Stories tagged Atlantis

After many setbacks due to weather, the Space Ship Atlantis launched Friday morning. It will be the closing flight in the space shuttle program. It was a difficult moment for many connected with the program. The end of the program will open the door for a new chapter in NASA's investigation of space. Resource for this article - Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off on its final mission by Newsytype.com.

Successful launch bucks odds

The Atlantis left Friday morning at 10:29 EDT from Cape Canaveral, Fla., after delaying it for many days due to bad climate. The shuttle beat the odds as there was only a 30 percent chance it would occur today. The delay was very slight. The retractable arm on the launch pad had a problem causing a two minute delay to take place. It was not a terrible problem. It brought on no danger.

"This is the start of a sentimental journey into history," a NASA commentator said. "Atlantis is flexing its muscles one final time."

Quest STS-135

STS-135, the mission, is going to be the last of the 30 year program making it the 33rd trip. The International Space Station is to be restocked with all the equipment and supplies it needs with the 13-day mission. Russian space crafts will be used to get to the space station in the future. Experts predict that commercial ventures will handle the duty in a decade or so.

Humans and programs in space roles

The equipment being taken to space should be able to tell how programs and humans interact in space through experiments. Robots will become more and more essential the further they are in space, NASA believes. One piece of equipment is meant to see if satellites can be refueled by robots in outer space. This piece of equipment is the size of a washing machine.

"What have we learned in robotics in 30 years? This is it. It's all led up to this," said Brian Roberts, a robotics expert at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "We've practiced on the ground, but we need to see how this would work floating around in space. ... We'll learn a lot of what works well and what doesn't work. We're trying to show the capabilities of robots and their abilities to do these tasks."

Try that app out

With Mission STS-135, there will be new technology. An iPhone is going to be brought to the space station. It's going to be used to track experiment outcomes with an app. The app could help with space navigation also.

Other crafts to launch

"This is not the end of human spaceflight," said NASA's Chief Technologist Bobby Braun via Twitter. "It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

There will be a plan for the Dawn spacecraft later this month. The asteroid Vesta will be orbited. Next month, another craft named Juno will lift off. It is going to Jupiter to study how forces work on larger planets in our system. In order to try and choose the size and composition of the core of the moon, the Gravity Recovery and Interior laboratory (GRAIL) mission will launch in Sept.

Articles cited

Compurterworld

computerworld.com/s/article/9218270/Atlantis_blasts_off_on_historic_last_mission

Popsci

popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/shuttle-program-may-be-over-nasas-mission-far-it

Universe Today

universetoday.com/87345/atlantis-launches-on-final-space-shuttle-mission/

Huffington Post

huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/08/space-shuttle-atlantis-launch-video_n_893314.html

Mar
16
2011

The crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery recently received a “wake-up call” from “Captain Kirk” of the “Star Trek” series. NASA piped in the opening theme from the original “Star Trek” series. It came complete with a custom monologue read by William Shatner, who played the legendary character in the series. However, the quest is a bittersweet one for the team. This is the final trip for Discovery. Source of article - Space shuttle crew gets wake-up call from Captain Kirk by Newsytype.com.

Declaring 'These are the voyages of the Shuttle Discovery'

CNN states that an interesting wake-up call from Earth came to those on the Space Shuttle Discovery from the International Space Station. Discovery got a Houston broadcast that had William Shatner reading the “Star Trek” television series opening monologue at 3:23 a.m. on March 7. ”Captain Kirk” read the monologue with different words added to it. The original songs still played:

"Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30 year mission: to seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together in the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before."

NASA tune contest used

The “wake up call” for astronauts is a song picked by the public. A NASA tune competition is done to pick this. Almost every NASA quest in history has had a “wake up” tune played. Generally the NASA officials or family members of the astronauts picked the songs out though. Original music was submitted while people could also vote on popular songs when the voting started many years back. Versions of the “Star Trek” monologue were submitted by bother William Shatner and Patrick Stewart while the “Star Trek” theme has been really important to many. There has already been voting for the next quest. On April 19, the STS-134 will launch.

The final Discovery mission

This is the last quest in space for the Shuttle Discovery. Discovery and the team of Shuttle Quest STS-133 will land at Cape Canaveral on Wed, March 9, and the spacecraft can be retired. Two final shuttle missions are scheduled for April and July, in accordance with the Washington Times, that could be the final flights of the Endeavour and the Atlantis, respectively. While NASA works on other spacecrafts, the space flight will only be done with “space ferry” crafts that private businesses build and operate after the shuttles are done.

Citations

CNN

cnn.com/2011/US/03/07/nasa.shuttle/index.html?hpt=T2

NASA Song Contest

songcontest.nasa.gov/home.aspx

History of NASA Wake up Songs

History.nasa.gov/wakeup calls.pdf

Washington Times

washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/7/space-shuttle-discovery-heads-home-to-retirement/?page=1

May
20
2010

Atlantis Lifts Off: Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the STS-132 mission to the International Space Station at 2:20 p.m. EDT on May 14.
Atlantis Lifts Off: Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the STS-132 mission to the International Space Station at 2:20 p.m. EDT on May 14.Courtesy NASA
I have been following with interest the last flight of the space shuttle Atlantis. I subscribe to the NASA image of the day site, and since the launch have been providing some cool photos of the mission that are below.

STS-132 (the flight number of the current mission) launched from the Kennedy Space Center on May 14 and docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on May 16. The primary payload on board the shuttle is the
Russian Rassvet Mini-Research Module along with an Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable (ICC-VLD).

An interesting tidbit: On board Atlantis is a 4-inch long wood sample of Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree. This piece is from the tree that supposedly inspired Newton's theory of gravity.The wood is part of the collection of the Royal Society archives in London, and will be returned there following the flight. Neat. Also weird.

Atlantis Performs a Back Flip: The International Space Station (ISS) crew snapped this image of the underside of Atlantis' crew cabin, during a survey of the approaching space shuttle prior to docking with the ISS.
Atlantis Performs a Back Flip: The International Space Station (ISS) crew snapped this image of the underside of Atlantis' crew cabin, during a survey of the approaching space shuttle prior to docking with the ISS.Courtesy NASA

Atlantis' aft section: This view of Atlantis' aft section includes the main engines, part of the cargo bay, vertical stabilizer and orbital maneuvering system pods and was taken by the ISS crew during a survey as the shuttle approached the station prior to docking.
Atlantis' aft section: This view of Atlantis' aft section includes the main engines, part of the cargo bay, vertical stabilizer and orbital maneuvering system pods and was taken by the ISS crew during a survey as the shuttle approached the station prior to docking.Courtesy NSAS

A Feat of Daring: Astronaut Garrett Reisman continued his work during the first of three planned spacewalks for the last Atlantis mission.
A Feat of Daring: Astronaut Garrett Reisman continued his work during the first of three planned spacewalks for the last Atlantis mission.Courtesy NASA

Docked at the Station: This image features the Atlantis' cabin and forward cargo bay and a section of the International Space Station while the two spacecraft remain docked, photographed during the STS-132 mission's first spacewalk.
Docked at the Station: This image features the Atlantis' cabin and forward cargo bay and a section of the International Space Station while the two spacecraft remain docked, photographed during the STS-132 mission's first spacewalk.Courtesy NASA

Jul
02
2007

Atlantis piggyback ride: back to Florida.
Atlantis piggyback ride: back to Florida.
After its 5.8 million mile journey, the space shuttle Atlantis is being returned home to the Kennedy Space Center atop a modified 747 jetliner. They will arrive today, or if weather conditions are not favorable, Tuesday, July 3.

Mission STS-118 will be in August

STS-117 is the 118th shuttle mission and 21st mission to visit the space station. The next mission, STS-118, is slated to launch in August.

Jun
20
2007

Live video from space

Space shuttle detaches from ISS
Space shuttle detaches from ISS
I have been watching NASA TV which is broadcast live via the internet from the International Space Station and the space shuttle, Atlantis. Atlantis detatched from the ISS last night and is now preparing for its landing tomorrow. On board is Suni Williams, who is the new record holder for a long-duration single spaceflight for a woman.

Failure of two ISS computers added tension.

When two computers which controlled life support and space station positioning failed at the same time, the ten astronauts needed to either fix them or abandon the space station. Internation Space Station, June 2007
Internation Space Station, June 2007
An out of position thermal blanket also need to be repaired before landing. In addition to emergencies, the crew installed the Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment and conducted four spacewalks to activate the S3/S4 and assist in the retraction of solar array on the Port 6 truss. These large structures may have been what caused the computer glitches.

You can watch, too.

If you have medium high speed internet (mine is 1.5mbps) you can see live video from space. Last night I saw that the Atlantis was passing over the Great Lakes just after sunset so I ran outside to see if I could see them (it wasn't dark enough). Both the Atlantis and the space station will be visible tonight as they pass overhead. The NASA TV launch page is here. I recommend the Windows Media viewer which allows full screen viewing.

Mission managers have determined Space Shuttle Atlantis will not launch before Tuesday, Aug. 29. NASA

Aug
14
2006

Space station: NASA graphic
Space station: NASA graphic

Space station construction to resume.

After a three and a half year hiatus, construction of the International Space Station (ISS) is finally going to continue. One of the largest pieces, a power generating structure, will be attatched to the ISS. Weighing 17.5 tons, the 240 foot solar arrays on the P3P4 truss segment will generate 20 kilowatts. The 11 day mission could begin as early as August 27. Atlantis' crew members have been training for this mission for four and a half years, since before the Columbia tragedy.WMV video link

The ISS is about half finished

The station is nearly halfway through assembly. The next four flights will bring new truss segments, massive structural support beams, to the complex. The new segments will increase the mass of the station by almost 40 tons, the maximum weight of an 18-wheeled semi-truck.
Two of the trusses include huge sets of solar array wings, totaling more than 17,000 square feet. With a wingspan area the size of a national standard hockey rink, the panels will carry 130,000 solar cells. The new segments include giant rotary joints to allow the tips of the station "backbone" to move as the massive panels track the sun. NASA

To construct the station, more than 100 international space flights will have been conducted on five different types of vehicles launched from four different countries. If all goes well the ISS will be completed in 2010.

Read more about the ISS at Wikipedia.