Space Blog | 29. April 2011

A long farewell

Endeavour on the launch pad

The small space shop on site at the Kennedy Space Center gives an indication of the fast-approaching end of space shuttle flights from the cape; everything is reduced in price. Although many people here on the ‘Space Coast’ are unsure about the coming months and years, the spirit needed to carry this historic space location into the future of spaceflight is unbroken. The day before the launch of STS-134, the press conferences were not just looking forward to the imminent mission. read more

Space Blog | 28. April 2011 | posted by Marco Trovatello

STS-134 Launch -1: 1500 journalists and more than half a million visitors expected

The alarm clock goes off at 04:45 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). At 05:30, breakfast. At 06:00, the ESA-DLR media delegation, consisting of a dozen journalists and a number of 'Public Affairs Officers' (as NASA calls them) is on the move. At 08:40, after obtaining additional accreditation at two badging stations, we finally arrive at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) press site. read more

Space Blog | 20. April 2011 | posted by Marco Trovatello

STS-134: Ready to blog

Image Credit: NASA.

Since yesterday's Flight Readiness Review (FRR) confirmed a "Go" for Endeavour's Launch on 29 April it's now certain that we (me, that is) will continue blogging here starting next Thursday, 28 April, where there will be first photo opportunities at Kennedy Space Center. Unfortunately my DLR colleague Thilo Kranz, fellow blogger and excellent shuttle photographer, will not be there this time. read more

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Space Blog | 25. February 2011 | posted by Marco Trovatello

(Almost) One image per second

Last night, Thilo sent back pictures of Discovery's launch that he took himself, including some taken with a remote camera. The latter were taken with the help of a sound sensor that triggered the camera, located directly at the launch pad.

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Space Blog | 24. February 2011

Launch Day

It's launch day! A very foggy and humid evening, very low clouds caused an almost mystic atmosphere at the launch site. Retraction of the Rotating Servicing Structure at the pad and the Vehicle Assembly Building were enshrouded by the fog. However, on launch day, the weather is good so far - sunny with some clouds passing by. Weather is 90% go and there are no technical issues needing particular attention. So at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, it was time for the astronauts to board onto the "astrovan" that will take them to the pad. This crew walk out is a famous media event that attracts crowds of hundreds cheering and waving at the crew as they board onto the van. After this brief but exciting event, they are off to the pad, where they will be boarding Discovery. Time to get ready for the launch! read more

Space Blog | 24. February 2011 | 1 Comment

L-1: one day to launch, for the fourth time

After nearly four months of postponement of the final mission for Space Shuttle Discovery, I am back on site to document it in photographs. On the day before the launch, the press site at Kennedy Space Center is already filling up again but it is much quieter now than it was before the original launch date in November 2010. There are significantly less NASA activities, such as the Tweet-up, and international guests on this occasion. Launches are so complex and elaborate that any technical or meteorological complications can cause plans to change at very short notice. This has been clearly demonstrated by the delay of STS 133. In the meantime, the countdown for Discovery is running mostly according to plan. read more

Space Blog | 21. February 2011 | posted by Marco Trovatello

Resuming ...

NASA quotes "Launch week" and we're on it again. At this very moment, Thilo is on the airplane to Florida to flickr and phlog the launch of STS-133. Even if on this photo (taken in November 2010) it looks like I am travelling with him: I am not, but will blog from Cologne instead. read more

Space Blog | 05. November 2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello | 1 Comment

STS-133 Launch Postponed - Blog paused

As most of you certainly know by now, the launch of space shuttle Discovery has been postponed to no earlier than Tuesday, 30 November 2010. The launch window closes Sunday, 5 December. For our little PhotoBlog this means we’ll pause, most likely until the start of STS-134. Many thanks for reading us! read more

Space Blog | 04. November 2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

Shuttle at night and camera in a bird box

Tonight (that means on the night of 3 November) the Space shuttle’s Rotating Service Structure has been rolled back and revealed Discovery in its entire beauty. The Flickr set shows the respecitve images plus some more, e.g. Thilo’s camera in a bird house, prepared for launch.


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