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    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Shuttle Ready to Go?

    Stardate 4232.6

    CAPE CANAVERAL - After an unusually spirited debate, some "loose ends" still need to be tied up before Discovery is cleared for liftoff, mission managers said Monday.

    The plan for Discovery's 12-day flight is being closely scrutinized because it represents NASA's first space shuttle mission since the catastrophic loss of the shuttle Columbia in February 2003. During the milestone mission, the shuttle's crew will test procedures for inspecting the shuttle for damage and fixing cracks if necessary. They will also deliver tons of supplies to the international space station and resume construction work.

    One major concern is the T-0 umbilical system that is supposed to disengage at precisely the correct time during lift-off. Hmmm. I would think they woul dhave lift-off covered by now, but then what do I know. Apparently, the risk is low enough as to no tpose a threat however.

    Other "loose ends" include:

    • A review of issues involving unusual data from the external fuel tank's low-level sensors, which engineers saw during recent tests.
    • Standards for wind speeds in the upper atmosphere, as measured by high-altitude balloons. Two balloon tests showed unacceptable wind levels, but the criteria may turn out to be too conservative, Hale said.
    • Paperwork showing that all the newly developed shuttle repair tools being sent up for testing during Discovery's mission are certified as safe to fly.

    Lets just hope this thing flies, and it is safe. Seeing the amount of money that governments pour into rubbish like wars, it is no wonder they still have issues with lift-off procedure... I say send 'em to Mars with some gear and let them fend for themselves :) Let's colonize!!!

    Earthpod I, II and IV landing on Venus... III burned up when scientists mistakingly used Imperial units instead of Metric to calculate the re-entry curves...

    *** UPDATED ***

    It would seem that all of the technical issues have passed through and now the only thing stopping the launch could be weather. Let's hope it is clear and sunny :D

    Please check my latest entries for updates on the status of the shuttle launch.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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