Stories tagged Endeavour

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

Aug
15
2007

Endeavour’s belly: A view of the Space Shuttle Endeavour as the crew puts the shuttle though a rendezvous pitch maneuver, allowing the crewmembers on the nearby International Space Station to document the vehicle's thermal protection system condition.  Image courtesy NASA.
Endeavour’s belly: A view of the Space Shuttle Endeavour as the crew puts the shuttle though a rendezvous pitch maneuver, allowing the crewmembers on the nearby International Space Station to document the vehicle's thermal protection system condition. Image courtesy NASA.
NASA is still mulling over whether to repair the 3 1/2-inch-long, 2-inch-wide gouge in two tiles on Endeavour’s belly. There are thousands of these tiles that cover Endeavour’s belly that protect it from the heat of reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Current status is that the earliest NASA will have a decision is Thursday. NASA has earlier indicated that they did not feel it is necessary to fix the gouge, but were withholding a final decision until heat-blasting tests were completed. The concern is not that the gouge could result in another Columbia-like disaster during reentry, but that heat will get through to the aluminum structure underneath the tiles resulting in lengthy post-mission repairs.

As I have been hearing about this situation my mind drifts back to a Popular Science article I read a few weeks ago about space diving. Both the space-age equivalent of super-extreme sky diving and also a potential alternate method for astronauts to return to Earth should their spaceship be unsafe to do so, space diving is being developed by a new company called Orbital Outfitters. Their ambitious plan is to demonstrate a 120,000-foot jump in one of their space dive suits by 2009 and a 60-mile space dive within two years.