Monday, August 31, 2009

STS-128: Flight Day 4

Around 4am today, we completed reviewing all of the imagery for any damages and anomalies. Analysts have already begun their assessments on some of the damages that we flagged. Today we will be putting charts together of the damages we found and presenting the analysis results. Overall, the vehicle was not in bad shape. We had some foam debris strikes that are being analyzed, but nothing unusual with the thermal protection system!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

STS-128: Flight Day 3

Discovery is headed to dock with the International Space Station this evening. Docking should occur around 9:04 p.m. EDT.

Yesterday the astronauts conducted an inch-by-inch inspection of the most critical sections of the shuttle's heat shield Saturday, examining the nose cap and wing leading edge panels with a laser scanner on the end of a 50-foot-boom attached to the Discovery's robot arm. The scans were downlinked and then inspected by our group.

Rendezvous operations will begin in about two hours. The 360-degree backflip maneuver in expected at 8:02 p.m. EDT. This is when the ISS astronauts take high resolution photos and downlink them to us here at Johnson Space Center so we can inspect the entire heat shield! We want to make sure there are no major damages outside of our criteria that could be a threat during the intense heating during reentry.

Off to work I go!!!

P.S. Today's is Discovery's BIRTHDAY!!! :) The first flight of Discovery was on August 30th, 1984. 25 years ago!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Discovery LAUNCHES!!!!

Such a beautiful launch tonight!! I'm so glad weather was in our favor! Heading to bed now to hit the gym early in the morning before I head out to Houston to review Discovery's Thermal Protection System.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

STS-128 launch postponed to Friday 8/28 @ 11:59pm EDT

Launch of space shuttle Discovery is being delayed an additional 24 hours to give engineers more time to assess the fill and drain valve issue. The next launch opportunity would come at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

STS-128 launch postponed to Friday 8/28

We're in a 48-hour launch delay while the fill-and-drain valve is undergoing troubleshooting and being reviewed. On Friday, there will be a 40% of weather prohibiting tanking and 30% of weather prohibiting launch. Launch is scheduled for 12:22 a.m. EDT.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

STS-128 SCRUBBED, again

SCRUB! Trouble with a liquid hydrogen fill and drain valve on the space shuttle Discovery has canceled tonight's scheduled launch. How long it will take to fix this problem and reschedule the liftoff is unknown at the moment.


Weather prevented the launch of Discovery. We were so close too!! The lightning had stopped, but rain and clouds were still in violation for a launch. The 24-hour delay will push liftoff to 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 GMT) tomorrow. The Orbiter Closeout Crew has made their way back to the launch pad to assist the astronauts out of Discovery.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Discovery awaiting a launch!

At around 5 a.m. this morning, the rotating service structure (RSS) was retracted to continue with launch preparations.

If all goes according to plan, loading of the external tank with propellant will start at 4:11 p.m. EDT. Fuel loading operations should take about three hours to complete. Hopefully weather won't be an issue! The "night" launches are amazing to witness!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Launch in 2 days!

With launch in 2 days, Discovery currently has no technical issues. We're hoping afternoon thunderstorms won't delay tanking.

Launch is still set for Tuesday morning at 1:36 a.m. EDT.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery Launch Aug 25th!

After many meetings reviewing and discussing foam insulation from the External Tank, it was announced yesterday at the Flight Readiness Review that we will launch Space Shuttle Discovery as-is. The launch date has been set for Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 at 1:36 a.m. EDT.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Endeavour's Engine Removals

I've been primarily assigned to support Endeavour since its successful return and this afternoon the engines were removed for post-flight servicing. The engines are processed through Pratt & Whitney's Rocketdyne group.

I'm pursuing a 2nd Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering through North Carolina State University. Tomorrow is the first day of lecture and I will be taking Fluid Dynamics of Combustion I. Can't wait to get back into coursework. (I'm one of those people who thinks school is fun. I love learning and a good challenge!)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Outdoor Adventures :-)

I admit, I’ve been a little out of touch lately. But I have a good reason. My 6-year-old niece has been spending the summer with me. During the day she attends summer camp, but when I get off of work, I play "mom" and "teacher". Even pretend-parenting is some tough work! Not that I thought it was easy, but now I see where all your time goes when you have kids. :-)

I’ve also been playing outdoors quite a bit. I bought a new mountain bike and tested it out on some trails in Orlando. I had never ridden on trails before, but it’s pretty fun. A little daring at times, but definitely fun.

This is also the season where a lot of races are starting. A couple of weeks ago I placed 3rd in my age group in a triathlon. The triathlon included swimming, biking, and running.

And when it’s nice out, I try to take advantage of kayaking. I took my niece out for her first time and she enjoyed it. We were both a little startled when we heard and saw an alligator get in the water as we were paddling…

Soon my niece will be back home in Washington and I'll have a little more time to write about work and what's been going on out here. :)