Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Endeavour Flies Again

Here's one way to watch your planet's climate! It's not the iPhone, but here's a bit of what this blogger has been working on. The climate display shows temperature, humidity, location, date and time. Putting barometric pressure here was considered, but that fits better on the navigation display along with altitude. Spacecraft displays should be graphical and easy to read.

The next Progress resupply mission to ISS has been rescheduled from August to July to bring replacements for the computers that crashed during Atlantis' mission. Launch of STS-118 has been moved up two days from August 9 to August 7. This will be the first flight of Endeavour since 2002. Since then she has received major upgrades including flat panel displays like this one and her own GPS navigation system.

Endeavour was built in the 1980's to replace Challenger. The three remaining shuttles are very precious, for today the parts do not exist to build another even if you wanted to. Captain Cook's Endeavour was the ultimate spare part, built from a converted collier. Perhaps someone will recognise where these parts came from. It is amazing what one can accomplish by hacking existing hardware and re-adapting it for a new function.

Endeavour's crew pose in training versions of their launch and entry suits. James Cook had a continual problem with islanders, who had never seen metal before, stealing nails from his boats. Humans love shiny things! Hopefully you will like the final product.

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Blogger nige said...

Very interesting, but it is surprising that it has taken so long. Weather satellites were some of the first things put into orbit, but they relied mainly on photographing the clouds with feeble attempts at infra-red mainly as a military spin-off, and only quite recently have really decent satellites been designed to study Earth's temperature accurately. This is tragic for the global warming controversy, which is marred by wide statistical scatter and hit-and-miss patchy data from a small number of isolated ground weather stations.

11:21 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Another good comment. It is only very recently that we have been accurately able to measure Earth's temperature. Scientists still can't even measure how much heat the planet produces. Weather forecasting is an immeasurable benefit of Space exploration.

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