Author Topic: The Official Space Exploration Thread  (Read 55809 times)

Online Darby

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #165 on: July 27, 2005, 09:00 PM »
This is sad, because for all intents and purposes, this is it.  The cost of 'fixing' the foam problem more than likely outweighs the sense of keeping the shuttle operational.  There will be a lot of people in NASA and in government clamoring to move on.    :(

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #166 on: July 27, 2005, 09:32 PM »
That sucks.  Hope everything turns out OK.  Dale, do we have the ability to fix something like this now, or maybe the folks at the International Space Station, perhaps?

Thanks for the update Matt.  :)

Oh bloody great, this could or could not be bad. NASA is not going to take any chances, during lift off, they had more than 100 cameras on the ground plus camers on the tanlk and shuttle and two planes that monitored Discovery. Every angle was covered.

Quite the chunk of foam that came off but it sounds like it did not hit the shuttle.



Foam is missing from the tank in an image taken from the orbiter.



The main issue is the foam, until NASA can stop this foam from coming off, the fleet is grounded. From what I just saw on the CCN news feed, the chunk of foam that came off is around the liquid oxygen feedline around where it's circled in this pic from the NASA archive.



This is what happened to Columbia and the impact was catastrophic.   :'(

This is a pic of what the foam looks like as an example.



Improvments of the area of foam.



The bipod fitting that helps attach the External Tank to the orbiter has been redesigned. The old design, left, used a foam ramp to prevent ice from building up on the fitting. Falling foam opened a hole in one of Columbia's wings, leading to the orbiter's breakup on entry. The new design, right, uses heaters instead of foam, to prevent ice buildup.

Sounds like a chipped thermal tile on space shuttle Discovery's belly does not appear to be a serious problem, based on what engineers have seen so far.


 
The crew of the ISS (International Space Station) have no means of repairing the shuttle.

As for the Discovery crew that can make repairs, maybe. I was watching Discovery Channel at work today and they showed some equipment/tools that have to be tested to make repairs. This has only been tested on the ground but not in space.

I saw what looks like a caulking gun and another tool to dab some kind of milky foam to cover seams and so forth. There was also a small plug that can be inserted into a hole and then sealed with these tools.

They could also use this to repair the small chunk of tile missing.

I do remember when the Columbia first set sail on April 12th/1981 that some small pieces of tile was report missing.

Quote
OK, we're — we want to tell y'all here we do have a few tiles missing off both of them — off the starboard pod, basically it got what appears to be 3 tile and some smaller pieces and off the port pod — looks like — I see one full square and looks like a few little triangular shapes that are missing and we are trying to put that on TV right now.



There are over 30,000 heat tiles on the shuttle. Each have there own serial number and shape and size.



As for the the Unthinkable you can read the link.

There was also a bird impact during liftoff but only on the External tank.



Besides the dangers posed by the shuttle's foam insulation, in this photo a bird hits the nose cone of the External Fueltank on Tuesday as the Discovery lifts off.

Man, this is Columbia all over again and just about as close to a Sci-Fi book I read back in 1981 called "Shuttle Down".



NASA will do everything in there power to bring the crew of Discovery home safe and sound.  ;)

Gene Kranz... "Failure is not an option."

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #167 on: July 27, 2005, 10:39 PM »
I saw the bird-strike on the news....I wonder how many PETA protesters are protesting now?

I just finished a Master's course called Aricraft & Spacecraft design.  We have the technology to make an actual space plane, that when completed could make cheaper space missions and eventually build us up for a true spacestation and interplanetary/possibly interstellar missions.  The problem is politics.
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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #168 on: July 27, 2005, 11:15 PM »
Lots of birds get killed during launches whether it be splat like a bug or fried from the flames. I think the deal about it now is beacuse of all the cameras they have and this one was one that got snapped.



One thing I forgot to mention is the shuttle has damage sensors installed into the wings to detect any impact damage caused by launch debris or orbiting space junk.

A space plane eh Matt, someone has to give Rutan/Branson of Virgin Galactic a run for there money.  ;)

Yeah, the politics of spaceflight and so forth is nasty, best left alone. 

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #169 on: July 28, 2005, 09:11 AM »
Discovery docks with space station

Image credit: NASA TV.



The International Space Station crew snapped this image of Space Shuttle Discovery at a distance of 337 feet.



Space Shuttle Discovery executes a backflip, exposing its underside for visual inspection by the Station crew.



The International Space Station is viewed through Discovery's docking ring during approach.

Here's some shots of the External tank.





These are good shots showing where the foam detached.






Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #170 on: July 28, 2005, 11:21 AM »
Nice stuf Dale, Thanks.

The thing about Columbia that made me stop and think was is the fact that foam has been comming off durring evey lift off and that was the first time that it caused significant damage. It made realize that evey launch was a craps shoot, kind of a scary thought (beyond the million technical things that could go wrong.) I certainly hope they can figure it out, but perhapse this will push them toward a new launch vehicle.
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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #171 on: July 28, 2005, 07:52 PM »
Better news thus far.  8)

"The initial report was that it looks extremely good," flight operations and integration manager John Shannon said Thursday.

"We don't have anything to worry about," he added.

NASA: Discovery unaffected by falling foam

Damn, this picture is awesome! Clicky for a bigger view.  8)



An image from the International Space Station shows Discovery as it performs a backflip to allow detailed photography of the Shuttle's heat shield.





The International Space Station crew greets the Discovery crew.

You have to check this short video out of Discovery doing the Pitch Maneuver. :o   :o   8)

Just click the link below and go to the right, it's just below the Elapsed Time clock of the mission (Related Media).  :)

Space Shuttle Pitch Maneuver

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #172 on: July 28, 2005, 08:37 PM »
Nice stuf Dale, Thanks.

The thing about Columbia that made me stop and think was is the fact that foam has been comming off durring evey lift off and that was the first time that it caused significant damage. It made realize that evey launch was a craps shoot, kind of a scary thought (beyond the million technical things that could go wrong.) I certainly hope they can figure it out, but perhapse this will push them toward a new launch vehicle.

Actually, the original foam they used on the tanks did not break off as much.  But NASA engineers decided to change the foam sometime in the 90's to make it more "environmentally friendly" That's when the orbiters were sustaining damage due to foam breaking off of the tank.
Peacekeeper, when it absolutely, positively has to be nuked in 30 minutes or less.  Or the next nuke's free!

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #173 on: July 28, 2005, 09:08 PM »
Nice stuf Dale, Thanks.

The thing about Columbia that made me stop and think was is the fact that foam has been comming off durring evey lift off and that was the first time that it caused significant damage. It made realize that evey launch was a craps shoot, kind of a scary thought (beyond the million technical things that could go wrong.) I certainly hope they can figure it out, but perhapse this will push them toward a new launch vehicle.

Actually, the original foam they used on the tanks did not break off as much.  But NASA engineers decided to change the foam sometime in the 90's to make it more "environmentally friendly" That's when the orbiters were sustaining damage due to foam breaking off of the tank.

Indeed, good memory Matt.  :)

STS-87

Offline sfg

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #174 on: July 29, 2005, 02:06 PM »
Brilliant image of the nose of the inverted orbiter on the front page of today's New York Times.  This scan doesn't do it justice; it takes up almost the whole front page above the fold.



 :)

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #175 on: July 29, 2005, 08:00 PM »
Hey, nice shot sfg.   8)  I saved that one, thanks.  :)



This image released by NASA showstile damage on the underside of the space shuttle Discovery. (AP Photo/NASA)

Busy day it was for the crew of Discovery attaching the Logistics Module and unloading 15 tons of supplies and equipment. 



The Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, grapples the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module inside the Shuttle's payload bay. Credit: NASA TV.



The Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module en route to installation on the international space station.

Sounds like the shuttle is fine for it's return on August 7th but NASA officials may extending Discovery's mission by one day. The shuttle's crew plans to test tile repair techniques during three spacewalks by astronauts Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi of Japan. The two also will service the international space station.

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #176 on: July 29, 2005, 11:37 PM »
10TH PLANET FOUND!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,164171,00.html

For the love of God, name it Nibiru!
- June 22, 2004 12:13 AM -

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #177 on: July 29, 2005, 11:52 PM »

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #178 on: July 29, 2005, 11:59 PM »
The whole hacker part is interesting, how long did they intend to hold that information from us?
- June 22, 2004 12:13 AM -

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #179 on: July 30, 2005, 04:58 AM »
I just watched more incredible footage from the shuttle. You can check them out here:

STS-114 Mission (Gallery, videos and animation clips)

More updated news.

Astronauts to take spacewalk

Discovery astronauts Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi will suit up and step outside at 4:44 a.m. ET Saturday for the first of three spacewalks.

They plan to test tile repair techniques in the payload bay and repair a gyroscope on the international space station during the 6-1/2 hour spacewalk.

They will not be making any repairs to Discovery itself, said deputy shuttle manager Wayne Hale.

Areas of interest:

While a detailed examination of Discovery's exterior, thanks to high-resolution cameras and lasers, showed no serious damage, Hale said, three areas of interest are being evaluated further:


Near the door covering the orbiter's nose landing gear, a piece of tile is missing, about three-quarters of an inch long, three inches wide and less than four-tenths of an inch deep. The missing piece is not deep enough to have breached the tile's outermost thermal barrier, Hale said. "I'm feeling very confident that this is not going to be anything significant for us to worry about."


At two locations on the underbelly of the orbiter, ceramic "gap fillers" -- which are placed in between tiles -- have protruded outward. The main concern is that the protrusions can change the aerodynamics of the spacecraft during re-entry, increasing the amount of heat the tiles will have to endure, Hale said. NASA engineers are running tests to determine how much the protrusions -- which have happened during previous shuttle flights -- might increase the heat and what effect that might have on the vehicle, he said.