Space shuttle Discovery blasted off last night from Kennedy Space Centre at 19:43 EDT (23:43 GMT) on its STS-119 mission to the International Space Station. Discovery blasts off en route to the ISS. Pic: NASA The launch was twice delayed due to technical issues - the first a suspect hydrogen flow control valve and then a leak …
No mention of the poor little bat?
During the launch delays, a bat had set up residence on one of the external fuel tank trusses; it had a big wake up call when the shuttle lifted off (and was probably cooked in the rocket exhaust!)
And it didn't even make it into the article.
where's the bat, man?
Yes, I wanted to know what happened to the fruit bat - I'm surprised PETA hadn't stormed the launcher
how much CO2 all this involved. I imagine producing all that Hydrogen used a fair bit, plus the water they spray on the ground to stop the heat reflecting back and blowing up the shuttle, plus the manufacture of parts, moving the space shuttle to it's launch position and so on and so on.
That's like watching Father Jack running wild across the countryside.
Apologies to foreign readers if that doesn't mean anything. Check out "Father Ted" in Google if you've got time on your hands.
New Star at night....
I read somewhere else that this additional solar panelling is going to turn the ISS into one of the brightest "stars" in the sky.
Wonder if it's going to mess with any astrological forecasts... "as ISS crests into Sagitarius"
"most visually beautiful launch"
What was so special about this one that made it more "visually beautiful" than any other that has come before it?
Confused of London
I thought they'd stopped doing night launches because they can't see if bits fall off and cause heat shield damage.
I would have though the last thing they wanted was a 'spectacular' launch - I think most of the astronauts would have preferred it to be as 'normal' as possible.
Do keep up!!!
@AC: If you read the text again, it doesn't say that this was the most visually beautiful launch ever, only that one Mr Mike Leinbach thought it to be the most visually beautiful launch that he personally had ever seen.
I'll have Paris, she's not the most visually beautiful I've ever seen, but she'll do for now...
I thought NASA had banned Shuttle launches at night after Columbia? They said they were going to take high resolution video right through to the ET separation to watch for any foam shedding.
It was also Mr Mike Leinbach first launch as Launch Director...
This was an evening launch the sun had just set (19:43 - EST summer time) the plume was above the Horizon and illuminated in the dark sky...
I have to say that the cam shots at MEKO (MECO?) were impressive with brightly coloured auras in the Gasess..
NASA hails 'spectacular' launch
why because it worked ???
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