Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi folks! I hope those reading this in the USA have had a very good Thanksgiving! And anyone from places elsewhere has had a good day too!

DH and I have so much to be thankful for. We have had the day to spend with family. We are healthy. Our fuzzy critter kittehs are healthy. He and I both have jobs we find fulfilling.

Little kitten that had been dumped appears to have a new home! I met a lady who has been thinking about getting a cat. She already has several smaller dogs. So she’s worried about how the kitten will get along with her dogs. She has the kitten at her house. I did tell her we would take the kitten back if she couldn’t get her dogs to accept it. So hopefully little one has a forever home.

I am thankful for all of you who read my ramblings here. Thanks for being here with me on this journey!

There’s a crack in the external tank

Actually there are 2 cracks in the tank itself. Those cracks were underneath the foam. They are still evaluating how long it will take to get everything repaired. So until we get a better idea of the time frame involved, I’m not making any plans yet.

New Launch window and invite!

OMG! All the STS-133 Nasatweetup participants received an email today. If we still have our credentials, and can make it to Florida for the launch window November 30 – December 6th, we can watch the launch from the press site!!!!! Excuse me while I go a bit nuts for a little bit! Woohoo! Yipee! Hooray! W00t!

I do need to temper this a bit. I don’t know that I can take vacation for this. I used a week for the first launch window. And I cannot stay for the entire window. I already have a commitment for Dec 4th for my business. So I need to see several things before I can say that I’ll be able to go down for it. I want to go. I really want to go! But I have a number of duckies to get in a row before I can say that I can go.

Oooooh but if I can, I will!

Quick link to a photo

I just got a link to a 360 degree picture taken Friday after the scrub. Nasa brought out Robonaut 2A for demos, and one of their photographers got the remaining tweetup folks out to get a picture of us with R2. He had us get in a circle with R2 and the took pictures all the way around of us. It turned out very nicely! http://360vr.com/2010/11/05-nasa-tweetup_9198/

Launch delayed to Nov 30th

It was another emotionally whip sawed day. We got up at 6am to check our emails and tweetstreams to see what the launch control team was saying for the day. It was looking good at that time. The team was “Go” to fuel the main tanks, with a now 70% chance of good weather to launch. Hooray! So we got ready to go get breakfast and for the rest of the day. We picked up our breakfast vouchers and met up with @planetcomicon for diner food.

The diner, Sunrise Diner, had excellent food and we were very wound up for the day. After we ate, we got on the road to KSC for the program and launch.

As I was driving out, @otakuchick was watching the tweetstream and seeing all the groups’ excitement.

But as we were pulling into the media parking lot, we got the word that there appeared to be a hydrogen leak in the fueling system. Lots of bad news, that. We didn’t know if it was a rumor or good, so we were waiting on more official word. Which did come. We found out it was going to be at least a 48 hour delay, if not 72 hours. Stephanie was totally awesome and still managed to get a speaker to come out to us this morning. Astronaut Dan Tani, who first flew in 1998, and has flown on all 3 orbiters, as well as was stationed on the International Space Station. He was a very engaging speaker and was a great sport to come and speak with us tweeps.

After he finished up, I decided to check to see if I could change my flight home to today. Given that we knew it would take at least 20 hours to remove the hydrogen from the tanks before they could even begin to see what was up with the leak. Then it was probably going to be a very small chance that it could launch in that window on Sunday. I couldn’t stick around for a minutely possible Monday launch. So I decided to go home today.

After reluctantly leaving the tweetup area, we went back and checked out of our room. And let me tell you, the Luna Sea motel on A1A is awesome! I would go back there in a heartbeat, where I would skip the Titusville Days Inn in the future. I was able to get my flight changed to the last one back to Birmingham tonight.

So I’m now sitting in the Orlando Airport with others who are here waiting to go home to Birmingham, since our flight has been delayed 2 hours. At least I’ll be at home in my own bed tonight. I’ll get to see my kitties, too.

I can’t commend Nasa and our tweetup co-ordinator Stephanie Schierholz enough. Everyone who was with Nasa was incredibly helpful and gracious. In spite of all the delays, the entire tweetup staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty and delay to make sure that we who had traveled there from all over the world were taken care of by Nasa. Honestly, I would do this again in a heartbeat!

Weather delays and hotel shifts

When we heard heavy rain this morning as one of our roomates left at 5, we had a clue that it was coming. The 5:30 AM weather briefing pushed back the launch by approx. 24 hours to Friday at 3:09 PM eastern.

Our Nasa tweetup coordinator, Stephanie is awesome. The tweetup tent is still there, but the air conditioners for it had to be returned to the rental place. Of course, tomorrow is supposed to have a high of 69F, so I’m not concerned about needing an air conditioner. I’m ore concerned about needing a blanket! We have a speaker schedule starting at 9:30 AM.I really ought to be thinking about some relevant questions for our speakers, but I’m still just boggling that I’m here! We get to wave to the astronauts as they ride on their way to the shuttle. Wheee!

This is an uncertain proposition. We will find out at 6am how things are an if Nasa will continue to try to launch. There is a 60% chance of good weather for the launch.

But unfortunately we just got word on twitter that they have rolled the Rotating Service Structure back around Discovery. They haven’t said why. This doesn’t necessarily bode well for a launch tomorrow.

Hopefully a launch

Well, even though the weather isn’t the best, Nasa is going to re-start the countdown for launch on Thursday. There will be an evaluation of the weather conditions at 5:30am to see if it is safe to load the main tanks at 6:00am. If so, the countdown will continue. The weather still looks wet for the day, but if it is clear during the launch window they will light that bird up. I’m hopeful it will go, but have made additional arrangements if it doesn’t. Many of the Nasa tweetup folks have had to go home. I can wait a bit longer. But I do have to go back to work next week. Collectively our fingers are crossed for this tomorrow. Please wish Nasa luck for this!