Countdown to the Cape: Holding (Back Tears)

This morning at 8:11am, the launch of Discovery was scrubbed for the day. Here’s the new problem: a leaky ground umbilical carrier plate. This problem has occurred twice before (STS-119 and STS-127), each time taking four days to fix. The external fuel tanks are being drained right now, and the team will go in tomorrow, after all remaining hydrogen is purged. There exists hope that … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape: Holding (Back Tears)

Countdown to the Cape…Holding at 1…Still

We woke this morning to heavy cloud cover and rain, and to the news that the Mission Management Team (MMT) had decided not to tank (fill the large external tank) this morning because there looked to be no break in the front through the day. They were correct. The launch of STS-133, Discovery‘s last mission, is now scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) at about 3:04pm. The … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape…Holding at 1…Still

Countdown to the Cape…Holding at 1…

Our experience at the Cape has become a lesson in patience. When we booked our flight and lodging, we planned for a week, just in case. Though Discovery’s launch was scheduled for Monday, there existed launch windows every afternoon November 1 through November 7. By the time we left for Florida, the launch had been delayed until Tuesday, in order to fix a few leaks. … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape…Holding at 1…

November 2: Countdown to the Cape…2-1…

Ten years ago today, humanity inaugurated its first permanent home above the clouds. On November 2, 2000, the International Space Station (ISS) was declared open for business and has been continuously occupied ever since. In these intervening years, the ISS has been home to more than 200 astronauts from 15 nations. Originally, ISS was a studio compartment. After 34 Shuttle flights and dozens more by … Continue reading November 2: Countdown to the Cape…2-1…

Countdown to the Cape…3 again!

We left California yesterday right on time, only to find out, once we arrived at our motel,  that the Shuttle launch was delayed once again. With a little extra time to spare before Discovery takes flight, we headed over to Kennedy Space Center to get Anna’s mission media badge. But the launch slip–that’s what the KSC natives call it–seems to have left the badging facility … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape…3 again!

Countdown to the Cape…3!

Next up in our countdown viewing is a set of DVDs called the Physics of Space Flight Series, from educational resource provider Physics Curriculum & Instruction. It’s accessible nerd stuff through and through. The three DVDs in the series include: Part I. Acceleration Machines: Launching a Space Vehicle (31:18 min), Part II. Physics in Space: Orbital Motion & Re-entry (28:05 min), and Part III. Gravity: … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape…3!

Countdown to the Cape…holding at 4…

Last night, we worked our way through today’s blog post. But that’s on hold for now. This morning, we woke to the news that we are featured at The Orange County Register. There, Doug recalls his earliest memories, as a toddler watching black-and-white images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on television. Anna points out, “there is something incredibly awesome to think that we staple … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape…holding at 4…

Countdown to the Cape…4…

As yesterday’s post mentioned, we’re taking a divide and conquer approach to the preparation for our visit to Cape Canaveral. Where Anna is going to benefit from the full fourth-estate treatment, Doug will be taking the man-in-the-street approach. Actually, we’ve begun to refer to his role in this adventure as the man-on-the-beach role. As any habitué of the Space Coast beaches knows, these sandy meeting … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape…4…

Countdown to the Cape: 10-9-8-7-6-5…

The final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery—and the penultimate mission for the Space Shuttle program—is scheduled for Monday, November 1, 2010. Lofty Ambitions will be there! Anna will be at Kennedy Space Center with the press, and Doug will be watching with the crowds on the coast of Florida. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been catching up on the facts and lore of … Continue reading Countdown to the Cape: 10-9-8-7-6-5…