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The glitches in the shuttles have been fixed; Atlantis will be launched on October 2 and will carry a special camera


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A view from the external camera that will accompany the Atlantis flight on October 2; A unique photo angle (see later in the news)

After three months of grounding, the space shuttle fleet will return to flight, when on October 2 the space shuttle Atlantis will be launched. This is what NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said.

The fleet of four ferries ran aground last June when tiny fragments were found in the fuel lines on all four ships. But now these cracks have been repaired. Atlantis is already on the launch pad and is ready for launch if the weather permits.
The length of the cracks discovered in Atlantis was 5 millimeters, and the patch can only be seen by enlarging the image. "If you don't mark the area with an arrow, you won't even know the crack exists," O'Keefe said. These cracks, due to being in a sensitive place like the fuel pipe, could cause foreign bodies to enter the shuttle's engines and thus be restored and cause an accident like the Challenger.

O'Keefe said that he is aware that the ferries represent yesterday's technology and require a lot of upgrading, however none of the ferries are about to retire yet. All of them flew only about a quarter on average of the number of flights allowed. We have many more emails for these diamonds. They will be used by us for flying heavy loads for a long time to come.
Columbia, the oldest among the transitions is 22 years old and Endeavor, the youngest is 13 years old. The other two - Atlantis and Discovery are from the 1984-1985 model. "Even the veteran is half the age of the B52 that was used in an executive role in Afghanistan," he said.
In addition to the repair of the fuse transmission lines, Okafi said that renovations were made to other parts of the fuel system, including the piping connecting the spacecraft to the accelerators, as well as the vehicles that transport the shuttles to a distance of 5 km from the assembly area for the launch.
In recent months, the bearings in these vehicles have been replaced after NASA located the small factory where the original parts were manufactured about 35 years ago. O'Keefe said. The bearings have been cracked for some time now, with no apparent effect. It is possible that these bearings were cracked during the Apollo program in the sixties when they drove the Saturn rockets for launch.


TV viewers will be able to watch a very interesting angle of the shuttle launch

For the first time after over a hundred flights of the shuttles, the space shuttle will carry a television camera that will show from the outside the entry of the shuttle into orbit around the Earth. It will be on the upcoming flight of the space shuttle Atlantis which will be launched on October 2nd.
A color video camera will be placed on top of the outer container and it will offer a unique perspective when the launch is heard. The NASA television station plans to provide a live broadcast from the camera when the shuttle is launched and until the outer rockets are detached at an altitude of over 30 km. In total, the camera expects to receive approximately XNUMX minutes of broadcast.

The camera will provide a view from the top of the shuttle's belly and some of the outer boosters. This will allow the Flight 112 crew an opportunity to monitor the state of the spacecraft from an unfamiliar angle. The camera will be installed on one of the two small containers - because the large container disconnected too soon after the launch.
These containers contain hydrogen and oxygen in separate cells and these shuttle engines connect and turn into the gas that burns and gives the shuttle the required acceleration.
The camera will be placed in an aluminum stand and surrounded by insulating foam. The battery and transmitter are in an electronics box and are located inside the outer tank.
The camera will open 15 minutes before takeoff and it will broadcast the sight of the accelerators on the launch pad. The signal will be recorded at several NASA sites and broadcast live to television viewers.
The camera is scheduled to operate another 15 minutes after launch. At the time of takeoff, television viewers will see the shuttle leaving the launch tower, and two minutes after launch we will see the large tank separate from the outer tank.
When the outer container separates from Atlantis after a few minutes of flight, the camera is planned to continue the live broadcast for another six minutes, but NASA may not be able to receive the signal, as the container may go out of range.
The camera was developed by the Cross Link company from Boulder, Colorado, and is 15 cm long. Such a camera is used by Boeing to monitor the launches of Delta or Atlas missiles.

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