Another Great Launch for Discovery

STS-128 is on its way, with no major anomalies to report!

Did you know?
NASA plans to retire the Shuttle program in 2010. More on that later.


STS-128 Coverage

Coolstreaming Channel 533

Shuttle Discovery will be making a trip to the International Space Station to deliver its "Leonardo" module. It is slated to launch at 1:10 am EDT.
(If you find the embeded video is not working, you can watch it directly on NASA TV)


Particularly Interesting APOD Picture

I always love the pictures posted on Astronomy Picture Of the Day. And these clouds are particularly interesting. Apparently no one knows for sure how they are formed, but every year they appear over parts of Australia.

You know, when it really boils down to it, the whole reason I'm in science and engineering is to better admire the beauty of Creation. If it weren't for the engineers who designed the airplane, this unique view of these unique clouds would not have been possible.


Disaster Strikes. AGAIN!!

Some days are just like that. One launch cost me almost 200 dollars in damage, because I flew every electronic payload I owned in it... and it flopped. I suppose "flopped" is a bit of an understatement. It "THUD-ed."

The really scary part is that I have to fix this rocket up in 5 days, because I have to box it up and ship it down to the State Fair grounds. I'd be chagrinned to send a half-bashed-in rocket down there... it just isn't done.

This is the second time I've had to rebuild it. I ordered a new nosecone ahead of time, just on speculation. Knowing my history, there was a fairly good chance something could go wrong, and something did:

I am still unsure of what happened, but I think that the most likely cause of this failure is that a wire disconnected on liftoff, breaking the continuity. It was hard to tell among the wreckage, since everything was in shambles.



I was prepping the electronics for the next flight of my rocket yesterday, and when I attached the igniter to the electronics terminal... POOF!!! The igniter fired. Needless to say, something was malfunctioning. I checked th manual, and one thing I saw was that if you switch the battery polarity it would result in the immediate firing of any attached igniters. So I checked and triple-checked the terminals, and they were definately in the right order. So I have a puzzle on my hands.

This was a very dangerous situation. Had I stuck the igniter into the motor first, a G71 would have fired in my bedroom!

Things will probably work out, however, because the launch for today got postponed because of rain and thunderstorms, so that gives me time to order new electronics.


First Multi-staging Success

My summer-long project of multi-staging rockets has had its first success! I staged Double-Trouble from a 137 N-sec G80 motor to a G71 Redline motor. There isn't any data on this flight since I could spare any more weight for electronics, but I got a video. Even that is so-so; I'm so excited when it works that I totally loose sight of the rocket.


"You Stuck It WHERE!?" Short Film Contest

My family has been getting into filmmaking little by little. This summer we won an honorable mention for "Best Special Effects" for a short film competition featuring the library. Now we are planning on making a film for Post-It Super Sticky Notes. The point of the contest is to see if Post-It Super Sticky Notes can go where other notes can't. What would be a better proof of its ability that to post it on the side of one of my rockets?
I'm probably going out on a limb announcing this, since the deadline is the end of August! That doesn't give us much time to make the film, but it's only supposed to be a maximum of two minutes.
Here is the video we made for the MELSA "Quiet on the Set!" short film competition: