AKA: Discovery;ISS-ULF1. Launched: 2005-07-26. Returned: 2005-08-09. Number crew: 7 . Duration: 13.90 days.
The STS-114 mission's primary objective was to verify fixes made to the space shuttle external tank to prevent foam and ice shedding during launch that resulted heat shield damage and the subsequent death of the STS-107 crew. A final main objective was to resupply the International Space Station, which had to rely on smaller Progress supply vessels while the shuttle was grounded. However significant foam was shed again during the launch. The heat shield was undamaged, but the shuttle crew was considered in deadly peril, at least by the press. They returned safely to earth, having to land at Edwards Air Force Base after two cancelled landings at the Kennedy Space Center due to rain. The shuttle was however again grounded, and even its continued use was questioned. The next ISS crew, launched a month later, faced a six-month stay without visits or resupply from the shuttle.
The flight had originally been scheduled for March 2003 with the crew of Collins Eileen, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Malenchenko, Kaleri, and Lu. Instead the flight was delayed for over two years by the Columbia disaster. STS-114 was originally to have been the seventeenth station flight (ULF1). It would have carried the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and carried out a crew rotation (replacing the ISS EO-6 crew of Bowersox, Budarin, and Pettit with the Malenchenko, Kaleri, and Lu. Instead the EO-6 crew would return in May aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 lifeboat already docked to the station, being replaced by a new two-man emergency crew of Malenchenko and Lu (launched aboard Soyuz TMA-2 instead of the shuttle).
NASA Official Mission Summary
Mission: International Space Station Assembly Flight LF1
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launched: July 26, 2005, 10:39:00 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: Aug. 9, 2005, 5:11:22 a.m. PDT
Mission Duration: 13 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes and 48 seconds
Main Gear Touchdown: 5:11:36 a.m. PDT
Nose Gear Touchdown: 5:11:41 a.m. PDT
Wheel Stop: 5:12:36 a.m. PDT
Rollout Distance: 1.5 miles
Miles Traveled: 5.8 million
Crew Members: Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot James Kelly, Mission Specialists Charles Camarda, Wendy Lawrence, Soichi Noguchi, Stephen Robinson and Andrew Thomas.
Launch: July 26, 2005 at 10:39 a.m. EDT. A liquid hydrogen tank low-level fuel cut-off sensor failed a routine prelaunch check during the launch countdown July 13, causing mission managers to scrub Discovery's first launch attempt. Members of an engineering team met to review data and possible troubleshooting plans. Some of the troubleshooting included conducting electromagnetic interference and ground resistance testing on wiring in the aft engine compartment. On July 26, the countdown was flawless and liftoff occurred on time.
Landing: Waved off 4 landing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center due to weather. Landed on first opportunity at Edwards Air Force Base, marking the 6th night landing at Edwards and the 50th shuttle landing in California.
Kennedy Space Center was beset with weather issues starting Aug. 8, the original landing date. Two landing opportunities at Kennedy were waved off Aug. 8 and two more again Aug. 9. Edwards was chosen as the preferred landing site following wave-off at Kennedy Space Center on Aug. 9. Discovery was ferried back to Kennedy Space Center Aug. 20, 2005, atop a modified Boeing 747 aircraft.
STS-114 was the first Return to Flight mission since the tragic loss of Columbia Feb. 1, 2003. Two and a half years were spent researching and implementing safety improvements for orbiters and external tanks. They included greater in-depth examination of Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels that are used on the wing leading edges, plus replacing bolts and new foam applications on the tanks.
Discovery's climb to orbit was extensively documented through a system of new and upgraded ground-based cameras, radar systems and airborne cameras aboard high altitude aircraft. The imagery captured of Discovery's launch, and additional imagery from laser systems on Discovery's new Orbiter Boom Sensor System laser-scanner as well as data from sensors embedded in the shuttle's wings, helped mission managers determine the health of Discovery's thermal protection system. When Discovery neared the International Space Station early July 28, Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips used digital cameras and high-powered 800-mm and 400-mm lenses to photograph Discovery's thermal protective tiles and key areas around its main and nose landing gear doors. All imagery was downlinked to a team of 200 to analyze.
Before docking with the space station, Commander Eileen Collins performed the first Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver about 600 feet below the station. The motion flipped the shuttle end over end at 3/4 degree per second, allowing Expedition 11 crew members to photograph the underside of Discovery and its heat-resistant tiles in detail.
Imagery during launch showed a piece of foam being shed from the external tank, as well as smaller tile and foam dings. Imagery of the tiles showed two areas where gap fillers were protruding. Mission managers spent several days to determine if any action would be required of the crew.
It was decided to allow Robinson the attempt to pull out the protruding gap fillers with his hand or with forceps, or remove the protrusions with a hacksaw. The astronauts reviewed training on using the robotic arm and worked on assembling a hacksaw if they should need it.
A puffed out piece of thermal blanket near the cockpit was also identified in the imagery and became another area of concern. Tunnel tests at NASA's Ames Research Center in California and further engineering analysis showed there was little reason to be concerned about debris release during re-entry.
Prior to the first spacewalk, Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence and Pilot James Kelly guided the station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, to lift the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello from Discovery's Cargo Bay for attachment to the Unity module. More inspections of Discovery were conducted by Mission Specialist Charles Camarda and Kelly.
During the mission, astronauts tested and examined tiles in demonstration of repair techniques. Other time was spent transferring equipment and supplies on the station as well as removing and stowing the same on the MPLM Raffaello for return to Earth.
Three spacewalks were planned and conducted, including an add-on task for the gap filler removal:
EVA No. 1 -- 6 hours, 50 minutes, July 30. Mission Specialists Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi worked with tiles and reinforced carbon-carbon intentionally damaged on the ground and brought into space in Discovery's cargo bay. They tested an Emittance Wash Applicator for tile repair and Non-Oxide Adhesive eXperimental for the reinforced carbon-carbon samples. They also installed a base and cabling for a stowage platform and rerouted power to Control Moment Gyroscope-2, one of four 600-pound gyroscopes that control the orientation of the station in orbit.
EVA No. 2 — 7 hours, 14 minutes, Aug. 1. Noguchi and Robinson removed the failed CMG-1 and stowed it. They moved the new CMG from the payload bay and installed it. Four functioning CMGs now serve the space station.
EVA No. 3 — 6 hours, 1 minute, Aug. 3. Attached to the Canadarm2, Robinson was moved to the site on Discovery's underside where he gently pulled the two protruding gap fillers from between thermal protection tiles. Other events were installing an external stowage platform outside the station to house spare parts and installing a fifth Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE). MISSE 5 exposes samples of various materials to the harsh space environment for several months. Mission managers added one more day to the mission, to follow the third spacewalk. Both the Discovery crew and Expedition 11 crew paid tribute to the Columbia crew and other astronauts and cosmonauts who have lost their lives in the human exploration of space.
The MPLM was unberthed from the Unity node using the station robotic arm and placed back in Discovery's cargo bay. Discovery and the MPLM carried 7,055 pounds of unneeded equipment and trash. The OBSS was berthed back in the cargo bay by the shuttle robot arm after a handoff of the boom from the station's arm.
Mission Objectives Summary
To verify the changes to the shuttle, the crew was to inspect all of the reinforced carbon-carbon heat protection material on Discovery's wing leading edge panels and to downlink data from the 176 wireless impact sensors mounted inside the wing panels for evaluation on the ground. The on-orbit inspections was carried out using a variety of methods, including umbilical well and hand-held photography of the external tank after it was jettisoned, and an Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) with cameras and lasers. The OBSS would also inspect of all of the Shuttle's silicon-based heat-shield tiles for damage. Other mission objectives included, in detail:
"I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher from the"Groundhog Day" movie soundtrack."Groundhog Day's"I Got You Babe" is a recurring theme for wakeup calls on missions which have been extended an additional two days, with the astronauts having to repeat their deorbit activities each day only to be told that because of bad weather they're going to go through the same tasks again the next day. For commander Ken Cockrell this was his third mission in a row where he's stayed in orbit for an additional two days in the hopes of good weather in Florida.
The crew members aboard the International Space Station are winding down a week that saw them preparing for the arrival of a new cargo spacecraft and helping achieve a milestone in Station robotics operations, which has the potential for long-term exploration applications. Additional Details: here....
Carrying more than two tons of supplies, a Russian cargo spacecraft began a two-day trip to the International Space Station today after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The ISS Progress 17 resupply ship launched at 1:09 p.m. CST. Less than 10 minutes later, it settled into orbit and automatic commands deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas. Additional Details: here....
The Expedition 11 crew entered its seventh week in space today, wrapping up a week highlighted by research, maintenance and training for photography tasks to be done during the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight mission in July. Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips spent several days conducting examinations of each other using an ultrasound device that provides data on the ability of crewmembers to conduct detailed medical exams in space. The experiment could have future applications for telemedicine or rural health care. Additional Details: here....
Return to flight after loss of Columbia. Delayed extensively as NASA attempted to fix the external tank foam-shedding problem that resulted in the loss of Columbia (first planned for September 12, 2004, the launch slipped to March; May 14, 15 and 22; July 13, 2005). Discovery safely reached orbit at a total mass of 121,485 kg, but extensive video coverage detected external tank foam shedding during ascent. Discovery docked at the Pirs module of the ISS on 28 July 28 at 11:18 GMT. Following replenishment of the station (using the Raffaello MPLM-6 module with 8240 kg of supplies), a series of spacewalks verified the integrity of the shuttle's heat shield and tested repair techniques, Discovery undocked from the ISS at 07:24 GMT on 6 August and landed safely on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base at 12:11 GMT on 9 August. However the shuttle fleet was immediately grounded again while NASA attempted to find a permanent fix to the external tank foam woes.
Discovery crewmembers completed a camera survey of the heat shields of the leading edges of the orbiter's wings and its nose cone Wednesday. They also began preparations for Thursday's docking with the International Space Station and the mission's spacewalks. Additional Details: here....
The crew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery has awakened to its first full day in space. Today it will focus on thermal protection system inspections, preparing for docking to the International Space Station and getting spacesuits ready for three spacewalks. Additional Details: here....
Space Shuttle and International Space Station crewmembers installed the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and began unloading the pressurized cargo carrier Friday. They also carried out a survey of selected areas of Discovery's thermal protection system and continued preparations for Saturday's spacewalk. Additional Details: here....
Transfers of additional water and supplies to the International Space Station will continue Sunday as the crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery begins Flight Day 6. The STS-114 mission was formally extended by one day as mission managers Saturday decided to spend one more day docked to the ISS. Additional Details: here....
Space Shuttle Discovery's heat protective tiles and thermal blankets have been pronounced fit for entry after engineers reviewed the imagery and other data to judge their health. Analysis remains on the reinforced carbon-carbon wing leading edges and the protruding gap fillers identified earlier. Aerodynamics experts are evaluating the effect on surface heating that the gap fillers may cause to decide whether any work is necessary to reduce their size. Additional Details: here....
Robinson and Noguchi demonstrated Shuttle thermal protection repair techniques in the Shuttle bay. They also installed a stowage platform and rerouted power to ISS Control Moment Gyroscope-2 (CMG-2). They also brought into the station two materials exposure experiments.
Now spacewalk veterans, Astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson will step outside for the second of three planned spacewalks today at 3:14 a.m. CDT. The sole objective of the 6 ½-hour excursion is to replace a failed International Space Station attitude control gyroscope. Additional Details: here....
STS-114 mission managers Monday gave the go-ahead for astronauts to remove two protruding gap fillers in Discovery's heat shield during a Wednesday space walk. Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson will attempt to simply pull the thin fabric fillers from between tiles in the forward area of the orbiter's underside. If the pull method is unsuccessful, the two will have tools to cut the material flush with the surface. Additional Details: here....
Space Shuttle mission managers Tuesday cleared Discovery's wing leading edge heat shield for re-entry as they methodically deal with concerns over the protruding tile gap fillers. The mission management team also discussed a "puffed out" insulating blanket outside the commander's cockpit window and has decided it poses no risk of overheating during entry. Engineers will continue to analyze whether it could pose a debris problem if it came loose during aerodynamic flight. Additional Details: here....
The Space Shuttle Discovery crew begins their ninth day in space with preparations for the third spacewalk of the mission. This extravehicular activity (EVA) was a preplanned activity for the mission, but now includes a new task -- repair of two protruding gap fillers between tiles on the bottom the Shuttle. Additional Details: here....
"Amarillo by Morning" by George Strait. Expedition 11 crew of Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer and NASA ISS Science Officer John Phillips, woke up 30 minutes later."Amarillo By Morning" was dedicated not to the crew in space, but to the Columbia
Now in their eleventh day of the mission and with three successful spacewalks behind them, the STS-114 crew of Space Shuttle Discovery is slated to begin preparations for undocking and the final day with their International Space Station counterparts. Their activities for the day include final equipment transfers, stowage and return of the robotic arm, boom and cargo container to the Shuttle payload bay. Additional Details: here....
Space Shuttle Discovery's heat shield is cleared for the return to Earth early Monday after mission managers decided today that a fourth spacewalk to deal with a puffed out thermal blanket is unnecessary. Wind tunnel tests overnight at NASA's Ames Research Center in California showed little chance of any significant debris coming from the blanket at supersonic speeds. Further engineering analysis showed any debris released from the blanket was unlikely to hit structures on Discovery. Additional Details: here....