Archive for the ‘international space station’ Category

Lost in Space: Astronaut Who Lost Her Tools Admits “Ooops”

November 20, 2008

The astronaut who lost her tool bag on a spacewalk admitted Wednesday that she made a mistake by not checking to see if the sack was tied down, and said she’s still smarting over the whole thing.

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper said in an interview with The Associated Press that it was “very disheartening” to lose her bag full of tools. She was trying to clean up grease that had oozed out of a grease gun in the backpack-size bag, when the tote and everything in it floated away Tuesday.

The bag was one of the largest items ever lost by a spacewalking astronaut. NASA put the price tag of the tool bag at $100,000.

For a split second, she thought she might be able to grab it and she tried to judge how far away it was. Just as quickly, “I thought, no, that would probably just make things worse and the best thing to do would be to just let it go.”

In this image from NASA TV, a tool  kit bag, top right, floats ...
“There she goes!”  In this image from NASA TV, a tool kit bag, top right, floats to the right and rear of the International Space Station, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008. The bag was being used by astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper during a scheduled 6 1/2-hour spacewalk. Stefanyshyn-Piper lost grasp of it during a procedure and it floated away.(AP Photo/NASA TV)

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Space Shuttle Astronauts Ready to Fly

November 13, 2008

Tomorrow, the space shuttle Endeavour will rocket into space.  “Space vehicles can be like submarines.  Both are metal tubes, basically,” said the first submariner ever selected as an astronaut in NASA’s manned space flight program, Navy Captain Stephan G. Bowen.  “The difference is,” he told us, “In space the view is better.  In the submarine the food is better.”

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Seven NASA astronauts are spending what they hope will be their last day on Earth before launching toward the International Space Station Friday night aboard the shuttle Endeavour.

The five-man, two-woman crew of Endeavour is a mix of spaceflight veterans and first-time flyers, but wholly committed to making vital repairs and delivering new gear to double the station’s occupancy up to six people next year.

Crew members of the space shuttle Endeavour on Mission STS-126 ... 
Crew members of the space shuttle Endeavour on Mission STS-126 arrive to prepare for launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida November 11, 2008.(Scott Audette/Reuters)

“I think every commander would like to think that he’s got the best crew that was ever assembled to fly a space station mission. I’m no exception,” said Endeavour commander Chris Ferguson in a NASA interview. “These folks are extremely talented, extremely hard-working.”

Endeavour is slated to launch toward the space station Friday at 7:55 p.m. EST (0055 Nov. 15 GMT) on a planned 15-day mission that will span Thanksgiving and the orbital laboratory’s 10th anniversary on Nov. 20.

Taking command

Shuttle commander Chris Ferguson is making his second trip to space on Endeavour’s STS-126 mission, but it’s his first trip in charge. He spent 12 days in space as the pilot for shuttle Atlantis to help deliver new U.S. solar arrays to the station in 2006.

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Veterans Day: American Submariner Zooms Into Space an Astronaut This Week

November 8, 2008

“Space vehicles can be like submarines.  Both are metal tubes, basically,” said the first submariner ever selected as an astronaut in NASA’s manned space flight program, Navy Captain Stephan G. Bowen.  “The difference is,” he told us, “In space the view is better.  In the submarine the food is better.”

This week, Veterans Day week, Captain Bowen is scheduled to serve his country in space aboard the space shuttle Endeavour.

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MOSCOW,  (RIA Novosti) – The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour will be launched on November 14 from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station, NASA has informed Russia’s space agency.

The spacecraft will lift off at 8:55 p.m. EST (00:55 GMT November 15), to deliver commander Christopher J. Ferguson, pilot Eric A. Boe, specialists Stephen G. Bowen, Robert S. Kimbrough, Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper and NASA astronauts Donald R. Pettit and Sandra H. Magnus to the International Space Station.

Space shuttle Endeavour commander Chris Ferguson, left, answers ...
Space shuttle Endeavour commander Chris Ferguson, left, answers questions during a news conference with pilot Eric Boe, center, and mission specialist Steve Bowen at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Endeavour will carry a reusable logistics module that will hold supplies, including equipment needed to enlarge the station’s resident crew to six members, additional exercise equipment, devices for the regenerative life support system and spare hardware.

During their 15-day mission, the astronauts are to conduct four spacewalks and transfer and set up more than seven tons of equipment and supplies inside the orbital laboratory.

This Oct. 28, 2008 file photo shows Space shuttle Endeavour ... 
This Oct. 28, 2008 file photo shows Space shuttle Endeavour crew members, from left, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists Steve Bowen, Sandra Mangnus, Shane Kimbrough, Donald Petit and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper at a news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Endeavour, background, is scheduled for launch on Nov. 14. With a visit to the Hubble Space Telescope off until next spring at the earliest, NASA on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 chose Nov. 14 for its next space shuttle launch, a flight by Endeavour to the international space station.(AP Photo/John Raoux, file)
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Captain Stephen G. Bowen, USN

Upon completion of the submarine training pipeline he spent three years attached to USS PARCHE (SSN 683) and completed qualification in Submarines on USS POGY (SSN 647). After attending the MIT/WHOI Joint program in Ocean Engineering he reported to USS AUGUSTA (SSN 710) for duty as the Engineering Officer. During this tour he qualified for command of nuclear powered submarines. In 1997 he reported to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in the Office of Plans and Policy and worked on the USSOCOM Future Concepts Working Group. For 9 months in 1999 he was the Reactor and Propulsion inspector for the Navy’s Submarine Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). In May 2000 he became the first Executive Officer of the Pre-Commissioning Unit VIRGINIA (SSN 774) the first of the new VIRGINIA Class submaine.  Bowen is the first Submarine Officer selected by NASA in July 2000 as a mission specialist. He reported for training at the Johnson Space Center in August 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch. Bowen is assigned to the crew of STS-126 targeted for launch in November 2008. Endeavour will carry a reusable logistics module that will hold supplies and equipment essential to sustain a crew of six on the International Space Station, including additional crew quarters, a regenerative life support system, and a Resistive Exercise Device (RED).


USS Pogy

Shuttle docks with space station

March 13, 2008
By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Space shuttle Endeavour pulled up to the international space station and docked Wednesday, kicking off almost two weeks of demanding construction work.

This image provided by NASA shows the cargo bay of the Space ...
This image provided by NASA shows the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Endeavour where the logistics module for the Japanese Kibo laboratory awaits being added to the growing International Space Station. Space shuttle Endeavour closed in on the international space station on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 for a late-night linkup that will kick off almost two weeks of demanding construction work.
(AP Photo/NASA, HO)

Before the late-night linkup, Endeavour’s commander, Dominic Gorie, guided the shuttle through a 360-degree backflip to allow for full photographic surveillance.

It’s one of the many safety-related procedures put in place following the Columbia tragedy in 2003.

The space station crew used cameras with high-powered zoom lenses to photograph Endeavour from nose to tail, especially all the thermal tiles on its belly. The pictures — as many as 300 — will be scrutinized by engineers on the ground to see whether the shuttle suffered any damage during Tuesday’s launch.

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Space shuttle Endeavour blasts off

March 11, 2008

By Marcia Dunn, Associated Press Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Shuttle Endeavour and a crew of seven blasted into orbit Tuesday on what was to be the longest space station mission ever, a 16-day voyage to build a gangly robot and add a new room that will serve as a closet for a future lab.
Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 

The space shuttle roared from its seaside pad at 2:28 a.m., lighting up the sky for miles around.

It was a rare treat: The last time NASA launched a shuttle at nighttime was in 2006. Only about a quarter of shuttle flights have begun in darkness.

“Good luck and Godspeed, and we’ll see you back here in 16 days,” launch director Mike Leinbach radioed to the astronauts right before liftoff.

“God truly has blessed us with a beautiful night here, Mike, to launch, so let’s light them up and give Him a show,” replied Endeavour’s commander, Dominic Gorie.

They did…

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America Needs To Do More Hard Work

March 10, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 

“We have lift off!”

Those words, spoken at every space launch, bury decades of work and investment necessary to make tough missions successful.

After U.S. military forces toppled Saddam Hussein in Iraq, President George W. Bush confidently marched across the flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln beneath a banner bearing the words “Mission Accomplished.”

That was May 1, 2003.
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President Bush addressing sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln
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Democrats have derided the president since as over confident and ill prepared for the long-term work needed to insure peace and security in a new democratic Iraq.

Today, as we approach May 1, 2008, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes say the war in Iraq is costing the United States $12 Billion every month – three times the predicted monthly costs in 2003.  Add to that thousands of wounded and dead.
USS Lake Erie docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
USS Lake Erie (CG-70) docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

When USS Lake Erie, a U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser, shot down an errant satellite on February 20 of this year, the missile and satellite intercept was rooted in a ship and combat systems development that began in the 1970s and a missile and ballistic missile defense effort that started in 1991. The costs would be staggering but are difficult to tally.

The point is simple: as we watch space shuttle Endeavour launch from the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow for a rendezvous with an orbiting International Space Station, the important thought is not those few seconds of “We have lift off.” The more important part of our space “endeavor” is the huge investment made by engineers, scientists, astronauts, mission planners, financial analysts and tens of thousands of others since the 1950s.

Endeavor’s mission to the ISS will last 16 days: the longest shuttle mission ever to the ISS.  A main task at the ISS will be installing the first stage of the Japanese laboratory called Kibo, a micro-gravity research facility which aims to open a vital new stage in deeper space exploration. Kibo, which means “hope” in Japanese, will be delivered in three stages. Once installed, it will complete the research nucleus of the ISS along with the American, Russian and European laboratories.

The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from its launch pad at ...
The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, August 8, 2007.(Scott Audette/Reuters)

Projects like our shuttle and ISS efforts take tons of sweat.

The same might be said of the war in Iraq. The same Democrats that criticized George W. Bush for “Mission Accomplished” are now critical of Senator John McCain for saying that American troops could be in Iraq for a long time – maybe up to 100 years.

This should not be too much a surprise to a nation with troops in Germany since 1945 and troops in South Korea since the brokered cease fire in the mid-1950s.

Tough tasks take a very long time and they also cost a lot of money.

The United States is the richest nation on earth ever – and the longest lasting democracy ever. And the Founders didn’t create our Constitution and the other underpinnings of this greatness overnight: it took years.

Life — and especially foreign policy — is not a viedo game.  It takes care, patience invested energy and time. Patience (for those who have forgotten) is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.  Thus goals are achieved.

In a society now enamored by lighting fast cell phones and an American Idol contest that only has drama for weeks at a stretch, we might reflect upon American greatness and history which teaches us, without a doubt, that great achievements are only within our grasp after long-term effort and investment — and plenty of it.

Related:
Only in America: Boundless Technology; Brilliant Youth

Shuttle Endeavour set to launch Japan lab to space station

March 10, 2008
by Jean-Louis Santini

WASHINGTON (AFP) – When space shuttle Endeavour launches Tuesday it will carry Japan‘s first space lab to the International Space Station, giving the country a prized spot alongside the United States, Russia and Europe.

This illustration provided by The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) ...
This illustration provided by The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) displays ‘Dextre’ (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator). Astronauts bound for orbit this week will dabble in science fiction, assembling a ‘monstrous’ two-armed space station robot that will rise like Frankenstein from its transport bed. Putting together Dextre, the robot, will be one of the main jobs for the seven Endeavour astronauts, who are scheduled to blast off in the wee hours of Tuesday, March 11, 2008, less than three weeks after the last shuttle flight.(AP Photo/Canadian Space Agency)

With meteorologists reporting 90 percent favorable conditions for liftoff, Endeavour is set to launch at 2:28 am (0628 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The crew of seven, including Japanese astronaut Takao Doi, has already assembled there for the 16-day mission.

A main task at the ISS will be installing the first stage of the Japanese laboratory called Kibo, a micro-gravity research facility which aims to open a vital new stage in deeper space exploration.

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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Takao Doi of Japan ... 
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Takao Doi of Japan arrives with the crew of space shuttle Endeavour at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, March 8, 2008. Endeavour is on schedule to launch March 11.(AP Photo/Terry Renna) 
 

Navy Will Attempt to Down Spy Satellite

February 16, 2008

By Marc Kauffman and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 15, 2008; Page A01

A Navy cruiser in the Pacific Ocean will try an unprecedented shoot-down of an out-of-control, school-bus-size U.S. spy satellite loaded with a toxic fuel as it begins its plunge to Earth, national security officials said yesterday.made the decision because it was impossible to predict where a tank containing the fuel might land in an uncontrolled descent, officials said.

The Pentagon said it decided to use a modified, ship-fired anti-ballistic missile to make the attempt sometime after Feb. 20 to avoid creating debris that could threaten the space shuttle on its return from the international space station.

Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Navy missile will be fired as the satellite reenters the atmosphere and “has a reasonably high opportunity for success.” The Pentagon and NASA have been working on the missile modifications for the past three weeks.

Deputy national security adviser James F. Jeffrey said the decision was based on the fact that the satellite is carrying a substantial amount of hydrazine, a hazardous rocket fuel.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/14/AR2008021401704.html