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Headlines Spacewalking astronaut repairs heat shield

voiceofreason

Seeker of Truth
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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Spacewalking astronaut Steve Robinson plucked a couple of loose fiber strips from Discovery's belly on Wednesday in an unprecedented repair to the shuttle's heat shield.

"I'm grasping it and I'm pulling it and it's coming out very easily. Beautiful. Nice," Robinson radioed as he pulled the material out from between the heat resistant tiles on the shuttle's underside.
"It looks like this big patient is cured."

With fellow spacewalker Soichi Noguchi watching from a perch on the International Space Station, to which Discovery is docked on the first shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster, Robinson was lowered on the station's robot arm to an area below Discovery's nose.

Moving deliberately, he used his gloved fingers to tug out the two strips with surprisingly little effort. Robinson carried a small hacksaw, scissors and forceps in case he could not pull the strips out.

The strips, made of ceramic covered cloth, are thought to have come loose from their adhesive bond and, though protruding only an inch (2.5 cm), NASA engineers feared they could change the aerodynamics enough during landing on Aug. 8 to cause dangerous heat damage to the shuttle.

Robinson was the first astronaut in the 24-year shuttle program to spacewalk to a shuttle's underside and, once there, the first to fix the heat shield during flight.

He did not appear to damage any of the shuttle's fragile tiles. The thin strips in question are each about six inches long and are placed between the tiles to cushion them.

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I'm all for USEFUL space exploration, but it seems the reason we are sending people into space is to fix shitty, old spacecraft that shouldn't be up there in the first place...​

GO USA!
 
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RedOctober

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Just ask yourself why there is a space station in the first place..
 
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voiceofreason said:
I'm all for USEFUL space exploration, but it seems the reason we are sending people into space is to fix shitty, old spacecraft that shouldn't be up there in the first place...​

Well, the point of the mission, IMO, was to gather scientific data, and re-establish the credibility of the shuttle program. This mission appears to be accomplishing both these objectives qute nicely. (Whether or not the shuttle is even useful is another matter, I mean, it cannot reach above low-earth orbit, or about 300 kms straight up.​
 
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The biggest part of this mission was to replace a broken gyroscope in the ISS, but they lost some foam during takeoff (they even killed a few birds...)

do you really want a 3rd disaster? I'm glad NASA gave them the extra day to fix this.
 

voiceofreason

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dull_bullet said:
The biggest part of this mission was to replace a broken gyroscope in the ISS, but they lost some foam during takeoff (they even killed a few birds...)

do you really want a 3rd disaster? I'm glad NASA gave them the extra day to fix this.
Why are we sending people up in space shuttle with 20 year old technology, so poorly constructed that it's falling apart? That is the question...
 
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voiceofreason said:
Why are we sending people up in space shuttle with 20 year old technology, so poorly constructed that it's falling apart? That is the question...
Because the NASA budget was cut back over the years, and they don't have the resources that they used to.
 

voiceofreason

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canadian_pov said:
Because the NASA budget was cut back over the years, and they don't have the resources that they used to.
That's not good enough. Putting people's lives at risk like that is criminal. It would be as bad as say, starting a war for no reason...
 
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RedOctober

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Well.. It nearly is..
It's a thing the Bush Brainstormers (huh) came up with to shove damn Iraq out of the center of attention of the media.
It worked for Kennedy, so it will surely work for us.
"We are going to put a man on Mars" (Dead or alive) :D

I am old enough to know the concept of the Shuttle.
The only reason for it was that it should be less expensive than the multi stage rocket. That was when the project started.
But now it is far more expensive than what the Ruskies used to do.

You see that with modern technology all the time.
10% is the core technical stuff.
90% of the investment is for safety.

The Ruskies were allways right, never let a man do what you can do better and cheaper with a robot.
It even saves lives.

I find it very cynic, that when I was a kid, rumors were spread that the Russians already lost a lot of Cosmonauts in space, but that they keep that part of the space race silent.
In fact the Americans have the highest death rate.
 
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voiceofreason said:
That's not good enough. Putting people's lives at risk like that is criminal. It would be as bad as say, starting a war for no reason...
I agree, though I'm not sure the scale of a war versus a few astronauts is comparable, I don't want to see anyone die because of well, budget cuts.
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
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voiceofreason said:
Why are we sending people up in space shuttle with 20 year old technology, so poorly constructed that it's falling apart? That is the question...
You're wrong there.

1. A few years back, I believe in '02, NASA upgraded the computers in every shuttle they had to allow for better performance and safety.

2. Those heat shields are replaced every time.
 
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Descent said:
1. A few years back, I believe in '02, NASA upgraded the computers in every shuttle they had to allow for better performance and safety.
That may be, but the shuttles themselves are still 15-25 years old. It is interesting to note that the two shuttles that were lost, were also the first two fully functional shuttles built.

Descent said:
2. Those heat shields are replaced every time.
You're goddamn right they do, NASA aren't exactly retards.
 

leehype

drunk with a jeep problem
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Sorry Descent but the heat shilds arn't replaced every time, there checked and only replaced if they need, and i mean NEED, to be. your right about the computers, thouse are upgraded almost every 2 years from what i hear, but that shuttle is still 30 years old. I think nasa is suffering from people with more brain power than common sence, member the hubble. I would try blaming thing on budget cuts, as people getting carried away with them selves. There relying on 30 year old tec that they know got someone in to space before, not trying to make someting better. Also from what i've heard, it costs half as much money to send a satilite to japan and have them put in to space than to use the space shuttle. Did anyone see the videos of the shuttle taking off, and as it did there were pannels falling off. I say the shuttle is 30 years old. When was the last time you saw a 30 year old car in decent shape, and i mean unrestored. Its time to desine something new. Something better, in 30 years computers have become more powerful, cars became faster, and more dependible, the only thing changed with the shuttle is the computers. Hell the navy is phasing out the f14, s3, p3, all the old stuff for to make it all new. Can't nasa do the same thing. :rant: How do you make a rocket scientist learn to move on?
 
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if bush REALLY cared about putting a man on mars, he would have put billions, if not trillions of dollars into nasa. Designing a new space shuttle costs some big big $$$$$$$$$$, so they can't just make a new space shuttle, NASA needs to work with what they have, and they need to do that because the public has completly lost interest in space. Which saddens me.
 
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dull_bullet said:
if bush REALLY cared about putting a man on mars, he would have put billions, if not trillions of dollars into nasa.
Yep, Bush probably can't even spell "Mars".
dull_bullet said:
Designing a new space shuttle costs some big big $$$$$$$$$$, so they can't just make a new space shuttle, NASA needs to work with what they have, and they need to do that because the public has completly lost interest in space. Which saddens me.
People cared about space back in the day, largely because of the fierce competition from the Soviet Union at the time. The most dramatic advances in space exploration occured between 1957-1980s from the launch of Sputnik, to the building of the Space Shuttle, it all occured during the Cold War.
 
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One of the original purposes of the space program was to make space travel both inexpensive and more of a common event. That, in turn, was supposed to facilitate space exploration.
Over the past couple of decades, the space program seems to have devolved into a state of justifying its existence with mediocre projects that accomplish nothing more ground breaking other than ensuring its continued existence on the taxpayer's dollar. I mean, seriously, how many times are we going to orbit the earth? And NASA counts each trip 'round the globe as though they've made exponential gains in their understanding of how they are going to accomplish deep space travel. I don't know, people...it just seems like we can only get excited about just so many low-orbit trips around the planet before we have to ask...what the fuck are we doing, and are we really making the progress that NASA wants us to think we are?
 
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can't make the progress without the green. or yellow. or brown. or blue. or whatever color the money is in a country....
 
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dull_bullet said:
can't make the progress without the green. or yellow. or brown. or blue. or whatever color the money is in a country....
You obviously missed my point. My point was that they've HAD the money, and we keep giving them more. What the fuck are they producing?

"Hey, let's put some stuff on a plate and leave it on top of the space station. We'll tell America that we're studying the effects of a vacuum on these very important materials, which will help us understand the Eludium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. That way we can get more government funding for it. Oh, and someone mention something about work so we can officially charge this dinner through on the expense report."

Come on, man. The only mission NASA has is keeping itself in business.
 
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RedOctober

Guest
#18
Well..
It's obvious NASA is closely related to the military interests of the USA.
Bush tells the world, and the citizens of the USA that there is going to be a man on Mars, so it is likely they are spending taxpayers money on some nasty stuff in space.
I already can sense the rumble in the jungle about the "lightning" striking a French Airbus... :rolleyes:
Of course they fired some laser weapon from the Space Shuttle to get rid of the competition for Boeing..
The military acting as a servant to the corporate USA.

:aship:

P.S.
European technicians say that it is BS to tell a lightning strike can damage an Airbus in such a way.
 
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RedOctober said:
P.S.
European technicians say that it is BS to tell a lightning strike can damage an Airbus in such a way.
Nicely done. I think it was definitely a laser beam from Bush's mothership. He's not really excited that scientists have found his spaceship...he thought it was safe on the other side of pluto in a non-standard orbit. He's wagging the dog again.

Oh..and the plane I was flying on from Germany to Kuwait last year got struck by lightning four times, and the worst that happened was that the "exit" sign panels flew off and landed in someone's seat. Oh, and the lights flashed.

Definitely a laser beam from the spaceship.