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NASA Clears Shuttle Atlantis for Sunday Launch

CowboyNeal posted about 8 years ago | from the final-countdown dept.


Davemania writes "This Sunday, NASA will resume the reconstruction of the International Space Station with the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. NASA predicts a 60% chance that the weather will hold but will be keeping their eye at Tropical Storm Ernesto. The six-astronaut crew is tasked with deploying two large solar arrays and integrating the port 3/port 4 truss segment. As usual, the live launch can be seen on NASA TV."

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Atlantis? (1, Troll)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | about 8 years ago | (#15984702)

Space shuttle "Antlantis" doesn't exactly fill me with confidence - I mean, why not just go with "Space Shuttle sinking continent" or "Space Shuttle doomed civilization"

It's not named after the continent. (0, Troll)

krell (896769) | about 8 years ago | (#15984708)

They might as well call it "Space shuttle soon to be cancelled Stargate spinoff"

Re:It's not named after the continent. (0, Offtopic)

DarthMAD (805372) | about 8 years ago | (#15984975)

They cancelled SG-1, not Atlantis. But really, did that sound funny to you before you posted it? Honestly.

"Eye at Ernesto"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984789)

"NASA predicts a 60% chance that the weather will hold but will be keeping their eye at Tropical Storm Ernesto. "

How are they keeping their eye AT Ernesto?

The title "Editor" is highly misplaced for the so-called "editors" at slashdot.

Re:"Eye at Ernesto"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984820)

"At" makes more sense than "on", don't you think? I mean sure, it's an idiom, but keeping an eye on things is as arbitrary as at things, it's just that "on" is the correct idiom.

Re:"Eye at Ernesto"??? (1)

mhollis (727905) | about 8 years ago | (#15985196)

It now says the chances of tomorrow's planned shuttle launch being scrapped are going up because of storms expected to hit central Florida.

Shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters says there's a 60 percent chance bad weather will force a scrub, up 20 percent from yesterday.

Winters says they're still hoping the sea breeze will push the storms far enough away for Atlantis to take off at 4:30 p-m, Eastern.

She says the weather looks better Monday and Tuesday, in case tomorrow is a no-go.

NASA officials are also checking to see if a lightning strike yesterday at the launch pad caused any damage.

If Hurricane Ernesto hits the gulf coast and Mission Control in Houston has to evacuate, the shuttle astronauts will spend that time just marking time. There is no backup for Mission Control in Houston.

Eye "AT" a hurricane... (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | about 8 years ago | (#15985211)

How are they keeping their eye AT Ernesto?

Maybe not NASA, but certainly NOAA really can literally keep their eye AT a TS/hurricane [] by flying around and thru it in one of their P-3 Orions.

Re:Eye "AT" a hurricane... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15985322)

Wasn't the Orion destroyed by the Wraith?

Re:Atlantis? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15985826)

Or "Space Shuttle crashed cityship with almost no power left"

Good luck! (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | about 8 years ago | (#15984705)

Good luck! As long as they keep those motherf%^#ing snakes off the shuttle, they're in good shape!

Re:Good luck! (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 8 years ago | (#15984763)

Dude, that joke is old, even on Fark, where cliches can live forever. What's your next post going to be, the HaHa Guy, or the Buttsecks Owl ?

Re:Good luck! (1, Troll)

krell (896769) | about 8 years ago | (#15984771)

I was thinking more in terms of an AYB reference. Sound OK with you?

Re:Good luck! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15985767)

No, space shuttles have to worry about raccoons []

Godspeed Atlantis! (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | about 8 years ago | (#15984720)

Godspeed Atlantis! (and don't forget your spatula!)

woohoo! (-1, Redundant)

ro1 (988039) | about 8 years ago | (#15984735)

Good Luck Atlantis!!!! ..but..does it run Linux?

Re:woohoo! (0, Offtopic)

mrjackson2000 (733829) | about 8 years ago | (#15984778)

vxworks, it's not windows, thats all i would be worried about.

Re:woohoo! (5, Informative)

PatTheGreat (956344) | about 8 years ago | (#15984830)

Actually, the Space Shuttle's systems are run on proprietary software written by a company that basically just writes the shuttle software. They have uber-secure programming practices to prevent any bugs in the system. The software, because it's so carefully written, is the most expensive piece of software in terms of dollars per line.

Re:woohoo! (5, Informative)

sphealey (2855) | about 8 years ago | (#15984849)

> the Space Shuttle's systems are run on proprietary
> software written by a company that basically just
> writes the shuttle software.

Specifically, of the five CPUs in the primary Shuttle management system, four run identical copies of the management/control software. This version was originally written by IBM's then Federal Systems Division, which was later sold (to Loral I believe). The fifth CPU runs code written to the same specifictions by the shuttle's prime contractor (then Rockwell, now Boeing). The two groups were (and I believe are) only allowed to communicate through formal written specifications and are never allowed to speak directly or to see one another's code. Whenever the software is changed, both versions must independently pass the same functional tests and then the entire cluster of five CPUs must pass the functional tests as a unit.

I haven't seen any detailed write-ups since they upgraded the Shuttle cockpit using what was essentially the Boeing 767 avionics, but I assume similar procedures still apply.


Re:woohoo! (2, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | about 8 years ago | (#15985437)

Sorry. The shuttle DOES NOT use boineg 767 Avionics. The job of the two is VERY different. The shuttle DOES have a glass cockpit now. The eight balls like they used for attitude control on Apollo and on the old shuttle are gone. ockpit/EL-2000-00037.JPG []

Re:woohoo! (3, Funny)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | about 8 years ago | (#15985590)

The eight balls like they used for attitude control on Apollo and on the old shuttle are gone.

Is it safe to launch now?


Re:woohoo! (1)

doublefish (999066) | about 8 years ago | (#16013935)

this is the first reply

Re:woohoo! (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 8 years ago | (#15986237)

über-secure does not mean bug free. Remember when the Shuttle fired its laser into space, instead of at a ground target, because someone calculated altitude wrong? No system is bug-free.

Why? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984740)

Why don't they just have Sunday Lunch at home like everyone else? Why do they need to have it in the shuttle?

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984831)

Why don't they just have Sunday Lunch at home like everyone else? Why do they need to have it in the shuttle?

Well, you never know when you're going to get lunched into space.

Sometimes, these get togethers

And of course, the shuttle has plenty of LOX. What better way to have Sunday lunch than with salmon and cream cheese.

Yeaap. I'm done now.

Re:Why? (1)

f8l_0e (775982) | about 8 years ago | (#15985672)

I prefer my bagels toasted, not frozen.

Not fair (0, Offtopic)

markov_chain (202465) | about 8 years ago | (#15984793)

Man, I wish the news would pay the same respect to me. Just imagine:

"On Saturday, if the weather holds, Mike will deliver a 200lbs payload. He is expected to raise the vehicle on jack stands, and make necessary repairs for the coming week's commuting mission. MFMA (Mike's Fleet Maintenance Agency) reports that Mike will replace the transmission, perform an oil change, and inspect the ball joints."

Not fair!

Re:Not fair (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 8 years ago | (#15985149)

"Man, I wish the news would pay the same respect to me."

Try doing it without air, and hundreds of kilometers above ground, then you'll get your news appearance.

Say your Prayers (-1, Troll)

queenb**ch (446380) | about 8 years ago | (#15984844)

I was hoping that they'd have this whole foam thing resolved before launching another one. I just hope that they say their prayers before they launch.

2 cents,


if the storm comes.. (0, Redundant)

wateriestfire (962915) | about 8 years ago | (#15984889)

they might as well be called Need Another Six Astronauts

Atlantis Is A Myth (0, Offtopic)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | about 8 years ago | (#15984907)

Endeavours to challenge the hiding place of the lost city of Atlantis predate even Columbus' discovery.

The mercury is rising for those still dedicated to Atlantis' existence, because results to date indicate it the whole thing is mere legend. Rumours of ancient conspiracies have appalled certain academics. Iss there any credible basis for continuing to believe?

Okay, soyuz all later.

Re:Atlantis Is A Myth (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | about 8 years ago | (#15984955)

Indiana Jones found it. So it must be real.

Re:Atlantis Is A Myth (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15985328)

Atlantis is in the Pegasus Galaxy.

ghostNASA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15985063)


if you don't like the official NASA choices about Shuttle, ESAS, Ares, CEV, etc... now there is a "ghostNASA"... the "virtual space agency": []

it's a "parallel dimension NASA" with a "paralell dimension NASA chief" and a "parallel dimension space program"


Re:ghostNASA (0)

gaetanomarano (968650) | about 8 years ago | (#15985088)

sorry for the "anonymous coward" post (I've written a wrong password)

Not to be a wet blanket... (1)

solitas (916005) | about 8 years ago | (#15985186)

...but more of a realist: what percentages of shuttles have gotten-off on-time-first-time-no-probs, have been delayed for technical reasons, have been delayed for weather, and whatever-else?

Anyone ELSE read that as (1)

RLiegh (247921) | about 8 years ago | (#15985190)

'NSA clears Shuttle Atlantis for Sunday Launch'? Blah, I need more coffee.

Re:Anyone ELSE read that as (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 8 years ago | (#15985659)

Just means that they have put the eavesdropping equipment on board, so those astronauts can't discuss anything that's Unamerican(tm).

Actually... no it's been postponed (2, Informative)

redwoodtree (136298) | about 8 years ago | (#15985685)

Bad timing, actually a big thunderstorm rolled through and the platform took several direct hits. Nothing hit the shuttle itself because of the series of wires and towers that they have installed to draw the lightening away, but they are still going to take the day today and tomorrow to inspect everything.

There are some ok photos of the direct hits to the tower. mg_display.php?pic=060826_sts115_lightning_02.jpg& cap=Remote+cameras+captured+a+lightning+strike+at+ the+launch+pad+on+Friday%2C+Aug.+25%2C+2006.+Photo +credit%3A+NASA.+Click+to+enlarge.

it's pushed to monday now (1)

ilmdba (84076) | about 8 years ago | (#15985755)

"KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN) -- The launch of space shuttle Atlantis on Sunday was scrubbed for 24 hours because of lightning striking the launch pad Friday and other weather worries, NASA announced.

The launch will be tried again Monday. Sunday is the first day of the shuttle's launch window, which closes September 7.

Mission managers said no other significant issues besides weather could affect the launch, said NASA test director Jeff Spaulding." launch/ []

AP/NYT reporting Sunday NO-GO (1)

rfunches (800928) | about 8 years ago | (#15986229)

The Associated Press and the New York Times are now reporting that Atlantis will not launch Sunday [] . The delay will "give engineers more time to determine whether one of the most powerful lightning strikes ever at a Kennedy Space Center launch pad caused any problems. The lightning Friday didn't hit the shuttle -- it struck a wire attached to a tower used to protect the spacecraft from such strikes at the launch pad -- but it created a lightning field around the vehicle, NASA managers said. The launch, planned for Sunday, now won't happen until at least Monday."

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