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Nicodemus

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Shuttle Discovery [Sep. 13th, 2010|12:20 pm]
Nicodemus


Shuttle Discovery is rolling out for the penultimate space shuttle mission. The 140th and almost last (planned) shuttle launch.

They are rolling out after fixing a problem with a loose nut. During assembly with the external tank, a nut came off.

Now, we've all been working on a computer or appliance and dropped a screw. You might curse as you hear it rattle its way down past all the sharp exposed metal edges. You consider fishing around and tearing up your fingers. Then you just flip the darn thing over and shake until the screw rattles its way back out.

You can't do that if you drop a nut inside the shuttle. (Well, technically, you probably could. Use the vehicle assembly hoist and lift the shuttle upside down by its mount points. But it's against regulations. And the last guy they caught doing that got soooooo fired.)

So instead they opened the aft compartment, retrieved the piece, and put it back into position. Now when you consider how big that machine is and how many fittings there are and the fact that they noticed and had to retrieve a single nut... It's understandable why launching one of these things takes a lot of work. This is rocket science.

Best wishes to Discovery for a great mission!
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: foofers
2010-09-13 07:30 pm (UTC)
Man, just look at the condition of that thing. You'd almost think it re-entered the atmosphere like 38 times or something!
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[User Picture]From: the_gneech
2010-09-13 07:33 pm (UTC)
I was just thinking the same thing. I hope they at least give it a good wash!

The picture also screws with the scale of it. I was up close with the Enterprise lander at Udvar-Hazy, and I boggled at how BIG it actually is.

I'm sad to see the passing of an era, tho. The shuttles did some amazing things!

-The Gneech
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[User Picture]From: orv
2010-09-13 07:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, now I'm thinking I should check the CarFax report before going to look at http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/orl/1737878952.html.
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2010-09-14 03:05 am (UTC)
Car Fox
Hiiii! I'm your Car Fox! Buy the shuttle; you're gonna love it!
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[User Picture]From: rapidtrabbit
2010-09-13 07:30 pm (UTC)
I wonder how many people have noticed this...

The first (prototype) Space Shuttle was named Enterprise, after the Star Trek starship.

This last Space Shuttle named Discovery, shares its handle with the Jupiter probe craft in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey".
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[User Picture]From: regalpewter
2010-09-14 12:30 am (UTC)
The test shuttle's name; Enterprise was chosen by fans of the show, Star Trek in a nationwide nomination and voting project. As it was also the name of an historic exploration the later working shuttles were named after other exploration ships from History. Had production of the fleet continued, there was a movement to have one of the future shuttles named Calypso after Jacques Cousteau's flagship.
YIS,
WRI
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[User Picture]From: crankycoyote
2010-09-13 07:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, it's the next-to-last mission - Endeavour has the last one with STS-134 in February.

We'll be watching from Titusville; I'll wave goodbye for you. :)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2010-09-13 08:35 pm (UTC)
D'oh! Thought this was the last. Guess I lost count.

Thanks for the correction. And do give it a fond wave farewell for me. :)
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[User Picture]From: crankycoyote
2010-09-13 09:09 pm (UTC)
I will, thanks! Every geek should see monkeys being shot into space at least once.

Discovery was supposed to be the last, but STS-134 got pushed back due to the mess with the AMS package. So, you were correct up until May of this year, I think. :)
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[User Picture]From: marko_the_rat
2010-09-13 08:57 pm (UTC)
"after fixing a problem with a loose nut"

Hey, I told them I was going to leave them alone after the last time!
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[User Picture]From: harvardheinous
2010-09-14 01:51 pm (UTC)
Probably a lot of a loose nuts at NASA.   ; P
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[User Picture]From: thump
2010-09-13 09:32 pm (UTC)
Hard to think the end of that era is so near...
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[User Picture]From: regalpewter
2010-09-14 12:17 am (UTC)
....and they will be replaced by the new manned program; BAR aka 'Bum a Ride'
YIS,
WRI
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[User Picture]From: genecatlow
2010-09-14 02:30 am (UTC)
I got to see a shuttle land at Moffett Field. They are quite incredible vehicles that have done an amazing amount of work in space.
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[User Picture]From: coongt
2010-09-14 03:36 am (UTC)
Whaaa? When was this? o.o I've lived at the end of Moffett's flight path all my life and never recall a shuttle landing here, when did I miss it?
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[User Picture]From: genecatlow
2010-09-17 04:11 am (UTC)
Erm - perhaps my post was a little briefer than it should have been - I saw a live broadcast of the Endeavor landing via NASA TV at Moffett Field back in 2007. The closest I ever came to seeing an actual shuttle landing in person was watching at a distance when a shuttle came down at Edwards AFB.

Edited at 2010-09-17 04:11 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: kuddlepup
2010-09-15 01:45 am (UTC)
Discovery is now a FOD free zone!
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