STS-125

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Squiggy, May 6, 2009.

  1. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    Launch is currently set for Monday, May 11 at 2:01 PM Eastern.

    For those of you keep score at home...


    • 126th shuttle flight
    • 30th mission for the Atlantis Orbiter
    • 1st and only mission since STS-107 (Columbia) to not visit the ISS
    • Last Hubble Servicing Mission
    • Last Non-ISS mission
    • After this, only 8 more shuttle missions, ending with STS-134 in 2010 or 2011
    • Mission patch deisgned by Mike Okuda...which they all looked that good.
    See you in Florida!
     
  2. Alpha_Geek

    Alpha_Geek Commodore Commodore

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    Does this make it canon? ;)
     
  3. James Bond

    James Bond Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Obviously yes.
     
  4. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    I really should get up to Kennedy before I move out of Florida.

    One can barely see it from Fort Lauderdale and that's only if it's not cloudy.
     
  5. Mark de Vries

    Mark de Vries Commodore Commodore

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    You've got less than two years left, T'Bonz, before the shuttles are retired. If I lived anywhere near KSC, I'd be out there on Monday.

    Instead, I'll be following the launch, and I'm happy it's at a normal time (early evening here).

    By the way, for people using Twitter: STS-125 mission specialist Mike Massimino has an account, and he'll be updating during the mission as well. Look for Astro_Mike.
     
  6. JustAFriend

    JustAFriend Commodore Commodore

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    I used to watch the launches from my office window near the Miami airport.

    I currently live just north of West Palm Beach and can still see 'em from my front door. Night launches are easier and more spectacular.

    Definitely get up to Canaveral. You can get a great view from the 520 Causeway just south of the launch pad and cruise ship port.
     
  7. curson

    curson Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is sad, so so so so sad.
    Finger crossed for that telescope-beauty up there to hold on for as long as possible after this last check-up. I was 10 when they put it up there, and very excited about it too!

    Everything that men draws/design, is good with me ;)
     
  8. Kaziarl

    Kaziarl Commodore Commodore

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    So, i'm a little out of the loop. Are they retiring shuttles all together? or just this one? And if all of them, what next?
     
  9. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    They're retiring ALL the shuttles when the ISS is completed in late 2010 or early 2011 depending on delays.

    Atlantis' final flight will be on STS-131.
    Endeavour's final flight will be on STS-133
    Discovery's final flight will be the final shuttle mission, STS-134.

    As of now, and this is open to change, after the shuttles are retired and sent to their respective museums, the US will be out of the manned space launch business for a couple of years as the Constellation program gets geared up aiming for a lunar landing in the early 2020s.
     
  10. curson

    curson Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Wasn't just around today NASA trying to find a way to get approval to an extension to the Shuttle program? Just a rumor I've picked up on the net, so I've no source for this, thus the question :P

    I don't see the Constellation program being ready on time actually, and while I see the process of retiring the Shuttles is already started, I think at NASA are kind of realizing they could use with a bit more time. As far as I can tell there is quite a gap between the completion of the Constellation and the phasing out of the Shuttles, and while that could have not been forseen in time, it's getting pretty pratical now.

    I am sure they will come up with something, but I wouldn't be so sure the last missions of the Shuttles are going to be exactly the one you've pointed out, I wouldn't be surprised by an extension of the program.
     
  11. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    I agree. Hubble's served us well. Maybe it'll follow the path of the Rovers on Mars and just keep on working without help :)


    Squiggy, (sorry if this is a stupid question :rolleyes: ) if the US aren't sending up manned missions after the shuttle retirements, who'll be sending scientists to the ISS?
     
  12. curson

    curson Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Russia, with the Soyuz. At the moment the only means of sending someone to the ISS are the Shuttle and the Soyuz, so not much alternative to that.

    Concerning supplyies, the Progress is going to do its job as always, supported by the recently developed ATV by ESA. That was actually one of the main "nodal" point in the phasing out of the shuttles: a reliable method of sending "stuff" up there, which the ATV+Progress combination provides.
     
  13. curson

    curson Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  14. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    It seems like such an odd move to make - build the space-station and then stop sending people. I hope Soyus stays viable.
     
  15. curson

    curson Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It has been since its first launch on April 23, 1967, and it has a pretty good record (of course, it's now flying in an upgraded version, but the basic design hasn't changed much). A very nice set of information about it of on wikipedia.

    It's a good solid soviet time piece of engineering... nothing fancy, but it does its job pretty well. Let's hope it will keep doing so! ;)
     
  16. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    The engineering I'm not so worried about, just the politics! :)
     
  17. curson

    curson Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That is surely more relaxed than it was 20~30 years ago, and frankly I don't think it will represent a problem. There are a lot of investments involved by a lot of governments and noone as the real interest in exploiting someone's else program "problems" to cut that someone out. We will have to wait and see, but I am not worried too much about this, even realizing that the shifting from the Shuttle program to Aries/Orion (constellation) program is not going to be 100% smooth and that probably some adjustment from NASA's side are to be made, but the USA are not going to be stranded out of the manned space field for longer than strictly necessary.

    Interesting times ahead anyway you look at it, I suppose.
     
  18. Mark de Vries

    Mark de Vries Commodore Commodore

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    I think NASA would like to keep flying them as long as possible, but they're rather stuck with the 30 September 2010 deadline the Bush administration ordered. Some clever redistribution of budgets may keep them flying until the first half of 2011. In fact, they may need too, since there are nine missions left on the roster and it remains to be seen if they can all be flown between now and September 2010.
     
  19. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    The thing is, those shuttles are OLD. The space frames are 20-30 years old and the design is approaching 40. They've gone through dozens of launches and re-entries each and they're all past their designed operational life time of 25 years.

    The longer we fly them, the greater the chances are of having another Challenger or Columbia and if we fly them past 2011 those odds skyrocket (for some reason).
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    No budget?