Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday, February 24th 2011, little big manoeuvres in LEO

It's due to the respective longer or shorter launch delays if today, Thursday, February 24th 2011 became a day of many events in LEO.

The first is NASA with the night launch of the Glory satellite, which will study Earth's climate. It is already atop the Orbital Science Taurus XL rocket at Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandemberg Air-Force Base in California.
Yesterday's launch was scubbed because of a wrong reading from the sensors interface between the rocket and the ground station. With a launch windows of just 48 seconds there was no time to investigate on and solve the issue. Hence the 24h delay.
If everything will be in shape, the next target launch time is 5.09am Eastern Time (11.05am CET).
As usual the launch will be covered by NasaTV, with the trasmiossion start at 9.00am CET.

From 4.15pm CET the cosmic scene will be for the space ballet between ESA's ATV Johannes Kepler and the International Space Station (ISS). 
Docking is foreseen around 4.45pm CET. The event will be streamed live on the ESA website, at this page:
and definitely will be covered by NasaTV which will relay those images.

Finally, at 4:50pm EST (10.50pm CET) after some months and extensive repair work, the Space Shuttle Discovery will lift-off for STS-133 mission, which will be its last and the first to be carried out of the remaining three in the program.
Heading to the ISS, Discovery will expand the outpost with the last pressurized module of the US segment, the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module). This module is nothing but the Italian MPLM Leonardo refurbished and modified for a long duration stay at the Station.

Hoping everything will proceed smoothly, I've nothing more to say that "Enjoy the show!" ;-)