Shuttle News: November 2008 Archives

STS-126 Update

NASA STS-126 Report #33 Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 4:00 p.m.

""The seven member crew of Endeavour returned to Earth today, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Mission managers waived landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning, the shuttle's primary landing site. Thunderstorms and strong winds prevented Endeavour from attempting either of the two opportunities for Kennedy, and the shuttle was diverted to Edwards.""

NASA STS-16 Landing Blog
More Shuttle and Station news
Twitter updates on ISS and STS-126

Tool Time on Orbit

Joe Six Pack and NASA

"We all know by now that STS-126 astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper let go of a tool bag the other day during an EVA in space. A piece of hardware misbehaved, Heide had to deal with that and 19 other things - while item 20 was not getting her full attention and the bag drifted off. Something like this happens to people everyday at work or at home. In Heide's case millions of people were watching on TV and her tools were a bit pricey. Of course, the media had a blast with this since everyone knows that astronauts are perfect and everything that NASA uses costs a zillion dollars an ounce. ...

... imagine if NASA really put some thought into how the STS-125 mission was portrayed to the public - in advance and in real time. This could become as much a blue collar, Joe Six pack hit as it will be a lovefest for all of us space geeks. Wouldn't it be cool, from the perspective of Joe and his pals, to know that they use some of the same tools that astronauts use - and that they can connect with many of the chores being performed in space. You do not need a PhD to do a lot of this EVA stuff."

Transition Update

Obama's NASA Dilemma - The fate of the U.S. space program hangs in the balance, Technology Review

"While other presidents have had the luxury of putting off major decisions on NASA, the Obama administration has a deadline. By April 30, 2009, the new president must decide whether to shut down the Space Shuttle program--currently the United States' only way to get humans into space and to service the International Space Station (ISS)--or extend the program at no small cost. While the current administration has signed an authorization bill to keep the Space Shuttle flying until the end of 2010, the legislation only prevents NASA management from mothballing Shuttle-related programs until the end of April 2009."

Endeavour Docks With ISS

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 November 2008

"STS-126/Endeavour docked smoothly at the ISS PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter-2) port at 5:01pm EST, four minutes ahead of timeline, in darkness (orbital sunset ~4:34pm/sunrise ~5:09pm)."

STS-126 Arrives at the International Space Station

"The station and shuttle crews will open the hatches between their vehicles and greet each other in about two hours. Sandra Magnus, who arrived aboard Endeavour, will swap Soyuz seatliners with station astronaut Greg Chamitoff and replace him as Expedition 18 Flight Engineer."

Check shuttlestation on Twitter for updates.

Alvin Man Indicted on Allegations He Gave NASA Faulty Shuttle Part, Fox 26

"As Space Shuttle Endeavour gets ready to launch Friday night, a NASA contractor is facing a 2-count federal indictment involving shuttle parts. A federal grand jury indicted 60-year-old Richard Harmon, owner of Cornerstone Machining, Inc. in Alvin. He is charged with fraud and making a false statement. ... According to the indictment, "If NASA had used the damaged PFIP as planned to secure cargo to the Endeavour the weld could have cracked open during flight, allowed cargo to come loose and possibly result in the loss of the spacecraft."

STS-126 Update

Cold front could thwart Friday's shuttle launch, AP

"An approaching cold front could thwart NASA's plans to launch space shuttle Endeavour on Friday on a flight to the international space station. The front was moving across the central part of the nation Tuesday and was expected to bring rain and thick clouds to the launch site by week's end. Shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters said there was a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions at the 7:55 p.m. Friday liftoff time and only a 40 percent chance on Saturday."

GAO Lists Top "Urgent Issues" for Next President and Congress and Unveils New Website

"Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro Thursday released a list of 13 urgent issues the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified as among those needing the attention of President-Elect Obama and the 111th Congress during the transition and the first year of the new administration and Congress. The list is the centerpiece of a new Web site GAO launched Thursday that is designed to help make the transition an informed and smooth one across the federal government.

* Retirement of the Space Shuttle"

Shuttle extension would cost NASA $2 billion a year, Orlando Sentinel

"Flying the space shuttle past its scheduled 2010 retirement date would cost NASA at least $2 billion a year, money that the agency doesn't have to spare, said NASA shuttle program manager John Shannon. Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have both said they wanted the option of flying the shuttle beyond 2010. NASA has been looking into what it would take to keep the orbiters operating after September 2010, when NASA was supposed to mothball the fleet. That study is now finished, Shannon said. It found no problems with the supply of spare parts and services for the three shuttles if they flew until 2015. The workforce did not look like it would be an issue either. "We have not laid off anybody we would need to continue with the program," Shannon said."

KSC's Cabana says job cuts are coming no matter what, Orlando Sentinel

"The new director of Kennedy Space Center, Bob Cabana, said thousands of job losses are coming to the center and Brevard County, whether the space shuttle is retired on schedule in 2010 or the next administration gives it a brief reprieve. ... "There are going to be cuts. There's no two ways about it," Cabana told reporters on Friday morning in his first press conference since staring the job earlier in the week. "The space shuttle program is going to end. Even if it gets extended for a little bit, eventually it's going to end. And when it ends there are going to be people out of work."



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Shuttle News category from November 2008.

Shuttle News: October 2008 is the previous archive.

Shuttle News: December 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.