"Explanation: This remarkable image of the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis docked with the International Space Station (ISS) was taken at a range of 190 nautical miles. To record the fast moving pair, last week astronomers at Clay Center Observatory, near Boston, Massachusetts, planet Earth, used a satellite tracking system and 25-inch diameter telescope in combination with a digital video camera."
Shuttle News: June 2007 Archives
"STS-117 Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault landed space shuttle Atlantis at 3:49 p.m. at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Atlantis' flight path brought it over San Diego and just east of Los Angeles before it touched down at Edwards where it was greeted by fair skies and light winds."
Reader note: And about half of Mojave and associated communities cheering all along Hwy 58 and elsewhere. Hooray! :-)
Editor's note: I just got a call from some producer at Fox news. She said "we're looking for critics to go on Neil Cavuto's show at 4:00 pm topday who are critics of NASA and think that it should be shut down. Is that you guys?" I declined.
Gee, you'd think that they'd do a little more research. I could have said yes and then gone in to the studio and ruined the "balance" of their broadcast.
"The STS-117 crew is getting an extra day in space thanks to poor weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Space shuttle Atlantis has four landing opportunities available Friday, with the first at 2:16 p.m. EDT in Florida. Thunderstorms in the vicinity of Kennedy forced flight controllers to wave off both opportunities today. Controllers and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group will closely monitor forecasts for Friday's opportunities in Florida and at Edwards Air Force Base in California."
"NASA said on Wednesday it "made a mistake" in its calculations about a tear in space shuttle Atlantis' heat protection, but that it should not prevent the ship's safe return to earth. Deputy shuttle program manager John Shannon told reporters that NASA engineers believe an area beneath a torn heat-resistant blanket near the shuttle's tail had gotten hotter than they first thought during Atlantis' launch into space on June 8."
"STS-117's constructive stay at the International Space Station came to a close today when space shuttle Atlantis undocked. The two spacecraft parted ways at 10:42 a.m. EDT as they flew over the Coral Sea northeast of Australia. After Pilot Lee Archambault backs the orbiter 450 feet from the station, he will perform a full fly-around to allow crew members to collect video and imagery of the station and its newly expanded solar wings. He will perform the final separation engine burn at 12:25 p.m."
"United Space Alliance is disappointed that employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have begun a strike action against the company. We believe our final contract offer was fair, competitive and responsive to union concerns, and we had hoped to reach an equitable agreement during our meeting with the IAM negotiating team on June 13. Unfortunately, the union's demands were well beyond what the company felt was reasonable or warranted. We continue to hope that the IAM members will reconsider their position."
reader note: "The trailer for "Invasion" (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig) has the shuttle bringing an alien virus back to Earth, which takes over the minds of everyone it infects. The trailer starts with a CGI breakup of the shuttle on reentry, then shows what appears to be real news footage [debris] from the Columbia accident.NASA logos figure prominently. The level of technical accuracy is demonstrated by the main engines running during reentry. This seems like exactly the sort of thing that NASA PAO (at least in their own minds) exists to prevent.When they deny information or a press pass to someone who is actually enthusiastic about the space program because it might not portray the image they want, a movie trailer like this puts that action into perspective."
Within 10 minutes, the shuttle will be in orbit around the Earth. Within 24 hours Atlantis will undergo the rendezvous pitch maneuver and thermal protection system tile inspection. By flight day 3, Atlantis will be ready to dock with the International Space Station.. Follow the live countdown coverage in progress:
Shuttle workers vote to strike, Orlando Sentinel
"A union representing 569 space-shuttle workers at Kennedy Space Center voted Saturday to strike. The contract dispute will not affect Friday's scheduled launch of Atlantis or future shuttle missions, United Space Alliance spokeswoman Tracy Yates said."
"However, if a strike does occur, USA is prepared to continue activities to safely prepare the Space Shuttle vehicles for upcoming launches by using other experienced and certified employees to perform all necessary tasks. Throughout this time, the safety of the astronaut crew members, our employees and the irreplaceable national assets at the Kennedy Space Center will remain our top priority. All safety practices and procedures will be maintained at their usual high standard and will not be compromised."