Posts Tagged ‘Soichi Noguchi’

Shuttles and Astronauts

February 28, 2010
Endeavour lands at the Kennedy Space Center.  Source:  NASA

Endeavour lands at the Kennedy Space Center. Source: NASA

The Space Shuttle Endeavour was fresh off its night time landing at the Kennedy Space Center. The 6 person crew – led by Marine Colonel George Zamka – the guy they call Zambo – logged a successful mission to the Space Station – installing the Tranquility Node – with its stunning Cupola. Matter of fact station keeper Soichi Noguchi watched Endeavour streak through re-entry  “He tweeted that “The view was definitely out-of-the-world.”

Not a haiku – no

But he uses left side brain

I cut him some slack

I’m a poet – bet ya didn’t know it…

Discovery in the Vehicle Assembly Building.  Source:  NASA

Discovery in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Source: NASA

From Haikus to minuets – TWIS is taking you upscale this week – with the precisely choreographed moved from horizontal to vertical – no I am not talking about getting out of bed with a hangover –

I am speaking of Discovery’s move from the orbital processing facility – or hangar – to the vertical assembly building for mating. Don’t worry teachers – shuttle mating is G rated. It’s all about connecting the orbiter to its big burnt orange external fuel tank – which has the solid rocket boosters attached to it. The finished product – the space shuttle stack – is slated to begin its slow roll to the launch pad on March 2nd. Launch to the space station is set for April 5th. Don’t forget the best place to watch the launch is on Spaceflight Now.

When the shuttle stops flying – the US government will no longer be in the business of building spacecraft for its astronauts to fly into space. We can only hope this is a temporary suspension in membership of a very elite club. Still the Obama space budget says the National Research Council will take a hard look at role and size of the astronaut corps. No Bucks – no need for Buck Rogers. But in India – they are ready to invest some rupees on future Ramu Ramjets. The nation’s space agency says it is ready to join the club –  they are vowing to send a pair of astronauts into space in the next six or seven years…not wise to curry…

atk-logo-bgAnd from our very busy “last-ever ” desk – an item this week from Big Love Country – northern Utah…Rocket builder ATK staged its last test firing of a shuttle solid rocket motor. Since 1988, ATK has conducted 34 ground tests during to verify performance and safety margins – and test new materials. ATK says it will march ahead with a static test of an Ares 1 style booster – even though that program is a goner – NASA has already paid for it – and the show will go on.

Watch these stories from “This Week in Space” Version 8 below:

[youtubevid id=”-5UFIQGCzGc”]

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In Space, No One Can Hear You Tweet

January 30, 2010
International Space Station.  Source:  NASA

International Space Station. Source: NASA

Well, actually that’s not true…

Among the tweeps who will likely be twittering during the next NASA Tweet-up:  Astro_Jeff, Astro_TJ and Astro_Soichi – as in station keepers Jeff Williams, TJ Creamer and Soichi Noguchi.
This past week NASA finally rigged up a way for them to surf the web live – the first 140 character or less bonafide tweet from space was from TJ: “Hello Twitterverse! We [are] now LIVE…” putting it somewhere between armstrong’s “one small step for man” – but better than Bell’s “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

And, the station is a little higher this week – courtesy of some some Russian rocket propellant converted into thrust the idea was to get the station in the sweet spot for Endeavour’s arrival. And Jeff Williams used that occasion to offer up a brief lesson in Newton’s laws of motion – using a Nikon with a big honking 800 millimeter lens. Watch what happens when controllers in Russia hit the gas to raise the station:

[youtubevid id=”A_qFr_Ko63Q&start=96″]

Tally ho, Alpha!

December 21, 2009
Expedition 22 Crew.  Source:  NASA

Expedition 22 Crew. Source: NASA

Meanwhile some reinforcements are on the way to the station – Expedition 22 – including Oleg Kotov, Soichi Noguchi, and T.J. Creamer – are slated for launch 4:51pm Eastern  2151 GMT on December 20th – Before they leave – they will be blessed by a Russian Orthodox priest, sign a door in the room where Gagarin slept – watch a movie called “the white sun of the desert” and then finally – pee on the bus tire as they near the launch pad (because Yuri did, silly). Then and only then will they be deemed fit and ready for launch.

By the time you watch this, they may have already departed.  Be sure to check out Spaceflightnow.com for live mission updates as they happen.