Alavi

The name Alavi is a baby boy name.

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Muslim Meaning:
The name Alavi is a Muslim baby name. In Muslim the meaning of the name Alavi is: Heavenly. Divine.

SoulUrge Number: 11

People with this name have a deep inner desire to inspire others in a higher cause, and to share their own strongly held views on spiritual matters.

Expression Number: 9

People with this name tend to be passionate, compassionate, intuitive, romantic, and to have magnetic personalities. They are usually humanitarian, broadminded and generous, and tend to follow professions where they can serve humanity. Because they are so affectionate and giving, they may be imposed on. They are romantic and easily fall in love, but may be easily hurt and are sometimes quick-tempered.

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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: February 18, 2010Amid troubleshooting to resolve problems outfitting the space station's new observation deck, the astronauts successfully moved two water processing racks, an oxygen generator and the U.S. segment's toilet into the Tranquility habitation module overnight Wednesday.They also transferred 24 pounds of oxygen to the station's Quest airlock module, moved equipment from the station to the shuttle for return to Earth and fired Endeavour's maneuvering jets for about 33 minutes to boost the lab's mean altitude by about 1 nautical mile."The major activity for today was transferring the regenerative life support racks into node 3 (Tranquility), that's what the crew's been doing for most of the day and that has gone very well," lead Flight Director Bob Dempsey told reporters early Thursday. "The water recovery systems, racks one and two, the oxygen generation system and the waste and hygiene compartment have all been successfully transferred into node 3."The umbilicals that provide power, data and either take water to or from the racks or the appropriate supply consumables have all been mated and all the racks have been powered up. We are in the process of activating them now under the node 3 software."The toilet is up and running with "an internal collection device so they can actually use it tonight even though the urine processing assembly, the UPA, is not fully activated," Dempsey said.The astronauts installed a new distillation assembly centrifuge in the urine processing system earlier in the mission after unexpected high calcium levels caused problems for the previous unit. They also installed an external filter in the water processor to resolve a problem that had reduced the system's output. Dempsey said the urine recycling system appears to be working well and the station's U.S. oxygen generator "is in the process of being activated. Just like all the other racks, it takes a while to bring them up, warm them up, get them in their proper configuration for running."Earlier in the mission, the crew transferred a high-tech exercise device to Tranquility. Dempsey said shuttle commander George Zamka and pilot Terry Virts have been using the machine to help stay in shape for landing. A second exercise device, the COLBERT treadmill, will be moved into Tranquility after Endeavour departs.The only problem of any significance is an interference issue that has prevented the astronauts from installing close-out panels in the multi-window cupola. The panels are needed to protect underlying equipment and to ensure that ventilation is properly routed. Until the issue is resolved, the crew cannot move a robot arm control station into the cupola as planned."When the crew was installing the panels last night they ran into some obstructions that we had to go off and assess," Dempsey said. "Some of these obstructions are due to the common berthing mechanism that was used to berth the cupola to node 3, basically alignment guides, latches, that can be removed. We weren't planning to remove these, but at least some of them, we'll have to remove."There is one valve also that for some reason doesn't seem to fit our closeout panels quite right and we're actually going to have to make a small hole in one of the panels to accommodate that." he said. 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VIDEO:FIRST HALF OF CUPOLA UNCOVERED VIDEO:WIRING UP DOCKING ADAPTER ON TRANQUILITY VIDEO:ACTIVATING TRANQUILITY'S OTHER COOLING LOOP VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS FLOAT OUT OF AIRLOCK VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 10 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FLY WITH THE ASTRONAUTS IN THE COCKPIT VIDEO:LOOKING OUT THE PILOT'S FRONT WINDOW VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA FROM LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:TUESDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:DOCKING ADAPTER PLACED ONTO TRANQUILITY VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 9 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:NEW YORK, ST. LOUIS AND MEMPHIS MEDIA INTERVIEWS VIDEO:MONDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:OBSERVATION PORTAL RELOCATED TO NEW HOME VIDEO:CUPOLA PLUCKED FROM OUTBOARD PORT VIDEO:ROBOTIC ARM GRAPPLES CUPOLA VIDEO:CREW'S EDUCATIONAL EVENT VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 8 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:SUNDAY AFTERNOON'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SUNDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PREPPING CUPOLA'S NEW HOME PORT VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS COMPLETE OTHER OUTFITTING WORK VIDEO:AMMONIA BEGINS FLOWING TO COOL TRANQUILITY VIDEO:PATRICK'S SPACESUIT CONTAMINATION CHECKS VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS INSTALL SECOND COOLANT LOOP VIDEO:FIRST SET OF AMMONIA LINES HOOKED UP VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 7 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:OPENING CUPOLA'S HATCHWAY BRIEFLY VIDEO:ENTERING TRANQUILITY FOR FIRST TIME VIDEO:SPACEWALKERS ANSWER TWITTER QUESTIONS VIDEO:ASSOCIATED PRESS, CBS AND REUTERS MEDIA INTERVIEWS VIDEO:SATURDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 6 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FRIDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:FRIDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 5 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SACRAMENTO, MOBILE AND ST. LOUIS MEDIA INTERVIEWS VIDEO:WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MORNING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 4 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:HATCHWAY OPENED BETWEEN TWO SPACECRAFT VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:SHUTTLE FLIES OUT IN FRONT OF STATION VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP VIDEO:STUNNING SHOT OF SHUTTLE AGAINST HORIZON VIDEO:STATION'S VIEW OF SHUTTLE ENGINE FIRING VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 3 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:TUESDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE VIDEO:AMAZING LAUNCH FOOTAGE FROM COCKPIT CAMERA VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF WING INSPECTIONS VIDEO:INSPECTION BOOM READIED FOR USE VIDEO:PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 2 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:NARRATED TOUR OF ENDEAVOUR'S PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:THE FULL STS-130 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR BLASTS OFF! VIDEO:GO BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL VIDEO:JETTISONED EXTERNAL FUEL TANK TUMBLES AWAY VIDEO:PAYLOAD BAY DOORS OPENED FOLLOWING LAUNCH VIDEO:CREW FINISHES GETTING SUITED UP VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS LEAVE CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39A VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS BOARD THEIR SPACECRAFT VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 070 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 071 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BANANA CREEK SITE VIDEO:NARRATED REVIEW OF SHUTTLE'S PREPARATIONS VIDEO:NARRATED REVIEW OF PAYLOADS' PREPARATIONS VIDEO:EXPLANATION OF WEATHER PROBLEMS VIDEO:LOW CLOUDS SCRUB FIRST COUNTDOWN VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR PAD 39A VIDEO:CREW GETS SUITED UP FOR LAUNCH ATTEMPT VIDEO:PAD SERVICE GANTRY RETRACTED VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF MOBILE TOWER ROLLBACK VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER GEORGE ZAMKA VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH PILOT TERRY VIRTS VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 1 KAY HIRE VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 2 STEVE ROBINSON VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 3 NICK PATRICK VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 4 BOB BEHNKEN VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:THURSDAY STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE VIDEO:COUNTDOWN PREVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH DATE SET AT FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW VIDEO:PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:CREW SEES TRANQUILITY LOADED INTO SHUTTLE VIDEO:SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS BOARD ENDEAVOUR VIDEO:THE LAUNCH DAY SIMULATION BEGINS VIDEO:PAD BUNKER TRAINING FOR THE CREW VIDEO:CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES VIDEO:TEST-DRIVING AN EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK VIDEO:NIGHTTIME APPROACHES IN TRAINING AIRCRAFT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH REPORTERS AT PAD 39A VIDEO:SPACEWALKER UPDATES COOLING HOSE FIX VIDEO:ROBINSON'S THOUGHTS ON SHUTTLE RETIREMENT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:TRANQUILITY DELIVERED TO PAD 39A VIDEO:PAYLOAD TRANSPORTER GOES UPRIGHT VIDEO:PACKING UP PAYLOAD FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR'S FRIGID ROLLOUT TO PAD VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK VIDEO:CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE SHOWS ENDEAVOUR ASCENDING IN VAB VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE SHOWS THE MOVE TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:ORBITER READY TO LEAVE HANGAR VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ATTACHED TO BOOSTERS VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR'S MAIN ENGINE INSTALLATION VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS VISIT THEIR SPACECRAFT VIDEO:CREW INSPECTS MISSION PAYLOADS VIDEO:FUEL TANK UNLOADED FROM THE BARGE VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ARRIVES AT SPACEPORT VIDEO:FORWARD THRUSTER POD CHECKED OUT VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR TOWED OFF RUNWAY FROM STS-127 VIDEO:TRANQUILITY HATCH SEALED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:CUPOLA ATTACHED TO TRANQUILITY VIDEO:THE SPACE STATION'S NEW CUPOLA VIDEO:TRANQUILITY UNPACKED IN FLORIDA VIDEO:NEW MODULE ARRIVES FROM EUROPE 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. 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S. intelligence community, already burdened with growing tasksfrom an increasingly dangerous world.The satellite is likely an "Advanced Mentor" design, accordingto GlobalSecurity, a military think tank. Earlier versions weredesignated Orion.Due to satellite development delays and a 1998 Titan launchfailure involving an earlier "Mercury" eavesdropper design, the U.S.has fallen as much as one or two spacecraft behind its original 10-yearschedule to launch such giant eavesdroppers. These spacecraft providethe kind of information the White House, State Dept. and Pentagonneed to make military and national foreign policy decisions.It is also likely a "broad spectrum" satellite that can update keyfrequency information on hostile radars and other detection systemsthat could threaten U.S. forces.The three earlier Mentor spacecraft introduced a very large'wrap-rib' deployable antenna design spanning up to 350 feet, saysGlobalSecurity. The Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches at 9:47 p.m. EST on January 17.Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight NowThe National Security Agency will be the prime distributor of thespacecraft's data, sending information from the satellite to theother 15 agencies and organizations that now make up theintelligence community.It has been five years since a large geosynchronous orbiteavesdropping satellite has been launched from Cape Canaveral. Thatearlier satellite, believed to have been a less capable version ofthe Mentor, was lofted on board a Titan-Centaur booster inSeptember 2003.Over the last two-and-a-half years, however, two different eavesdroppingsatellites have been launched on smaller Delta 4-Medium and Atlas 5rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. 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The evening's available launch opportunity likely extends upwards of four hours.The original launch date of Thursday was delayed by 24 hours to fix an issue with ground pyrotechnics that release the big booster at liftoff. See our for live coverage.United Launch Alliance's Delta 4-Heavy is America's biggest unmanned rocket currently in service, capable of lofting the largest and heftiest cargos. The mammoth vehicle is created by taking three Common Booster Cores -- the liquid hydrogen-fueled motor that forms a Delta 4-Medium's first stage -- and strapping them together to form a triple-barrel rocket, and then adding an upper stage.The nighttime blastoff should be visually spectacular, lighting up the Space Coast with three distinct pillars of fire from the main engines trailing more than 200 feet long. Ideal viewing spots include off SR401 at Port Canaveral, along the 528 causeway or on the riverbanks in Titusville.Thundering eastward across the open Atlantic, the rocket will soar out of sight within a few minutes as it embarks on a multi-hour mission to serve the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, the agency responsible for the country's fleet of intelligence-gathering satellites.The NRO's diverse spacecraft, including telescope-like observers and communications collectors, uncover looming dangers to the nation and provide surveillance over the world's hot spots."Always vigilant, the NRO's eyes and ears give America's policy markers, intelligence analysts, warfighters and homeland security specialists the critical information they need to keep America safe, secure and free," the agency says.The clandestine payload going up this time, known only by its launch identification number of NROL-32, is widely believed to be an essential eavesdropping spacecraft that requires the powerful lift provided by the Delta 4-Heavy to reach its listening post.In an address to the Air Force Association conference in September, NRO Director Bruce Carlson, a retired Air Force general, said this rocket launch would carry "the largest satellite in the world on it."The NRO has flown various types of communication-interceptors since the dawn of the space age, and analysts say it is virtually certain this Delta 4-Heavy is hauling another."I believe the payload is the fifth in the series of what we call Mentor spacecraft, a.k.a. Advanced Orion, which gather signals intelligence from inclined geosynchronous orbits. They are among the largest satellites ever deployed," said Ted Molczan, a respected sky-watcher who keeps tabs on orbiting spacecraft.Destined for geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the planet, this new spacecraft supposedly will unfurl an extremely lightweight but gigantically huge umbrella-like antenna to overhear enemy communications and aid U.S. intelligence."The satellite likely consists of sensitive radio receivers and an antenna generally believed to span up to 100 meters (328 feet) to gather electronic intelligence for the National Security Agency," Molczan said.Observers think the mesh antenna's diameter is the size of a football field, comparable to the International Space Station's remarkable width. That explains why satellite-tracking hobbyists say these Mentor craft are "by far the brightest" in the high-flying geosynchronous orbital perch to see from the ground, outshining conventional television relay birds, weather sentinels and the like.Although NRO satellites are secretive by nature, the spacecraft are visible by just looking up. Molczan is member of a hobbyist group that routinely finds and watches the craft while monitoring the skies with precision.But despite the identity of this particular satellite being obvious, exactly where in the geosynchronous belt it will be positioned and what part of the globe it will cover are details that remain hush-hush."The upcoming launch may replace one of the older spacecraft in the series, or augment the fleet by occupying a new location in geosynchronous orbit," Molczan said. File image of a Delta 4-Heavy rocket launch. Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch AlliancePrevious Mentor satellites were launched by Titan 4 rockets from Cape Canaveral in 1995, 1998 and 2003, plus the most recent Delta 4-Heavy in early 2009 carried one, according to the satellite-tracking hobbyists.The craft lineage can be traced to the two Magnum satellites trucked to orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery during the STS-51C mission in 1985 and STS-33 in 1989, historians have indicated.An even earlier generation launched in the 1970s using Atlas rockets from the Cape, according to the authoritative website.Friday's rocket launch continues a surge of NRO spy satellite deployments after a lengthy 20-month lull. An Atlas 5 rocket began this ongoing campaign by dispatching a new-generation radar imaging satellite in September from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.The upcoming schedule calls for several more significant launches in the next few months:A Delta 4-Heavy rocket for NROL-49 from Vandenberg on January 11A Delta 4 rocket for NROL-27 from Cape Canaveral on March 4An Atlas 5 for NROL-34 from Vandenberg on March 31Carlson said "this is the most aggressive launch campaign that the National Reconnaissance Office has had in 20 years, almost a quarter of a century.""The other thing I can tell you is these are very important, because they all go to update a constellation which is aging rapidly. We bought most of our satellites for three, five, or eight years, and we're keeping them on orbit for ten, twelve, and up to twenty years," Carlson said."Now, when I buy something people complain about how expensive it is, but nobody ever complains when it's time to die and it keeps right on ticking. Some of these guys are like the Energizer bunny and they have really done marvelous work."We're doing things that were designed to essentially operate during the era of the Soviet Union that are today doing tactical intelligence collection that leads us to actionable intelligence on bad guys every day. Every day. And we're doing it with equipment that's 15, 18, and 20 years old."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. 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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.Experts using computer simulations in Delta 4 probe SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: January 30, 2005CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - While complex computer simulations are being run to understand what interrupted its main engines from finishing their firings, the entire six-hour maiden flight of the Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket was examined in deep detail last week as part of a planned post-mission review. Free hydrogen ignites as the three RS-68 main engines roar to life during the final seconds of the Delta 4-Heavy rocket's launch countdown. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily News"The flight data review was extremely thorough, scrutinizing not only the extensive, standard flight telemetry data, but also the additional data from more than 500 channels of special instrumentation, specifically installed for this first Heavy mission," said Col. John Insprucker, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program Director at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center.Officials sifted through mounds of data collected from liftoff through deployment of the mock satellite cargo during the Air Force-ordered test launch. The Defense Department awarded Boeing a $141 million contract to fly the first Delta 4-Heavy on a demonstration launch instead of carrying a real payload. "It's important to remember that the primary payload for this mission was really the instrumentation we carried onboard," Col. Insprucker said. "Our investment in telemetry and additional special instrumentation is helping us quickly zero in on the cause of the anomaly, and I'm confident the data will also enable us to fine-tune all aspects of our future Delta 4 heavy-lift missions."The December 21 flight was deemed a success despite a problem impacting the firing time of all three Common Booster Cores, which were strapped together to form the rocket's first stage. The Rocketdyne-made RS-68 main engine on each booster shut down several seconds early, causing a speed deficit that the rocket's upper stage could not overcome. The dummy satellite was delivered into an orbit much lower than planned and two nanosats were lost.The ongoing investigation to determine why the engines stopped firing 8 seconds prematurely on the port and starboard boosters and 9 seconds early on the center stage has narrowed the list of possible culprits. The leading theory continues to be a condition called cavitation where liquid oxygen flowing through the feedline from the tank to the engine turns to gaseous oxygen. This phenomenon is believed to have occurred around internal sensors that are designed to tell the engines when to shut down. The sensors reacted to the bubbles, thought the boosters had run out of liquid oxygen and commanded the RS-68s to cut off. But each motor had plenty of liquid oxygen remaining in their tanks to finish the normal firing time.Using the standard investigative tool known as a Fault Tree analysis, the team has cleared 42 of 49 potential causes, including the sensors themselves and the main engines. All 7 remaining branches in the Fault Tree involve various types of disturbances in the flow of liquid oxygen, the Air Force said. The Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches on its test flight. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily News"The team is meeting daily across multiple locations to complete the investigation," said Dan Collins, vice president of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. "Determining root cause from the remaining 7 open branches is the top priority."Computer models that simulate the liquid oxygen flow within the feedline on each booster are examining the cavitation scenario. The liquid oxygen tank is located at the top-end of each stage, above the liquid hydrogen fuel tank, with a feedline running down the length of the booster to the main engine. The Air Force says the engine cutoff sensors are positioned about five feet downstream of the liquid oxygen tank."Initial simulation runs have already given new insight into the flow dynamics in the feedline (velocity and pressure patterns). The team will progressively add details to the computer models to build up an accurate representation of the internal features of the tank and feedline, and to simulate the flight conditions at the time of the premature engine cutoff," the Space and Missile Systems Center said in a statement Friday."The simulation team will use these models, along with the flight sensor data, to identify where cavitation is most likely to have developed in the liquid oxygen flow for the Heavy demonstration flight conditions. The onset of cavitation is thought to be caused by a unique combination of vehicle acceleration,?liquid oxygen?level in the propellant tank,?tank pressures,?feedline internal features and flow rates in the feedline when the RS-68 engine is at full power."The team also plans to simulate liquid oxygen flow under flight conditions from previous Delta 4 missions, where the anomaly was not observed, to help verify the accuracy of the complex computer models."Three previous Delta 4 missions have flown -- all successfully and on target -- in the so-called Medium configuration that features just one Common Booster Core. 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No Flores trip is complete without a steaming cup of ginger coffee and a glorious sunrise over Kelimutu crater, where you will find the tri-colour lakes just east of the island’s centre point, looming above the village of Moni. Check into the plush -- but expect an early wake-up call. Ever since locals led Dutch settlers here in the early 17th Century, sightseers have made the sunrise trek to the chameleonic volcanic lakes that are so densely colourful they seem as thick as paint. It is thought that dissolving minerals, a process that can accelerate in the rainy season, accounts for the shifting colour scheme. One of the lakes never changes from turquoise, but the other two blush yellow, orange, red and brown, depending upon the time of year. The summit’s moonscape gives Kelimutu an ethereal atmosphere, especially when clouds billow across the craters and sun shafts burn luminescent pinpoints on the water’s surface. Kelimutu is sacred to local people, and legend has it that the souls of the dead ascend to these lakes, suggesting that they may be a portal to eternity. But Labuanbajo is sleepy no more. That trickle has become a river, and the island named “Flowers” by 16th-century Portuguese colonists who were astonished by its lush, fragrant forests, is on the verge of becoming Indonesia’s next big eco-travel hotspot. Jordan 10

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Posted: December 9, 2010 SpaceX has unveiled the identity of the mystery payload packed aboard the Dragon spacecraft during yesterday's orbital flight."Before the successful launch, voyage, and recovery of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, the first time in history a commercial company has recovered a spacecraft from orbit, reporters were buzzing with news of a 'secret'payload' stowed on board," SpaceX announced in a statement. "It was a payload so secret, SpaceXers made it Top Secret (think Val Kilmer 1984, not official US Government)," the company said."So what was inside the mystery package? Their tribute to Monty Python. A wheel of cheese." Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceXCredit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Video shows Falcon 9's rocket-assisted splashdown SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: July 23, 2014Updated with SpaceX comments SpaceX released a video clip Tuesday showing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket descending back to Earth for a controlled, low-speed splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral following launch last week.The company says the rocket-assisted touchdown is the second consecutive time it has achieved a soft landing of the 12-foot-diameter first stage after a launch, putting SpaceX closer to returning a first stage to a landing pad near Cape Canaveral. A camera mounted on the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage recorded these views of its descent into the Atlantic Ocean following a July 14 launch from Cape Canaveral. Credit: SpaceXThe July 14 launch with six Orbcomm communications satellites was the first time video from an on-board camera clearly showed key milestones in the descent, such as two ignitions of a subset of the first stage's Merlin 1D engines to slow down the rocket and guide it to the recovery zone. The video also shows the rocket's four carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb landing legs deploying moments before falling into ocean.A similar video of the first stage's descent during a Falcon 9 launch in April was obscured by a poor live communications link.A SpaceX spokesperson said Wednesday there were no plans to release video of the descent from other vantage points. SpaceX founder Elon Musk's private jet and a NASA WB-57 surveillance plane were in the area to monitor the rocket's descent and could have recorded video.The rocket's engines are designed to adjust their throttle settings to achieve a gentle splashdown.SpaceX plans to make the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage reusable in a bid to reduce the costs of launches."This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to re-enter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity," SpaceX said in a statement accompanying the video release.Recovery crews in the Atlantic Ocean were ready to retrieve the rocket stage after splashdown, but SpaceX says the booster broke apart moments after splashdown."After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position," SpaceX said. "The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight."Musk called the loss of hull integrity a "kaboom" in a tweet after the launch. He later posted that a data review indicated the stage's structural break-up was caused by a "body slam, maybe from a self-generated wave."The Falcon 9 rocket's performance limitations will keep engineers from attempting ocean landings on the launcher's next two missions, which are slated to carry the AsiaSat 8 and AsiaSat 6 telecom satellites into geostationary transfer orbit, a high-altitude orbit stretching up to 22,300 miles above Earth.Built by Space Systems/Loral, both satellites for Hong Kong-based AsiaSat weigh more than 3 metric tons at launch.The first launch with AsiaSat 8 is set for Aug. 4."At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment," SpaceX said. "However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don't allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode."SpaceX's first two launches to geostationary transfer orbit -- with the SES 8 and Thaicom 6 satellites in December and January -- also did not include first stage landing attempts.Falcon 9 launches for Orbcomm, which operates its satellites in low Earth orbit about 400 miles up, and SpaceX's resupply missions to the International Space Station do not take up all of the rocket's lift capacity, leaving leftover fuel for experimental maneuvers after the first stage's main job is done.SpaceX said the next water landing attempt will be on the 13th flight of the Falcon 9, which is scheduled for launch as soon as Sept. 12 with a Dragon cargo capsule for the space station.Officials are targeting the following two Falcon 9 flights this fall as the first missions to try a landing on a solid surface.Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: .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.Dragon achieves success on COTS 2+ SpaceX capsule sails through space station demo flightA commercial spaceship built by SpaceX concluded a successful nine-day test flight to the International Space Station on May 31, 2012. The spacecraft lifted off from Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket, flew to the International Space Station and delivered supplies, and returned to Earth with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. - live updates! (.pdf download)Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:CHASE PLANE SEES CHUTE DEPLOY AND LANDING VIDEO:LIVE COVERAGE OF DRAGON'S SPLASHDOWN VIDEO:DRAGON FLIES AWAY FROM SPACE STATION VIDEO:SPACEX DRAGON MANEUVERED TO RELEASE POSITION VIDEO:ROBOT ARM DETACHES DRAGON FROM HARMONY NODE VIDEO:CREW READIES TO REMOVE THE DRAGON VIDEO:PRE-LANDING PREVIEWS NEWS BRIEFING HIGH-DEFINITION:DRAGON AS SEEN BY CREW HIGH-DEFINITION:VEHICLE CAPTURED AND BERTHED VIDEO:HATCH OPENED AND CREW FLOATS IN DRAGON VIDEO:CREW CHATS WITH REPORTERS FROM INSIDE DRAGON VIDEO:SECURING DRAGON INTO DOCKING PORT VIDEO:ROBOT ARM CAPTURES DRAGON! VIDEO:DRAGON FLIES WITHIN ARM'S REACH VIDEO:APPROACH HALTED TO FIX LASER GLITCH VIDEO:DRAGON'S RENDEZVOUS WITH THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE! VIDEO:FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCHES DRAGON VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS:ALONG THE NASA CAUSEWAY VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS:WESTERN TRACKING CAMERA VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS:NORTHERN TRACKING CAMERA VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS:SOUTHERN TRACKING CAMERA VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS:CLOSE-UP OF MAIN ENGINES VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS:ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF VIDEO:NASA ADMINISTRATOR SPEAKS ON SUCCESS VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW OF DRAGON'S TREK TO SPACE STATION VIDEO:STATION CARGO BEING CARRIED BY DRAGON VIDEO:SUMMARY OF FALCON'S LAUNCH COUNTDOWN VIDEO:ENGINE NO. 5 VALVE REPLACED VIDEO:NARRATED RECAP OF FALCON/DRAGON CAMPAIGN VIDEO:POST-ABORT NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:LAUNCH ABORTED DURING ENGINE START VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE Dragon returns to Earth following historic flightPlacing an exclamation point on a flawless nine-day flight to the International Space Station, SpaceX's commercial Dragon spaceship made an automated pinpoint splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, completing a feat never before achieved by private industry.MAP: Astronauts say crews would be comfortable in DragonTwo astronauts who helped capture and berth the Dragon supply ship said Saturday they would be comfortable flying a human-rated version of the craft on commercial flights to the International Space Station.Space station crew opens door on Dragon spaceshipAstronauts aboard the International Space Station opened the door on the lab's first commercial resupply craft Saturday, accessing more than 1,000 pounds of food, clothing and experiments stowed inside. But one of the most vital functions of the privately-owned cargo ship - its ability to safely return space station equipment to Earth - is yet to be demonstrated.IMAGES: First commercial cargo ship arrives at space stationThe International Space Station's robotic arm on Friday reached out and snared a cargo carrier built by SpaceX, making history after the privately-built Dragon spacecraft made a cautious laser-guided approach to the complex, becoming the first commercial spaceship to reach the massive scientific research facility.IMAGES: IMAGES: Dragon circling Earth after flawless predawn blastoffSpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket radiantly rose into a serene predawn sky over Florida on Tuesday, successfully launching a privately-owned capsule named Dragon into orbit on a seminal test flight to the International Space Station.IMAGES: Dragon flight testing to begin soon after launchSpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will almost immediately begin testing new components following its deployment in orbit, extending solar arrays, demonstrating sensors for precise navigation, and proving its safety procedures during the capsule's first day in space.Falcon 9 countdown aborted in last second before launchComputers automatically aborted the countdown Saturday for SpaceX's first commercial flight to the International Space Station, scrubbing the launch a half-second before liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket.IMAGES: IMAGES: Q&A with SpaceX founder and designer Elon MuskSpaceflight Now spoke with Elon Musk, the father of SpaceX and chief designer of the Falcon and Dragon vehicles, on the eve of his company's biggest test yet - the historic first commercial flight to the International Space Station.SpaceX's commercial mission is 'just a test flight'Observers from Cape Canaveral to Capitol Hill will be keenly watching SpaceX's commercial voyage to the International Space Station launching Saturday, and although officials bill the mission as a test flight, its outcome could buoy or blunt support for a private space race in human spaceflight.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. 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.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Falcon blasts offThis collection of images shows the Falcon 1 rocket launching on its demonstration test flight. A camera mounted on the second stage captured stunning views of the first stage and two-piece nose cone falling away. The booster flew to space but experienced a problem that prevented orbit from being achieved.Photo credit: SpaceX Credit: SpaceXJohn Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. 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.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Falcon flies to space but misses orbit BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 20, 2007The Falcon 1 rocket, a gleaming symbol of hopes to revolutionize space exploration through private industry, took its second shot at orbit Tuesday night but fell back to Earth after experiencing a problem mid-way through the ascent. The view from a camera on the rocket shows the second stage engine firing. Credit: SpaceXA year after its maiden flight met a disastrous end, the SpaceX booster lifted off at 9:10 p.m. EDT (0110 GMT Wednesday) from a remote launch pad on Omelek Island, part of a U.S. Army base at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.Controllers lost contact with the Falcon during the burn of the second stage that would have placed the rocket into orbit around Earth."We did encounter, late in the second stage burn, a roll-control anomaly," Elon Musk, founder and chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., said in a post-launch call with reporters.Live video from cameras mounted aboard the rocket's second stage showed increasing oscillations about five minutes after liftoff, just before the public webcast was cut off. The rolling prevented the necessary speed to achieve a safe orbit, instead sending the stage on a suborbital trajectory back into the atmosphere.Musk speculated leading candidates for the roll control problem included a helium leak or a failure of a roll control thruster. Both would be relatively easy to fix, he said."Of all the possible causes, there's very few that would really take much effort to address," Musk said.Burning highly refined kerosene and liquid oxygen, the first stage's Merlin engine produced nearly 80,000 pounds of thrust as it gracefully guided the rocket through clouds on an eastward trajectory from its launch site in the central Pacific Ocean.The Merlin drained its supply of propellant within three minutes, and the Falcon 1 shed its first stage a few seconds later. The upper stage then fired its Kestrel engine for a planned six-and-a-halfminute burn to place the rocket into low Earth orbit.But engineers stopped receiving live radio signals from the second stage several minutes prior to its scheduled arrival in orbit.Musk said the stage reached an altitude of about 200 miles when the roll oscillation caused the Kestrel engine to shut down."The high likelihood is that it re-entered after less than a full orbit," Musk said.The rolling motion could have caused the second stage's propellant to slosh outward like a centrifuge, which would lead to the engine switching off, Musk said.The Falcon 1 was targeting an orbit stretching from 205 miles to 425 miles in altitude with an inclination of about 9 degrees. Engineers had programmed the second stage to conduct a second burn about 45 minutes into the flight to demonstrate the engine's capability to reignite.Despite the control problem that doomed the mission's goal of reaching orbit, Musk said he was pleased with the progress made by the company since the Falcon's maiden test flight ended in failure last year."I think I'll characterize this as a very good day for SpaceX," Musk said. "We successfully reached space and really retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket. So I feel very good about where things are."Much of the risk with rocket launches come from engine operations and stage separation systems, and Musk said those performed well in Tuesday's flight."I would say we've retired probably in excess of 90 percent of risk associated with the rocket," Musk said."It definitely could have gone a little better today, but if we've retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket, I think it is hard to characterize that (as) anything but a success, at least in my book, because this is a test launch of the rocket and not a satellite launch," he said.Bankrolled by the fortune of Musk, a technology mogul and co-founder ofthe online payment system PayPal, SpaceX designed and built the Falcon 1rocket to significantly lower the cost of space launches and revolutionizethe space industry.The 70-foot-tall booster came within moments of blastoff during Tuesday's first attempted countdown, but computers ordered a dramatic last-second abort when the rocket's first stage Merlin engine showed signs of trouble after ignition.Countdown software detected the engine's chamber pressure was slightlybelow normal, but that was likely due to chilled rocket-grade kerosenefuel being fed into the engine, according to Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vicepresident of business development.The launch team opted to load warmer fuel into the first stage fuel tanksand try again, and the countdown proceeded smoothly until clocks reachedzero."This was a pretty nerve-racking day, to say the least," Musk said. "Therocket business is definitely not a low-stress business, that's for sure."SpaceX officials said they remain confident in their plans to launchpaying customers' payloads as soon as this year."We've been in touch with our customers," Musk said. "They are veryexcited by the results of this test, and so we feel really good."The next launch of the Falcon 1 was scheduled for August carrying to orbit the TacSat 1 tactical research satellite for theNaval Research Laboratory. A subsequent mission to launch a MalaysianEarth-observation spacecraft was planned for late this year.But before those launches are given the all-clear, SpaceX will first haveto study what caused the problem encountered during Tuesday's mission andfix it.Two small NASA experiments were bolted atop the upper stage duringTuesday's launch. The Autonomous Flight Safety System was an instrumentdesigned to detect problems during rocket launches and automaticallyactiviate a flight termination system, which would bring down the rocket beforeit endangers the public.An inexpensive transmitter linked with NASA's network of tracking and datarelay satellites was also aboard the rocket to beam live telemetry back tothe rocket's control room.Engineers had also planned to demonstrate the Falcon 1's satelliteseparation system by jettisoning a small 4.5-pound aluminum ring afterarriving in orbit.SpaceX's second launch came a year after the Falcon 1 rocketsuffered a major failure during its maiden flight. Investigatorstraced the cause of that accident to a corroded aluminum nut in the firststage propulsion system, which triggered a fuel leak that led to apremature shutdown of the Merlin engine about 30 seconds after liftoff.SpaceX engineers overhauled countdown procedures and added upgrades to thefirst stage Merlin engine to increase reliability, according to thecompany's Web site.Tuesday's demonstration flight was sponsored by the Pentagon's DefenseAdvanced Research Projects Agency under its program to develop responsivespace technologies such as low-cost small satellite launch vehicles.The booster's first stage was fitted with a parachute recovery system,allowing it to slowly drop into the Pacific Ocean a few hundred milesdownrange from the Omelek launch pad. SpaceX positioned a ship to retrievethe spent rocket stage in hopes of refurbishing it for reuse on a futuremission.Musk said there should be no problems recovering the spent stage becauseit performed well and was dropped in the designated area."We'll be doing a thorough examination of that piece of hardware,"Shotwell said. "It's not as easy to determine how well you did unless youcan actually (recover) the hardware."Eleven more missions are currently manifested for SpaceX's Falcon rocketfamily, and the contracts are valued at nearly $400 million, Shotwellsaid.In addition to the Falcon 1 booster, SpaceX is developing a much largerrocket to carry heavier satellites into orbit. Company officials expectthe Falcon 9 rocket to debut as early next year.The Falcon 1 can haul satellites up to about 1,270 pounds into low Earthorbit, while the Falcon 9 should be capable of delivering about 22,770pounds to low Earth orbit and up to 10,000 pounds to geostationarytransfer orbit, a popular destination for communications satellites,according to the SpaceX Web site.Also on the drawing boards is the Falcon 9 Heavy, which is expected tolaunch more than 60,000 pounds to low Earth orbit. That version could flyby 2010.SpaceX sells the Falcon 1 for as little as $6.7 million, while the Falcon9 price ranges from about $27 million to $78 million, according to companyofficials.SpaceX is also planning to begin launching missions from Cape Canaveral,Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., by 2009.Three Falcon 9 launches are already on the books as test flights forNASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program. The programaims to partner with the private sector to create spacecraft to supply theinternational space station after the agency's space shuttle fleet isretired in 2010.SpaceX was awarded a contract worth $278 million from the program inAugust, and the company plans to use its Dragon space capsule for thethree demonstration missions.Oklahoma-based Rocketplane Kistler also won a $207 million contract fromNASA and is developing a reusable launcher and orbital spacecraft foranother series of test flights by 2010.The remainder of SpaceX's launch backlog includes six commercial payloadsand two launches for the U.S. military.Our play-by-play coverage of Tuesday's launch and an extensive transcript from Musk's post-flight call with reporters can be found .And a collection of images from the launch is posted .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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Follow the second test flight of the second SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket. Reload this page for the latest on the mission.WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2007SpaceX has issued an update on last week's launch. You can read it .WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 20070630 GMT (2:30 a.m. EDT)A collection of images from the launch is posted .0545 GMT (1:45 a.m. EDT)The Falcon 1 rocket, a gleaming symbol of hopes to revolutionize space exploration through private industry, took its second shot at orbit Tuesday night but fell back to Earth after experiencing a problem mid-way through the ascent.Read our .0410 GMT (12:10 a.m. EDT)More post-launch news briefing quotes from Elon Musk:Question: What is the significance of today's launch?"I think it's really a big step forward for SpaceX. It gives me great confidence in our upcoming launches. Another thing to bear in mind, Falcon 1 is intended as a scale model, a test vehicle of our larger rockets. As we iron things out on Falcon 1, we're really going to put that knowledge to work on Falcon 9."Question: What is realistic aspiration for SpaceX some 10 years from now?"I feel very confident 10 years from now that we can be putting both satellites and people into orbit, and maybe beyond (Earth) orbit. I feel very confident in the future of commercial spaceflight, private spaceflight and I think this bodes very, very well actually for achieving some of the goals that I mentioned. It is really an excellent indicator that a small company can achieve great things....We had what I would call a relatively minor issue with the roll-control very late in the flight. But all the really big risk items, the ones we were most concerned, have been addressed. If you look at the early history of rocketry, I think they had something like 12 Atlas failures before the 13th one was successful. To get this far on our second launch being an all-new rocket -- new main engine, new first stage, new second stage engine, new second stage, new fairing, new launch pad system, with so many new things -- to have gotten this far is great."0345 GMT (11:45 p.m. EDT Tues.)More post-launch news briefing quotes from Elon Musk:Question: Was the loss of telemetry associated with the roll-control problem?"It is very speculative at this point. It is hard for me to say. I think that is a possible cause."Question: What was the debris seen floating away from the second stage engine?"What you might have seen was basically titanium half-hoops that are used to stabilize the nozzle on ascent. However, once you get to a certain temperature the bonding agent for those titanium rings comes off and the titanium rings float away, which occurred as expected."Question: Do you expect to fly another test flight before starting operational launches?"We feel that there is really no need for an extra test flight...We really retired all of the major risk events, the ones we were most concerned about. So I really doubt there is any need for a third test flight. The next flight will be the TacSat mission, which is a Naval Research Lab satellite funded by the Office of Secretary of Defense. I don't anticipate another test launch before that mission."Question: Have you received assurances from both customers for this year -- TacSat and the Malaysian RazakSat spacecraft?"I believe so. Certainly from RazakSat, and the TacSat folks have been on record before as saying no matter what happened to our second launch they were with us. So I assume that remains the same."Question: What caused the roll oscillations?"I can speculate there are a few possible causes. It is could be a helium leak or it could be...we have a cold gas roll-control system, it could be that there was a problem with one of the roll-control jets. But it is difficult to say anything definitive until we have a close look at the telemetry...The only thing we can say definitely at this point is that there was a roll anomaly on the second stage that resulted in us not achieving the intended orbit and, like I said, not likely a full orbit. However, that is fairly easy thing to address. Certainly if it is a leak issue we'll go over and make sure that any potential leaks are addressed in spades. If it's roll-control, one of the cold gas thrusters, I think that would be a very easy thing to address as well. Of the possible causes, I think there's very few that would really take much effort to address."Question: Will the telemetry tell you enough to give you confidence for next launch with real payload?"I think so. It is hard to predict right now but I find it difficult to imagine a circumstance where it wouldn't, where we wouldn't know enough. What we will do at this point is if the telemetry is ambiguous as to the source of the issue, we'll identify all of the possible sources and address all possible sources."Question: Do you know the apogee of the orbit?"Well the maximum altitude was approximately 300 km."Question: Was the second stage intact when it re-entered?"I don't know quite yet. The stage was certainly intact at the loss of telemetry."Question: Could the stage have fallen in a populated area?"No. One of the advantages of being at (Kwajalein) is it's ocean for thousands and thousands of miles."Question: Why would rolling cause premature engine shutdown?"If you have a significant roll, what could happen is that the propellants can centrifuge out."0315 GMT (11:15 p.m. EDT Tues.)Some quotes from the media briefing with Elon Musk following tonight's launch:Question: What is the fate of the second stage?"We didn't achieve the desired orbit. But at this point I don't exactly know the fate of the second stage. We got to 300 km. That's about all I know at this point.""All that I can say for sure right now is it's not in the intended orbit. The likelihood is that it re-entered after probably half an orbit or so.""The roll-control anomaly did cause the second stage to shut off prematurely. So that's not achieving the intended orbit. However, I would say we've retired probably in excess of 90 percent of risk associated with the rocket. And it is worth noting, this was a test launch not a satellite launch."Question: How disappointed are you?"This was a pretty nerve-wracking day, to say the least...The rocket business is definitely not a low-stress business, that's for sure. I don't think I'm disappointed actually. I'm actually pretty happy, so I'm sorry if I'm not conveying that...It definitely could have gone a little better today, but if we've retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket, I think it is hard to characterize that (as) anything but a success, at least in my book, because this is a test launch of the rocket and not a satellite launch. I think if it had been a satellite launch, you know, one could perhaps argue differently. But in terms of it being a test launch, the question being have we...learned essentially everything we need know to deliver a satellite successfully to orbit, I think the answer is absolutely. We've learned everything we need to know to deliver a satellite successfully to orbit."0245 GMT (10:45 p.m. EDT Tues.)The following is a transcript of SpaceX founder Elon Musk's opening comments to reporters:"I think I'll characterize this as a very good day for SpaceX. We successfully reached space and really retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket. So I feel very good about where things are."I feel extremely good about having successful satellite launches later this year, especially when I know we've got two satellite launches lined up for later this year -- one is a Defense Department satellite and the other a Malaysian space agency satellite. We've been in touch with our customers. They are very excited by the results of this test, and so we feel really good actually."The things we were most concerned about were the first stage ignition and liftoff, the trajectory, the first stage because that goes through the most difficult portion of the atmosphere where you can have high winds and potentially go unstable or potentially have a structural problem and that went flawlessly. We had zero anomalies whatsoever on the first stage."Stage separation also went very well. Separation events are the No. 2 killer of rockets after engine issues. Both the stage separation and fairing separation went flawlessly. Second stage ignition also was perfect, and we achieved steady state burn on the second stage."We did encounter, late in the second stage burn, a roll-control anomaly, which you may have seen on the video webcast. We feel that is something that's pretty straightforward to address. So all in all we feel pretty good about this launch. "This was a test launch, which I think most people are aware. So, yes, I think it was a pretty good test."0220 GMT (10:20 p.m. EDT Tues.)Musk promises to provide additional information later tonight about whether a low orbit was achieved or if the rocket re-entered.0218 GMT (10:18 p.m. EDT Tues.)"I think it is fair to characterize this as a success," Musk says.0214 GMT (10:14 p.m. EDT Tues.)Musk says 90 percent of the Falcon 1 rocket's technical challenges were proven out with this launch. He doesn't foresee needing another test flight before launching the first operational mission in late summer carrying the U.S. military's TacSat 1 spacecraft. 0204 GMT (10:04 p.m. EDT Tues.)Musk says "the high likelihood" is the vehicle re-entered the atmosphere prior to making an orbit.0156 GMT (9:56 p.m. EDT Tues.)Musk says the rocket didn't reach the intended orbit and actually may have re-entered the atmosphere. The rolling motion caused the second stage engine to shut down early. Despite the problem, Musk considers this to be "a very good day" for SpaceX.0154 GMT (9:54 p.m. EDT Tues.)"We did have a roll-control anomoly," Musk says of the second stage. Some oscillations could be seen in the last bit of video from a camera mounted on the second stage before the webcast stopped. Fate of the rocket remains unknown.0145 GMT (9:45 p.m. EDT Tues.)SpaceX founder Elon Musk will be addressing the media momentarily.0140 GMT (9:40 p.m. EDT Tues.)No further information is available at this time. To recap, the Falcon 1 rocket blasted off at 0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT) tonight on a demonstration test flight from Omelek Island in the central Pacific Ocean. The first stage engine, which had experienced an abort on the pad earlier tonight due to low chamber pressure readings, powered the rocket skyward for nearly three minutes. The spent stage then separated for a planned parachute-aided splashdown in the ocean for recovery.The second stage ignited and the rocket's nose cone jettisoned as the ascent continued. About two minutes into the second stage firing, a SpaceX spokeswoman said the stream of telemetry data from the rocket had been lost and the company's webcast showing video from cameras mounted on the rocket was turned off.The fate of the rocket is not known. The second stage was supposed to fire until almost T+plus 10 minutes to reach the planned orbit featuring a high point of 425 miles, a low point of 205 miles and inclination of 9 degrees north and south of the equator.0124 GMT (9:24 p.m. EDT Tues.)"I just wanted everybody to know that we in the Washington, D.C., office are celebrating with champagne. We don't have any information yet from the launch control center, but the Falcon clearly got to space with a successful liftoff, stage separation, second stage ignition and fairing separation," says Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development.However, what happened during the second stage burn is not clear."Regardless, we're thrilled here."0119 GMT (9:19 p.m. EDT Tues.)The last bit of video seen from a camera mounted on the second stage showed perhaps some oscillations just before SpaceX said telemetry had been lost and the webcast feed was cut.0116 GMT (9:16 p.m. EDT Tues.)We're awaiting further information.0115 GMT (9:15 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 5 minutes, 5 seconds. Telemetry has been lost, SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell tells reporters. The webcast provided by the company has stopped, too. 0114 GMT (9:14 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 4 minutes, 20 seconds. Altitude 161 km.0114 GMT (9:14 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 4 minutes. The Kestrel engine continues to fire, burning a mixture of kerosene fuel and supercold liquid oxygen.0113 GMT (9:13 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Altitude 117 km.0113 GMT (9:13 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 3 minutes, 20 seconds. The two halves of the five-foot diameter nose cone have separated.0112 GMT (9:12 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 2 minutes, 55 seconds. The Kestrel second stage engine has ignited!0112 GMT (9:12 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 2 minutes, 50 seconds. Main engine cutoff. The Merlin has consumed its supply of fuel and shut down to complete its firing. And stage separation is confirmed. The separation system with a pneumatic pusher jettisoned the parachute-equipped first stage to fall into the Pacific for retrieval. An awaiting vessel will recover the stage to permit SpaceX the opportunity to thoroughly examine the hardware and potentially reuse it in the future.0112 GMT (9:12 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Nearing the end of first stage burn. Engine performance remains normal.0112 GMT (9:12 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 2 minutes, 10 seconds. Guidance is nominal. 0112 GMT (9:12 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 2 minutes. Falcon is soaring entirely on the thrust generated by the Merlin powerplant, which was developed in-house by SpaceX.0111 GMT (9:11 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 90 seconds. Altitude 13.9 km.0111 GMT (9:11 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 82 seconds. Falcon has passed the region of maximum aerodynamic forces, or MaxQ.0111 GMT (9:11 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 60 seconds. One minute into flight. The Merlin main engine continues to fire, burning a mixture of kerosene fuel and supercold liquid oxygen. Engine performance is reported normal.0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 45 seconds. Altitude 2.6 km.0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 30 seconds. The 70-foot tall rocket is climbing away from Earth.0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT Tues.)T+plus 10 seconds. Tower is clear.0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT Tues.)LIFTOFF! Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket, demonstrating a new low-cost pathway to space.0109 GMT (9:09 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 10 seconds. The vehicle tanks have been pressurized.0109 GMT (9:09 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 30 seconds. Launch pad water system has activated. 0109 GMT (9:09 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 60 seconds.0108 GMT (9:08 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 75 seconds. The vehicle has switched to internal power. 0108 GMT (9:08 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 85 seconds. The Range has telemetry lock.0108 GMT (9:08 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 1 minute, 45 seconds. SpaceX confirms all systems remain "go" for launch.0108 GMT (9:08 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 2 minutes. The liquid oxygen topping has been stopped and the systems are being configured for launch. 0107 GMT (9:07 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 3 minutes. Ignition is being enabled.0106 GMT (9:06 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Battery heaters have been turned off.0106 GMT (9:06 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 4 minutes and counting. Thrust vector control is being pressurized.0105 GMT (9:05 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 5 minutes. Weather conditions, although cloudy, are acceptable for launch.0104 GMT (9:04 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 6 minutes. Vehicle pyrotechnics are enabled.0103 GMT (9:03 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 7 minutes. The flight termination safety system is ready.0102 GMT (9:02 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 7 minutes, 30 seconds. The strong-back is fully retracted for launch.0101 GMT (9:01 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 9 minutes. The strong-back structure is being retracted away from the rocket again.0100 GMT (9:00 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 10 minutes. The Terminal Countdown sequence has been initiated.0058 GMT (8:58 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 12 minutes.0056 GMT (8:56 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 13 minutes, 30 seconds. A readiness poll of the launch team indicates all elements are "go" for liftoff.0054 GMT (8:54 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 16 minutes and counting. The day's second launch attempt for the Falcon 1 rocket has begun. Liftoff time is 0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT).0053 GMT (8:53 p.m. EDT Tues.)First and second stage fuel reloading has concluded.0046 GMT (8:46 p.m. EDT Tues.)The abort was triggered because the main engine chamber pressure was about 0.2 percent lower than allowable, says Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development. The low pressure was caused by the fuel being colder than desired, she said. The refueling of the rocket is supposed to correct this problem for the next launch try tonight.0043 GMT (8:43 p.m. EDT Tues.)Topping of the rocket's liquid oxygen supply is being performed.0040 GMT (8:40 p.m. EDT Tues.)Time to launch is now 30 minutes.0039 GMT (8:39 p.m. EDT Tues.)Propellant loading for the first and second stages is underway.0037 GMT (8:37 p.m. EDT Tues.)Refueling of the rocket is about to begin.0035 GMT (8:35 p.m. EDT Tues.)Officials are coordinating a fresh countdown starting from the T-minus 16 minute mark at 0054 GMT (8:54 p.m. EDT) for a liftoff of Falcon at 0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT).0033 GMT (8:33 p.m. EDT Tues.)Fuel offloading is being completed.0030 GMT (8:30 p.m. EDT Tues.)Local radar shows some rain moving toward the island.0025 GMT (8:25 p.m. EDT Tues.)Cloud cover beginning to roll across the island. It is past noon Wednesday local time on Omelek.0022 GMT (8:22 p.m. EDT Tues.)The low chamber pressure is believed to have been caused by the RP-1 kerosene's temperature, Shotwell says. The launch team is draining some of the fuel and will reload the propellant for the next try.0021 GMT (8:21 p.m. EDT Tues.)Now starting the second stage fuel drainback.0019 GMT (8:19 p.m. EDT Tues.)The first stage fuel offload is starting.0018 GMT (8:18 p.m. EDT Tues.)The ground crew will be partially offloading fuel and reloading the propellant for another launch attempt.0017 GMT (8:17 p.m. EDT Tues.)The available launch period ahead is 0028 to 0114 GMT (8:28 to 9:14 p.m. EDT).0015 GMT (8:15 p.m. EDT Tues.)The launch team is setting up for a recycle of the countdown to try again tonight.0012 GMT (8:12 p.m. EDT Tues.)The abort was tripped when computers detected main engine chamber pressure was less than 0.1 percent lower than the redline limit, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development, tells reporters. She added they are looking to recycle the countdown. Launch has not been scrubbed.0011 GMT (8:11 p.m. EDT Tues.)The Terminal Countdown abort procedures have been completed.0010 GMT (8:10 p.m. EDT Tues.)There is no word yet on what caused the countdown to be aborted in the final moments before liftoff. The Merlin first stage main engine was igniting when the abort was called.0006 GMT (8:06 p.m. EDT Tues.)The pad's strong-back structure is being raised back into position next to the rocket.0005 GMT (8:05 p.m. EDT Tues.)A problem was detected as the main engine was firing to life, causing computers to halt the countdown. The vehicle was not permitted to lift off. Safing is in progress.0005 GMT (8:05 p.m. EDT Tues.)ABORT! A pad abort declared during main engine start.0004 GMT (8:04 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 30 seconds. Launch pad water system has activated. 0004 GMT (8:04 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 60 seconds.0003 GMT (8:03 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 70 seconds. The vehicle is switching to internal power. 0003 GMT (8:03 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 1 minute, 30 seconds. Range telemetry source switching as planned. This is where the problem occurred last night.0003 GMT (8:03 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 2 minutes. The liquid oxygen systems are being configured for launch. 0002 GMT (8:02 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 3 minutes. All systems remain "go" for launch.0001 GMT (8:01 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Battery heaters are being turned off.0001 GMT (8:01 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 4 minutes and counting. Thrust vector control is being pressurized.0000 GMT (8:00 p.m. EDT Tues.)T-minus 5 minutes. TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 20072359 GMT (7:59 p.m. EDT)T-minus 6 minutes. Vehicle pyrotechnics are being enabled.2358 GMT (7:58 p.m. EDT)T-minus 6 minutes, 30 seconds. The flight termination safety system has been confirmed ready. 2358 GMT (7:58 p.m. EDT)T-minus 7 minutes. The strong-back is fully retracted for launch.2356 GMT (7:56 p.m. EDT)T-minus 9 minutes. The strong-back structure that has been against the side of the Falcon 1 rocket is now slowly lowering away from the vehicle. 2355 GMT (7:55 p.m. EDT)T-minus 10 minutes. The Terminal Countdown sequence is being initiated.2353 GMT (7:53 p.m. EDT)T-minus 12 minutes and counting. 2350 GMT (7:50 p.m. EDT)T-minus 15 minutes. The mission director is giving his "clear to launch."2348 GMT (7:48 p.m. EDT)A status poll of launch team members indicated no problems are being worked.2345 GMT (7:45 p.m. EDT)T-minus 20 minutes. The Range remains go for launch.2343 GMT (7:43 p.m. EDT)The downrange recovery ship is reported in position. The vessel will retrieve the first stage, which parachutes into the ocean to allow post-flight examination and possible reuse.2339 GMT (7:39 p.m. EDT)Both liquid oxygen tanks on the rocket have been topped off at 100 percent. The helium necessary pressurizing has been placed aboard the rocket as well. The Falcon now stands fully fueled for liftoff 26 minutes from now.2338 GMT (7:38 p.m. EDT)A check of the weather indicates some rain approaching but clear conditions are projected for launch time.2337 GMT (7:37 p.m. EDT)"We have a good vehicle ready for launch," SpaceX launch control says.2335 GMT (7:35 p.m. EDT)T-minus 30 minutes and continuing to count down to the launch of Falcon 1.2334 GMT (7:34 p.m. EDT)And now the second stage kerosene fuel tank has been fully filled for launch. 2333 GMT (7:33 p.m. EDT)Loading of liquid oxygen into the second stage is reported complete. Topping of both the first and second stage will proceed to keep the rocket full of this cryogenic oxidizer.2330 GMT (7:30 p.m. EDT)T-minus 35 minutes. First stage RP-1 kerosene loading has just concluded successfully.2328 GMT (7:28 p.m. EDT)The first stage liquid oxygen tank has reached the 95 percent level, awaiting topping. The first stage fuel tank is 89 percent full. On the second stage, the LOX tank is 78 percent loaded and the RP-1 kerosene is passing the 74 percent mark.2325 GMT (7:25 p.m. EDT)T-minus 40 minutes. Propellant loading continues in progress. No problems have been reported by the launch team.2320 GMT (7:20 p.m. EDT)First stage liquid oxygen tank is now 90 percent full.2315 GMT (7:15 p.m. EDT)T-minus 50 minutes and counting. Weather looks good and there are no technical issues are standing in the way of liftoff at 0005 GMT today, SpaceX launch control reports.2309 GMT (7:09 p.m. EDT)Fueling of the Falcon 1 rocket is underway on Omelek Island. The first and second stages are being filled with a highly refined kerosene propellant and supercold liquid oxygen.2305 GMT (7:05 p.m. EDT)T-minus 60 minutes and counting. The Range is about to begin C-band tracking and flight termination safety system checks in preparation for today's launch.2230 GMT (6:30 p.m. EDT)The 0005 GMT (8:05 p.m. EDT) target launch time has been confirmed.2220 GMT (6:20 p.m. EDT)"We are in a hold right now. We've got a potential RF (radio frequency) compatibility issue with the payload, which we're working through. I anticipate we will come out of the hold in about 10 or 15 minutes and get back on track," says Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development.Weather conditions are acceptable at the launch site today, she added.2218 GMT (6:18 p.m. EDT)It appears launch time has been delayed further to 0005 GMT (8:05 p.m. EDT). 2215 GMT (6:15 p.m. EDT)Now SpaceX indicates the launch time has moved to 2330 GMT (7:30 p.m. EDT). 2210 GMT (6:10 p.m. EDT)SpaceX tells reporters that launch remains on schedule for 2300 GMT.2205 GMT (6:05 p.m. EDT)We're still awaiting an update on SpaceX about the progress of the countdown. We'll begin our play-by-play of the launch when information starts becoming available. 1601 GMT (12:01 p.m. EDT)SpaceX identified and corrected the software glitch that caused Monday's launch delay, the company says, and liftoff has been rescheduled for 2300 GMT (7 p.m. EDT) today."The abort that occurred a few minutes before T-0 was triggered by our ground control software. It commanded a switchover of range telemetry from landline to radio, which took place correctly, however, because of the hardware involved, this transition takes a few hundred milliseconds. Before it had time to complete, our system verification software examined state and aborted," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said today."Our simulations done beforehand all passed, because the simulator did not account for a hardware driven delay in the transition. We considered putting the vehicle into a safe state yesterday and updating the ground control software to make the very minor fix needed, but the safer course of action was to stand down."Yesterday afternoon and evening (Kwaj time), our launch team updated the software to address the timing issue and verified that there were no similar problems elsewhere. We ran the software through several simulated countdowns and then once again with the rocket and range in the loop."Musk said all systems are now go for launch later today.0014 GMT (8:14 p.m. EDT Mon.)The launch team is preparing to start draining the fuel from the Falcon 1 rocket following today's postponement. We'll update this page when additional information about the problem and details of the next launch attempt are made available.0011 GMT (8:11 p.m. EDT Mon.)A new launch date has not been announced. But SpaceX says another try could be made on Tuesday or Wednesday.0010 GMT (8:10 p.m. EDT Mon.)SCRUB! Today's launch attempt has been called off.0003 GMT (8:03 p.m. EDT Mon.)A possible explanation for the countdown abort being called:"At about a minute-and-a-half out of launch, we shift from communicating to the vehicle through the land lines to communicating through the Range RF (radio frequency). And it is possible we were just not picking up the Range RF signal. So that's what I know so far," says Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development.2355 GMT (7:55 p.m. EDT)The problem appears to be related to the Range and telemetry. The team needs another 10 minutes to examine the situation.2350 GMT (7:50 p.m. EDT)Engineers are working on the problem that stopped the countdown. SpaceX has time available to troubleshoot the issue and try the launch again -- so the flight has not been scrubbed for today.2346 GMT (7:46 p.m. EDT)The launch team has completed the post-abort procedures to put the rocket into a safe configuration. There was no immediate word on what caused the countdown abort to be triggered.2344 GMT (7:44 p.m. EDT)The pad's strong-back structure has rotated back into position next to the rocket.2343 GMT (7:43 p.m. EDT)"We have a Terminal Count abort. Stand by," the launch team was just instructed.2343 GMT (7:43 p.m. EDT)ABORT. The countdown has been halted.2343 GMT (7:43 p.m. EDT)T-minus 2 minutes. Liquid oxygen system is being configured for launch. 2342 GMT (7:42 p.m. EDT)T-minus 3 minutes. All systems remain "go" for launch.2341 GMT (7:41 p.m. EDT)T-minus 4 minutes and counting. 2340 GMT (7:40 p.m. EDT)T-minus 5 minutes. 2339 GMT (7:39 p.m. EDT)T-minus 5 minutes, 55 seconds. Vehicle pyrotechnics are being readied.2338 GMT (7:38 p.m. EDT)T-minus 6 minutes, 30 seconds. The flight termination system has been confirmed ready. 2338 GMT (7:38 p.m. EDT)T-minus 7 minutes. The strong-back is fully retracted.2337 GMT (7:37 p.m. EDT)T-minus 8 minutes. 2336 GMT (7:36 p.m. EDT)The strong-back structure that has been against the side of the Falcon 1 rocket is now slowly lowering away from the vehicle. 2335 GMT (7:35 p.m. EDT)Countdown has entered the final 10 minutes to launch. 2333 GMT (7:33 p.m. EDT)T-minus 12 minutes. 2331 GMT (7:31 p.m. EDT)T-minus 14 minutes. The mission director reports he is "go" for launch. No further holds in the countdown are planned.2328 GMT (7:28 p.m. EDT)A status poll of launch team members indicated no problems.2325 GMT (7:25 p.m. EDT)T-minus 20 minutes and counting.2324 GMT (7:24 p.m. EDT)The loading of kerosene propellant and liquid oxygen into the two-stage Falcon rocket has been completed.2323 GMT (7:23 p.m. EDT)Range Safety reports the resticted areas around the launch site are clear for liftoff. Also, winds have been verified acceptable.2315 GMT (7:15 p.m. EDT)Now 30 minutes to launch of Falcon 1.2257 GMT (6:57 p.m. EDT)NEW LAUNCH TIME. Liftoff is now targeted for 2345 GMT (7:45 p.m. EDT). Fueling of the rocket had been suspended while trying to correct the data transmission problem between Omelek Island and the company's headquarters in El Segundo, California. Only a limited part of the launch team is deployed to the remote location, with a larger group overseeing the mission from California. With the data stream now working, engineers are processing ahead with the countdown.2252 GMT (6:52 p.m. EDT)"The data is back up in El Segundo. I do believe we are a little bit behind in the count. I think we delayed some of the propellant loading activities," says Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development. "It looks good for today, which is obviously good news."How far behind the countdown is running or the target launch time isn't clear at the moment.2229 GMT (6:29 p.m. EDT)"We're still having data connectivity problems. The rocket is fine. Everything is good there. We're still trying to determine whether we can launch without the data in El Segundo," Shotwell says.2219 GMT (6:19 p.m. EDT)Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development, just told reporters following today's launch that there has been some difficulty getting the telemetry stream from Omelek Island to the company's headquarters in El Segundo, California. Shotwell indicated that the data transmission was a requirement for the launch to proceed today.2200 GMT (6:00 p.m. EDT)The final hour of the countdown should be getting underway. It is a sunny and windy day on Omelek Island. We expect a status from SpaceX momentarily. 1800 GMT (2:00 p.m. EDT)Launch of the Falcon 1 rocket remains targeted for 2300 GMT today. SpaceX plans to begin providing live updates to the news media one hour prior to launch. Watch this page for the latest as information becomes available.SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2007An update from SpaceX came late Sunday night, when the company announced the official launch attempt would be Monday at 2300 GMT (7 p.m. EDT).SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2007A private space company's second shot at flying its low-cost rocket into orbit could come as early as Monday after engineers successfully completed a critical pre-launch test firing of its main engine Thursday.Developed by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the two-stage Falcon 1rocket currently stands ready for launch on a remote seven-acre island inthe middle of the Pacific Ocean.The SpaceX launch team cleared one of the final hurdles before launchThursday, when controllers loaded the booster's first stage withpropellant and ignited the Merlin main engine for a static test firinglasting about four seconds."We had a very successful static fire yesterday that proceeded smoothlywith no aborts," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Friday in an updateposted on the company's Web site.The launch team uncovered a small glitch in the rocket's GPS guidancesystem shortly after the test, but the anomaly is not considered majorsince the Falcon 1 primarily relies on inertial navigation during itsflight, Musk said.Another update from SpaceX is expected Sunday, when the company isplanning to announce the official planned launch date.The Falcon 1 rocket will fly due east from its secluded launch pad onOmelek Island, part of the U.S. military's missile test range at KwajaleinAtoll in the Marshall Islands.This week's launch will be a demonstration mission for the Pentagon'sDefense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Two NASA-sponsored experimentpackages are bolted atop the booster's second stage.Less than 10 minutes after launch, the Falcon 1's second stage Kestrelengine should be commanded to cut off. SpaceX is targeting anorbit about 425 miles high with an inclination of about 9 degrees.SpaceX officials spent the past year wrangling with upgrades to the Falcon1 launch system after the first attempted flight of the new rocket endedin failure last March due to a rapid fuel leak in its first stage.A government investigation traced the cause of the leak to a corrodedaluminum nut in the first stage's Merlin engine, which burns highlyrefined kerosene called RP-1 and liquid oxygen.The leaking fuel trickled down the outside of the Merlin's thrust chamberand caused a fire after the engine ignited. The Merlin prematurely shutdown about 30 seconds after liftoff, and the 70-foot-tall rocket fell fromthe sky and plummeted into the ocean just offshore from the launch site.Last year's failure caused SpaceX to implement several changes to therocket and overhaul much of the Falcon 1's countdown operations. Engineersincreased the number of system aborts by a factor of 30, according toMusk.SpaceX also added upgrades to the Merlin main engine to make thepowerplant more robust, and new software was developed to conduct healthchecks of the Merlin after engine ignition before the seven-story talllauncher is released by hold-down clamps, Musk said.The return-to-flight launch was postponed from January due to an issuewith the second stage engine's thrust vector control pitch actuator, whichpivots the engine's nozzle to guide the rocket toward space.The problem, coupled with the unavailability of the Kwajalein Army Rangedue to another missile test, pushed the launch to this month. 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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: April 20, 2005As expected, NASA managers today announced a May 22 target date for shuttle Discovery's liftoff on the first post-Columbia mission, saying time needed to close out a handful of open issues precluded an attempt at the May 15 opening of the actual launch period.An official launch date will be set during a formal flight readiness review next month but as of today, NASA managers said they are confident Discovery will be ready to go by May 22, nearly two-and-a-half years after Columbia's destruction during re-entry Feb. 1, 2003."We've always felt that the processing was not the driving factor in this," Bill Parsons, shuttle program manager, told reporters today. "Things have gone very well (at the Kennedy Space Center). Most of this is because of the analysis we're doing and some of the things we want to go ahead and close out and give ourselves a little bit of dwell time to look over it and review it the way we always do. So that's what we did."The goal of Discovery's mission is to deliver supplies and equipment to the international space station. During three spacewalks, shuttle astronauts Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi will test heat-shield tile and wing leading edge repair procedures; install a replacement gyroscope; and attach a spare parts storage platform needed for future assembly flights.Discovery's launch period, based on lighting constraints imposed for at least the first two post-Columbia missions, opens May 15 and closes June 3.NASA will not launch Discovery unless it can dock with the space station on the second full day of the mission, known as flight day 3. As it now stands, FD-3 opportunities are not available on May 23, 25 and 27. But NASA plans to ask Russian space program officials to adjust the international space station's orbit in the coming weeks to provide FD-3 docking opportunities for every day of the launch period.Assuming the May 22 target holds up, Discovery' countdown would begin around 3:15 p.m. on May 19 for a liftoff at 1:03:49 p.m. on May 22. Here's a brief timeline overview of the mission (a detailed flight plan and countdown timeline are available below; all times EDT).NOTE: These times likely will change slightly after the station's orbit is adjusted; updates will be posted here as they are made available. This quick-look timeline is posted for guidance and planning purposes only: 05/22...01:04 PM......Launch (current T-0: 1:03:49 PM) 05/23...07:09 AM......Orbiter thermal protection system survey begins 05/24...09:34 AM......Discovery docks with space station 05/25...04:34 AM......Supply module move to station begins 05/26...06:29 AM......Spacewalk No. 1 begins 05/26...01:04 PM......Spacewalk ends 05/27........................Supply transfers 05/28...06:39 AM......Spacewalk No. 2 begins 05/28...01:09 PM......Spacewalk ends 05/29...07:19 AM......Joint crew news conference 05/30...06:39 AM......Spacewalk No. 3 begins 05/30...12:39 PM......Spacewalk ends 05/31...09:09 AM......Supply module moved back to shuttle 06/01...06:51 AM......Shuttle undocks from space station 06/02........................Re-entry preparations 06/03...08:36 AM......LandingDiscovery's payload is scheduled to be delivered to the launch pad for installation in the shuttle's cargo bay on April 28. Commander Eileen Collins and her crew will fly to Kennedy May 1 to participate in emergency training and a dress-rehearsal countdown May 2-4.A flight readiness review to close out any open items and to set an official launch date is now targeted for May 10 and 11. At some point soon after, NASA will formally present those results to an independent panel of experts charged with monitoring the agency's implementation of post-Columbia safety upgrades.The panel, chaired by former Apollo astronaut Tom Stafford and former shuttle commander Covey, has been following NASA's return-to-flight effort for a year. The group had hoped to present its final report to new NASA Administrator Mike Griffin a full month before launch, but that is no longer possible.Hale said the timing was not a critical issue, however, because panel members have kept up to date with NASA's progress throughout the return-to-flight effort. He said several panel members sat in on a design certification review Tuesday that provided a thorough discussion of all open items."We've been in contact with them a great deal," Hale said. "As a matter of fact, we had a number of Stafford-Covey members at the design certification review and they have been through the entire process with us. In fact, they have raised many useful suggestions, which we have incorporated as we've gone through the last two years."So I think we have a great deal of information from them already and if they come in their final report with a significant concern ... then I think we will consider it. And if we need to deal with it, I'm sure we will."We are aiming for a launch date based on our best knowledge," Hale said. 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Hale said senior managers and engineers, including Griffin, reviewed 20 major post-Columbia modifications and improvements to the external fuel tank, main engines, solid-fuel boosters and the shuttle itself.The only issues that remain open as of this writing involve the amount of launch stress a new inspection boom in the cargo bay will experiences during ascent - and the outcome of tests to prove it can, in fact, endure those stresses - and three ice debris issues involving the external fuel tank.Hale said he is confident the inspection boom is ready for flight and he said tests were underway to make sure any ice that builds up in the areas of concern will safely shake off when the shuttle's engines and boosters roar to life.All three areas of the tank are visible to launch pad cameras and Hale said regardless of what the testing shows, if ice actually forms in any of those areas during Discovery's countdown, NASA would simply delay launch.Engineers are looking into techniques for melting any ice that might form on high-humidity launch days. 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Baudon, 2011Credit: Stephane Corvaja/ESACredit: Stephane Corvaja/ESACredit: ESA | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.2010 concludes with Ariane rocket's 199th launchSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: December 29, 2010Two commercial satellites for the expansion of communications services from space were launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket today, capping another successful year for the booster that saw a dozen payloads deployed in 2010.Credit: ArianespaceThe hydrogen-fueled main engine roared to life at 2127 GMT (4:27 p.m. EST), followed seven seconds later by ignition of the twin solid rocket motors to begin thundering out of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou on the northeastern coast of South America.The heavy-lift launcher, making its 55th flight, climbed steeply through the late afternoon sky and headed downrange for a half-hour trek into geosynchronous transfer orbit to deliver the Spanish Hispasat 1E and South Korea's Koreasat 6 spacecraft.It was the Ariane rocket family's 199th mission, coming 31 years since the maiden launch in 1979."I want to thank all of those who contributed to this new Ariane 5 success," said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. "And I would obviously very much like to thank the Arianespace operational team for their flexibility, reactivity, reliability and availability - and above all - the passion they bring enabled us to meet our promises."The Ariane achieved a highly elliptical orbit stretching 22,321 miles at its farthest point from Earth and 155 miles at the nearest. The satellites will use their onboard engines to circularize the orbit and reach geostationary slots in the coming days.Riding atop the dual payload stack was Hispasat, a powerful spacecraft to be operated by the Madrid-based company of the same name, will expanded available video and data transmission services for bridging the Atlantic and coverage across Europe."In the middle of an important investment process, Hispasat 1E is the second of five new satellites laid out in our growth plan," said Petra Mateos, chairwoman of Hispasat.An artist's concept of Hipasat 1E. Credit: Space Systems/LoralManufactured by Space Systems/Loral with an 18-year lifetime, the 11,725-pound satellite carries 53 Ku-band transponders and a Ka-band capability.It will be parked in geostationary orbit over the equator at 30 degrees West longitude alongside the Hipasat and birds launched aboard Atlas 2AS rockets from Cape Canaveral in 2000 and 2002, respectively."The Hispasat 1E satellite will offer new services for direct-to-home TV platforms, digital-terrestrial television and also for high-definition television as well as broadband services," said Antonia Abad, Hispasat's chief technology officer.Sharing the ride to orbit aboard the Ariane 5 rocket was the 6,275-pound Koreasat 6, a communications satellite designed to operate at least 15 years and serve South Korea by operator KT Corp. of Seoul.An artist's concept of Koreasat 6. Credit: Orbital SciencesBuilt by Orbital Sciences with Thales Alenia Space supplying the communications payload, Koreasat 6 is bound for a geostationary orbital slot at 116 degrees East longitude. It has 30 Ku-band transponders for telecommunications and direct-to-home TV transmissions."Koreasat 6 will upgrade broadcasting service quality by providing enhanced HD and 3D satellite TV programs and maintaining the continuity of Koreasat 3 services," said Ho-Ick Suk, vice chairman of KT Corp.The new satellite replaces Koreasat 3 that launched aboard an Ariane 4 rocket in 1999 and was sold to another Asian spacecraft controller earlier this year. Today's successful flight represented the Ariane 5's sixth launch of 2010, all occurring in a hectic seven-month stretch, with each of the rockets deploying pairs of communications satellites. The dozen satellites amounted to 99,725 pounds.Next up is the high-profile launch of the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo resupply ship to rendezvous with the International Space Station. That rocket is being processed at the Kourou spaceport for a planned Feb. 15 liftoff on the milestone Flight 200.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. 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The Ariane 5 will blast off from the French-run spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.The rocket rolled atop a mobile launch table to the ELA-3 pad Thursday morning. The trip on dual rail tracks took nearly two hours, according to Arianespace, the rocket's commercial operator.Once on the launch pad, the Ariane 5 was hooked up to the complex's electrical, fluid and communications systems for its one-day stay.The launch was postponed two weeks because of a problem with a rocket subsystem. Engineers resolved the issue and cleared the Ariane 5 for flight earlier this week.The mission will be the 50th launch of the Ariane 5 rocket since its disastrous debut flight in 1996, which was ended by an infamous computer glitch causing the vehicle to spin out of control 30 seconds after liftoff.The Ariane 5 rocket overcame its dark beginnings and has amassed 35 straight successful launches since 2003. 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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.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.A new generation for mobile satellite communications SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: July 1, 2009 The world's largest commercial communications satellite ascended into orbit Wednesday atop the heavy-lifting Ariane 5 rocket, beginning an ambitious new project to provide mobile services across North America. The Ariane 5 blasts off with. Credit: ArianespaceThe European-made booster roared out of the South American jungle launch site at 1:52 p.m. EDT (1752 GMT) after a 99-minute delay initially caused by unfavorable weather and then two holds late in the countdown for unspecified issues.Once clocks hit zero, the giant rocket fired to life and thundered on its way toward geosynchronous transfer orbit. Launch provider Arianespace reported the Ariane hit the targeted orbit with a high point of 22,334 miles, a low point of 155 miles and inclination of 6 degrees.Some 26 minutes after liftoff, the massive TerreStar 1 satellite was successfully released into the preliminary perch above the planet."Sometimes it is nerve-racking to go through these sorts of launches," Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said shortly after the successful deployment."Nerve-racking? I guess three times is the charm...My heart is still pounding a little bit," added Jeff Epstein, president of TerreStar Networks."Obviously, I'm very happy to share this new success with you. It is our 31st success in a row, it's the third in 2009, and I think it shows us perfectly how high performance and reliability can go hand-in-hand," Le Gall said of the workhorse Ariane 5.TerreStar 1 will be maneuvered into a circular geostationary orbit over the next week, eventually parking itself above the equator at 111 degrees West longitude to cover the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands."All of us have been on a shuttle bus going from an airport to a car rental agency. The satellite is about as big as that shuttle bus. It is 26 feet tall and it's about 10-foot-square when stowed for launch," said Tann Pinney, vice president of satellite services at TerreStar Networks.Weighing some 15,235 pounds at launch, this powerhouse satellite is designed for a new generation of mobile communications using regular-size handsets and the elimination of the large antenna on existing satellite phones."Let's look at the handset we've been able to produce. You don't see the big, bulky antenna, you don't see a big brick. This is the same size as smartphones are today. This will be the first integrated terrestrial-satellite smartphone in the world," said Dennis Matheson, chief technology officer of TerreStar Networks."One of the uniquenesses of TerreStar is that when we actually set out to design the satellite and the satellite specifications, we sort of went about it in a different paradigm than has been done in the past. We looked at what the consumers were using today, what they were using in their day-to-day lives, and we said we wanted a satellite that would enable a consumer-level device that would operate with a geosynchronous satellite." An artist's concept of the TerreStar 1 satellite deployed in orbit. Credit: Space Systems/LoralTerreStar plans to blend the capabilities of its new satellite with a terrestrial network to provide mobile voice and data communications, messaging services and video for both commercial and government subscribers. Its target audience includes emergency responders, rural communications and on-the-go customers who want "always connected" service no matter where they're located."The customer will be able to see a lot better coverage at speeds that you haven't been able to get over satellite before," said Pinney."It is going to revolutionize telecommunications over North America," said Le Gall.The satellite, which was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, will unfurl a 60-foot-diameter mesh antenna reflector and activate some 500 narrow spotbeams to communicate with the smartphones, plus laptops and portable devices."These beams enable ordinary handheld cell phone devices to be used directly to the satellite," said KP Bhat, executive director of the TerreStar 1 program at Space Systems/Loral."I don't know if you can guess how many man hours have been spent on this satellite, but actually way over 1 million throughout the time the satellite was being designed, built and tested, and this is just at Space Systems/Loral," said John Celli, president and COO of SS/L.The first call via TerreStar 1 is expected later this month, followed by full testing and the start of service by year's end."This is really just the beginning of the story for TerreStar," said Epstein.Arianespace has four more Ariane 5 rockets slated for launch this year. Next up will be the mid-August flight to deploy the JCSAT 12 communications satellite for Japan and Optus D3 for Australia.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. 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Troubleshooting determined the oxidizer inlet valve on the Centaur upper stage's RL10 engine was the source of the leak."It was a little bit out of the blue to us when we started loading liquid oxygen on the vehicle," Wilkins recalled in an interview Monday."It was leaking less than a pound of LOX per minute at its max leak rate. It subsequently leaked less and then finally sealed up. And when we went back to ambient conditions with just helium on board, the valve was completely leak tight."Although engineers say the leak would not have caused the launch to fail, they wanted to get their hands on the valve to understand why it was leaking."We feel very fortunate to find this on the ground. However, we believe it's very unlikely that the leakage that we saw would have had any effect on this mission. But what this really allows us to do is we have the hardware in hand that's displayed this discrepant condition and we can get it back on the bench and determine what caused it and do a very a thorough investigation, which would not be afforded to us if we would have saw this type of leakage as a flight observation," Wilkins said.Earlier in the campaign leading up to launch, a countdown simulation was performed that involved loading the cryogenics aboard the rocket. The oxidizer inlet valve did exhibit a slight leak during that rehearsal but nothing like the leakage encountered in the real countdown March 17."This valve did leak a little bit during our wet dress rehearsal. When I say 'leak a little bit' I mean out-of-family to other valves. The leakage we saw on (the) day of launch was about 15 times what we saw at the wet dress rehearsal, so that explains why we immediately stood down to take this valve off the vehicle and take it back to the supplier so we could learn what caused this out-of-family condition," Wilkins said.The rocket was rolled back to its 30-story vertical assembly building a day after the scrub. As engineers worked through their "fault tree" analysis to narrow down possible sources of the leak, workers removed the valve for shipment back to engine-maker Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for testing that was able to duplicate the problem."The fault tree and the subsequent bench-level testing showed it was leakage across the Teflon seal in the spherical ball while the valve was in the closed position," Wilkins said.Although the leak has been pin-pointed, engineers aren't yet sure why the leak occurred."The actual root cause of the out-of-family leak rate is not known at this time. Testing is underway on (the valve) as we speak," Wilkins said. "When we did take the suspect valve back to the supplier, we did not find any obvious sign of damage or discrepancies with the part."A new valve was installed on the rocket's engine last week. The RL10 powerplant, which has a long reliability record, will perform two firings during the upcoming launch to put the communications satellite payload into orbit.The replacement valve has no prior evidence of leakage during testing or screening checks, giving officials confidence going into the next countdown. In addition, the new valve underwent leak and functional checks in ambient conditions after being installed."The valve passed all of those checks. We have sealed up the vehicle again in preparation for flight. The next test will, of course, be under cryogenic conditions on the day of launch, and we have a lot of instrumentation, a lot of data to make sure the valves are working properly."Wilkins also said the new valve has a different design where the ball and the Teflon seal meet. "So it is different in that aspect."Col. Michael Moran, commander of the Atlas Group at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, said the government team overseeing the launch is wrapping up its analysis and vetting work before clearing the rocket for liftoff.A Flight Readiness Review now scheduled for Wednesday could grant approval to return the rocket to Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 pad Thursday morning in advance of a Friday evening liftoff."The Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft is absolutely critical to meet the communications needs of forces worldwide. We will not commit to launch until we have the highest possible level of confidence in the success of the Atlas 5," Col. Moran said."I can say I'm very pleased with the progress ULA has made in resolving the issue. Our government team is also making excellent progress in completing our assessments and we certainly look forward to a successful launch."Live reports on the countdown and launch can be seen on our status page: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. 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The Ariane 5 rocket launched at 1:34 a.m. local time from the Guiana Space Center. Credit: ESA/Stephane CorvajaTwo solid rocket boosters and a clean-burning hydrogen-fueled engine ramped up to 2.6 million pounds of thrust to push the 856-ton Ariane 5 launcher off the ground at the Guiana Space Center, a European-run spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.Liftoff was at 0434 GMT (12:34 a.m. EDT), the moment when the space station's orbital plane passed over the launch site in the Amazon jungle.The Ariane 5 rocket quickly rose from the launch pad, pitched on a northeast trajectory away from the South American coast, and traversed the Atlantic Ocean in about 20 minutes.The launcher's upper stage placed the European Space Agency's third Automated Transfer Vehicle, a robotic resupply craft, into a 160-mile-high orbit to begin a nearly six-day chase of the International Space Station.The 43,462-pound vessel, about the size of a double-decker bus, deployed from the Ariane 5's upper stage at 0538 GMT (1:38 a.m. EDT). The spacecraft unfurled four solar array wings shortly after 0600 GMT (2 a.m. EDT) to begin generating electricity."This is not yet a success for ESA," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, the agency's director general. "I shall say five months from now if this is a success. This is just the start of a very long journey which will take Edoardo Amaldi in space for the next five months. It's a good start, a very good start."ESA's third resupply freighter is nicknamed Edoardo Amaldi after the Italian physicist who made groundbreaking discoveries in nuclear and particle physics and helped foster the precursor to ESA.Later Friday, the ATV was supposed to extend a boom antenna. The first in a series of rocket burns to raise its altitude and catch up with the space station was also planned Friday.Docking with the space station's Russian service module is scheduled for 2232 GMT (6:32 p.m. EDT) on Wednesday."After this new launch success, ATV 3 has now to achieve its automatic rendezvous with the ISS at a speed of 28,000 km/hr [17,400 mph] within a precision of less than 10 centimeters [3.9 inches]," said Alain Charmeau, CEO of Astrium Space Transportation, in a statement. "This rendezvous in space uses one of the most cutting edge technologies that Astrium has developed as system integrator for ATV to be ready for future challenges."Several dozen firings of the ATV's engines are programmed before reaching the space station, and the ship will also extend its docking probe.Navigating with relative GPS satellite technology and a vision-based laser system, the freighter will stop at predefined hold points on its final approach to give ground controllers opportunities to evaluate the spacecraft's health and performance. Once the ship reaches the space station, it will remain attached to the aft port of the Zvezda module for more than five months. Artist's concept of an Automated Transfer Vehicle approaching the space station. Credit: ESAThe space station crew will spend more than 80 hours unloading Edoardo Amaldi's pressurized cabin and refilling it with trash before the craft undocks in September. Officials will guide the ATV to a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean, vaporizing and dispersing the space station's garbage.ESA developed the Automated Transfer Vehicle to help pay the agency's share of the station's common operating costs. NASA has access to much of the dry cargo capacity on each flight.A single ATV mission costs about 450 million euros, or $597 million, according to ESA.Engineers packed eight supply racks into Edoardo Amaldi's pressurized section, two more than flew aboard previous ATV missions in 2008 and 2011. The spacecraft's total dry cargo load is more than 4,800 pounds, including fresh food, clothing, crew personal items, experiments and spare parts.The rear section of the Edoardo Amaldi spacecraft contains propellant and gas tanks with 12,000 pounds of rocket fuel and oxidizer. About 1,900 pounds of propellant will be pumped into tanks inside the space station.The ATV will deliver 220 pounds of oxygen and air and replenish the station with 75 gallons of potable water.Two more Automated Transfer Vehicles are under construction for launches in 2013 and 2014."Building, integrating and launching an ATV each year is a big achievement for European industry," Dordain said.Friday's launch capped a feverish six months at the Guiana Space Center, which included the two flights of Russia's Soyuz rocket from the South America spaceport. The Italian-led Vega launcher made its from Kourou in February."The launch of Soyuz in October, the launch of Vega in February, and the launch today with Ariane 5 and ATV. It's a fantastic six months," Dordain said. 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while demonized by the White House, Interest groups, a gun control group is making a last-minute pitch to torpedo one of the candidates: Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand. Brothels with bricks of Religion?? runs the Blake quotation.Trait Thompson, a professor of diplomacy at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and an expert on Middle East missile forces. ". Bombs used in a burrowing' mode however could penetrate deeply enough to fragment the inner surface of the ceiling structures above the highly fragile centrifuge arrays and even precipitate the collapse of the entire structure"But for the attack to have high odds of success they argue aircraft would have to drop additional bombs into the cavities created by the first bombs That would require "time on target" -- a luxury that the Israeli jets at the outermost limits of their 1100-mile range would likely not have While they estimate the success rate of such a plan at "better than 70 percent" they call it "complicated and highly risky"Another difficulty for attacking Israeli aircraft would be finding a route to the targets that could be flown covertly or with the tacit approval of Sunni Arab states who are at least as frightened of an Iranian nuclear capability as the IsraelisSimon and Allin (and others) have written that there are three "plausible routes" that Israeli warplanes would take to attack Iran: a northern approach likely along the Syrian-Turkish border; a central path that would take them over Jordan and Iraq; and a southern route that would transit the lower end of Jordan Saudi Arabia and Kuwait The southern route is the most likely US officials suggest because the Saudis and other Sunni-dominated Gulf states are eager for someone to take out the Iranian threat They prefer the US do it but have reportedly shared intelligence on the Iranian program with the Israelis if only on a limited basis according to the US officialsNo matter what route the fighter bombers take they would use what one US official described as "high-low low-high" flight paths flying high first to increase fuel efficiency then low for most of the trip to evade radar then climbing high again as the bombs are released in what is known as a "flip toss" from as far as 10 miles from the targetThe Israelis would be prepared to lose aircraft if necessary the officials saidAlthough Simon and Allin do not discuss adding a missile component other experts including many current and former US officials believe the Israelis already have made a decision to have them in the attack menuMissile attacks would be coordinated with fighter-bomber attacks (presumably the Israelis' F-16 F-18 and extended-range F-15I Strike Eagle) The missiles would have to be launched so that warheads strike targets following the strike fighter attacks Because of the short flight time minutes rather than hours in the case of the aircraft the missile launch would almost certainly take place at the last possible moment to ensure the secrecy of the overall attackThe Israelis are not planning to use their submarine-launched cruise missile force -- "not enough of them" one official said of the subs (The Israelis have long had nuclear tipped sub-launched cruise missiles as part of their deterrent force)Beyond the strike fighters and the missile force US officials suggest the Israelis could use two other "weapons" against IranThe first is special operations forces that would be secretly inserted into the country At the least they could be employed to illuminate aim points for laser-guided bunker-busting bombs At the most they could launch their own attacks on facilities particularly those believed to contain enriched uraniumThe other is a new generation of large drones with wingspans approaching those of a Boeing 777 (almost 200 feet) Costing $30 million each the Heron drones are capable of remaining airborne for 40 hours at a time and have a range of 4600 miles While they can be equipped with surveillance and electronic warfare equipment some officials call them "strike drones" meaning they could be loaded with explosives and used to attack Iranian targetsWhile the initial days of an Israeli-Iranian conflict would probably be bloody most experts say that the open warfare would be expected to wind down within days or weeks since neither side has the ability to occupy the other's territory or enough missiles to sustain attacksBut that would bring with it its own set of problems as the conflict would be likely to continue on a lower level involving covert operations and terrorism"You could have a very nasty covert war emerge" said FerreroRobert Windrem is a senior investigative producer for NBC News or ISIS,Many in the Obama administration see that as a more frightening prospect than Iran gaining nuclear weapons. Air Jordan 7

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By precisely measuring the distance between the two spacecraft as they orbit the moon -- and thus the subtle effects of the moon's gravity as they sail over visible and sub-surface geologic structures -- scientists will be able to determine the nature of the moon's enigmatic core and perhaps confirm or refute theories about how the moon formed some 4.5 billion years ago."There have been many missions that have gone to the moon, orbited the moon, landed on the moon, brought back samples of the moon," said Maria Zuber, principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory -- GRAIL -- mission. "But the missing piece of the puzzle in trying to understand the moon is what the deep interior is like."Is there a core? How did the core form? How did the interior convect? What are the impact basins on the near-side flooded with magma and give us this man-in-the-moon shape whereas the back side of the moon doesn't have any of this? These are all mysteries that despite the fact we've studied the moon before, we don't understand how that has happened. GRAIL is a mission that is going to tell us that."It also may help inspire school kids to take more of an interest in science. Each satellite is equipped with four cameras sponsored by former shuttle astronaut Sally Ride's science education company that can be used by students around the world to photograph the lunar surface."While GRAIL is performing its gravitational experiments, MoonKam will serve as eyes on the moon for Earth's students," said Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence with Sally Ride Science. "And how they will do that is through the use of these cameras."This program is available at no cost to schools, and students are going to be able to take their very own photos. This is what's going to make the difference. We know there are lots of images of the moon out there, but this gives students their own ownership of that."High winds aloft forced the NASA launch team to pass up two one-second launch windows Thursday and concern about a heater that ran longer than expected during detanking prompted another 24-hour slip.More high winds Saturday forced NASA to pass up the first of two more "instantaneous" launch windows, but a final weather balloon showed conditions were acceptable and at 9:08:52 a.m. EDT (GMT-4), the Delta 2 roared to life and vaulted away from complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.It was the 110th and final planned flight of a Delta 2 from Cape Canaveral and while ULA has enough hardware on hand to build a final five medium-lift Delta 2s, any future flights of the workhorse rocket almost certainly will be launched from the West Coast.As such, the GRAIL launch marked the end of an era after more than 22 years of memorable Delta 2 flights, including 49 Global Positioning System navigation satellites and all of NASA's recent Mars missions, including the enormously successful Spirit and Opportunity rovers.Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now Saturday's launching was virtually flawless and one hour and 20 minutes after liftoff, the GRAIL-A satellite was released from the Delta 2's second stage, followed a few minutes later by GRAIL-B. Both spacecraft will follow looping 2.6-million-mile trajectories to the moon, a low-energy approach that allowed the use of a less expensive, medium-lift rocket."If you leave Earth and go barreling to the moon, you need a lot of fuel to slow down (and get into lunar orbit)," said Zuber. "We (wanted) to use small spacecraft with small fuel tanks."So as a consequence of that, we use something called a low-energy trajectory where we go out to a point called the Earth-sun Lagrange point (a million miles from Earth). So we take three-and-a-half to four months to get the moon. In addition to saving fuel, what this allows to happen is these two spacecraft will arrive at the Moon on the same day no matter what day in the launch window we launch."The round-about journey also will allow time for the GRAIL spacecraft to "outgas," or lose trapped particles that might otherwise impart a small but measurable force on the satellites later that could be confused for gravitational effects.The flight plan calls for the GRAIL-A spacecraft to brake into an elliptical 11.5-hour orbit around the moon's poles on New Year's Eve with GRAIL-B following the next day. Over the next two months, flight controllers will carefully maneuver the two satellites into the same circular orbit at an altitude of about 34 miles.If all goes well, science operations will begin around March 8. Flying in formation at distances ranging from about 46 to 140 miles, the two spacecraft will send radio pulses and timing signals back and forth to precisely measure the distance between them.Sailing over buried mass concentrations, craters, mountain ranges, basins and other geologic features, the satellites will ever so slightly speed up and slow down, one after the other. The ranging system is accurate enough to detect differences of as little as one micron, or the width of a red blood cell.By carefully analyzing those changes, scientists can determine the distribution of mass within the moon to gain insights into its hidden interior structure and the nature of its core."Grail, simply put, is a journey to the center of the moon," said Ed Weiler, NASA's associate administrator of space science. "It will probe the interior of the moon and map its gravity field 100 to 1,000 times better than ever before. We will learn more about the interior of the moon with GRAIL than all previous lunar missions combined."The satellites "will monitor the distance between each other and as the first satellite goes over a higher mass concentration, or higher gravity, it will speed up slightly. And that will increase the distance. Then as the second satellite goes over, that distance will close again. That's how it actually maps the gravitational field of the moon and it'll do that over the course of three months. And it'll do a complete map three times over those three months."The altitude and separation distance will be based on the size of features scientists plan to target."The separation distance is what we call tuning for what wavelength gravity field you're after," said Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist. "So if you want to see, gravitationally small features, craters, mountains, you want to be close to each other and low. But if you want to see global features, such as the core of the moon that we're after, then you want to be high and separate from each other."The three-month science mission is sandwiched between eclipses in December and June. The solar-powered satellites are not expected to survive the latter and flight controllers expect the spacecraft will lose power and eventually crash.But by that point, GRAIL's mission will be complete, and the results are expected to be a giant leap for lunar research. A major objective is to confirm or rule out theories about the moon's formation and evolution and, by extension, improve understanding of the early histories of other terrestrial planets."We've used gravity science before to try to gain some insight as to what's going on inside the moon," said Asmar. "However, these have been very primitive attempts compared to what GRAIL will be able to accomplish. If those previous attempts could be likened to a magnifying glass, GRAIL, by contrast, would be a high-powered microscope."Researchers believe the moon formed at the dawn of the solar system when a Mars-size planet crashed into Earth, blowing off a huge amount of material that later coalesced to form the satellite we see today.Recent computer simulations suggest a second body, about a third the size of the moon, may have bumped into the still-forming world and stuck in place, explaining the rugged terrain seen on the moon's far side and the lack of magma-filled basins like those visible on the near side.The nature of the core is a major factor in the moon's evolution. Based on previous missions and on-going Earth-based observations, scientists believe the moon has a solid inner core, possibly surrounded by a liquid layer, a thick mantle and a relatively thin crust. But proving that is another matter."We actually don't have direct evidence that the moon is made up this way," Asmar said. "So we're trying to answer the core question. ... If there's a liquid layer, it becomes a lubricant between two solid pieces and allows them independent motion. We can detect that by time-varying gravity, basically how the gravity field changes by a function of time."Along with shedding light on the moon's history, GRAIL also will help future spacecraft avoid unseen pitfalls."Knowing the gravity field will allow future landed assets, manned, unmanned, to do that much more safely," Asmar said. "Sometimes below the surface there are mass concentrations. When you look at the topography, it looks flat and you'd think the gravity is average, but there's actually an embedded object beneath surface that would pull the landed asset and destroy it if it's not well understood in advance."Said Zuber: "On the moon, after GRAIL ... if you want to land right next to a particular outcrop, you're going to be able to do it. There will be no reason to do another gravity experiment to the moon in any of our lifetimes. If there's a particular sample return that we want to do, a particular reconnaissance in a particular area of the moon, you will be able to go exactly there and get it done."Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:ONBOARD ROCKET CAMERA: GRAIL-A DEPLOYED VIDEO:ONBOARD ROCKET CAMERA: GRAIL-B DEPLOYED VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:GRAIL LAUNCH AS SEEN LIVE! 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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.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Delta 4-Heavy launchThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the Air Force.STS-76: In reviewThe STS-76 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that launched Shannon Lucid to the Russian space station Mir.STS-75: In reviewThe STS-75 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that saw the tethered satellite suddenly break free from the shuttle.STS-72: In reviewThe STS-72 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that retrieved a Japanese satellite.STS-122: In reviewThe STS-122 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Europe's Columbus module to the space station.STS-100: In reviewThe STS-100 astronauts narrate highlights from the April 2001 mission that installed the station's Canadian robot arm.STS-102: In reviewThe STS-102 astronauts narrate highlights from the March 2001 mission that conducted the first ISS resident crew exchange.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Delta 4-Heavy launchThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the Air Force.STS-76: In reviewThe STS-76 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that launched Shannon Lucid to the Russian space station Mir.STS-75: In reviewThe STS-75 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that saw the tethered satellite suddenly break free from the shuttle.STS-72: In reviewThe STS-72 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that retrieved a Japanese satellite.STS-122: In reviewThe STS-122 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Europe's Columbus module to the space station.STS-100: In reviewThe STS-100 astronauts narrate highlights from the April 2001 mission that installed the station's Canadian robot arm.STS-102: In reviewThe STS-102 astronauts narrate highlights from the March 2001 mission that conducted the first ISS resident crew exchange.STS-123 landingShuttle Endeavour returned from space with a night landing March 26 at Kennedy Space Center.STS-123 day 1 highlightsThe highlights from shuttle Endeavour's launch day are packaged into this movie.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space. STS-120: In reviewThe STS-120 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered the station's Harmony module and moved the P6 power truss.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Delta 4-Heavy launchThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the Air Force.STS-76: In reviewThe STS-76 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that launched Shannon Lucid to the Russian space station Mir.STS-75: In reviewThe STS-75 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that saw the tethered satellite suddenly break free from the shuttle.STS-72: In reviewThe STS-72 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that retrieved a Japanese satellite.STS-122: In reviewThe STS-122 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Europe's Columbus module to the space station.STS-100: In reviewThe STS-100 astronauts narrate highlights from the April 2001 mission that installed the station's Canadian robot arm.STS-102: In reviewThe STS-102 astronauts narrate highlights from the March 2001 mission that conducted the first ISS resident crew exchange.STS-123 landingShuttle Endeavour returned from space with a night landing March 26 at Kennedy Space Center.STS-123 day 1 highlightsThe highlights from shuttle Endeavour's launch day are packaged into this movie.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space. STS-120: In reviewThe STS-120 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered the station's Harmony module and moved the P6 power truss.Gallery: Debut launch of Delta 4-Heavy rocket Posted: December 21, 2004 The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral on its test flight. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsAres 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.Gallery: Launch of GPS 2R-15The Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's pad 17A at 2:50 p.m. September 25 carrying the GPS 2R-15 navigation satellite.Photo credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH GPS 2R-15 VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:MORNING PAD TOWER ROLLBACK 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.Gallery: Launch of GPS 2R-16The first two images below were taken by sound-activated cameras at pad 17A. The other photos were taken from Kennedy Space Center's space shuttle press site. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now Our view of the launch from inside the Spaceflight Now office at Kennedy Space Center. Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowVideo coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:THE DELTA 2 ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH GPS 2R-16 VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN LAUNCH MOVIE FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:GPS SATELLITE ANIMATION VIDEO:MOST RECENT GPS LAUNCH FROM SEPT. 25 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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Gallery: Photographers set up launch pad cameras Posted: December 11, 2004 Photographers hurry to set up their sound-activated cameras around launch pad 37B before dawn December 11 as the countdown entered its final hours to liftoff of the Delta 4-Heavy rocket. Aviation Week photographer Bill Hartenstein is seen here putting out one of his six cameras. Photos: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsAres 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.SFN+ Hi-DefExperience the space program like never before in stunning high definition video!LRO and LCROSSNASA's new lunar orbiter and impactor experiment are being prepped for launch in May.Delta 4 and GOES OA Delta 4 rocket has rolled out to launch a new geostationary weather satellite.Current shuttle videoShuttle Discovery is being prepped for its STS-119 mission planned to launch in February.Shuttle mission STS-126High definition from orbit! New clips from Endeavour's mission to the space station.From the vaultHistorical footage from the early days of the space program.Shuttle mission STS-124High definition footage of Discovery's launch and landing on a mission to deliver Japan's science lab to the space station.The GLAST launchThe countdown and launch for NASA's GLAST gamma ray observatory.Geosynchronous orbit surveillance set to launchSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: July 20, 2014 CAPE CANAVERAL -- Twin inspector spacecraft and a microsatellite testbed will share a Delta 4 rocket ride into space Wednesday evening from Cape Canaveral. Credit: ULA videoThe 205-foot-tall United Launch Alliance booster rocket is scheduled for liftoff at 7:03 p.m. EDT (2303 GMT) from Complex 37.The countdown begins with final preparations to retract the 33-story mobile service gantry away from the Delta 4 rocket. Once the tower is pulled back around 11 a.m. EDT, pad configuration steps will be completed before the site is cleared of all workers.Fueling, which begins in the early afternoon, is a multi-hour process will load the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks on both stages of the rocket.Once clocks enter the last phase of the countdown at T-minus 4 minutes, the vehicle will be armed, pressurized and placed on internal battery power.In the final 15 seconds of the count, the radial outward-firing ignitors, or ROFIs, will be triggered beneath the main engine to burn away excess hydrogen and the terminal countdown sequencer rack, or TCSR, will assume control of the last 10 seconds.The main engine will begin its ignition sequence start at T-minus 5 seconds. Flowing hydrogen through the engine for cooling, the fuel will strike the ROFIs and create the trademark Delta 4 fireball. Photo credit: Walter Scriptunas II / Once the engine is up and running at full thrust, it passes a pre-planned health check and the solid strap-on boosters are commanded to light at T-0 for liftoff on 1.2 million pounds of thrust.The three swing arms will pull away as the rocket ascends from the launch pad, then executes pitch and yaw maneuvers to obtain the proper heading and minimize aerodynamic stresses on the vehicle.Delta pushes through Mach 1 in 47 seconds and the region of maximum air pressure at 59 seconds as the RS-68 main engine consumes liquid hydrogen and supercold liquid oxygen. The twin solid motors burn out at 94 seconds and jettison at 100 seconds.Approaching main engine cutoff four minutes into flight, the vehicle is burning propellants at a rate of 1,000 pounds per second. The first stage propels the Delta to 11,000 mph over 80 miles in altitude and 200 miles downrange of the launch pad before the Common Booster Core stage separates, the upper stage lights and the payload shroud jettisons.The rocket then goes into a news blackout.But the final destination: geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the planet.It will take several hours and work by the rocket's cryogenic upper stage to reach the high ground to deploy the two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program, or GSSAP, satellites and release ANGELS, a microsatellite riding a ring-like adapter below the primary passengers.Together, the two different projects make up the Air Force Space Command mission No. 4, a once-classified flight until GSSAP was unveiled to the public by AFSPC commander William Shelton in February."The GSSAP will uniquely contribute to timely and accurate orbital predictions, enhancing our knowledge of the geosynchronous orbit environment and further enabling spaceflight safety to include satellite collision avoidance. ANGELS, a microsatellite, is designed to achieve a high level of safety and experimental flexibility," said Jim Sponnick, ULA's vice president for Atlas and Delta programs.All three satellites were built by Orbital Sciences. Credit: ULAGSSAP will fly one satellite just below and its twin just above the geosynchronous satellite belt where spacecraft match the Earth's rotation and appear fixed above a certain spot along the equator on the globe."From that unique vantage point they will survey objects in the GEO belt and allow us both to track known objects and debris and to monitor potential threats that may be aimed at this critically important region," said Douglas Loverro, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, at the Department of Defense."In short, threats can no longer hide in deep space."It is where the U.S. military operates a number of critical communications, missile warning and reconnaissance platforms, making it key to tracking man-made objects for U.S. Strategic Command and characterizing threats in that orbit."Up in geosynchronous orbit, 22,300 miles up in space, some of our most precious satellites fly in that orbit. The reason they're there obviously is to be able to look down and surveil vast pieces of the Earth and also provide communications support," said Shelton. "It is capability in existential circumstances for the United States. The President will rely on these for information that he needs and to provide communications out to the forces he needs to get to."But because our assets in GEO are so valuable, we've been building additional space surveillance capability over that orbital regime in any number of ways," said Shelton."The electro-optical payload on GSSAP gives us very close-up neighborhood watch capability that helps prevent surprise, and that protects our assets in GEO."In 2010, the Air Force launched the Space Based Space Surveillance satellite that flies in low-Earth orbit but can track some geosynchronous objects."This satellite brings persistence and timeliness to our GEO coverage that isn't available from ground-based sensors or from ground-based radars or optical sensors or from our low Earth orbiting satellites. We must continue the unique capability of SBSS and build the follow-on program to sustain the capability," said Shelton.But adding the GSSAP will put inspectors at the geosynchronous belt itself. Credit: USAF"This neighborhood watch program will complement our ground based sensors and our SBSS by producing (space situation awareness) data from a unique perspective not achievable by sensors some 22,000 miles away," said Shelton."To bring all this data together we are building a new system at the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. And the JSpOC Mission System will give us a much better capability to be proactive versus reactive in Space."We are really data rich, but we don't have the system that can ingest disparate data from all kinds of sensors, fuse it together, bring all source intelligence into the picture; bring things like missile defense radars into the space surveillance realm, telescopes from around the world. The JSpOC Mission System will give us that capability to do this and to do it very well in a high performance computing environment."Shelton added that the Air Force routinely tracks about 23,000 objects on a daily basis. "There are some 500,000 objects in space, so a big traffic management problem and a big threat to fragile spacecraft," he said.Co-passenger ANGELS is a technology testbed from the Air Force Research Laboratory. Officially called the Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space, the microsatellite will demonstrate autopilot space situational awareness in geosynchronous orbit. Credit: USAFANGELS, will fly above the GPS constellation but use those positioning signals to test maneuverability around the spent Delta 4 upper stage. It's also equipped with a space situational awareness sensor payload "to evaluate techniques for detection, tracking and characterizing of space objects, as well as, attribution of actions in space," according to the AFRL fact sheet.The launch will be the 368th for a Delta rocket, the 27th Delta 4 and the 12th to fly in the Medium+ (4,2) configuration with a pair of strap-on solid motors. For United Launch Alliance, it is the company's 33rd flight for the Air Force and the 85th launch overall since 2006.For tips on taking pictures of the launch, see our . For details on where the best spots are to see the launch, see the .And if you will be away from your computer but would like to receive occasional updates, sign up for our to get text message updates sent to your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting "follow spaceflightnow" to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)About the authorJustin Ray has been a reporter with Spaceflight Now since the website's inception in November 1999. The online news service, based at Cape Canaveral, has documented U.S. and international space news with a specialty of live launch coverage.Prior to that, Justin worked for two years as an aerospace reporter at the Florida Today newspaper and its pioneering Space Online website. He began his career as an intern at Patrick Air Force Base's public affairs office in 1996 and wrote for the Missileer base newspaper.The Ohio native has covered 134 Delta rocket launches, 94 Atlas flights, 65 space shuttle missions, 46 Pegasus launches and the entire construction of the International Space Station, plus scientific spacecraft such as the Mars rovers and Cassini. He attended college at the University of Central Florida and now resides in Viera, Florida.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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Global weather-tracking satellite to launch mid-week SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 8, 2005Taking the pulse of our planet's health and detecting clues needed for weather forecasts have been the chief tasks for Earth-orbiting weather observatories over the past four decades, and that legacy will be extended this week when the latest spacecraft blasts off from California. Workers install the first half of the Delta rocket's nose cone around NOAA-N at the launch pad last week. Photo: Russ Underwood/Lockheed MartinThe NOAA-N satellite is slated for liftoff at 1022 GMT (6:22 a.m. EDT; 3:22 a.m. PDT) from Space Launch Complex-2 West at Vandenberg Air Force Base atop a Boeing-built Delta 2 rocket."When it launches, NOAA-N will not only be our eyes above the Earth, but our eyes into the future," said Gregory Withee, assistant administrator for the NOAA Satellite and Information Service."Because it will strengthen our understanding about what the environment around the world is doing, not just here in the U.S., NOAA-N will bring us one step closer to truly global coverage of Earth's complex processes," added NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr.The 3,130-pound spacecraft -- to be renamed NOAA-18 once safely in orbit -- is the fourth in the current series of five Polar Operational Environmental Satellites with improved imaging and atmospheric sounding capabilities that will operate to the end of this decade. The program has a heritage that dates back to the dawn of the space program.After entering service later this summer, the Lockheed Martin-made satellite will replace an aging sister-craft, NOAA-16, launched in September 2000, ensuring an uninterrupted flow of data such as imagery, temperature measurements and atmospheric profiles that are the building blocks of weather forecasts."Today, satellites provide more than 99 percent of the observations used in NOAA's operational weather and climate prediction numerical model runs. Recognizing that, we can't understate the importance of satellite data in the success of these forecast models," said Louis Uccellini, director of the NOAA Centers for Environmental Prediction."Since NOAA-N will be operational by late summer, it will help us to develop the outlook for the upcoming fall and winter."The satellites also build long-term databases for climate monitoring and global change studies. "Data from NOAA's polar-orbiting satellites are essential to the success of our weather and seasonal forecasts and El Nino and La Nina forecasts," said Uccellini.While meteorologists use the data gathered by the craft to generate weather predictions, agricultural scientists need the information for drought management and monitoring vegetation and soil moisture, and the aviation community uses NOAA satellites to detect and track volcanic ash plumes and re-route aircraft as needed.This newest spacecraft becomes the catalyst to developing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, Withee said."GEOSS was established by an agreement signed by 60 nations just recently, including the United States and European Commission. (The program) commits to linking existing environmental monitoring technology into one system to better predict a whole host of issues to the benefit to mankind, including weather, climate and natural catastrophe," he said."The challenge before us is to connect with scientific dots and technology dots an integrated, international, comprehensive Global Earth Observation System of Systems so that we have a complete picture of the global environment. NOAA satellites, including NOAA-N, will play a significant role." This illustration depicts a NOAA polar-orbiting weather satellite in space. Photo: NASALike its predecessors, NOAA-N is fitted with the international Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System, called COSPAS-SARSAT. Over the past 23 years, spacecraft equipped to hear distress signals from emergency beacons are credited with saving almost 5,000 people in the United States, and more than 18,000 worldwide.In the first four months of 2005, NOAA said 36 people were rescued in the U.S. thanks to the vital link between the satellites and beacons carried by airplanes, boats and hikers. Last year, Alaska had the most rescues, with 37, while Florida had 36."These beacons help save lives," Withee said. "As temperatures get warmer, and outdoor activities increase in remote areas -- where cell phones don't work -- having one of these emergency beacons is a good safety practice.""Beacons remain one of the most reliable means of signaling a distress to search and rescue personnel," said Lieutenant Commander Jay Dell from the Coast Guard's Office of Search and Rescue. "The timeliness and accuracy of SARSAT alerts are extremely valuable to search and rescue planning and response."The weather satellites detect a beacon's transmission and alert ground controllers in Suitland, Maryland. From there, the signal is forwarded to a Rescue Coordination Center operated by the U.S. Coast Guard for maritime emergencies or the Air Force for land search and rescue situations, according to NOAA.Wednesday's launch will mark the first NOAA weather satellite to ride a Delta 2 rocket into space. Recent spacecraft in the series flew aboard refurbished Titan 2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that were originally built to carry nuclear bombs.The Titans lacked the necessary thrust to deliver the satellites into their 540-mile high orbits. In fact, the Cold War relics deployed the satellites on sub-orbital trajectories, forcing the craft to carry onboard solid-fueled kick motors to generate the critical final boost to achieve orbit."There is tremendous benefit for using the Delta 2 because the Delta 2 is a rocket that was specifically designed to deliver a satellite to orbit. That is what we are getting from the Delta 2. Previously, we launched on rockets that were trying to deliver weapons," said Karen Halterman, NASA POES project manager at Goddard Space Flight Center."Once we separated from the Titan, we had to have our own solid rocket motor to fly the satellite into orbit. It is risky and excessive. So we believe that the reliability of NOAA-N is much improved by going to a Delta 2, which is a very proven launch vehicle."NOAA-N is the 119th flight of the workhorse Delta 2 rocket, which debuted in 1989. The booster has performed successfully for the past 63 consecutive launches since 1997 and 116 times overall in its history.The construction of NOAA weather satellites, getting them launched into space and performing the initial on-orbit checkout falls under NASA's responsibility. Control of the spacecraft is handed from the civilian space agency to NOAA about three weeks after liftoff. The NOAA-N mission is valued at $341 million, which includes $160 million for the satellite structure, $71 million for the instruments and $65 million for the Delta 2 rocket.You can follow Wednesday's early morning countdown and the ascent to orbit in our live .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.GOES launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW Moncler Coats Mens

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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 22, 2007;Updated at 5:50 p.m. with crew comments from runwayRunning a day late because of blustery Florida weather, the space shuttle Atlantis dropped out of a sunny Mojave Desert sky and swooped to a smooth touchdown on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to close out an action-packed space station assembly mission. Atlantis lands at Edwards Air Force Base after a 14-day space station construction flight. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight NowFlying upside down and backward over the Indian Ocean half a world away, shuttle commander Rick Sturckow and pilot Lee Archambault fired Atlantis' twin braking rockets at 2:43:47 p.m. EDT for 2 minutes and 33 seconds, slowing the ship by about 200 mph - just enough to drop it into the atmosphere for an hourlong glide back to Earth.The astronauts had hoped to return to Florida, but cloudy weather and rain showers prevented a landing Thursday. With a forecast for more of the same on tap today, entry Flight Director Norm Knight diverted the crew to Edwards one orbit after waving off the first of two opportunities to land at the Kennedy Space Center.Approaching California from the southwest just off the Baja peninsula, Atlantis streaked above San Diego in a steep descent toward Edwards some 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Heralded by twin sonic booms, Sturckow took over manual control as the shuttle descended through 50,000 feet, guided the orbiter through a sweeping right overhead turn and then down to a picture-perfect touchdown on runway 22 at 3:49:38 p.m. EDT."Houston, Atlantis, wheels stopped," Sturckow radioed mission control when the shuttle rolled to a halt."Atlantis, Houston, copy wheels stopped. Welcome back, congratulations on a great mission," replied astronaut Dominic "Tony" Antonelli from the Johnson Space Center.Flight surgeons were standing by to assist returning space station astronaut Sunita Williams, who made the trip back to Earth resting on her back in a recumbent seat bolted to the floor of the shuttle's lower deck. Launched to the station last December, Williams logged 195 days off the planet - a single-flight record for female astronauts."I can't wait to get back and feel the air on my face and the sea breeze," Williams told a reporter Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to hopefully going to the beach and taking a walk with my husband and my dog. That's the first thing. And secondly, I just can't wait for a good piece of pizza."And a hair cut."I think I'm going to have a lot flatter hair when I get back," she laughed. "So I think I'm going to have to work on getting a hair cut as soon as I get back so it looks a little bit normal. I have been living like this with hair up and flying around for a little while, so it's going to be funny to see what it looks like when I get home."She might get the haircut, but it might be a while before Williams feels up to a stroll on the beach. It typically takes returning space station astronauts a month or so to get their land legs back and up to a full year to completely recover from the bone and muscle loss associated with long stays in weightlessness.Williams said earlier she had exercised as required throughout her stay aboard the station and she did not anticipate any major problems readapting to gravity.Her shuttle crewmates - Sturckow, Archambault, flight engineer Steve Swanson, Pat Forrester, Danny Olivas and Jim Reilly - doffed their pressure suits and greeted NASA officials on the runway for a quick inspection of the orbiter. All seven astronauts plan to spend the night at Edwards before flying back to the Johnson Space Center on Saturday."It's great to be back here ... in California, it's just great to be back on planet Earth right now," Sturckow said from the runway. "We had just a wonderful mission. ... There were a lot of challenges on this mission and they were all surmounted, all the solutions worked well and we had a very successful flight."Echoing the same sentiments, Archambault said "we're very proud that the mission is complete. We got the mission done, we brought the orbiter back in great shape and we're here safe and sound at Edwards. Just want to thank everybody, not only here at Edwards recovering us today, but also the folks back at KSC as well as JSC who helped make STS-117 a very successful mission. Thank you very much."Mission duration was 13 days 20 hours 11 minutes and 34 seconds covering 219 complete orbits and 5.8 million miles since blastoff June 8.Atlantis blasted off three months late because of hail damage to the ship's external fuel tank. The shuttle's primary payload was a 36,000-pound $367 million solar array truss segment, along with a fresh station crew member - Clay Anderson - to replace Williams.The S3/S4 solar array truss was attached to the right side of the lab's main power truss the day after docking and hooked up during three spacewalks by Reilly, Olivas, Swanson and Forrester. The astronauts also completed the retraction of another set of arrays that must be repositioned later this year.Because of concern about a peeled-back insulation blanket on the shuttle's left-side Orbital Maneuvering System rocket pod, NASA managers extended the shuttle flight two days and added a fourth spacewalk to give the crew time to make repairs and complete their other work. The repair job eventually was added to the third spacewalk and Olivas, anchored to the end of the shuttle's robot arm, pushed the blanket back down and used a surgical stapler and stainless steel pins to hold it in place.Engineers will examine the rocket pod later to make sure it didn't suffer any heat damage during re-entry. In long-range television views from the runway, the blanket appeared intact. In later close-up views, it appeared the same corner might have pulled back up during entry. But there were no obvious signs of heat damage and surrounding tiles and blankets were not discolored.Atlantis' mission was challenging enough without major space station problems but that's exactly what happened last week during installation of the S3/S4 solar array truss. At roughly the same time the new arrays were attached, the Russian command module's three guidance, navigation and control computers, known collectively as the terminal computer, along with three high-level command-and-control machines known as the central computer, failed to reboot after the guidance system crashed. After three days of around-the-clock troubleshooting, Russian engineers asked station commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Oleg Kotov to install jumper cables to bypass suspect secondary power supply switches.The repair worked and after additional tests and checkout, two computers, or "lanes," in each system were brought back on line. The other two were kept off line in backup mode. But engineers still don't know what caused the so-called soft switches in the secondary power supplies to act up. The circuitry is designed to cut off power to the computers if the incoming electricity isn't stable to within fairly narrow parameters.Some engineers suspected the new solar arrays caused some slight change in the station's power grid that affected the power supply switches. But during a test last Friday, the computers were isolated from the new arrays and they still failed to boot up. Yurchikhin and Kotov then bypassed the secondary power supply switches and all six computers ultimately were successfully activated.On Thursday, the two off-line backup computers - lane No. 1 of the central computer and lane No. 2 in the terminal computer - were powered back up, verified to be healthy and then shut down so Yurchikhin and Kotov could remove the power supply bypass jumpers in a test to help engineers determine whether the cause of last week's problem was transitory or the result of some ongoing issue.But the computers failed to boot up without the jumpers, indicating whatever caused the problem last week is still there, or at least the problem in the power supplies is still present. Russian mission managers plan to launch replacement computer gear aboard an unmanned Progress supply ship scheduled for takeoff July 22. But before they install any new gear, engineers would like to pin down the root cause of the earlier computer problems.Next up for NASA is launch of the shuttle Endeavour around Aug. 7 to deliver a short spacer segment that will be attached to the S4 solar array permitting the eventual attachment of a new set of arrays - S6 - next year. The crew also will deliver an external equipment storage platform.The Endeavour mission features educator-astronaut Barbara Morgan, backup to Challenger "teacher-in-space" Christa McAuliffe. Morgan is now a full-fledged astronaut making her first flight.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:ATLANTIS LANDS AT EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE VIDEO:LANDING REPLAY: SHUTTLE ONBOARD CAMERA VIDEO:LANDING REPLAY: CAMERA 1 VIDEO:LANDING REPLAY: CAMERA 2 VIDEO:LANDING REPLAY: CAMERA 3 VIDEO:LANDING REPLAY: CAMERA 4 VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL WITH ENTRY TEAM VIDEO:NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER LANDING VIDEO:POST-LANDING COMMENTS FROM THE CREW VIDEO:WAVEOFF FOR FRIDAY'S FIRST LANDING CHANCE VIDEO:BAD WEATHER SCRUBS THURSDAY'S LANDING VIDEO:FIRST LANDING OPPORTUNITY WAVED OFF VIDEO:PRE-LANDING MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:CREW INTERVIEWS WITH NBC, ABC AND CNN VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:UNIQUE VIEW OF STATION OVER TAIL OF ATLANTIS VIDEO:ATLANTIS AS SEEN FROM STATION DURING FLYAROUND VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF THE STATION DURING SHUTTLE FLYAROUND VIDEO:SPACECRAFT FLY INTO SUNRISE DURING SEPARATION VIDEO:STATION'S VIEW OF SHUTTLE ATLANTIS UNDOCKING VIDEO:HATCHES CLOSED BETWEEN SHUTTLE AND STATION VIDEO:SUNI WILLIAMS' TEARFUL FAREWELL MESSAGE VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TWO CREWS' FAREWELL CEREMONY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:POST-SPACEWALK STATUS UPDATE VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH LEAD EVA OFFICER VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:IN-FLIGHT CREW NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:SATURDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY NIGHT MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY MID-DAY COMPUTER UPDATE VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER ONBOARD LAUNCH CAMERAS VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:POST-SPACEWALK STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BRIEFING ON MISSION EXTENSION PLANS VIDEO:SPACEWALK No. 1 BEGINS VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF THE SPACEWALKS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:ATLANTIS DOCKS WITH THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:WATCH THE RENDEZVOUS BACKFLIP MANUEVER VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VIEW FROM COMPLEX 41 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA AT THE BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:FULL LENGTH MOVIE OF ASCENT TO ORBIT VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ONBOARD VIDEO CAMERA VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR THE PAD VIDEO:PAD'S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE RETRACTED VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS FROM ATLANTIS' LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAYLOAD'S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN MORE: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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Atlantis heads for launch pad BY SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 15, 2007Editor's note: Rollout was successfully completed at 3:09 p.m. with the platform's lowered onto the pad pedestals.Lumbering along with a top speed of one-mile-per-hour, space shuttle Atlantis emerged from Kennedy Space Center's mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building this morning for the trek to the newly refurbished launch pad 39A.The trip, which should take about six hours, began at 8:19 a.m. EST. Credit: NASA-KSCAtlantis spent eight days inside the 52-story VAB being attached to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters atop a mobile launching platform. The stay was extended a day while technicians examined erratic readings from a pressure sensor inside the right-hand booster. A new sensor will be installed at the launch pad.Today's rollout to the pad travels along a three-and-a-half-mile route known as the crawlerway. The space-age road is 130 feet wide -- almost as broad as an eight-lane highway. Two 40-foot-wide lanes are separated by a 50-foot-wide median strip. The average depth is seven feet. The Apollo-era crawler-transporter carrying Atlantis is powered by 16 traction motors that feed from two 2,750 horsepower diesel engines. Two 1,065 horsepower diesel engines are used for jacking, steering, lighting and ventilating. The transporter consumes 126 gallons of diesel fuel in each mile it travels from the VAB to the pad.The overall weight of the transporter, mobile launch platform and shuttle is 12 million pounds. About 30 workers are needed to operate the crawler, including three drivers -- a prime and backup in the front cabin and one in the rear -- a jacking and leveling operator, a control room operator to run crawler systems and talk with the Launch Control Center, two electricians, two electronic technicians and four diesel mechanics for starting, monitoring and shutting down the transporter's engines. The other team members are mechanics watching over the roll and helping with the platform's docking to the launch pad.NASA anticipates the platform will be lowered onto the pad pedestals around 3 p.m. today. That will commence the methodical process of hooking up the crew module access and hydrogen vent arms extending from the launch tower, as well as electrical, propellant, communications and other lines between the ground systems and mobile platform.The gantry-like Rotating Service Structure will be moved around Atlantis, allowing the payload bay doors to be opened this weekend in preparation for loading the mission cargo aboard the shuttle.The payload is the Starboard 3/Starboard 4 combined truss structure for the International Space Station. The power-generating module will be attached to the station and its giant solar wings unfurled during the upcoming mission. The truss will provide a fourth of the station's power and allow the continued expansion of the outpost.Liftoff remains targeted for March 15 at about 6:42 a.m. EDT. This 28th flight of Atlantis begins a busy year for the shuttle program in which five missions are planned, all dedicated to station assembly.Atlantis will be pad 39A's first launch in over four years. The complex underwent a major refurbishment, enabling it to support all remaining shuttle flights planned through 2010.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:ATLANTIS LEAVES HANGAR AT DAWN VIDEO:SHUTTLE ROLLS TO VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF VAB ARRIVAL VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF LIFTING SLING 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.Spaceflight Now +Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus .STS-1: America's first space shuttle missionThe space shuttle era was born on April 12, 1981 when astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen rode Columbia into Earth orbit from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. The two-day flight proved the shuttle could get into space as a rocket and return safely with a runway landing. Following the voyage of STS-1, the two astronauts narrated this film of the mission highlights and told some of their personal thoughts on the flight. STS-2: First reusable spaceshipSeven months after the successful maiden voyage of space shuttle Columbia, astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly took the orbiter back into space on mission STS-2. The November 12, 1981 launch demonstrated that the space shuttle was the world's first reusable manned spacecraft. Although their mission would be cut short, Engle and Truly performed the first tests of the shuttle's Canadian-made robotic arm. The crew tells the story of the mission in this post-flight presentation.Atlantis prepares to leave station after successful visit BY WILLIAM HARWOOD Canada Goose Hommes

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To my mind, so it behaves like an operating lease rather than a capital expenditure - something we will be discussing a little later in this feature. part of its Tivoli software provides analysis of how virtualised and physical IT assets fit together - bridging the gap between cloud-based and traditional IT assets In particular it shows very detailed metering of services as they are used so costs can be tracked back against budgets Reports on who is using which shared resources can be created so departmental and project usage behaviour can be tracked As with IBM's Maximo Asset Management this works through a Cognos Business Intelligence-based Tivoli Common ReportingIBM SmartCloud provides granular accounting of how virtual and physical IT resources are usedcan help you keep track of development server assets too Often developing new services will entail provisioning a temporary web server which can have the tendency to stay on the books long after the project is over IBM's PureSystems let you provision a server with a time limit This doesn't mean the server is deleted with all your data at the end of the time The image will be archived But it won't be live and that means you won't be paying for services you aren't using PureSystems also let you expand and contract your provisions much more dynamically although you do need to buy into the whole ecosystem - hardware and software - to use PureSystemsUsing Tivoli's reporting tools IBM SmartCloud can show which users departments and projects are using which resourcesWe should also mention one more recent development that has significant bearing on EAM Changes to Lease Accounting rules proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the US will have an impact on how leased capital assets are tracked financially and these changes are being echoed throughout the world via the International Accounting Standards Board Traditionally capital asset leases have been accounted for separately from operating services that you lease A company car is a type of capital lease because with an additional payment you end up owning the vehicle at the end of the lease term whereas with an operating lease - hiring a car for example - you don't A capital asset you lease depreciates over time whereas an operating lease has no capital value to begin with Capital leases are useful because they preserve cash flow in the same way that you might remortgage your house to invest in a new business ventureA fair amount of IT hardware will be obtained on a capital lease and therefore depreciates over the period of its lease This depreciation can then be offset against operating profits along with the interest portion of the lease payment With lease accounting however the lease payment becomes what is offset and will generally be a fixed sum each year in typical loan repayment fashion This may seem like a nuance but a traditional capital lease will generally mean the liability is higher at the beginning of the term than it is at the end because the interest reduces as the loan is paid off With the new lease accounting method it isn't This seemingly subtle difference can affect your asset strategy considerablyConclusionLike most IT services asset management is transforming in the era of cloud systems with the added complication of the new lease accounting rules Not only are more assets becoming virtualised and cloud-based particularly software storage and server-side services but the systems used to manage them are headed in that direction too While some physical assets could never be virtualised in this way the software and systems used to manage them will be and the accounting methods mean they may also behave like virtual leased services from a financial perspective tooFor more information head over to Whereas Office 2013 is permanently tied to the computer it is initially installed upon, In effect, Speaking of the panel, The camera angle is wider and doesn't need quite as much room to operate effectively,The new Kinect camera is just as blocky and almost as large, neither of which are particularly amazing on a grand scale, This is a decent screen,2GHz dual-core processor. Women's Kensington Parka

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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 22, 2009 Astronauts David Wolf and Christopher Cassidy are preparing for a challenging spacewalk today, working at the far left end of the International Space Station's long power truss to replace four of six aging batteries in the lab's oldest set of solar arrays. An artist's concept of spacewalkers Chris Cassidy (left) and Dave Wolf (right) working to swap out batteries on the Port 6 truss. Credit: NASA TVIf one visualizes a football field, the station's airlock is on the right side of the 50-yeard line while the port-six, or P6, solar array is deep in the left end zone. Along with working far from the safety of the airlock, the spacewalkers must manually swap out 375-pound batteries without damaging fragile cooling fins."EVA 3 brings its own challenges," Wolf said in a NASA interview. "Chris, Navy Seal, he and I will go out several hundred feet, multiple tether lengths out. There's no way to get back quick. The (space station) robot arm will place these large solar array batteries reasonably near where they will be installed. But we'll be handling these heavy batteries, each the size of a small refrigerator, each with rows of delicate cooling fins on the back."And we will pull those out of the Vertical Cargo Carrier, hand them back and forth until we get them in position and mate those fins with the opposing fins on the space station. Those are cooling fins so those batteries won't overheat in use. We'll do four of those batteries on EVA-3. We'll do two more EVA-4 and we consider this one of the highest critical pieces of work to do on this mission."The final two P6 batteries will be replaced during a spacewalk Friday by Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn.Today's spacewalk was scheduled to begin at 10:58 a.m. EDT, but the astronauts were running ahead of schedule in their preparations and could start early. This will be the 128th EVA devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998, the ninth so far this year and the third of five planned by Endeavour's crew. It will be the seventh spacewalk for Wolf and the first for Cassidy, a former Navy Seal.For identification, Wolf will be wearing a spacesuit with solid red stripes around the legs while Cassidy will use a suit with diagonal stripes."P6 is the truss segment that's been up there the longest and the batteries are therefore the oldest so those batteries need to be changed out and there's six of them total," Cassidy said in a NASA interview. "We've learned in our training that it's unrealistic to get six completed in one spacewalk. So Dave and I will tackle four and they need to be done in pairs. You know, when you read the instructions on your flashlight and it says, 'Don't mix an old one and a new one together,' I never knew why. Well, the same thing applies to space batteries. You want the pairs to be both new batteries. We can't mix old ones and new ones."So consequently if we do two and we try to do the third, we're committed to the fourth. I think we could probably do five in one EVA, but it doesn't make sense from a hardware perspective. They're done in sets. So we're doing these first four batteries."Each nickel-hydrogen battery measures 40-by-36-by-18 inches and weighs 375 pounds. Two batteries in series can store 8 kilowatts of power. The batteries have a design life of 6.5 years and can endure more than 38,000 charge/discharge cycles."P6 is a long ways away from the airlock," Cassidy said. "I think it's the farthest you could get from the airlock hatch because the airlock's on the starboard side. We're going port, and it's way out there. We have safety tethers that allow us to go 55 or 85 feet. There's two different sizes and so we have to stack ... some together to give us twice the distance."The task in and of itself, of physically pulling out a battery and putting it in, is not necessarily the hard part," Cassidy said. "The hard part is the choreography with the folks moving the arm, Doug (Hurley) and Julie (Payette). As we grab the battery, they'll guide the pallet, the ICC-VLD, away from us, essentially pulling the battery out of the carrier. And then Dave and I have to ... do a series of hand offs. He grabs it and then I move and then I'll grab it and he lets go and then he moves and we kind of do this hopping motion until we get to the spot where the battery's going to go."Here is an updated timeline of today's activity (in EDT and mission elapsed time; includes revision K of the NASA television schedule):EDT........DD...HH...MM...EVENT07/2206:03 AM...06...12...00...STS/ISS crew wakeup06:43 AM...06...12...40...EVA-3: 14.7 psi repress/hygiene break07:28 AM...06...13...25...EVA-3: Airlock depress to 10.2 psi07:53 AM...06...13...50...EVA-3: Campout EVA preps08:03 AM...06...14...00...ISS daily planning conference09:23 AM...06...15...20...EVA-3: Spacesuit purge09:38 AM...06...15...35...EVA-3: Spacesuit prebreathe10:28 AM...06...16...25...EVA-3: Crew lock depressurization10:33 AM...06...16...30...SSRMS ICC maneuver to EVA work site10:58 AM...06...16...55...EVA-3: Spacesuits to battery power11:03 AM...06...17...00...EVA-3: Airlock egress11:13 AM...06...17...10...EVA-3: Setup11:28 AM...06...17...25...EVA-3: EV1: JLE PL preps11:28 AM...06...17...25...EVA-3: EV2: JEF MLI removal11:58 AM...06...17...55...EVA-3: P6 battery replacement (4 of 6)04:43 PM...06...22...40...EVA-3: Cleanup and ingress04:48 PM...06...22...45...SSRMS maneuvers to clear SARJ05:28 PM...06...23...25...EVA-3: Airlock repressurization05:38 PM...06...23...35...Spacesuit servicing06:18 PM...07...00...15...Evening planning conference07:30 PM...07...01...27...Mission status briefing09:03 PM...07...03...00...ISS crew sleep begins09:33 PM...07...03...30...STS crew sleep begins10:00 PM...07...03...57...Daily highlights reelAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP SUMMARY OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD VIDEO:LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD VIDEO:RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD VIDEO:TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:CREW ANSWERS PUBLIC'S QUESTIONS FROM SPACE VIDEO:EXPOSED FACILITY RECEIVES EXPERIMENT CARRIER VIDEO:JAPANESE EXPERIMENTS UNBERTHED FROM SHUTTLE VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 7 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:TUESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:REPLACEMENT COOLING PUMP PUT ON STATION VIDEO:SPARE COMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA TRANSFERRED VIDEO:SPACEWALKER HOPS ABOARD STATION ARM VIDEO:WOLF AND MARSHBURN BEGIN EVA NO. 2 VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 6 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP SUMMARY OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 VIDEO:MONDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 6 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP SUMMARY OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:CANADIANS IN SPACE VIDEO:SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PALLET HANDED OFF TO SPACE STATION VIDEO:CARGO CARRIER UNBERTHED FROM SHUTTLE BAY VIDEO:SUNDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 5 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:UPDATE ON ENDEAVOUR'S HEAT SHIELD CHECKS VIDEO:JAPANESE OUTDOOR SCIENCE PLATFORM ATTACHED VIDEO:SHUTTLE AND STATION ARMS HANDOFF SCIENCE DECK VIDEO:JAPAN'S EXPOSED FACILITY UNBERTHED FROM SHUTTLE VIDEO:THERMAL COVER JETTISONED FROM THE KIBO MODULE VIDEO:HELMET-CAMERA VIEWS AS KOPRA CLIMBS TO SHUTTLE VIDEO:TIM KOPRA EMERGES FROM AIRLOCK FOR EVA NO. 1 VIDEO:SATURDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 4 ACTIVITIES VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP SUMMARY OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 VIDEO:NARRATED TOUR OF ENDEAVOUR'S PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS' ONBOARD CAMCORDER FOOTAGE VIDEO:SHUTTLE FLIES OUT IN FRONT OF STATION VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP VIDEO:BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OF ENDEAVOUR APPROACHING VIDEO:STATION CAMERA CATCHES ENDEAVOUR'S "TI BURN" VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:THE FULL STS-127 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BANANA CREEK VIP SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 VIDEO:SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR BLASTS OFF! VIDEO:STS-127 POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:FOOTAGE OF FUEL TANK AFTER JETTISON VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS REACH PAD 39A VIDEO:CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:WEATHER SCRUBS LAUNCH AGAIN VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES AT PAD 39A ON MONDAY VIDEO:CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS ON MONDAY VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS SUIT UP ON MONDAY VIDEO:THUNDERSTORMS SCRUB SUNDAY'S ATTEMPT VIDEO:CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS ON SUNDAY VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS SUIT UP ON SUNDAY VIDEO:NARRATED SUMMARY SHUTTLE'S PREPARATIONS VIDEO:NARRATED SUMMARY PAYLOADS' PREPARATIONS VIDEO:LIGHTNING STRIKES POSTPONE ENDEAVOUR LAUNCH VIDEO:FRIDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:THURSDAY'S STATUS REPORT ON THE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:COUNTDOWN PREVIEW AND WEATHER BRIEFING VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS RETURN TO CAPE FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:NO LEAKS FOUND DURING SPECIAL TEST VIDEO:EXPLANATION OF THE HYDROGEN LEAK AND THE REPAIR VIDEO:POST-SCRUB NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:FIRING ROOM UPDATE WITH LAUNCH DIRECTOR VIDEO:SCRUB NO. 2 DECLARED DUE TO HYDROGEN LEAK VIDEO:SUNDAY'S UPDATE FROM MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM VIDEO:LEAK POSTPONES SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR LAUNCH VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF SUN SETTING OVER PAD 39A VIDEO:ANOTHER TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY RETRACTION VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF LAUNCH PAD TOWER ROLLBACK VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH MARK POLANSKY VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH DOUG HURLEY VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS CASSIDY VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH JULIE PAYETTE VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH TOM MARSHBURN VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH DAVE WOLF VIDEO:THE STS-127 MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE VIDEO:THURSDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:JAPANESE SCIENCE FACILITIES ABOARD STATION VIDEO:COUNTDOWN BEGINS TICKING FOR SATURDAY'S LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH COUNTDOWN PREVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT VIDEO:GET TO KNOW ENDEAVOUR'S ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS PRACTICE EVACUATION OF SHUTTLE VIDEO:CREW BOARDS SHUTTLE FOR PRACTICE COUNT VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS SUIT UP FOR DRESS REHEARSAL VIDEO:CREW INSPECTS CARGO IN THE PAYLOAD BAY VIDEO:TRAINING SESSIONS AT LAUNCH PAD AND BUNKER VIDEO:INFORMAL CREW NEWS CONFERENCE AT LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW SETS LAUNCH DATE VIDEO:PAD 39A GANTRY ENCLOSES SHUTTLE VIDEO:ROLLAROUND MOVES ENDEAVOUR TO PAD 39A VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR IS HAULED OFF LAUNCH PAD 39B VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF SHUTTLE'S LAUNCH PAD SWITCH VIDEO:SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM UPDATE VIDEO:THE STS-127 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS VIDEO:THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:PAD 39B AND ITS LAST SPACE SHUTTLE VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR'S SUNRISE ARRIVAL AT PAD 39B VIDEO:MIDNIGHT ROLLOUT FROM ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK VIDEO:CRANE ROTATES ENDEAVOUR VERTICALLY VIDEO:ENDEAVOUR MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:ORION AND ARES ROCKET PROGRESS REPORT Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. 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Posted: December 8, 2006Two communications satellites destined to serve millions of Americans were delivered to space Friday evening to begin their television and Internet broadcasting missions. The Ariane 5 rocket rises for its nighttime ascent. Credit: Arianespace TVLiftoff of the Ariane 5 ECA rocket occurred on-time at 2208 GMT (5:08 p.m. EST) from the ELA-3 launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana.The 166-foot tall rocket flew east from South America's northeast coast,dropping its two solid rocket boosters and first stage in the AtlanticOcean before finally releasing the WildBlue 1 and AMC 18 satellites abouta half-hour into the flight.The Ariane 5 placed the satellites in the planned elliptical geostationarytransfer orbit stretching from a low point of around 155 miles to a highpoint of more than 22,300 miles. The targeted inclination wasapproximately 2 degrees.Both payloads will be maneuvered into a circular geostationary orbit22,300 miles above the Equator in the coming weeks. WildBlue 1 will bepositioned at 111 degrees West longitude above the Pacific Ocean, whileAMC 18 will operate from 105 degrees West longitude.WildBlue 1 is beginning a 15-year mission to provide broadband Internetservices to more customers across the United States. The 10,439-poundsatellite will triple the broadband capacity offered by Colorado-basedWildBlue Communications, Inc."We've taken a major step in the WildBlue history toward increasing oursubscriber capacity [by] greater than 500,000 customers [that] we can addonto our network with this satellite," said Jim Elliot, vice president ofinfrastructure for WildBlue.Built by Space Systems/Loral, the satellite features a Ka-bandcommunications payload utilizing 35 geographical spot beams focused onregions throughout the contiguous United States. The system will providewireless high speed Internet to rural homes and offices that are often farremoved from terrestrial networks."That will help us satisfy the tremendous demand that we're having for ourservice, and that is to bring high-speed Internet access all over theUnited States of America," Elliot said in a post-launch speech.WildBlue has been using Ka-band systems aboard the Canadian Anik F2satellite, and company officials say they will continue leasing capacityfrom the spacecraft in the future.WildBlue's Internet service is about 30 times faster than typical dial-upconnections, according to the company's Web site.SES AMERICOM's AMC 18 broadcasting satellite was also put into orbitFriday. The craft carries 24 C-band transponders that will reach usersacross the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean during the next 15years. The 4,588-pound satellite was manufactured by Lockheed Martin.Programming offered through AMC 18 will include a variety of cabletelevision networks, including high definition channels. AMC 18 joins 18other active spacecraft in SES AMERICOM's fleet."The mission is really to support the cable companies for cableprogramming and the high demand for high definition TV," said DennisHuyler, spacecraft mission director for SES AMERICOM.Friday's launch was the 5th and final flight for Ariane rocket family thisyear. Each of the company's missions in 2006 used the Ariane 5 ECA vehicleand carried multiple payloads.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.Another successful Ariane 5 flight Posted: May 21, 2011 Friday's successful Ariane 5 rocket launch delivered satellites to orbit for operators in Singapore, Taiwan and India. It was the 44th straight success for the European launcher.Photo credit: ESA/CNES/ArianespaceFinal 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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 breaks five-month hiatus with successful launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 21, 2010 During its landmark 50th launch, Europe's Ariane 5 rocket successfully blasted off from the South American coast Friday evening with a commercial broadcasting satellite and a payload to link commanders and troops in the German military. Credit: ArianespacePushed into the evening sky by two solid rocket boosters and a hydrogen-burning main engine, the 166-foot-tall launch vehicle roared off its French Guiana launch pad at 2201 GMT (6:01 p.m. EDT) Friday.It was the first flight of the market-leading Ariane 5 rocket in more than five months.The launch was delayed two months after last-minute problems with a helium pressure regulator and other glitches compelled Arianespace to order a quality control review of the Ariane 5 program.The month-long review cleared the way for Friday's liftoff after workers replaced the faulty component responsible for a scrub in April. A top-level audit of the program's quality control practices continues, according to Arianespace officials.The new part apparently functioned as advertised Friday, and the Ariane 5 rocket blasted off at the opening of a 43-minute launch window."This launch has taken place a few weeks behind schedule, but its perfect execution demonstrates that in the face of difficulties, we did exactly what had to be done," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace.Shedding its solid rocket boosters and payload fairing as they were no longer needed, the Ariane 5 soared to an altitude of 107 miles in nine minutes on the power of its cryogenic main stage.The hydrogen-fueled upper stage ignited and burned for more than 15 minutes to propel the rocket and payloads to nearly 21,000 mph.The rocket deployed the 12,063-pound ASTRA 3B television broadcasting satellite about 27 minutes after liftoff and jettisoned a barrel-shaped Sylda payload adapter a few minutes later.The German Armed Forces' COMSATBw 2 satellite separated from the launcher 33 minutes into the flight, wrapping up the 36th consecutive successful Ariane 5 launch since 2003."After victory, you deserve it. After defeat, you need it. After [a successful] launch today, we deserve a glass of champagne," said Brigadier General Thomas Franz, chief of the communications division of the Joint Support Command in the German Armed Forces. Artist's concept of the ASTRA 3B satellite in orbit. Credit: AstriumASTRA 3B will beam television programming directly to homes and businesses across Europe from Spain to the Black Sea for the next 15 years. Customers in the Middle East and Europe will benefit from two-way broadband Internet communications provided by the satellite under the ASTRA2Connect service.Built by EADS Astrium and operated by SES ASTRA of Luxembourg, the spacecraft will position itself in geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the equator at 23.5 degrees east longitude. At that location, the satellite will appear to hover in a fixed spot over Earth to provide consistent communications.Four apogee motor firings are planned over the next week to raise ASTRA 3B's orbit."ASTRA 3B is an important satellite for us because it will allow us to grow in the Benelux and the Eastern European markets," said Ferdinand Kayser, president and CEO of SES ASTRA. "It's also an important satellite because it's one of the largest we have ever launched. It will allow us to exploit direct-to-home television and also Internet-via-satellite in Europe and the Middle East, and, therefore, it represents an important growth potential."The satellite will replace two aging satellites, ASTRA 1E and ASTRA 1G, at the coveted position in the geosynchronous arc. The two older satellites, both launched in the 1990s, will be released for other missions, according to SES ASTRA.Another satellite, ASTRA 3A, will remain colocated with ASTRA 3B to continue providing communications coverage. The craft launched Friday carries 60 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders.SES ASTRA satellites currently located at 23.5 degrees east longitude broadcast more than 400 television and radio channels to nearly 2.9 million homes in Europe, according to AstriumSATBw 2 joins a nearly identical satellite launched in October for the German military.Weighing about 5,500 pounds at launch, COMSATBw 2 was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space under the management of EADS Astrium, the program's prime contractor. A view of the two COMSATBw satellites. Credit: AstriumThe pair of satellites will ensure the German Armed Forces has uninterrupted access to secure telecommunications, including voice and data transmissions, and video and multimedia applications.Germany's new satellite constellation will reach from the Americas to the Far East. COMSATBw 2 will focus its coverage on Europe and Africa.The spacecraft will offer a communications path between the German government, military commanders and troops deployed around the world. Both satellites carry super-high and ultra-high frequency payloadsSATBw 2 will be positioned at 13.2 degrees east longitude, where it will conduct its mission for the next 15 years."For Germany, this is a major step in extending capabilities, especially for our forces out of the area," Franz said. "Our aim is clear: provide for the best communications system for our troops."Arianespace will be playing catch-up for the rest of 2010 to get off up to seven flights of the Ariane 5 rocket this year. The next mission is scheduled for late June with the Arabsat 5A broadcasting satellite for the Middle East and South Korea's COMS 1 satellite to monitor weather, observe oceans and test communications technologies.More flights will follow at a pace of nearly once per month for the rest of 2010, if Arianespace is able to launch all of its planned missions this year.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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 completes another successful ascent to space BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: August 11, 2006A heavy-lifting Ariane 5 rocket gave two communications satellites a smooth ride into space Friday in a launch originating from a European-run spaceport nestled in the South American jungle.Liftoff of the Ariane 5 came at 2215 GMT (6:15 p.m. EDT) from the ELA-3launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket rose away from SouthAmerica's northeast coast and flew on an easterly path across the AtlanticOcean before deploying its two payloads several minutes apart about ahalf-hour after launch.Arianespace officials said the mission went off without a hitch, markingthe 14th straight success for the Ariane 5 rocket since 2003. Friday'sflight was also the 28th launch for the booster since debuting in 1996,and the third for the vehicle this year."Tonight's success is particularly exemplary, and perfectly illustrateswhy we have launched a total of 237 satellites during the past 26 years -which, by far, is a world record," said Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gallshortly after the mission came to a conclusion.The Ariane 5 also used a high-performance cryogenic upper stage with aheritage engine from the defunct Ariane 4 program. This version of therocket - called the Ariane 5 ECA - allows the launcher to haul two largesatellites into orbit on a single mission.Shrouded inside the Ariane 5's stretched payload fairing were the JCSAT 10commercial communications satellite for Japan and the Syracuse 3B militarycommunications bird for the French defense ministry. Both payloads wereplaced in similar transfer orbits with an approximate high point of 22,000miles.Released first was JCSAT 10, which rested atop the Sylda 5 dual payloadadapter during the ride to orbit. JCSAT 10 is beginning a mission forJapan's JSAT Corp., a leading satellite operator covering the Asia-Pacificregion. Nine spacecraft are currently in JSAT's fleet providingcommunications services to customers spread across the Pacific Rim.In the coming weeks, JCSAT 10 will fire its on-board propulsion system toguide itself into a circular geostationary orbit about 22,300 miles high,where its velocity will match the Earth's rotation. Officials currentlyplan to place the spacecraft in a slot along the Equator at 128 degreesEast longitude, where its 30 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders will reachusers in a wide area stretching from Japan and Southeast Asia to Hawaii.The almost 9,000-pound satellite was manufactured by Lockheed Martin for aplanned 15-year mission. The new craft is designed to replace the agingJCSAT 3 platform launched in 1995. The satellite's responsibilities willinclude digital video broadcasting and data transmission services,including a critical role in JSAT's SKY PerfecTV! direct broadcastingprogram.France's Syracuse 3B defense communications satellite was deployed fromthe upper stage almost six minutes later. Like JCSAT 10, it will also soonbe maneuvered into geostationary orbit, but in a location where it willappear to hover above the Equator at 5 degrees West longitude.Syracuse 3B is the second satellite in a cutting edge third-generationspace-based communications network developed by the French defenseministry and industrial partners Alcatel Alenia Space and ThalesCommunications. Already in space is Syracuse 3A - launched in October 2005aboard another Ariane 5 rocket.The Syracuse system was pressed into service in 1985 and has sinceprovided secure communications between the French government and deployedmilitary units. Three incarnations of the program have been in servicethroughout the past 20 years, with the latest series bringing morecapability, security, and operational flexibility than ever before.The Syracuse 3 program carries an estimated total cost of 2 billion euros,or almost $2.6 billion using present currency conversion rates.Built by Alcatel Alenia Space, Syracuse 3B carries a total of 15 channelssplit between the super high frequency and extremely high frequency bands.The 8,267-pound spacecraft is expected to work for up to 12 years linkingsenior French government and military leaders with soldiers in the fieldmunications using the Syracuse 3 satellites are also heavily securedusing anti-jamming technology.In addition to voice and data relay transmissions, Syracuse 3B can alsoprovide telephony services, military intranet networks, andvideoconferencing to its users.The Syracuse 3 program is also a crucial part of NATO efforts to procurecommunications space on national satellites to succeed the organization'scurrent satellite fleet. Along with the United Kingdom's Skynet constellationand the Italian Sicral communications spacecraft, the Syracuse 3 systemwill offer NATO member states access to these services.Thales Communications is responsible for the development of an extensiveground segment, which includes 600 networked receiving stations mounted onships, aircraft, military vehicles, and other sites.The next Ariane 5 launch is scheduled for September 19 with the AmericanDirecTV 9S and Australian Optus D1 communications satellites. A Japanesetechnology demonstration mission will also fly into space aboard theAriane 5 as a secondary payload.TelescopesLargest 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.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. 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.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.Ariane 5 hits the mark with satellites for Europe, Japan SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 28, 2010 Two communications satellites to cover Europe, Africa and Japan were delivered to a spot-on orbit Thursday by an Ariane 5 rocket.Flying for the fourth time this year, the Ariane 5 successfully launched the W3B communications satellite and the BSAT 3b high-definition television broadcasting spacecraft for Eutelsat of Paris and the Broadcasting Satellite System Corp. of Tokyo. Liftoff of the Ariane 5 rocket. Credit: ArianespaceThe bullet-shaped launcher ignited its hydrogen-fueled engine at 2151 GMT (5:51 p.m. EDT). Seven seconds later, two solid rocket boosters fired to propel the 166-foot-tall vehicle into the evening sky over the Guiana Space Center, a sprawling facility on the northeast coast of South America.The Ariane 5 pitched east from the launch pad, darting into a dark sky and through scattered clouds before surpassing the speed of sound 41 seconds after blastoff.Both solid rocket boosters jettisoned 2 minutes, 15 seconds into the mission. The aluminum nose shroud separated less than a minute later, exposing the flight's payloads once the rocket exited the lower atmosphere.The Vulcain 2 main engine shut down and the first stage separated about 9 minutes after liftoff. The upper stage's HM7B cryogenic engine started up a few seconds later and fired for nearly 16 minutes, accelerating to nearly 21,000 mph.The rocket released the 11,839-pound W3B spacecraft at the flight's 28-minute point, then oriented itself to separate the Sylda dual satellite adapter and BSAT 3b.Deployment of the 4,542-pound BSAT 3b satellite occurred nearly 38 minutes after liftoff, extending the Ariane 5 success record to 39 in a row.The Ariane 5 rocket dropped the satellites in a geosynchronous transfer orbit with a high point of 22,312 miles, a low point of 155 miles and an inclination of 2 degrees.Both satellites will use on-board engines to raise their orbits to an altitude of about 22,300 miles in the next several days. The craft will also unfurl solar panels and communications reflectors.Built by Thales Alenia Space and based on the Spacebus 4000 C3 platform, Eutelsat's W3B satellite will complete functional testing and be commissioned in December. Satellite contractor Lockheed Martin will also hand over control of BSAT 3b to its operator in December. Artist's concept of W3B in space. Credit: Thales Alenia SpaceW3B is destined for geosynchronous orbit at 16 degrees east longitude, a prime location to broadcast television and video programming to Central Europe."It is the first of seven satellites that will join our fleet by early 2013 to drive the continuing growth of our activity," said Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat."W3B's capacity will replace the aging Eurobird and SESAT 1 satellites. The new craft was dispatched to 16 degrees east to also replace the W2M satellite, which failed one month after launching in December 2008.Eutelsat switched W3B's launch from a Chinese Long March rocket to an Ariane 5 in February. The change permitted Thales to incorporate U.S. parts on the spacecraft, ensuring it could launch this year after potential production delays stemming from an earthquake that struck the company's satellite construction facility in Italy last year.U.S. arms regulations prevent American satellite parts from launching on Chinese rockets. Eutelsat assigned another communications satellite named W3C to fly on the Long March rocket in 2011.W3B will be moved from the 16 degrees east slot to 7 degrees east longitude after W3C is in orbit.The craft's 56 Ku-band and Ka-band transponders are optimized for direct broadcasting to Europe. A spot beam will be steered toward Madagascar and other Indian Ocean islands for direct broadcasting services, according to Eutelsat.Another beam will provide data and Internet to sub-Saharan Africa. The new bandwidth for Africa will "help drive economic and social development," de Rosen said.Its total coverage area encompasses Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Indian Ocean. It is designed to operate for 15 years."It is a magnificent, flexible and complicated spacecraft that will provide tremendous services to our customers," de Rosen said. "We have customers for the satellite from the North Pole to the South Pole, and thanks to that spacecraft, they will have access to TV services and also to broadband." Artist's concept of BSAT 3b in space. Credit: Lockheed MartinBSAT 3b will broadcast high-definition television to homes and businesses throughout Japan from 110 degrees east longitude. The satellite will link ground stations with 90 million HDTV terminals across the country, according to Kazuo Takenaka, president of B-SAT Corp."BSAT 3b will play a vital role providing satellite broadcasting services for millions in the Japanese public for many years to come," Takenaka said.The satellite is based on Lockheed Martin's A2100A platform, and its design life is 15 years. It carries 12 Ku-band transponders, eight of which will operate at one time.Lockheed Martin is building another satellite named BSAT 3c, which is scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2011 on another Ariane 5 rocket.Arianespace has accomplished four dual-payload launches so far this year."With this evening's success, we already have launched eight large telecommunications satellites since the beginning of 2010, which is more than all of our competitors combined," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace chairman and CEO.Two more satellites, Intelsat 17 and HYLAS 1, are scheduled to launch Nov. 25 on an Ariane 5 rocket. Spanish and Korean payloads will blast off in December on the last Ariane 5 of the year.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. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 in the launch zoneEurope's Ariane 5 rocket moved to the launch zone in French Guiana on Wednesday, loaded with a pair of telecommunications satellites to serve Eutelsat, Qatar and the Indian Navy.The 17-story launcher, powered by twin solid rocket boosters and a hydrogen-fueled core engine, will lift off at 2030 GMT (4:30 p.m. EDT). The flight has a 50-minute launch window.It will take about a half-hour to deliver the Eutelsat 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT 7 payloads into geostationary transfer orbit.See our for the latest news on the launch. Site Map

By Coral Pink Nikes Sep 19, 2014

STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: September 9, 2006; Updated with notes from post-launch briefingThe space shuttle Atlantis took off today on its fifth try, kicking off a long-awaited flight to restart assembly of the international space station three years after the Columbia disaster derailed construction. Atlantis blasts off from pad 39B at 11:15 a.m. Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowConsidered one of the most complex flights in shuttle history, commander Brent Jett and his five crewmates, with help from the station's three-man crew, will attach a 35,000-pound 45-foot-long solar array truss to the lab complex and stage three spacewalks to make critical electrical connections, hook up the array's cooling system and deploy the giant panels."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 Program Manager Wayne Hale: "Clearly these are the most complicated spacewalk and assembly tasks that have ever been done before."Two weeks after being grounded by a launch pad lightning strike, tropical storm Ernesto, a fuel cell glitch and trouble with an external tank fuel sensor, Atlantis's main engines flashed to life on time, followed 6.6 seconds later by ignition of the shuttle's twin solid-fuel boosters at 11:14:55 a.m.With a crackling burst of incandescent flame, Atlantis began accelerating skyward, hitting 120 mph in just 10 seconds and then rolling about its long axis to line up on a trajectory carrying it up the East Coast of the United States.Additional coverage for subscribers: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:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE 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: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: A launch try Friday was called off because one of four hydrogen low-level engine cutoff - ECO - sensors manfunctioned. NASA managers decided to press ahead today using an amended flight rule that permitted a launch if the other three sensors worked properly. As it turned out, ECO sensor No. 3 worked normally today and the malfunction Friday remains an unexplained anomaly."Brent, it looks like you're long wait is over," Launch Director Mike Leinbach radioed the crew a few minutes before liftoff. "We wish you all the best luck in the world, Godspeed, and we'll see you back here in about two weeks.""We appreciate those words and the effort to make this launch window," Jett replied. "It's been almost four years, two return to flight missions, a tremendous amount of work by thousands of individuals to get the shuttle program back to where we are right now and that's on the verge of restarting the station assembly sequence."We're confident over the next few weeks, and few years for that matter, that NASA's going to prove to our nation, to our partners and our friends around the world that it was worth the wait and the sacrifice. We're ready to get to work."Atlantis put on a spectacular Saturday skyshow as it climbed away from Florida's space coast atop a long cloud of churning exhaust, knifing through a partly cloudy sky. A camera mounted on the external fuel tank provided dramatic live views as the shuttle climbed toward space, showing the Florida coast line dropping away in the brackground as the ship arced out over the Atlantic Ocean."What you saw today was a flawless count, a majestic launch and it was tough to get here," said NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. "This vehicle has not flown in many years and not everything in the count leading up to this day was easy. And in between we had to dodge tropical storms, lightning strikes and things like that. But we got here and it was just a flawless day."Atlantis made the climb to orbit using an external tank featuring so-called ice-frost ramps that are officially classified as "probable/catastrophic" in NASA's risk matrix, meaning there is a 50-50 chance of a catastrophic failure over the 100-flight life of a space shuttle.NASA is in the process of redesigning the ice-frost ramps but an interim fix will not be available until next year and the shuttle Discovery will make another flight with the old design in December.Reviewing launch video in slow motion, reporters could see several pieces of what appeared to be foam insulation separating from the external tank about four minutes after liftoff. But that was well above the denser atmospheric regions where debris poses a major threat to the shuttle's heat shield. In any case, there were no obvious signs of damage."It's extremely preliminary but so far, we didn't see anything in the region of highest concern and the things that folks did see ... were well into the ascent phase where we really don't have debris concerns," said LeRoy Cain, chairman of the launch-site Mission Management Team.The video also showed the tank's externally mounted 17-inch-wide liquid oxygen feedline flexing a fair amount as the shuttle thundered away. A foam ramp that used to provide aerodynamic shielding was removed to eliminate a potential source of ascent debris. The oxygen line appeared to move more than one used during Discovery's launch in July, but Atlantis made a so-called high-Q ascent that subjected the shuttle to higher aerodynamic loads. Whether that played any role in the movement of the oxygen line it not yet known.But engineers will need several days to evaluate footage from a variety of cameras, data from wing leading edge sensors, a detailed inspection by the astronauts Sunday and additional inspections Monday during final approach to the station before Atlantis will be given a clean bill of health.Joining Jett and Ferguson aboard Atlantis were flight engineer Dan Burbank, Joe Tanner, Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper.The astronauts have been training for nearly four years to install the new solar arrays and a massive rotary joint that will permit the giant panels to slowly turn like a huge waterwheel as the station streaks around the planet 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.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.Atlantis will dock with the space station Monday around 6:45 a.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.NASA managers may insert an extension day after the first spacewalk to give the astronauts time to carry out additional heat shield inspections if any "areas of interest" are identified during the inspections Thursday or during final approach to the station.But as it now stands, MacLean and Burbank will carry out a second spacewalk the day after the first 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.If all goes well, Atlantis will undock from the space station Sept. 17 - Sept. 18 if the flight is extended a day. 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 before 6 a.m. on Sept. 20, Sept. 21 if the flight is extended. 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.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:POST-SCRUB BRIEFING VIDEO:FRIDAY'S LAUNCH ATTEMPT SCRUBBED VIDEO:ATLANTIS CLEARED FOR LAUNCH FRIDAY VIDEO:BRIEFING ON FUEL CELL DELAY VIDEO:TUESDAY'S STATUS UPDATE BRIEFING VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:MONDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS VIDEO:BIOGRAPHY MOVIE ON THE SIX ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:SHORT MOVIE PREVIEW OF ATLANTIS' MISSION VIDEO:OUTLOOK ON UPCOMING STATION ASSEMBLY FLIGHTS VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES IN T-38 TRAINING JETS VIDEO:COMMENTS FROM CREW AFTER ARRIVAL VIDEO:NEWS BRIEFING ON RETURN TO PAD VIDEO:ATLANTIS ROLLBACK BEGINS VIDEO:OFFICIALS EXPLAIN LIGHTNING SCRUB VIDEO:SEE THE LIGHTNING STRIKE AT PAD B VIDEO:ANOTHER VIEW OF LIGHTNING STRIKE VIDEO:COMPLETE PREVIEW OF ATLANTIS MISSION VIDEO:DETAILS OF THE THREE SPACEWALKS VIDEO:MEET THE SIX ASTRONAUTS 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: - - - John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. 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.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.STS-115 CommanderBrent W. Jett, Jr.Captain, U.S. Navy NASA BIOGRAPHYPosted: September 3, 2006 Credit: NASAPERSONAL DATA: Born October 5, 1958, in Pontiac, Michigan, but considers Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to be his hometown. Married to Janet Leigh Lyon of Patuxent River, Maryland. Coral Pink Nikes

By Rectangular Sep 16, 2014

STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: March 5, 2009 Credit: NASAIn a galaxy of 200 billion or more stars, one could argue planets like Earth - orbiting suitable stars in habitable "Goldilocks" zones where water exists in liquid form and the temperature is not too hot or too cold - must be common. After all, if only a tiny fraction of the Milky Way's stars harbor such planets, one could still expect untold thousands, if not millions, of potentially habitable worlds. And with numbers like that, it's not at all unreasonable to suppose life arose on at least some of them. Extending that argument to the countless galaxies populating the observable universe, one could easily assume the cosmos must be teeming with life.But statistics alone prove nothing about how solar systems might be constructed. While more than 340 planets have been detected orbiting other stars, the limitations of Earth-based observations mean, with a few exceptions, only huge, Jupiter-class gas giants have been identified to date, many of them orbiting hellishly close to their parent stars.Whether such seemingly strange solar system architectures are common or whether they are simply easier to detect using current methods, is not yet clear. Whether Earth-like planets are common or rare is simply unknown. But it is a question with profound implications, one at the heart of any debate about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.NASA plans to take a major step toward answering that question, one way or the other, with launch of a Delta 2 rocket Friday carrying a sophisticated solar-powered satellite called Kepler that is equipped with one of the most powerful digital cameras ever built for space. The $591 million mission is scheduled for liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:49:57 p.m. EST."To this point in time, if you asked me are there other earth's out there, I'd say absolutely, there have to be, we can't be so special," said NASA science chief Ed Weiler. "But if you ask me to prove it, I can't."The Kepler mission "very possibly could tell us that earths are very, very common, that we have lots of neighbors out there. Or, it could tell us that earth's are really, really, really rare, perhaps we're the only Earth," Weiler said. "I think that would be a very bad answer because I for one don't want to live in an empty universe where we're the best there is! That's a scary thought to many of us. But Kepler will tell us that answer and it will tell us soon."Trailing the Earth in its orbit around the sun, the Kepler spacecraft will aim a 95-megapixel camera on a patch of sky the size of an out-stretched hand that contains more than 4.5 million detectable stars. Of that total, the science team has picked some 300,000 that are of the right age, composition and brightness to host Earth-like planets. Over the life of the mission, more than 100,000 of those will be actively monitored by Kepler. Kepler during launch preps in Florida. Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowThe spacecraft's camera will not take pictures like other space telescopes, rather it will act as a photometer and continually monitor the brightness of candidate stars in its wide field of view and the slight dimming that will result if planets happen to pass in front.By studying subtle changes in brightness from such planetary transits - comparable to watching a flea creep across a car's headlight at night - and the timing of repeated cycles, computer analysis can ferret out potential Earth-like worlds in habitable-zone orbits.The probability of finding sun-like stars with Earth-like planets in orbits simliar to ours - and aligned so that Kepler can "see" them - is about one-half of 1 percent. Given the sample size, however, that still leaves hundreds of potential discoveries.But it will take three-and-a-half years of around-the-clock observations to capture the repeated cycles needed to confirm detection of an Earth-like world."Kepler is designed to find hundreds of Earth-size planets, if such planets are common around stars, dozen of these planets, if they are in the habitable zone," said William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center."If we find that many, it certainly will mean that life may well be common throughout our galaxy because there's an opportunity for life to have a place to evolve. If, on the other hand, we don't find any, that will be another profound discovery. It will mean that Earths must be very rare, we might be the only life in our Universe. In fact, it will mean there will be no Star Trek."But he quickly added: "We are hoping to find hundreds, of course. ... Although Kepler will not find E.T., it is hoping to find E.T.'s home."Jon Morse, director of astrophysics at NASA headquarters in Washington, described Kepler as "our planetary census taker.""We're going to get the full sweep of the types of planets in different types of orbits around different types of stars through a big cross-section of our galaxy," he said. "It is going to shape the way that we formulate our plans for future missions on our quest to find Earth-like planets and study their atmospheres and look for the bio-markers like the types of molecules in our atmosphere that may indicate life."Said Michael Bicay, director of science at the Ames Research Center: "The ramifications of the results of this mission, whatever those results are, are going to be significant in our understanding of the frequency of Earth-size planets in the local galaxy and the habitable zones." Where Kepler will look. Credit: NASASee larger image Named in honor of Johannes Kepler, the 17th century Copernican astronomer who formulated the laws of planetary motion, NASA's newest science satellite weighs 2,320 pounds and measures 15.3 feet from top to bottom. It is equipped with four solar panels capable of generating 1,100 watts of power, a radiation-hardened PowerPC flight computer and a Ka-band communications link to relay science data back to Earth. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colo.Following launch from Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Kepler will pass the moon's orbit in just two days as it heads into a 371-day orbit around the sun, separating slowly from Earth. It will aim itself at a patch of sky near the left wing of Cygnus the Swan, midway between the stars Deneb and Vega.And then, Kepler will simply stare at the same stars for three-and-a-half years.The science team will check in twice a week to check the spacecraft's health and upload commands. Once a month, Kepler will look away from its target area, point is high-gain antenna toward Earth and downlink stored data. Every three months, the spacecraft will rotate 90-degrees around its long axis to keep its fixed solar panels face on to the sun and its radiator pointed toward deep space.Kepler's single science instrument is built around a 55-inch mirror and a 37-inch corrector plate that represents a modified Schmidt telescope design. Light from the primary mirror comes to a focus on an assembly of charge coupled devices, or CCDs, similar in operation to the chips used in commercial video and still cameras.But unlike commercial cameras, Kepler's Focal Plane Array is made up of 42 CCDs, each one measuring 2.32 inches by 1.1 inches and containing 2,200 by 1,024 picture elements, or pixels, for a total of 95 million pixels. The focal plane will be maintained at minus 121 degrees Fahrenheit to improve sensitivity and minimize electrical "noise" in the system. Special lenses will smear out the starlight slightly to make slight changes in brightness more easily detectable. A technician completes the installation of CCD modules into the focal plane assembly. Credit: Ball Aerospace"An Earth-like planet passing in front of a sun-like star is going to cause the brightness of that star to dim by only 1 part per 10,000," said Natalie Batalha, a Kepler co-investigator at San Jose State University. "That's like looking at a headlight from a great distance and trying to sense the brightness change when a flea crawls across the surface. But the Kepler instrument is designed to detect such small changes in brightness."Kepler will be aimed at the same spot in the sky, measuring 10 degrees by 10 degrees, for the life of the mission, actively observing more than 100,000 candidate stars. In contrast, the moon's apparent angular diameter is 0.5 degrees. The Hubble Space Telescope focuses on areas the size of a rice grain held at arm's length.A planetary transit will cause the light from a target star to dim, or wink, on timescales of one to 12 hours, depending on the type of star and the size of the planet's orbit. For a planet like Earth passing in front of a star like the sun, the star's light would dim by just 84 parts per million, or less than 1/100th of 1 percent.Kepler is capable of detecting Earth-like planets around stars ranging from 600 to 3,000 light years away.The Kepler team is particularly interested in planets that may orbit within a star's habitable zone, the region around a star where water on a planet can exist as a liquid. Habitable zones vary in location depending on a star's size and brilliance. By timing changes in a star's light as a transit occurs, scientists can figure out the size of a presumed planet's orbit and thus whether it falls in that star's habitable zone."The habitable zone is where we think water will be," Borucki said. "If you can find liquid water on the surface, we think we may very well find life there. So that zone is not too close to the star, because it's too hot and the water boils. Not too far away where the water's condensed and ice-covered, a planet covered with glaciers. It's the goldilocks zone, not too hot, not too cold, just right for life."Brief changes in a star's light output imply an extremely hot planet orbiting close to its parent. Longer transits imply planets at greater distances."We are interested in finding planets that are not too hot, not too cold, but just right," Borucki said. An artist's concept of a planet passing in front of its parent star. Credit: NASAIn its first year of operation, Kepler is expected to discover Jupiter-class super planets orbiting close to their parent stars with periods of just a few days. The Kepler team requires multiple transits to make sure the photometer is not seeing some other phenomenon, like the passage of an unseen companion star or a major disturbance in the target star's appearance. Ground-based astronomers then will be asked to attempt confirmation and only then will results be announced."After several months of data processing and confirmation by ground-based telescopes, scientists hope to announce their first results approximately in December 2009 at NASA Headquarters ... about giant planets found in short-period orbits," NASA said in its Kepler press kit."Discovery of Earth-size planets in Earth-like orbits requires nearly the full lifetime of the 3.5-year mission, although in some cases three transits are seen in just a little more than two years. Other results that require the full 3.5 years of data are: Planets as small as Mars in short period orbits, which utilizes the addition of dozens or more transits to be detectable; and the detection of giant-inner planets that do not transit the star, but do periodically modulate the apparent brightness due to reflected light from the planet."The first announcement of any Earth-like planets orbiting stars like the sun is not expected before December 2012."What I'm hoping, expecting to see as a community scientist is in the first six months to a year, the big, massive hot Jupiters are going to roll off the Kepler assembly line," said Debra Fischer, astronomy professor at San Francisco State University and a veteran exoplanet observer. "This is exciting because these are bizarre planets. We don't really understand the statistics, how they form, how they moved into their current position and just the sheer number of these objects that Kepler will find is going to help us learn a lot about the systems."And then the next class of planets I think will roll out will be perhaps the hot Neptunes," she said. "Significantly smaller than Jupiter, these objects are thought to exist around something like 30 percent of stars like our sun and low-mass stars. And if that is correct, then Kepler should see quite a few of these very large, something like 17 times the mass of the Earth, orbiting.""And then the hardest detection and by far the most exciting is going to be the detection of bona fide Earths - small, rocky planets, Earth-size planets."While such planets are often thought of as terrestrial "rocky" worlds, "I think that the science fiction writers are going to be challenged to imagine the diversity that we could expect to find, even in this type of planets," Fischer said. "They may not be rocky worlds, they may be water worlds without plate tectonics that force the landmass up above the oceans. These could be worlds that, in fact, have life like our oceans, OK? But perhaps not sending radio signals to us."John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. 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.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Shepherding a new era of GPS satellites to orbit SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: April 29, 2010 A cadre of military and industry workers at the Cape Canaveral Air ForceStation is readying the first-of-its-kind satellite for the GlobalPositioning System, an advanced bird that will be shipped to the launchpad and bolted atop a Delta 4 rocket next week.Liftoff of the GPS 2F-1 spacecraft from pad 37B is targeted for May 20during a launch window extending from 11:29 to 11:48 p.m. EDT. Credit: Boeing"We're getting goose bumps right now. We're very excited," said HarryBrown, the GPS 2F program's chief engineer at satellite-builder Boeing."There is a pride in working GPS, there is a pride in what we do for thenation and we know this is a national asset."Circling 11,000 miles overhead, the network of GPS satellites emitcontinuous navigation signals that allow users to find their preciseposition in latitude, longitude and altitude and determine time.Originally built as a tool for the U.S. military, the utility has spreadacross the world as an indispensable commercial service.Some 60 satellites have been launched for the system over the past threedecades, and now the Air Force is poised to deploy the initial satellitein the Block 2F series that features even higher accuracy, enhancedinternal clocks, longer life and reprogrammable onboard processors toevolve with future needs."All in all, the 2F is improved performance, better anti-jam and it's gotadditional civil signals to help aviation," said Brown.Choreographing the GPS 2F-1 satellite preparations at the Cape is the 45thLaunch Support Squadron, a team of 75 people making certain that a healthyspacecraft gets to orbit safely."Traditionally, out of the entire lifetime of the satellite, the yearleading up to and including launching the satellite is by far the highestrisk area," said Capt. Matt Hale, the squadron's GPS section chief."We fall into the 45th Launch Group. The Launch Group is tasked withproviding mission assurance capabilities back to SMC, the Space andMissile Systems Center, in L.A. They have program officers that overseethe factories for the satellites and the factories for the rockets. Afterthey go through their development, they ship them down here and our job isto ensure the final integration activities that happen at the launch siteoccur correctly."The satellite was flown to Florida inside a C-17 airlifter on February 11from Boeing's manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California. Afterarriving at the Skid Strip, it was taken to Area 59 were GPS spacecraftundergo their pre-flight preps. A GPS 2F satellite in pictured here in the California factory. Credit: BoeingHale said the work readying the GPS 2F-1 satellite was divided into twophases: an extensive testing period and then the usual launch campaign ofactivities."We have what we call a functional test. We do a test in L.A. before weleave the factory that goes through the whole functions of the spacecraftthat ensures we have a baseline. When we bring it over to the Cape, we doanother set of that test to ensure during transport all of thecharacteristics stayed the same. Transport is a very stressful environmentfor a spacecraft, second only to launch," Hale said.Engineers then performed an end-to-end combined systems test between theuser equipment that will acquire the navigation signals from the satelliteonce it gets into space, as well as checking the connectivity from thesatellite to the ground control hub that operates the spacecraft in orbit."We verified the vehicle in terms of the performance and signalcharacteristics, made sure the user segments would actually lock up andacquire the signal, and verified that the control system hadcontrollability of the satellite," Brown said."We've had very few issues with the vehicle's performance. It's reallyoperated well."The earlier generations of GPS satellites that launched from the Cape --Blocks 2, 2A and 2R -- went through Area 59 before reaching Complex 17where the Delta 2 rockets blasted off. In advance of the 2F era, thesatellite accommodations were upgraded with modifications that includedstricter cleanliness, security changes, a larger door at entrance of themain bay and installation of a more-precise crane."Most of the existing capabilities were there. It was just improving thecurrent capabilities to tailor it to the spacecraft a little more," Halesaid.Area 59 features two large buildings where GPS 2F-1 has traveled throughduring the past couple of months en route to the launch pad, Hale said."We have the NAVSTAR Processing Facility, the NPF, that's where thetesting is done and the very first portion of processing is done. Then wemove over to the DPF, the DSCS Processing Facility, that's where we do ourmajor processing of the satellite."But unlike the previous generations that rode on smaller rockets, the GPS2F craft will be delivered into orbit atop the Delta 4 and Atlas 5 fleetsof boosters in the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.That presents a major change in the way the satellites are launched andaffords the ground team a streamlined, if not simpler, task of getting thesatellites in flight-ready condition. An artist's concept depicts GPS 2F-1 and its Delta 4 rocket. Credit: ULAThe Delta 2 rockets, although highly reliable, weren't powerful enough toinject the GPS satellites directly into the orbiting constellation. Thethree-stage vehicles released the craft into a highly elliptical orbitstretching from 100 miles at its closest point with Earth to some 11,000miles at its highest point, which is the altitude where the GPS networkresides. The newly-launched satellites were themselves fitted with asolid-fuel kick motor that ignited a few days into flight and finished thejob of propelling the craft into a circular orbit.United Launch Alliance's powerful Delta 4 and Atlas 5 rockets will haulthe GPS 2F satellites directly to their desired destinations, bypassingthe circuitous route of the past. So instead of taking days to reach theGPS orbit, the new 2F-1 satellite will get there in three-and-a-half hourson launch night.And without having to deal with that kick stage, the Cape team's work isvastly simplified because it doesn't have put the satellites throughstringent spin-balancing and attaching the motor.What's more, the two-piece shroud that serves as the rocket's nose conewill be brought into the cleanroom and placed around the satellite insteadof doing that work at the pad like Delta 2 did. The encapsulated GPS 2F-1payload will be driven to the pad already buttoned up to launch.Before the satellite meets the Delta 4, the past few weeks have involvedinstalling the batteries, loading the maneuvering propellant, working withthe adapter hardware needed to mount GPS 2F-1 onto the rocket and puttingthe final touches on the separation system that will release the craftfrom the launcher."It's all tedious work that has to be done with precision," Brown said.Departure from the cleanroom hangar is targeted for next week, when amotorized trailer carries the 3,400-pound satellite up the road to Complex37. It will be hoisted into the pad tower and bolted atop the rocket'ssecond stage. Interface testing will follow to make sure the electricalconnections are good. A rehearsal of the satellite's countdown sequence isplanned, too. An artist's concept shows a GPS 2F satellite in Earth orbit. Credit: BoeingBoeing is slated to build a dozen Block 2F satellites to replace thecurrent orbiting birds as they age, keeping the navigation signals goingstrong for years to come."The importance is sometimes assumed, but it is worth noting. There areboth military and civil applications for GPS. It is a very criticalnational asset in both regards. From the military perspective, it's prettyeasy to envision that. We use it to obtain precision navigation andtiming," said Hale."I think sometimes what people don't understand are the civilapplications. One that I like to highlight that a lot of people don'trealize is the global economy is completely underpinned by the timingsignals that the GPS constellation provides. So all bank-to-banktransactions or your ATM transactions have a GPS time tag on them thatallows our economy to operate."The Air Force could launch the GPS 2F-2 satellite as early as November using an Atlas 5 rocket from Complex 41."Sustainment is the primary purpose of our launches. We have aconstellation of satellites in orbit, so we are sustaining the existingconstellation and incrementally bringing new capabilities on orbit. So theimpact having a single 2F on orbit with the 2F-1 you might not seedirectly a day after the launch, but what you will see is GPS 2F launcheswill incrementally improve the capabilities to meet the warfighters' needsof tomorrow," Hale said."There is a lot of importance attached to the GPS constellation and it'sability to be accurate and be available at all times. So our efforts hereare in support in that critical national and worldwide asset."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.SLC-6 receives its first Delta 4-Heavy rocketSPACEFLIGHT NOW Rectangular

By Canada Goose Banff Parka Sep 15, 2014

En tte d'affiche 20 mila euro anche quando non sono pi?direttori? connat ses premiers échecs avec "Les Rituels de lamour" ou "Les Forges du désert" : un jeu daventure enregistré en Jordanie et diffusé en prime time sur France 2. "Ricordo i miei genitori che litigavano e pensavo fosse una tortura e che dovessero separarsi.metodo naturale basato sull?alimentazio? Canada e Australia. anch'essi arrivati da Torino come Rossi: Robiati, Una sorta di armistizio: lo scontro ?rimandato. Les deux femmes sont des inconditionnelles de Versace. Conviene ripeterlo per crederci davvero: cinque. Canada Goose Banff Parka

By Women's Socks Sep 11, 2014

STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 23, 2004NASA unveiled a spectacular high-resolution mosaic of Saturn's enigmatic moon Phoebe today, along with other data from the Saturn-bound Cassini probe showing the moon formed in the extreme outer solar system and later was captured by the ringed planet's gravity. During its historic close encounter with Phoebe, the Cassini spacecraft captured a series of high resolution images of the small moon, six of which have been put together to create this mosaic. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version "The data that we gathered with the Cassini spacecraft have now given us our first look at this very strange object," said Torrence Johnson, a senior scientist and Cassini team member at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "And what it's told us is that it's a collection of ice and rock and probably carbonaceous compounds."We believe this object has many characteristics in common with things like Pluto and (Neptune's moon) Triton in the outer solar system. In other words, it's a first look at one of these denizens of the outer solar system that we've (seen previously) only from afar."The $3.3 billion Cassini probe, launched in 1997, is scheduled to brake into orbit around Saturn the night of June 30. On June 11, it made a close flyby of Phoebe, giving scientists their first close-up look at the strange moon since Voyager 2 captured a few grainy images in 1981. Voyager 2 imaged Phoebe from a distance of 1.4 million miles. Cassini passed within about 1,285 miles."The Phoebe encounter was a tremendous success scientifically, but also all the instruments worked great, the spacecraft performed beautifully, the nav team put us in exactly the right place and we have wonderful data from all of the experiments," Johnson said. "It's a great warm up for Saturn."Discovered in 1898, Phoebe measures just 137 miles or so across, orbits Saturn at a distance of about nine million miles and circles the planet in the opposite direction from its other moons. Because of that, and the tilt of its orbit, scientists long suspected Phoebe was a captured asteroid or an outer solar system Kuiper belt object left over from the birth of the solar system.The Cassini data indicate the moon almost certainly did, in fact, originate in the Kuiper belt in the extreme outer solar system.Roger Clark, a Cassini researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey said in a new release that "all our evidence leads us to conclude Phoebe's surface is made of water ice, water-bearing minerals, carbon dioxide, possible clays and primitive organic chemicals in patches at different locations on the surface."Cassini also detected as-yet-unknown compounds. But the presence of carbon dioxide provides clear evidence of Phoebe's origin."Phoebe is definitely not an asteroid," said Bonnie Buratti, a member of the Cassini visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team. "It did not form in the asteroid belt because you don't see CO2 in the asteroid belt."It formed some place in the outer solar system beyond the orbit of Jupiter. We believe this is evidence that it came from the Kuiper belt and that it was dragged into the Saturnian system early in the formation of the solar system. So what we see is a very diverse body."With a density of 1.6 grams per cubic centimeter, Phoebe is heavier than pure ice but lighter than most rocks. Johnson said the ratio of water ice to rocky material is similar to that of Pluto and Triton."We believe that four-and-a-half billion years ago, when the solar system was forming, that there were a lot of bodies like Phoebe in the outer solar system," Johnson said. "Since then, most of those bodies have either been accreted in the planets, they have become part of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, or been gravitationally flung out of the system, out into the outer solar system. Apparently, Phoebe managed to hang around to be captured around Saturn."Cassini project scientist Dennis Matson said Cassini had provided more data about Phoebe in two weeks than scientists on the ground had been able to collect over the past century.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:WATCH TODAY'S PHOEBE FLYBY SCIENCE RESULTS BRIEFING VIDEO:ANIMATION SHOWS CASSINI'S ENCOUNTER WITH PHOEBE Ferryflight Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!"The Final Mission" - NASA emblem developed for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew and their support teams to deliver the orbiters to their final destinations at museums.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.Apollo 12 tribute DVD setNew!Featuring the jovial crew of Pete Conrad, Gordon and Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 mission was struck by lightning shortly after liftoff but proceeded on the second successful exploration voyage to the lunar surface. This three-disc DVD brings the mission to life with extraordinary detail.Choose your store: - - - Fallen Heroes special patchThis special 12-inch embroidered patch commemorates the U.S. astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice, honoring the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.Choose your store: - - - Women in SpaceWomen of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier is for girls, young women, and anyone else interested in learning about exciting careers in space exploration. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: - - - Mars rover posterThis new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.Choose your 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.Saturn's moon Phoebe revealed in stunning detail CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: June 13, 2004Extraordinary new images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its close encounter with Saturn's mysterious moon Phoebe were released by scientists Sunday. The must-see pictures show in great detail the cratered surface of the tiny moon. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version FIRST IMAGE: Phoebe's true nature is revealed in startling clarity in this mosaic of two images taken during Cassini's flyby on June 11, 2004. The image shows evidence for the emerging view that Phoebe may be an ice-rich body coated with a thin layer of dark material. Small bright craters in the image are probably fairly young features. This phenomenon has been observed on other icy satellites, such as Ganymede at Jupiter. When impactors slammed into the surface of Phoebe, the collisions excavated fresh, bright material -- probably ice -- underlying the surface layer. Further evidence for this can be seen on some crater walls where the darker material appears to have slid downwards, exposing more light-colored material. Some areas of the image that are particularly bright - especially near lower right - are over-exposed. An accurate determination of Phoebe's density - a forthcoming result from the flyby - will help Cassini mission scientists understand how much of the little moon is comprised of ices. This spectacular view was obtained at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 84 degrees, and from a distance of approximately 32,500 kilometers (20,200 miles). The image scale is approximately 190 meters (624 feet) per pixel. No enhancement was performed on this image. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version SECOND IMAGE: Phoebe delivers on its promise to reveal new wonders to Cassini by showing probable evidence of an ice-rich body overlain with a thin layer of dark material. The sharply-defined crater at above center exhibits two or more layers of alternating bright and dark material. Imaging scientists on the Cassini mission have hypothesized that the layering might occur during the crater formation, when ejecta thrown out from the crater buries the pre-existing surface that was itself covered by a relatively thin, dark lag deposit over an icy mantle. The lower thin dark layer on the crater wall appears to define the base of the ejecta blanket. The ejecta blanket itself appears to be mantled by a more recent dark surface lag.This image was obtained on June, 11 2004 at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 79 degrees, and from a distance of 13,377 kilometers (8,314 miles). The image scale is approximately 80 meters (263 feet) per pixel. No enhancement was performed on this image. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version THIRD IMAGE:This eye-popping high-resolution image of Phoebe's pitted surface taken very near closest approach shows a 13-kilometer (8-mile) diameter crater with a debris-covered floor. Part of another crater of similar size is visible at left, as is part of a larger crater at top and many scattered smaller craters. The radial streaks in the crater are due to downslope movements of loose fragments from impact ejecta. Also seen are boulders ranging from about 50 to 300 meters (160 to 990 feet) in diameter. The building-sized rocks may have been excavated by large impacts, perhaps from some other region of Phoebe rather than the craters seen here. There is no visible evidence for layering of ice and regolith or a hardened crust in this region, as on other parts of this moon. Some of the relatively bright spots are from small impacts that excavated bright material from beneath the dark surface. Images like this provide information about impact and regolith processes on Phoebe. This image was obtained at a phase, or Sun-Phoebe-spacecraft, angle of 78 degrees, and from a distance of 11,918 kilometers (7,407 miles). The image scale is approximately 18.5 meters (60.5 feet) per pixel. The illumination is from the right. No enhancement was performed on this image.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.Saturn's outer rings may be eroding, Cassini data shows UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASEPosted: December 18, 2004A massive eruption of atomic oxygen from Saturn's outer rings, seen by Cassini's ultraviolet camera as the spacecraft neared its destination, may be an indication that the planet's wispy E ring is eroding so fast that it could disappear within 100 million years if not replenished. An artist's concept shows the Cassini space probe at Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPLCassini's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) detected the oxygen atoms spewing into a huge cloud on the dark side of Saturn's rings as Cassini prepared to enter orbit around Saturn in January 2004, said Donald Shemansky, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Data indicated that about 275 million pounds (125 million kilograms) of oxygen was abruptly released in a short period of time. "This was our first surprise in the ultraviolet," said Shemansky, who will analyze ultraviolet data during Cassini's four-year tour of Saturn and its rings with Janet Hallett, a postdoctoral aerospace research associate in the USC Viterbi School. "We aren't sure yet whether this was a transient event or part of a routine recycling process in Saturn's magnetosphere," he said. "Right now scientists are speculating that the oxygen eruption may have been caused by a collision of ice particles from the planet's distant E ring with material in one of the main ring systems, A, B or C. Or it could have been a meteorite collision or an eruption of icy slush on Enceladus, a moon that orbits in the E ring." Shemansky, a co-investigator on the 16-member Cassini ultraviolet imaging team, reported their findings in the Dec. 16 issue of Science Express . Despite Saturn's placid appearance from Earth, the planet is anything but that. The first detailed UV images from the Cassini mission show that Saturn commands a dynamic world of complex, braided ice rings, cannibalistic moons, 1,100 mile-per-hour planetary winds and electrifying auroral displays high in the night skies. Saturn, its moons and highly structured rings live inside a huge cavity in the solar wind created by the planet's strong magnetic field. The magnetosphere is a bubble of particles including electrons, various species of ions, neutral atoms and molecules, several populations of very energetic charged particles like those found in Earth's Van Allen Belts, and charged dust grains. The ionized (electrically charged) gases are called plasmas. However, unlike Jupiter's magnetosphere, Shemansky said Saturn's magnetic cocoon, which is smaller, is filled primarily with neutral gas rather than ions. "Saturn's magnetosphere is turning out to be very different from Jupiter's," he said. "It's dominated by neutral gas and water-rich ingredients produced by its rings, as icy moon debris collides, or by the more energetic collisions of incoming meteorites. It doesn't have nearly as many charged particles, and many of them are absorbed by the rings, so the plasma processes we are observing are entirely different." Two months after his initial observations, Shemansky and his ultraviolet team reported that the large cloud of escaping oxygen atoms had dissipated just as rapidly as it had appeared. Shemansky discounted theories that the rapid loss of material could be explained by "satellite sweeping," a process whereby tiny shepherding moons gobble up debris or deflect it as they clean out gaps between the rings. "The rate at which we saw material escaping from Saturn's outer rings implies that mass equivalent to the entire E ring, even including larger fragments and parent bodies, would be consumed in a period of about 100 million years if no replenishment processes are at work," he said. The rings of gas giants are made up of rocky debris from moons that have been torn apart by tidal waves or by an asteroid or comet collision during heavy bombardment periods. Rings are considered ephemeral and thought to disappear over time spans of billions of years. But Saturn's colorful rings appear to be younger than the planet itself, said scientists ? perhaps only 100 million years old, which is young in cosmological time. They also suspect that Saturn has had several ring systems in its history, although they have never had direct evidence on which to base their assumptions. "These observations are a first in solar system exploration," Shemansky said. "We have direct evidence now that the rings are made up of pure ice and that they are shaped by processes that happen fast," he added. "They aren't the same processes that shaped our solar system 4.5 billion years ago. "Given the fact that the outer rings are present at this time means that the system is being replenished by interactive plasma processes," Shemansky continued. "Clearly, the fact that something is eating up micron-sized grains in the outer ring zones at a high rate tells us that some sort of recycling process must be going on to rebuild them." Cassini's UV imaging spectrograph has made other significant observations. In the ultraviolet, scientists were able to see dust on the rings. Data showed variations in the amount of water-ice contained in the surfaces of ring particles, suggesting that darkened portions had been dusted with powder from pulverized moons or incoming meteoroids. The Cassini UVIS team also obtained ultraviolet images of Phoebe, Saturn's most distant large moon, during the inbound flight to Saturn. Data showed the absorption lines of water-ice on Phoebe's dark surface, which gave scientists more clues about its origins. The only moon in the Saturnian system to orbit in a retrograde, or backward, direction, Phoebe is similar to a common C-type carbonaceous asteroid. Scientists theorize that it was flung out of the Kuiper Belt, a region well beyond Neptune's orbit where thousands of small, icy comets reside, and sucked up by Saturn's strong gravitational field, but no one is absolutely sure of its origin. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft and science instruments are part of an international mission by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency to explore Saturn and its many moons and rings. 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.Saturn's rotation is a puzzle NASA/JPL NEWS RELEASEPosted: June 28, 2004On approach to Saturn, data obtained by the Cassini spacecraft are already posing a puzzling question: How long is the day on Saturn? Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version Cassini took readings of the day-length indicator regarded as most reliable -- the rhythm of natural radio signals from the planet. The results give 10 hours, 45 minutes, 45 seconds (plus or minus 36 seconds) as the length of time it takes Saturn to complete each rotation. Here's the puzzle: That is about 6 minutes, or one percent, longer than the radio rotational period measured by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Saturn in 1980 and 1981.Cassini scientists are not questioning Voyager's careful measurements. And they definitely do not think the whole planet of Saturn is actually rotating that much slower than it did two decades ago. Instead, they are looking for an explanation based on some variability in how the rotation deep inside Saturn drives the radio pulse.The radio sounds of Saturn's rotation, which are also the first sounds from Saturn studied by Cassini, are like a heartbeat and can be heard by visiting "The rotational modulation of radio emissions from distant astronomical objects has long been used to provide very accurate measurements of their rotation period," said Dr. Don Gurnett, principal investigator for the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science instrument, University of Iowa, Iowa City. "The technique is particularly useful for the giant gas planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, which have no surfaces and are covered by clouds that make direct visual measurements impossible."The first hint of something strange about that type of measurement at Saturn was in 1997, when a researcher from Observatoire de Paris reported that Saturn's radio rotation period differed substantially from Voyager. Dr. Michael D. Desch, Cassini Radio Plasma Wave Science team member, and scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has analyzed Saturn radio data collected by Cassini from April 29, 2003, to June 10, 2004. "We all agree that the radio rotation period of Saturn is longer today than it was in during the Voyager flyby in 1980," he said.Gurnett said, "Although Saturn's radio rotation period has clearly shifted substantially since the Voyager measurements, I don't think any of us could conceive of any process that would cause the rotation of the entire planet to actually slow down. So it appears that there is some kind of slippage between the deep interior of the planet and the magnetic field, which controls the charged particles responsible for the radio emission." He suggests the solution may be tied to the fact that Saturn's rotational axis is nearly identical to its magnetic axis. Jupiter, with a more substantial difference between its magnetic axis and its rotational axis, shows no comparable irregularities in its radio rotation period."This finding is very significant. It demonstrates that the idea of a rigidly rotating magnetic field is wrong," said Dr. Alex Dessler, a senior research scientist at the University of Arizona, Tucson. In that way, the magnetic fields of gas giant planets may resemble that of the Sun. The Sun's magnetic field does not rotate uniformly. Instead, its rotation period varies with latitude. "Saturn's magnetic field has more in common with the Sun than the Earth. The measurement can be interpreted as showing that the part of Saturn's magnetic field that controls the radio emissions has moved to a higher latitude during the last two decades," said Dressler."I think we will be able to unravel the puzzle, but it's going to take some time," said Gurnett. "With Cassini in orbit around Saturn for four years or more, we will be in an excellent position to monitor long-term variations in the radio period, as well as investigate the rotational period using other techniques."Cassini, carrying 12 scientific instruments, is just two days from its planetary rendezvous with Saturn. On June 30 it will become the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, when it begins a four-year study of the planet, its rings and its 31 known moons. The spacecraft recently flew past Saturn's cratered moon Phoebe, where it captured spectacular images as well as data on its mass and composition.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.?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.Saturn's swirl imaged CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: June 15, 2004 Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteOn its approach to Saturn orbit insertion, the narrow angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft snapped this image of a turbulent swirl in the high clouds of Saturn's atmosphere. The disturbance occurs in the southern edge of the equatorial band. The image was taken on May 21, 2004, from a distance of 22 million kilometers (13.7 million miles) from Saturn through a filter centered at 889 nanometers. The image scale is 131 kilometers (81 miles) per pixel. Contrast in the image was enhanced to aid visibility. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. 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.Scientists await descent BY WILLIAM HARWOOD Women's Socks

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