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SpaceVidcast Daily 23.5.10

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Space Shuttle Atlantis, one more time! On your SpacePod for May 24th, 2010. On May 14th, 2010 Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for what may be the last time. If you have not yet seen it, head on over to Spacevidcast.com and check out not only the HD launch video, but also the 7 hour pre and post launch event that we produced live on Ustream.tv. And if you're an Spacevidcast epic subscriber you also have access to over 2GB of additional content such as videos, PDFs, mission reports, animations and more! We mentioned a couple weeks ago that STS-132 may not be the final mission for Space Shuttle Atlantis. If Endeavour has problems on what is currently slated to be the final Space Shuttle mission ever, STS-134, and needs to be rescued, Atlantis would be the standby Launch On Need vehicle. That part is set and chances are we won't need to use Atlantis for that rescue mission. However, there is talk of NASA adding one more shuttle flight in the form of STS-135. Since Discovery and Endeavour would have already flown, the next logical choice would be... Atlantis! After the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-132 there was a Post-Launch briefing. As soon as the question and answer period came up, talk of STS-135 began. Rather than cut this up, we're just going to show you the entire question, answer, followup question and followup answer -- uncut. Announcer: We will begin with questions here at Kennedy and we have a pretty full house, so I'd like to ask you to limit it to one question and one followup please. And state your name, affiliation and to whom your question is addressed. Why don't we start over here with Jay Barbary. Jay Barbary (NBC): Jay Barbary with NBC. Mike, the other day before the commerce committee your administrator said he had not ruled out flying Atlantis again for another mission. He was still considering it with the problems with safety between liftoff and getting into orbit. You'd have no vehicle to go get them before they get to the space station. What would it take for you guys to get Atlantis ready to go to follow Endeavor into space? You'll have it ready for of course a rescue, but what would you have to do to have it ready? What more would you have to do to have it ready to go and would you be confident, both Mikes, would you be confident after today in sending up a crew on Atlantis again without a backup shuttle to pick it up? Mike Leinbach: Well he had a lot of questions there, as typical for Mr. Barber. But from the processing perspective, we're going to process Atlantis like we always do because it does have to be ready for the Launch-on-Need mission. So it has to be ready to go with a crew of 4 and if it happens to turn into a mission to the space station, by itself, so be it. We would do what is necessary there. We're not going to shortcut anything, we're not planning on adding anything to the turn around. We're going to process it for the LON and if things change, we will react to that. It's no big deal to us right now, early in the processing after she gets home, whether it's a LON mission or whether it's a mission to the space station. Jay: So in other words, it would be ready to go after you fly Endeavor, pretty much standing there as the rescue vehicle. Mike Moses:Yeah, the way the timeline would work is like you see on all of our safe haven rescue missions. The exact time depends on the station consumables, but it would be somewhere between the 90 to 120 day range that we'd have protection to be able to keep the crew up on station. For the last flight, we actually probably could go even longer than that. So Atlantis would be processed to the point that it's at least that close to launch. So that you know you can launch it and successfully rescue. Bill Gerstenmaier: And if we were going to make it a real mission, we would probably want to know in June, so we could actually start doing the right planning, get things in place, make sure we got the right cargo in place. We've got a good set of cargo, we've got a good understanding of where we want to go, but if we want to make it a real mission, we need to get focused on the real mission, we need to think about what unique aspects need to be there, and be prepared. So the June timeframe is about the time that we need to get an idea that somebody would like us to go do that and if they provide the funding, we'd be glad to go do that. Jay:So you're working that now, you're working that now at headquarters, you're working the mission now? Bill: We're really doing exactly what these guys said, we're preparing it for a contingency flight, but we're prepared that if somebody asks us to make it a real flight, we can start that activity if they let us know by sometime in the June / July timeframe. Jay: I owe you one Mike! Greg Dobbs: Gentlemen, Greg Dobbs from HD Net television. ah, and don't forget that it's Mr. Grasinov who brought this up, not Jay. So, a second question about the latest thinking on an additional flight. What would be the nature, what's the latest thinking at least, about the nature of the cargo and the size of the crew on a fourth flight? Bill: It would be a four person crew, it would have the MPLM that would be configured pretty much in the condition that we would have configured for the Launch on Need flight. Greg: What would it carry? Bill: An MPLM. A Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. It would carry spare components for the space station. We've already laid that manifest out for the contingency flight, what consumables we need, what spares, what ORUs we would want. Also importantly, we could bring back some items for us which we would like at the last moment to bring back. We'd like to fly it in the June timeframe next year if possible. The reason we want to do that is that we have an HTV and an ATV flight that are going to fly in December and January. We have a lot of supplies on those flights. We want to then put it in the right place to benefit station. So our motivation technically would be that it gives us the best way to leave station and the best configuration we can as we move forward. Station would be fine without the flight, but if we want to try and improve it and make things better, then if somebody wants us to go do it, we could go potentially accommodate the flight. Cariann: So lets recap. Right now there is no funding for STS-135 which means no mission. NASA would like to get that sorted out no later than July of this year to see if they can't fly Atlantis one more time in the June 2011 time frame. If Atlantis does fly in June 2011 that means that the Space Shuttle program would then be 30 years old which is not only a great year to end on, but what a great space shuttle to take us out! More videos at http://www.spacevidcast.com

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 33 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Benjamin Higginbotham
Director: Benjamin Higginbotham
Views: 62
Posted by: spacevidcaster on Jun 5, 2010

On May 14th, 2010 Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for what may be the last time. If you have not yet seen it, head on over to Spacevidcast.com and check out not only the HD launch video, but also the 7 hour pre and post launch event that we produced live on Ustream.tv. And if you're an Spacevidcast epic subscriber you also have access to over 2GB of additional content such as videos, PDFs, mission reports, animations and more!

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