jump to navigation

The Clock is Ticking June 29, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Kennedy Space Center, Space Shuttle, Spacecraft.
comments closed

Discovery crew addresses the media.

 + View High-Res Image

Image above: Crew arrives at Kennedy. At the microphone is Pilot Mark Kelly. From left are Commander Steven Lindsey, Mission Specialists Lisa Nowak and Michael Fossum, Kelly, and Mission Specialists Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers and Thomas Reiter.

 Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The launch countdown officially began at 5 p.m. EDT today at the T-43 hour mark. Included in the countdown are nearly 28 hours of built-in hold time prior to a targeted 3:49 p.m. launch on Saturday; it is the middle point in a launch window that extends for 10 minutes. The launch countdown will be conducted from the newly renovated Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center at Kennedy.

During a countdown status briefing this morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding announced that "Discovery is in excellent shape."

"We’re tracking no issues in our preparation at this point. Our teams have been working tirelessly during this last year to help make this flight and all shuttle flights as safe as possible for the crews," he said. "As we approach our nation’s 230th birthday, I’m proud to announce that the launch vehicle, the launch and flight teams and flight crew are ready to launch and continue our mission completing the space station."

STS-121 Payload Manager Debbie Hahn indicated the payloads have been loaded into the orbiter and are ready for flight.

Launch Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported there is a 60-percent chance that weather may prevent launch on Saturday. A Bermuda high could improve the weather, but the Space Coast will be dealing with thunderstorms and anvil clouds which could be an issue because of lightning strikes. In the event of a 24-hour delay, the forecast is identical — with a 60-percent chance of weather delaying the launch. The chance of weather constraints, if the launch is delayed 48 hours, stays at the 60-percent mark because of thunderstorm activity.

Tune in to NASA TV at 10 a.m. Thursday for the Countdown Status Briefing and an update on the launch status and weather forecast for mission STS-121 with NASA Test Director Pete Nicolenko and Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winter.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, NASA TV will host a Launch Readiness News Conference with Mission Management Team chairman, John Shannon; Mike Suffredini, International Space Station Program manager; Mike Leinbach, shuttle launch director; Alan Thirkettle, International Space Station Program manager for the European Space Agency; and U.S. Air Force First Lt. Kaleb Nordgren of the 45th Weather Squadron. They will discuss the preparations for the 32nd flight of Space Shuttle Discovery.
Both exciting events can be seen live on NASA TV.

Advertisements

Site of Carthage, Tunisia June 28, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Earth, EPoD, International Space Station, NASA, People, Planets, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Spacecraft, Website.
comments closed

Site of Carthage, Tunisia

 

Click here to view full image (470 kb)Credit:

NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, NASA, ISS

Description:

The city-state of Carthage in North Africa was founded by Phoenician settlers in 814 BC, and it subsequently became the seat of a trade empire that controlled much of the western Mediterranean region (including most of the former Phoenician lands). Carthage was completely destroyed by the Roman Republic during the Third (and final) Punic War (149-146 BC). The end of Carthage has been made notorious by the story that the Romans allegedly sowed the city with salt to ensure that no further rivals to their power would arise there. However, given the great value of salt at the time and the strategic importance of the city’s location, scholars dispute whether the event actually occurred. Following the destruction of Carthage, Roman dominance of the Mediterranean continued until the fall of the Western Empire in AD 476.

The favorable location of the ancient city of Carthage is clear in this astronaut photograph. Bays along the coastline provide ready access to the Gulf of Tunis, which leads to the Mediterranean Sea. Docks along the coastline (lower right) support the shipping industry. Modern Carthage is a wealthy suburb of the Tunis metropolitan area (the center of which is located to the southwest of the image). Dense concentrations of white rooftops are obvious in the residential subdivisions to the north and south of the ancient city location. Large tracts of new developments appear to be in progress along the curving, light-colored roadways to the west of the historical city (lower image center). The green, shallow waters of an evaporating salty lake are visible at image left. Several such lakes are present in Tunisia and are centers for bird-watching tourism.

Astronaut photograph

ISS013-E-34753 was acquired June 8, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera using an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet.

Central Phoenix Metro Area, Arizona June 5, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Earth, International Space Station, LandSat 7, NASA, People, Planets, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Spacecraft.
comments closed
Central Phoenix Metro Area, Arizona
 

Credit:

NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, Landsat, NASA

Description:

The Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area is the largest in the southwestern United States. The city is made up of 21 incorporated municipalities. When discrete political entities form a larger, integrated urban landscape, geographers call the arrangement a conurbation. This astronaut photograph (upper image) of the central metro region includes the boundary area between three of the municipalities included in the conurbation: the cities of Phoenix (left), Tempe (center and lower right), and Scottsdale (upper right). This high-resolution astronaut image has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of about 9 meters per image pixel. A regional view of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area is also available from the Earth Observatory.

The urban area is still expanding along its fringes, but significant redevelopment is also ongoing in “landlocked” municipalities in the center of the metro area, where expansion is not possible (such as Tempe). Residential areas are grey and gridded into blocks, commercial or industrial sectors often have highly reflective white rooftops, desert soils and rock exposures are brown, vegetation is dark green, and water is black. Comparison of the astronaut image with Landsat Thematic Mapper data (lower image) acquired in 1990 reveals changes in the region over 16 years.

Perhaps the most striking change visible in this image pair is the appearance of Tempe Town Lake, filled in 1999 (upper image, right). The lake was created in the usually dry Salt River channel (dry because the river has been impounded upstream behind Roosevelt Dam since 1911). The lake is part of a plan to develop the Tempe portion of the channel and adjacent floodplain. Contained by inflatable dams to accommodate releases from Roosevelt Dam, the lake holds a nominal water volume of approximately 1 billion gallons, with an estimated 620 million gallons lost to evaporation each year. Other visible changes between 1990 and 2006 include development of land surrounding Sky Harbor Airport, expansion of the airport itself (a third runway, begun in 1997, is visible in the astronaut photograph), and completion of major highways to the southwest of Papago Park and to the east of Tempe Town Lake (upper image, right boundary). Study of the effects of urban modifications in the Phoenix metro area and the surrounding Sonoran Desert ecosystem is the focus of the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research site based at Arizona State University.

While suburbs and skyscrapers are the latest expression of civilization in this portion of the Sonoran Desert, it is not the first large-scale modification of the area to serve human needs. The Hohokam society cultivated the region and created an extensive network of irrigation canals between AD 300 and 1450. The canals remained long after the Hohokam themselves quit the region, and settlers used them in the 19th century to irrigate their fields with water from the Salt River.

Astronaut photograph ISS013-E-17394 was acquired May 10, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera using a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

Just to continue with the audio and video clips June 1, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, International Space Station, NASA, People, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Spacecraft.
comments closed

Today there will be a space walk by the crew of the International Space Station. NASA Tv will be broadcasting it live today starting at 530pm EST, actually space walk will begin at 6:40 p.m EST. You can watch it on the web:

Public Channel:
+ Watch with RealPlayer
+ Watch with RealPlayer
  (Captioned)
+ Watch with Windows Media
   (Best for Full Screen)
+ Listen with RealAudio
Media Channel:
Offline May 26-28
+ Watch with RealPlayer
+ Watch with Windows

Wave Sets and Tidal Currents, Gulf of California May 29, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Earth, International Space Station, NASA, People, Planets, Space Fotos.
comments closed
Wave Sets and Tidal Currents, Gulf of California
Click here to view full image (439 kb)

Credit:

Earth Observatory, International Space Station Program, NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

Description:

Sunglint (reflection of sunlight from the water surface directly back to the camera or satellite sensor) off the Gulf of California gives the water a silver-gray appearance rather than the normal azure color in this astronaut photograph. (Read Sunglint in Astronaut Photography of Earth for a more detailed explanation of sunglint.) The sunglint allows us to see several active features which wouldn’t be visible otherwise. The image captures a moment in time displaying very active and complex ocean wave dynamics. In this view of Punta Perihuete, Mexico, we can see three major features: biological or man-made oils floating on the surface; the out-going tidal current; and complex wave patterns. The oils on the surface are recognizable as light-grey, curved and variable-width streamers shaped by the local winds and currents. Plankton, fish, natural oil seeps, and boats dumping their bilges are all potential sources for these oils.

This image was taken at 1:10 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (19:10 Greenwich Mean Time), and low tide occurred later at 2:44 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (20:44 Greenwich Mean Time). The outgoing, or ebb, current from Playa Colorado Bay is visible at upper right (the Bay itself is not shown). The current brings with it fresher and less dense water that appears as an elongated lens-shape as it flows on top of saltier Gulf water. This density difference causes obvious shear zones along the current boundary, and also a dampening of the ocean wave sets. Offshore, complex wave patterns, including intersecting wave sets, result from a variety of interactions of the moving water with the coastline. The sunglint allows identification of wave sets that are nearly perpendicular to the shoreline (bottom center), another wave pattern parallel to the shore (top center), and wave patterns caused by reflection and refraction (deflecting of the wave off a straight path) along a shoal area that also marks the boundary of the fresh water lens.

Astronaut photograph ISS013-E-16599 was acquired May 9, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera using an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

Tampa, Florida as seen from the ISS May 26, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Earth, International Space Station, JPL, NASA, People, Planets, Space Agencies, Space Fotos.
comments closed

Credit: 

JPL, NASA, Astronaut Photography of Earth: ISS013-E-8123

Description:

This image was taken by an astronaut on board the International Space Station, on April 12, 2006. What is pictured is Tampa, Florida and Tampa Bay. It was taken with a E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera. I enjoyed this picture since this is the area I live in. Hope you all enjoy it

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean May 25, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Earth, International Space Station, JPL, NASA, People, Planets, Space Agencies, Space Fotos.
comments closed

Credit:

JPL, NASA, Astronaut Photography of Earth: ISS013-E-8123

Description:

This image was taken from the International Space Station(ISS) using a E4: Kodak DCS760C Electronic Still Camera on April 19, 2006. At the time this image was taken the ISS was over the Pacific Ocean. The image is showing the sun setting as it appears to the Astronauts on the ISS.

edgeio-key: 0ea5ab668a746ec3860fcbf8413ffcfe98478951

Astronaut Photography of Earth: ISS013-E-10350 May 23, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Earth, International Space Station, NASA, Planets, Space Fotos, Spacecraft.
comments closed

 

Maneuvering in Space May 23, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, International Space Station, NASA, Space Fotos, Space Shuttle.
comments closed

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Credit: STS-114 Crew, ISS Expedition 11 Crew, NASA

Explanation: What arm is 17 meters long and sometimes uses humans for fingers? The Canadarm2 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Canadarm2 has multiple joints and is capable of maneuvering payloads as massive as 116,000 kilograms, equivalent to a fully loaded bus. Canadarm2 is operated by remote control by a human inside the space station. To help with tasks requiring a particularly high level of precision and detail, an astronaut can be anchored to an attached foot constraint. The arm is able propel itself end-over-end around the outside of the space station. Pictured above, astronaut Stephen Robinson rides Canadarm2 during the STS-114 mission of the space shuttle Discovery to the ISS in 2005 August. Space shuttles often deploy their own original version of a robotic arm dubbed Canadarm. Next year, a second robotic arm is scheduled to be deployed on the space station.

A Touch of Luck May 18, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Apollo 10, Astronaut, Earth, NASA, Planets, Space Fotos, Spacecraft.
comments closed

Apollo 10 commander Thomas P. Stafford pats the nose of Snoopy, the mission's mascot, held by Jamye Flowers, astronaut Gordon Coopers' secretary.

As the Apollo 10 crew walks along a corridor on the way to Launch Complex 39B, mission commander Thomas P. Stafford pats the nose of Snoopy, the mission's mascot, held by Jamye Flowers, astronaut Gordon Coopers' secretary.

The Apollo 10 crew nicknamed the Lunar Module (LM) "Snoopy" and the Command/Service Module (CSM) "Charlie Brown" after characters in the Charles Schulz comic strip "Peanuts."

Launched on May 18, 1969, the Apollo 10 mission was a 'dress rehearsal' for the lunar landing that occurred later that year.

The mission successfully completed the first manned CSM and LM docking and undocking operations in a lunar environment. Apollo 10 orbited the moon 31 times during its eight-day mission and took the LM to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface, simulating a lunar landing.

After all these historic 'firsts,' the crew also sent the first live color television from space.

Image Credit: NASA


+ Full Resolution

%d bloggers like this: