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Posted 10-26-2009 at 11:55 PM by zerofay32
Updated 11-16-2009 at 01:38 PM by zerofay32

April 23 2010

Atlantis is poised and ready to launch to Space Station Freedom today. This mission, the second to last assembly flight for phase one, will deliver the last truss segment and solar array to the SSF. After installing the new truss the shuttle will depart the station and return to KSC.

Atlantis has lifted off from pad 39 A and is in orbit. The GPCs commanded the center SSME to shutdown on T+ 7:12. The orbiter was high enought that it was able to perform an ATO abort and made it safely to orbit.

UPDATE April 24 FD2:
NASA engineers are looking at the telemetry from Atlantis's ascent and preliminary findings are the engine began to lose pressure in the combustion chamber and this caused the GPCs to shut it down. More will be known after Atlantis lands and is back in the OPF.

The crew is working though their FD2 checklists which involves the OBSS survey and continuing to catch up to the SSF. Survey of the S3 truss in the bay shows that it is alright after the climb to orbit.

Personel at NASA and NORAD have been following telemetry from the ET of STS-FA7-E and have determined that it won't deorbit as planed. Due to the abort trajectory, the ET was released in too high of an orbit to reenter the atmoshere over the pacific ocean. They as of yet have no perdictions for when and where it will reenter but NASA officals are not very concerned. The head maneger for the ET program was quoted as saying that,
"Over the last thirty years of shuttle flights we have proven that large parts of the ET don't ever reach the ground. While we do need to keep an eye on it, the ET will not pose a threat if it reenters over populated areas."

Shuttle Managers are still searching for clues to why the center engine shut down early. So far, nothing has prompted them to ground the fleet and processing on the other orbiters is continuing as scheduled.

UPDATE April 25 FD3:
Space Shuttle Atlantis has docked with Space Station Freedom. Docking occured at 7:20 EST passing over the west cost of south Africa. The station is in free drift and the crews are working on hatch opening. Docking occured at orbital midnight because of the way the shuttle docks to the station. The primary dock is the nadir PMA, which means that the shuttle must do it's final approch during either orbital noon or midnight to prevent the restricted approch path if the solar arrays are in any possition other than horrizontal.

UPDATE April 26 FD4:
FD 4 is a busy one for the crew of STS-FA7-E. First on the agenda is to use the SSRMS 2 to remove the OBSS from the shuttle PLB and hand it off to the shuttle RMS to make room for the other robotic ops. Next the SSRMS 2 will unberth the S3 truss from Atlantis and hand it off to the SSRMS which will do the actual installation. After this, the SSRMS 2 will be used to unberth the MPLM, left by SCS-FA3, and put it in the PLB. This will set the stage for the EVA on FD 5 that will outfit the new solar arrays by attaching hookups, then oversee the deployment of the arrays and Radiator. FD 6 will finish shuttle station transfers and undocking will be on FD 7. FD 8 will be an off duty day for the shuttle crew and deorbit will be on FD 9.

Reports from NASA and NORAD is that the ET reentered the atmoshere at 12:47 am EST into the central Pacific ocean.

The crews aboard the SSF had a long day of robotic ops but are complete and a head of schedule on all tasks for today. The MPLM has been returned to the shuttle and the S3 truss has be attached to the end of the connector truss on the Starboard side. Tomorrow will see an EVA and the activation of the final truss segment of the SSF.

UPDATE April 27 FD5:
Crews aboard the SSF have completed FD 5 tasks. This included the spacewalk and the deployment of the last solar array. Undocking has been moved up to late tomorrow with landing at KSC rescheduled for FD 8.

UPDATE April 28 FD6:
The crews of STS-FA7-E and the SSF are preparing for the undocking of the shuttle. Undocking will occur around 2:00pm EST.

Atlantis is now on her own in orbit. STS-FA7-E undocked from the SSF at 1:57pm EST and performed the traditional flyaround of the station. After one and one half revolutions of the SSF the shuttle performed the final separation manuver. The crew will be working on some DTOs in the middeck today and will have most of tomorrow off duty. In the evening tomorrow they will do some get ahead tasks in preperation for landing on FD8.

UPDATE April 30 FD8:
Atlantis has performed the deorbit burn and is on her way home to KSC. Landing will be at 4:15pm EST.

STS-FA7-E has landed at SLF runway 33 and completes a very succesful mission to the SSF.

The next shuttle flight will be from VAFB and will be the launch of space shuttle Constitution to Skylab-II on mission STS-SL2. Launch is targeted for May 25 and will deliver a node-like module and more equipment to the new outpost.

The next shuttle to go to the SSF will be STS-FA11, the final Freedom Assembly Flight, which is targeted for a June 10th launch.

UPDATE May 01:
With Atlantis back in the OPF engineers will try to determine the cause of the engine shut off on the flight. Currently Atlantis is grounded until the problem is idenified. Her next flight is listed as STS-207, which is a logistics flight to the SSF. STS-207 is targeted for a October 2010 launch. As of today it is not know if this flight will be affected. So far, the rest of the fleet is all green and on schedule.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg STS-FA7-E 01.jpg (88.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg STS-FA7-E 02.jpg (173.0 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg STS-FA7-E 03.jpg (131.5 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg STS-FA7-E 04.jpg (76.3 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg STS-FA7-E 05.jpg (263.2 KB, 19 views)
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  1. Old Comment
    Graham2001's Avatar
    Any plans to use the old ET-Stations addon?
    Posted 12-18-2009 at 11:40 AM by Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    zerofay32's Avatar
    No. One reason is that the actual constrution and outfitting of the tank on-orbit isn't simulated. While I find them an interesting part of the "what if" shuttle program, I would try to do other upgrades first.
    Posted 12-20-2009 at 10:47 PM by zerofay32 zerofay32 is offline

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