Thats just reflections of light around the throat. The throat of the SSMEs is a very very small hole in a very very large nozzle (expansion ratio 77:1).In the picture the SSME's off(as in not burning)? why is there light in the engines?
That's for protecting the shuttle against lightning strikes. they go to the top of the launch tower, where the main lightning rod is....and I just noticed in this one
Are those wires going to the launch tower?
probably for stability. I never noticed them before.
Yes. The lightning mast is made of fiberglass and the wires is part of the catenary wire system that leads the lightning strike into the ground protecting the FSS and shuttle from harm.That's for protecting the shuttle against lightning strikes. they go to the top of the launch tower, where the main lightning rod is.
Does this mean that they lower the orbit using the OMS sometime before the de-orbit burn to reduce re-entry loads? Was this an issue for STS-97 with the P6 truss?STS-119, which will carry up the final power generating array (S6) for the ISS, is likely to slip into 2009, should the expected delays be incurred by STS-125 and STS-126. However, information points to an interesting requirement being looked at, should Discovery's flight - currently manifested for December - be required to return home before offloading the payload.
'STS-119 is performance critical (S6 truss). Team determined that for contingency payload return, they were able to implement multi-stage de-orbit and gain 500 pounds of mass in the middeck, which helps Station.'
March 26 (Flight day 17, landing)
Endeavour rolls out after touchdown.
Flight controllers gave a no-go on de-orbit for the first landing opportunity at 23:05 UTC (19:05 EDT), due to unfavorable weather conditions at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.
Weather conditions were acceptable for the second landing opportunity, planned for 00:39 UTC 27 March 2008 (20:39 EDT 26 March 2008). The landing occurred at the Shuttle Landing Facility, and was the sixteenth night landing of the Space Shuttle at KSC , 22nd Shuttle night landing overall. Coincidentally, this mission also began with a night launch.
The second landing opportunity was a complete success with main gear touchdown occurring at 20:39:08 EDT (00:39:08 UTC 27 March 2008), nose gear touchdown at 20:39:17 EDT (00:39:17 UTC 27 March 2008), and wheels stop at 20:40:41 EDT (00:40:41 UTC 27 March 2008), completing the STS-123 crew's 15-day, 18-hour, 11-minutes, and 3-seconds space voyage.
The exhaust produced by the Hydrazine Gas Generator APUs on either side of Endeavour's tail fin created concern among some observers that something was amiss, as it appeared more pronounced than usual in NASA's visual light cameras. However this exhaust is normal and expected. The three Hydrazine Gas Generator APUs are activated 5 minutes before the deorbit burn and are running for 5 min. after wheels stop. The monopropellant hydrazine is changing phase due to a catalyst and reach 1,700°F (927°C). The hydraulic power is needed for the shuttle's rudder/speed brake, elevons, body flap and landing gear during descent, and for the main engine nozzles' gimballing during ascent. Each of the Solid Rocket Boosters have two similar Hydrazine Gas Generators for their nozzle gimballing.