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back to article NASA delays decision over Shuttle repair

NASA has put off making a decision about repairing a hole in the insulation under the space shuttle's wing until tomorrow, according to reports. If the repair is needed, the fix will take place on the next spacewalk, slated for Saturday. The Houston Chronicle reports that the team aboard Endeavour asked mission control whether …

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memo to nasa-boffins

Spend more time and money on developing robots that are able to to these things.

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Call Tracy Island...

Surely that robot on Thunderbird 5 could help!

in reality, I think they're angling for more money from congress

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Anonymous Coward

Repairs...

could be done by wearing the russian suits as long as they are docked to the station. They are not as sturdy as the us ones, but they get replaced regularly. (and never get repaired with ducktape as we seen it on earlier nasa photos) By the way one of the earlier photos of an astonaut removing a radiator array showed a bent and broken metal sheet in the corner.

Imho, nasa has astromech droids in his labs. Maybe it's time to use them. They could be remotely piloted from the ground. The humanoid ones can be directly mapped to a ground operator's movements, assuming the robot is mounted on a robot arm, because it doesn't have legs. This would cut down the requirement for assembly mission specialists to zero. (this could be the cause why they don't use them)

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@Repairs...

As for the astromech droid idea, it sounds good, except for one small flaw: Speed of light latency. If there was any step that was time sensitive, that extra delay could be very bad.

On the other hand, if you used them with said specialists on the space station, simply inside and controlling the droids doing the work outside, that could be workable.

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Chicken/Egg

The purpose of the "arm on rails" that is part of ISS is to eliminate many spacewalks by allowing installation/maintenance via teleoperation from within the station.

The thing is, someone has to put the thing together before it can be used...

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Silver badge

From the Early Days of Spaceflight

The comment about the age of space suits and the implication that they're being re-used on cost grounds made me think of the John Glenn quote " I was thinking that the rocket had twenty thousand components, and each was made by the lowest bidder".

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Anonymous Coward

Arooga! Arooga! Nutter alert! Nutter alert! [ @Repairs thread ]

Whoah, there's always one, ...

" Imho, nasa has astromech droids in his labs. "

... in your *opinion*, Star Wars was real, and R2 units actually exist, and NASA is a man, not an organisation? How do you get from that starting point to the conclusion that your opinion is of any value or interest to anyone other than a student of psychology? Listen up, dude, I believe in freedom of speech, and so everyone has the right to their opinion, but that doesn't mean you have the right for your opinion not to be a load of inane bullshit: you have to *earn* that, by not being stupid.

... and then just when you think there can only be one, he is joined by another ....

"As for the astromech droid idea, it sounds good, except for one small flaw: Speed of light latency. If there was any step that was time sensitive, that extra delay could be very bad."

I'm crushingly disappointed here, you were doing so well, just as far as "good, except for one small flaw". Then you completely lost the plot, because just when we were hoping you'd strike a blow for sanity by saying "one small flaw: there's no such thing as an astromech droid", but instead you skate over the massive massive HUGE impossibility of a flaw, and tie yourself up in a knot of gibberish: speed of light latency and time-sensitivity. Perhaps in your imagination the Shuttle is an interplanetary craft of some kind, but in *this* universe, it's a low-orbit craft, and the speed-of-light latency delay is in the order of a tenth of a second. That might be a problem if you were trying to play high-speed video games by remote control with the droid, but nobody would design an engineering procedure that required lightning-fast reflexes from someone encumbered in a spacesuit in zero G!

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Real Time Systems

"and the speed-of-light latency delay is in the order of a tenth of a second. That might be a problem if you were trying to play high-speed video games by remote control with the droid, but nobody would design an engineering procedure that required lightning-fast reflexes from someone encumbered in a spacesuit in zero G!"

It seems you have never used satellite comms, have you? Pinging on those is on the order of 1000ms or higher. Actually video games online are just the kind of thing you should be using to benchmark that kind of handling, as you are responding to stimulae that has already happened about 400ms ago. You're bound to screw up.

Mission-critical stuff where lives depend on the response time are called "real-time", which have near-zero response time. Being en zero-G ups the risk ... you could theoretically push yourself away from your spaceship and drift to your death ... slooooooowlyyyy.....

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