Shuttle News: July 2009 Archives

Endeavour Is Home

Space Shuttle Endeavour Returns to Earth

"Space shuttle Endeavour touched down at 10:48: a.m. EDT. at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Commander Mark Polansky is expected to make a brief statement on the runway after the post-landing walk-around of the shuttle. The post-landing news conference is set for approximately 1 p.m. and will air live on NASA Television. The crew's news conference is set to begin at about 3:15 p.m. The astronauts return to Houston's Ellington Field is tentatively set for about 5 p.m. Saturday. STS-127 was the 127th space shuttle mission, the 23rd flight for Endeavour and the 29th shuttle visit to the station."

Opportunities to Improve the Management of the Space Flight Awareness Honoree Launch Conference Event, NASA OIG

"Although H.R. 6063 prohibits NASA from funding SFA Conference events during FY 2009, we found that the Agency could improve the management of these events, should they be held in future years. Specifically, while the objective of providing awards to employees and contractors for their contributions to shuttle safety and mission success is sound in principle, the circumstances of this event bring into question what expense is reasonably necessary to accomplish that objective. In the case of the December 2007 conference event, 232 honorees received a 7-day, 6-night trip to Orlando in December at a cost to NASA of $542,307. In addition, 41 Kennedy honorees who participated in the 7-day Orlando event received a separate 3-day, 2-night trip to Johnson Space Center (Johnson) at a cost of $43,431. However, these amounts do not represent the full cost to NASA for the event because they do not include labor (salary and benefits) costs for NASA and contractor employees who participated. We estimate that salaries and benefits for the honorees represent an additional $424,265, bringing the total cost of the awards event to $1,010,003."


Keith's note: Fox News is reporting that NASA is "grounding" the Shuttle fleet until it finds out what caused the foam shedding on the launch of STS-127.

Shuttle Flights On Hold Due to New Foam Loss Problem, FreeSpace, Discovery

"About the last thing NASA needs right now is a new problem to solve, but thats exactly what landed on its plate following Wednesdays launch of Endeavour on a space station construction mission. Its a new twist on an old nemesis -- the insulating foam on the shuttle fuel tank. NASA redesigned the tanks after losing shuttle Columbia and its seven-member crew in 2003 due to a heat shield breach triggered by a piece of foam debris that fell off the fuel tank and hit the ships wing during launch."

Keith's update: I posted a note about Fox's incorrect story such that everyone could see it and then I posted a story that is correct i.e that flights are "on hold". Yet so many of you go into attack mode i.e. suggesting that I somehow agree with Fox's story. Read a little more carefully folks.

Foam Again

Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, Orlando Sentinel

"NASA's biggest concern involved eight or nine pieces of foam insulation seen breaking off from the external fuel tank during the first few minutes after launch. Most of the foam peeled off late enough that NASA officials surmised that it could not do any damage. At least a couple early pieces, at a critical time of 107 seconds after launch, were seen striking the shuttle's lower side. But they might not have done more than scuff the outer layer, Moses said. NASA will investigate data from scores of cameras, laser scans and radar reports. "We saw some stuff. Some of it doesn't concern us. Some of it we just can't speculate about right now. ..... But we have the tools," Moses said."

NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Launches to Complete Japanese Module

"Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-member crew launched at 6:03 p.m. EDT Wednesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will deliver the final segment to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory and a new crew member to the International Space Station. Endeavour's 16-day mission includes five spacewalks and the installation of two platforms outside the Japanese module. One platform is permanent and will allow experiments to be directly exposed to space. The other is an experiment storage pallet that will be detached and returned with the shuttle. During the mission, Kibo's robotic arm will transfer three experiments from the pallet to the exposed platform. Future experiments also can be moved to the platform from the inside of the station using the laboratory's airlock."

NASA to cut 400 jobs, contractor says, CNN

"Four hundred space shuttle employees will be laid off beginning in October, a spokesman for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration contractor told CNN on Tuesday Jeff Carr, spokesman for United Space Alliance, NASA's primary contractor for the space shuttle, said he thinks all of the layoffs will come from volunteers taking early retirement, and 60 percent are to come from Florida crews. He said notice of the layoffs has been sent to the entire corps of Space Shuttle employees."

First wave of shuttle layoffs due at KSC in October, Orlando Sentinel

"The company that services NASA's space shuttles announced plans Tuesday to shed nearly 250 jobs in Florida later this year -- its first major layoff in a looming disaster for an economy tied to Kennedy Space Center. United Space Alliance, the prime contractor for U.S. space-shuttle operations, will also cut its work force in the Houston area by about 150 people."

STS-127 Scrubbed Again

Keith's note: STS-127 has been scrubbed once again. Next attempt on Wednesday at 6:03 pm EDT. Live webcast coverage by Miles O'Brien and David Waters at Spaceflight Now.

Video below.

STS-127 Launch Update

NASA STS-127 Launch Blog

@NASAKennedy: SCRUB - no liftoff for space shuttle Endeavour. Unfortunately, weather didn't cooperate. Next try is Monday 6:51 p.m. EDT.

Space Flight panel study finds alternative rocket "capable", (includes NASA briefing charts) Orlando Sentinel

"A study done by NASA engineers at various agency centers on behalf of the U.S. Human Space Flight Review Committee has found that shuttle program manager John Shannon's alternative to the Constellation rockets is capable and affordable. The alternative rocket is similar to the current space shuttle, except that the orbiter mounted on the side of the fuel tank is replaced by a podlike container resembling a giant car-top carrier. The design is called the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle, or HLV, and was presented to the committee at its first public hearing June 17. ... The study was done by Rick Manella for Ralph Roe, the head of NASA's Engineering and Safety Center. Roe is working to help the presidentially appointed panel that is re-examining NASA's man space exploration plans and taking a hard look at the Constellation Program's Ares rockets and Orion capsule.



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Shuttle News category from July 2009.

Shuttle News: June 2009 is the previous archive.

Shuttle News: August 2009 is the next archive.

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