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NASA Quest

Station Update

May 23, 2002

Mike Chinelli and John Rau shown on screen

John: Hello from Kennedy Space Center and welcome to our Station Update. My name is John Rau, and I’ll be your host for the next hour.

Discussion for this afternoon will be news surrounding the launch of STS 111. Mike Chinelli, our guest for today’s broadcast, will be happy to talk about the crew of this next mission, plus the latest processing news and payload information.

However, before we get into the discussion, I would like to introduce our guest for today. Mike is a test project engineer who works for Kennedy Space Center. He is currently running tests on the shuttle Endeavor to ensure that it’s ready for launch later on this month.

Mike, could you tell our viewers a little bit more about yourself and what you do for KSC?

Mike: Sure. Well, John, it’s great to be here. And great to be with our audience again for another Web cast on upcoming launch. Kind of exciting, we’re getting towards the last stages for Endeavor so we’re getting kind of excited and ready to go.

What I do as a test flight project engineer is our job is basically integrating the testing of the vehicle. And of course it takes about three months or so to process the launch vehicle. And during that time every day, we’re checking out different systems, testing them, troubleshooting, and repairing, replacing. And my function basically is to monitor all that and to give okays for the troubleshooting and also help aid in troubleshooting and help conduct the countdown when it comes time for that.

John: Okay. Let’s start the Web cast off by talking about the latest processing news for STS 111.

Mike: Okay. Great. I’ll mention two comments and then after a comment or two, I’ll show you a video tape that I brought that’ll be pretty exciting. What I have is Endeavor is ready for launch. It’s getting pretty close to ready for launch. It landed a few months ago, and since that time, we’ve done a lot of work on it. We’ve pulled the old engines off, we’ve installed new engines, we’ve gone to new systems on board for check out, the hyper [galic] fuels have been loaded on board. The space suits we’re going to use for our EVAs, our Extra Vehicle Activities, are loaded and checked out.

And so Endeavor’s gone through a lot of checks and processing. And we’re ready to pick up the countdown next Monday, on Memorial Day. And coming in second shift, we’re going to start the clock, start the countdown, and hopefully on Thursday, have a beautiful launch.

John: Great. Okay.

Mike: And what I’d like to show you next is show you a little more detail what I was just talking about as far as the processing. I brought a tape that shows us from the landing, the previous landing of Endeavor, up through its processing for this launch. So if you could take a look at that tape.

Running video tape of Endeavor preparation and launch

What we have is the space shuttle of course lands at the shuttle landing facility. And you can see Endeavor rolling along the facility on its own tires, being pulled in by a tractor. We bring it into the Orbital Processing Facility. And inside that, think of it as basically a super high-tech garage. And within this garage, we have platforms that basically wrap around it and allow us to do various tasks, such as what you’re watching is engine installation.

Of course we pull the old engines off, put new engines in. And it allows us to [face the excess] and service every part of the vehicle. During this time, while we’re processing the vehicle here at the Cape, we also had the crew before the upcoming flight comes down for a crew-equipment interface test. And during that time they check out the orbiter, they kind of crawl around a little bit. They enjoy it because it gives them a good look up close of what the real vehicle looks like. Because of course this time they’ve been training out in Houston in simulators. Now they get to see a real spacecraft, so they’re kind of looking forward to that.

And also it gets them a chance to look at switch positioning and make sure everything is the way it’s going to be for launch. And of course while the crew is doing that, we’ve got a great host of talented engineers and technicians out here checking everything from our tiles to the onboard systems, our fuel cells, our auxiliary power units. Everything from top to bottom is checked out, ran through.

Once that’s completed, we have orbiter’s backed out of the Orbiter Processing Facility and it’s brought into Vehicle Assembly Building. And that’s always an exciting time in the flow, because we know we’re getting close. Once inside the VAB, we have an awaiting stack, which is the solid rocket boosters have already been built up, we’ve [invaded] an external tank.

So we’ve got most of the parts there. So we bring the orbiter in. We use a really large crane and hoist it up, attach it to the external tank, bolt it up nice and secure, and hook up all our electrical connections and mechanical connections. And then when that’s done, we roll it out to the launch pad.

So we get to the launch pad and we know we’re just about ready to go. It’s about three weeks before launch, and a pretty exciting time for us. So that’s a pretty good time in our operation.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. All right. Okay let’s move along and talk about the crew of this next mission. Pull up the picture of SPF 111 crew. Thank you.

Slide: Endeavor flight crew

Mike: Sure. Okay we have a crew of seven on this flight and what’s kind of interesting about certain space station flights is not everybody going up is going to be coming down on the same flight. We’re going to be kind of a taxi mission. We have, of a crew of seven, we’ve got four guys who are going to make a return flight and three people are going to hang around upstairs and play around the Space Station for a few months. So they’re kind of excited about that.

As far as the crew, we have a pretty talented crew. We have Commander Ken Cockrell. This would be his fifth flight and he’s also from Texas and he’s pretty excited about flying. He’s a veteran of space flight. Next to him is Paul Lockhart, he’s going to be the pilot. He’ll fly in the right-hand seat and Paul’s a rookie. Being his first space flight, I’m sure he’ll be pretty excited to fly with his fellow Texan, Ken.

Also on board is Franklin Chang Diaz, he’s a mission specialist for this flight. What’s interesting about Franklin is that he is going to hold the record with another individual for seven space flights on the space shuttle, and that is the highest [inaudible] we’ve ever flown into space for the Americans. So he’s pretty excited about joining Jerry Roth for that distinction.

Actually, his first flight was on board space shuttle Columbia back in January of 1986. So he’s got quite a bit of experience into space.

Also flying on board we have a Frenchman, Philippe [Carie] and he’s also a rookie from the French Space Agency. So I’m sure Philippe is pretty excited. And he’ll be performing three space walks to help install some new equipment on the Space Station and do some repair work. So I know he’s pretty excited.

Slide: Three astronauts

And if we’ve got the next slide, we can break it down for you for who’s going up, and who’s coming down. Here’s three lucky individuals that are going to spend about three months up on the International Space Station. We have the commander Valery Korzun and he’s a Russian cosmonaut. And this will be his second space flight.

In the middle, we have Peggy Whitson and she’s a prime crew member on the International Space Station. She’s an American astronaut from Iowa and this will also be her first space flight. So we’ve got some rookies on board.

And rounding out the crew that’s going to be the next station crew, the Expedition 5 crew onboard the station, is Sergei Treschev, and he’s a Russian cosmonaut, and this is his first space flight. So a lot of rookies and that’s going to make it pretty exciting.

Slide: Expedition 4 crew

Next up, on the next slide we have the Expedition 4 crew. Of course who goes up, must come down eventually, and these folks have been up there for a few months, kind of eager to get home and see their families. And that’s Yuri Onufrienko, as commander, he’s a Russian. On the left-hand side we have Daniel Bursch, he’s a prime crew member. He’s an American astronaut and he’s completing his fourth space flight. So he’s got some experience there.

And we also have Carl Walz, a prime crew member, and this would be his first space flight. We we’ve got some excited individuals getting ready to come home.

John: Okay. Thank you very much, Mike, for that news about the crew of this mission. I’d like to-, at this time I’d like to, before we discuss the payload of STS 111, let’s stop now and take a quick look at the trivia question of the day.

Mike and John on screen

Mike: Okay.

John: Okay. It will give our viewers a chance to answer NASA-related questions during today’s Web cast. If we could show that clip real quick.

Slide: What is NASA’s newest orbiter, and when did it begin flight operations?

Okay the question reads, what is NASA’s newest orbiter and when did it begin flight operations? If you have a response to this question, just post the statement in the chat room and we’ll make an announcement during the Web cast once the correct answer is in. Good luck.

Mike: Thanks [inaudible].

John: Okay.

Mike: So [inaudible] know the trivia question out there.

John: All right. Any good questions coming through yet? [inaudible] here [inaudible] one second.

M: Okay. You need to put me to work here, so

John: All right. Okay, here’s from Connie. Actually let’s start with Connie here from the eighth grade.

Mike: Okay.

John: What is a truss and what is it for? I guess a truss segment. Can you?

Mike: Okay, sure. Connie, thank you for the question. I certainly appreciate the interest in joining us today on the broadcast. We have several truss segments going up on the International Space Station. And basically what we do is we have a bunch of modules and solar panels and radiators and such that need to be attached to something. And those trusses provide a support structure for those.

So you’re going to see various truss structures that are brought up from time to time, attached to each other, and then modules attached to those. And also a lot of electrical connections and plumbing between modules.

John: Okay.

Mike: Kind of the backbone of Space Station you can call it.

John: All right. It’s kind of like an erector set. You put everything together in

Mike: Exactly. That’s a good way to put it. Yeah.

John: Okay. Here’s one, actually we don’t have a name, but hi, my name is Michael, Mike [Kalin], as a systems engineer, what is the coolest thing you have worked on, on NASA?

Mike: Wow. Okay Mike, well thank you for the question.

Mike speaking on screen

I’ve been fortunate to work on some pretty cool stuff. Kind of partial to the space program, but. Boy, the coolest? I’ve had a lot of experiences fortunately in the last several years and it’s hard to say what’s more exciting than other ones.

But I have to say going off to the launch pad and walking out there, looking up at the space shuttle standing above you, towering above you and then being able to ride up the elevator and actually crawl inside and sit in the commander’s seat and help run tests, that’s an amazing feeling. That is something that just makes my heart beat and very exciting.

Also, every day is a new challenging experience for all of us at the Kennedy Space Center. We’re kind of encountering stuff we’ve never seen before, problems and it kind of challenges us to come up with solutions and fixes for those problems.

I’ve also been able to meet a great number of astronauts and learn a lot from them and have opportunities of watching many launches now and each one is just as exciting as the last. A lot of neat experiences.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay, here’s a question for you, Mike. I heard one of the astronauts is from Israel. Do they have a space program? From Daniel, actually. He put it down at the end of the question.

Mike: Okay. Daniel, excellent question. As you know, the Space Station is an international endeavor. We have about 16 countries involved in it, and what we do is we try to invite those other countries to participate in various means, providing hardware and also providing crew members.

Israel has a very fledgling space program, I should say. They’re relatively new at the business. It’s not a full-up program like the Kennedy Space Center and NASA’s flagship center. But what we have is a crew member from Israel going to fly onboard Columbia this summer, in July and I’m sure that’s going to raise a lot of international excitement for that flight. So we’re looking forward to bringing Israelis in.

John: Okay. Let’s answer one more question and then go back to the actual [drop] talk a little bit about payload after this question.

Mike: Okay.

John: Okay? With all the threats is NASA nervous about launching the space shuttle?

Mike: Okay, who’s that from?

John: Actually there’s no name on that one.

Mike: Okay, anonymous. Okay.

Mike speaking on screen

That’s a very good question you brought up is the security issue, and we are very cognizant of security. Of course everybody in the world this past year has been, the level has been raised. I can’t go into detail what we’re doing, but I can assure you to a great deal that we are prepared.

We have a great relationship with the United States Military and I can assure you that the space shuttle is well protected and it’s protected every day it’s on the ground, and especially during launch. So I think we’re going to have a very safe flight. We are concerned, as we always are for space shuttle safety and the crew’s safety, but I’m very convinced that when Endeavor flies, it’s going to be a very safe flight. And when Columbia flies with the Israeli astronaut, it’s going to be just as safe. So, look forward to that.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay, let’s talk a little bit about the payload [inaudible] turning up this month.

Mike: Sure.

John: Could you give us some information about of course the payload of STS 111 starting with the multi-purpose logistics module?

Mike: Certainly. We can certainly do that.

John: [inaudible]

Slide: LEONARDO

Mike: Okay. And actually we’ve got a slide going up, and there’s Leonardo. As John alluded to, it’s called the multi-purpose logistics module, MPLM for short. We love our acronyms around here. And otherwise nicknamed as Leonardo.

And basically what you can think of Leonardo as is a big, okay, [for lack for better word]. Well what we do is we take Leonardo, we fill it with a bunch of racks worth of new equipment, new hardware, new supplies. It could be water supplies, clothing supplies for the crew, whatever it be. We load it up inside Leonardo, put Leonardo inside the payload bay of Endeavor, and take it up. Kind of like a suitcase in your trunk if you’re going on vacation.

And Leonardo is large enough that it allows us to carry a great deal of equipment. Actually what we do is Leonardo to attach it, we actually take the space shuttle remote arm, attach it to Leonardo and actually hoist it up and plug it into a port, an airlock port, on the Space Station. And then the crew within the Space Station can actually go inside it and open up the hatch, pull all the stuff out, all the new good stuff that they’re looking forward to getting and then take all their dirty laundry and everything else they kind of want to get rid of, and load it up, put it back in Endeavor’s payload bay, and then let us take care of it on the Earth.

So it’s a [big good to transfer].

Mike and John on screen

John: What country makes these MPLMs? Do you?

Mike: I believe Italy makes those. And the next slide I think will show you the

John: Another component that’s actually going to the shuttle bay, right?

Slide: Wrist joint

Mike: Yeah. The next slide is the wrist joint. And what we had was, we have an arm, a robotic arm, much like the space shuttle one. It’s a little bit different, up on the station now. Having some trouble with it. And it has several joints, one of the joints, the wrist joint has been giving us problems, so we figured why not go up there and replace that part?

So the crew’s been training to do that. And what you see in this picture is actually the new joint that’s going to be installed in the arm. And that’ll be-, occur during a space walk. And that joint itself weighs about a little over 200 pounds.

John: Wow.

Mike: So you’ve got some large components that are going to be put together here.

John: How much space will that actually take up when you finish [shuttle bay]? Seems like

Mike and John on screen

Mike: It wouldn’t take up a lot if you think about it. The shuttle bay is pretty large so we’ve got kind of room to spare on board.

John: I saw you actually the last Web cast we did, you were in the shuttle bay. Were you in that shuttle?

Mike: Oh yeah, that’s right. Yeah, that was me like a little ant in the background. But it’s pretty large when you get inside the space shuttle. It looks smaller on TV, but it’s a good size.

John: Okay, I believe there’s one more component that’s going in.

Mike: Yeah.

John: And that is called the mobile bay system.

Mike: Yeah.

John: Correct?

Mike: Okay.

John: Talk about that a little bit?

Slide: Mobile bay system

Mike: Excellent. And we have a good slide of the mobile bay system. Basically what it is, is try to think of this, and we had the earlier question, a good question about the trusses. We have trusses that run from different segments of the station, from different modules to other modules to hold them together.

Well on the truss segments, we have a rail system built. Remember in the early days when we were building the Space Station, we had to transfer modules from the payload bay to attach to old modules. Well as the modules get further away, were getting bigger and bigger, we have to have a system that we can reach. The shuttle arm is about 45-50 feet long. It can’t reach all the parts of the station. So we have its own arm going to attach.

The mobile bay system is actually a platform that’s been attached to the mobile transporter on the rail, so we’re going to take it, it’s going to ride along the S0 truss. It weighs about 43-, or sorry about 43 feet long, weighs about a ton and a half. So it’s a large component and

Mike and John on screen

John: Can we go on to the next slide?

Mike: Sure.

John: Actually it shows a better picture of

Mike: Okay.

Slide: Mobile Bay Station truss

John: ...actually being in there.

Mike: And that weighs about, it can hold about 46,000 pounds, so we’re talking about 23 tons this thing can lift. Pretty large component.

John: Well in space it really doesn’t matter a lot that

Mike: Exactly.

John: [inaudible] that monster.

Mike: Well you also have to have the, you have to move the mass. So as a large object, you do need more power to move the mass. It wouldn’t be as powerful as it would on Earth, that’s a great point, John. But we still need it. And there’s the location of the MBS which is the Mobile Bay System. And as you can see, the station is getting bigger and bigger. You have to get from one area to the next and that crane allows you to do that. So that’s kind of an overview of that.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. To give you an example of how [inaudible], actually we have a video of actually the, an example of a payload.

Mike: Okay.

John: You have a video to go with that or?

Mike: Sure, sure. We have any good questions come before that on the station, or should we go to the video?

John: That’s fine, we can go to some questions.

Mike: Okay.

John: All right. We’ve got one question from Timothy.

Mike: Okay.

John: I read that they are doing a liver-cell experiment. Have they done others? Is it true that liver cells can grow and return themselves in space?

Mike: Wow, Timothy, excellent.

John: Life science question there for you.

Mike speaking on screen

: Wow. Excellent, excellent. Well, obviously Timothy’s paying attention the space program and the research onboard the Space Station, and that’s excellent to hear. It’s always great when students and people out there are really interested enough to spend the time learning what we’re doing because as I’m sure Timothy knows, I’m sure most people know out there, our whole purpose of the Space Station is to do research. Medical, also manufacturing research and the like. But medical is a big component.

The specifics of your question I cannot answer as far as the liver cell. I would definitely recommend to refer to the NASA Web site. There’s some great International Space Station sites that will refer you to the actual research that’s going on as far as certain disciplines of medicine.

So that’d be a better source than that. But it’s great to see that Timothy’s interested enough to look at

John: That’s a hard question.

 

 

Mike: And maybe one day we’ll be tapping your talent to fly onboard, help do some of those experiments yourself.

John: Okay, this is from Sean. What kind of a tests are running on Endeavor? Is that the shuttle going to space next?

Mike: Okay, and that was from whom?

John: That was from Sean.

Mike: Okay, Sean. That’s a great question, and basically almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week for quite some time now, we’ve been working on Endeavor doing those tests. And what we’ve done recently is we’ve loaded-, we have a hyper-gallic system which means fuels for our reaction control system. Our system we use to steer the orbiter once we’re in space.

And we’ve recently loaded those on board. We’ve also done checks to the main engines recently, we’ve done fuel cell checks, we’ve checked our auxiliary power units, and these checks can be, all be different depending on what we’re actually doing at the time.

Mike speaking on screen

Sometimes there are very active tests, sometimes you have a lot of people involved in them. [They were/Today we’re] actually flowing like liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen through the system, or certain gasses. Maybe they’re dynamic tests such as actually moving the [ailerons], maybe testing the hydraulic systems.

Some are kind of interesting and more extensive and other ones are very innocuous, you really can’t see them but maybe we’re testing onboard computers and software. So you go through a methodical process once you get to the launch pad, of validating that Endeavor is all connected properly, all the hookups are proper, the communication lines, mechanical lines, the fluid lines are leak checked in preparation for loading of the fuels.

Go through all those checks. And now we’re at the point of basically ready to go. Our crew came here last week for a countdown demonstration test, which means they basically suited up, they’re out on the launch pad much like they would on launch day. And they sit inside the vehicle and we do a mock countdown for them and they sit through that through a simulated launch and abort in this case. And we recently have done that.

And now Endeavor is all ready to go. We’re going to close up the payload bay doors and then Monday night we’ll start the countdown and preparations for loading some more fuels for our fuel cells on board, and then work through powering up all our systems. Kind of turn the juice on, checking them out, getting ready for Thursday evening.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. Here’s a question from Steven from the 5th grade. How long has the crew 4 been up and how long will the crew 5 be there?

Mike: Okay. Excellent. Crew, the Expedition 4 crew has been up there I believe about 120-130 days now. It’s been about a little over three months.

John: Is that about as long as they last there?

Mike speaking on screen

Mike: Well we’ve actually, let’s see the Russians have more experience than we do on long-duration space flight. Shannon Lucid still holds our record for longest duration space flight and she was up there about six months or so. Russians have been up there over a year. They have more extensive knowledge in their Space Station programs, like the MIR program.

The crew members could go longer. There’s different factors that are involved and what kind of research they’re doing. And what flights are scheduled when. So we’ve been trying to keep it around the 3-4 month time frame, a little longer if needed. But that’s basically been working out very well for us.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. Here’s a question from Lyle. Why are they having to replace the wrist roll joint on the station’s robotic arm? I guess you already actually went over that.

Mike: Okay. Yeah, exactly, Lyle brings up a good point is we’ve got, we had our regular mission scheduled and it of course wasn’t included in the original manifest because we didn’t have a problem.

Mike on screen

And we’ve had problems with the wrist joint and we’ve tried to fix it through various means, through like software patches, fixing the onboard software. We’ve tried several different means and the problem’s been very pesky. It doesn’t want to go away.

So we decided that it’s most likely a hardware concern and we want to replace this particular joint so it won’t pose any future problems for assembly missions. So that’s basically why we want to do it now.

Back to Mike and John

John: Okay. Okay, here’s a question here. What does the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, what is I guess, she wants-, they want to go over that again. And why is this the third trip? It doesn’t stay up on the ISS?

I guess they’re asking if

Mike: Okay.

John: ...why it doesn’t stay up there.

Mike: Okay. Excellent question. Excellent question. The MPLM or Multiple-Purpose Logistic Module, to make it sound fancy, otherwise known to us as Leonardo, basically is a big suitcase as I said.

Picture of Leonardo

And what we want to do is we want to use it as a carrier to carry our new equipment supplies and the like up to the station.

Mike on screen

And then we want to bring it back home, because remember when we were dropping stuff off in the Space Station, space is very, very limited on board. We don’t have a lot of extra-, like in your house you might have a garage and an attic and a basement, and stuff to sore maybe under the bed.

But in our case, we don’t have much room extra. So when we finish with stuff, say old dirty clothes and all of our used items, we want to bring those back home to keep a lot of room on the Space Station. So it serves as a good say garbage can for lack of a better word. Put it back in the payload bay and bring it home. So it’s a great

Mike and John shown on screen

John: That’s why they have three, so they can

Mike: Right. And we have more than one of these and they’re different stage of the processing. As you know, we have several flights that are constantly going. So as Leonardo is being processed and ready to launch, we have Raphael and Donatello I believe are the other ones. And they’ll be the three Ninja Turtles.

John: Right. Those are the Ninja Turtles.

Mike: Coincidence? And they’re being processed for their upcoming flights.

John: Annie from Green Meadow. Do different payloads require different preparations for launch?

Mike: Okay, where’s Green Meadow?

John: Actually there’s no state, Green Meadow.

Mike speaking on screen

Mike: Okay. Anna, it’s an excellent question, and yes, there are different preparations for each payload and launch. Some of our payloads are very active payloads. They require a lot of testing at the launch pad, a lot of interface checks with the orbiter itself. Some of these payloads are actually powered. By that I mean you just actually plug them into the orbiter, inside the payload bay. And we have abilities to do testing through the vehicle. It’s an active payload we call it.

Some payloads are basically just [dead tables] or power down, and we kind of prepare them on the ground, put them in the payload bay and don’t worry too much about them until they get out in orbit. Other payloads we have that have certain life science experiments and maybe live organisms or animals. And what we try to do is we try to process those in a different way, often [inaudible] a little later in the flow to keep the animals alive.

And so it depends on what we’re flying. The requirements is how they’re going to be processed and how we process each one of them. Excellent question.

Mike and John on screen

John: Yeah. Okay. One from Tommy in Jordan, I believe. Will they put a telescope on the ISS?

Mike: Wow. Okay.

John: I guess the Hubbell.

Mike: Wow it sounds like

John: [inaudible] question here.

Mike speaking on screen

Mike: Exactly, I like that. We’ve got a future astronomer out there. [inaudible]. Basically right now there is plans for some astronomical and astrophysical research onboard Space Station. As far as when a telescope or observation equipment will be installed in the sequence, I’m not really sure to that point yet. We’re definitely not at the point of having a very extensive system on board say like Skylab had at this point, back in the ‘70s.

But the Space Station does serve as a very nice platform. Of course we’re out of the Earth’s atmosphere, and we don’t have to deal with the pesky interferences or air that we breath. So we get a much clearer picture of what we’re looking at. You also have to realize too that Space Station is going to be bumped, and certain telescopes that have requirement to be very still or also are heat sensitive, or sensitive to human interaction will not be placed on the Space Station due to the fact that they don’t want any extra heat or thrusters flying around them.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. One more question before we go back, actually maybe we can put the tape on and you can talk about a little bit the payload.

Mike: Okay. That sounds great.

John: From Rhonda, she would like to know, thought crew, each crew living in the ISS was comprised of a commander from Russia or the U.S. and then two other crew members were from the other country. Like if they’re with a U.S. commander, then the other two crew members would be Russian and vice-versa. That’s not the case this time, how come?

Mike: Okay.

John?: Wow. A long question there.

Mike: That is an excellent question and who’s that again?

John: That’s from Rhonda.

Mike speaking on screen

Mike: Okay, Rhonda, wow. Well that is definitely, is definitely extremely observant and that’s great to see that. The details, and she’s exactly right. That was an original position that the commanders would switch. You’d have a Russian commander, then an American commander and it would rotate. And you would also have the crew members work a certain way.

As far as the details of who flies when, that’s a decision that’s made really between the two space agencies, between NASA and the Russian Space Agency. And of course within their agreement, for everything of control of the station down to the crew members on board, that’s an agreement they work out, and I’m sure there’s many things involved such as training and certain expertise by the crew members. Perhaps any other crew member that has more experience in the space walk or has been training in a different function that would be a better suit for that mission.

So the rules are not really hard and fast. They’re more guidelines kind of general guidelines they work to, but you will see in the future varying numbers of people, especially one day when we get to a seven-member crew in this decade, it’ll be a more of mix, because we’ll have seven members on board. So you’re going to see numbers change and that’ll be dependent like I said on research and what the crew can offer for that particular flight and mission.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay, all right. Excellent,.a video tape now. Mike will walk you through a short video clip on payload processing. Roll that video clip.

Video tape of payload processing

Mike: Excellent. And much like the shuttle tape, I wanted to show you what it looks like to process a payload. And what we have is the payload arrives at the Kennedy Space Center. And you can see some good shots of the mobile bay system. And what we do is we get it down here to the Kennedy Space Center, after it comes from the vendor that built it and worked on it. And we do more testing.

We do a great deal of testing, actually. And run it through its paces. Part of the processing, we have engineers and technicians and scientists here at the Kennedy Space Center that work on that, but we also have the crew becomes quite involved, because as the crew is going to interface with this equipment on orbit, they need to become familiar with it. And you can also see them in the video here wearing their bunny suits, and they’re kind of checking it out and getting up close and personal to it. So when they see it on orbit, once again they’ll be very familiar with it.

And while the crew is doing that, the people on the ground are actually moving it around. You can see cranes moving the equipment into certain test [ends] for more checkup procedures. And once all the items such as the wrist joint and the mobile bay system for this particular flight has been checked out, what we do is we actually take it, put it in a very large canister and take it out to the launch pad where it’s inserted into the payload bay of the space shuttle, in this case, Endeavor. And kind of all tightened up. We close the doors and we’re ready to fly.

So as I said, the crew really becomes involved very closely in payload processing because they will work with it. And we’ve got some great shots of the payload bay and the doors being closed on Endeavor. Great neat shots to see. Of course Leonardo is popped in there too, so we’ve got a full payload bay going to fly this time between the equipment and what goes in there.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. All right, very good. Well thank you very much for bringing that tape in. It really is, shows exactly how intricate those, the payload can be really, payload operations can really be.

Mike: It is. Is we have shuttle processing is a whole world in itself. We have payload [inaudible] is a whole nother, whole other world with a lot of talented people.

John: I appreciate both tapes, Mike, I know it was very hard getting those at the last minute. And plus our help from Kennedy Space Station too [inaudible]

Mike: They’ve been very helpful at providing audio-visual.

John: Exact.

Mike: Appreciate that.

John: Okay. Before we move along to the chat room, and answer the remaining questions, Mike could you give us a space shuttle preview for the summer?

Mike: Sure, sure.

John: Great.

Mike speaking on screen

Mike: As this is the last broadcast for this year, until we come back in the fall, we have a pretty busy summer. And unfortunately we won’t be here with you for every step of the way for each flight to tell you what’s going to happen, but I’ll give you a little sneak preview what’s going to happen.

 

 

Of course we have Endeavor flying this Thursday, hopefully, May 30th. And after Endeavor goes, we have Columbia hot on the heels to fly. And as an earlier question pointed out, we have an Israeli astronaut flying on board space shuttle Columbia.

Columbia’s actually going to carry a space hab module which is a module, kind of similar you can think of it as to Leonardo. But it’s a pressurized, livable module. It’s going to be in Columbia’s payload bay and the astronauts will actually be able to access it from the mid deck, so they can actually go from inside the crew compartment of the space shuttle, through a tunnel in the payload bay, to the space hab, and they can work on experiments and research items that are there.

Columbia’s going to fly on July 19th, and it’s got a 16-day flight. So we’ve been flying a lot of 10-day, 11-day flights which is pretty much the limit of what an orbiter can fly with our onboard supplies of fuel and propellants for fuel cells.

Mike and John on screen

We’re going to bring an extra module called an EDO pallet inside Columbia so we can stay up there for a couple of weeks.

John: Wow.

Mike: Those crew members are going to be pretty excited about doing that. When Columbia gets finished with STS 107 in July, and then in August, August 22nd, we have Atlantis is going to fly on mission STS 112.

Mike speaking on screen

This will be the 15th Space Station flight and Atlantis will be up there for another 10-day flight with a crew of six people.

And this time everybody going up is going to come down at the same time, so nobody’s going to be transferred out in this particular flight. We have some equipment and some components that need to go up there, so they’ll be doing that.

And then to follow out the rest of the year, we have one more flight following that is Endeavor again. So Endeavor is going to fly in STS 113, and Endeavor is going to do a crew rotation. So the folks that are going up this time on Endeavor are going to come back on Endeavor, just going to take a little longer to get there. And we’ll bring Peggy and her crew back home in October 6th of this year, for a 10-day flight.

So as you can see, as an earlier question also alluded to processing, we have a pretty busy summer schedule.

Mike and John on screen

Not only the launches but when Endeavor gets back home, we need to start working real quick to get he processed and turned around so back in October we can send her back up to pick up the crew that she dropped off.

So it’s going to be a busy summer and I’d certainly welcome and wish everybody would stay tuned to local news and the NASA Web site, Kennedy Space Center site and all, and keep an eye on us and watch what we’re doing out here.

John: And also I’d like to add that Quest will be having chats throughout the summer as well. For information about our chats, please go to the calendar page and find out who the expert is and other information about the event. Okay?

All right, we have about, well a good half an hour here left and actually…

Mike: Put me to work. [talkover] Got excellent questions so far, I’m looking forward even more.

John: Sure. Let’s start off with sort of a personal question to you, Mike.

Mike: Okay.

John: Carla, she’s from New York.

Mike: Okay.

John: Mike, do you miss New York at all or?

Mike: Wow. Okay, Carla…

John: She must be around your neighborhood.

Mike speaking on screen

Mike: Thank you for the question Carla, you’re a fellow New Yorker, so it’s great to have you out there and yes I do, in a lot of ways. I was born in Syracuse, NY, upstate New York. I’m not sure where you’re from but that’s where I came from. I spent a lot of time as I’m sure you do, as a fellow New Yorker, you love New York, it’s a beautiful state and a lot of fun neat things to do up that way.

And I do miss skiing. I was a snow skier so I do miss skiing in the winter time and I traded my snow skis in for a surfboard, so I can’t really ski too well.

Mike and John on screen

John: It balances about the same.

Mike: It balances about the same, exact. And couldn’t wear a bathing suit too often in the winter time on my skis so I’m not complaining. But I do miss it, I do go back every summer and I’ll be there in August. Look forward to coming back.

John: Okay, our next question from Jeremy, of all the science being done on the next crew’s rotation, would experiments-, excuse me, which experiments will the astronauts be doing on themselves, if any?

Mike: Wow, from Jeremy. That’s an excellent, excellent question. Yeah medical research and biomedical research on the crew members is extremely important.

Mike speaking on screen

Not only for medical drug experiments and stuff that they’re doing but also the effects of weightlessness on the body are extensively done and have been done for many flights since our first flight.

The exact nature of the experiments, the timeline, what they’re going to be doing, I can’t answer that question. And that’s a great source to send you to the NASA Web site. They have Space Station pages. I don’t believe they break it down in such excruciating detail as to tell you exactly what, hour by hour they’re going to be doing. But they’re going to give you some good overviews of what they’re going to be doing.

I do know that they have some experiments going up on this flight for biomedical activities, and I can try to think of a few of those in a moment here. But they will be doing some-, I know protein crystal growth experiments and I’m sure they’ll be poking and prodding each other with needles and different things to check their blood and check their body’s effect for their calcium loss in their bones and the such.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. A question from Sean. Does the Endeavor have the new glass cockpit I read about?

Mike: Wow, okay Sean.

Mike speaking on screen

Wow, this is great because these questions today are showing me that everybody out there has really been looking at those NASA Web sites and learning a lot, which is great. We love to see that. It makes us excited to work out here when we have people interested in what we do.

Endeavor actually does not have the glass cockpit which is ironic when you think about it. Because Endeavor’s our newest orbiter. It’s kind of the puppy of the fleet so to speak, the youngster, but it doesn’t have it. And we have Columbia has the new glass cockpit, the oldest orbiter, and Atlantis does at the time. At the time, at this particular time, Discovery is undergoing conversion to the glass cockpit. When Discovery is complete with it, Endeavor will be the next to get it.

And that’s basically a function of when we send the orbiter to orbiter maintenance down periods, or OMDPs, which I believe in our last broadcast we went into some detail how that worked. Those are scheduled up approximately every 10 flights for a vehicle and they’re scheduled in a certain order. And it just happens to be the way the orbiters fell when it was time for them to go to get tuned up, much like your car would for your oil change. Endeavor kind of fell last in the flow.

So you’ll be seeing the old style cockpit onboard Endeavor for this flight.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay, here’s a question from Maria from Green Meadows, maybe New York? Yeah?

Mike: That could be.

John: Do astronauts have medical training?

Mike: Okay Anna, that’s an excellent question. We do have some doctors that do flying, they’re medical doctors and that are astronauts now. All the astronauts do receive some basic medical training.

Mike speaking on screen

Of course, some have more previous experience they bring to the astronaut core and they can perform certain activities.

However, the Space Station crews, just by the very nature of them being up there for so long, they can encounter physical ailments during that time that need medical care there. They can’t wait until they get back to Earth. So they are quite extensively trained in emergency medicine procedures. And some, for more minor type fixes, there is a bunch of medical equipment, even a table that’s brought up. And a great deal of medical assistant type of equipment that is brought up on the Space Station to be able to perform activities.

So yes, they are trained and to varying levels.

Mike and John on screen

John: This is a question, it doesn’t have the name, but what does CETA stand for and how does it work? You know what they’re talking about?

Mike: Okay.

John: Nice acronym for you.

Mike: CETA, wow. Well our acronym book is about that thick so I’ll have to look that one up. It could be a reference, and I’ll answer it the way I think maybe the caller intended. If not, I invite you to please send it back in.

Mike speaking on screen

I did make a reference to CEIT and perhaps that is what the person is referring to. CEIT is the Crew Equipment Interface Test and what that is, is we have the crew come down, typically about a month before launch, roughly. And the crew comes down and actually puts their bunny suits on, looks at all the hardware that’s going to fly onboard that mission. Gets up close and personal to it. It gets to talk with the technicians that are preparing it.

And also on the orbiter side, gets a chance to get inside the vehicle, look at all the switches. The commander and the pilot are very interested in knowing where all the switches are going to be once we get in the cockpit for launch. Because you have to realize they’re doing all the training in Houston. It’s a simulator.

This is of course the real vehicle they’re going to fly in so they want to make sure they get very comfortable with the vehicle. It’s basically the same as a simulator but still as you know, getting inside of it is always a new experience. So they want to go through that experience, get in there, check their positions, maybe request that certain switches be what you call tagged out, not allowed to be used.

They have their own preferences, crew preferences on how the inside the cockpit’s going to look. So it gives them a chance to give our guys here at the Cape good feedback on how they want the orbiter to look for them.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. Here’s a question from Jack from the ninth grade.

Mike: Okay.

John: I read in the newspaper and saw NASA’s doing an experiment concerning Epstein-Barr virus in astronauts. Is that like, that’s the, so you could read that.

Mike: Epstein-Barr virus, okay.

John: Yes.

John: What are they hoping to learn?

Mike: Wow. Excellent. We’ve got a ninth grader out there that’s a future doctor looks like. That is a great question.

Mike speaking on screen

The research for space flight, we have a lot of effects that the body undergoes during space flight. This particular virus, you’ve caught me on this one. I don’t know what virus you’re referring to.

Certain viruses in certain biomedical research can only be done in space. And I know that the electrophoresis experiments and those that fly onboard, actually use the absence of gravity to operate. And much like a centrifuge would attempt to do on Earth. So these viruses and these different proteins and experiments for a whole host of cancer and diabetes drugs, are also attacking several different types of viruses and possibly the Epstein one being one of those.

So basically they try to understand what the chemical make up of it is, and also how to combat it using zero G techniques.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. Here’s a good question for you, Mike. [Hoff] from Holler Elementary. Mike we’ve seen your Web cast, we’ve seen Web casts with you before. How long have you been doing these Web casts?

Mike: Wow, okay. Holler Elementary. I certainly remember that, that rings a bell for me as far as, okay. That’s definitely a good question.

Mike speaking on screen

I’ve been doing it for approximately, 1998, I believe. Our first Web cast was actually the first Web cast for the John Glen mission, STS 95. And he flew in October of 1998. So that’s about four years we’ve been doing live web chats, live broadcasts with all of you.

Before that for a couple of years, I did, which almost seems old fashioned now, but it’s a great way to talk with all of you is actually chat, online chats without the video component but live question and answers being typed back and forth. So about six years altogether. And I have to say during that time, I’ve had a ton of incredible questions and a lot of great hope for the future. I’ve seen a lot of good students, and I always look forward to this. Always my favorite part of the broadcast.

Mike and John on screen

John: Oh, I’d say it is. It’s very interactive and we saw before you really don’t know what to expect, but you did a good job. The virus one, you just you knew generally a large portion of that, a lot about

Mike: Right.

John: ...how it’s important to

Mike: Exactly. And a lot too is and a great learning tool is every day we face new things. And as anybody that’s going to be a scientist, engineer, you’re going to face things that you’ve never seen before. And that’s a good catalyst to go back and learn. You get the old textbook out or look it up and learn some.

Mike speaking on screen

And there’s so many facets of the space program. You’ve got the entire rocket side, the space shuttle side, you’ve got the payload side, which is an entirely different world, basically, and then you’ve got all the folks that do all the life science and all the experiments that work in conjunction with the payload side that kind of make up the components that go into the payloads. So you’ve got a lot of different areas that typically work within their own domain all come together to put a launch off and then work once on Space Station.

Mike and John on screen

John: All right, here’s from, a question from Eric in Jordan. Do the crew stay on the shuttle? Does the crew stay on the shuttle have special duties?

Mike: Okay. That’s a great question, Eric. We have the commander and the pilot, they basically, they’re in charge of the space shuttle itself. They’re in charge of all the systems on board the space shuttle.

Mike speaking on screen

They’re concerned with the health of it, and anything should it go wrong.

Their duties are to maintain those, to monitor the pressures, to monitor the different fuel levels in the tanks, and basically in charge of the ship. The other crew members, the other two that are flying and will come back with Endeavor, they help out. They’re mission specialists. They may be performing the space walks to help fix items, they may be helping in the transfer of equipment from Leonardo to the Space Station back and forth. So they’re personnel that help with those items.

We also have mid-deck experiments that fly in the mid-deck part of the space shuttle. And they’re often tasked with operating those experiments, getting them up and running and actually doing some of the testing.

John: Right.

Mike: So each crew member is really, they have a very detailed flight plan each day what they’re going to be doing and when they’re going to be doing it.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. Here’s a

John: So far we don’t have a name, but how long will the space walkers last on the upcoming mission and how many are they doing together? All together?

Mike: Huh. Okay. I think we have three space walks planned for this mission.

John: Really?

Mike: And we always have two people out at the same time, two crew members.

Mike speaking on screen

Space walks are very dangerous by their design. And should somebody get in trouble, you want a buddy there to help them out. And so we’ll have two people at a time going. And our space walks on this flight will be primarily concerned with one, replacing the wrist joint that failed on the arm that’s up there. And also the other primary task will be installing the MBS, the Mobile Base System to the [trans...] and then taking the robot arm which is now attached to the Destiny module, onboard the Space Station, moving it over and attaching it to the MBS.

So they’ve got some reconfiguration of equipment. Of course along with that a lot of connections and sealing up thermal surfaces, putting blankets around certain areas. A lot of little maintenance activities they’ll be also doing.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. A question from Leroy in Jordan. Which is the bust shuttle, Endeavor or Columbia? Are you biased?

 

 

Mike: Well, Leroy, it’s a good question. I’ve got to be careful what I say here. I might get some people upset at me.

Mike speaking on screen

Well you’ve got the oldest and the newest. You’ve got Columbia which is the veteran sentimental favorite, and then you’ve got Endeavor the brand-new, like the brand-new race car, cars in the garage there.

I primarily work with Columbia. I work with all the vehicles, perhaps Columbia a little more intimately as far as problems and resolutions. Columbia’s kind of my sentimental favorite to be honest with you. When I was just a little kid, Columbia first flew and I remember building models of Columbia when I was a little-bitty guy back up in New York. So Columbia’s kind of my sentimental favorite and it’s a great opportunity to be able to actually work on a vehicle that I used to build models about and try to figure out how it all fit together and worked. And now I get to actually work on the real one.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. Another question from Tess from the fifth grade. What is your favorite part of your job at NASA?

Mike: Oh, okay Tess. Well thank you for that and glad to have you along today. Favorite part of my job? Well there’s actually many parts. I’m very fortunate to be, to have a particular role here that I really enjoy. My group is integration, test project, which means I get to see all the aspects of the processing.

And I guess my favorite parts would be all the experiences I get to have, all the times I get to be around the hardware, the vehicle. Of course every time I’m around a space shuttle, be it in the OPF, [inaudible] facility, the VAB or actually at the launch pad, it’s always a special time.

I’m actually getting to meet and learn from a lot of the talented folks that are out here. We have a lot of folks out here that have been here since the Apollo days, since the Moon landing. So I get to learn an awful lot. And basically just live my childhood dream and get to be around the hardware and actually get a rocket together and ready to launch.

John: Okay, we have a question from [Tenasha] from Green Meadow. Why do they have different glove boxes and why do the look so different? Do you know?

Mike: Glove boxes?

John: Glove boxes, yes.

Mike: Okay.

John: You know anything about glove boxes, Mike?

Mike: Well I’m wondering if they’re talk about the glove issue or a box. I’ll try to answer it both ways in case I catch both of your, either way you’re asking the question, cover both of them with you.

And Green Meadows still with us, that’s great to see.

Mike speaking on screen

We have different types, if it’s the glove issue, which the video alluded to, I’ll answer that one first. As far as handling payloads, we’re very concerned with contamination. We do have different types of garments to wear, different types of gloves that didn’t allow certain static electricity, certain contamination with the payloads and the equipment.

So, we do have different types of glove boxes actually these gloves and equipment that we use to interface with the equipment, it depends on what we’re handling.

It could also be, in some jargon we use glove boxes for also our tool equipment boxes on board. And if she’s referring to that, we do have a lot of equipment we bring up to actually work on the components of the Space Station and the space shuttle. And it depends what’s housed in that. So hopefully that covered both of your, both of the angles you might have been getting at.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay. Well thank you, Mike. Okay, Tiffany from Green Meadow, is there a big risk of crashing during docking?

Mike: Wow. Okay, Tiffany, that’s an excellent question.

Mike on screen

And the answer is yes. As you may have seen a few years ago, we had on the Russian Space Station they had a docking of an unmanned vehicle actually a component failed in the guidance system and they actually crashed into the side of it. And it caused a lot of air to leak out. And we actually lost one of the modules.

When you’re docking, think of when you’re docking in space, it’s a very intricate maneuver. There you’re taking two spacecrafts that are moving about 17,500 miles an hour, space shuttle weighing about 100 tons, and the Space Station weighing, going to weigh a lot more than that once it’s constructed. So you’ve got two vehicles that are flying at incredibly high speeds, there’s an awful lot of mass. And they’re very delicately built in a lot of ways.

So when we dock with the International Space Station, we come at them with kid gloves. Space shuttle moving so fast, we can actually adjust the speed within inches a second. It’s got that much fine tuning ability for its steering. And we use that great deal of fine tuning to make sure we dock very, very slowly and carefully so we do not cause a problem. But any activity we do do in space, especially when you get two vehicles near each other, is very dangerous. And we’ve got some of the best pilots.

Okay. It looks like we’re getting towards the lightning round questions so I’ll try to fire off a few more here.

Mike and John on screen

John: All right, from Willard, what is a colloid? Is that how you pronounce that?

Mike: Let’s see if I could

John: Do you know what Willard’s talking about?

Mike: Okay, if Willard could, we may have had a typo. If Willard you can resend that one back in, that’d be great. Certainly appreciate that.

John: Okay. Okay, from Peter in Jordan, do you take special precautions not to bring germs to the Space Station?

Mike: Wow. Okay Peter, excellent question. We’re not as concerned as we used to be back in the say the Apollo days of bringing germs back from the Moon.

Mike speaking on screen

Because we understand a lot more of how, what goes up, what comes down. But we do quarantine the crew before it flies. The astronauts are in the astronaut quarters, basically isolated for some time before launch.

We of course don’t want them brining any viruses or colds up to the station crew that’s up there and getting them contaminated. So we do keep everything as clean as possible. We do keep the crew module clean and wiped down as much as possible, and we do of course keep the crew as healthy as they can.

Of course you always take a risk when you’re flying people and could transmit viruses. But we do, and the flight surgeon does pay special attention to that.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay. Here’s another question from Green Meadow. Gene would like to know could a mechanical-, excuse me. mechanic be an astronaut? Pardon me.

Mike: Okay, Gene, definitely. Definitely could be an astronaut. Actually probably make a very good astronaut.

Mike speaking on screen

As you see, our Space Station guy, our space walkers connecting and building components, putting them together. If you’ve got any talent as a mechanic, that’s an excellent tool, either working here at the Kennedy Space Center on the ground or actually up in space. So I invite you, if that’s your direction, certainly follow that and we could certainly use talent like that.

John: Okay, here’s a question. It doesn’t have a name but let’s fire it off [anyway]. Why are they testing on EDAs and lung and blood systems?

Mike: Okay.

John: [inaudible] know.

Mike: Okay, well basically we, the body is affected certain ways with weightlessness. And what we do is we do a lot of testing. The way the blood travels, the way the heart beats, everything is affected by weightlessness. In gravity, body functions a certain way. On orbit, it functions differently.

Mike speaking on screen

So we do a lot of testing for lung capacity, for the ability of the heart. The strength of the heart, does it decay over time? Does it get weaker? Does the cardiovascular system and the lungs, do they diminish over time their ability, their efficiency? So all of the experiments help us to tell for longer duration space flights, say possibly to Mars one day, what do we need to do to keep the body healthy for those longer duration flights?

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay, here’s a question from, I hope I pronounce this right, Nasa.

Mike: Okay.

John: How are [inaudible] managed on this space station when computers shut down and stop working? How do they manage?

Mike: Wow, okay, looks like from India. So we’ve got a question from across the world and it’s great to have you here Nasa. Well, the astronauts are trained for every contingency.

Mike speaking on screen

What we do is when they’re on the ground and they’re going through their training, we run them through simulations of failures such as the ones we’re experiencing. So if they ever see something on orbit such as computer shutdown and, which means certain systems, maybe life-support systems would shut down, they’re trained to react very quickly.

There’s very little panic that goes on, because they’ve been run through this so many times. They’re very well versed on what to do. So the astronauts, through the failures we’ve seen, through the Russian MIR program and the International Space Station program, the joint program, every time there’s something come up and we’ve had the computers had a problem glitch, just recently, astronauts reacted very quickly and efficiently to those. So we’re pretty proud of them.

Mike and John on screen

John: Okay, let’s see here. All right, a question from Chaz in the ninth grade. I read Peggy’s bio and wondered what kind of experiments or science will be done during this crew’s stay.

Mike: Wow, okay. That’s excellent. I will get that answer to you in about 30 seconds. Give me another one, I’ve brought, I did bring some of the individual bios in case they did ask me on individual crew members what they’re going to be doing. And I believe…

We only have two minutes left actually, so we’re getting close

John: What we could do is actually we need to have a response on our trivia question of the day.

Mike: Okay, why don’t we get that in there.

Slide: Trivia Question of the day

John: Why don’t we do that, talk a little bit about that, okay. And it is, the correct response is Endeavor.

Mike: Okay.

John: And I believe the-, actually, it was 1992 actually started.

Mike: Right.

Mike and John on screen

Endeavor basically is of course the newest vehicle in the fleet and Endeavor was built due to the loss of Challenger. We had four vehicles in the flight, in the fleet. We lost Challenger back in 1986 and President Reagan at the time put out a call for a new vehicle and asked that the school children of the nation name it.

The school kids of the nation, and through a national competition, got together and picked the name Endeavor, which is a great name. It’s after James Cook, a famous British Explorer in the 18th century, his first ship. So it’s aptly titled and Endeavor flew a great mission in May 1992, a really daring [inaudible] rescue mission, which was a really fun one to watch.

Mike speaking on screen

I remember watching those tapes back then. And since then, Endeavor’s 18th flight and that’s performed flawlessly in the last several years.

Mike and John shown on screen

John: Okay, you have a couple more questions here.

Mike: Okay, great.

John: From Juan in Jordan. Do the modules have Italian names because they were made in Italy, like Leonardo and Raphael do?

Mike: Juan, well that’s very observant. Yes. The Italians had a bit part in those and of course they have a big part in naming those. You also notice a lot of components are named after either explorers, or scientists,

John: Artists.

Mike: ...and people that had contributions throughout history to science and exploration understanding. And like Galilee and all those guys.

John: Right.

Mike: We kind of honor and credit their achievements by naming modules.

John: Okay for our last question of the Web cast. Over the years has NASA found a way to keep the astronauts from having as many kidney stones?

Mike: Wow.

John: Do [inaudible] think about that.

Mike: Okay. Yeah, the NASA’s come a long way and in talking to some of the older folks that are around here, astronauts had a lot more ailments in some ways back in the older days, and they didn’t know how to prepare in certain ways. How to, what foods were better to eat, certain intake of fluids, certain ways of conditioning your body for such things as space walks and longer duration flights.

So we’ve seen the astronauts come back much more healthier, much more able to resume to a normal activity. If you saw John Glen step off of Discovery a few years ago at the age of 77, it was quite remarkable how he adapted very quickly. And it’s just to show you how far we’ve come as far as understanding what the body goes through and through exercise and proper fluid intake and we’ve gone through to solve a lot of those troubles. So the answer is definitely yes.

John: Okay. Well thank you very much, Mike.

Mike: Okay.

John: Okay, I believe that’s all the time we have for today. But before we go, I would like to thank Mike for taking time out of his busy schedule.

Mike: Okay, well I want to thank John too for inviting me and the folks here at the Cape in the public affairs arena for putting us in a very nice home to give you this Web cast. And just really quickly invite everybody to keep an eye on the news for the summer and watch us launch some really incredible exciting missions coming up. We’ll see you next fall.

John: Okay. And I’d like to also would like to thank NASA Quest and Kennedy Space Center for helping us in today’s broadcast. Being that this is our last Web cast of the season, I would like to close and send a special thanks to our viewers for participating in today’s Web cast.

Once again, my name is John Rau, have a great summer. And looking forward to seeing you in the fall.

Mike: Take care.

John: Have a great day.

 
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