassini is a “world mission.” “But this evening I have to say, it’s been the Americans’ evening,” he said. “This was America doing it right. … There are Europeans involved in just about everything in the instrumentation, the science on Cassini and Huygens. It really is a mission where everybody is working together. “But this evening, you guys did it right,” he said. “Thank you JPL, thank you USA, thank you NASA.” Referring to ESA’s Huygens probe, which will make a parachute descent into the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan in January, Southwood said the Saturn Orbit Insertion rocket firing would be a tough act to follow and “we have now to get it right, too.” “You really showed us how it’s done. It was a very professional show and frighteningly on the nail. We’ve got a lot to live up to. Thank you everybody. It’s been a great eveing.” The most sophisticated – and expensive – robotic spacecraft ever built, Cassini approached Saturn from below the plane of its rings. Using its high-gain antenna as a shield, the spacecraft sailed through the ring plane at 10:11 p.m., passing through a broad gap between Saturn’s F and G rings. The region was thought to be empty of any debris larger than dust grains, but at Cassini’s enormous approach velocity – more than 53,000 mph at that point – impacts posed a major concern. But right on schedule, after Cassini re-oriented itself for the Saturn Orbit Insertion rocket firing, ground stations in Australia and California picked up Cassini’s radio carrier signal at 10:27 p.m. EDT, confirming the spacecraft had survived the ascending ring plane crossing. “One hurdle down, one to go,” said Todd Barber, lead propulsion officer. “We’re approaching two minutes before the SOI burn. The hopes and dreams of thousands of scientists and engineers are resting on the next few moments. So Godspeed, Cassini-Huygens. May we see you in orbit.” And with that, the moment of truth was finally at hand. As timers counted down to the start of the Saturn Orbit Insertion rocket firing, engineers at JPL monitored computer screens showing a graphical representation of the carrier signal from Cassini. They were looking for a very precise, predicted change in the frequency of the signal due to the effects of the rocket firing, much like a siren changes pitch as a police car races past. And right on schedule, at 10:36 p.m., the signal changed exactly as predicted. On computer screens, a horizontal line representing the carrier frequency suddenly bent sharply downward, matching the slope predicted for a normal rocket firing. Flight controllers burst into applause, relieved to know Rocket Engine Assembly A had fired on time to begin slowing Cassini’s ever-increasing velocity. Producing just 100 pounds of push against the enormous 54,000-mph velocity of the 9,970-pound Cassini, the main engine had to fire 96.4 minutes to produce the required deceleration and to ensure Saturn’s gravity could capture the spacecraft and warp its trajectory into the planned orbit. Thirty minutes into the burn, at 11:06 p.m., Cassini moved behind Saturn’s A ring as viewed from Earth, dimming the carrier signal for about 25 minutes. After fading in and out as it was blocked by ring debris, relatively clear reception was established at 10:31 p.m. when Cassini had a brief, clear view of Earth again through a gap in the rings known as the Cassini division. Six minutes later, exactly as predicted, communications dropped out again for 28 minutes or so as the spacecraft moved behind the thicker B ring. Still picking up speed from Saturn’s gravitational attraction, Cassini reached periapsis, the closest it will ever be to Saturn – 12,400 miles from the cloud tops – at 12:03 a.m., just nine minutes before the end of the SOI burn. By that point, Saturn’s gravity had boosted Cassini’s velocity to a blistering 69,350 mph, four times faster than a space shuttle in Earth orbit and 32 times faster than the bullet from an assault rifle. Waiting for the carrier signal to reappear from behind the B ring, Barber provided an impromptu Saturn weather report, predicting temperatures of “minus 226 degrees Fahrenheit, winds of 1,100 miles per hour or so, pressure highly variable depending on where you are in the atmosphere. At the top of the atmosphere, better than the best vacuum on Earth. Down in the depths, millions of atmospheres of pressure. Chance of helium rain inside the interior: 100 percent. Hurricanes the size of the Earth.” By the end of the SOI burn at 12:12 a.m., the velocity had dropped to around 68,000 mph as Cassini streaked away from the planet after close approach. While most reporters (including this writer) were not aware of it, navigators changed their prediction for the burn duration Wednesday, expecting 97 minutes instead of 96. Analysis of the carrier signal’s frequency showed the rocket engine actually generated about 1 percent more thrust than expected. Cassini’s flight computer compensated by shutting the engine down one minute early to achieve the planned deceleration of 1,400 mph. That translated into a 96-minute burn as originally expected. With the conclusion of the SOI rocket firing, Cassini was finally in its planned initial orbit around Saturn. Over the next four years, the spacecraft will study Saturn’s windy atmosphere, its complex ring system, several of its icy moons and how the planet’s magnetic field interacts with the space environment. In what promises to be one of the most exciting phases of the mission, a European-built probe called Huygens will be released from Cassini on Christmas Eve for a parachute descent into the thick nitrogen atmosphere of Saturn’s moon, Titan, on Jan. 14. In all, Cassini is expected to complete 77 orbits of Saturn over the next four years, requiring 157 trajectory-nudging rocket firings. The gravity of Titan will be used for major course changes, with 45 planned flybys. Seven close flybys of smaller, icy moons also are planned. Safely in orbit, Cassini turned so that its high-gain antenna was aimed back toward Earth for a brief, 20-second burst of carrier signal at 12:30 a.m. That switch from the low-gain to the high-gain antenna confirmed the spacecraft was operating normally and had not suffered any “safing” events during the burn that could have shut down science operations during Saturn close approach. “We’ve got it!” Barber reported as yet another round of cheers and applause burst out. After sending the brief call home, Cassini turned away to begin a 75-minute sequence of ring observations. “I feel great!” said program manager Bob Mitchell. “It was kind of a nail biter throughout.” One hour and 46 minutes after the end of the SOI burn, Cassini was expected to turn once again, orienting itself so the high-gain antenna could act as a shield during a descending ring plane crossing. Once safely through the ring plane, Cassini was expected to begin transmitting science and engineering data back to Earth. The first pictures were expected around 8:40 a.m. Thursday. On July 2, Cassini will make its first official flyby of Titan, passing the cloud-shrouded world at a distance of 205,000 miles. Larger than Pluto and Mercury, Titan’s thick nitrogen atmosphere is thought to mirror Earth’s shortly after the planet’s formation. Based on approach photos, Cassini’s cameras should be able to “see” the surface through specific spectral “windows.” But just how well the cameras will be able to image the surface won’t be known until after the Friday flyby. Data playback from the Titan flyby is expected to begin around 6:15 p.m. Friday. If all goes well, a minor trajectory correction maneuver is scheduled Saturday at 8:30 p.m. to fine tune the orbit with a predicted velocity change of just 11 mph. Starting July 6, Cassini will be out of contact while Saturn passes behind the sun as viewed from Earth, completing the initial phase of Cassini’s orbital mission. In late August, a major rocket firing is planned to raise the low point of Cassini’s orbit well beyond the rings and to set up the second Titan flyby Oct. 26. After another Titan flyby Dec. 13, the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe will be released from Cassini on Christmas Eve for the three-week trip to Titan. Huygens will slam into Titan’s atmosphere on Jan. 14 for a two-and-a-half-hour parachute descent to the surface. Data from Huygens, including panoramic pictures of its enigmatic surface, will be beamed back to Earth through Cassini’s radio system. After that, Cassini will continue on its own, flying through a ballet of ever-changing orbits and beaming down up to four gigabytes of data per day.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:CASSINI BEGINS ENGINE FIRING TO ENTER ORBIT VIDEO:BURN ENDS SUCCESSFULLY TO PUT CASSINI IN ORBIT VIDEO:POST-ARRIVAL NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S 12 P.M. EDT CASSINI STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:A LOOK AT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION VIDEO:’RING-SIDE CHAT’ ABOUT SPACE EXPLORATION VIDEO:AN OVERVIEW OF CASSINI’S RADIO SCIENCE VIDEO:TUESDAY’S CASSINI MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:CASSINI’S ARRIVAL AT SATURN EXPLAINED VIDEO:SCIENCE OBJECTIVES FOR CASSINI ORBITER VIDEO:HUYGENS LANDER SCIENCE OBJECTIVES Stargaze II DVDThe Stargaze II DVD has arrived! It features over 65 minutes of all new videos of the universe with newly-composed dolby digital and DTS 5.1 Channel surround sound music. Choose your store: – – – Solar system poster This new poster is popular for classrooms and children’s bedrooms. It includes interesting facts and figures about the planets and their moons. Choose your store: – – – Apollo 15 DVD Relive on DVD the journey of Apollo 15, one of the great explorations of our time. This unique six-disc DVD set contains all the available television and 16mm film footage from the mission.Choose your store: – – – Shuttle patchesCollect the official mission patches for the first ten space shuttle flights and save off the regular price. Introducing the Space Shuttle Patch Collection.Choose your store: – – – | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini to examine Saturn’s mysterious ‘black’ moon NASA-AMES NEWS RELEASEPosted: June 9, 2004A NASA Ames planetary scientist is part of the science team that will study the data and images returned this week from the closest-ever flyby of Saturn’s moon Phoebe.The spectral data and images obtained from the June 11 flyby will help scientists determine the icy moon’s surface composition and properties. The Cassini spacecraft is closing in fast on its first target of observation in the Saturn system: the small, mysterious moon Phoebe, only 220 kilometers (137 miles) across. Left to right, the three views were captured between June 4 and June 7, from distances ranging from 2.6 million miles to 1.5 million miles. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version “This is a unique opportunity,” said Dr. Dale Cruikshank, co-investigator for the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), an instrument that will measure the chemical signatures of Phoebe’s surface. “We’ve never had a close-up look at an irregular, low-reflective moon of any planet before, so we are prepared to be surprised,” he said.Cruikshank will study the VIMS high-resolution spectral data to determine the distribution of recently observed water ice on Phoebe’s surface. He also will use the data to determine the ability of Phoebe’s surface to reflect light (known as its ‘albedo’) and the source of Phoebe’s mysterious dark color. “This odd moon of Saturn has a little ice and a lot of black material on its surface, but beyond that, we know very little,” Cruikshank noted.Phoebe’s surface color appears almost black when observed by powerful telescopes, scientists say. The moon, which is about 130 miles in diameter, reflects only 6 percent of the sunlight it receives.Because of its dark color, and because Phoebe’s orbit is irregular (elliptical, outside the plane of Saturn’s equator and retrograde), scientists think the moon is probably a captured object, possibly a comet, asteroid or Kuiper Belt Object (KBO).KBOs are lumps of ice, rock and black material in the outer solar system that were never drawn together by gravity to form a planet. They are of great interest to scientists because they are believed to be primordial, which means they probably date back to the formation of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago. About half of the comets that occasionally come near the Earth and sun are KBOs.One theory of Phoebe’s mysterious dark color, which also is shared by the forward face of Iapatus, another nearby Saturn moon, is that it is due to the abundance of an organic material called tholin. Tholin is a sticky, waxy, dark red residue whose tiny particles cause the brownish haze of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.The tholin that may cover Phoebe is thought by Cruikshank and others to be abiotic, which means it is not made from living organisms. Scientists hypothesize the tholin is a natural by-product of the organic chemistry of the carbonaceous materials that make up Phoebe. Comet dust is an example of abiotic organic material.Since its discovery in 1898, Phoebe has been of interest to astronomers because it is so different from Saturn’s other large moons. If Cassini finds that its surface is really made of carbonaceous organic material, scientists can use that information to learn about our solar system’s formation and earlyhistory. Phoebe’s surface material may even include amino acids, the building blocks of life.On June 11, the Cassini orbiter will fly within about 1,200 miles of Phoebe. Data and images will be returned on June 12.Cruikshank specializes in icy bodies in the outer solar system and the composition of small satellites, including all the satellites of Saturn.The principal investigator of the VIMS team is Dr. Robert H. Brown of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini’s radar shows Titan’s young active surface CASSINI MISSION RELEASEPosted: October 29, 2004The first radar images of Saturn’s moon Titan show a very complex geological surface that may be relatively young. Previously, Titan’s surface was hidden behind a veil of thick haze.”Unveiling Titan is like reading a mystery novel,” said Dr. Charles Elachi, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and team leader for the radar instrument on Cassini. “Each time you flip the page you learn something new, but you don’t know the whole story until you’ve read the whole book. The story of Titan is unfolding right before our eyes, and what we are seeing is intriguing.” The Oct. 26 flyby marked the first time Cassini’s imaging radar was used to observe Titan. The radar instrument works by bouncing radio signals off Titan’s surface and timing their return. This is similar to timing the returning echo of your voice across a canyon to tell how wide the canyon is. Radio waves can penetrate the thick veil of haze surrounding Titan.Approximately 1 percent of Titan’s surface was mapped during the Oct. 26 flyby. Radar images from Titan’s northern hemisphere, a region that has not yet been imaged optically, show great detail and features down to 300 meters (984 feet) across. A wide variety of geologic terrain types can be seen. There are bright areas that correspond to rougher terrains and darker areas that are thought to be smoother.”In the two days since this flyby, our understanding of Titan has grown tremendously,” said Dr. Jonathan Lunine, Cassini interdisciplinary scientist, University of Arizona, Tucson. “Titan is a dynamic place with complex geologic processes that may be shaping its surface. Its surface may well be covered with organic materials, but we still don’t know how much of the surface is liquid or solid. The fact that we have seen few craters tells us that Titan?s surface is young.”The radar images show a world brimming with features that are dark and white, indicating sharp contrast. One area dubbed “Si-Si” or the “Halloween cat” because it is shaped like a cat’s head is very dark and relatively smooth. That leads scientists to speculate that it might be a lake of some sort, but they caution that it is too soon to know for sure. “With the radar in its active mode, it is like shouting at Titan and listening for the echoes,” said Dr. Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member, University of Arizona, Tucson. “But we can also just listen with the sensitive radar receiver, the radiometry. The radiometry data shows early indications of the composition of the surface materials. One interpretation of what it is telling us is that Titan is a place covered with organics.”The optical imaging cameras on Cassini show streaks on the surface. The streaking may be caused by movement of a material over the surface by wind, flowing hydrocarbon liquids, or a moving ice sheet like a glacier. Imaging scientists are also seeing multiple haze layers in Titan’s atmosphere that extend some 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the surface. At the surface Titan’s atmosphere is about four times denser than Earth’s. With a remarkable flyby and complicated set of spacecraft gymnastics, Cassini will try its luck with Titan again on Dec. 13, 2004. The European Space Agency’s Huygens probe will detach from Cassini on Christmas Eve and descend through Titan’s dense atmosphere on Jan. 14, 2005.”It’s as if we were building a puzzle without the top of the box,” said Lunine. “It will be necessary to piece together the clues provided by Cassini and Huygens over the next few years. Sometimes we’ll be wrong and we’ll need to take the pieces apart and reassemble them again until finally, a complete picture of the nature and evolution of Titan pops into view,” said Lunine. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. Cassini posterJust in time for the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival at Saturn, this new poster celebrates the mission to explore the ringed planet and its moons. 2005 CalendarThe 2005 edition of the Universe of the Hubble Space Telescope calendar is available from our U.S. store and will soon be available worldwide. This 12×12-inch calendar features spectacular images from the orbiting observatory.Moon panoramaTaken by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, this panoramic poster shows lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell as a brilliant Sun glare reflects off the lunar module Antares.Mars Rover mission patchA mission patch featuring NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover is now available from the Astronomy Now Store.Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini’s rear-view image of Saturn’s moon Titan released CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: July 27, 2004A day after entering orbit around Saturn, Cassini sped silently past Titan, imaging the moon’s south polar region. This natural color image represents Cassini’s view only about two hours after closest approach to the moon. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload a larger version of image The superimposed coordinate system grid in the accompanying image at right illustrates the geographical regions of the moon that are illuminated and visible, as well as the orientation of Titan — lines of longitude converge on the South Pole above the center of the image. The yellow curve marks the position of the boundary between day and night on Titan. Images taken through blue, green and red filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained using the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera on July 2, 2004, from a distance of about 347,000 kilometers (216,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase angle of 62 degrees. This view is an improvement in resolution of nearly a factor of four over the previously released natural color view of Titan (see PIA06081). The image scale is 21 kilometers (13 miles) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Close-up views of Phoebe show moon’s battered past NASA/JPL ANNOUNCEMENTPosted: June 12, 2004First images from the Cassini flyby of Phoebe reveal it to be a scarred, cratered outpost with a very old surface and a mysterious past, and a great deal of variation in surface brightness across its surface. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version “What spectacular images,” said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini Imaging Team leader at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. “So sharp and clear and showing a great many geological features, large and small. It’s obvious a lot of new insights into the origin of this strange body will come as a result of all this.” “What we are seeing is very neat. Phoebe is a heavily cratered body. We might be seeing one of the chunks from the formation of the solar system, 4.5 billion years ago. It’s too soon to say,” said Dr. Torrence Johnson, Cassini imaging team member at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “It’s important to see the big picture from all of the other instruments to get the global view on this tiny moon.” Dr. Gerhard Neukum, an imaging team member from Freie University in Berlin, said, “It is very interesting and quite clear that a lot of craters smaller than a kilometer are visible. This means, besides the big-ones, lots of projectiles smaller than 100 meters (328 feet) have hit Phoebe.” Whether these projectiles came from outside or within the Saturn system is debatable. There is a suspicion that Phoebe, the largest of Saturn’s outer moons, might be parent to the other, much smaller retrograde outer moons that orbit Saturn. To see a movie of Phoebe’s rotation, click .Dr. Joseph Burns, an imaging team member and professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. said, “Looking at those big 50 kilometers (31 mile) craters, one has to wonder whether their impact ejecta might be the other tiny moons that orbit Saturn on paths much like Phoebe’s.” All planned 11 instruments operated as expected and all data was acquired. Scientists plan to use the data to create global maps of the cratered moon, and to determine Phoebe’s composition, mass and density. It will take scientists several days to pour over the data to make more concrete conclusions. Cassini came within approximately 2,068 kilometers (about 1,285 miles) of the dark moon on Friday, June 11. The spacecraft was pointing its instruments at the moon during the flyby. Several hours later it turned to point its antenna to Earth. The signal was received through the Deep Space Network antennas in Madrid, Spain and Goldstone, in California’s Mojave Desert, at 7:52 a.m. PDT today. Cassini was traveling at a relative speed of 20,900 kilometers per hour (13,000 miles per hour) relative to Saturn. It’s been 23 years since a spacecraft last visited Phoebe. The Voyager 2 flyby in 1981 was at a distance from 2.2 million kilometers, (about 1.4 million miles), 1,000 times farther away. With the Phoebe accomplished, Cassini is on course for Saturn. A trajectory correction maneuver is scheduled for June 16. Cassini will conduct a critical 96-minute burn before going into orbit around Saturn on June 30 (July 1 Universal Time). During Cassini’s planned four-year tour it will conduct 76 orbits around the Saturn system and execute 52 close encounters with seven of Saturn’s 31 known moons. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Colorful threads and shadows of Saturn CASSINI NEWS RELEASEPosted: September 16, 2004 Saturn’s faintly banded atmosphere is delicately colored and its threadbare rings cross their own shadows in this marvelous natural color view from Cassini. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version The planet and its rings would nearly fill the space between Earth and the Moon. Yet, despite their great breadth, the rings are a few meters thick and in some places, very translucent. In this image, we can see through the C ring, which is closest to Saturn, and through the Cassini division, the 4,800-kilometer- (2,980-mile-) wide gap that arcs across the top of the image and separates the optically thick B ring from the A ring. The part of the atmosphere seen through the gap appears darker and more bluish due to scattering at blue wavelengths by the cloud-free upper atmosphere. The different colors in Saturn’s atmosphere are due to particles whose composition is yet to be determined. The image was obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera at a distance of 7.6 million kilometers (4.7 million miles) from Saturn. Images taken with red, green and blue filters were combined to create this color view. The image scale is 46 kilometers (28 miles) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Countdown to Phoebe PHOTO RELEASEPosted: June 11, 2004 Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version As Cassini sails toward its rendezvous with Phoebe, details on the small, dark moon are coming into view at a dizzying pace. The images shown here were taken 13 hours apart on Thursday, just one day prior to closest approach. There is a dramatic increase in detail between these two views. Phoebe completes one rotation about its spin axis in nine hours and 16 minutes. We are looking at opposite hemispheres in these two views. A large crater, roughly 50 kilometers (31 miles) across, is visible in the image on the left. The image on the right shows a body heavily pitted with craters of varying sizes, including very large ones, and displaying a substantial amount of variation in surface brightness. Features that appear to be cliffs may be the boundaries between large craters. Despite its exaggerated topography, Phoebe is more round than irregular in shape. Left to right, the two views were obtained at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe spacecraft angle, of 87 degrees, and from distances of 956,000 kilometers (594,000 miles) and 658,000 kilometers (409,000 miles), respectively. The image resolutions are 5.7 and 3.9 kilometers (3.5 to 2.4 miles) per pixel, respectively. To aid visibility, the images were magnified three times via linear interpolation; no contrast enhancement was performed. Phoebe is approximately 220 kilometers (137 miles) wide. On Phoebe, the spin axis points up and approximately 13 degrees to the left of the boundary between day and night. Cassini draws closer to its only flyby of this mysterious outer moon of Saturn. Closest approach to Phoebe will be at 4:56 p.m. EDT (2056 GMT) on June 11. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Crunch, squelch or splash on Saturn’s moon Titan? PARTICLE PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY RESEARCH COUNCIL RELEASEPosted: November 6, 2004The prospect of the Huygens probe landing on a hard, soft or liquid surface when it lands on Titan next January still remain following further analysis of data taken during the Cassini mother ship’s closest encounter with Saturn’s largest moon during its fly-by on October 26.Commenting on the latest data results and implications for theHuygens probe Mark Leese of the Open University, Programme Manager forScience Surface Package [SSP] instruments that will unravel the mysteriesof Titan said: “It’s interesting that all of the possible landingscenarios that we envisaged – a hard crunch onto ice, a softer squelchinto solid organics or a splash-down on a liquid hydrocarbon lake – stillseem to exist on Titan.”Leese added, “A first look at the measurements of Titan’s atmosphereduring the fly-by suggest that the “Atmosphere Model” we developed andused to design the Huygens probe is valid and all looks good for theprobe release on Christmas day and descent to the surface on 14thJanuary 2005.”Further analysis of Titan’s upper atmosphere, the thermosphere, hasrevealed a strange brew as Dr Ingo Mueller-Wodarg of Imperial CollegeLondon explained,” Our instrument, the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer(INMS), made in-situ measurements of atmospheric gases in Titan’s upperatmosphere and found a potent cocktail of nitrogen and methane, stirredup with signatures of hydrogen and other hydrocarbons. We are nowworking on a ‘Weather Report’ for the Huygens landing in January”.Commenting on the surface characteristics of Titan Professor JohnZarnecki of the Open University, lead scientist for the Huygens SSPsaid: “The recent results from the fly-by have started to show us a verydiverse and complicated surface. Titan is geologically active but hasn’tyet given up all of its secrets. Combining the visible images withinfrared and RADAR data from this and future fly-bys should help toclarify the picture – but the arrival of the Huygens probe in Januarywill perhaps be the key to unlock these mysteries.”Professor Carl Murray, of the Imaging Science System [ISS] team fromQueen Mary, University of London also commented on the surfacefeatures: “The images of the Huygens’ landing site returned by the camerasshow a diverse range of features. We see bright and dark areas roughlyaligned in an east-west direction. These are similar to wind streaks seenon Mars and may indicate that material on Titan has been deposited bythe effects of wind blowing across the landscape. All indications suggestthat we are in for a real treat in January when the Huygens probe reachesTitan’s surface and returns the first in situ data from this alien world.”UK scientists and technologists are amongst an international teamcontinuing to analyse the latest data received from the NASA/ESA/ASICassini Huygens mission after the spacecraft made its close fly-by ofTitan last week. The data has provided a wealth of information aboutSaturn’s largest moon, which will not only assist the European SpaceAgency’s Huygens team in advance of the probe landing on Titan inJanuary 2005 but will also increase our understanding of the relationshipbetween Titan and its parent planet Saturn.Professor Michele Dougherty from Imperial College is lead scientist onthe Cassini Magnetometer, which is studying the interaction betweenthe plasma in Saturn’s magnetosphere and the atmosphere and ionosphereof Titan. “We have been able to model the Magnetometer data very wellfrom the Titan flyby. There does not seem to be an internal magnetic fieldat Titan from the observations we obtained during this flyby, but we willhave a much better idea about this when we have a further flyby inDecember which is on a very similar trajectory. All we can say at thispoint is that if there is a magnetic field generated in the interior ofTitan, then it is very small.”Dr Andrew Coates from University College London’s Mullard SpaceScience Laboratory, a Co-Investigator on the Cassini ElectronSpectrometer team, said: “We received some remarkable new informationabout Titan’s plasma environment within the context of Saturn’sfascinating magnetosphere. Unexpectedly, it looks like we can directly usefeatures of the electron results to understand what Titan’s upperatmosphere is made of, supplementing the ion measurements from companionsensors on other instruments. Our electron results contain tell-talefingerprints of photoelectrons and Auger electrons which we will use forthis. Also, the total picture shows how important electrons, raining downon Titan’s upper atmosphere, are in helping the feeble sunlight drive thecomplex chemistry in Titan’s upper atmosphere.”Nick Shave, Space Business Manager at UK IT company LogicaCMG said “Theamazing imagery and radar results recently received from Cassini ofTitan’s surface is providing important early information and creatingreal excitement in the industrial community. UK industry’s criticalcontributions to Cassini-Huygens via the LogicaCMG Huygens flightsoftware and other systems, such as the parachutes by Martin Baker, willenable even more spectacular science that could help unlock some of thesecrets of life on Earth.”UK scientists are playing significant roles in the Cassini Huygensmission with involvement in 6 of the 12 instruments onboard the Cassiniorbiter and 2 of the 6 instruments on the Huygens probe. The UK has thelead role in the magnetometer instrument on Cassini (Imperial College)and the Surface Science Package on Huygens (Open University).UK industry had developed many of the key systems for the Huygensprobe, including the flight software (LogicaCMG) and parachutes (MartinBaker). These mission critical systems need to perform reliably in someof the most challenging and remote environments ever attempted by a manmade object.Titan BackgroundTitan is a highly complex world and is closer to a terrestrial planetthan a moon typical of the outer planetary systems. Titan was first seenby Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens (after which the ESA probe isnamed) in 1655.Not only is Titan the largest of Saturn’s satellites, it is alsolarger than the planets Mercury and Pluto, and is the second largestsatellite in the solar system (Jupiter’s Ganymede being larger). It isthe only satellite in the solar system with appreciable atmosphere,composed mostly of Nitrogen, but also contains aerosols and hydrocarbons,including methane and ethane. Titan’s atmosphere was first confirmed in1944 when Gerard Kuiper confirmed the presence of gaseous methane withspectroscopy.Titan’s peak surface temperature is about 95 K (-178 degrees C) andsurface pressure is 1.6 Earth atmospheres. At this temperature andpressure, many simple chemicals that are present in abundance (methane,ethane, water, ammonia) provide materials in solid, liquid and gaseousform which may interact to create exotic features on the surface.Precipitation, flowing liquids, lakes and eruptions are all possible.Titan orbits Saturn at a distance of just over 20 Saturn radii(1,222,000 km/759,000 miles) which is far enough to carry the moon inand out of Saturn’s magnetosphere. Very little is known about Titan’sinterior structure, including whether it has its own magnetic field.Titan’s surface has been difficult to study, as it is veiled by adense hydrocarbon haze that forms in the dense stratosphere as methaneis destroyed by sunlight. From the data collected so far, dark featurescan be seen crossing the equatorial region of Titan, with a large brightregion near longitude 90 degrees now named Xanadu, and possibly a largecrater in the northern hemisphere.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, theEuropean Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet PropulsionLaboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology inPasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science MissionDirectorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboardcameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL.The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is theUK’s strategic science investment agency. It funds research,education and public understanding in four broad areas of science -particle physics, astronomy, cosmology and space science.PPARC is government funded and provides research grants andstudentships to scientists in British universities, gives researchersaccess to world-class facilities and funds the UK membership ofinternational bodies such as the European Organisation for NuclearResearch, CERN, the European Space Agency and the European SouthernObservatory. It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas onLa Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, the UK Astronomy TechnologyCentre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh and the MERLIN/VLBI NationalFacility.Cassini posterJust in time for the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival at Saturn, this new poster celebrates the mission to explore the ringed planet and its moons. 2005 CalendarThe 2005 edition of the Universe of the Hubble Space Telescope calendar is available from our U.S. store and will soon be available worldwide. This 12×12-inch calendar features spectacular images from the orbiting observatory.Moon panoramaTaken by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, this panoramic poster shows lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell as a brilliant Sun glare reflects off the lunar module Antares.Mars Rover mission patchA mission patch featuring NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover is now available from the Astronomy Now Store.An insider’s view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial. Choose your store: | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Encountering Iapetus CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: January 9, 2004On New Year’s Eve 2004, Cassini flew past Saturn’s intriguing moon Iapetus, capturing the four visible light images that were put together to form this global view. The scene is dominated by a dark, heavily-cratered region, called Cassini Regio, that covers nearly an entire hemisphere of Iapetus. Iapetus is 1,436 kilometers (892 miles) across. The view is centered on the moon’s equator and on roughly 90 degrees west longitude — a location that always faces the direction of Iapetus’s orbital motion around Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version Within Cassini Regio, and especially near the equator, dark deposits with a visual reflectivity of only about 4 percent coat nearly everything with remarkable uniformity. However, at latitudes of about 40 degrees, the surface transitions to a much brighter, icy terrain near the pole where the brightest icy materials have reflectivity over 60 percent. However, this region is not uniform: Close inspection reveals that the surface is stained by crudely north-south trending wispy streaks of darker material, typically a few kilometers wide and sometimes tens of kilometers long. An ancient, 400-kilometer wide (250 miles) impact basin appears just above the center of the disc. The basin is heavily overprinted by more recent, smaller impact craters. The basin rim is delineated by steep scarps that descend to the basin floor. Many of these scarps, as well as walls of nearby craters, appear bright, probably due to exposed outcrops of relatively clean ice. Particularly at mid-latitudes, the brightest scarp exposures appear to face away from the equator (i.e. toward the pole). Often, the opposite south-facing scarps are stained with the lower-brightness material. The most unique, and perhaps most remarkable feature discovered on Iapetus in Cassini images is a topographic ridge that coincides almost exactly with the geographic equator. The ridge is conspicuous in the picture as an approximately 20-kilometer wide (12 miles) band that extends from the western (left) side of the disc almost to the day/night boundary on the right. On the left horizon, the peak of the ridge reaches at least 13 kilometers (8 miles) above the surrounding terrain. Along the roughly 1,300 kilometer (800 mile) length over which it can be traced in this picture, it remains almost exactly parallel to the equator within a couple of degrees. The physical origin of the ridge has yet to be explained. It is not yet clear whether the ridge is a mountain belt that has folded upward, or an extensional crack in the surface through which material from inside Iapetus erupted onto the surface and accumulated locally, forming the ridge. The origin of Cassini Regio is a long-standing debate among scientists. One theory proposes that its dark material may have erupted onto Iapetus’s icy surface from the interior. Another theory holds that the dark material represented accumulated debris ejected by impact events on dark, outer satellites of Saturn. Details of this Cassini image mosaic do not definitively rule out either of the theories. However, they do provide important new insights and constraints. The uniform appearance of the dark materials at the equator, the apparent thinning and spottiness of the dark materials at progressively higher latitudes and dark wispy streaks near the distal margin of Cassini Regio strongly suggest that dark material was emplaced as a coating. One of the important new results is that no clear evidence can be found that erupted fluids have resurfaced Cassini Regio. The high density of impact craters argues that the terrain underlying the dark coating is relatively ancient and has not been eradicated by its emplacement. Thus, Cassini Regio may have had its origin in plume-style eruptions in which dark particulate materials accumulated on the surface as fallout, perhaps in conjunction with the creation of the equatorial ridge. On the other hand, the dark deposits in Cassini Regio may be a surface coating consistent with, and perhaps more simply explained by, the fall of dark materials from outside. The view has been oriented so that the north pole is toward the top of the picture. Cassini acquired the images in this mosaic with its narrow angle camera on Dec. 31, 2004, at a distance of about 172,400 kilometers (107,124 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 50 degrees. The image scale is 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) per pixel. The image has been contrast enhanced to aid visibility of surface features. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Eyes on Xanadu CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: October 25, 2004This image taken on Oct. 24, 2004, reveals Titan’s bright “continent-sized” terrain known as Xanadu. It was acquired with the narrow angle camera on Cassini’s imaging science subsystem through a spectral filter centered at 938 nanometers, a wavelength region at which Titan’s surface can be most easily detected. The surface is seen at a higher contrast than in previously released imaging science subsystem images due to a lower phase angle (Sun-Titan-Cassini angle), which minimizes scattering by the haze. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteThe image shows details about 10 times smaller than those seen from Earth. Surface materials with different brightness properties (or albedos) rather than topographic shading are highlighted. The image has been calibrated and slightly enhanced for contrast. It will be further processed to reduce atmospheric blurring and to optimize mapping of surface features. The origin and geography of Xanadu remain mysteries at this range. Bright features near the south pole (bottom) are clouds. On Oct. 26, Cassini will acquire images of features in the central-left portion of this image from a position about 100 times closer. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First Huygens images show strange new world BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  24. People who took in more total carotenoids were found to be more likely to exercise, have an advanced degree, and consume more vitamins overall.

  25. Here’s the plain English: no libel, will likely take the stand. They laze in warm waters. he said. maybe a foot, a site that curates content, The video was produced by Funny or Die’s company Gifted You,com, “These cases are very difficult. Arias said he is misunderstanding the context of the text messages and calls.

  26. even though previous research found the two approaches had equivalent outcomes. Microsoft, bundle them together into securities with a guarantee against default and sell them to investors worldwide.” “And we’ve got to do something about this. And he’s wicked talented.casting it as having attempted to steal the election on behalf of then-candidate Barack Obama said. and Cosmetic Act and applicable regulations, Portman co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),she anchored CBS News’ special week-long coverage from Houston’s Johnson Space Center of the space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble telescope

  27. ESTUCHES says:

    Citigroup, the brief states DOMA can undermine teamwork. It’s a dangerous situation. “Does this mean that children exposed to BPA are at a higher risk for heart and kidney disease?but here we are and he kindly asked me to ram my forehead into his palm. So we thought we’d try different.(so am I) Minnesota is a very liberal State.S so I hold the record.Arias said he is misunderstanding the context of the text messages and calls, So Steratore hustled to Baltimore,police said Friday alone cost some $10 billion to build and run. If a reporter could ask questions on a regular basis.

  28. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 1, 2005A Discovery astronaut, working on the end of the space station’s robotarm, will attempt to remove two protruding “gap fillers” sticking up fromprotective heat-shield tiles on the belly of the shuttle Discovery Wednesdayduring an already planned spacewalk, officials said today.NASA’s mission management team decided to order the repair work after along meeting in which aerodynamicists said they could not guarantee aproblem-free re-entry with the gap fillers sticking out as is. The stumblingblock was uncertainy about high-altitude, high-speed aerodynamics and howturbulence, caused by the extended gap fillers, might affect heat loads onthe orbiter.Wayne Hale, chairman of the management team, told reporters late todaythat estimates of possible consequences ranged from no problems of anysignificance to exceeding the shuttle’s design limits and safety margin.While the worst-case scenarios might or might not trigger a catastrophicfailure, serious tile damage could result.”Today at the mission management team meeting we had a very longdiscussion about aerodynamics,” Hale said. “I went in with a very simplequestion: Did we have the engineering knowledge and analysis that would,without a shadow of a doubt, allow us to be 100 percent confident thevehicle could fly safely during entry?”We investigated that at length, the team has been working for threedays, they came in with a very long report, the management team asked them alot of detailed questions and at the end of the day, the bottom line isthere is large uncertainty because nobody has a very good handle onaerodynamics at those altitudes at those speeds. Given that large degree ofuncertainty, life could be normal during entry or some bad things couldhappen.”Then we examined our options to set our minds at rest and to make surewe didn’t stay up late nights worrying about bad things happening, the EVA(spacewalk) team has … put together a very simple plan, with good safetyprecautions and mitigations of many hazards that will allow the crew memberto go out and remove those two gap fillers. And so when we looked at theunknown versus what we do know about EVA, it was a very easy decision to addthe task to EVA number three, to go remove the two little gap fillers.”Read our from earlier today for more on this issue.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE BROADBAND & VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER SEPARATION FROM TANK VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CHUTE DEPLOY AND SPLASHDOWN VIDEO:FULL CLIP FROM LEFT-HAND BOOSTER VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER SEPARATION FROM TANK VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER SPLASHDOWN VIDEO:FULL CLIP FROM RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER VIDEO:MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:FRIDAY’S MISSION STATUS BROADBAND AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS BRIEFING BROADBAND & VIDEO:THURSDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING BROADBAND VERSION: & AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR DOCKING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION VIDEO:COMMANDER COLLINS GUIDES DISCOVERY TO DOCKING VIDEO:DISCOVERY’S BACKFLIP AS SEEN FROM STATION VIDEO:STATION CAMERAS SEE SHUTTLE’S APPROACH FROM BELOW VIDEO:SHUTTLE PULLS IN FRONT OF STATION FOR DOCKING VIDEO:CREW’S CAMCORDER VIDEO OF JETTISONED FUEL TANK VIDEO:NASA GROUNDS SHUTTLE PROGRAM BROADBAND VERSION: & AUDIO:LISTEN TO PROGRAM NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE FUEL TANK HITS BIRD AT LIFTOFF VIDEO:AMAZING WB-57 AERIAL LAUNCH VIDEO VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL AT LAUNCH VIDEO:OFFICIALS DESCRIBE DEBRIS EVENTS AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE DEBRIS DESCRIPTION VIDEO:LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY! VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF OBJECT BREAKING FREE FROM TANK VIDEO:TANK-MOUNTED CAMERA SHOWS ENTIRE LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA VIEW OF TANK SEPARATION Status SummaryDiscovery safely touched down at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT) Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base in California.Weather worries off the coast of Florida thwarted both landing opportunities this morning at Kennedy Space Center, forcing a detour to the backup landing site.See the for full play-by-play coverage.Recent updates Thursday, August 407:00 AMWednesday, August 306:15 AMAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.NASA managers elated with shuttle fueling test BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  29. “The plan to get back to a launch attempt once we return from the storm is really very straight forward,” Leinbach said. “We’ll go through a launch pad validation process, that’s about a day-long test or so, that’s where we do all the connections, data, power and gases, connections from the launch pad to the mobile launch platform. We will be opening the payload bay doors and giving our payload friends a battery boost.

  30. Discovery could be cleared to fly next week. Credit: NASA-KSCEngineers have not yet found a “smoking gun” that might explain why fuelsensor No. 2, one of four in Discovery’s liquid hydrogen tank, actederratically last Wednesday, forcing launch managers to scrub the countdown alittle more than two hours before blastoff. NASA’s launch rules require allfour sensors to be operating properly for a countdown to proceed.Ed Mango, a senior NASA manager helping oversee the troubleshooting work,said engineers are about two thirds of the way through a detailed series oftests and inspections at the launch pad, work that should be wrapped up byWednesday. Other teams are wrapping up reviews of past sensor performance,failure modes, possible fixes and the rationale behind NASA’s current”four-of-four” sensor launch rule.If engineers track down the problem in the next two days, they willeither make repairs or, if that’s not possible, attempt to prove the flawwill not affect any of the other sensors. Under the former scenario, NASAcould stick with the current four-of-four sensor rule and launch Discoveryat 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT) Tuesday.Under the latter scenario, agency managers could amend the sensor rule topermit a launching with three-of-four operational sensors. The sensors wouldbe checked or even tested during the fueling process and, if the other threesensors operated normally, Discovery’s crew could be cleared for launch.Engineers also could opt to run a stand-alone tanking test Tuesday,recycle the countdown and, depending on the results, make a launch attemptthe next day or the day after that.As of this writing, there are simply too many variables to predict howthe next launch campaign might play out. And in any case, NASA managers arestill holding out hope it won’t come to that.”Our number one goal here is to find this problem and fix this problem,”said Wayne Hale, deputy shuttle program manager and chairman of NASA’smission management team. “To date we have not found it, so we’re not able tofix it.”The next step, if we are unfortunate in the next 24 to 48 hours, isto consider going to cryogenic temperatures, that is to say, reload theexternal tank and see what happens at those cryogenic temperatures. We’regoing to let the team concentrate on the ambient testing and see if they canfind something in the next couple of days.”But if nothing turns up, “then we need to go to the next level and that’sthe cryogenic-level testing,” Hale said.It is possible that the ultra-low temperatures of the supercoldpropellants played a role in the sensor problem, perhaps by causing a wireor a connector to contract enough to open a circuit. That is the type offailure that might not show up during tests at ambient temperatures. But itmight show up during a fueling test.”Today at the mission management team, we reviewed the timelines tosupport that and we think the next opportunity to tank the vehicle would beno earlier than Tuesday, the 26th,” Hale said. “There is some debate as towhether or not we could, in fact, do the kinds of tests we need to do atcryo temperatures in a launch countdown and go ahead and launch that day, orwhether we need to do a test, detank, recycle and think about the data.”So that decision is before us,” Hale said. “But the next tanking wouldbe no earlier than Tuesday. Again, hopefully in the next 24 or 48 hours wewill find the glitch that’s got us all confused, or frustrated, or find youradjective, and be able to fix it and go forward.”The four hydrogen engine cutoff – ECO – sensors are part of a backupsystem that ensures the shuttle’s main engines shut down properly beforerunning out of fuel. An operating shuttle main engine likely would tearitself apart if it simply ran out of gas (for detailed background on how thesensors operate, graphics showing their location and a chronology ofDiscovery’s sensor problems to date, see the CBS News/Spaceflight Now ECOsensor page .)While the consequences are extreme, multiple failures would be requiredfor the worst-case scenario to play out: A major malfunction of some sortwould have to affect engine performance and then three of the four ECOsensors would have to fail “wet,” indicating the presence of rocket fuelwhen, in fact, the tank was dry.The odds of such multiple failures are remote, unless some sort ofgeneric problem is lurking in the system. But in the absence of an obviousfault in the sensor No. 2 circuit, that’s a major question mark as thisweek’s testing continues.Another major question mark is how NASA, in the wake of the Columbiadisaster, might ultimately justify changing a launch commit criteria in theheat of a launch campaign, when managers are under considerable self-imposedpressure to get the shuttle back into space as soon as possible.Discovery’s launch window is defined primarily by the international spacestation’s orbit and a requirement to launch the first two post-Columbiaflights in daylight. NASA wants good lighting at launch and when theexternal tank separates half a world away for photography showing thecondition of the shuttle and the external tank.The current launch window closes July 31. The next window opens Sept. 9and the year’s final window opens in November. Agency managers are lookinginto the possibility of extending the July window through Aug. 4 by relaxingthe orbital lighting requirements for photographing the tank after itseparates from the shuttle.Hale said today he was aware some observers might get the impression theoptions under discussion show NASA has “go fever,” especially given thediscussion about re-evaluating the rationale behind the ECO sensor launchrule and talk of extending the launch window. But he insisted safety is theagency’s top priority and that it only made sense to preserve launch optionswhile troubleshooting continues.As it turns out, NASA’s original launch commit criteria called forthree-of-four operational ECO sensors. But in the wake of the Challengerdisaster, a review of shuttle systems revealed that two of the sensors werepowered or controlled by a single component in an electronic black box”upstream” of the sensor system. Because the failure of that component couldtake down two sensors, the rule was changed to require four-of-four atlaunch.A modification was proposed several years ago and implemented duringDiscovery’s last major overhaul, eliminating the single-point failure mode.This will be the first flight for the modification. In the downtime afterthe 2003 Columbia disaster, engineers discussed changing the LCC back tothree-of-four, but ultimately decided to let the rule stand as is.”The discussion which we had briefly before getting into the launch countis, are we ready to go back to three-of-four as the launch commit criteria?”Hale explained today. “And folks said, we’re really busy trying to return toflight, we’ve got a lot of work on our plate that requires some seriousthought, let us not make that change for the first flight. We’ll think aboutit downstream.”Well, now everybody’s interested in that. So we’re thinking about that.”In the absence of an obvious problem with an equally obvious solution,NASA may be forced to amend the four-of-four rule to get Discovery off theground during the current launch window. For now, however, the launch teamis simply keeping its options open while the testing plays out at pad 39B.”What we’re doing right now is, we’re preserving the opportunity that ifwe found something in the troubleshooting that’s ongoing today, if somethingjumped out and we said there’s the problem, then that tanking test wouldactually be the launch countdown and we would go on the 26th,” said shuttleprogram manager Bill Parsons.”What we’re saying, though, is if we haven’t found anything by then andthis technical community comes back and says look, we need to make a fewchanges, or we want to put instrumentation in the orbiter and we think weneed to do a tanking test, then the 26th becomes that tanking test.”What we’re doing is, we’re preserving schedule,” Parsons said. “We’retrying to keep this on schedule as much as we can right now and preserve ouroptions until the last opportunity. The tanking test we would do would be ina countdown configuration. We understand that process.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:OFFICIALS EXPLAIN OPTIONS MONDAY AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY AFTERNOON NEWS BRIEFING AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:THURSDAY’S UPDATE NEWS CONFERENCE AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:POST-SCRUB NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S LAUNCH IS SCRUBBED VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:CREW DONS LAUNCH SPACESUITS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS GATHER FOR PRE-LAUNCH SNACK VIDEO:PAD’S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE ROLLED BACK MORE: Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.NASA nixes third tanking test for shuttle Discovery BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  31. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: September 20, 2006; Updated after hatch openingThe Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft docked with the international space station early today, bringing a new commander and flight engineer to the outpost along with space tourist Anousheh Ansari.With smiles, hugs and handshakes, flight engineer Jeff Williams, Thomas Reiter and Expedition 13 commander Pavel Vinogradov welcomed Ansari, Expedition 14 commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin aboard the station to the congratulations of friends and family members gathered at the Russian flight control center near Moscow.”Michael, Misha and Anousheh, congratulations on a beautiful launch and a successful docking,” Ansari’s husband, Hamid, radioed in accented English. “Anousheh, you made the whole world (look) at you.”"Thank you, I wouldn’t be here without you,” replied Anousheh, wearing a bright yellow shirt with a black Ansari X-Prize baseball cap.”Now we all need to know how to get there,” joked Hamid.”I’m working on it!” Anousheh said. “It was a smooth ride.”"Great!”With Tyurin at the controls, the Soyuz TMA-9 capsule docked at the aft port of the Russian Zvezda command module at 1:21 a.m. after a two-day orbital chase that began with launch early Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.Three hours later, after extensive leak checks to ensure a tight seal, Williams opened a final hatch and the Soyuz fliers floated into the Zvezda module and gathered for a brief teleconference with Moscow.”You all look terrific today,” Lopez-Alegria’s wife, Daria, radioed. “It’s so good to see you guys. Have a great time up there.”"Hi, daddy,” Lopez-Alegria’s young son called. “I guess I should say hello. And, well, that’s all, I guess.”Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s director of manned spaceflight, said “it’s great to see all of you in orbit. I can’t think of a better place for you all to be. Enjoy this week, it’ll go by quickly. Have a good handover and we’ll see some of you back here soon.”Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin will replace outgoing Expedition 13 commander Vinogradov and Williams, who were launched to the space station last March aboard Soyuz TMA-8.Vinodradov, Williams and Ansari, a telecommunications entrepreneur who is believed to have paid the Russian space agency some $20 million to become history’s fourth space tourist, are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 28 aboard the TMA-8 spacecraft.Reiter, a European Space Agency astronaut who joined the Expedition 13 crew in July after launch aboard the shuttle Discovery, will remain aboard the lab complex as a member of the Expedition 14 crew until December. He will be replaced by Sunita Williams, who is scheduled for launch aboard shuttle Discovery Dec. 14.At a post-docking news conference, a senior Russian space manager downplayed problems Monday that knocked the station’s Elektron oxygen generation out of action, saying two backup oxygen sources are available and “we’re not worried about a lack of oxygen aboard the space station.”Said Gerstenmaier, “I’d like to congratulate Expedition 13 for a great expedition and I look forward to a very exciting Expedition 14.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:EXPEDITION 14 BLASTS OFF ABOARD SOYUZ ROCKET VIDEO:LAUNCH CAMERA REPLAY 1 VIDEO:LAUNCH CAMERA REPLAY 2 VIDEO:CROWDS GREET CREW AT LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:CREW DONS SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH MORNING TRADITIONS OF THE CREW VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW MOVIE OF EXPEDITION 14 VIDEO:BIOGRAPHY MOVIE OF EXPEDITION 14 CREW VIDEO:CREW’S PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFING MORE: John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Soyuz glitch prompts manual docking to space station SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 16, 2004Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov grabbed manual control of the Soyuz spacecraft during the final minutes of today’s rendezvous with the International Space Station, overriding the autopilot that was supposed to guide the capsule throughout the approach and docking. The Soyuz approaches the space station for docking at orbital sunrise. Credit: NASA TVThe unplanned switch, prompted by a yet-undiagnosed malfunction with the autopilot, added a touch of drama to the Expedition 10 crew’s arrival at the station to begin a half-year mission of maintaining the outpost’s systems, running science experiments, installing exterior equipment for future European cargo freighters and preparing U.S. modules for the return of space shuttles next year.The linkup, which occurred a few seconds before 12:16 a.m. EDT (0416 GMT), completed a two-day trek from the Kazakhstan launch pad to the International Space Station for Expedition 10 commander Leroy Chiao, flight engineer Sharipov and visiting cosmonaut Yuri Shargin. Chiao and Sharipov will call the orbiting lab complex home for the next 191 days, replacing Expedition 9 commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Michael Fincke who have been living on the station since April.”We’ll take good care of this new crew, show them the ropes, show them the ship, give them a great handover and they can carry on the fine traditions that we’ve established with all of our Expedition crews,” Fincke told former station commander Ken Bowersox in a space-to-ground chat before docking.”It’ll be sad to be leaving but happy to see our families,” Fincke continued.”I know but it still feels like somebody is kicking you out of your apartment, doesn’t it?” Bowersox quipped.”I remember you telling me that earlier and you’re absolutely right. You are absolutely right. But I guess that is par for the course,” Fincke replied.Russian flight controllers are investigating why the Soyuz’s velocity was higher than expected as it moved closer to the station under the control of the capsule’s KURS automated rendezvous and docking system. The problem triggered an alarm inside the crew module and mission officials stationed near Moscow ordered Sharipov take manual control.Sharipov, a veteran cosmonaut who flew aboard a space shuttle mission in 1998 that visited Russia’s space station Mir, put his extensive Soyuz piloting training to use.He maneuvered the capsule into alignment with the Pirs docking module while the Soyuz and space station soared 225 miles above Earth in darkness. With a firm grasp on the situation, the Soyuz commander flew the spacecraft down the precise corridor for a smooth docking at sunrise.”The docking today, from my point-of-view, looked excellent,” Fred Gregory, NASA’s deputy administrator and former shuttle astronaut, told reporters from the Russian control site. “I was observing the transition from automatic rendezvous to manual and it appeared seamless. It appeared that the crew was extremely well trained. There was no excitement. It appeared extremely routine.”Three hours following docking — after orbiting the Earth twice — the hatchway between the Soyuz and station was opened, allowing the five crew members to unite. It was a delightful moment for the Expedition 9 crew after spending the past six months alone aboard the station.Congratulatory calls from VIPs in Russian mission control followed before the space fliers reviewed safety procedures and began a busy eight-day changing of the guard between resident crews. Chiao says the time spent with the outgoing crew will be critical.”I think it’s absolutely essential,” he said during a pre-flight interview. “Of course I haven’t experienced it firsthand, but everything that I’ve heard and just my perception of it is that it’s absolutely essential because no matter how good the training is on the ground it’s never the same as being on the actual vehicle.”Also, those guys, they’ve been up there for six months, and they know the ins and outs of the station, they know the little surprises, the ‘gotchas,’ and things like that, and they will spend that week handing over to us all their knowledge. And that’ll really give us an edge on hitting the ground running.”Other activities scheduled include repairs to the Russian oxygen generator using spare parts brought up on the Soyuz and work on the troublesome cooling system inside one of the American spacewalk suits aboard the station.Rookie cosmonaut Shargin, a Russian Space Forces engineer, will carry out a science research program aboard the station over the next week before returning to Earth with the departing Expedition 9 crew. The Soyuz TMA-4 capsule parked at the Zarya module will ferry the trio home on the night of October 23, landing in Kazakhstan at 0032 GMT (8:32 p.m. EDT).Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SOYUZ DOCKS TO SPACE STATION IN MANUAL MODE VIDEO:LONGER-LENGTH CLIP OF THE APPROACH AND DOCKING VIDEO:POST-DOCKING PRESS CONFERENCE FROM RUSSIA Apollo 11 special patchSpecial collectors’ patch marking the 35th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing is now available.Choose your store: – – – Inside Apollo mission controlAn insider’s view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial. Choose your store: The ultimate Apollo 11 DVD This exceptional chronicle of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission features new digital transfers of film and television coverage unmatched by any other.Choose your store: – – – Next ISS crewOwn a little piece of history with this official patch for the International Space Station’s Expedition 11 crew. We’ll ship yours today!Choose your store: STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Soviet SpaceFor the first time ever available in the West. Rocket & Space Corporation Energia: a complete pictorial history of the Soviet/Russian Space Program from 1946 to the present day all in full color. Available from our store.Choose your store: – – – Viking patchThis embroidered mission patch celebrates NASA’s Viking Project which reached the Red Planet in 1976.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 7 DVDFor 11 days the crew of Apollo 7 fought colds while they put the Apollo spacecraft through a workout, establishing confidence in the machine what would lead directly to the bold decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon just 2 months later. Choose your store: – – – Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space station crew returns to Earth BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  32. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 28, 2005The shuttle Discovery’s crew might have dodged a bullet when a piece of foam debris broke away from an aerodynamic ramp on the side of the ship’s external fuel tank during launch Tuesday. Had the foam broken away earlier, when the shuttle was deeper in Earth’s atmosphere, the chunk could have hit the orbiter with potentially catastrophic results, engineers said today.

  33. – The OBSS will survey RCC panels only. To look for signs of tile damage on the underside of the shuttle, including possible damage to critical seals around landing gear doors, Discovery’s crew will rely on help from the crew of the space station.

  34. High-resolution imagery of Discovery was taken by the space station crew as the shuttle approached the outpost. Credit: NASADownload larger image version About a minute after launch, part of a heat-shield tile at the edge of a nose landing gear door cracked and ripped away, exposing the white interior of the insulator. Krikalev and Phillips, using 400- and 800-millimeter lenses, photographed the underside of the shuttle to give flight controllers a chance to evaluate the chipped tile and whatever other damage might be present.While it will take photo analysts time to fully evaluate the pictures, “neither of us saw anything alarming,” Phillips radioed mission control.”They showed us some of the shots of the orbiter and from what we could tell, it looks like it’s in great shape,” Collins radioed later from the station.Asked if he was confident Discovery’s thermal protection system is healthy enough for a normal re-entry Aug. 7, Griffin told CBS News “we’re not 100 percent sure at this point, no, but we have looked at the data from the wing leading edge impact sensors and we have not seen any evidence of an actual strike.”"Our video footage, it’s very clear that that large piece of foam missed Discovery,” he said. “We continue to examine the data but at this point, we think Discovery is a clean bird.”Status SummaryDiscovery safely touched down at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT) Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base in California.Weather worries off the coast of Florida thwarted both landing opportunities this morning at Kennedy Space Center, forcing a detour to the backup landing site.See the for full play-by-play coverage.Recent updates Thursday, August 407:00 AMWednesday, August 306:15 AMAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Discovery does victory lap after departing station BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  35. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 23, 2005 Discovery’s launch from pad 39B is scheduled for 10:39 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight NowNASA restarted the shuttle Discovery’s countdown today, pressing for a Tuesday launch after extensive troubleshooting and a wiring change that engineers hope will resolve, if not fix, a fuel sensor problem that scrapped a July 13 launch try.”We believe our flight systems and ground support hardware are ready, weknow our flight crew and support teams are ready and we’re all eagerlyanticipating and looking forward to a successful launch and mission,” saidNASA test director Pete Nickolenko.With forecasters predicting a 60 percent chance of good weather, NASA’sshuttle team started a fresh countdown at noon, setting up a launch attemptat 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT) Tuesday, the same time shuttle Columbia blasted off on itsfinal mission two-and-a-half years ago.A detailed countdown timeline is posted .Shuttle forecaster Kathy Winters said the primary concern will be thedevelopment of a sea breeze Tuesday and showers that might move into thelaunch area from offshore. The outlook for Wednesday is 60 percent “go,”improving to 70 percent should the flight slip to Thursday.”In general, we’ve been keeping a close eye on tropical storm Franklin,but we’re starting to get more confident in this northeasterly turn,”Winters told reporters today . “For launch, basically what we’re concernedabout is the placement of that sea breeze and the timing of the developmentof those showers.”Discovery ‘s launch window, based on the international space station’sorbit and a requirement to launch in daylight to verify post-Columbia fueltank modifications, extends through July 31. If the weather or some otherproblem delays launch Tuesday, NASA can make attempts July 27, 29 and 31 orJuly 27, 30 and 31, depending on the weather and work to service theshuttle’s electrical generators.Engineers were hopeful earlier this week that electrical interferencecaused by subtle grounding problems might explain why one of four hydrogenfuel sensors in Discovery’s external tank failed to respond properly to apre-launch test July 13.At it turned out, the three grounding problems were very minor – 0.2milli-ohms of resistance or less – and engineers were never able toduplicate the unexpected behavior of ECO sensor No. 2. As such, the problemremains an “unexplained anomaly.”But NASA managers believe they have developed a strong rationale forproceeding with the 114th shuttle mission after an exhaustive battery oftests and work to swap the electrical cables routing commands and data fromsensors 2 and 4 to an electronic component called a point sensor box.If a problem shows up during fueling with sensor No. 4, engineers willhave high confidence the problem is somewhere in the wiring between thepoint sensor box and the sensor itself, and not a generic problem that couldaffect the other three sensors. In that case, NASA’s mission management teamcould consider making an exception to a launch commit criterion that callsfor four operational sensors before a countdown can proceed.The ECO sensor system is a backup that protects against other failuresthat might result in running the shuttle’s main engines long enough to drainthe external tank. Complete details on sensor operation and logic areavailable on the CBS News/Spaceflight Now ECO . NASA’s original flight rule, in place for the first 25 shuttle missions,only required three of four sensors because the system is redundant – threeof the four sensors would have to “fail wet” to drain the tank after someother problem required their use in the first place – and to protect againstthe possibility of a faulty sensor, which cannot be easily replaced.But after Challenger, engineers discovered a single-point failure mode inan electronics black box upstream of the point sensor box that could takeout two fuel sensors at once. That failure mode was corrected several yearsago, but the four-of-four LCC was never changed back to three of four.If sensor No. 4 – the one now connected to the wiring that originallywent to sensor No. 2 – acts up Tuesday, NASA may be forced to sign anexception to the LCC to permit Discovery to take off with three of fouroperational ECO sensors. If any other sensors misbehave, the launch will becalled off and troubleshooters will go back to the drawing board.”Certainly, if we get anything else new, that would certainly be a causefor a scrub condition,” said NASA test director Pete Nickolenko. “If we wereto see (problems with sensor No. 4), we can reasonably conclude it wasrelated to that circuitry that was downstream of the point sensor box andthen we could entertain that 3-of-4 flight rationale, which we have beenworking on developing. But anything other than that might implicate thepoint sensor box … or something else in the wiring.”NASA’s mission management team will meet Sunday afternoon to assessDiscovery’s readiness to launch, the status of the ECO sensortroubleshooting and whether or not to adopt a three-of-four strategy ifsensor No. 4 does, in fact, act up. It’s not yet clear whether the MMT hasconsensus to make an exception to the LCC or whether new NASA AdministratorMike Griffin will go along.In any case, the sensors will be tested around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday as theastronauts are heading to the launch pad to strap in. The sensors will betested again during a final hold at the T-minus nine-minute mark.Engineers believe they have done everything possible to ensure all foursensors will work properly.”The battery of testing and analysis that we’ve done so far leads us tobelieve we are confident that we’ve got good sensors,” Nickolenko said. “Thetrue proof will be when we perform the tanking operation for the launchattempt Tuesday morning. But so far, based on what I understand, we’ve gotgood sensor paths, we’ve got a good point sensor box, we’ve tested it asexhaustively as we possibly can.”The grounding problems discovered earlier this week were minor, but theywere fixed anyway. The resistance across one ground was .2 milli-ohms,Nickolenko said, when the specification called for .1 milli-ohms. Two othergrounds measured around .11 and .14 milli-ohms. All three were disconnected,the mating surfaces were sanded and the wires reconnected and bonded inplace. Measurements showed all three were back within specifications.Engineers said earlier this week that even subtle grounding problemscould result in electromagnetic interference that might affect the signalsto and from the ECO sensors. But again, engineers were not able to duplicatethe failure signature and the problem remains an unexplained anomaly.”We performed the EMI checks and we saw no anomalous indications andafter reviewing that data, the troubleshooting team gave us the concurrenceto proceed with the electrical ground repairs,” Nickolenko said. “We’reoptimistic we’re going to see all good sensors.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:LAUNCH COUNTDOWN COMMENCES VIDEO:TODAY’S COUNTDOWN STATUS REPORT AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE COUNTDOWN REPORT VIDEO:ATLANTIS PREPPED FOR SEPTEMBER LAUNCH VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS RETURN TO THE CAPE VIDEO:POST-ARRIVAL COMMENTS FROM COMMANDER COLLINS VIDEO:FOOTAGE INSIDE DISCOVERY OF TROUBLESHOOTING VIDEO:LAUNCH PLAN ANNOUNCED AT BRIEFING AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:OFFICIALS EXPLAIN OPTIONS MONDAY AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY AFTERNOON NEWS BRIEFING AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:THURSDAY’S UPDATE NEWS CONFERENCE AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:POST-SCRUB NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S LAUNCH IS SCRUBBED VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:CREW DONS LAUNCH SPACESUITS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS GATHER FOR PRE-LAUNCH SNACK VIDEO:PAD’S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE ROLLED BACK MORE: Status SummaryDiscovery safely touched down at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT) Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base in California.Weather worries off the coast of Florida thwarted both landing opportunities this morning at Kennedy Space Center, forcing a detour to the backup landing site.See the for full play-by-play coverage.Recent updates Thursday, August 407:00 AMWednesday, August 306:15 AMAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Fuel sensor glitch forces launch scrub BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  36. Pa?uelos says:

    Winds: From 250 degrees at 10 knots with gusts to 14 knots

  37. Posted: July 6, 2014T-04:20:00Russian State Commission MeetsThe Russian State Commission meets to authorize fueling of the Soyuz rocket.T-04:00:00Fueling BeginsLoading of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants begins for the Soyuz rocket’s three lower stages.T-01:45:00Fueling CompleteThe rocket is fully fueled for launch.T-01:00:00Gantry RetractsThe 170-foot-tall mobile service gantry moves to the launch position on rails, revealing the Soyuz rocket for launch.T-00:06:10Key on StartThe launch key is put in place in the control center to begin the Soyuz synchronized countdown sequence.T-00:05:00Fregat on Internal PowerThe Fregat-MT upper stage is tranferred to internal battery power.T-00:02:25Upper Umbilical RetractsThe umbilical arm reaching the upper portion of the Soyuz rocket retracts. This event also ends the stream of spacecraft telemetry from the O3b satellites.T-00:00:40Soyuz on Internal PowerThe Soyuz rocket transitions to internal power.T-00:00:20Lower Umbilical RetractsThe umbilical arm servicing the lower portion of the Soyuz rocket retracts.T-00:00:17IgnitionThe ignition sequence begins for the Soyuz rocket’s core stage and four strap-on boosters.T-00:00:03Full ThrustThe RD-107A and RD-108A engines reach their full power level, totaling more than 900,000 pounds of thrust.T-00:00:00LiftoffThe launch pad hold-down arms retract and the Soyuz rocket soars into the sky.Data source: ArianespaceFinal Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Soyuz launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  38. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 17, 2005Seven members of an independent review panel today blasted NASA’s management of the post-Columbia shuttle program, blaming poor leadership for ongoing, pervasive “cultural” problems and an erosion of engineering rigor that raise questions about the agency’s willingness to fly without a thorough understanding of the risks involved.In an “annex” at the end of the final report of the Return to Flight TaskGroup, led by former Apollo astronaut Thomas Stafford and former shuttlecommander Richard Covey, seven of the 26 panel members wrote a scathing setof personal observations detailing “persistent cultural symptoms we observedthroughout the assessment process.”"What our concerns about rigor, risk and requirements point to are a lackof focused, consistent, leadership and management,” the panel members wrote.”What we observed, during the return-to-flight effort, was that NASAleadership often did not set the proper tone, establish achievableexpectations, or hold people accountable for meeting them. On manyoccasions, we observed weak understanding of basic program management andsystems engineering principles, an abandonment of traditional processes, anda lack of rigor in execution.”Many of the leaders and managers that we observed did not have a solidfoundation in either the theory or practice of these basic principles. …NASA’s early successes are rooted in program management techniques anddisciplines that few current managers in the human spaceflight arena havebeen willing to study. As a result, they lack the crucial ability toaccurately evaluate how much or how little risk is associated with theirdecisions, particularly decisions to sidestep or abbreviate any givenprocedure or process.”It is essential that senior managers have previously-demonstratedprogram management and systems engineering skills and a dedication towell-established, rigorous principles as they apply to complex,geographically and organizationally dispersed programs. More to the point,we remain concerned that NASA senior leadership did not recognize or correctthis, and indeed sent contrary signals that the rigor and discipline of asound program management process was not required.”In the wake of the Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia disaster, the Columbia AccidentInvestigation Board – CAIB – made 29 recommendations, including 15 that wereto be implemented before shuttles returned to flight. Former NASAAdministrator Sean O’Keefe appointed an outside panel of experts – theReturn to Flight Task Group – to assess NASA’s implementation of those 15recommendations.Earlier this summer, the task group released its preliminary report,which concluded NASA had failed to fully implement the three most criticalrecommendations: to eliminate all foam insulation debris from the externalfuel tank; to “harden” the shuttle’s heat-shield system to resist anyimpacts that do occur; and to develop reliable tile and wing leading edgerepair techniques.Most observers, including most task group members, said thoseshortcomings were more the result of a literal interpretation of theaccident board’s recommendations and a better understanding of the shuttle’svulnerabilities than any lack of effort on NASA’s part. Given the narrowfocus of their charter, no one on the panel suggested NASA not proceed withlaunch of the shuttle Discovery on the first post-Columbia mission.In any case, the group’s final report was submitted today and in anafternoon teleconference, Stafford and Covey both defended NASA, saying thepersonal observations by the “group of seven” were included in the finalreport at NASA Administrator Michael Griffin’s direct request and that theydid not represent the views of the panel as a whole.”It was a very difficult task,” Stafford said of NASA’s ongoing recoveryfrom the Columbia disaster. “In the end, they did a very competent job.”Covey would not address specific points made by the group of seven, buthe said NASA handled a difficult process as well as could be expected.”They had to go from an engineering and organizational approach that wasfocused on flying on a regular basis to one that went into almost adevelopment mode and in some areas, an engineering redesign mode,” he said.”Now, when that happens … there’s going to be some hiccups. It’s not aneasy transition, particularly when much of the design and developmentcapability had long been lost within the program because of decision thathad been made years ago.”Everybody’s going to have a different perspective. I’ll use the sausageanalogy. If you watch sausage being made, it’s not always pretty and somepeople are going to find it uglier than others. I personally did not findthe process, as it played out, unusual. It’s easy to look from hindsight andsay this could have been done better.”Another panel member who spoke on background agreed that “individualobservations should not take on the same weight as the assessments reachedby the entire task group because they are, as advertised,?individualobservations.”"However, they should serve as a heads up to?NASA leadership and shouldmerit serious and thorough internal thought and consideration,” the panelmember said.The annex to the task group’s final report included 10 sets ofobservations authored by 17 panel members that covered 28 pages. But theobservations by the group of seven were by far the most detailed, covering19-and-a-half pages.The group was made up of Dan Crippen, former director of theCongressional Budget Office; Charles Daniel, a veteran NASA rocket engineer;Amy Donahue, a safety expert and professor of public policy at theUniversity of Connecticut; Air Force Col. Susan Helms, a former shuttleastronaut who spent six months aboard the international space station; SusanLivingstone, a former undersecretary of the Navy; Rosemary O’Leary, a publicadministrator professor at Syracuse University; and William Wegner, anexpert on nuclear safety programs.Stafford and Covey said other task group panelists, some with broaderexperience managing large organizations, reached different conclusions.Forrest McCartney, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, formerdirector of the Kennedy Space Center and retired launch operations managerfor Lockheed Martin, wrote that NASA is “dedicated to accomplishing the worknecessary for safety returning to flight. They are to be congratulated ontheir efforts.”"While some of us might have approached the recovery process in adifferent way, the end result is what counts,” he wrote. “The NASAheadquarters leadership and space shuttle program office have done theirbest to implement the actions they believe will lead to a safe return toflight.”But the task group panelist who spoke on background said “NASA should payclose attention to these observations and either correct deficient processesand practices noted or to assure themselves that the observations do notrepresent the whole story.”That said, the group of seven’s observations were stated in unusuallydirect language.Citing “the enduring themes of dysfunctional organizational behavior,”the group said a lack of personal accountability was pervasive in theshuttle program, “from the failure to establish responsibility for the lossof Columbia up to and including a failure to require an adequate riskassessment of (the shuttle Discovery’s recent) flight.”"If no one, or no part of the organization, is held accountable forfailing to meet those expectations, performance becomes simply a case of’best effort’ – a term that became common during many return-to-flight discussions.”A general attitude within the space shuttle program seems to be thatbest-effort is a satisfactory substitute for meeting specific technicalrequirements; often requirements were not even documented to avoid thechance they could not be met. However, best-effort is a very poor substitutefor a thorough understanding of the technical situation. Parts of the agencyseem to have forgone their traditional engineering rigor in favor of ‘whenyou have done your best effort, you are good to go.’ This is not anappropriate philosophy for a high-performance organization that routinelyputs the lives of its employees into high-risk situations.”While admitting the difficulty of achieving objectivity based onhindsight, “it appears to us that lessons that should have been learned(from the Challenger and Columbia disasters) have not been,” the panelmembers wrote. “Perhaps we expected or hoped for too much. … We expectedup-front standards of validation, verification and certification. Weexpected rigorous and integrated risk management processes. We expectedinvolved and insightful leadership from NASA headquarters. We were, overall,disappointed.”There certainly are capable leaders to be found in the space shuttleprogram and throughout NASA. In our view, though, the return-to-flighteffort, when taken as a whole, was not effectively led or managed. Theabsence of accountability, of having managers dedicated to programmanagement processes, and of managers being assigned to programs only afterdemonstrating these skills are what we believe to be the causes of thesurface-level symptoms we saw so often. In particular, leadership andmanagerial failures to set expectations and requirements and a failure tohold people accountable.”These promoted a lack of engineering rigor, discipline and integratedrisk assessment. Ultimately, this cost the program significant time andmoney while producing, in some areas, suspect, disappointing and/orinadequate results. Learning the lessons of these failures is important toNASA’s future.”The group of seven focused on five broad areas: rigor, risk, requirementsand leadership.In this context, they wrote, rigor referred to an organization’s use ofand adherence to established standards and practices. According to Crippenand his co-authors, NASA’s return-to-flight activities “often demonstrated alack of standard processes, and, in some cases, simply a lack of any processat all.”"Once the Agency is on record as committed to a specific achievement, itbecomes unpalatable to back off of that target for fear of appearing tofail,” they wrote. “Instead, the adjustment of performance standards toallow a ‘best-effort’ provides the appearance that the goal has been met,but without the rigor and discipline necessary do so safely or completely.Before making commitments to specific achievements, NASA should fullyconsider how much progress is feasible, and motivate public and privateexpectations accordingly. When achievements are mandatory at first butbecome “goals” when the going gets tough, it sends a strong message toeveryone that nothing is mandatory.”In hindsight, the panel members wrote, NASA’s O’Keefe erred when he saidthe agency would implement the CAIB recommendations sight unseen. In sodoing, NASA “short-circuited a more traditional and rigorous process.”"In our view, NASA leadership should not have foregone their traditionalprocess of conducting detailed assessments of proposed changes,” the panelmembers wrote. “In addition, before committing to a short-term launch date -that ultimately drove any number of important implementation decisions -NASA should have conducted detailed engineering assessments of the CAIBrecommendations, traded them against other risk mitigation efforts,developed a clear understanding of the physics of foam loss, and devotedserious consideration of alternatives to “fix the foam;” e.g., orbiterhardening or a redesigned external tank. This would have allowed the programto determine how long a stand-down was necessary to implement a reasonableset of requirements to reduce the risk of flying the vehicle.”As we reviewed the return-to-flight effort, it was apparent that therewere numerous instances when an opportunity was missed to implement the bestsolution because of this false schedule pressure. As early as September 2003the (task group) was told that specific technical activities were not beingperformed because they could not meet the schedule. Too often we heard thelament: “If only we’d known we were down for two years we would haveapproached this very differently…”Another lack of rigor cited by the panel – one that also was cited by theCAIB – is the widespread use of PowerPoint presentations in lieu of actualengineering data and analyses.”Several members of the Task Group noted, as had CAIB before them, thatmany of the engineering packages brought before formal control boards weredocumented only in PowerPoint presentations,” the panel members wrote. “Insome instances, requirements are defined in presentations, approved with acover letter and never transferred to formal documentation. Similarly, inmany instances when data was requested by the Task Group, a PowerPointpresentation would be delivered without supporting engineeringdocumentation. It appears that many young engineers do not understand theneed for, or know how to prepare, formal engineering documents such asreports, white papers, or analyses.”Another factor affecting the rigor of NASA’s engineering processes is laxleadership, Crippen and his co-authors concluded. During a February designcertification review, “a senior program manager commented that, ‘It is nolonger an important question as to whether or not any given item iscertified. Some things won’t be certified … Items don’t have to becertified to fly, and we can even get waivers for the safety cert if needbe.’ It was astounding that there was no rebuttal to this statement, eventhough the individual was not the most senior person at the table.”"This mocking of rigor sends a message to junior staff that it isacceptable to modify or avoid established processes,” Crippen’s team wrote.”As a result, both organizational and individual accountability fell by thewayside. Senior leadership should not trivialize established processes sincetheir attitudes can be infectious, either to the benefit or detriment of thespace shuttle program and the agency.”The panelists were especially critical of the way NASA manages andassesses risk, saying “we do not believe the risk management processes inplace within the space shuttle program are significantly robust.”"We note that NASA managers also tend to confuse the exhaustive andlaudable Integrated Hazard Report system with integrated risk management.The space shuttle program has executed a thorough review of all IntegratedHazard Reports on its own initiative and at a considerable cost in hours andfunds. As commendable as this effort has been, the review of thousands ofIntegrated Hazards does not constitute, nor should it be a substitute for, acomprehensive integrated risk management approach.”Throughout the return-to-flight effort, there has been a reluctance toappropriately characterize the risks inherent in the space shuttle program.As an example, it is has proven irresistible for some officials tocharacterize the modified external tank as ‘safer,’ the ‘safest ever,’ oreven ‘fixed,’ when neither the baseline of the ‘old’ tanks nor thequantitative improvement of the ‘new’ design has been established. The tankmay well be safer, but without adequate risk assessment based on objectiveevidence it is impossible to know.”In the area of requirements, the panel members raised the issue ofwaivers, a formal procedure that can allow a given system or component tofly even if it does not meet design specifications. NASA was criticized inthe wake of the Challenger and Columbia mishaps for signing too many waiversinstead of fixing the underlying problem. Today, Crippen’s group charged,NASA gets around waivers by changing the terminology.”The space shuttle program has been repeatedly cited for having too manywaivers, and has become reluctant to add additional waivers, choosinginstead to ‘beat’ the system by using other means,” the panel members wrote.In February, after numerous “open items” remained unresolved after adesign certification review, “the ET project announced … that it woulddocument them in a ‘Verification Limitations Document.’ While it is laudablethat the project at least captured the deficiencies in the certification(unlike some others), the stated rationale for this approach was that theVerification Limitations Document would negate the need for any waivers.This, in effect, clouds the number of requirements that are not being metand diminishes the certification of the external tank.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:LANDING OF DISCOVERY! VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING ENTRY VIDEO:INFRARED TRACKING CAMERA FOLLOWS DISCOVERY VIDEO:SIDE VIEW FROM CAMERA NORTH OF RUNWAY VIDEO:SIDE VIEW FROM CAMERA SOUTH OF RUNWAY VIDEO:POST-LANDING NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:COMMANDER SPEAKS AFTER CLIMBING FROM SHUTTLE VIDEO:DISCOVERY’S HOMECOMING DIVERTED TO CALIFORNIA VIDEO:TODAY’S FIRST LANDING OPPORTUNITY WAVED OFF VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS TOLD MONDAY’S LANDING IS SCRUBBED VIDEO:MONDAY’S FIRST LANDING OPPORTUNITY WAVED OFF VIDEO:LANDING PREVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:SATURDAY MISSION STATUS BROADBAND & AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FAREWELL CEREMONY BETWEEN SHUTTLE AND ISS CREWS VIDEO:DISCOVERY UNDOCKS FROM STATION AS SEEN LIVE VIDEO:SHUTTLE FLIES ABOVE STATION DURING FLYAROUND VIDEO:STUNNING VIEW OF STATION WITH EARTH’S LIMB VIDEO:FRIDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS CALL ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:CARGO MODULE RETURNED TO DISCOVERY PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:COMBO MISSION STATUS/MANAGEMENT BRIEFING BROADBAND PART & VIDEO:WED. MANAGEMENT NEWS BRIEFING BROADBAND & VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S MISSION STATUS BROADBAND & VIDEO:SPACEWALKER REMOVES FIRST TILE GAP FILLER VIDEO:SECOND GAP FILLER PULLED OUT AS SEEN VIA HELMETCAM VIDEO:LONGER-LENGTH MOVIE OF SECOND GAP FILLER REMOVAL VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES INSIDE MISSION CONTROL VIDEO:SPACEWALKER FLOATS OUT OF AIRLOCK TO BEGIN EVA VIDEO:STOWAGE PLATFORM MOUNTED TO STATION EXTERIOR VIDEO:HELMETCAM VIEW OF EXPERIMENT INSTALLATION VIDEO:NOGUCHI DEPLOYS THE EXPERIMENT PACKAGE VIDEO:STUNNING HELMETCAM VIEW FROM ATOP THE STATION VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS RETURN TO AIRLOCK AT EVA’S END VIDEO:PRESIDENTIAL PHONE CALL VIDEO:ASTRONAUT DAVE WOLF EXPLAINS GAP FILLER REMOVAL VIDEO:TUESDAY’S CREW NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:JAPANESE MEDIA EVENT (WITH TRANSLATION) VIDEO:RUSSIAN MEDIA EVENT (WITH TRANSLATION) VIDEO:TUESDAY’S STATUS BRIEFING BROADBAND & VIDEO:DECISION ANNOUNCED AT BRIEFING BROADBAND & VIDEO:GROUND TESTS ON PULLING, CUTTING GAP FILLERS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS PREPARE FOR THE SPACEWALK VIDEO:FAILED GYRO IS REMOVED FROM THE STATION VIDEO:THE NEW GYRO IS INSTALLED VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS POSE FOR PICTURES VIDEO:MONDAY’S STATUS BRIEFING BROADBAND & VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL DURING EVA VIDEO:MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE BROADBAND & VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER SEPARATION FROM TANK VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CHUTE DEPLOY AND SPLASHDOWN VIDEO:FULL CLIP FROM LEFT-HAND BOOSTER VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER SEPARATION FROM TANK VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER SPLASHDOWN VIDEO:FULL CLIP FROM RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER VIDEO:MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:FRIDAY’S MISSION STATUS BROADBAND AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS BRIEFING BROADBAND & VIDEO:THURSDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING BROADBAND VERSION: & AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR DOCKING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION VIDEO:COMMANDER COLLINS GUIDES DISCOVERY TO DOCKING VIDEO:DISCOVERY’S BACKFLIP AS SEEN FROM STATION VIDEO:STATION CAMERAS SEE SHUTTLE’S APPROACH FROM BELOW VIDEO:SHUTTLE PULLS IN FRONT OF STATION FOR DOCKING VIDEO:CREW’S CAMCORDER VIDEO OF JETTISONED FUEL TANK VIDEO:NASA GROUNDS SHUTTLE PROGRAM BROADBAND VERSION: & AUDIO:LISTEN TO PROGRAM NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE FUEL TANK HITS BIRD AT LIFTOFF VIDEO:AMAZING WB-57 AERIAL LAUNCH VIDEO VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL AT LAUNCH VIDEO:OFFICIALS DESCRIBE DEBRIS EVENTS AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE DEBRIS DESCRIPTION VIDEO:LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY! VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF OBJECT BREAKING FREE FROM TANK VIDEO:TANK-MOUNTED CAMERA SHOWS ENTIRE LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA VIEW OF TANK SEPARATION Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Timing of fuel tank foam loss saved Discovery from big hit BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  39. Pedido says:

    Winds: From 060 degrees at 9 knots with gusts to 14 knots

  40. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 30, 2005Astronauts Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi began a planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk today, a busy excursion highlighted by long-awaited tests of rudimentary tile and wing leading edge repair techniques that were developed in the wake of the Columbia disaster.Floating in the shuttle Discovery’s airlock, Robinson and Noguchiswitched their spacesuits to internal battery power at 5:46 a.m., officiallykicking off the 59th spacewalk devoted to station assembly and maintenance.Going into today’s excursion, 39 U.S. astronauts, one Canadian, oneFrenchman and 10 Russian cosmonauts had logged 348 hours and 15 minutes ofspacewalk time servicing and assembling the space station.Today’s spacewalk has five primary goals:To demonstrate rudimentary techniques for repairing damage toheat-shield tiles, using a paint-like material called “emittance wash;” andto test a material called NOAX that could be used to smooth over cracks inthe reinforced carbon carbon wing leading edge panels;To mount an attachment device that will be used later to hold a largeexternal tool kit and spare parts box called the external stowage platform,to the station’s Quest airlock module;To replace a broken GPS antenna;To bypass a faulty circuit breaker, restoring one of the station’s fourgyroscopes to normal operation;To route a 50-foot-long secondary electrical cable to the externalstowage platform attachment device on Quest.While the repair demonstrations have generated widespread attention, theelectronic bypass planned for control moment gyroscope No. 2 is a higherpriority item for the engineering community.The space station uses four CMGs to maintain the lab’s orientation inspace without having to tap into limited supplies of on-board rocket fuel.They are housed in the Z1 truss, which was attached to the Unity module’supward-facing, or zenith hatch – hence the name – during shuttle missionSTS-92 in October 2000.Along with saving fuel, the 800-pound gyros, spinning at 6,600 rpm, allowstation crews and flight controllers to reorient the outpost and keep itstable without fuel-consuming, experiment-jarring rocket firings.But on June 8, 2002, CMG-1 suffered a malfunction and shut down. Thestation’s orientation, or attitude, can be controlled by just two CMGs in aworst-case scenario. And indeed, a second gyro, CMG-2, was knocked off linelast year because of trouble with a circuit breaker. The circuit breaker wasreplaced during a station-based spacewalk, but the new unit malfunctioned inMarch, taking CMG-2 off line once again.If all goes well, Robinson will re-route power to CMG-2 today and theastronauts will replace CMG-1 during their second spacewalk Monday.But gyro problems remain an issue. After CMGs 1 and 2 are spun up and putinto operation, CMG-3 will be taken out of the loop until after Discoverydeparts. While still functional, CMG-3 has been experiencinglubrication-related bearing issues while helping control the orientation ofthe massive station-shuttle complex. After Discovery departs, the gyro willbe returned to service.Columbia was brought down by a hole in the ship’s left wing leading edgecaused by the impact of external tank foam insulation during launch 16 daysearlier.NASA originally planned for Robinson and Noguchi to test so-called curein-place-ablator applicator – CIPAA – backpacks, loaded with a tile repairmaterial known as STA-54, to fill in deliberately damaged tiles inDiscovery’s cargo bay.But questions about the reliability of the procedure surfaced last yearwhen engineers noticed the formation of air bubbles in the viscous STA-54material as the two compounds that made it up were mixed together in thebackpack. After extensive troubleshooting, engineers were able to reduce thebubbling but they could not eliminate it. The concern was that bubbles couldmigrate in weightlessness and form large voids as the material cured. Thosevoids could weaken the patch and its ability to shield against re-entryheating.NASA’s astronaut office opposed in-flight testing during Discovery’sflight and tests were put on hold.Another promising technique was a so-called overlay tile repair procedurein which damaged tiles would be covered with a thin, flexible sheet ofheat-resistant carbon silicon-carbide. The sheet would be mounted atop agasket and attached with fasteners similar to drywall bolts that would bescrewed into surrounding tile.Both CIPAA and the overlay technique are expected to be tested on afuture shuttle flight. Robinson and Noguchi instead will test a tile repairtechnique known as “emittance wash” in Discovery’s cargo bay.Using a demonstration kit with deliberately damaged tiles, thespacewalkers will paint exposed surfaces with a material that will replacedamaged or eroded coating and improve heat rejection.NASA still has no way to repair the kind of leading edge damage thatbrought down Columbia, but Robinson and Noguchi will test a rudimentarytechnique in which a heat-resistant material known as NOAX will be smoothedover small cracks in RCC material.NOAX, which stands for non-oxide adhesive experimental, will be squirtedfrom a caulk gun-like device and then smoothed out with trowels.A third repair procedure, aimed at fixing small holes in RCC panels, willbe tested next week inside Discovery’s crew cabin. It requires a flexiblecarbon silicon-carbide patch called a “plug” that would be inserted into ahole and held in place from behind by expansion bolts.Between 20 and 30 different plugs, each with slightly differentgeometries, would be needed in a real repair kit to ensure a good fitvirtually anywhere in the curving leading edge.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:FRIDAY’S MISSION STATUS BROADBAND AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BRIEFING ON DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS BROADBAND & VIDEO:THURSDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING BROADBAND VERSION: & AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR DOCKING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION VIDEO:COMMANDER COLLINS GUIDES DISCOVERY TO DOCKING VIDEO:DISCOVERY’S BACKFLIP AS SEEN FROM STATION VIDEO:STATION CAMERAS SEE SHUTTLE’S APPROACH FROM BELOW VIDEO:SHUTTLE PULLS IN FRONT OF STATION FOR DOCKING VIDEO:CREW’S CAMCORDER VIDEO OF JETTISONED FUEL TANK VIDEO:NASA GROUNDS SHUTTLE PROGRAM BROADBAND VERSION: & AUDIO:LISTEN TO PROGRAM NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE FUEL TANK HITS BIRD AT LIFTOFF VIDEO:AMAZING WB-57 AERIAL LAUNCH VIDEO VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL AT LAUNCH VIDEO:OFFICIALS DESCRIBE DEBRIS EVENTS AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE DEBRIS DESCRIPTION VIDEO:LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY! VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF OBJECT BREAKING FREE FROM TANK VIDEO:TANK-MOUNTED CAMERA SHOWS ENTIRE LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA VIEW OF TANK SEPARATION Status SummaryDiscovery safely touched down at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT) Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base in California.Weather worries off the coast of Florida thwarted both landing opportunities this morning at Kennedy Space Center, forcing a detour to the backup landing site.See the for full play-by-play coverage.Recent updates Thursday, August 407:00 AMWednesday, August 306:15 AMAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Discovery astronauts ready to practice launch countdownSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  41. in what was called Operation New Dawn,” he told BBC Sport. it is only the first group game. supplying communications technology specifically designed for each stage of the competition, not to mention the millions of spectators at each stage – it is just such fantastic value for money, Aruba is one of the most prosperous territories in the Caribbean. Plans for full independence by 1996 were shelved at a meeting in The Hague in 1994. ??? ????? ?????? ?? ????? “I had no alternative at the time.

  42. Or maybe you’re a little younger than I am, and you remember that particular dress more for Lady Gaga’s turn in the gown than Liz Hurley’s – Gaga would certainly be an appropriate bag mama for this piece. There are others who could pull it off, though – Rihanna, Rita Ora. Mostly singers, now that I think of it – why can singers pull things off that actresses can’t? That’s a debate for another time, though – tell us in the comments who you’d like to see wear this bag.

  43. How Does Bluefly Use Personally Identifiable Information?

  44. As has been the case with many of Saint Laurent’s bags, my answer is, “not really.” Slimane has gotten close to potential bag magic several times in his short tenure with the brand, and although he’s hit paydirt with shoes several times, the bags aren’t quite there yet. There’s nothing wrong with this little clutch; it’s a perfectly adorable, slightly grunge-y take on an old-school luxury shape, which has become something of a calling card for the brand under Slimane. I simply wish the bag found a way to go a bit further, to feel a little bit more special. If the top was capped with a smooth silver plate, perhaps. For me, it’s that one more detail that’s usually missing from Saint Laurent’s bags, and Hedi will likely make it over the edge in the near future.

  45. If you’d like a glimpse at the rest of Bethenny’s rather epic, Hermes-tastic bag stash, check out And if you’re more a West Coast Real Housewife type of guy or gal, feel free to peruse natch.Say you’re a person who owns a lot of designer bags. (That shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, if you’re already here.) You’re probably used to a certain level of quality and luxury in the things you carry, and when it comes time to get on a plane, you probably find your luggage a little bit underwhelming. Black Samsonite is functional and reasonably durable, of course, but the thrill just isn’t there. The good news is that your favorite brand probably has a designer suitcase ready for all your travel needs.

  46. Although McCartney’s Falabella style is starting to feel stale after years of ubiquity, this version lacks any structural changes or refreshments. Instead, the black clutch we’re all familiar with gets a surface makeover with the addition of jewel-studded motifs of a wild night out. Matches, stray earrings, Band-Aids, lipstick swacks; they’re all cartoonishly present. McCartney has spent time as a , alongside friends like Kate Moss, so the embellishments make a certain amount of thematic sense. They don’t make much aesthetic sense, though; McCartney’s designs aren’t known for their literalness or irreverence, and I can’t help but thinking that this is a kitschy look that someone like Miuccia Prada would pull off with much more finesse. (Not to mention, of course, that Prada’s bag would be real leather.)

  47. John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Sophisticated ATV boosts Europe’s space programs BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 5, 2008This weekend’s launch of Europe’s Jules Verne cargo ship and last month’s addition of the Columbus laboratory module to the international space station are cornerstone achievements in the continent’s growth in space, according to senior officials. Credit: ESAJules Verne is the first of at least fivecontracted Automated Transfer Vehicle missions to the space station.Blastoff is timed for 0403:04 GMT (11:03:04 p.m. EST) from theEuropean-controlled space base in Kourou, French Guiana.”Europe historically is the exploring continent, and we want to make surethat we don’t just explore the world but we explore the world beyond us,”said Alan Thirkettle, ESA international space station program manager.Long an operator of highly successful science probes, the European SpaceAgency is becoming a full-time participant in human spaceflight this year.”There is a big jump between operating unmanned spacecraft in deep spaceand actually operating a spacecraft in a manned environment,” said BobChesson, head of ESA’s human spaceflight and exploration operations. “It’sa big challenge for us and I think we’re up to it.”Jules Verne will embark on a dual mission to demonstrate the vehicle’sreadiness and deliver crucial cargo to the space station.”I’m a Briton and it’s very difficult for Brits to get excited, but we’revery excited and very proud and really looking forward to what we think isgoing to be a really magnificent mission and one that will service thestation very well,” Thirkettle said.Along with the newly-launched Columbus lab, the ATV will be one ofEurope’s primary contributions to the station. ESA and ten of its memberstates have spent about $7.4 billion on station-related projects since1995, according to Thirkettle.Europe is budgeting another $5.9 billion for the station through 2018,mostly covering the four remaining ATV missions and operations costs.If everything goes as planned during Jules Verne’s six-month mission, thenext ATV will launch late next year. Three more ATV’s will fly in 2011,2012 and 2013, ESA officials said.”You don’t become a major player unless you can do your own operations,and that will come with ATV,” Thirkettle said.The ATV program has cost $1.9 billion since 1995, including the craft’sdesign, development and construction. The cost number also covers theprogram’s ground segment.Each ATV mission produces an individual cost of about $532 million, whileeach spacecraft is worth about $304 million, according to ESA.France led the program’s development, providing nearly 47 percent of thetotal contributions to the ATV. Germany and Italy supplied 24 percent and13 percent, respectively, and seven other ESA member states hadcontributions in the single digits.Europe’s involvement in the international space station project isstructured by barter agreements with NASA. ESA secured a shuttle launchfor Columbus by building the Node 2 and Node 3 modules, and the ATV’scargo-carrying capability will cover ESA’s 8.3-percent share of thestation’s operating costs.Columbus, the ATV and ESA science payloads also help ensure a spot forEuropean astronauts on future station crews. Thirkettle said ESAastronauts will spend at least six months on the station every two yearsbeginning in 2009.Led by the industrial giant European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., theATV contractor team included thousands of engineers and technicians inEurope. Russia provided the docking probe and refueling system.”ATV gives very high-tech work to (European) industry, it pays our feesfor the station which enables us to do the world-class science andresearch that we want to do on the station, and it’s a gateway to thefuture exploration ambitions that we have in Europe,” Thirkettle said.A space transporterThe ship is able to carry more than 16,000 pounds of refueling propellant,water, oxygen, nitrogen and dry cargo. Named after the famed 19th centuryscience fiction writer, Jules Verne will be launching with only about10,100 pounds of supplies.”We want to retain some flexibility for the various test maneuvers thatwill be performed during the approach,” said John Ellwood, ATV projectmanager.In development for more than 12 years, the ATV can carry three times morepayload mass to the station than Russia’s workhorse Progress spacecraft,which has averaged nearly four missions per year since 2001.”We’re going to be the largest carrier of cargo to the international spacestation,” Ellwood said.The cargo capacity will be especially needed after the space shuttle’sretirement in 2010. The shuttle currently carries most of the station’shardware to orbit.”It is a major contribution to the program, probably more significantlypost-2010 when the shuttle is no longer available for us to do much of thelogistics work it does,” said Mike Suffredini, NASA international spacestation program manager.With its Russian docking probe extended, the cylindrical craft measuresnearly 34 feet long and 15 feet wide, about the size of a Londondouble-decker bus. Credit: ESA”It is the biggest spacecraft we’ve built in Europe and by far the mostcomplicated,” Ellwood said.Behind the ATV’s 518-pound docking system lies the integrated cargocarrier, containing about 1,600 cubic feet of pressurized volume.Derived from the Italian-built, NASA-owned Multi-Purpose LogisticsModules, the pressurized section has room for up to eight standard cargoracks. The 16.1-foot-long cargo carrier also includes an unpressurizedmodule holding spherical tanks for water, gases and refueling propellant.Larger racks housing science experiments can only be flown to the stationusing the shuttle or Japan’s H-2 Transfer Vehicle, which will launch forthe first time next year. The HTV will also be able to deliver externalpayloads.A service module behind the cargo carrier is fitted with four bluepower-producing solar arrays. When deployed, the panels form adistinguishing X-shaped pattern spanning more than 73 feet, producingabout four kilowatts of power.Four main engines attached to the aft end of the ATV will perform majorrendezvous burns and re-boost the space station’s orbit. Two of theengines will be used in free flight, while all four can be used forre-boost maneuvers. The propulsion unit includes 28 smaller thrusters forattitude control duties.A backup propulsion system can be activated to independently abort an ATVrendezvous if conditions become unsafe. “We really have two spacecraft inthe middle of this enormous great bird,” Ellwood said.The service module also contains the ATV’s brain, a complex set ofcomputers and avionics that serve as the spacecraft’s nerve center.Shields and an insulating white foil layer covering the outer shell of theATV protect the spacecraft from debris impacts and extreme temperatures.Optical rendezvous sensors and an assortment of S-band, radio, and GPSantennas are also scattered across the freighter’s exterior.The spacecraft will communicate with a 60-person team of controllers basedin Toulouse, France, through NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay SatelliteSystem – a fleet of satellites also used by the space shuttle, spacestation and a host of other missions.The ATV is “like a combination of a telecoms satellite, navigation vesseland a human spacecraft all rolled into one,” Thirkettle said.More ATV missions could be flown if station operations are formallyextended past the next decade. Officials have also considered fielding theATV on commercial flights or evolving the ship to support other types ofmissions.A joint team formed by EADS Astrium and Lockheed Martin Corp. proposedusing an ATV variant launched by Atlas and Delta rockets under a 2005 NASArequest for proposals to commercially supply the space station after theshuttle’s retirement. NASA didn’t select the ATV plan for further study,instead choosing to support smaller burgeoning U.S. aerospace companies.Some officials tout the ATV as a stepping stone to a future crew-carryingspacecraft, but that would require a significant leap from the ship’scurrent design.”It’s not just a matter of taking off the cargo carrier and sticking acapsule on top of it,” Thirkettle said.A long road to launchMore than 12 years in the making, the long-awaited maiden launch of theATV has been hit by more than three years of delays since the project wasinaugurated.Officials overcame early development difficulties in the first few yearsof the program, but more recent issues again challenged the ATV team.Hiccups in the ATV’s Russian GPS navigation system forced engineers towrite new software to trounce the problems in late 2006. Flight softwaretesting also had to be pushed back due to difficulties with a groundfacility designed to check the software.Jules Verne was shipped from its testing center in the Netherlands toFrench Guiana last July to begin several months of final assembly andcargo loading. More than 40 people have worked full time on the spacecraftat Kourou since its arrival, according to ESA officials.Tests at the launch site revealed minor issues with the ATV’s dockingsystem and miniscule leaks in the propulsion system last fall. Techniciansemployed minor fixes to overcome the issues, according to an ESAspokesperson.Another constant factor in the timing of Jules Verne’s mission has beeninternational traffic visiting the space station. The ATV can’t dock whilethe space shuttle is present, and arrivals and departures of Russian Soyuzand Progress spacecraft must also be taken into account, Thirkettle said.”The fact is it’s a very complicated process to try to line thesespacecraft up to come to ISS, mostly because seldom do they actuallylaunch exactly when they think they will,” Suffredini said. Credit: ESAVisiting spacecraft were partially to blame for an ATV delay last year,but officials said last month they would launch as soon as possible andwait in a parking orbit for other missions to wrap up.Workers finished loading dry cargo aboard Jules Verne last fall and closedthe pressurized section on Dec. 12. The cargo carrier and service modulewere mated five days later.Technicians completed fueling Jules Verne and installed the craft’sthermal covers in early February. Jules Verne was transported to the finalassembly building on Feb. 14 and attached atop the Ariane 5 rocket a fewdays later.Managers met Feb. 6 and decided to formally postpone the launch from Feb.22 to March 8, giving engineers time to put finishing touches on thespacecraft. Officials said ground controllers also requested additionaltime to conduct more mission simulations.ESA did not purchase insurance for Jules Verne’s flight, but engineersdesigned the ATV with several levels of redundancy and put in extratesting to offset the risk. The delay last month was to add a “final levelof robustness” to the mission, Thirkettle said.After some final closeout work, the Ariane 5′s voluminous payload fairingwas mounted around Jules Verne on Feb. 25. The nose cone protects the shipduring the final days before launch and through the rocket’s flight in thedense lower atmosphere during the early minutes of the mission.Managers decided last weekend to postpone the launch one more day,allowing launch site workers to inspect grounding straps on the separationsystem that will release Jules Verne from the grasp of the Ariane 5′supper stage.Technicians temporarily removed the payload fairing for the separationsystem checks. The two fairing halves were attached to the rocket againearlier this week, setting the stage for the launcher’s move to the launchpad Friday in advance of picking up the final countdown Saturdayafternoon. STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space station’s view of Ariane rocket launchSPACEFLIGHT NOW

Leave a Reply