And Discovery’s launch has been pushed back to a possible mid December launch to allow the team to figure out why those external tank stringers have have been cracking. She will fly, but it will be when she is safe to go.
I still don’t know if I will be able to attend, but if I can I will. I won’t purchase a ticket until they actually set a launch date. Its too uncertain to get that ticket until the NASA folks and engineers are more confident of the cause.
We got the word today that Discovery’s launch will be no earlier than Dec 3 at 2:59 AM. I’ve made no flight plans at this time. The Mission Management Team has moved their press conference back to Nov 29th. We’ll have a better idea next Wednesday
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.
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!
I’ve been uploading, organizing and tagging the pictures I took while out of town for the Tweetup. This is taking longer than I thought to get the pictures up and turned and tagged. I probably have between 250 and
300 400 pictures from the time I spent in Florida on the Space Coast.
In other space shuttle news, Nasa engineers are evaluating the damage that has been done to the foam on Discovery and the hydrogen leak at the ground umbilical carrier plate. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that they can fix it easily there on the launch pad. Hopefully they’ll have a plan of action by Wednesday.
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!
One of the difficulties of attending a space launch is delays. There are SO many different things that impact the ability of the shuttle to leave the earth’s gravity that any oddities in the testing of the systems. All of the redundant systems are tested to make sure that they are working. If a redundant system isn’t working on the ground, its just junk being hauled up.
That’s the problem. There are electrical problems/inconsistencies with components on one of the main engines on the shuttle itself. The Shuttle mission management team has now set the launch for Thursday at 3:39 pm. Unfortunately with the additional delay more folks are not able to make the launch. Not to mention lots of additional work and expense with all the delays for our tweetup coordinator. Stephanie Schierholz, the tweetup coordinator, has done an incredible job of dealing with changing schedules, and fluctuating attendees.
But it has been an incredible time so far. I have seen the shuttle from as close as they will allow people to view it. I have had the very rare opportunity to walk inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. I have visited the Saturn V center when all the other visitors weren’t there. We were driven alongside the runway on the taxiway where the shuttle lands. I have been Timmy’s personal photographer for the launch. It has been such an amazing experience for all of us.
I really want to be here when it flies. More than that, I want it to take off safely for the astronauts inside. If the mechanical items are good, and the anomalous readings are accounted for, the weather may delay things. The weather is only 30% good for a launch on Thursday. The next day that NASA will attempt a launch is Saturday. Friday is a rest day, since everyone involved has been on duty since before Monday. These folks will need to get a break. So no attempt will be made on Friday, but there are 2 more available windows on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
I have some really incredible and awesome pictures on my camera to download. And I have been to some of the places where my father was when he was here in 1966 – 1970. I will stay through the Thursday attempt. I’d like to stay through Saturday. The weather possibilities are much better at that point. But it depends on the mechanical evaluation tomorrow. We will continue to keep our fingers crossed for the launch on Thursday.