Skip to comments.NASA Looking To Reschedule Shuttle Finale
Posted on 06/22/2010 10:55:17 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
NASA managers this week plan to request new launch dates for the final two shuttle flights to accommodate preparations on space station equipment slated to fly on the STS-133 mission, originally targeted for September.
If approved, NASA would postpone until Oct. 29 the launch of shuttle Discovery on STS-133, which includes installation of the modified Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo cargo carrier for long-duration flight on the station and delivery of spare parts for several key station systems.
Previously scheduled missions by international partners and Sun angle heating issues would in turn bump shuttle Endeavours launch with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a $2 billion multinational particle detector, on the STS-134 mission from November to Feb. 28, 2011. STS-134 currently is the final shuttle flight on the manifest. A decision about whether to fly an additional station cargo delivery mission on shuttle Atlantis around June 2011 is pending.
The proposed schedule changes are unrelated to a turbopump problem in one of shuttle Discoverys main engines, work that will require the Kennedy Space Center processing team to remove all three engines. The faulty turbopump, which is in engine 1, is positioned at the top of the triad and to avoid damaging the other engines when it is removed all three motors will be pulled, Kennedy Space Center spokeswoman Candrea Thomas said.
The low-pressure oxidizer turbopump failed a routine torque check. The suspect unit will be analyzed at manufacturer Rocketdynes Canoga Park, Calif., facility and a spare turbopump installed for use on the STS-133 launch, Thomas said.
(Excerpt) Read more at aviationweek.com ...
I guess no one ever got fired for promoting "safety," no matter how absurdly. After all, it's only taxpayer money.
But pulling all three turbopumps and sending them to California, and replacing all three with spares, for a "routine torque failure" (if true), is ridiculous. It's a classic example of a government fix.
In contrast, commercially speaking, if this had happened to SpaceShipOne over at Scaled Composites, all of their engineers would have gotten together, considered the launch, the safety of the crew, the schedule, and the investors, and rustled around in a tool box somewhere and pulled out one of these (the would have used a digital one because it's a space ship):
Five minute fix, then break for lunch.
Thanks for pointing it out. I did not know that.
Indeed, a torque issue rocket-engine turbopump is exactly like a bolt torque issue!
Actually, it is. That's why they were doing a "routine measurement" on it in the first place - it involved a measureable, non-fixed part attachment that required monitoring.
Of course, there's also the trashing of the other two turbopumps, but that's another issue.
Not everything on a space ship is rocket science, you know.
“Not everything on a space ship is rocket science, you know. “
Do tell us more of your rocket science expertise. How many of these turbopumps have you replaced?
Are they quite similar to the water pump on that old chevy?
Has all this been cleared with the Space Cadet In Chief?
The article describes one turbopump being replaced, and one high-torque unit being sent to Rocketdyne for evaluation. The other two are on engines that are "in the way" of removing and replacing the one that produced a high torque reading.