Reminder: Endeavour to launch Sunday!

By Phil Plait | February 6, 2010 3:00 pm

endeavour_feb2010[Update; The launch was scrubbed due to low clouds. The next launch attempt will be at 04:14 Eastern (09:14 GMT) Monday morning… but they’re predicting 60% chance of low clouds again!]

Don’t forget: the Space Shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to launch tomorrow, Sunday February 7, at 04:39 Eastern time (09:39 GMT). It’s the last planned night launch of a shuttle. I will not be live-tweeting it, since that’s 02:30 my time and I’m not staying up for it (I have to travel Monday and don’t need to screw up my system that much). But a lot of folks are there and will be tweeting it as it happens, like Universe Today’s Nancy Atkinson. Follow her for more info as it happens.

Image credit: NASA.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: NASA

Comments (44)

  1. Tristan

    My sister, an engineering student/Astronomer was over joyed to get tickets to go see this. DRop her off at the Airport just a few hours ago.
    Would have loved to have gone myself.

  2. Rory Kent

    Typo: GTM = GMT

  3. michael

    Everyone on the ISS must be looking forward to getting the Cupola :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupola_(ISS)

  4. Thanks for letting us know!

  5. rick king

    4:39 am? wouldn’t pm still be light out?

  6. Phil, in case you missed this, a YouTube video of NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a Q&A press conference just before STS-130 mission briefing this morning.

  7. Claire

    You can also follow @avgjanecrafter. She’s a blogger for Craft, and is Make:magazine’s media correspondant at this launch. It’s been a dream of hers to see a launch since she was a little kid, so if you want super-excited & awesome geeking out over space, follow her! And, she’s using my camera to take pictures!

  8. Wondering

    THANKS so much.
    Would have totally missed it even though i knew it was coming up.

  9. Stanley H. Tweedle

    Goodbye, Shuttle! It’s been nice knowing you!

  10. Spectroscope

    It is a sad time for us and the wider world when the Iranian Islamist theocracy is making more progress in its space program than the US is making in ours.

    Wikipedia – In the news front page :

    The Iranian Space Agency announces that a rocket was launched with living organisms on board and returned to Earth unharmed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Space_Agency

    No story on that I see BA.

    I hope Endeavour has a successful flight and all goes well for them.

    But to me each shuttle launch now is just another numerral in the countdown to the end of America’s ability to do pretty much *anything* in space.

    Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

    … Then we’re left with zero. :-(

    I wish I could feel it was something better than a winding down the road to a sad ending for our hopes of manned space exploration – RIP 2010 killed by Barack Hussein Obama.

    No Moon program,
    no Mars program,
    no more shuttle soon.

    All that’s left -& for how long will even it last – is us just thumbing a ride with Russia to a space station going nowhere fast.

    Private space agencies? If they were going to happen, they’d have done so by now.

    I feel very depressed when I think of the US and wider Western worlds lack of future & our pathetic surrender of space to nations that are at best indifferent to us and at worst openly hostile.

    I predict that our children – and their children for generations to will curse Obama and curse those who voted for him for this stupid short-sighted error. :-(

  11. Levi in NY

    Launch aborted due to weather concerns.

  12. alphamone

    canceled due to weather.

  13. James

    Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

  14. Jack Mitcham

    I woke up with a sore throat, saw the time, and figured “oh! I’ll watch the launch!” So much for the upside of waking up with a cold in the middle of the night.

  15. PsyberDave

    It’s 4:40 and I didn’t see understand the five other people on here that said the launch was scrubbed. I created a post to say that the launch was scrubbed and then realized, “Oh, that’s what the previous five posts meant.”

    I shouldn’t operate heavy machinery at this time.

    Back to sleep.

  16. Rift

    @Jack Mitcham #15, reversed here, up all night ’cause of a cough. Looked at the clock and said “Oooo, at least I’ll get to watch the launch!!!!”. Sigh. After a night like tonight I hope I’m sound asleep tomorrow morning for the launch.

  17. here

    Spectroscope,
    Hyperboltastic! Also, surrender of space? I was unaware we were fighting over it, or possessed it to give up to someone else.
    I think maybe you need to ‘man-up’ and deal with it. Science will keep chugging along with the many missions already running and planned.
    The crossroads the space program finds itself at now is a question of what our goals for manned exploration should be. We have figured out most of the issues with getting people up there; the question now is: what do we do with them when they’re up there.

    My own opinion is that we get the most bang for our buck from robotic missions.
    I would like to see lots more exploration of Saturn and Jupiter’s moons, and Venus too. We need to replace Hubble too. The science which Hubble has done has been incredible. The clues it has provided to untangling fundamental physics questions have been invaluable.
    As far as manned missions, it would be nice to see space stations both in earth orbit and outside of it which can be used as a launching point for various missions.
    We do need to develop commercial access. Capitalism can be a great thing.

    Good luck Endeavour.

  18. DrFlimmer

    Damn weather. Now, I can’t watch the launch, because the next days I will not have a proper Internet connection to watch it, since I’ll be away from home. Dammit!

  19. Nicole

    Scrub! We get to do it all again tomorrow. Will you be up for it, Phil? You get to watch me slowly go crazy as I freeze my butt off, overcaffeinated, on the causeway. Good times.

  20. T_U_T

    #18. failing arrogantly. What an attitude.

  21. Messier Tidy Upper

    Durn. Scrubbed. Countdown clock now on 20 hours 21 min 30 secs.

    From the NASA website the BA linked us too :

    Endeavour Launch Rescheduled
    Sun, 07 Feb 2010 09:15:38 PM UTC+1030

    Managers officially have scheduled space shuttle Endeavour’s next launch attempt for Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST.

    The Mission Management Team will meet at 6:15 p.m. Sunday to give the “go” to fill Endeavour’s external fuel tank with propellants. Tank loading would begin at 6:45 p.m.

    Hve to wait a bit longer. No more night mission? Or still at night?

    & NASA is on facebook too I see :

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/NASA-2Explore/

    Not that surprised but still good.

  22. Astroquoter

    Off topic sorry but:

    @ DigitalAxis: If your still out there – just saw your reply on the “Spotting Betelgeuse” thread back in early Jan:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/01/12/spotting-betelgeuse/

    Thanks. Belated but sincere – hope you get to see this. :-)

  23. Astroquoter

    @ 15. Jack Mitcham Says:

    I woke up with a sore throat, saw the time, and figured “oh! I’ll watch the launch!” So much for the upside of waking up with a cold in the middle of the night.

    Ah but it *could* have worked out well for you. Pity it didn’t but still if Endeavour *had* lifted off you’d have been lucky. ;-)

    Just think in an alternate universe the Endaevour took off in fine night weather & all went really well. Not sure that’s much consolation in this universe (or whether parallell universes exist or anything) but .. Hope your feeling better anyhow. ;-)

    Countdown timer now reads 19 hours 41 minutes 48 secs ..make it 47 ..46 ..45 ..

  24. Bob_in_Wales

    Saw a dawn launch while in the US in 2000. The launch pad was in the dark but when the shuttle got to about 5000 feet it entered daylight. Made for some spectacular photographs. Was well worth the detour!

  25. Messier Tidy Upper

    Sorry the link I posted at # 22 doesn’t seem to be working. :-(

    Try this one instead :

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/NASA-2Explore/24257241459#!/pages/NASA-2Explore/24257241459?ref=mf

    Which I also posted & tested and seemed to work from here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/05/houston-we-are-go-for-live-streaming-from-space/comment-page-1/#comment-245258

    Timer now reading : 0 days 19 hours 03 minutes 32 seconds.

    O days 18 hours 58 min 43 secs

    Hey it beats counting sheep. Just remind me someone when I fall asleepppppppppppppppppppppppp ;-)

  26. Messier Tidy Upper

    One last thing – I’ve asked this before & haven’t had any answer & I’m really hoping to get one :

    What about NASA’s plan B that the BA for one noted on July 3rd 2009 – or just last year?

    See : http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/07/03/nasas-plan-b/

    (Complete with snazzy videoclip of how it would work.)

    If Ares is going to be cancelled shouldn’t this have been the next step not complete cancellation of a Return to the Moon goal?

    Has anything more happened with regard to “Plan B” here & is anything likely to happen to revive it?

    Anyone ? Please?

    *************

    PS. I started watching that embedded videoclip posted by Gary Miles at # 6 here then I saw that it was going to run for over an hour and thought I didn’t have time. If the answer to my question was noted there or has been in another thread here then I haven’t seen it. :-(

  27. @27. Messier Tidy Upper Says

    There is no Plan B at this point. There appears to be no plans for an HLV at all. Thus far, the new NASA proposal would provide greater funding to ISS to extend to 2020, $6 billion more over next 5 years for commercial crew to LEO development, more money for Earth science programs, and R&D for a possible HLV. That is the extent of it.

  28. Robert

    I know that the launch was scrubbed due low clouds but why is that a problem for launch?

  29. T_U_T

    There is no Plan B at this point. There appears to be no plans for an HLV at all. Thus far, the new NASA proposal would provide greater funding to ISS to extend to 2020, $6 billion more over next 5 years for commercial crew to LEO development, more money for Earth science programs, and R&D for a possible HLV. That is the extent of it.

    So, at best flying around in circles for at least ten years. At worst pretense to get rid of the manned and subsequently unmanned space program for good.

  30. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 28 Gary Miles & 30 T_U_T :

    Thanks for your answers. :-)

    Grim news but I really wanted to at least know what was happening there – or as it turns out is not happening. Now I do which is appreciated – better than not knowing.

    Here’s the Yahoo online news report on this Endeavour launch if its of any interest to anyone here :

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/6772304/us-shuttle-endeavor-ready-for-new-space-mission/

    Countdown timer now reads :

    0 days 5 hours 12 minutes 36 seconds till launch take II.

  31. Spectroscope

    @ 18. here Says:

    Spectroscope,Hyperboltastic!

    Really? Which part of what I wrote there was “hyperbole?”

    The part where there’s no future program for landing on the Moon because Barack Hussein Obama cancelled Ares?

    The part where the space shuttle is being retired with no replacement even vaguely in sight?

    The part where America now has to thumb a lift with the Russians transporting our astronauts on their old and unsafe Soyuz just to get into space at all?

    The part where Barack Hussein Obama is rapidly proving himself to be an even worse President than liberals *think* Bush was and is surrendering US power and influence in the world – and above it in space too? :-(

    I wish it were hyperbole, I really do.

    Also, surrender of space? I was unaware we were fighting over it, or possessed it to give up to someone else.

    Well you *are* naive aren’t you? :roll:

    What did you think the subtext of the space race was about?

    Did you never notice missiles or rockets can carry payolads other than the strictly peaceful?

    Or that control of the “High ground” -the higher the better – has always been a strong *military* advantage and goal?

    Why do you think Americans and their allies were – rightly – so alarmed when the Russian’s launched Sputnik first before America launched its satellite Explorer?

    Do you have any knowledge of history and the international scene – and the implacable hatred many of our enemies harboured and still harbour for us in the Free World?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    I think maybe you need to ‘man-up’ and deal with it. Science will keep chugging along with the many missions already running and planned.

    “Many?” Would that be the last five shuttle flights and then … nothing?

    Or do you just mean sending robotic probes that even India and Iran can do now while conceeding the manned space field to Russia and China – hardly our gretest allies on the world scene? Ever wonder if they get far enough ahead of us to build up a superiority against us that they may wish to use or even just threaten to use that superiority against us?

    Or that they are not as well intentioned and benevolent as we are?

    Sure you want your future or your kids future in the hands of the Russian Oligarchs or at the Chinese Communist parties tender mercies? :-(

    The crossroads the space program finds itself at now is a question of what our goals for manned exploration should be. We have figured out most of the issues with getting people up there; the question now is: what do we do with them when they’re up there.

    Really?

    I disgaree – we had goals before under Bush and now under Obama we’ve given up and surrendered them.

    We had the Moon – Obama’s just thrown it away.

    We had the ability to get people up there. Past tense. We have it no more – now under B. H. Obama we’ve lost that capability.

    My own opinion is that we get the most bang for our buck from robotic missions. I would like to see lots more exploration of Saturn and Jupiter’s moons, and Venus too. We need to replace Hubble too. The science which Hubble has done has been incredible. The clues it has provided to untangling fundamental physics questions have been invaluable.

    Mao Tze Tung summarised the Chinese philosophy in a sentence – “Power comes from the barrel of a gun.”

    Osama bin laden (nearly wrote Obama bin Laden there by mistake – LOL) summarised his philosophy in a word -“jihad!”

    Such people and their followers are profoundly unimpressed with pure science and exploration.

    The power to control the sky above them – and the willingness to use that power to impose ones will – are the only things they respect.

    Our enemies need to know we are still advancing, still capable.

    Obama has directed us into full retreat. Rout even. Our enemies are watching in delight and anticipation. No astronauts! US power wanes! America is giving up the sky to China and Russia – the mighty are falling!

    Where we show a lack of will & capacity in one area (eg. manned spaceflight – & the technology that comes with it) our enemies will be only too glad to exploit that apparent decadence and weakness leading to retreat in other areas too.

    This is a signal to the world that US power is fading away fast. Nice job Obama-maniacs. :-(

    As far as manned missions, it would be nice to see space stations both in earth orbit and outside of it which can be used as a launching point for various missions. We do need to develop commercial access. Capitalism can be a great thing.

    Yes Capitalism can be a great thing. But spaceflight like military defence is for governments to lead the way and run the show. It is a *national* thing, a source of national pride & influence. Or for us now a *former* source of national pride & influence.

    Obama is no patriot – & his decision to abandon the manned US space program is proof of that. No patriot would turn his back on the achivements of John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and others who worked so hard to get us so far & to beat the Soviet Empire and the rest of the world in space. This is perhaps the single most disgusting betrayal of American achievements & US interests I have ever seen in my entire life.

    I wish that were hyperbole but its not.

    Just the stark reality of the Obama in power & the United States of America going down because of it. :-(

    Good luck Endeavour.

  32. James

    I laughed.

    You might do a little better if you tried to divorce your actual points from your irrational anti-commie scaremongering (“Obama bin Laden”? Seriously?)

  33. BigBob

    Nice launch! Nyce!

  34. Just watched the launch from the back yard, about 175 miles south of the cape. It was spectacular. I’ve never seen it so clearly. I was able to follow the vehicle from a few seconds after launch until just about it’s dip below the horizon. Wooo.

  35. Messier Tidy Upper

    Success yay! :-)

    Even if I missed it being out at the time.

    Still what’s the web for? ;-)

    Get home, straight here, staright to the link above & I’m watching a superb (if small – got to get a full screen button on there NASA TV!) videoclip of the launch.

    Truly a spectacular, marvellous sight. Superluminous ie. beyond brilliance. It really lifts my heart & mind as well.

    No, no, not literally, you people know a metaphor when you hear it right? ;-) )

    But then I remember that there are just four more space shuttle launches to come before the shuttle is grounded never to fly again and a sense of poignancy and sadness creeps in. I wish they would keep flying these shuttles forever.

    (Yeah I know they can’t do that.)

    I wish even more that they were being replaced with something similar but even better. Sigh.

    Mission elapsed time : 2 hours 1 minute 44 secs!

  36. BigBob

    Messier Tidy Upper besagt:
    > got to get a full screen button on there NASA TV

    I’ll bet you’re kidding, but just in case, double-click on the NASA video screen and it will go full-screen. Double-click again to recompactonate. I gathered some co-workers to watch the launch live on my screen. Loved it.

    BTW, for an earlier correspondent, Obama’s new plan (including the cancellation of Ares) has the backing of the Planetary Society, and for good reasons. Read the conclusions of the Augustine Commission. BA sees the logic too:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/01/president-obamas-nasa-budget-unveiled/

    And besides, Spectroscope, you always knew the Chinese would be the first back to walk on the Moon right? ;-)

  37. Grand Lunar

    Got up before it came out of the hold at T-minus 9 minutes.

    And managed to see it on NASA TV and also in the skies of Fort Lauderdale.

    Saw it until SRB seperation. I could’ve stayed out a bit longer, but it’s rather cold here now.

    I wonder if the imaging team that brough us ascent highlights from STS-129 will do the same for this mission?

  38. Toothygrin

    [quote]
    This is perhaps the single most disgusting betrayal of American achievements & US interests I have ever seen in my entire life.
    [/quote]

    Really? The worst ever?

    – Worse than corporations sending American jobs overseas?
    – Worse than having the highest sympathy and pro-american world attitude ever for a year after the World Trade Center tragedy and then throwing all that goodwill away (and even worsening it) by throwing literally $trillions away into a war whose only single victory was “Hah! My daddy’s vindicated!”
    – Worse than every Ponsi-scheming turdbucket jilting millions of Americans out of their life savings?

    Take the Rhetoric Blinders off, man. They’re doing no one any good.

  39. DaveS

    here@18: My own opinion is that we get the most bang for our buck from robotic missions.
    I would like to see lots more exploration of Saturn and Jupiter’s moons, and Venus too. We need to replace Hubble too. The science which Hubble has done has been incredible. The clues it has provided to untangling fundamental physics questions have been invaluable.
    As far as manned missions, it would be nice to see space stations both in earth orbit and outside of it which can be used as a launching point for various missions.
    We do need to develop commercial access. Capitalism can be a great thing.

    First of all, good luck flying a Hubble replacement without a good heavy lifter, and a manned space program to fix any errors and maintain it. The Hubble is NOT a simple probe. It pretty impossible to make something as complex as the Hubble redundant and reliable enough to never require human intervention.

    One thing about “private enterprise” doing the job. I think it’s pretty obvious that the only way they’re going to realize a profit in space is if they contract with the US government. But if they contract with the US government, the government is going to want to call the shots, to a large extent. So how is that different than NASA contract Goddard for the Lunar Excursion Module, or Rockwell for the Shuttle? Whether it’s NASA calling the shots or some other government entity, it’s pretty much the same story.

    To wit, what kept Rockwell from building a shuttle on its own dime, and flying it privately (perhaps paying NASA for launch facilities)? The balance sheet doesn’t even faintly show a profit, that’s why.

  40. here

    DavidS@40,

    The biggest loss with the loss of the Constellation program imo was the Ares V. It opened up a lot of possibilities. We do have heavy lift vehicles which could put something about twice the mass of Hubble up, but not tonnage like Ares V or Saturn V.

    I also agree with your point about human intervention re complex machines.

    Humans are really versatile as we saw in the last Hubble repair. However, I think another skill we will have to develop is the ability to build and do major repairs with robotic craft.

    This requires innovation in a couple of fronts including: design of probes to be serviced, design of dexterous robotic manipulators, performing delicate tasks remotely, including improvising solutions to problems (stuck bolts anyone?).

    Humans can do it better and more flexibly, but it is my suspicion that gaining this ability will pay dividends when it comes to maintaining our presence in space both manned and unmanned. (I would be curious to hear thoughts on this point).

    I’m not super gung-ho about private enterprise in space myself. It is certainly no panacea, and I just threw it in at the last minute. Do you think there is an instructive analogy to be drawn with DARPAnet and the internet? It took government initiative but private innovation has taken its usefulness to a whole different level (for better or for worse).

    There is a lot that can be done here and that needs to be done to pave the way for us to take on huge missions in the future. I hope that instead of missions which go and come back, we can plan missions where we go and stay.

  41. here

    Spectroscope,

    Assumptulicious!

  42. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 37. BigBob Says:

    Messier Tidy Upper besagt:
    > got to get a full screen button on there NASA TV

    I’ll bet you’re kidding, but just in case, double-click on the NASA video screen and it will go full-screen. Double-click again to recompactonate. I gathered some co-workers to watch the launch live on my screen. Loved it.

    Okay. Thanks. :-)

    No, I didn’t know that – I was looking for the “full screen” button & couldn’t see it. Just double click on the piccy eh? Wish I’d known that earlier. Just tried it now – & YEEE-ESSSS! It works! :-)

    Mission elapsed time now : 0 days 20 hours 53 min 15 secs.

  43. Spectroscope

    @ 33. James Says:

    I laughed.You might do a little better if you tried to divorce your actual points from your irrational anti-commie scaremongering (”Obama bin Laden”? Seriously?)

    No that was a wry joke – the LOL should have given that away to you. :roll:

    You find this funny? It isn’t. But then you Liberals never have understood the world and the problems you cause your country and our future. You laugh & mock out of ignorance without appreciating any true values or comprehending the immense harm you are doing and then fail to appreciate the adult worlds distaste and loathing for you. :-(

    You laugh now – but in the future when Obama’s actions lead us all into great pain and suffering and loss of pride, you will see no humour in it at all & will curse yourself and those who led you so catastrophically far astray and took such serious things so lightly. ;-(

    @ 39. Toothygrin Says:

    [quote] This is perhaps the single most disgusting betrayal of American achievements & US interests I have ever seen in my entire life.[/quote]

    Really? The worst ever?

    Yes. Really.

    Far worse than any of those other cases you cited.

    @ 42. here Says:

    Spectroscope, Assumptulicious!

    You claimed I was guilty of hyperbole.

    I challenged you to point out where I was hyperbolic & you’ve failed to do so.

    Instead, you make no rational comment but merely seem, if I understand your glib nonsense word, to be claiming I’m making assumptions. :roll:

    I could ask you “what assumptions” just I already asked & you failed to answer “where’s the hyperbole that you *think* is there?” However, I think its now safe to say that you can’t or won’t reply sensibly to reasonable adult argument. :roll:

    I think it is clear that you have no case or argument to make, nothing but glib joking insults without any foundation or substance whatsoever to throw at those who do have any real valid point. You are a juvenile waste of time.

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