Shuttle News: February 2009 Archives

STS-119 NET 12 March

Space Shuttle Program Completes New Plan For Next Launch

"NASA's Space Shuttle Program has established a plan that could support shuttle Discovery's launch to the International Space Station, tentatively targeted for March 12. An exact target launch date will be determined as work progresses with the shuttle's three gaseous hydrogen flow control valves. The Space Shuttle Program will hold a meeting March 4 to review new data and assess ongoing work.

Managers then will determine whether to move forward with a flight readiness review March 6."

NASA Defers Setting Next Shuttle Launch Date

"During a thorough review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight, NASA managers decided Friday that more data and possible testing are required before launching the STS-119 mission to the International Space Station. Engineering teams have been working to identify what caused damage to a flow control valve on shuttle Endeavour during its November 2008 flight. "We need to complete more work to have a better understanding before flying," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington who chaired Friday's Flight Readiness Review. "We were not driven by schedule pressure and did the right thing. When we fly, we want to do so with full confidence."


Editor's note: Copies of the Shuttle-C Users Conference Executive Summary have been making the rounds at NASA. This is certain to upset all of the DIRECT fan boys out there ...

STS-119 Update

NASA Sets Feb. 20 News Conference to Discuss Next Space Shuttle Mission

"NASA will hold a news conference Friday, Feb. 20, following a review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and an assessment of shuttle flow control valve testing. An official launch date for the STS-119 mission has not been set, but for planning purposes, liftoff now is targeted for no earlier than Feb. 27. The new planning date is not expected to affect the launch dates for missions that will follow Discovery's flight, STS-125 to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and STS-127 to the International Space Station."

NASA retargets Discovery launch for February 27, Reuters

"Initially slated for launch this week, NASA wanted more time to review analysis and test results of potentially troublesome valves needed to keep the shuttle's fuel tank properly pressurized during the 8.5-minute ride into space."

AMS Confirmed on STS-134?

MS in orbit within 2010: the antimatter-hunting becomes reality, AvioNews

"Rome, Italy - NASA makes official the flight of shuttle that will transport on ISS the instrument for this study. (WAPA) - The antimatter-hunting becomes reality. NASA has officially scheduled for September 16th, 2010, the mission Shuttle STS-134, that will transport on the International Space Station (ISS) the AMS (Anti-Matter Spectrometer), the European ambitious lab for the particle physics, carried out with an important contribute by Italy."

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, CERN

Project Plan for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) JSC 27296 (Revision E) July 19, 2007, 728 K PDF

NASA Continues Assessment of the Next Shuttle Mission

"Because of an ongoing review of the space shuttle's flow control valves, NASA managers are rescheduling meetings next week to assess the launch readiness of shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission to the International Space Station. The Space Shuttle Program will hold a meeting Feb. 13 to review data and determine whether to move forward with a flight readiness review on Feb. 18. The official launch date will be set at the readiness review, but for planning purposes launch now is no earlier than Feb. 22."

Shuttle Discovery launch now no earlier than Feb. 22, Orlando Sentinel

"Just in from NASA: The launch of space shuttle Discovery to the international space station has been delayed at least three more days and is now scheduled to lift off from Kennedy Space Center on Feb 22. at the earliest."

Annoying Stickler Insists On Every Detail Of Space Mission Being Exactly Right, The Onion

"Moments after having their shuttle launch delayed, Discovery astronauts complained once again Monday about John Shannon--that annoying little program manager who insists on every detail of every space mission being exactly right. Shannon, who is reportedly always double-checking launch parameters for no good reason, and sticking his nose into parts of the spacecraft that have always worked just fine, delayed the NASA flight for the third time this past month. ... The insufferable perfectionist's fixation goes beyond ship maintenance and safety, however. In the past six months, Shannon has totally smothered Discovery astronauts, forcing them to complete endless navigation simulations, practice sea survival techniques despite the lack of water in space, and train for all kinds of hypothetical emergency evacuations, the vast majority of which will never even happen."

Shuttle Discovery Launch Now No Earlier Than Feb. 19

"During a review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight, NASA managers decided Tuesday to plan a launch no earlier than Feb. 19. The new planning date is pending additional analysis and particle impact testing associated with a flow control valve in the shuttle's main engines. Discovery's STS-119 mission to the International Space Station originally had been targeted for Feb. 12. The valve is one of three that channels gaseous hydrogen from the engines to the external fuel tank. One of these valves in shuttle Endeavour was found to be damaged after its mission in November. As a precaution, Discovery's valves were removed, inspected and reinstalled."



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