WBEZ | space shuttle http://www.wbez.org/tags/space-shuttle Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en NASA, Atlantis blast off into history, new era with final shuttle mission http://www.wbez.org/story/nasa-atlantis-blast-history-new-era-final-shuttle-mission-88888 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-08/Fans Atlantis lift off_Reuters_Scott Audette.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Space shuttle Atlantis thundered off its seaside launch pad Friday, rising atop a tower of smoke and flames as it left Earth on the final flight of the U.S. <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2FgenericHasher-1%2Fc1ff2a3d-18d0-359a-a0a8-cd6ce20bf2c0&amp;display=space%20shuttle%20program">space shuttle program</a>.</p><p>About 1 million sightseers lined causeways and beaches around the <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2FgenericHasher-1%2F1c36125b-1297-3824-a440-da0bd3718629&amp;display=Kennedy%20Space%20Center">Kennedy Space Center</a> in central <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2Fer%2Fgeo%2Fprovinceorstate%2Fralg-geo1%2Fead8a759-31d2-262c-540f-e93fc56b22eb&amp;display=Florida">Florida</a>, angling for a last glimpse of the iconic ship that has defined the U.S. space program for the last 30 years.</p><p>They were nearly disappointed, as cloudy skies and nearby rain threatened to delay Atlantis' launch on a 12-day mission to the <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2FgenericHasher-1%2F2182d754-74be-3657-ae06-26abcb1647c5&amp;display=International%20Space%20Station">International Space Station</a>.</p><p>Skies cleared in time for liftoff, which was delayed for about three minutes by a last-minute technical glitch. It went ahead at 11:29 a.m. EDT.</p><p>The ship's cargo of food and equipment is intended to bridge the gap until newly hired commercial freighters are ready to fly supply runs to the station.</p><p>The shuttle and its four-member veteran crew are scheduled to arrive at the station, a recently completed orbital research outpost, on Sunday.</p><p>Here are highlights of Atlantis' 32nd flight:</p><p>* The shuttle's primary payload is an Italian-built cargo hauler named Raffaello which is loaded with 8,640 pounds of food, clothing, supplies and science equipment for the space station. Additional gear is packed in the shuttle's crew cabin.</p><p>* One spacewalk is planned during <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2FgenericHasher-1%2F6dafe04e-26e1-3f10-94b9-4038e4205dbf&amp;display=Atlantis%27%20mission">Atlantis' mission</a>, though it will be conducted by NASA's two resident space station astronauts, rather than the shuttle crew.</p><p>* Only four astronauts will fly on the shuttle, instead of the usual six or seven, to accommodate the smaller Russian capsules the crew would use if Atlantis was too damaged to return to Earth. NASA has no more shuttles to mount a rescue mission.</p><p>* The shuttle carries a technology demonstration project to test how a robot can refuel and service satellites in orbit. The two-year experiment, using the station's Dextre robot, will begin after the shuttle leaves.</p><p>* Among the tons of old equipment and trash coming back from the station on the shuttle is a broken ammonia cooling system. Engineers want to take it apart and figure out why it failed.</p><p>* Atlantis is the last of NASA's three space shuttles to be retired. After its mission, it will go on display at the <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2FgenericHasher-1%2F1c36125b-1297-3824-a440-da0bd3718629&amp;display=Kennedy%20Space%20Center">Kennedy Space Center</a>'s Visitors Complex in <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2Fer%2Fgeo%2Fprovinceorstate%2Fralg-geo1%2Fead8a759-31d2-262c-540f-e93fc56b22eb&amp;display=Florida">Florida</a>.</p><p>NASA is ending the shuttle program due to high operating costs.</p><p>Instead, the <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2Fer%2Fgeo%2Fcountry%2Fralg-geo1%2F152649df-347e-e289-1a9e-acc883e07d17&amp;display=United%20States">United States</a> will rely on <a class="cite" id="/controller/search.action?type=entity&amp;entityId=http%3A%2F%2Fd.opencalais.com%2Fer%2Fgeo%2Fcountry%2Fralg-geo1%2F1c625cc8-6f82-4660-a320-d185916e3c55&amp;display=Russia">Russia</a> to fly its astronauts to the station, at a cost of more than $50 million a seat, until commercial firms are ready to take over the work.</p><p>The U.S. space agency also plans to develop spaceships that can travel beyond the space station's 220-mile orbit where the shuttles cannot go.</p><p>(Editing by Tom Brown, Kevin Gray and Cynthia Osterman)</p></p> Fri, 08 Jul 2011 16:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/nasa-atlantis-blast-history-new-era-final-shuttle-mission-88888 Shuttle to launch Northwestern professor's work into space http://www.wbez.org/story/shuttle-launch-northwestern-professors-work-space-85821 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/Hersam, lab, 2011, AC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When the space shuttle Endeavour takes its final flight, it will carry the handiwork of a Chicago-area scientist. The shuttle will carry six postage-stamp sized samples of thin films made from specially engineered materials called graphene and carbon nanotubes.&nbsp; Astronauts will mount them on the International Space Station, where they’ll stay for at least six months.</p><p>The idea is to see how the nanomaterials hold up to the powerful radiation in space, which can cook normal materials, like silicon, used in computers. Northwestern University professor Mark Hersam, who created the samples, says the stakes are high for electronics in space.</p><p>“If you had a system on your spacecraft being controlled by a computer and all of a sudden it didn’t compute correctly, that would lead to serious problems,” said Hersam.</p><p>The Endeavour is set to blast off this afternoon in what’s expected to be the second-to-last shuttle flight for NASA. Hersam says he plans to watch the launch with his lab team in Evanston.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/shuttle-launch-northwestern-professors-work-space-85821 Adler: 'Shuttle would have been a game changer' http://www.wbez.org/story/adler-planetarium/no-shuttle-adler-85092 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-12/Adler NASA Announcement.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Disappointment today at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, as the museum was snubbed in its bid to host one of the retiring space shuttles.</p><p>The Adler piped the NASA announcement live into its 3-D Universe Theater. The assembled crowd offered polite applause as the winning institutions were announced: museums in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC and Florida.</p><p>Adler president Paul Knappanberger offered congratulations, though said he was a bit perplexed by the New York museum’s success. He says it’s a missed opportunity for the planetarium.</p><p>“A shuttle would have been a game changer, I think,” he told reporters. “It’s a national treasure, it’s an icon of American achievement. I don’t think any other artifact approaches that icon status.”</p><p>The Adler is expected to get one of those other artifacts as a consolation prize -- the shuttle flight simulator used to train NASA astronauts. It’s reportedly three stories tall and replicates the shuttle’s crew compartment. Knappenberger called it the “next best thing,” and said the museum will likely build a new enclosure to hold it.</p><p>Knappenberger says the failed shuttle campaign was funded almost completely with donated money and services.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 12 Apr 2011 19:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/adler-planetarium/no-shuttle-adler-85092 Adler Planetarium bids to land space shuttle http://www.wbez.org/story/adler-planetarium/adler-planetarium-bids-land-space-shuttle-85060 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-12/109892061.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's Adler Planetarium is scheduled to find out Tuesday if it will be the future home of a NASA space shuttle.</p><p>NASA has four space shuttles it's looking to put on display. Adler Planetarium is one of 21 museums or science centers bidding to be the new home of a space shuttle.</p><p>The Smithsonian Institution has already laid claim to the oldest of the shuttles, Discovery. That leaves the fates of Atlantis, Endeavor and Enterprise up in the air. NASA estimates the cost to display one of the shuttles is around $28.8 million.</p><p>Adler Planetarium is facing off against other institutions such as the Museum of Flight in Seattle and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. NASA is scheduled to announce the winning homes of the shuttles on Tuesday at noon from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.</p></p> Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/adler-planetarium/adler-planetarium-bids-land-space-shuttle-85060 A NASA space shuttle may find a new home at Adler Planetarium http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-22/nasa-space-shuttle-may-find-new-home-adler-planetarium-84068 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-22/Adler Flickr Caribb.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 20 museums across America are competing to house one of two retired shuttles from NASA&rsquo;s fleet. Discovery is thought to be heading to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. That just leaves Atlantis and Endeavour.<br /><br />Among the competitors are the <a href="http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/" target="_blank">Kennedy Space Center</a>, <a href="http://www.museumofflight.org/" target="_blank">Seattle&rsquo;s Museum of Flight</a> and Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/educate?gclid=CPyCk5Kl4qcCFQprKgodnxc1_w" target="_blank">Adler Planetarium</a>. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke with Dr. Marvin Bolt, Vice President for Collections at the Adler, to find out why the Alder wants a Shuttle, and why he thinks it should get one.</p></p> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 12:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-22/nasa-space-shuttle-may-find-new-home-adler-planetarium-84068 Discovery Astronauts Inspect Shuttle For Damage http://www.wbez.org/story/home-page-top-stories/2011-02-25/discovery-astronauts-inspect-shuttle-damage-82999 <p><p>The six astronauts orbiting Earth on space shuttle Discovery are keeping busy during their mission's first full day in space. Friday, the astronauts spent around six hours conducting a heat shield inspection.</p><p>A large piece of foam had fallen away from an external fuel tank after Thursday's launch, which appeared to then hit the shuttle's thermal tiles.</p><p>But the incident occurred four minutes into the flight — a time, NASA analysts say, that presents far less danger than in the first moments after launch. The foam reportedly did no damage to the tiles.</p><p><a href="http://twitter.com/nasa">Via Twitter</a>, NASA said, "We're rigorously inspecting it, but it occurred late in flight, after window of concern."</p><p>From NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>The astronauts started their day with a musical wake-up call from Houston — when Mission Control beamed up the song "Through Heaven's Eyes," from the soundtrack of the movie Prince of Egypt, to the shuttle.</p><p>After breakfast, the crew got to work. They're using the shuttle's robotic arm and a set of sensors to do a thorough inspection of Discovery's heat shield. This has become a routine precaution for shuttle missions, to make sure that no damage occurred during launch.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>On their 11-day mission, the astronauts are scheduled to conduct two spacewalks. And around mid-day Saturday (2:19 p.m. ET), Discovery will dock with the International Space Station, bringing the orbiting facility some fresh supplies — and a new storage room.</p><p>The weekend rendezvous will present a rare circumstance, says Greenfieldboyce: The space station will be hosting vehicles from all its sponsoring entities. The station already has craft from the space agencies of Europe, Japan and Russia docked to it.</p><p>You can track the paths of both Discovery and the ISS at a site called — you guessed it: <a href="http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544</p><p>37371">Real Time Satellite Tracking</a>. On the map, the shuttle follows the orange-red line, while the space station follows the yellow one. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1298674331?&gn=Discovery+Astronauts+Inspect+Shuttle+For+Damage&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=space+shuttle+Discovery,space+shuttle,Science,The+Two-Way,Space,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=134064537&c7=1026&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1026&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110225&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132143381,131061094,127606256,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/home-page-top-stories/2011-02-25/discovery-astronauts-inspect-shuttle-damage-82999 Giffords' Husband Will Decide Soon If He'll Command Shuttle Flight http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona-rampage-congresswoman-others-shot/giffords-husband-will-decide-soon-if-hell-command-sh <p><p>"Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said Monday [that he will] decide within the next two weeks whether to leave his wife's bedside and command NASA's final launch of space shuttle Endeavour in April," <a href="http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/facebook/7396077.html" target="_blank">the <em>Houston Chronicle </em>reports</a>.</p><p>And the <em>Chronicle</em> adds that:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>"Kelly was hopeful that his wife could move to TIRR Memorial Hermann and start a full-fledged rehab program as early as Wednesday. She is currently at Memorial Hermmann's Texas Medical Center neuro-intensive care unit a few blocks away.</p><p>" 'It's possible that it could be Wednesday, Thursday or Friday,' Kelly said. 'We're not that sure. ... She has a team of doctors that are discussing the overall situation'."</p><p></blockquote></p><p>Kelly also told the newspaper that Giffords "was better yesterday than the day before. ... I don't know when she's going to be doing laps around the building, but it's coming."</p><p>Giffords (D-AZ), <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/132783213/arizona-shooting-rampage-congresswoman-others-shot" target="_blank">was critically injured on Jan. 8</a> when a gunman attacked an event she was holding at a Tucson strip mall. Six people were killed and 13, including Giffords, were shot.</p><p>Yesterday, 22-year-old suspect <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/01/24/133188453/loughner-pleads-not-guilty">Jared Loughner of Tucson pleaded not guilty</a> to the federal charges he faces. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1295963227?&gn=Giffords%27+Husband+Will+Decide+Soon+If+He%27ll+Command+Shuttle+Flight&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=space+shuttle,Arizona+shooting,Mark+Kelly,Rep.+Gabrielle+Giffords,Arizona+Rampage%3A+Congresswoman%2C+Others+Shot,National+News,Crime,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=133205006&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110125&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=133205361,133205038,133205036,133205034,132783213,127602855,127602446,103943429,133187062,128466026,127603166,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Tue, 25 Jan 2011 07:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona-rampage-congresswoman-others-shot/giffords-husband-will-decide-soon-if-hell-command-sh