Entries in Shuttle Discovery (10)


Shuttle Discovery Docks with International Space Station

Photo Courtesy - NASA TV(HOUSTON) -- “A fairly textbook docking by Commander Steve Lindsey and the STS-133 crew.”
That was the word from NASA’s Mission Control in Houston as space shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station at 2:14 p.m. ET Saturday for the 13th and final time.

The shuttle and its crew are scheduled to be there for a week to off-load supplies.

Discovery is set to be retired after the current mission.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Discovery to Launch in February; Endeavour's Commander May Not Fly

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- NASA is dealing with two important issues at the moment -- one technical, one personal.

On Tuesday, officials with the space agency said shuttle Discovery would likely launch in late February, more than three months past its scheduled November lift-off.

Meant to be the penultimate flight of the shuttle program, Discovery has been plagued with a series of problems, not the least of which have been cracks in support beams that stabilize the spacecraft’s external fuel tank.

The goal is to take off for the International Space Station at or around Feb. 27.

In other developments, shuttle Endeavour is on track to put a cap on the program’s 30-year history this April, although the scheduled commander of the mission might be missing.

Astronaut Mark Kelly is the husband of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was gravely wounded in last Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Arizona.

Bill Gerstemaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, said Tuesday the decision to fly will be left entirely with Kelly, who has more urgent matters to attend to at the moment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Discovery Faces Delay, NASA Employees Question Future of Program

Photo Courtesy -- NASA(WASHINGTON) – Work is underway on the shuttle Discovery after inspections revealed even more cracks in the external tank.

An oversight team will determine next week whether the shuttle will stay with the scheduled launch date of Feb. 3.

Meanwhile, reports are circulating that dissension has begun to penetrate NASA’s ranks as employees question the program’s direction.
Employees have reportedly begun wearing shirts embroidered with the phrase, “WWED,” or “What Would Elon Do?” Elon refers to Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX, who invested his personal fortune to pursue a dream of sending people into space.

Some at NASA question whether private space entrepreneurs, like Elon, are more capable of leading the space program. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Shuttle Discovery Patched Up, May Fly Next Week

Photo Courtesy - NASA/Tony Gray(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Shuttle Discovery could be ready to launch as early as next week, barring another major setback.

Had things not gone awry, Discovery would have already returned from its last mission to the International Space Station but the early November launch was postponed due to a persistent hydrogen gas leak and cracks in the ribs of the shuttle's external tank.

On Monday, NASA officials said that all the necessary repairs were made and that Discovery might be good to go on or near Dec. 3.

Later this week, program managers will discuss the rationale for launching the shuttle with the repairs and if it passes muster, a final review will be conducted next Monday to give it approval for liftoff.

This would presumably be Discovery's 39th and final flight.  Endeavour is scheduled for the last mission next February before the orbiter fleet is formally retired.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Discovery to Launch No Earlier than Dec. 3

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(HOUSTON) – NASA has announced that they will launch Discovery no sooner than early December after a launch status meeting was postponed Thursday.

The launch status meeting has been moved to Monday due to concerns that more analysis and repairs must be made before Discovery can launch safely.

NASA has been working to fix a leaking hydrogen system that caused the initial delay, and to repair cracks on the exterior of the shuttle.

The Kennedy Space Center will begin the launch countdown no earlier than Nov. 30, and will attempt to launch Discovery no earlier than Dec. 3.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Shuttle Discovery Suffers New Setback

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- NASA engineers keep making grim discoveries as they examine the shuttle Discovery.

The spacecraft, which was supposed to have launched Nov. 5 on the shuttle program’s penultimate mission, was grounded because of a hydrogen leak and cracks on the external fuel tank.

On Monday, NASA engineers found a fourth crack about three inches long on a section between the inside liquid oxygen tank and the liquid hydrogen tanks.

Discovery will stay on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida until all the repairs are made, but time is of the essence.  There’s a launch window that runs between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6.  If NASA misses that, it’s likely Discovery won’t make its last mission to the International Space Center.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


NASA Scrubs Discovery Launch Again over Leak

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.) -- UPDATE: NASA has yet again scrubbed the launch of space shuttle Discovery -- this time over a hydrogen leak mission managers now call "significant," as well as unfavorable launch weather.  The shuttle won't leave the pad until at least November 30th.  The current launch window closes Monday and NASA doesn't want to rush the solution to the leak.

The shuttle was scheduled to launch at 3:04 p.m. ET Friday.  The leak, along with a chance of gusty winds at the time of the launch, forced the space agency to scrap its mission.

Discovery's launch has already been pushed back several times since Monday.

This will be Discovery's last mission.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Space Shuttle Discovery's Launch Delayed Yet Again

Photo Courtesy - NASA/Bill Ingalls(KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.) -- The shuttle Discovery, which was supposed to launch on its last mission on Monday, was delayed to Wednesday, then Thursday, and now it is being held back at least until Friday.

Steady rainfall in Florida is to blame for this new delay.  The first delay was for a small leak, the second for a voltage fluctuation in a circuit breaker, which they decided they could overcome.  But, the weather is another matter.  A rocket ascending through a rainstorm is a natural lightning rod, and a rocket being fueled in the rain is not much safer.

NASA has already put out word via Twitter: "Space shuttle managers will meet at 5 a.m. EDT Friday to evaluate weather. Discovery's Friday launch attempt would be at 3:03 p.m."

Friday's weather forecast is sunny, but windy with gusts up to 30 mph.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Space Shuttle Discovery to Embark on Last Mission

Photo Courtesy - NASA [dot] gov(KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.) -- Barring any problems, space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to take off Wednesday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, representing the penultimate flight of NASA’s shuttle program.

Discovery was actually supposed to launch Monday but it took technicians most of the weekend to repair a leaky helium line.

Embarking on its final journey, Discovery, the oldest spacecraft in the fleet, will head to the International Space Station with parts and supplies on the 11-day mission.

The shuttle program will be officially retired following Endeavour’s last flight, scheduled for Feb. 27, 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


NASA Delays Discovery's Liftoff

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- The launch of shuttle Discovery has been pushed back a day, as technicians at the Kennedy Space Center continue to make repairs.

NASA says it is optimistic for a Wednesday launch. The shuttle was originally set to lift off Monday, and then rescheduled for Tuesday, before this latest delay.

Officials are working to repair the system used to pressurize Discovery’s right Orbital Maneuvering System rocket engine.

“They made good progress but are slightly behind the timeline that was prepared,” NASA said in a statement.

The mission – to the International Space Station – will be Discovery’s last.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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