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anyone know? (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629853)

Anyone know how many times launch pad 39A has been used for previous shuttle/rocket launches?

Re:anyone know? (5, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629883)

42

Re:anyone know? (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629969)

"42"
Sad thing is, I can't tell if this is a serious answer or a joke, and thus I don't know anything more than I did before the response was given...

Re:anyone know? (2, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629981)

It's a joke.

Re:anyone know? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630865)

1. Make a funny joke on /.
2. Make a post explaining that it was a joke
3. Get mod'ed as Informative
4. Get Karma
5. ???
6. Profit!

Re:anyone know? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630841)

Perhaps if you read more [wikipedia.org] you would acquire a sense of humor?

Re:anyone know? (1)

Crock23A (1124275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630253)

42
Do you know how old you daddy is?

Stewie: 42

Re:anyone know? (3, Informative)

noewun (591275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629911)

TFA says the pad is from the Apollo days.

Re:anyone know? (5, Informative)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630017)

Many. It was built for the Apollo program, first used in 1967 - and handled almost all of the Saturn V Apollo launches bar one (so ~ 16). After that it has, along with 39B been handling Shuttle launches - and so presumably taken close to, if not more than 50% of them (so around 60+). Hence we could be looking at around 70-80 launches - launches of the heaviest kind.

39B has already started to be refurbished for Project Constellation, launching the Ares Saturn like rockets. The plan is that 39A will follow suit after the last of the space shuttle missions are finished.

Re:anyone know? (5, Informative)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630071)

according to the all-knowing wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_pad_39A/ [wikipedia.org] there have been 82 launches.

Re:anyone know? (1)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630157)

From my other comment [slashdot.org] : 82 times, starting almost 41 years ago.

how? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629905)

how can the damage occur after the shuttle is "well off the pad"?

the rockets are causing the damage, so the damage occurs while the rockets are nearby, right?

so debris is flying thru the air while the shuttle is nearby right?

Re:how? (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630105)

Thermal cycling. Cracks can occur in many structural materials while *cooling*, not while heating. Next time try heating a piece of glassware to an unholy temperature, and then dropping it into an ice water bath.

Re:how? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630407)

Thermal cycling. Cracks can occur in many structural materials while *cooling*, not while heating. Next time try heating a piece of glassware to an unholy temperature, and then dropping it into an ice water bath.
You can accomplish the same thing by holding an ice cube to a regular old lightbulb that has been on for a while (yes, I did this a couple of times in high school...).

Re:how? (2, Interesting)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630983)

Ice isn't even necessary. It's been my experience that dripping tap water on a hot bulb is enough to cause an implosion.

Re:how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630433)

Thermal cycling. Cracks can occur in many structural materials while *cooling*, not while heating. Next time try heating a piece of glassware to an unholy temperature, and then dropping it into an ice water bath.
Instead of a glass, try a batch of marbles...

(Ha the captia is "Boiling"

Re:how? (2, Funny)

AntiRush (1175479) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630615)

Next time try heating a piece of glassware to an unholy temperature, and then dropping it into an ice water bath.
You know what happened last time Richard Feynman tried that... they still haven't lived that one down.

Re:how? (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630703)

Or dip a dead rat into a vat of Liquid Nitrogen, and drop him into a watering dish!

Whee!

Re:how? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630815)

Funny, but not the same effect. The dead rat is just shattering, the glass will crack but otherwise retain its shape - the causes of both are unrelated.

Re:how? (4, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630855)

Thermal cycling. Cracks can occur in many structural materials while *cooling*, not while heating. Next time try heating a piece of glassware to an unholy temperature, and then dropping it into an ice water bath.
Not true, the cracks can occur while either heating or cooling. The cracking occurs due to high temperature gradients (very hot next to very cold).

In your glassware example, you heated the piece of glassware slowly, so the thermal gradient was low. In other words the entire piece of glassware was roughly the same temperature while it was heated. When you dropped it into ice water the outside became much colder than the inside because the change in temperature was sudden. I recommend you read this article. [wikipedia.org]

Remember, heat transfer is not instantaneous.

Re:how? (3, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631073)

My bad, I didn't mean to imply cracks cannot occur while heating :) Was merely trying to dispel the myth that things only break while being heated.

Re:how? (3, Informative)

icebrain (944107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631111)

Put that piece of glassware (say, a pie dish) on your stove burner, and turn the burner on high. That plate will shatter soon enough; I've seen it happen.

Re:how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630109)

It's quite possible that there are pressure waves caused by the engines, and only when Discovery was X distance off the pad did a standing wave develop at the pad, pumping more energy in and causing this failure. So NO, no debris flying thru the air with shuttle nearby [or at least no more than normal]

Re:how? (5, Informative)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630127)

It depends on your definition of "nearby".

With nearly 10 million pounds of thrust, I imagine there are still significant blast pressures on that pad even when the shuttle is a kilometer or more above it. For comparison, the blast danger area for other aircraft behind a 747 at full takeoff thrust is more than half a kilometer. If you don't believe that, there's a Top Gear episode that amply demonstrates the fact.

Re:how? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630477)

Top Gear is such an awesome show. I just watched the 747 one [youtube.com] , very cool.

Another bad-ass Top Gear episode, which is also on topic, was where they tried to turn a car into a 3-stage reusable rocket modelled after the shuttle [youtube.com] . This is just the launch part, not the whole episode. Spoiler alert: End with awesome explosion. :)

Also: it's a heavy mission (5, Informative)

kaptain80 (1147495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630629)

STS-124 is carrying Kibo, making it a rather heavy liftoff. It would have taken Discovery a little longer than usual to get away from the pad, subjecting it to a longer duration acoustic/vibration environment.

Also, it wasn't that far off the pad when the bricks were flying off according to this image [aviationweek.com] . (Same photo as TFA, but a little farther out)

Re:Also: it's a heavy mission (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630807)

That's why sig limits are always important. Kibo's [wikipedia.org] .signature weighs waayyyy too much.

Re:Also: it's a heavy mission (2)

BBandCMKRNL (1061768) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630975)

STS-124 is carrying Kibo, making it a rather heavy liftoff. It would have taken Discovery a little longer than usual to get away from the pad, subjecting it to a longer duration acoustic/vibration environment.
We know this is the largest payload by volume, given that they had to remove the Shuttle's onboard robot arm and leave at the ISS on its last trip, but was it the heaviest payload? Perhaps the payload was simply a mostly empty large cylinder? I honestly don't know the answer to the question and am just asking.

Re:how? (1)

redxxx (1194349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630187)

They mean, I assume, that the launch would not have been effected, because the shuttle was not close enough to the pad to be damaged(the tail had passed the top of the gantry).

There is a pretty big flame(visible to the naked eye many miles away) pointing out the back of the shuttle, which can cause damage to things the shuttle isn't really all that close to.

Re:how? (2, Funny)

imipak (254310) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630607)

No, the launch was effected. I watched it myself.

Re:how? (0)

sohp (22984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630945)

+1 grammerhumor

Re:how? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630213)

that was my thought. To fling a brick that far requires a bit of force. Structural fatigue from 82 launches might have just cracked a block. The hot exhaust gases are only there during ignition//liftoff. After a couple hundred feet of altitude there is no more force on it though it still might be hot.

Re:how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630419)

Um, you volunteer to be be 200 feet under the Shuttle after launch????????? You *sure* about that, Sparky?

Re:how? (4, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630791)

the rockets are causing the damage, so the damage occurs while the rockets are nearby, right?

Well, the rocket exhaust isn't the only high-pressure fluid rushing out through the flame trench in the launch process.

The Sound Suppression Water System [nasa.gov] dumps about 300,000 gallons of water into the launchpad base and exhaust flame ports in the first 20 seconds after engine ignition, so that flow can't be good for the stability of the flame trench insulating blocks as they start to work loose.

Re:how? (2)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630923)

The damage can occur from the exhaust gas pressure from the rocket motors
as well as the the acoustic pressure. Also, there is a system in place that is used
to dampen the sound levels from the launch that would otherwise damage the
flamepit, as we see in those photos, that dumps huge quantities of water
into the flamepit moments before the engines ignite. That quantity of water
could, in and of itself, be partially responsible for the damage that is seen
in the photos. Once those bricks are loosened or dislodged, they would be carried
out of the flamepit by the force of the rocket motor exhaust gases.
There was a study done back in 1989 [aip.org] that measured the SPL of the solid rocket motors
at an amazing 196db 1000 feet from the launch pad. At some point on the db scale for SPLs
the SPL becomes measurable in actual PSI over-pressures. That means the soundwaves themselves
are exerting significant physical pressure on the launchpad and surrounding structures, which
could under the right conditions, be damaged by those forces.

Re:how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23631275)

You can see Mach cones in the engines' exhaust during liftoff. I could figure that there may be some resonant nodes in the exhaust blast that hit the surface at different distances (and times since the shuttle is moving) during liftoff.

shuttle ok (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629915)

would this indicate anything odd happening on the shuttle, or just wear and tear on the pad itself over the years?

OMG They're DOOMED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629919)

GD! NASA! GTH!

RTFA?

No setbacks (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629927)

The next launch from pad 39A is scheduled for Oct. 8. NASA sources say engineers believe the damage can be repaired by then with no impact on plans to launch Atlantis on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
Good thing this won't cause any delays.

So, in other words... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629945)

The shuttle shit a brick?

Re:So, in other words... (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630583)

Yes, won't be the only time this mission is about shitting bricks.

Re:So, in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630909)

Technically "pissing nails" would have been a more accurate reference.

Considering the pounding the pads take (1)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629951)

It is amazing that they hold up as well as they do. The amount of energy released by a shuttle at take off is astounding. How far away does a human being need to be from the pad and remain uninjured?

Re:Considering the pounding the pads take (5, Funny)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630031)

about 50 meters above the launch pad.

Re:Considering the pounding the pads take (1)

blueturffan (867705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630065)

Bravo SGDarkKnight! Bravo!

Re:Considering the pounding the pads take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630081)

It is amazing that they hold up as well as they do. The amount of energy released by a shuttle at take off is astounding. How far away does a human being need to be from the pad and remain uninjured?
Not too far, You can practically be on top it! That is if you are in the cockpit of the shuttle ;)

Re:Considering the pounding the pads take (3, Informative)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630299)

Aside from the astronauts, the closest personnel to a shuttle launch are 1650 meters away. The forward fireman team are in an armored personnel carrier and dressed in reflective fire suits.

Re:Considering the pounding the pads take (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630665)

So a miled rule of thumb got converted to meters? Is that a "country" 1650m, or can they see for exactly 1609m's and 1609m's?

Re:Considering the pounding the pads take (1)

imipak (254310) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630897)

Right. It must be very reassuring for the astronauts to know that if (FSM forbid) the stack were to blow up on the pad, the forward fire-fighting team going to dash into the burning wreckage and pull them out. I know it would make ME happy to strap myself onto an enormous pressurised tank of supercooled liquid hydrogen and oxygen.

Kinda old (4, Informative)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629983)

LC39A was used the first time almost 41 years ago by Apollo 4. It was used for more than 80 launches since then. Maybe it's time to replace it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Kinda old (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630033)

I wonder if they'll do anything big to it now though, maybe take that in combination with the future work (from Wikipedia):

Just like the first 24 shuttle flights, pad 39A pad will support the final shuttle operations, starting with STS-117 until 2010, and then will undergo deactivation once the Shuttle is retired.

After this date, like LC39B, LC39A will have both the FSS and RSS removed to render the "clean" pad approach as required by the ESAS, but LC-39A will be used primarily as the launch pad for the Ares V rocket after 2018, and as such, will undergo additional modifications to accommodate extra LH2 and LOX storage at the site

Re:Kinda old (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630391)

They need to do two things:
  • Find out if the supression system failed
  • Fix the damage before the next launch

From TFA:

The next launch from pad 39A is scheduled for Oct. 8. NASA sources say engineers believe the damage can be repaired by then with no impact on plans to launch Atlantis on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Re:Kinda old (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631207)

A new coat of stucco... I know a guy who can pick up some guys outside of Home Depot; they'll have it done in an afternoon.

Obvious explanation for the bricks (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629985)

Given how scary space travel is, it's no surprise that the astronauts left behind a trail of bricks all over the pad.

In Other News (5, Funny)

JoshOOOWAH (849135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629987)

38A continues to beat on the ceiling with a broom and indicate that NASA should "[K]nock off that unholy racket!"

Re:In Other News (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630041)

I wish I had some +Funny points for you today.

This is (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630021)

Obviously the work of terrorists attempting to sabotage the shuttle. We must give up more civil liberties immediately to protect ourselves from this Threat.

Thermal Cycling (5, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630039)

Making things hot and cold in rapid succession can cause fatigue due to the materials expanding and contracting. Things exposed to the elements, such as this, also have to deal with moisture.

I don't know what these bricks are made of (CNN says they are special bricks but TFA says they are concrete), but I bet water was trapped in between the cracks and crevices of these bricks and then suddenly boiled when it was heated by rocket exhaust. The steam rapidly escapes from the bricks and makes the cracks a little bigger. This occurs over and over again, each time the cracks get a little bigger. Finally, the cracks become big enough that the bricks can't stand the stress anymore. They get heated one more time and explode. It only takes one brick to explode to cause a chain reaction, and wipe out a bunch of them.

This is of course, the simplest explanation. I would hope NASA would have thought of this before. It happens all of the time with the freeze and thaw cycles in highways and bridges. However, sometimes the simplest explanation is the best.

Re:Thermal Cycling (2, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630161)

it is concrete - but it isn't your everyday concrete - every brick/slab is made with diffrent mixtures - jsut becauseitis concrete doesn't mean it even remotely resemples what they make bridges out of .

i am sure it falls under both groups "concrete" and "special bricks"

and your right in that it more than likly is a water issue.. the trick is deterimingin where - how much - and is the section that failed the only one.

Re:Thermal Cycling (0, Flamebait)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630275)

it is concrete - but it isn't your everyday concrete - every brick/slab is made with diffrent mixtures - jsut becauseitis concrete doesn't mean it even remotely resemples what they make bridges out of.

Newsflash: Every mixed batch of concrete is different than the last. Just like a snowflake and humans, every single one might be composed of the same ingredients but will be completely unique. The same applies to concrete. A little more cement powder by weight, aggregate/sand that's a little different, a half a cup more water, and even the cure temperatures or other environmental effects. Regardless of the method of control, every batch is different and unique in composition.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630399)

while that is true.. there is also a "spec" for the mix..

it is more than jsut each batch is diffrent.. but while each batch is diffrent there is a spec it falls into..

i was just pointint out the the parent that the spec used for the launch pad is not the same spec used for anything else..

my personal fav is concrete that has a spcific density less than that of water

Re:Thermal Cycling (4, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630543)

Newsflash: Concrete is manufactured in factories with VERY high quality control standards.

Each batch is specifically formulated to be as identical to the ones before it as possible. While there might me MINOR variances in mix, most of our modern construction absolutely depends on the homogeneousness of the concrete batches. If we really had to deal with widely disparate batches, ntohing large could ever be built, as the overall strength of the finished product could not be counted on. Yes, there are exceptions to this, some of which have caused rather spectacular engineering catastrophes. But the reason they are a big deal is precisely because they are so rare.

Now, if we were still mixing concrete by hand using slave labor like the Romans, then wide variations in concrete batches would be an issue. But we don't. We use complicated mathematics, and specialized weighing and measuring and mixing machines, all tied together by tried and tested computers and software platforms. Concrete hasn't been an issue of "every mixed batch of concrete is different from the last" for at least 50 years, if not longer.

Also, the types of concrete mixed for high-temperature use such as this WOULD be very different than the types mixed for use in bridges.

Concrete used to be my family's business back in the 50's - 70's. I grew up on stories about the concrete business. Not that I would even need that history to understand this though. Don't any of you ever watch the Discovery Channel? Geez.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630789)

You're talking about process variation, versus deliberately formulating a completely different mix for a completely different purpose.

Your point is trivial and irrelevant to the post you replied to. Which would be alright for what it is, but using the "Newsflash:" cliche to make that irrelevant point just makes you look like a douche.

Re:Thermal Cycling (3, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630291)

Aren't you by any chance a cat?

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630725)

i'm supprised you had to ask

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

Stook (1270928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630531)

Also keep in mind that the launch pads are all right next to the ocean, and are constantly hit with changing winds, high humidity and the salty air. There is also the love bug issue in FL whereby little bugs easily get trapped inside concrete mixtures. Once dried and they die, the insides release an acid that eats at cement as well as leaves an open area. Combine all that with the temperature changes, pressure changes and vibrations and it's amazing the launch pads have lasted this long.

Re:Thermal Cycling (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630185)

Making things hot and cold in rapid succession can cause fatigue due to the materials expanding and contracting. Things exposed to the elements, such as this, also have to deal with moisture.
I imagine the intense vibrations from 82 launches might have something more to do with it.

Especially since making concrete effectively weather proof hasn't been all that hard for a very long time. You can still go to Italy and find concrete from the Roman times.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630487)

Especially since making concrete effectively weather proof hasn't been all that hard for a very long time. You can still go to Italy and find concrete from the Roman times.
The temperature cycles experienced by the blast pit under a launchpad are a bit more extreme than those induced by the seasons in Florida or Italy.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630505)

Yes, but unless I misread my history, the Romans didn't get in the habit of launching the Space Shuttle off their roads, either. :-D

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630781)

Concrete and marble are similar, and they used it as a substitute in buildings and other structures, not just roads. During the dark ages Romans burned their marble statues to make lime (which is in concrete, or something like it).

Re:Thermal Cycling (2, Funny)

hughk (248126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630785)

Especially since making concrete effectively weather proof hasn't been all that hard for a very long time. You can still go to Italy and find concrete from the Roman times.
They were worshipping Saturns not launching them!

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

nocaster (784709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630385)

My house is bricked with refractory bricks. They have the name A.P. Green imprinted on their tops. I looked this name up once and found this [virtualmuseum.ca] . The pictures of the bricks from TFA look a lot like the bricks on my home. They are very hard and difficult to drill into.

Re:Thermal Cycling (2, Funny)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630545)

That said, I still would not suggest using your home as an alternate shuttle launch site.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631247)

It would make a cool kiln. I could put together some propane burners and we could have it up to 2350Â F (Cone 10) in just 6 hours or so. Cool!

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630805)

I met someone who made refractory bricks in his kitchen oven and sold them to the automotive industry. Low tech is the best tech, sometimes. They knew him and just kept buying from him. I think he had been an art student.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630875)

I would hope NASA would have thought of this before.

I'm sure they have. In fact I think this article is only news to everyone *but* NASA. Seriously guys, thermal cycles, stress cycles, all cycles eventually cause failure. So long as this failure is foreseen and accounted for we're in the clear.

Your vehicle's axle also has a definitely lifetime, defined as the number of times it can turn before it has a X% chance of failure (fancy term for OMFG IT BROKE). The trick is knowing what range your lifetime lies in, and making sure the vehicle isn't driven to that point without changing the part, or reasonably ensuring that when the part does eventually fail, it fails within certain parameters so as to be safe.

Re:Thermal Cycling (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631115)

"I don't know what these bricks are made of"

They're magic.

I tha8k you 7or your time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630079)

yZour Own beer [goat.cx]

Not too surprising (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630113)

Disregard the age of the pad; This mission was the heaviest for the shuttle. It was taken all the way to the max. Basically, this one took longer to take off, chewing away at the pad that was designed and built LONG ago to handle such loads.

Re:Not too surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630297)

I don't know too many 51 year olds able to accept such huge loads.

Re:Not too surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630533)

That sounds like the lead in to a Yo Momma joke.

Re:Not too surprising (1)

fragbait (209346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631063)

It was taken all the way to the max.
Would you say it went to 11?

+fragbait

toilet (4, Funny)

tjw (27390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630231)

Looks like the ISS occupants got their new toilet parts just in the nick of time.

Re:toilet (1)

Schnoodledorfer (1223854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630693)

That would be funny. But:

The next launch from pad 39A is scheduled for Oct. 8. NASA sources say engineers believe the damage can be repaired by then with no impact on plans to launch Atlantis on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

How about the Shuttle? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630341)

Do they know if any of the concrete or bricks blasted off during takeoff rebounded and struck the Shuttle? Brick or concrete would really hurt things.

Re:How about the Shuttle? (2, Insightful)

imipak (254310) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630745)

Fortunately, both the SSMEs and the SRBs blow, rather than suck, superheated combustion gases. This effect tends to lead unsecured objects exposed to the blast to move away from the source of the overpressure.

Today's comment was brought to you by the publishers of "My Very First Big Book of Classical Physics".

Re:How about the Shuttle? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631117)

that being said and of which i agree completely i also wouldn't be surprised if a few pieces ended up on the structure, or even directly under where the shuttle was sitting.

Once again basic physics. two particles are flying away from a point source, and collide there is a remote chance that one of the particles will bounce backwards. While actually hitting the orbiter is a far fetched. (a moving target away is tough, and with that amount of thrust will push the bounce back debris away again.)

think of a bank shot in pool, it is possible but unlikely.

Re:How about the Shuttle? (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631187)

...until said gasses swirl around and carry the debris back up to the vehicle. Or the debris bounces off things and back towards it.

It's a lot more complicated than just suck vs. blow.

UFO damage, obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630361)

This was obviously the site of a UFO landing and takeoff...

"No problem sir!" (3, Funny)

just fiddling around (636818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630539)

.... that'll buff right out.

Re:"No problem sir!" (3, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631267)

Now Biff, I want two coats of wax this time...

Buckled or blown out (1)

Namlak (850746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630631)

It looks to me like the inner walls may have eroded/cracked and let exhaust gases into the structure and those gases blew out the external wall sections on the slope.

Ref: http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts124/080601pad/damage.html [spaceflightnow.com]

Re:Buckled or blown out (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630955)

Except that the damaged walls appear to be on the opposite side of the damaged slope section... Unless both sides are damaged and they just decided not to take a picture of it - which is equally plausible.

More Pictures (1)

Schnoodledorfer (1223854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630633)

There are better pictures now at the original source for that story: http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/current.html [cbsnews.com] . Scroll down to "11:30 PM, 6/1/08, Update: Shuttle launch pad damaged during liftoff (UPDATED at 12 p.m. 6/2 with additional pictures)." "Photo 2" seems to show a large section of a wall in the pit that had the brick veneer blown off.

Missing W (1, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630697)

I heard that the departing Clinton administration stole all the "W" keys from White House ("hite House"?) keyboards. But wrecking the Shuttle launch pad on Bush's way out is really vindictive, especially considering all the damage Bush's regime already did to the Shuttle program.

Re:Missing W (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630765)

ha... that's funny... I once cleaned my keyboard and the W key is the one I lost!

Re:Missing W (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631219)

As I remember, they didn't steal them; they superglued them to the ceiling. Not to mention rewiring all the phones in the White House. It took weeks and god only knows how much money to fix it all.

pfft (1)

lampsie (830980) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630999)

...clearly the pilot rode the clutch and revved too hard.

erosion? (1)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631121)

IANARS, but my first thoughts when seeing the pictures was it looks like there was erosion under parts of the platform that created a hollow spot for a cave in of some blocks which opened up a tunnel/cavity that pressure was able to build up in under the platform, and then when the source of the pressure was removed (the shuttle had lifted off) the pressure above the platform was lower than the pressure that had build up beneath it and so chunks of stuff were pushed out from beneath.
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