Tuesday, April 31, 1994 Audio: 202/555-1788
This is NASA Headline
News for Friday, April 31.....
The Congressional Budget Explorer Module
(CBEM) is scheduled for installation in
the orbiter Titanic's payload bay this afternoon.
Technicians resolved an earlier problem
with hydraulic line pressure when it was
discovered that several fragments of lobbyist
had become stuck in a flapper valve. The
127-ton CBEM payload will mark the beginning
of NASA's ambitious decade-long "Mission
to Fort Knox."
A Flight Eagerness Review is scheduled for
tomorrow and Thursday.
The current target launch date is Friday,
May 11. If no further problems
are uncovered in the FER, the launch will
probably be pushed back a few days anyway
just for the heck of it. The CBEM launch
window ends on Tuesday, May 21, when Venus
rises in Aquarius and Neptune's influence
is no longer balanced, violating critical
Astral launch criteria.
Meanwhile, the Velikovsky
spacecraft is in good health on its journey
Venus. It's now 122 million miles from Venus
and about 28 feet from Earth. Engineers
at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory report
that failure to actually launch Velikovsky
has had little impact on its ability to
perform the primary pseudoscience missions.
Earlier problems with voltage fluctuations
in the Wide Eyed/Credulous Subject Scanner
are being monitored carefully. "I'm
pretending this is really exciting,"
says JPL team leader Geraldo R. Spencer.
In other planetary mission news, technicians
at the Deep Space Network installation in
Canberra, Australia have identified the
probable cause of signal weakness in the
primary 90-meter antenna: the dish was
apparently mounted upside-down. A tentative
schedule and budget
estimate for correcting the mount is underway.
Coordinator Michael J. Dundee was quoted
in the Australian weekly "P*** Off
Mate" as saying that this mystifying
problem had never been
encountered before, but was probably due
to reliance on American antenna design parameters.
"I'm still not convinced that anything's
wrong, but we'll try it the other way and
Leak checks are underway
on the Contractor Information Network (CIN)
at Huntsville, Alabama. Technicians at the
Huntsville Program Survival Facility (PSF)
expect to begin CIN closeouts by Thursday.
The system will then be purged for use.
Aerobuck Weekly reports that in testimony
last Thursday before the House Space and
Storm Door Subcommittee, NASA Administrator
Roald Sagdeev testified that a recent re-re-reshuffling
and "options devaluation" would
enable Space Station to proceed despite
the latest round of budget cuts, but warned
this was "absolutely the last cut that
can be sustained." Citing internal
NASA studies, the publication listed
several cost cutting measures under consideration,
including a two year
stretchout of the Ground Telerobotic Administrator
(GTA) subsystem, and eliminating atmospheric
pressure in the one remaining crew module,
which would also be downsized from 23 feet
to 16 feet. The name of the station would
be officially changed from "Freedom"
to "Fred" to fit the new bulkhead
The Soviets and Japanese
jointly announced a contract with Hilton
Hotels last week, to provide a 335-room
passenger module for the international Sakharov
Space Station currently under construction
in Earth orbit.
Malawi became the 78th nation in space Sunday,
launching an 1820-pound satellite into orbit
atop an Indonesian Merlata II booster. This
launcher now has a record of 69 successes
in 71 launches.
The last remaining Scout rocket was lost
in a launch pad accident near Wallops Island
Proving Ground last week, according to a
Technicians apparently made an error in
connecting a hydraulic feed line
to the rocket as it awaited payload checkout,
connecting it to the purge valve for a nearby
Toxic Waste Holding Facility instead. The
first stage appears to have partially dissolved
and melted itself to the concrete apron;
EPA officials have ordered the site sealed
pending checkout by an Emergency Response
* * * * * * * *
Here's the broadcast
schedule for Public Affairs events on NASA
Deflect TV. All times are Eastern.
Tuesday, April 31.....
11:30 A.M. "Budget Cut Spinoffs"
- classroom teaching aid
Monday, May 0....
9:00 A.M. Colloquium on Soviet Inferiority
10:00 A.M. Three
Letter Acronym (TLA) List Update (LU)
11:00 A.M. Pre-launch
12:00 A.M. Post-scrub
Friday, April 35....
4:00 A.M. Replay of the Administrator's
Good Friday speech:
"The Crucifixion: A Lesson for NASA?"
5:30 A.M. Livestock
6:00 A.M. Astronaut
All events and times
and missions and appropriations are subject
to change without notice.