Monday, May 04, 2009

Launch next week :)

I haven't blogged in a while because I have been busier that usual, and May will continue to be a challenging month for me.

We're set to launch Atlantis on May 11th at 2:01 p.m. EDT!!

A couple of weeks ago I attended a simulation on the way we're going to be inspecting the thermal protection system. Since we won't have a space station crew to take high-res photos, we'll be relying on camera scans using the robotic arm. The imagery will be different, but we have a great team who's prepared!

This week I am going out of town because I am a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding. Then I get back on Sunday just in time for launch on Monday, May 11th....THEN I leave that same day of launch to Houston to support the thermal protection system imagery review!

I'm excited for this launch because on the day of launch I will be supporting the Launch Control Center (LCC) up to lift-off. In the time I have worked here at Kennedy Space Center, I haven't had the opportunity to support the LCC. I'll basically be in the firing room as a representative of the thermal protection systems. If there are any concerns related to our subsystem, I'd be there to help out. The firing room is the headquarters from which launch operations are supervised and controlled. Responsibility of shuttle remains with the LCC until it clears the launch tower. At that point, everything is handed over to the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center!

Geesh....I have not let so much time pass between posts!! :)


Astronomy Link List said...

Christopher Lusardi said...

Damaris, I have a question for a shuttle expert such as yourself! The question is are the various shuttles different from each other, why are they different, would one be better than another for specific missions, and is Atlantis the best choice for STS0125.

Damaris B. Sarria said...

To answer Chris's question, the orbiters are not different when you look at it from a major component point of view.

However, there are minor changes that the different orbiters are implementing over time, that one may have and the other may not. But we're talking material exchanges that are not critical when it comes to reentry. When it comes to major components, there is no difference in the three.

For STS-125, Atlantis would have been just as good of a choice as the other two. Based on the timeline and mission schedules, it just happened to fall on Atlantis!

Hope this helps.