CAPE CANAVERAL NEWS BRIEFS
By Cliff Lethbridge
SEE ALSO: NEWS STORIES FROM CAPE CANAVERAL AND THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
News Media at Cape Canaveral Delta/Atlas Press Site (August 8, 2001)
Photo Credit: Spaceline, Inc.
NOTE: THESE NEWS BRIEFS ARE INTENDED FOR
SHORT-TERM READING AND WILL NOT BE ARCHIVED
45th Space Wing Public Affairs, based at Patrick Air Force Base, today provided Spaceline with the following press release:
45th Space Wing officials announce that some of its members have been notified they will deploy in the near future. The notification has come to members of the 45th Civil Engineer and Security Forces Squadrons along with the 45th Logistics Group. The exact number of members to deploy and the location they will travel to will not be announced for security reasons. A specific date for their departure has not been set, but officials say the deployment will take place in "days" versus "weeks."
Spaceline encourages all of our visitors to pray for the safety and protection of all the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces as wartime activities continue.
Thursday - September 20, 2001
The 45th Space Wing, based at Patrick Air Force Base, reported today that technical upgrades to the Eastern Range have been completed on schedule despite minor delays due to the recent terrorist attacks on September 11 in New York and Washington and the passage of Tropical Storm Gabrielle through Central Florida on September 14. Security at Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center remains on heightened alert due to wartime status. Security is not expected to delay upcoming launches from Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. The next launch is scheduled for October 10. Click here to check the Cape Canaveral Launch Schedule.
Wednesday - September 19, 2001
Jim Banke of www.space.com provided Spaceline with the following update on behalf of the National Space Club:
The National Space Club Florida Committee will present its annual
Lifetime Achievement Awards to three veteran aerospace professionals on
Thursday, Sept. 27, at the DoubleTree Oceanfront in Cocoa Beach. This year's
honorees include Russell Barnes, Horace Lamberth and Jimmey Morrell. They
represent the government
contractor, NASA and Air Force communities, respectively.
The National Space Club Florida Committee is pledged to maintaining the United States' leadership in rocketry and astronautics, and anyone with an interest in the space program is invited to join. Our membership includes the top aerospace leaders on Florida's Space Coast. Event details:
Thursday, Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m. EDT
DoubleTree Oceanfront on A1A in Cocoa Beach
Individual tickets are $15. Corporate tables are $150
To make a reservation, call Sharon (Sandy) Andre at 749-8291
Sunday - September 16, 2001
Resumption of regular operations at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station were delayed due to the passage of Tropical Storm Gabrielle through Central Florida over the weekend. Moderate tornado damage was reported in the Patrick Air Force Base vicinity on Friday, September 14. It is likely that non-essential personnel will not report to work at these locations until Monday, September 17. Employees at the Kennedy Space Center returned to work on Thursday, September 13. The Air Force has requested that the public refrain from taking photos of Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station until further notice. Those caught taking pictures of these facilities will be subject to having their cameras and films confiscated. No specific explanation was given for this policy, but it is likely that Patrick Air Force Base in particular will be directly involved in upcoming military operations in the U.S. war against terrorists. Patrick resources have been commonly used in past Middle East operations, including the Gulf War in 1991.
Thursday - September 13, 2001
Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will open for permanently badged employees on Friday, September 14. Essential employees are asked to report to work at 7:30 a.m. and non-essential employees are asked to report to work at 11:30 a.m. The Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will operate at a heightened state of security indefinitely, and public tours of these facilities will remain suspended indefinitely.
Wednesday - September 12, 2001
The Kennedy Space Center will re-open to permanently badged employees beginning on first shift Thursday, September 13. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will remain closed indefinitely. Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will remain closed to all but essential personnel at least through Thursday, September 13. Public tours of these facilities are suspended indefinitely.
Tuesday - September 11, 2001
Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center were evacuated of all non-essential personnel today in the wake of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It is likely that these facilities will remain closed to non-essential personnel through at least Wednesday, September 12. The Eastern Range is currently down for technical upgrades, so launch activity will not be directly affected by today's developments. Government and military facilities throughout the U.S. are currently on Threatcon Delta, the highest state of military alert. This is believed to be the highest state of alert at the Cape since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Spaceline encourages our visitors to pray for all who have fallen victim to today's unprecedented acts of terrorism and for all of those who will be participating in rescue efforts in the coming days.
Thursday - September 6, 2001
Today's scheduled launch of a weather rocket from Launch Complex 47 has been postponed in order to allow electrical grounding checks at the launch pad to be completed. Weather rocket launches have become somewhat rare at the Cape in the wake of more cost-effective weather balloons. However, launches of Meteorological Sounding Rockets (nicknamed Metrockets) are conducted periodically to keep Air Force and civilian personnel up to speed on the handling and launching of these small rockets.
The 45th Space Wing does not currently support a manned or unmanned program that requires the launching of Metrockets to validate weather prior to a launch, however the Air Force conducts Metrocket launches to make sure the rockets and their instrumentation are working properly. Metrockets can provide data on weather conditions to altitudes of 300,000 feet - about three times the effective altitude of a weather balloon. Launches are typically scheduled to coincide with the expiration of the rocket's "shelf life" and three Metrocket launches from the Cape are targeted for this month. The exact launch schedule has yet to be announced.
Wednesday - August 22, 2001 - 1:00 p.m. EDT
With indications that rain showers in the Kennedy Space Center area were dissipating with only isolated clouds remaining, NASA has approved a landing of Space Shuttle Discovery at the Kennedy Space Center at 2:23 p.m. EDT today. Landing will be on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) unless a change to Runway 33 is ordered due to prevailing cloud cover. A change in runways can be made up to 10 minutes prior to landing. Landing had originally been scheduled for Runway 33 but was changed due to cloud cover south of the SLF. The approach from Runway 15 is from northwest to southeast. Click here for a feature story on the landing with NASA photos.
Wednesday - August 22, 2001 - 12:00 p.m. EDT
Isolated rain showers in the vicinity of the Kennedy Space Center have prompted NASA to waive the first landing opportunity for a landing of Space Shuttle Discovery at 12:46 p.m. EDT today. The next landing opportunity will be 2:23 p.m. EDT. Currently observed weather is "go", but the forecast for landing time at 2:23 p.m. remains uncertain.
Wednesday - August 22, 2001 - 10:00 a.m. EDT
Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to conclude Mission STS-105 with a landing at Runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at 12:46 p.m. EDT today. Weather was both observed and forecast "go" for landing at the time of this update.
Tuesday - August 21, 2001
Space Shuttle Discovery remains scheduled to conclude Mission STS-105 with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, August 22. There are two landing opportunities at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, the first at 12:46 p.m. EDT and the second at 2:23 p.m. EDT. Although afternoon thunderstorms have been prevalent in the Kennedy Space Center area in recent days, prevailing weather forecasts indicate that weather will be acceptable to support a landing on Wednesday, so back-up landing opportunities at Edwards Air Force Base, California will not be called up.
Monday - August 20, 2001
Hatches between Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station (ISS) were closed at 8:00 a.m. EDT today, followed by undocking of Discovery from ISS at 10:52 a.m. EDT. Undocking was followed by a flyaround of ISS at a distance of about 450 feet. Discovery remains scheduled to conclude Mission STS-105 with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 12:46 p.m. EDT August 22. Landing time has been revised slightly over previous schedules, and may be adjusted by a few minutes prior to landing. Initial weather forecasts indicate that weather will be favorable for a landing at the first Kennedy Space Center landing opportunity, although back-up landing opportunities at both the Kennedy Space Center and Edwards Air Force Base, California are available.
Sunday - August 19, 2001
The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) was re-berthed in Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay at 3:15 p.m. EDT today. While attached to the International Space Station (ISS), Leonardo supported the transfer of 7,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to ISS, and 3,000 pounds of supplies and equipment were stowed aboard Leonardo for a return to Earth. As Mission STS-105 nears an end, hatch closing between Discovery and ISS is scheduled for about 8:00 a.m. EDT August 20, with Discovery scheduled to undock from ISS about three hours later. Undocking will be followed by a flyaround of ISS at a distance of about 400 feet before Discovery begins moving away from the space station. Landing of Discovery remains targeted for 12:48 p.m. EDT August 22 at the Kennedy Space Center.
Saturday - August 18, 2001
Astronauts Dan Barry and Pat Forrester today completed a 5-hour, 29-minute spacewalk, the second and final scheduled spacewalk of Space Shuttle Mission STS-105 of Discovery. The two astronauts installed two 45-foot heater cables and handrails down both sides of the International Space Station (ISS) Destiny Module. The cables may provide back-up electrical power for a truss assembly scheduled to be installed outside ISS in Spring, 2002 if needed. The truss assembly, once installed, will provide the structural backbone for a 300-foot girder, intended to provide support for a variety of experiments, solar arrays and act as a mobile platform for the Canadian Robot Arm. With spacewalks wrapped up for the current Space Shuttle mission, grand totals stand at 431 hours, 39 minutes total duration of spacewalks during the Space Shuttle program and 167 hours, 24 minutes total duration of spacewalks devoted to ISS construction activities.
Friday - August 17, 2001
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) held a ceremonial "Change of Command" ceremony at 4:00 p.m. EDT today. Change of command officially took place on Monday, August 13. Astronaut Frank Culbertson, Commander of the ISS Expedition Three Crew, has taken command from ISS Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev. Preparations continue for the second spacewalk of the mission, scheduled to begin at about 10:00 a.m. EDT Saturday, August 18.
NASA today officially named crews for three upcoming Space Shuttle missions. STS-112, scheduled for launch in July, 2002 will consist of Commander Jeffrey Ashby, Pilot Pamela Melroy and Mission Specialists David Wolf, Piers Sellers, Sandra Magnus and Fyodor Yurchikhin. STS-113, scheduled for launch in August, 2002 will consist of Commander James Wetherbee, Pilot Christopher Loria and Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington. The International Space Station (ISS) Expedition Six Crew consisting of Ken Bowersox, Donald Thomas and Nikolai Budarin will embark to ISS during STS-113. STS-114, scheduled for launch in November, 2002 will consist of Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot James Kelly and Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi and Stephen Robinson. The ISS Expedition Seven Crew, consisting of Yuri Malenchenko, Sergei Moschenko and Edward Lu will embark to ISS during STS-114.
Thursday - August 16, 2001
Astronauts Dan Barry and Pat Forrester completed the first of two scheduled spacewalks today, as Mission STS-105 of Space Shuttle Discovery continues. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours, 16 minutes. Primary tasks were the installation of the Early Ammonia Servicer to the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). The device stores spare ammonia coolant that can be consumed if necessary. The astronauts also attached the first set of scientific experiments to the exterior of ISS. The Materials ISS Experiment (MISSY) includes 750 materials samples which will be exposed to the space environment for about 18 months before being returned to earth next year. This spacewalk marked the 25th spacewalk conducted thus far for ISS construction activities. A second spacewalk, also to be conducted by Barry and Forrester, is scheduled for Saturday, August 18. Today marks the 1,000th day that ISS has been in space, beginning with the launch of the Russian Zarya Module from Kazakhstan on November 20, 1998.
The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) announced today that FSRI and the Kennedy Space Center will host the annual International Space Station Utilization Conference, sponsored by NASA and Boeing. The event will be held at the Radisson Resort, Cape Canaveral from October 15-18, 2001. About 450 researchers, engineers, business representatives and government officials from around the world are expected to attend, and about 250 technical papers and presentations regarding commercial and scientific utilization of the International Space Station will be presented. Professional development courses will also be offered prior to the conference on October 13 and 14. For registration information, click here to visit the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics website, or call FSRI at 321-452-2653, extension 205.
Wednesday - August 15, 2001
Following two days of transferring supplies and equipment to and from the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), hatches between Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station (ISS) were closed at 5:52 p.m. EDT today. Hatch closure allows Discovery's cabin pressure to be lowered in preparation for the first of two spacewalks scheduled for this mission. A spacewalk by astronauts Dan Barry and Pat Forrester is scheduled to begin at around 10:15 a.m. EDT Thursday, August 16.
Monday - August 13, 2001
The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) was successfully unberthed from Space Shuttle Discovery and attached to the International Space Station (ISS) at 11:55 a.m. EDT today. The hatch which allows astronauts to enter Leonardo from inside ISS was opened at 3:47 p.m. EDT. This will permit the astronauts to transfer some 7,000 pounds of equipment and experiments to and from ISS. At 3:15 p.m. EDT today the ISS Expedition Two and Expedition Three crews changed hands, although an official symbolic ceremony designating astronaut Frank Culbertson as ISS Commander is not expected to occur until August 17. NASA reports that if Discovery lands as scheduled, the ISS Expedition Two crew will have spent a total of 167 days in space.
Sunday - August 12, 2001
Space Shuttle Discovery successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:42 p.m. EDT today. Hatches between the two spacecraft were opened at 4:41 p.m. EDT today, paving the way for a planned nine days of joint docking operations.
Spaceline salutes NASA and the Air Force for launching three space launches from Cape Canaveral within just five calendar days. This frequency of space launches is nearly unprecedented in the history of the Cape, having occurred just five times total. The vital statistics break down as follows:
Three Cape Canaveral Space Launches Within Five Calendar Days
August 6, 2001 - DSP-21
August 8, 2001 - GENESIS
August 10, 2001 - STS-105
October 20, 1998 - UHF-F9
October 22, 1998 - SCD-2
October 24, 1998 - DS-1
December 8, 1964 - ASSET-5 (Suborbital)
December 10, 1964 - TRANSTAGE TEST
December 11, 1964 - CENTAUR TEST
February 21, 1961 - MERCURY MA-2
February 21, 1961 - TRANSIT-3B
February 24, 1961 - EXPLORER-S45
September 16, 1959 - BIOFLIGHT-3 (Suborbital)
September 17, 1959 - TRANSIT-1A
September 18, 1959 - VANGUARD-3
It should be noted that Spaceline is somewhat reluctant to compare launch frequencies of the modern era with those of the late 1950's and 1960's since the character of the Eastern Range and its mission has changed so dramatically over the years. One must remember that space launches in the late 1950's and 1960's were scheduled and launched in parallel with a plethora of missile tests, each of which challenged range technical resources on a par with space launches. For example, in the month of September, 1959 there were a total of 14 major vehicle launches from the Cape, in the month of February, 1961 there were 13 and in the month of December, 1964 there were nine. This month's space launch activity will be restricted to the three launches which have already occurred, with the next Cape launch not scheduled to occur until October 1 due to pending upgrades to the range infrastructure. In our mind, that makes the space launch activities of the past much more dramatic and significant than those which have just occurred.
While Spaceline is thrilled with the space launch frequency of the past week, we must of necessity place this feat in its proper historical context, and we must also pay tribute to the men and women of the "old" range who supported their space launches in the midst of an incredible amount of scheduling pressure and conflicts, and with multiple launch capability that plainly does not exist today. On April 11, 1970 the Eastern Range supported a record eight major vehicle launches in one day, specifically the launch of Apollo 13 from Launch Pad 39A and seven Polaris A3 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) from the U.S.S. Simon Bolivar. Such a feat will likely never be repeated. The most space launches from the Cape in a single year was 33 in 1966, a year which saw a total of 77 major vehicle launches. So far in 2001 there have been 14 space launches from Cape Canaveral, with total major vehicle launches forecast to be well less than half of the number launched in 1966. For the record, the most major vehicle launches from the Cape in any single year was a staggering 206 in 1960. For additional perspective, click here to view an exclusive statistical analysis of Cape Canaveral launches, 1950-1999.
Friday - August 10, 2001
Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on Mission STS-105 at 5:10 p.m. EDT. Contrary to a rather dismal weather outlook, showers and thunderstorms did not move close enough to the Kennedy Space Center to cause a repeat of yesterday's scrub. See the news story and photos by clicking here.
Thursday - August 9, 2001
Today's attempt to launch Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-105 was scrubbed due to thick clouds, rain and lightning in the Kennedy Space Center area. Launch has been rescheduled for August 10 at 5:15 p.m. EDT with a five-minute launch window. Early weather forecasts are calling for a 70% chance that weather will not be acceptable for launch, again due to the potential for clouds, rain and lightning in the Kennedy Space Center area.
The University of Florida announced today it has received a $40,000 grant from Boeing to assist the university in developing pioneering space biotechnology programs for the Space Environment Research and Processing Facility (SERP). SERP is currently under construction at the Kennedy Space Center, and is designed to provide a platform for processing a plethora of scientific investigations destined to fly aboard the Space Shuttle or International Space Station. The State of Florida has pledged at least $500,000 in grants to Florida universities toward a variety of SERP projects. The facility is expected to be completed in 2003.
Wednesday - August 8, 2001
A Boeing Delta II rocket today successfully launched the NASA Genesis solar wind collector following 10 days of launch delays. Click here for the complete story and photos.
Monday - August 6, 2001
The Air Force today successfully launched the DSP-21 military satellite
aboard a Lockheed-Martin Titan IVB rocket. Remarkably, the launch occurred
on time despite a week of relatively bad weather associated with Tropical
Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico. Click
here for the story and photo.
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