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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-114
Launch: July 26 @ 10:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT)
Site: Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: Aug. 9 @ 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT)
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
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The Crew




A seven-person crew, led by veteran shuttle commander Eileen Collins, will fly aboard Discovery for the shuttle return to flight mission.

Crew Quick-Look

CDR: Eileen Collins

PLT: James Kelly

MS 1: Soichi Noguchi

MS 2: Stephen Robinson

MS 3: Andrew Thomas

MS 4: Wendy Lawrence

MS 5: Charles Camarda

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The Vehicle




As America's third reusable space shuttle to fly, Discovery has successfully completed 30 missions since 1984.

STS-114 Hardware

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Our comprehensive coverage of the Columbia disaster and its aftermath has been archived.

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NASA assesses threat posed by cockpit window blanket
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: August 2, 2005

Amid planning for an unprecedented shuttle heat-shield repair spacewalk Wednesday, engineers also are assessing the potential threat posed by a damaged insulation blanket just below commander Eileen Collins' left cockpit window. While engineers say the blanket poses no threat of heat damage during entry, there's a chance a small portion of the blanket could rip away in the lower, denser atmosphere and hit the shuttle's aft section.


Credit: NASA
 
Wayne Hale, chairman of NASA's mission management team, said today engineers earlier concluded "that even if that blanket completely came off during entry we're perfectly safe from the local area thermal effects, that is not a problem at all for us in that local area."

"The folks who have been looking at that, of course, have been heavily involved in many of the aspects of the gap filler discussion (see below), the aerodynamics and so forth. ... They're now looking at where that blanket might go if it actually comes off during entry."

The analysis is expected to be complete by Thursday.

"Right now, we know that in terms of the local area, it's OK," Hale said of the damaged blanket. "This is just a question of could it fly back and hit something on the after part of the vehicle? And, in fact, the biggest work going on, I think, is to determine whether or not it's even possible the blanket could come off.

"It appears to be well adhered in terms of the underlying RTV glue," he said. "And the stitching holding it down to the edges of that looks like it's in good shape."

Hale said the blanket, which measures 20.4 inches long and 3.8 inches wide, appears to have been hit by something earlier in the mission. Impact damage of some sort is the presumed culprit, but that is merely an assumption at this point. Unlike the gap filler problem, the blanket poses a threat when the shuttle is much closer to Earth, and flying much slower. In relative terms, of course.

"This would not be a concern if it came off at high Mach number, above Mach 6," Hale said, referring to a velocity six times greater than that of sound. "You know, once you get to Mach 6 with the shuttle, you're just kind of putzing around. At lower Mach numbers, where the air is thicker, then there is some transport mechanism that folks are going to go off and look at.

"They're concerned about a physical impact," he said. "The heating concerns rapidly go away later in the trajectory. So, this would not be a high-heating, high-Mach-number kind of concern. This would be a low Mach number, impact-if-any kind of concern."

He said engineers believe the largest piece that could rip away would weigh just 0.05 pounds or so - eight tenths of an ounce.

This issue does not appear to be serious. But given the way Discovery's flight has been proceeding, readers are urged to stay tuned.

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: PRESIDENTIAL PHONE CALL PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUT DAVE WOLF EXPLAINS GAP FILLER REMOVAL PLAY
VIDEO: TODAY'S CREW NEWS CONFERENCE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: TODAY'S STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND 1 & 2

VIDEO: DECISION ANNOUNCED AT BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND 1 & 2
VIDEO: GROUND TESTS ON PULLING, CUTTING GAP FILLERS PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS PREPARE FOR THE SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: FAILED GYRO IS REMOVED FROM THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: THE NEW GYRO IS INSTALLED PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS POSE FOR PICTURES PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND 1 & 2
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL DURING EVA PLAY

VIDEO: MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND 1 & 2
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
AUDIO: LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING MP3 FILE
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER SEPARATION FROM TANK PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CHUTE DEPLOY AND SPLASHDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: FULL CLIP FROM LEFT-HAND BOOSTER PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER SEPARATION FROM TANK PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER SPLASHDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: FULL CLIP FROM RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER PLAY
VIDEO: MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND PART 1
AUDIO: LISTEN TO THE STATUS BRIEFING MP3 FILE
VIDEO: DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND 1 & 2
VIDEO: THURSDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
  BROADBAND VERSION: PART 1 & PART 2
AUDIO: LISTEN TO THE MISSION STATUS BRIEFING MP3 FILE
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR DOCKING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER COLLINS GUIDES DISCOVERY TO DOCKING PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S BACKFLIP AS SEEN FROM STATION PLAY
VIDEO: STATION CAMERAS SEE SHUTTLE'S APPROACH FROM BELOW PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE PULLS IN FRONT OF STATION FOR DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: CREW'S CAMCORDER VIDEO OF JETTISONED FUEL TANK PLAY

VIDEO: NASA GROUNDS SHUTTLE PROGRAM DIALUP
  BROADBAND VERSION: PART 1 & PART 2
AUDIO: LISTEN TO PROGRAM NEWS CONFERENCE FOR IPOD
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: SHUTTLE FUEL TANK HITS BIRD AT LIFTOFF PLAY

VIDEO: AMAZING WB-57 AERIAL LAUNCH VIDEO NORTH | SOUTH PLANE
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL AT LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: OFFICIALS DESCRIBE DEBRIS EVENTS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
AUDIO: LISTEN TO THE DEBRIS DESCRIPTION FOR IPOD

VIDEO: LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY! SHORTER | LONGER
VIDEO: FOOTAGE OF OBJECT BREAKING FREE FROM TANK PLAY
VIDEO: TANK-MOUNTED CAMERA SHOWS ENTIRE LAUNCH SMALL | LARGE
VIDEO: ONBOARD CAMERA VIEW OF TANK SEPARATION PLAY
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Status Summary
Discovery safely touched down at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 GMT) Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Weather worries off the coast of Florida thwarted both landing opportunities this morning at Kennedy Space Center, forcing a detour to the backup landing site.


See the Status Center for full play-by-play coverage.

Recent updates

Thursday, August 4
07:00 AM
NASA TV sked (rev. J)

Spacewalk Stats



Wednesday, August 3
06:15 AM
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