Author Topic: NASA managers approve STS-135 mission planning for June 28, 2011 launch  (Read 85872 times)

Online Chris Bergin

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STS-135: Downmass requests build with ISS interest in returning a BGA motor:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/12/sts-135-downmass-build-iss-returning-bga-earth/

Offline nathan.moeller

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Very interesting.  I wonder if they can return with all of that.  If not, I wonder what gets priority - the PMA or the AP (I'm thinking the AP).
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Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Very interesting.  I wonder if they can return with all of that.  If not, I wonder what gets priority - the PMA or the AP (I'm thinking the AP).

Well, they plan for contingency and AOA cases with a full payload, so I think they can return fully loaded as long as CG and safety margins are within limits.
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Online Sesquipedalian

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Can they fit the BGA motor on the LMC, or would they need a separate carrier?

Online The-Hammer

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Can they fit the BGA motor on the LMC, or would they need a separate carrier?

It's small enough to fit inside the airlock. The current on-orbit spare is stored in PMA-3 and rode up inside the MPLM on STS-131.

This one can either go in the MPLM or the mid-deck.
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Offline nathan.moeller

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Well, they plan for contingency and AOA cases with a full payload, so I think they can return fully loaded as long as CG and safety margins are within limits.

That I know - But with the PMA, they'd likely come back heavier than when they launched unless they don't plan to bring much back aboard the MPLM.
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Offline steveS

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With the new short-term appropriations bill signed on Dec. 22 through March 4,  several Internet sites say that STS-135 will not have funding problems. (since $3.1 billion appropriated for the space shuttle program in 2010 in sufficient for STS-133, 134 and 135)

1. Since at least in current belief is that the lauch will take place in late June, when will NASA officially manifest it?

2. When will the tank swap decision between STS-134 and STS-135 be official? (or are they waiting till ET-137 investigations are over so that anything learnt from it can be applied here)

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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With the new short-term appropriations bill signed on Dec. 22 through March 4,  several Internet sites say that STS-135 will not have funding problems. (since $3.1 billion appropriated for the space shuttle program in 2010 in sufficient for STS-133, 134 and 135)

1. Since at least in current belief is that the lauch will take place in late June, when will NASA officially manifest it?

2. When will the tank swap decision between STS-134 and STS-135 be official? (or are they waiting till ET-137 investigations are over so that anything learnt from it can be applied here)

1. Currently plans are tentative, but NASA has said they can go as late as "spring 2011" before making a final call on STS-135.

2. ET-122 on STS-134 is already official (has been since ET/SRB mate review last month -- and earlier than that based on the morning NTD reports and the fact that they rolled the SRBs for STS-134 out of HB1 and into HB3 about two months ago in preparation for mating to ET-122). ET-138 will be the LON tank on STS-335 as well as the tank for the still notional STS-135. 

ET-122 mate to SRBs for STS-134 is tentatively targeted for January 11 but is still highly dependent on the results of the instrumented Tanking Test last week and the ET intertank back-side X-rays to take place over the coming weeks.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2010 03:22 AM by ChrisGebhardt »
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Offline Orbiter

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From SpaceRef.com
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=35607
Quote
The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-267) directs NASA to conduct the above referenced mission. As of this date, the Congress has not cleared final FY 2011 appropriations for the Federal government, including NASA. However, the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act provides funding for most Federal departments and agencies, including NASA, through March 4, 2010, at FY 2010 enacted levels. Funding made available in this measure will enable NASA to work towards the STS-135 mission.

For this reason, I ask that you continue planning and preparations efforts to execute this mission in late June 2011 as currently planned. This includes maintaining the requisite workforce to safely conduct this mission and extending contracts if necessary. We must focus on STS-135 as a real mission as well as a Launch-On-Need capability for the STS-134. Without clarity in focus now we reduce the probability of safely executing this critical mission. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide clear direction for the teams. STS-135 is critical to health of the International Space Station.


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Offline Space Pete

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From Florida Today:

Quote
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden today reiterated a commitment to fly a third shuttle mission this year and said the agency has determined the mission would be safe.

The 2010 NASA Authorization Act requests the flight pending an assessment of its safety, which Bolden said is not yet final.

http://space.flatoday.net/2011/01/bolden-third-shuttle-flight-would-be.html
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Offline rdale

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Something doesn't compute in that article... Bolden says that they determined the mission would be safe, but they can't formally approve the flight until they determine the mission will be safe?

Offline psloss

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Something doesn't compute in that article... Bolden says that they determined the mission would be safe, but they can't formally approve the flight until they determine the mission will be safe?
Sounds like he said something to the effect that the safety assessment isn't final.  Perhaps in a formal sense and perhaps the assessment process isn't complete.

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Something doesn't compute in that article... Bolden says that they determined the mission would be safe, but they can't formally approve the flight until they determine the mission will be safe?
Sounds like he said something to the effect that the safety assessment isn't final.  Perhaps in a formal sense and perhaps the assessment process isn't complete.


Wait... I thought the assessment process for safety was completed back in September? What am I missing here? I clearly remember that in the Congressional bill (now law) that provided direction to fly STS-135 we had discussions on the fact that the safety assessments were already complete.
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Offline psloss

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Wait... I thought the assessment process for safety was completed back in September? What am I missing here? I clearly remember that in the Congressional bill (now law) that provided direction to fly STS-135 we had discussions on the fact that the safety assessments were already complete.
The NESC report was completed in September, but the Shuttle and ISS programs reviewed and responded to findings and recommendations subsequent to that.  And then oversight bodies like the ASAP reviewed both the report and subsequent responses.

This doesn't sound like a big deal, more along the lines that the process of vetting the report and subsequent actions isn't formally complete yet.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2011 07:59 PM by psloss »

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Wait... I thought the assessment process for safety was completed back in September? What am I missing here? I clearly remember that in the Congressional bill (now law) that provided direction to fly STS-135 we had discussions on the fact that the safety assessments were already complete.
The NESC report was completed in September, but the Shuttle and ISS programs reviewed and responded to findings and recommendations subsequent to that.  And then oversight bodies like the ASAP reviewed both the report and subsequent responses.

This doesn't sound like a big deal, more along the lines that the process of vetting the report and subsequent actions isn't formally complete yet.


Ah, I understand.
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