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STS-127 Third Try is a charm

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mjennings

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STS-127 is gonna make another go at launch tonight, window opens at 7:34 with optimal launch at 7:39, if the weather holds out.
 

brianc

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http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090711-sts127-launch-day.html

"If no serious signs of damage are found, Endeavour could try to launch again as early as Sunday at 7:13 p.m. EDT (2313 GMT)"

From NASA (via spaceflightnow.com)-



That shot is from Friday night...

spaceflightnow live STS-127 blog said:
The official tally on the lightning strikes from last night is 11 hits within 0.3 miles of the pad. The pad's water tank was hit and the lightning mast was struck a couple of times.
 
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Delta-IV

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Depends, most of the lightning is routed away from the vehicles down wires from the tower(s). Ground Support equipment would more likely to be damaged. They did say that they did see a spike of over 100V on one or two of the Shuttle power busses, that was just a tad over the no harm/no foul limit.
 
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SCE to AUX

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What happened to the NASA of old, who launched Apollo 12 RIGHT INTO A THUNDERSTORM?

Now they scrub for a drop of rain anywhere within several miles of the pad...:confused2:
 

sj_h1

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What happened to the NASA of old, who launched Apollo 12 RIGHT INTO A THUNDERSTORM?

Now they scrub for a drop of rain anywhere within several miles of the pad...:confused2:
Columbia and Challenger :bangpan:
 

SCE to AUX

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Not sure that I completely buy Columbia and Challenger as the reason. I'm sure they contributed, but Apollo 1 came before both of those, without inducing the effect seen in recent years.

Perhaps it started when NASA management shifted from engineers to politicians?
 

tbzep

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Not sure that I completely buy Columbia and Challenger as the reason. I'm sure they contributed, but Apollo 1 came before both of those, without inducing the effect seen in recent years.

Perhaps it started when NASA management shifted from engineers to politicians?
Or perhaps they decided safety is more important than winning the race with the USSR to the moon...especially since there is no race, no USSR, and no mission to the moon. ;)
 

Delta-IV

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Not sure that I completely buy Columbia and Challenger as the reason. I'm sure they contributed, but Apollo 1 came before both of those, without inducing the effect seen in recent years.

Perhaps it started when NASA management shifted from engineers to politicians?
Like everything in this world, you learn by mistakes or ignorance. The issue of Apollo 12 with getting hit with lightning is the reason for our weather rules today which were even more stirgent in the recent past.

A couple of weeks ago when we were trying to launch our GOES-O mission we had a small pesky thunderstorm cell pass within 10 NM to the south heading away but we still had to hold until it cleared.
 

NAR29996

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What happened to the NASA of old, who launched Apollo 12 RIGHT INTO A THUNDERSTORM?

Now they scrub for a drop of rain anywhere within several miles of the pad...:confused2:
AFAIK, Apollo 12 took 3 or 4 lightning hits on the way up, which very nearly caused the mission to be aborted. Thank goodness that the IU on the Saturn was unaffected, or they would have.
 

mjennings

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Also the Prime reason for the 20 NM no storm rule is that the shuttle has to be able to land at KSC in the event of a return to launch site abort. Granted a return to launch site abort is a very risky maneuver in itself, ride it up on the SRBs, Drop the ET and swing a 180 for home, but it is theoretically possible. If it wasn't for the return to launch site contingency the lightning rule might not be so strict, but would still exist. I watched the storms billow in from the causeway, tomorrow is another day.
 

Buckaroo

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Heck, we can't even run a ground test in some of our wind tunnels when there's lightning within 10 miles. :p

Actually the whole historical progression of risk aversion at NASA is pretty interesting. I think it was Michael Collins (?) who said "If we just told folks up front how dangerous this was, and accepted the fact that we were going to lose some guys, we'd be living on Mars by now..."

Pretty sure I butchered the quote, but I remember the point.
 

brianc

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“We will never be an advanced civilization as long as rain showers can delay the launching of a space rocket”

George Carlin
 

SCE to AUX

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Actually the whole historical progression of risk aversion at NASA is pretty interesting. I think it was Michael Collins (?) who said "If we just told folks up front how dangerous this was, and accepted the fact that we were going to lose some guys, we'd be living on Mars by now..."
I read an interview with Jim Lovell a while back in which he was talking about the relative risk of Apollos 8 and 13. He said something to the effect that if someone had considered the Apollo 13 scenario (loss of CSM life support, requiring use of LM as a lifeboat) prior to the launch of Apollo 8, they might never have allowed them to go on a translunar mission without an LM. What that might have meant as far as a manned landing before the end of the '60s is an interesting question, given the delays that plagued the LM program, prompting the modified Apollo 8 mission in the first place...
 

georgegassaway

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>>>>>
Like everything in this world, you learn by mistakes or ignorance. The issue of Apollo 12 with getting hit with lightning is the reason for our weather rules today which were even more stirgent in the recent past.
<<<<<

Well, after Apollo 12 there were still some launches in rain though that was the last manned one in rain (In the US anyway).

I do not know how many unmanned ones might have been in rain, but there was at least one, in March 1987.

An unmanned Atlas rocket was launched, in rain. Went up thru the clouds no longer visible. Then a bolt of lightning traveled down to the pad, along the path of the engine exhaust. Lightning had hit the Atlas, then traveled down the exhaust. Knocked the Atlas systems out, making it crash (I do not think it went &#8220;boom&#8221; when it was hit, but went out of control and then either broke up or had to be destroyed).

Of course, that was unmanned. But I do believe that may have been the last time any launch vehicle flew from KSC in the rain, or at least by NASA.

There are all sorts of issues with the shuttle, and weather. Some which would be true of any manned vehicle and most unmanned ones - like not launching when there is lightning. And wind constraints - the Saturns had them, and the Ares-eess will have them as well as Orion&#8217;s abort weather limitations.

And if lightning hit the pad before an Ares launch, NASA would do the same stand-down to check of lightning damage that was done for the shuttle, to be sure no electronics, wiring, or explosive bolt systems were affected

Some additional constraints are unique to the shuttle such as visibility for landing in case of an RTLS Abort (Return to Launch Site) to glide back to KSC, or one of the Trans-Atlantic Abort sites having bad weather (If the shuttle lost an engine 3 minutes into the flight, it could not make orbit but could make it across the Atlantic). If Ares has a problem with an engine 3 minutes into the flight, the Orion probably is splashing down into the mid-Atlantic and may have to wait hours for anyone to get to them.

Back to the shuttle, no rain when it would be gliding, or rain when it is transported on a 747. Because the tiles would be severely damaged by the raindrops hitting them at 300-400 mph. To make the tiles robust enough to hold up to the rain would require many thousands of pounds of extra weight..... better to just not fly in the rain than waste that much payload capacity.

Some of the weather problems we are seeing now are simply because of the orbit of ISS, the shuttle needs to be launched late in the afternoon , when unfortunately there often are daily afternoon thunderstorms in Florida (or at least along the coast there). If they had been free to launch at say 8 AM, perhaps even noon, I think the weather would have been good for launch the last two days. But having to launch late in the day due to ISS orbit, is not a shuttle issue either, it is an orbital mechanics issue, so even if Ares/Orion existed today, it would have the same sort of launch window for rendezvous constraints.

- George Gassaway
 
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mjennings

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yup 2 times 3 times worked out pretty well. Sadly this will be the last one before I move away from KSC, but I can't complain I've seen about a dozen, and I had hoped to see one.

We went to the garage roof of Cocoa Beech Surf Company, because there wasn't enough time to get closer, and I couldn't take advantage of my buddy's car pass, because we wouldn't have made it back to KSC in time.

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jadebox

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I'll post a really cool high-speed video soon. :)

-- Roger
 

Fred22

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Julie Payette and Robert Thirsk are two Canadians in orbit. This is a first for us. Great days indeed :)
:wave:
fred
 

jadebox

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I'll post a really cool high-speed video soon. :)
Here's the video:

http://www.highspeedvideo.tv/archives/8-Space-Shuttle-Endeavour-Launch-STS-127.html

We were viewing the launch from the "Turn Basin" viewing area. It's just to the east of the Vehicle Assembly Building - actually a little closer to the launch pad than the press area with the famous countdown clock. Other than the astronauts, only the Close-Out Crew, security, and fire rescue people were closer to the pad than us.

You'll note that, from our angle, the Rotating Service Structure blocks the view of the shuttle until it clears the tower.

I didn't want to miss seeing the launch with my own eyes, so I mounted the camera on a tripod and just pointed it in the right direction. I framed the image with the Close-Out crew in the foreground which I think worked well.

-- Roger
 
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Pantherjon

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Awesome video Roger! Loved the music too! :D

Towards when the shuttle is at the top of the fram clearing the pad there was a bit of shakiness..Was this from the sound waves reaching your location?
 

jadebox

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Awesome video Roger! Loved the music too! :D

Towards when the shuttle is at the top of the fram clearing the pad there was a bit of shakiness..Was this from the sound waves reaching your location?
I think so. I don't think anyone bumped the tripod and I didn't touch it until later.

-- Roger
 

Fred22

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I think so. I don't think anyone bumped the tripod and I didn't touch it until later.

-- Roger
Great video Roger:wave: I must confess to a little envy though :p Thanks for showing us:)
Cheers
Fred
 

jadebox

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Great video Roger:wave: I must confess to a little envy though :p Thanks for showing us:)
You're welcome. I certainly feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. It's nice to have friends in the right places. :)

-- Roger
 

Fred22

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You're welcome. I certainly feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. It's nice to have friends in the right places. :)

-- Roger
Good for you Roger :) life can be difficult so the occasional benny is great :)
Cheers
fred
 

Fred22

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I fixed the title of the thread :)
Cheers
fred
 
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