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Back In Space
Well, everything looked fine so far. The ascent went off without a hitch, and now they're just coasting, waiting to do the orbital insertion burn in a few minutes. No indication that there were any anomalies at all, from what I could hear on the chatter. Good job, to all the people who worked this flight. Launch Control Team can breathe a sigh of relief, and now the Flight Control Team is in charge.
It will be interesting to see how the tiles look in an inspection at ISS, now that they're sensitized to the issue.
[Update a little after noon]
OK, not quite perfect. The cameras caught some insulation in the act of peeling off the ET after SRB separation. No indication of damage to the Orbiter, though.
There's a silver lining to this little cloud--it will provide more data to allow NASA to calibrate and gain confidence in their other, non-video instrumentation to detect such things, which if successful, means that they won't have to be afraid of launching in the dark for much longer.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2005 08:15 AM
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Excerpt: At 9:39 am CDT, the Space Shuttle Discovery successfully lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center. All indications so far is that the launch was totally successful and now comes the evaluation of all of the video to see if Discovery suffered a debris...
Weblog: Down deep in Texas: The View from Waco
Tracked: July 26, 2005 11:55 AM
here goes a billion dollars. No wait, more if you count previous years standdown budgets too.
congrats ?Posted by kert at July 26, 2005 08:25 AM
That's a meaningless number. The marginal cost (that is, the amount of money we would save by not launching it) of this launch is a couple hundred million dollars. On the other hand, if we only get off this launch this year, and count all the money we've spent over the past two and a half years not launching at all, it cost several billion dollars.
You have to be very careful when quoting launch costs.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 26, 2005 08:34 AM
i know that and i didnt recommet not launching it. Theres no point in not launching as long as the entire program isnt scrapped.
One anomaly so far: Spaceflight Now is reporting a chuck of debris from the ET right after booster separation. Didn't hit the orbiter. No additional info provided during the post-launch news conference.Posted by Dave G at July 26, 2005 09:40 AM
I thought I saw stuff flying off the tank too. That ET camera view was pretty dang cool, as well as serving a purpose.
At least we still haven't had to test those abort scenarios. :-)Posted by Astrosmith at July 26, 2005 10:39 AM
$100 million for a trip to ISS *and* the Moon?
I presume that's using a Soyuz and the $100 million is for the spacecraft, not per seat.
Of course, it's only 3/4 of the way to a lunar landing, but still -- if the INA is revised, NASA could spend $10 billion to develop a heavy lifter or it could buy 100 of these trips for the same money.
> Moscow, July 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Space Agency has begun technical feasibility studies for a new
>The project, proposed by the space shuttle manufacturer Energia, provides for the arrangement of two-week, $100
Wright: "..buy 100 of these trips for the same money."
For what possible purpose? Repeat Apollo 8, 100 times?Posted by Cecil Trotter at July 26, 2005 12:02 PM
"i know that and i didnt recommet not launching it. Theres no point in not launching as long as the entire program isnt scrapped."
I'm in favor of spending more money on proper punctuation. After all, if you can buy a vowell, why can't kert buy a shift key for his computer? Or a spell checker?Posted by Joe Athelli at July 26, 2005 12:12 PM
Joe: "Vowel", dude.
You KNOW you set yourself up for that...Posted by DaveP. at July 26, 2005 12:31 PM
> For what possible purpose? Repeat Apollo 8, 100 times?
You're being ironic, right?Posted by Edward Wright at July 26, 2005 01:16 PM
"Joe: "Vowel", dude.
Not at all. I'm hoarding my consonants so that I can barter them for vowels--er, vowells.Posted by Joe Athelli at July 26, 2005 01:51 PM
The ET camera images were very cool. However, considering the safety implications of having such images I'm surprised that NASA didn't put such cameras on shuttle launches decades ago. I know that they were tested out a time or two before the Columbia accident and they probably cost a least a few million to develop, but hell. A couple of cameras and a video transmitter lets one see exactly what is happening around the shuttle assembly during launch. Its sad that it took the death of seven more astronauts to put such a simple and effective safety measure into regular use.Posted by mpthompson at July 26, 2005 05:18 PM
Wright: "..buy 100 of these trips for the same money."
Cecil: "For what possible purpose? Repeat Apollo 8, 100 times?"
It answers a bigger question. There are many ways to value something, but market value is somewhere near the top.
The other issue is bang for the buck. I think it's good to know you can do Apollo 8 for 1/10th, 1/20th or 1/100th the cost. It seems like a good thing to know when you're figuring out what you want and how much to spend.
So, for what purpose? Frankly, I see very little purpose in going to the moon other than to get our sea legs again.
I rather they do something useful like find a million tons of iron out there, strap a rocket motor on it and put it into Earth orbit... or just some big rock to L4 or L5 that we can carve some caves into (makes a nice vacation home.)
And I'd start taking certain engineers serious when they suggest we can colonize a whole world for about a billion a year (now that is cheeeaaaap!)
Wright: "You're being ironic, right?"
Itís ironic that you would think I am the one being ironic. It is you who has posted at every blog you can find that the VSE is nothing but Apollo part II, yet here you are an advocate of repeating one Apollo TEST flight 100 times. And doing so with NASA, IE taxpayer, money.
Ken: "The other issue is bang for the buck. I think it's good to know you can do Apollo 8 for 1/10th, 1/20th or 1/100th the cost. It seems like a good thing to know when you're figuring out what you want and how much to spend."
True, but then the proposed Soyuz lunar cruise flight is not really the equivalent of Apollo 8 either.
I rather they do something useful like find a million tons of iron out there, strap a rocket motor on it and put it into Earth orbit...
Why would this be useful? It's not as if we could make much use of it anytime soon, and moving all that iron (as opposed to tons of separated PGEs) would be very expensive.
Privitise now?Posted by Andrew Ian Dodge at July 27, 2005 04:56 PM
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