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THE CHATTER BOX

 
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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Next Shuttle Mission by bruey on 13 August 2005 11:51pm
 
Just all of you know (all of you who followed the 1st Return To Flight Mission that is) that the next shuttle mission, STS-121, Space Shuttle Atlantis has been given a launch window of September 9th - September 24th. I will give you more information as I get it.
Bruce.
 
Re: Next Shuttle Mission by bruey on 17 August 2005 3:57pm
 
Found this on the Kennedy Space Center website, www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy

STS-121: Return to Flight Testing Continues

08.11.05

The crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis will continue to test new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of Space Shuttles during the STS-121 mission to the International Space Station. It also will deliver more supplies and cargo for future Station expansion.

This second Return to Flight test mission is to carry on analysis of safety improvements that debuted on the first Return to Flight mission, STS-114, and build upon those tests.

Atlantis will bring a third crewmember to the Station, European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter. This will be the first three-person crew since the Expedition 6 crew returned to Earth May 4, 2003. Without the Space Shuttle to ferry equipment to the Station after the Columbia accident, only two people could be supported onboard until the necessary provisions were in place.

Atlantis will carry the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo, with more than two tons of equipment and supplies aboard.

This will be the fourth trip to the Station for Leonardo, the first of three Italian-built MPLMs. Equipment and supplies no longer needed on the Station will be moved to Leonardo before it is unberthed on Flight Day 10 and put back into Atlantisí cargo bay for return to Earth.

Steve Lindsey, an Air Force colonel, will command Atlantis. He is making his fourth spaceflight, and second as commander. The pilot will be Navy Cmdr. Mark Kelly, making his second flight.

Others aboard, in addition to Reiter, will be mission specialists Mike Fossum, Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers and Navy Cmdr. Lisa Nowak. This will be the first spaceflight for Fossum, Wilson and Nowak. Sellers is making his second spaceflight.

Reiter will remain on the Station, working with the Station crew under a contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Three 6.5-hour spacewalks are scheduled for Sellers and Fossum on the fifth, seventh and ninth days of the mission. The first spacewalk will test the 50-foot robotic arm boom extension as a work platform.

During the second spacewalk, Sellers and Fossum work with adhesive material to repair samples of purposely damaged tiles for analysis and install spare parts for future use.

The third spacewalk will include tasks to test techniques for inspecting and repairing the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon segments that protect the orbiterís nose cone and wing leading edges.

Undocking is set for Flight Day 11. Atlantis' crew will make final preparations for the return home on Flight Day 12, with landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility on Flight Day 13.

 
Re: Next Shuttle Mission by bruey on 19 August 2005 7:33pm
 
Found this press release on the Return to Flight website.

Allard Beutel/Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4769/3749)


Aug. 18, 2005
RELEASE: 05-230


NASA Targets March For Next Space Shuttle Mission

NASA is targeting March for the next Space Shuttle mission (STS-121). The mission will be the second test flight to the International Space Station in the Shuttle Return to Flight sequence.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier made the announcement today at a news conference at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

"We are giving ourselves what we hope is plenty of time to evaluate where we are," said Administrator Griffin. "We don't see the tasks remaining before us being as difficult as the path behind us."

Based on NASA's self-imposed optimum lighting requirements, the earliest possible launch opportunity for the STS-121 mission is March 4, 2006. The Space Shuttle Discovery will be used for the mission, instead of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Moving toward a no earlier than March launch for STS-121 will allow engineering teams more time to properly evaluate the issue of large pieces of insulating foam that came off Discovery's external fuel tank during launch last month.

Targeting March also allows the Space Shuttle Program to put itself into a better posture for future Shuttle missions to the Space Station. Changing Orbiters for the STS-121 mission enables use of Atlantis for the following mission, STS-115, which will resume assembly of the Station.

The switch frees Atlantis to fly the remaining Space Station truss segments, which are too heavy for Discovery, in 2006. By changing the Orbiter line up, the Shuttle program will not have to do two back-to-back missions with Atlantis, as previously scheduled.

"It really makes sense to move to the March timeframe," Gerstenmaier said. "We're looking at the Shuttle missions to support the most robust flight sequence for the Space Station and to make the whole sequence flow better. This extra time helps us make sure that all the work we need to do fits and that there are no other issues."

Discovery's recent mission, STS-114, and the STS-121 mission are test flights. They will enable NASA to evaluate new safety procedures and equipment, giving the agency greater confidence that the Shuttle can be flown safely through its planned retirement date of 2010.

The external fuel tanks at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be shipped back to the Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana for tests and potential modifications
 
Re: Next Shuttle Mission by bruey on 19 August 2005 7:38pm
 
NASA announced yesterday that the next Space Shuttle mission, STS-121, is now targeted for March 2006. This will be the second test flight to the International Space Station in the Shuttle Return to Flight series. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin and Associate Administrator for Space Operations William Gerstenmaeir made the announcement at a briefing on August 18th.

"We are giving ourselves what we hope is plenty of time to evaluate where we are," said Administrator Griffin. "We don't see the tasks remaining before us being as difficult as the path behind us."
 
Re: Next Shuttle Mission by canaveralgumby on 20 August 2005 7:04pm
 
Regarding Leonardo:

Before 9/11, part of the visitors' tour at Kennedy Space Center was a tour of the building where the components of the ISS (Int'l Space Station) are being constructed. Being "Sopranos" fans, my husband and I had a good guilty laugh at this:

The Italian contribution to the ISS is, in effect, a high-tech space-aged waste management container. Hate to perpetuate a stereotype, but I'm not making this up!
 
Re: Next Shuttle Mission by tucsonmike on 21 August 2005 7:39am
 
I would love to see NASA do so much more.
Mike
 
Re: Next Shuttle Mission by bruey on 3 September 2005 5:31pm
 
Just to let you all know that Discovery is being used on STS-121 and not Atlantis.
Bruce
 



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