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Féminas y jóvenes en el proceso de cambios hacia la democracia. Su importancia.

Por Sayli Navarro Álvarez

Si analizáramos concienzudamente la historia de nuestra sufrida patria desde que el almirante genovés pusiera sus plantas, el 27 de octubre de 1492, hasta el primero de enero de 1959, jalón que se toma como inicio de una de las más crueles, injustas, intolerantes, dinásticas y sangrientas tiranías padecidas por pueblo alguno; no le quedaría dudas a ningún mortal que lo hiciera: que los jóvenes siempre han llevado la iniciativa en las luchas por sacudirse la bota esclavista y arma genocida, de encima.

También durante dicho análisis pormenorizado saldrían a la luz las bravas Marianas al lado de sus hombres a través de la manigua redentora, del exilio o de la lucha clandestina en las ciudades, siempre con la frente bien erguida y nada de seudónimos, ni disfraces, exigiendo el respeto a sus más elementales derechos y libertades a pesar de la gran indefensión en que se debaten.

En este mismo minuto, en que trato de ordenar mis ideas y argumentos alrededor del tema que sugiero, varias decenas de jóvenes y de féminas les disputan tales derechos y libertades a los representantes dinásticos del poder en nuestro país, en la heroica y hospitalaria ciudad de Santiago de Cuba, frente a la Catedral Mayor, en áreas del indómito parque Céspedes.

Allí, en proporciones de fuerza física de león para mono y el mono amarrado__como se escucha en muchísimas ocasiones__, jóvenes y mujeres que militan en la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU), en las provincia de Santiago de Cuba, muestran al prepotente brazo armado y excesivamente violento del régimen castrista, a las turbas de paramilitares y fanáticos, que están equivocados para estos tiempos de libertad y democracia en el mundo.

Que aunque son minorías ante un Estado que descansa en la fuerza de su totalitarismo, que encabeza el Ejército mejor armado y de más efectivos, de toda América Latina, entrenados para matar aunque sea en confrontación fratricida; pero a ese grupo de jóvenes y de mujeres, a ese conglomerado de patriotas de la nueva hornada, les asiste la fuerza de la razón y la frescura de una estrategia de lucha pacífica y no violenta. Con el compromiso de legar un Estado de Derecho a las nuevas generaciones de cubanos.

Cuando las acciones de cambio, libertarias, de mejoramiento social y político, en las que se enfrascan los pueblos, logran imbricar armoniosamente estos dos elementos humanos: sector femenino y juventud, el triunfo está más que garantizado. Llega con un exquisito sabor a perdurabilidad y confianza en el progreso para toda la nación. En esas condiciones está el futuro de nuestro país: de la mano de los jóvenes y de las mujeres. Las fuerzas que buscan el CAMBIO hacia la Otra Cuba son mayoritariamente de dichos sectores para orgullo de quienes observan lo que está ocurriendo en la otrora Perla de las Antillas.

Y no les estoy hablando de algún sueño de noche aciaga que provocan comilonas desmedidas vistas con ojos que nunca permiten darse cuenta de que el estómago no da para más. Situación tal que una vez puesta la cabeza sobre la almohada todo parece que gira a tu alrededor a velocidades astronómicas y hasta te llegan síntomas de náuseas, hasta que despiertas y corres al retrete. No, les hablo con conocimiento de causa. Lo que he vivido y está en el contexto actual.

Con la inesperada muerte de Harold Cepero y Oswaldo Paya Sardiñas, en julio de 2012, una figura femenina y muy joven ha tomado distancia desde aquellos que permanecen como simples espectadores. Comenzó a dejar boquiabiertos a quienes estuvimos presentes en la parroquia del Cerro en el momento previo a la salida del cortejo fúnebre, cuando las palabras de despedida. Me estoy refiriendo a Rosa María Payá Acevedo.

Ese mismo día tuve la imaginación clara cuando para mis adentro la consideré como la genuina sustituta de su ilustre padre para sostener el hilo conductor del Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación. Pero a la misma medida en que nos alejamos de tan fatal acontecimiento las acciones posteriores realizadas por Rosa María Payá que voy conociendo, me confirman la fuerza de liderazgo real de esta muchacha.

Todos hemos tenido la oportunidad de seguir lo que se ha publicado acerca de su periplo por Europa y los Estados Unidos de América donde mostró el aplomo propio de grandes hombres para conseguir el apoyo de la comunidad internacional amante de la paz, la libertad y la justicia, que lleve a la conformación de una Comisión a este nivel que investigue todo lo relacionado con la muerte de Harold y de su padre, ocurrida en situaciones tan turbias, absurdas y bloqueadas a todas las posibilidades de esclarecimiento.

Como ya expusimos, en ella coinciden el llamado sexo débil y la juventud; pero en la siguiente muestra se combinan las dos categorías que dan pábulo a este escrito: los jóvenes y las mujeres. Me refiero al Movimiento Damas de Blanco, que a partir de octubre de 2011 desarrollan su accionar bajo el nombre de la fallecida y otrora líder, Laura Pollán Toledo.

Las Damas de Blanco Laura Pollán Toledo, muy bien conocidas dentro y fuera de Cuba, son otro ejemplo de imprescindible protagonismo a la hora de un análisis real acerca del motor de punta en todo proceso de cambios sociales y políticos en cualquier sociedad. La línea perfecta que abrazan, la sistemática y limpia estrategia para conseguir lo que buscan, el amor y entrega que nunca abandonan en su día a día, las incluyo en primerísimo escaño cuando quienes gobiernan en nuestro país se vieron obligados a aceptar sentarse en una negociación con la élite de la Iglesia Católica nacional y el gobierno de España. Proceso que puso fuera de las prisiones cubanas a los 53 integrantes de la Primavera Negra de 2003.

Resulta extremadamente agradable para mí referirme en este escrito al fabuloso desempeño de la actual líder de las Damas de Blanco, la sin par Berta Soler Fernández, en presentaciones oficiales en el Viejo Continente y los Estados Unidos, conocido por todos los que hemos tenido la oportunidad de seguirla.

Son ambos sectores, sin lugar a dudas en la historia universal, quienes han protagonizado siempre las mejores acciones para bien de sus compatriotas. Todavía no podemos hacer referencia a una excepción, porque no las tiene y ello nos eleva la autoestima, porque para los que no comulgamos con el sistema político que le robó todas las oportunidades y libertades a este pueblo, vemos con beneplácito la madurez de jóvenes y mujeres dentro de las fuerzas que batallan por conseguir, no las reformas, sino los cambios definitivos, necesarios e impostergables hacia otra Cuba. Para bien de esta tierra y de todos sus hijos.

Para no dejar lugar a otras interpretaciones, prefiero ser reiterativa que dejarlo a conjeturas falsas: sin los jóvenes y sin las mujeres las campañas de los pueblos no solo son débiles, como dijera el más universal de los cubanos, sino que dichas campañas no tendrían lugar y mucho menos aspirarían el éxito.

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  • gli abitanti della zona hanno accolto con entusiasmo il nuovo muro dal momento che il quartiere, una svolta,Un concert auquel avait assisté Jackie Kennedy avait-il déjà déclaré. I palestinesi hanno accusato Israele di avere complottato per la sua morte. determinato, tre o sei mesi.07% precedente). “Nid de gupes”. Tutto ? La convocazione in aula ?ormai come un appuntamento per la ceretta almeno per Bel閚 Rodriguez Chiamatemi appena c’?un buco avrebbe potuto aggiungere Era scocciata annoiata furiosa incinta al terzo mese e impegnatissima fuori dal Tribunale di Milano evidentemente arrivata alle nove e trenta ?stata ascoltata solo alle undici e un quarto e non c’era nemmeno la De Filippi a darle i voti dietro a quegli inospitali banchetti di legno Il processo Ruby ?sempre pi?fuori da ogni comprensibile grammatica sociale: l’ex sottosegretario Daniela Santanch?ben disposta con giudici e giornalisti la soubrette argentina indispettita da entrambi che rifiuta di farsi riprendere in aula dopo essere stata immortalata all’ingresso all’uscita durante l’attesa e in generale per tutta la sua vita (da telecamere ufficiali e meno) Aveva un broncio indelebile le scarpe da maschietto come calze gli orrendi fantasmini e una camicetta puramente simbolica (nessuno dei quattro bottoni era allacciato) sulle rotondit?sferiche da futura mamma Odiava tutto e tutti: gli avvocati i giudici i giornalisti (soprattutto i giornalisti) il marmo dei corridoi il legno delle panche la macchinetta del caff?l’ufficio di cancelleria che non sapeva dove fosse cosa fosse se ci fosse ma lo odiava lo stesso Le si ?rallentato in bocca l’accento argentino e le si ?incupita la voce dietro alle poche parole che ha detto Una Patty Pravo da Colorado Caf鐰lla chioma nervosamente sbattuta da un lato all’altro della faccia ha affidato tutto il suo dissenso Due ore di attesa per una deposizione di pochi minuti Ho fatto il mio dovere civile.

  • Okay, so, yes, while Bruce Lee technically won the “fight,” it’s not really one you could ever use to gauge as a basis in a debate. Still a fascinating bit of history to hear, and a funny first meeting between both legends in martial arts and movies. And to check out more great interviews and videos from(CBS) - Pity poor JaMarcus Russell. The 2007 number one draft pick has gone from franchise quarterback to bust to punch line faster than you can say “purple drank.” The one-time Raider, now a free agent reportedly trying to get back into the league, has had to put up with rumors and detractors for his entire career. (Or “career” if you’re one of those naysayers.)

  • Since his arrest last June, English said many things have been confirmed about Bulger, including “how Machiavellian he is.” “He is a master player,” English said. “I think we get the sense now that it’s possible he’s looking forward to this trial. … It will be his last big power play. It’s the last card he has to play, and so I imagine he’s relishing the idea of dragging all these people that he did business with in the government over the years, dragging them all out into the open. It’s his way of saying good-bye.”Javier Bardem won an Academy Award in 2007 for his role as perhaps one of the creepiest movie villains ever in “No Country for Old Men.” Now, the Spanish-born actor (and husband of Penelope Cruz) is playing another very intelligent (and very deadly) madman in the latest James Bond film, “Skyfall,” which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday.

  • I’ve completed and reviewed a number of Monte Carlo analyses that combine various withdrawal rates with different asset allocations and calculate the odds of failure (defined as outliving your money). One interesting result is that with a withdrawal rate of 4 percent or thereabouts, there’s often not much difference in the chances of failure with asset allocations to stocks in the one-third to two-thirds range. The main difference in results from these analyses is that you’ll have higher expected “terminal asset values,” with a higher allocation to stocks. Translation: The odds are higher that you’ll leave more to your heirs with a higher allocation to stocks, but the odds of failure are roughly the same.

  • President Obama, who has signaled he will sign the legislation as it currently stands, told reporters Monday at the White House: “All of us, I think, recognize that now is the time to get comprehensive immigration reform done.”

  • STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 25, 2006The shuttle Atlantis is poised for blastoff Sunday on a long-awaited flight to restart assembly of the international space station three years after the Columbia disaster derailed construction. Atlantis and its six-person crew will deliver a $372 million set of solar arrays to the outpost, kicking off the most ambitious series of manned space flights since the Apollo moon program.”In my opinion, every one of these flights we’re flying in the next 12 to 18 months ranks right up there as the most complicated flights we’ve every flown, including Hubble Space Telescope repair missions,” said Paul Hill, mission operations manager at the Johnson Space Center.”The fact that we’re going to go conduct a series of them for 18 months, each one of which is absolutely necessary for the next one to happen, without a doubt makes this the most complicated, most complex 18 months of manned spaceflight we have ever experienced.Said shuttle commander Brent Jett: “Every crew likes to say boy, this is one of the most complex missions we’ve every flown. They’re all that way. And they’ll all be that way until we stop flying in 2010.”With Jett and rookie pilot Chris Ferguson at the controls, the shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to rocket away from pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, just six weeks after shuttle Discovery landed to close out the second post-Columbia mission.The quick turnaround was possible because Discovery came through its flight in excellent condition, with no major systems problems and no major heat shield damage caused by foam insulation falling away from its external fuel tank.Atlantis will fly with a virtually identical tank, one with foam insulation around nearly three dozen external fittings that is classified as “probable/catastrophic” in NASA’s risk matrix. That means there’s a 50-50 chance of catastrophic damage over the 100-flight design life of a shuttle.NASA is developing a redesign for the so-called ice-frost ramps, but it will not be ready for flight until next year. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin approved Discovery’s launch last month over the objections of the agency’s top safety manager and its chief engineer. Facing a 2010 deadline for completing the space station and retiring the shuttle, Griffin decided the impact of another long delay was worse than flying with what he considered to be an acceptable risk.This time around, even though the ice-frost ramps remain officially classified as probable/catastrophic, there was no dissent and Atlantis was cleared for launch on the 116th shuttle mission without objection.Joining Jett and Ferguson aboard Atlantis will be flight engineer Dan Burbank, a former Coast Guard helicopter pilot who flew a real rescue mission in “the perfect storm,” Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean, veteran Hubble spacewalker Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, a former Navy salvage diver.Mounted in the shuttle’s cargo bay is one of the heaviest payloads ever launched to the space station, a $371.8 million extension to the lab’s main solar array truss that weighs some 34,977 pounds.Forty-five feet long and 16 wide, the Boeing-designed payload features two new solar arrays and a massive rotary joint that will permit the giant panels to slowly turn like a giant waterwheel to track the sun as the station circles the globe at five miles per second.The solar alpha rotary joint, or SARJ, is the main component of what NASA calls the P3, or port 3, truss element. The solar arrays, their electronics and cooling radiators make up the P4 truss element. Both are bolted together and NASA refers to the combination as the P3/P4 truss.”It’s been six years since our payload has been at Kennedy,” MacLean said when the crew flew to Florida to prepare for blastoff. “It’s been four years since Atlantis has been in preparation (for launch) and for us as a crew, it’s been four and a half years as well. And finally, on Sunday, we’re going to get to walk out to the pad for launch.”For me, walking out to the pad on Sunday will be much like walking into an Olympic stadium for your athletic event. Many countries will be participating in a spirit of international cooperation and our families and our friends who believe in what we do will be in the front seats of the stadium. So I invite you all to watch what we do over the next week. It will be exciting. It’s complex what we do, it’s not easy. But with a team like this that I’ve been working with for the last four years and especially with the focus and dedication of the teams on the ground, I promise you we’ll bring home a gold medal.”Getting P3/P4 attached to the station’s port truss will require one of the most ambitious flight plans ever put together for a shuttle mission.Assuming an on-time launching, Atlantis will dock with the space station Tuesday around 12:40 p.m. Just two hours later, Burbank, operating the shuttle’s robot arm, will lift the P3/P4 truss out of the cargo bay and hand it off to MacLean, who will be operating the station’s more massive Canadarm 2. Canadarm 2 will be mounted atop a mobile transporter on the far end of the port truss.”Normally, once we finish the rendezvous, we open the hatches, everybody says hello and we get down to doing some (equipment and supply) transfers and a few things like that,” said lead shuttle flight director Paul Dye. “We have so much on this mission that on this day, we’re going to do the rendezvous and then we’re going to … take the payload, the P3/P4 truss segment, out of the bay and hand it off to the station before the crew goes to bed.”So while we are equalizing air pressure between the spacecraft and opening the hatches and getting things connected and shaking hands and greeting, we’re going to have crew on the aft flight deck getting ready to pull the P3 out.”Because the 50-foot-long orbiter boom sensor system, or OBSS, will be in place along the right side of Atlantis’ payload bay, Burbank will have about one inch of clearance as he unberths P3/P4. To get past the OBSS, he will have to move the arm in a complex sequence, being careful not to bang into anything along the way.”We’ll grapple the payload, we’ll move it up, back a little bit, up a little bit more to where we’re clear, then out to the side and then we have a large automated maneuver which will put it into what we call the handoff position so the station can go and grab that with the big arm,” Dye said.”This is a pretty significant activity by itself and putting it on rendezvous day makes this a pretty long and very interesting day. Once we have it held in the handoff position, the station arm will move in and grapple. Once they’ve got it, we’ll release it with our arm and at that point, it becomes (the station’s) piece of equipment.”MacLean will leave P3/P4 parked overnight on the left side of the shuttle just below the station’s unfinished truss. Before the crew goes to bed, they will change the orientation of the shuttle-station complex, rolling 45 degrees to port. That will aim the left side of the truss down toward Earth and help keep the stowed solar array blankets warm.The next day, MacLean will move P3/P4 up to the station’s P1 truss (there is no P2 element). Once properly aligned, motorized bolts in P1 will be powered up to lock the new truss in place.As soon as three of the four attachment bolts are engaged, Tanner and Piper will exit the station’s Quest airlock and begin a complex spacewalk to make critical electrical connections required to power heaters and other systems necessary to keep the new arrays alive.Electrical power to the U.S. section of the space station currently is provided by solar arrays mounted atop a short truss, known as Z1, that extends up in the zenith direction from the station’s multi-hatch Unity module.Those arrays, known as P6, will be moved down to the main solar array truss next year and attached to a short spacer, known as P5, that will be bolted to P4 during the next shuttle assembly mission in December.To wire in the new P4 arrays, flight controllers in Houston will carefully power down the station’s two P6 electrical channels, one at a time, so Tanner can hook up 13 umbilical cables between P1 and P3/P4.”There are about a hundred pages of ground commanding that have to go on in order to get things powered down in the right order and get things switched over and powered back up again afterwards,” station flight director John McCullough said in an interview. “It’s one of the more tightly choreographed EVAs that we’ve done as far as ground and crew interaction.”The P4 solar arrays are packed up like venetian blinds in four large “blanket boxes.” Tanner and Piper will prepare those boxes for deployment and start the process of readying the SARJ for operation.The next day, MacLean and Burbank will carry out a second spacewalk to complete preparations for SARJ operation and solar array deploy. That night, flight controllers will send commands to extend the arrays one mast bay in a confidence test before the astronauts take over the next morning. First, they will extend each array to 49 percent and then, after letting the sun heat them up a bit, the rest of the way.The stepwise approach is being taken because of problems encountered in December 2000 when the P6 array was deployed. When the first P6 wing unfurled, several solar cell panels stuck together, resulting in a jerky motion that caused a tension cable to unwind and jump from its spool.The second P6 array was deployed in high-tension mode, which prevented additional problems. Engineers now believe the “stiction” was caused by subtle effects of atomic oxygen coating the arrays and low temperatures. For the P3/P4 deploy, the arrays will be extended in high-tension mode with enough solar heating to preclude similar problems.Fully extended, the 38-foot-wide arrays will span 240 feet from tip to tip. Some 66,000 solar array cells will generate nearly 66 kilowatts of usable power. A dozen massive batteries will provide power when the station moves into Earth’s shadow and ammonia lines inside accordion-like radiator panels extending 44 feet will shed the heat generated by the electrical circuits.But the new arrays will not provide power to the station until the next shuttle mission in December when the left side of the P6 array is retracted. In its current position, the port wing of the P6 array is at right angles to the P4 wings, extending into the area where P4 eventually will rotate.With the new arrays deployed, Tanner and Piper will stage a third spacewalk the following day to complete SARJ activation, to carry out critical repairs on the station’s S-band antenna system and to install a thermal blanket around components of the lab’s high-speed KU-band antenna.For Jett, the number one concern for mission STS-115 is the timeline.”I try to worry about the things we have control over,” he told CBS News in an interview. “All the hardware issues, whether the SARJ is going to work right, I’ll let somebody else worry about that. But the timeline is something we have control over and when you look at the first five days of this mission, we’ve never put a mission together with that many major activities in the first five days, Hubble or no Hubble. It’s unprecedented and it’s going to be really tough.”The second thing I spend a little time (thinking about) is the unberth of P3/P4. The clearance is extremely tight. … Dan is going to do a little maneuver while the payload is still coming out of the bay, he’s going to slide it to port about two inches to give us a little bit of extra clearance on the (inspection) boom.”When you have a big payload like that, you’d like to try to move it in one axis at a time when you’re working with real tight clearances. So Dan’s actually going to be moving it up and to the port side of the shuttle at the same time. How the payload actually responds to that, when he stops that sideways maneuver, will you get a little oscillation? Our clearance on the left side will be about an inch. So that’s gotten our attention.”If all goes well, Atlantis will undock from the space station Sept. 4. The next day, the crew will carry out heat shield inspections to make sure Atlantis hasn’t been hit by any orbital debris or micrometeoroids since they carried out a post-launch inspection on the second day of the mission.Landing back at the Kennedy Space Center is targeted for a few minutes past noon on Sept. 7. Assuming the shuttle’s external tank performed well and no major impact damage occurs, NASA managers will relax a post-Columbia requirement to launch in daylight, opening up more space station launch windows and clearing the way for a night launch of Discovery Dec. 14 on mission STS-116.It all starts Sunday when Atlantis takes off on its first flight in four years to begin an assembly sequence that’s been on hold since Columbia went down on Feb. 1, 2003.”The restart of assembly, obviously, fulfills the first objective of the president’s vision, that is, return the shuttle to flight and complete the space station,” Jett said. “We have to do that as an agency and this mission marks the restart of the assembly sequence.”But Atlantis’ flight, he said, “is just one of the assembly missions we have to get done. Every crew and every mission control team has to be on their game when we fly these assembly missions. We’ve got to do them right. We can handle some setbacks, we can deal with some problems but we have to perform these missions well and we have only a limited amount of time to do it. They’re all important.”If we do our jobs right, we’ll get to 2010 and we’ll retire the shuttle safely, we’ll see it come to a wheels stopped not too far from here and we’ll have a complete station. That’s what we’re really all looking forward to.”STS-115 patchThe official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.Choose your store: - - - Telescopes.comLargest selection and the best prices anywhere in the world. Free shipping on select items. is the largest dealer of both Meade and Celestron Telescopes. Visit or call toll free 1-800-303-5873.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Count on track; weather outlook worsens slightly BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  • STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: September 18, 2006The Atlantis astronauts carried out a final inspection of the shuttle’s heat shield today, using a laser on the end of a long boom to look for signs of damage on the ship’s nose cap and wing leading edge panels. The shuttle’s robotm arm lifts inspection boom out of the payload bay early today. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight NowAn identical inspection was carried out Sept. 10, the day after launch, to make sure the most critical parts of the heat shield came through the climb to space in good condition. Today’s inspection was designed to make sure no space debris or micrometeoroids hit the shuttle unnoticed while docked with the international space station.”The first one is obviously geared towards any debris which came off during ascent and may have hit the orbiter,” commander Brent Jett said in a NASA interview. “There’s a second threat to your thermal protection system, and that is from micrometeorite damage. It’s a threat we deal with on every mission.”Heat shield inspections are carried out using a 50-foot-long boom attached to the end of the shuttle’s 50-foot-long robot arm. A laser scanner and a high-resolution camera are mounted on the end of the orbiter boom sensor system to look for signs of damage to the reinforced carbon carbon material making up the shuttle’s nose cap and wing leading edge panels. Those areas experience the most extreme heating during re-entry, some 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.”There’s an analysis done that gives you the probability of being struck by a micrometeorite,” Jett said. “It all depends on what attitude you’re flying and what orbit you’re flying in. The thought is that if you inspect early in the mission for ascent debris, you might want to inspect late in the mission to see if you’ve sustained any damage from a micrometeorite hit on the RCC, a critical area of the orbiter.”Along with carrying out the heat shield inspection, Jett and his crewmates - pilot Chris Ferguson, flight engineer Dan Burbank, Joe Tanner, Canadian Steve MacLean and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper - also plan to begin initial packing for re-entry and landing Wednesday. Cabin stow will begin in earnest Tuesday, when the astronauts also will test the shuttle’s re-entry systems.Here is an updated timeline of today’s activity (in EDT and mission elapsed time):TIME/EDT DD HH MM EVENT02:20 AM 08 15 05 Orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS) unberth03:25 AM 08 16 10 OBSS starboard wing leading edge survey04:15 AM 08 17 00 Cabin stow begins04:55 AM 08 17 40 OBSS nose cap survey06:25 AM 08 19 10 Crew meal07:25 AM 08 20 10 OBSS port wing leading edge survey08:00 AM 08 20 45 Mission status briefing on NASA TV08:55 AM 08 21 40 OBSS berthing09:30 AM 08 22 15 Robot arm berthing and powerdown10:15 AM 08 23 00 Laser dynamic range imager downlink01:20 PM 09 02 05 NC-7 rocket firing02:15 PM 09 03 00 Crew sleep begins03:00 PM 09 03 45 Daily video highlights reel on NASA TV08:28 PM 09 09 13 Progress cargo ship undocks from ISS10:15 PM 09 11 00 Crew wakeupAtlantis undocked from the space station early Sunday to make way for arrival of the lab’s next commander and flight engineer, Mike Lopez-Alegria and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin. The Expedition 14 crew members, along with space tourist Anousheh Ansari, blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:09 a.m. EDT today aboard the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft.If all goes well, they will dock with the station at 1:24 a.m. Wednesday, just a few hours before Atlantis is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center.Ansari will return to Earth on Sept. 28 with the station’s outgoing crew, Expedition 13 commander Pavel Vinogradov and flight engineer Jeff Williams. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, ferried to the station aboard the shuttle Discovery in July, will remain aboard the outpost as part of the Expedition 14 crew until December, when he will return to Earth with the crew of the next shuttle assembly mission.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SUNDAY’S STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:STATION BACKDROPPED BY BLACK SPACE VIDEO:STATION SLIDES BY EARTH’S HORIZON VIDEO:SPACE STATION FLYAROUND BY ATLANTIS VIDEO:ATLANTIS UNDOCKS FROM THE STATION VIDEO:HATCHWAY CLOSED FOR UNDOCKING VIDEO:SHUTTLE ASTRONAUTS BID FAREWELL VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS UNDOCKING VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN BY HIGH-ALTITUDE WB-57 AIRCRAFT VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: STARBOARD INWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: STARBOARD UPWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: STARBOARD DOWNWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: PORT INWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: PORT UPWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: PORT DOWNWARD VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING EXTENDED ONE SECTION VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING EXTENDED ONE SECTION VIDEO:POST-EVA 2 STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PORT 3/PORT 4 TRUSS KEEL PIN REMOVED AND STOWED VIDEO:HELMETCAM OF BURBANK REMOVING SARJ RESTRAINT VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS PAUSE FOR PICTURE TIME VIDEO:STEVE MACLEAN REPORTS LOST BOLT VIDEO:ROTARY JOINT LOCK REMOVED BY SPACEWALKER VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 VIDEO:POST-EVA 1 STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TANNER LOSES BOLT DURING ROTARY JOINT WORK VIDEO:PIPER UNFOLDS SOLAR BLANKET BOXES VIDEO:SECOND WING’S STRUCTURE DEPLOYED BY PIPER VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING’S STRUCTURE DEPLOYED BY TANNER VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 VIDEO:TRUSS HANDED FROM SHUTTLE ARM TO STATION ARM VIDEO:ARM MANEUVERS TRUSS OVER SHUTTLE WING VIDEO:TRUSS SLOWLY LIFTED OUT OF PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:ATLANTIS’ ARM GRAPPLES THE TRUSS VIDEO:MONDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:ATLANTIS WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION VIDEO:DOCKING REPLAY FROM CAMERA ON SHUTTLE ARM VIDEO:SHUTTLE ATLANTIS DOCKS TO THE STATION VIDEO:ATLANTIS’ BREATH-TAKING FLIP MANEUVER VIDEO:CREW’S CAMCORDER FOOTAGE OF EXTERNAL TANK VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION PREVIEWING TRUSS UNBERTHING VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION PREVIEWING THE DOCKING VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION OF PAYLOAD BAY CONFIGURATION MORE: VIDEO:BRIEFING ON TANK’S PERFORMANCE VIDEO:TANK’S ONBOARD CAMERA LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS INSPECTIONS VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:SHEDDING FOAM MAY HAVE HIT ATLANTIS VIDEO:ONBOARD VIEW OF EXTERNAL TANK SEPARATION VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:STATION CREW TOLD VISITORS EN ROUTE VIDEO:HOUSTON RADIOS DEBRIS REPORT TO CREW VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:QUICK-LOOK BRIEFING ON DEBRIS LAUNCH REPLAYS:VIDEO:BEACH MOUND TRACKER VIDEO:CAMERA IN FRONT OF PAD VIDEO:BANANA CREEK VIEWING SITE VIDEO:VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF VIDEO:PAD 39B SIDE PERIMETER VIDEO:PLAYALINDA BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:PLAYALINDA BEACH ZOOM VIDEO:UCS 23 TRACKER VIDEO:UCS 11 TRACKER VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 4 STEVE MACLEAN BOARDS ATLANTIS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 3 HEIDE PIPER BOARDS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 2 DAN BURBANK BOARDS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 1 JOE TANNER BOARDS VIDEO:PILOT CHRIS FERGUSON BOARDS VIDEO:COMMANDER BRENT JETT BOARDS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS EMERGE FROM CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:CREW SUITS UP FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE VIDEO:FINAL INSPECTION TEAM CHECKS ATLANTIS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS READY FOR SECOND LAUNCH TRY MORE: STS-115 patchThe official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.Choose your store: - - - Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Fuel sensor scrubs Atlantis launch BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  • – The OBSS will survey RCC panels only. To look for signs of tile damage on the underside of the shuttle, including possible damage to critical seals around landing gear doors, Discovery’s crew will rely on help from the crew of the space station.

  • Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SUNDAY’S STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:STATION BACKDROPPED BY BLACK SPACE VIDEO:STATION SLIDES BY EARTH’S HORIZON VIDEO:SPACE STATION FLYAROUND BY ATLANTIS VIDEO:ATLANTIS UNDOCKS FROM THE STATION VIDEO:HATCHWAY CLOSED FOR UNDOCKING VIDEO:SHUTTLE ASTRONAUTS BID FAREWELL VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS UNDOCKING VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN BY HIGH-ALTITUDE WB-57 AIRCRAFT VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: STARBOARD INWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: STARBOARD UPWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: STARBOARD DOWNWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: PORT INWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: PORT UPWARD VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER CAM: PORT DOWNWARD VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING EXTENDED ONE SECTION VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING EXTENDED ONE SECTION VIDEO:POST-EVA 2 STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PORT 3/PORT 4 TRUSS KEEL PIN REMOVED AND STOWED VIDEO:HELMETCAM OF BURBANK REMOVING SARJ RESTRAINT VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS PAUSE FOR PICTURE TIME VIDEO:STEVE MACLEAN REPORTS LOST BOLT VIDEO:ROTARY JOINT LOCK REMOVED BY SPACEWALKER VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 VIDEO:POST-EVA 1 STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TANNER LOSES BOLT DURING ROTARY JOINT WORK VIDEO:PIPER UNFOLDS SOLAR BLANKET BOXES VIDEO:SECOND WING’S STRUCTURE DEPLOYED BY PIPER VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING’S STRUCTURE DEPLOYED BY TANNER VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 VIDEO:TRUSS HANDED FROM SHUTTLE ARM TO STATION ARM VIDEO:ARM MANEUVERS TRUSS OVER SHUTTLE WING VIDEO:TRUSS SLOWLY LIFTED OUT OF PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:ATLANTIS’ ARM GRAPPLES THE TRUSS VIDEO:MONDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:ATLANTIS WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION VIDEO:DOCKING REPLAY FROM CAMERA ON SHUTTLE ARM VIDEO:SHUTTLE ATLANTIS DOCKS TO THE STATION VIDEO:ATLANTIS’ BREATH-TAKING FLIP MANEUVER VIDEO:CREW’S CAMCORDER FOOTAGE OF EXTERNAL TANK VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION PREVIEWING TRUSS UNBERTHING VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION PREVIEWING THE DOCKING VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION OF PAYLOAD BAY CONFIGURATION MORE: VIDEO:BRIEFING ON TANK’S PERFORMANCE VIDEO:TANK’S ONBOARD CAMERA LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS INSPECTIONS VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:SHEDDING FOAM MAY HAVE HIT ATLANTIS VIDEO:ONBOARD VIEW OF EXTERNAL TANK SEPARATION VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:STATION CREW TOLD VISITORS EN ROUTE VIDEO:HOUSTON RADIOS DEBRIS REPORT TO CREW VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:QUICK-LOOK BRIEFING ON DEBRIS LAUNCH REPLAYS:VIDEO:BEACH MOUND TRACKER VIDEO:CAMERA IN FRONT OF PAD VIDEO:BANANA CREEK VIEWING SITE VIDEO:VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF VIDEO:PAD 39B SIDE PERIMETER VIDEO:PLAYALINDA BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:PLAYALINDA BEACH ZOOM VIDEO:UCS 23 TRACKER VIDEO:UCS 11 TRACKER VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 4 STEVE MACLEAN BOARDS ATLANTIS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 3 HEIDE PIPER BOARDS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 2 DAN BURBANK BOARDS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 1 JOE TANNER BOARDS VIDEO:PILOT CHRIS FERGUSON BOARDS VIDEO:COMMANDER BRENT JETT BOARDS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS EMERGE FROM CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:CREW SUITS UP FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE VIDEO:FINAL INSPECTION TEAM CHECKS ATLANTIS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS READY FOR SECOND LAUNCH TRY MORE: STS-115 patchThe official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.Choose your store: - - - Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.NASA considers relaxing daylight rule if Atlantis misses September window BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  • STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: December 7, 2006With engineers gearing up to load the shuttle Discovery’s external tank with rocket fuel, forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group at the Johnson Space Center in Houston have added a chance for rain showers to an already cloudy forecast.But as of 9:30 a.m., shuttle forecasters in Florida were sticking with a 60 percent chance of a launch delay due to weather, the same probability announced Wednesday when rain wasn’t part of the SMG forecast. Forecasters may update the outlook following a final pre-fueling management review that begins within the hour. Updates will be posted as warranted.The latest SMG forecast for a return-to-launch-site - RTLS - abort calls for a chance of showers within 30 nautical miles and broken cloud decks at 3,000, 6,000 and 20,000 feet in the wake of a cold front. Winds will be out of 340 degrees at 15 knots peaking to 22, resulting in a peak crosswind component of less than 5 knots.The forecast for two emergency runways in Spain calls for low clouds, turbulence and showers within 20 nautical miles. At an emergency runway in France, high tailwinds are a concern. All three sites are predicted to be “no-go” and at least one is required for a launching to proceed.Hoping for the best, engineers are gearing up to pump a half-million gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen into Discovery’s external tank starting at 11:40 a.m. The three-hour procedure should be complete by around 2:40 p.m. NASA television coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and the astronauts will begin strapping in around 6:15 p.m.Here are countdown highlights for the rest of the day (in EST):EST………..EVENT09:40:00 AM…Begin 2-hour built-in hold (T-minus 6 hours)09:50:00 AM…Safe-and-arm PIC test10:30:00 AM…Mission management team tanking meeting10:40:00 AM…External tank ready for fueling11:10:00 AM…Orbiter ready for fueling11:40:00 AM…Resume countdown (T-minus 6 hours)11:40:00 AM…Liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen transfer line chilldown11:50:00 AM…Main propulsion system chill down11:50:00 AM…LH2 slow fill12:20:00 PM…LO2 slow fill12:25:00 PM…Hydrogen ECO sensors go wet12:30:00 PM…LO2 fast fill12:40:00 PM…LH2 fast fill01:55:00 PM…LH2 topping02:35:00 PM…LH2 replenish02:40:00 PM…LO2 replenish02:40:00 PM…Begin 3-hour built-in hold (T-minus 3 hours)02:40:00 PM…Closeout crew to white room02:40:00 PM…External tank in stable replenish mode02:55:00 PM…Astronaut support personnel comm checks03:25:00 PM…Pre-ingress switch reconfig03:30:00 PM…NASA TV coverage begins03:56:00 PM…Astronaut photo opportunity (time approximate)05:05:00 PM…Final crew weather briefing05:15:00 PM…Astronauts don pressure suits05:40:00 PM…Resume countdown (T-minus 3 hours)05:45:00 PM…Crew departs O&C building06:15:00 PM…Crew ingress07:05:00 PM…Astronaut comm checks07:20:00 PM…Hatch closure08:05:00 PM…White room closeout08:20:00 PM…Begin 10-minute built-in hold (T-minus 20m)08:30:00 PM…NASA Test Director countdown briefing08:30:00 PM…Resume countdown (T-minus 20m)08:31:00 PM…Backup flight computer to OPS 108:35:00 PM…KSC area clear to launch08:41:00 PM…Begin final built-in hold (T-minus 9m)08:51:45 PM…NASA Test Director launch status verification09:26:47 PM…Resume countdown (T-minus 9m)09:28:17 PM…Orbiter access arm retraction09:30:00 PM…Launch window opens (actual: 9:30:47 p.m.)09:30:47 PM…Hydraulic power system (APU) start09:30:52 PM…Terminate LO2 replenish09:31:47 PM…Purge sequence 4 hydraulic test09:31:47 PM…Inertial measurement units to inertial09:31:52 PM…Aerosurface profile09:32:17 PM…Main engine steering test09:32:52 PM…LO2 tank pressurization09:33:12 PM…Fuel cells to internal reactants09:33:17 PM…Clear caution-and-warning memory09:33:47 PM…Crew closes visors09:33:50 PM…LH2 tank pressurization09:34:57 PM…Booster joint heater deactivation09:35:16 PM…Shuttle computers take control of countdown09:35:26 PM…Booster steering test09:35:40 PM…Main engine start (T-6.6 seconds)09:35:47 PM…SRB ignition (LAUNCH!)Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:POST-ARRIVAL COMMENTS FROM THE CREW VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE IN WAVE OF T-38 JETS VIDEO:BIOGRAPHIES OF THE DISCOVERY ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:NARRATED STS-116 MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S SHUTTLE BRIEFING IN ITS ENTIRETY BRIEFING SOUNDBITES:VIDEO:THE ISSUES DISCUSSED AT FRR VIDEO:NOT YOUR FATHER’S FRR VIDEO:READY TO RESUME NIGHT LAUNCHES VIDEO:LAUNCH PREPS PROCEEDING WELL VIDEO:YEAR-END ROLLOVER CONCERNS VIDEO:REASSESSING TANK FOAM RISK VIDEO:STATION SOLAR ARRAY DRIVE SYSTEM PROBLEM VIDEO:PRESSURIZATION PRECAUTIONS AT THE PAD VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF STS-116 MISSION VIDEO:SHUTTLE/ISS PROGRAM PERSPECTIVE VIDEO:PREVIEW OF MISSION’S SPACEWALKS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS’ PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:COVERAGE OF PRACTICE COUNTDOWN ACTIVITIES VIDEO:DISCOVERY ROLLS TO THE PAD VIDEO:DISCOVERY MATED TO TANK AND BOOSTERS VIDEO:SHUTTLE HOISTED VERTICALLY INSIDE VAB VIDEO:DISCOVERY HAULED FROM HANGAR TO VAB VIDEO:PORT 5 TRUSS PAYLOAD PACKED UP VIDEO:CREW VISITS KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VIDEO:EXTERNAL FUEL TANK MATED TO BOOSTERS MORE: STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Docking Timeline COMPILED BY WILLIAM HARWOODPosted: December 10, 2006Download a of this chart.Changes and additions:- Dec. 10: Posting initial version of chart Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Electrical re-wiring complete BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  • STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 17, 2005Ongoing space shuttle wing leading edge impact tests show tiny cracks oreven damaged surface coating, coupled with internal delamination, can leadto catastrophic failure.What is not yet known is how small a piece of debris can be and stillcause the kind of damage that, if unrepaired, could bring down a shuttle;and whether chunks of foam insulation from the shuttle’s upgraded externalfuel tank will be above or below that critical size, whatever it turns outto be.”You’re asking the $64,000 question,” said Don Curry, a senior engineerat the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We’re trying to establish thatright now.”The issue is important because NASA’s new external fuel tank, now at theKennedy Space Center undergoing launch processing, was built to ensure nopieces of foam heavier than 0.023 pounds - 0.37 ounces - can break away fromthe upper portions of the tank during launch.Debris from the upper part of the tank poses the greatest threat to theship’s nose cap and reinforced carbon carbon leading edge panels, whichexperience the highest heat loads during re-entry. The 0.023-pound limit isfor foam covering the liquid oxygen tank at the very top of the structure.Foam from the intertank area, where bipod struts attach the nose of theshuttle and where the foam originated that doomed Columbia, can be slightlymore massive: 0.03 pounds, or 0.48 ounces. Pieces of foam from the bottom ofthe tank pose less of a threat and thus can be larger still: up to 0.75pounds.Here is a partial table of allowable debris as approved by shuttleprogram managers:REGION……………………………..FOAM (pounds/cubic inches)Oxygen tank………………………………0.023/15.9O2 tank to Intertank flange……………..0.026/20.7Intertank…………………………………..0.03/20.7Hydrogen tank and intertank flange……..0.03/20.7 to 0.075/51.8LH2 tank…………………………………..0.075/51.8Engineers using a nitrogen gas-powered cannon and a wing leading edgemockup at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, have beenable to create “entry critical” damage from pieces of foam as small as 0.044pounds - 0.7 ounces - depending on impact velocity and angle.But they have not yet been unable to determine the damage threat posed by0.03-pound pieces of foam because the small, low-density foam test “bullets”are deformed too much when fired from the cannon.NASA hopes to launch the shuttle Discovery on the first post-Columbiamission in mid May. Curry said the engineering community is working torefine test methods and computer models to verify that pieces of foam debrisweighing 0.03 pounds or less pose no threat to the shuttle.But the testing already has revealed that entry critical damage can becaused by much smaller impacts than previously thought.Columbia’s left wing was damaged 81 seconds after liftoff Jan. 16, 2003,when a 1.67-pound chunk of foam broke away from an aerodynamically shapedramp insulating one of two bipod fittings used to attach the nose of theorbiter to the tank.The briefcase-size piece of foam slammed into the left wing at a relativevelocity of more than 500 mph. Enhanced video from the one camera thatviewed the impact point indicated the foam struck the leading edge at orvery near the lower side of reinforced carbon carbon panel No. 8, one of 22such panels making up the leading edge of the left wing.But the grainy video, unable to resolve anything smaller than two squarefeet, provided no direct evidence of actual damage. In the wake of themishap, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, working with NASA,decided to conduct a complex series of tests to find out whether impacts bylow-density foam could, in fact, cause the kind of damage needed to bringdown the shuttle.Initial tests at SRI showed foam impacts could cause damage, but theresults were not clear cut. Then, on July 7, 2003, a properly sized foambullet was fired at the lower side of RCC panel 8 using an impact point,angle and velocity thought to more closely mimic conditions possible duringColumbia’s launch. The result was a gaping hole 16 inches across.Few engineers believe Columbia’s wing had a hole that size and, based onmore recent test data, it likely was on the small end of the 6-to-10 inchescited by CAIB investigators.The question today is, what is the threshold for entry critical damage,that is, what is the smallest size piece of foam that could cause the sortof damage that would have to be repaired before a crew could safely returnto Earth?To find out, engineers are running exhaustive tests and analyses todefine, for each of the 22 RCC panels making up a leading edge, what sort ofimpacts cause entry critical damage. Anything at or above that level must berepaired.Because the RCC panels are custom built to match the sweeping curvatureof the wing, each panel is divided into six zones and each zone is assignedits own number to more accurately model real-world conditions.To find out what level of damage leads to oxidation, or burning, Currysaid two approaches are in use. In one, 2.8-inch disks of RCC material aredeliberately damaged and then subjected to re-entry heating with an arcjetplasma. The arcjet can produce temperatures of 2,960 degrees, closelymatching the maximum experienced during re-entry.Initial tests showed even small cracks could produce severe damage if thecracks penetrated a surface coating down into the underlying material, orsubstrate. Intrigued, engineers ran tests using a piston mechanism to pushon a disk to impart loads, or forces, that could cause interior layers ofRCC material to delaminate, or separate.The results showed that as long as the surface coating remained intact,the test disks survived the arcjet without any major damage, even ifdelamination was present. But if the surface coating was damaged or removed,and if delamination was present, the reinforced carbon carbon burned up.And in all cases, Curry said, “if we break the coating, we will have adelamination.”As a result, coating damage alone may be classified as entry critical. Ashuttle could, in theory, be brought down by an impact that did not cause ahole in an RCC panel, just a visible crack in the coating, along withinternal delamination. But engineers have not yet identified the debristhreshold for causing such damage.It is a complex problem because the force imparted to a leading edgepanel depends not only on the size of the debris, but also the impactvelocity, the angle of the impact relative to the surface of the RCC panel,the precise location of the strike and the panel’s location on the leadingedge.To improve accuracy, engineers now are running so-called “wedge” tests inwhich the RCC is mounted at an angle to the flow of the arcjet to morerealistically mimic real world conditions.In disk tests, where the arcjet hits head on at a 90-degree angle, damagegrows in a circular fashion as one might expect. In wedge tests, which moreaccurately reflect reality, the damage is more elliptical in shape with theworst heating occurring toward the downstream area of the ellipse.Engineers currently are working to model damage patterns in each of thesix zones in each RCC panel of a leading edge. Computer models are beingrefined to predict damage based on multiple variables and so far, the modelsshow good correlation with the disk tests. Wedge models are more complex andare not yet fully developed.In any case, Curry said Discovery’s astronauts, using a boom-mountedcamera and laser sensor package to inspect the shuttle’s wing leading edgepanels in orbit, will be able to spot the sort of surface coating damagethat might pose a threat.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.NASA studying chipped tile, debris from fuel tank BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  • STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 26, 2006The shuttle Atlantis’ countdown is back on track today after delays Friday because of stormy weather. More afternoon storms are expected today and again tomorrow, prompting forecasters to predict a 60 percent chance of weather that would block the shuttle’s planned 4:30 p.m. Sunday launch on a space station assembly mission.Shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters said a high pressure ridge has not moved north as fast as expected, resulting in sea breeze-driven afternoon storms along Florida’s coast. If the ridge moves far enough north, prevailing winds will tend to drive those storms inland but it’s too soon to say whether Atlantis’s crew will catch a break Sunday.The outlook for Monday and Tuesday is 80 percent “go.”NASA test director Jeff Spaulding said the launch team completed work to load the shuttle’s fuel cell system Friday night, getting the countdown back on track after the work was interrupted earlier in the day. There are no other technical problems at pad 39B, although engineers were still checking various shuttle and launch pad systems after a lightning strike Friday.”We did have a lightning strike to our pad lightning protection system yesterday,” Spaulding said. “We have been performing a number of evaluations and walkdowns. Those evaluations are ongoing and engineers are still evaluating whether there’s any additional work that will be required. So far, it looks favorable.”In the Caribbean, meanwhile, tropical storm Ernesto continues to develop and the National Hurricane Center predicts it will be a full-fledged hurricaine by Monday morning. The storm’s track currently takes it into the central Gulf of Mexico, but it’s too soon to say what impact, if any, it might have on shuttle operations in Florida or Texas.NASA managers will review the weather outlook and the shuttle’s launch processing during a L-minus one-day meeting starting at 1 p.m.”In summary, Atlantis, her crew and payload have been waiting nearly four years for this opportunity to fly,” Spaulding said. “I’m pleased to announce the vehicle, the launch team and hopefully the weather are ready for tomorrow’s launch.”Here is the remainder of the STS-115 countdown. Note that all events up to and including the start of the final hold at the T-minus nine-minute mark are targeted to the opening of the shuttle’s 10-minute launch window, typically five minutes earlier than the planned launch time. For countdown calculations, NASA rounds the window open time down to the nearest minute. The release of the final T-minus nine-minute hold, however, is targeted to the actual in-plane launch time, roughly the moment when Earth’s rotation carries the launch pad into the plane of the international space station’s orbit. All times in EDT.EDT EVENT__________________________________________________SATURDAY10:00:00 AM Begin 13-hour 34-minute hold12:20:00 PM JSC flight control team on station01:30:00 PM Communications system activation02:00:00 PM Crew module voice checks03:10:00 PM Flight crew equipment late stow07:00:00 PM Rotating service structure moved to park position09:00:00 PM Ascent switch list11:34:00 PM Resume countdown11:34:00 PM Terminate pad tours11:49:00 PM APU bite test11:54:00 PM Pad clear of non-essential personnelSUNDAY12:44:00 AM Fuel cell activation01:34:00 AM MCC-Houston in launch comm configuration02:04:00 AM Booster joint heater activation02:34:00 AM Final fueling preps; launch area clear04:34:00 AM Begin 2-hour built-in hold (T-minus 6 hours)05:24:00 AM Mission management team tanking meeting06:04:00 AM External tank ready for fueling06:34:00 AM Resume countdown (T-minus 6 hours)06:34:00 AM LO2, LH2 transfer line chilldown06:44:00 AM Main propulsion system chill down06:44:00 AM LH2 slow fill07:04:00 AM LO2 slow fill07:24:00 AM LO2 fast fill07:34:00 AM LH2 fast fill08:49:00 AM LH2 topping09:29:00 AM LH2 replenish09:34:00 AM LO2 replenish; fueling complete09:34:00 AM Begin 3-hour built-in hold (T-minus 3 hours)09:34:00 AM Closeout crew to white room09:34:00 AM External tank in stable replenish mode09:49:00 AM Astronaut support personnel comm checks10:19:00 AM Pre-ingress switch reconfig10:30:00 AM NASA television coverage begins10:55:00 AM Astronaut breakfast photo op12:00:00 PM Crew weather briefing12:10:00 PM Astronauts don pressure suits12:34:00 PM Resume countdown (T-minus 3 hours)12:40:00 PM Crew departs O&C building01:10:00 PM Crew ingress01:59:00 PM Astronaut comm checks02:24:00 PM Hatch closure02:59:00 PM White room closeout03:14:00 PM Begin 10-minute built-in hold (T-minus 20m)03:16:00 PM NASA test director countdown briefing03:24:00 PM Resume countdown (T-minus 20m)03:25:00 PM Backup flight computer to OPS 103:29:00 PM KSC area clear to launch03:35:00 PM Begin final built-in hold (T-minus 9m)03:45:57 PM NTD launch status verification04:20:57 PM Resume countdown (T-minus 9m)04:22:27 PM Orbiter access arm retraction04:24:00 PM Launch window opens (actual: 4:24:57 p.m.)04:24:57 PM Hydraulic power system (APU) start04:25:02 PM Terminate liquid oxygen replenish04:25:57 PM Purge sequence 4 hydraulic test04:25:57 PM Inertial measurement units to inertial04:26:02 PM Aerosurface profile04:26:27 PM Main engine steering test04:27:02 PM Liquid oxygen tank pressurization04:27:22 PM Fuel cells to internal reactants04:27:27 PM Clear caution-and-warning memory04:27:57 PM Crew closes visors04:28:00 PM Liquid hydrogen tank pressurization04:29:07 PM Booster joint heater deactivation04:29:26 PM Shuttle computers take control of countdown04:29:36 PM Booster steering test04:29:50 PM Main engine start (T-6.6 seconds)04:29:57 PM Booster ignition and liftoffAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:FRIDAY’S COUNTDOWN STATUS VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:THURSDAY’S COUNTDOWN STATUS VIDEO:LAUNCH DATE ANNOUNCEMENT NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:COMPLETE PREVIEW OF ATLANTIS MISSION VIDEO:DETAILS OF THE THREE SPACEWALKS VIDEO:MEET THE SIX ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:CREW LAUNCH PAD PRESS CHAT VIDEO:ATLANTIS ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39B VIDEO:ROLLOUT FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING BEGINS VIDEO:TRUSS IN PAD’S PAYLOAD ROOM VIDEO:PAYLOAD HOISTED INTO THE PAD VIDEO:STATION TRUSS PAYLOAD DELIVERED TO PAD MORE: STS-115 patchThe official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.Choose your store: - - - Telescopes.comLargest selection and the best prices anywhere in the world. Free shipping on select items. is the largest dealer of both Meade and Celestron Telescopes. Visit or call toll free 1-800-303-5873.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Launch team set for three tries in a row, if needed BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

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