Shuttle Mission On Again - Thursday Launchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The on-again, off-again shuttle mission to repair Hubble Space Telescope is currently on again for this Thursday:
Due to Y2K concerns, NASA management has set Dec 18 (Saturday) as the end of the window for a 1999 launch of this mission.
Can anyone who follows the shuttle closer than I do tell me whether or not the shuttle can be landed safely in the absence of all ground-based communications/telemetry support. I'm not suggesting that this will happen, I'm just curious if such a contingency is possible. Assume good weather, a clear landing strip, a top-notch crew, and a modicum of good fortune...
Being a strong supporter of the HST, I truly wish them all well.
Also, take a look at the photo of the dented fuel pipe that had to be replaced. Apparently, they still do not know how it came to be dented.
-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), December 13, 1999
A friend of mine who saw one of the old landings at White Sands said that watching a shuttle land is like watching a brick fall from the sky.
It's amazing, but the only power it needs is that which controls the flaps.
Most of the pilots are VERY experienced and I'm sure they practice disaster scenarios like this.
I would be very concerned if I were them about their computer interfaces (they use laptops hooked up to the 1972-era shuttle computers), but landing once they enter orbit correctly is typically not one of the problems. Of course, I might be tempted to land out at White Sands rather than in Florida because the margin for error is so much larger.
-- nothere nothere (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 13, 1999.
I might be able to walk over to the beach, look north, and see the launch!
-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), December 13, 1999.