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back to article Endeavour good to go on 7 Feb

NASA has confirmed that space shuttle Endeavour will blast off on 7 February on its STS-130 mission to the International Space Station, marking the last nighttime shuttle launch before the venerable fleet is retired. Endeavour will depart Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A at 04:39 EST (09:39 GMT) carrying the US's …

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FAIL

NASA boo-boo

I quote from the nasa mission summary:

"The cupola is 4.9 feet in length, 9.7 feet in diameter and will weigh about 4,145 pounds in orbit.".

again

"weigh about 4,145 pounds in orbit"

Now I though the whole purpose of the spacestation was so that experiments can be performed in a weightless environment.

If NASA cannot tell the difference between mass and weight, then they are in big trouble.

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Boffin

Re: NASA boo-boo

According to the ESA, the cupola will have a launch *mass* of 1805 kg (3979 lbs), and an on-orbit *mass* of 1880 kg (4145 lbs). So yes, NASA made a boo-boo.

And yet ... the ISS orbits at approximately 350 km above the Earth. At that altitude, g is 8.7 m/s/s, reduced from 9.8 m/s/s, the average value at the surface.

This means the cupola *weighs* 16,356 N in orbit. But since it is in freefall, its occupants will appear to be weightless.

I thank you!

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Joke

Very interesting.

I'm slightly puzzled that it somehow gains 75 kilos of mass somewhere between here and there though.

Is there a hamper of pies anywhere on the mission inventory?

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WTF?

Windows 7

shudder...

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Boffin

Cupola, Windows in space?

seems odd that we have had big dome windows on micro subs for many years yet there are no nice big domed windows on the ISS.. suppose its to do with low pressure inside the dome not the other way around.. or is it just the weight?

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Re: Cupola, Windows in space?

I am not a rocket scientist, but here's my guess.

Pressure is one part of it. The pressure exerted by the deep ocean on a submersible is many times higher than the pressure exerted by the atmosphere inside the station. However, the ocean pressure is inward relative to the submersible but outward relative to the space station. I seem to recall the shuttle is pressurized to less than one ATM to reduce the stress on the hull, and I would not be surprised if the ISS did the same thing.

The other thing is debris. At orbital velocities, even something as small as a paint chip carries a lot of kinetic energy. A piece of metal hit by such a particle could deform on impact, cushioning the blow, maybe even springing back to shape if the hit was small enough. Glass would be more likely to chip or crack. I imagine that the cupola resembles those on tanks and other armored vehicles is entirely on purpose.

In the event that a pane is damaged, it seems like it would be more easily covered if you only have to patch over one port to keep your atmosphere contained rather than a whole dome, too.

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Thumb Up

Already thought of that

What about that window paste they had on Space:1999?

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Happy

Plane booked ...

... fingers crossed for an on-schedule launch

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