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Discovery Space Shuttle

July 13, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Astronauts Michael E. Fossum and Piers J. Sellers completed the third and final spacewalk of the shuttle's 13-day mission Wednesday, testing repair techniques on purposely damaged heat-shield samples. The seven-hour spacewalk focused on refining procedures for the use of an adhesive called NOAX to seal cracks in the reinforced carbon panels that cover the shuttle's wing edges and nose cone.
July 11, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Two astronauts from the shuttle Discovery completed a nearly seven-hour-long spacewalk Monday, installing new equipment and completing crucial maintenance work to the International Space Station that clears the way for NASA to resume construction of the station late this summer. Astronauts Piers Sellers and Michael E.
July 9, 2006 | Michael Cabbage, Orlando Sentinel
Two spacewalkers bounced around on the end of a "skinny little pole" 210 miles above Earth on Saturday in a daring test for future shuttle repairs. Astronauts Piers J. Sellers and Michael E. Fossum spent 7 1/2 hours outside shuttle Discovery on the fourth day of the ship's visit to the International Space Station.
July 8, 2006 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
After analyzing the shuttle's energy consumption, NASA officials on Friday decided to extend Discovery's mission by an extra day and add a third spacewalk to the astronauts' itinerary. Astronauts Piers J. Sellers and Michael E. Fossum will use the extra spacewalk Wednesday to practice making repairs to the carbon material that protects the shuttle's nose cone and the leading edge of the wings from extreme heat, said John Shannon, deputy shuttle program manager.
July 7, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
The crew of the shuttle Discovery successfully docked with the International Space Station on Thursday and prepared for a "focused inspection" today of several potential problem areas that have cropped up. NASA officials kept open the possibility of a spacewalk later in the mission to remove two bulging gap fillers -- spacers placed between the shuttle's heat-resistant tiles. NASA managers continued to portray the mission and the health of the shuttle in glowing terms.
July 6, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
An inspection of the shuttle Discovery on its second day in space showed the craft to be remarkably unblemished from its Independence Day launch -- unless you counted bird droppings. Photographs and radar scans of the 4.5-million-pound craft showed "zero" problems, said John Shannon, deputy director of the space shuttle program. "We don't have very many anomalies at all," he said during a news conference Wednesday at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
July 5, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Despite lingering concerns about insulating foam falling from the shuttle's external fuel tank, NASA set off the biggest fireworks display of all Tuesday, successfully launching Discovery and its seven astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station. "I can't think of a better place to be on the Fourth of July," shuttle Cmdr. Steven Lindsey said minutes before launch. "We hope to give you an up close and personal look at the rocket's red glare." Discovery blasted off at 11:38 a.m.
July 4, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA officials decided to attempt an Independence Day launch of the space shuttle despite the discovery of a piece of broken foam from the shuttle's 15-story-tall external fuel tank. An inspection of the damaged area "showed the foam is acceptable and ready to go fly," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for space operations, after a lengthy meeting with mission managers.
July 3, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
The launch of the space shuttle Discovery was scrubbed for the second day in a row Sunday as rain and thunderheads crowded the skies over the launch site in central Florida. "We've concluded we're not going to have a chance to launch today," launch director Mike Leinbach told shuttle Cmdr. Steve Lindsey more than two hours before the scheduled launch at 12:26 p.m. PDT. There was never a good chance of launching throughout the day. "We went red this morning and stayed red," said Air Force Lt.
July 2, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
With thunderheads pressing in on the launch site in central Florida, NASA managers canceled Saturday's liftoff of the space shuttle Discovery. The launch has been rescheduled for today at 12:26 p.m. PDT. "This is a dynamic day. I think we're playing it too close here," said Steve Stich, the flight director at Johnson Space Center in Houston. Launch director Mike Leinbach at Kennedy Space Center told shuttle Cmdr. Steve Lindsey, "Well, Steve, sorry to break your string."
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