Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134 launch: BB liveblog on-site, SpaceFlightNow webcast with Miles O'Brien


32 Responses to “Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134 launch: BB liveblog on-site, SpaceFlightNow webcast with Miles O'Brien”

  1. Sekino says:

    Thanks for tuning in to Boing Boing’s royal wedding coverage: the marriage of a spacecraft with her sky.


    Thank you SO much for this fantastic alternative.

  2. putty says:

    Steven Young from SpaceFlightNow explains what we know about why Endeavour’s launch today was scrubbed. Short version: Not the weather, but reportedly because of a problem with one of the orbiter’s Auxillary Power Units

    Which would spell certain disaster if they were to find themselves trapped in one of the Empire’s tractor beams!

  3. Kevin says:

    Hi Xeni! I was at Discovery’s last launch at the Saturn V viewing area and I had zero wireless internet there. All cell towers were swamped. You are lucky to have connections.

    Enjoy the liftoff! Thanks for live-blogging.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      SpaceFlightNow rolled their own connectivity, thank goodness. The 3G and 4G networks get swamped as more people show up.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In mix of ambient and experimental music mixed live mission audio.

  5. tp1024 says:

    Two down, just one more to go.

    Those guys might actually get some space-flying done once those white elephants are out of the way.

  6. hassenpfeffer says:

    Glad the MacBook AIR is living up to its name…

  7. victorvodka says:

    am i the only person on earth who was tired of the space shuttle before the FIRST launch? it’s a space pickup truck, for christ’s sake. (my father worked at nasa and had a similar disparaging attitude, pissing off colleagues in meetings by referring to it as “the space shovel”)

    • TSE says:

      Sounds like you and your dad are some real life of the party types.

    • Brainspore says:

      it’s a space pickup truck, for christ’s sake.

      The shuttle program certainly had its share of flaws, limitations, and misguided priorities… but how can you say something like “space pickup truck” as if that idea isn’t totally awesome?

      “Yeah, me and some buddies are drivin’ down to Florida this weekend to help move a couple of Commsats. Into SPACE.

  8. logicblog says:

    Good luck Xeni!

    Thanks for covering this.

  9. SamSam says:

    Gusts are so forceful out here that my Mac Air just blew right off the table and hit the ground when I stepped away for a moment.

    They should turn that into a Macbook Air commercial….

  10. TSE says:


  11. Kevin says:

    Are you staying for the next attempt on Sunday?

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      There is no word yet of a launch attempt on Sunday. But if that’s when they do reschedule, I will endeavour (snort) to be here for it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    >I asked this last night over Twitter, and I’ll ask you good folk here: What do atheists say when they want to wish someone (or someshuttle) a good flight? “Sciencespeed”? Your thoughts in the comments, please.

    Unless you’re trying to be sanctimonious, I think godspeed is just fine. English is full of words from many origins. By the way, if you have a problem with godspeed, you might also consider eliminating “sanctimonious” from your vocabulary too – look it up. “Sciencespeed” is about sensible as freedom fries.

  13. joelfinch says:

    Godspeed Endeavour!

    If atheists had to avoid using words with a religious derivation, we’d need to rename the days of the week, and a thousand other things. Intent, not etymology!

    • mccrum says:

      I concur. I’m not avoiding the word Godspeed because it mentions a fictional character that billions believe in, thus making up it’s own word though the years. We’re not out there saying “God’s Speed Atlantis!” (And even if we were, who’s not to say that we’re not wishing them the speed of Mercury [god, not spacecraft]?)

      If it makes you feel better, throw out a “Goodspeed Atlantis,” but then you seem just as bad as the ultra-religious people who write out G-d because they consider it blasphemy to write out the whole word.

  14. tallpat says:

    What do atheists say when they want to wish someone (or someshuttle) a good flight?

    I would say “bon voyage”, but I’m not French.

  15. penguinchris says:

    I know you can see launches from quite a distance away, but is there any difficulty getting “close” if I wanted to go see it? I assume the crowds are bigger than normal.

    I’m making a cross-country drive for unrelated reasons and with a very open schedule and very soon, and while Florida is a *bit* out of the way for a New York – California trip, this would definitely be worth seeing when it actually launches (assuming it will be a few days until a re-launch). I won’t be available for the final shuttle launch so it would be my last chance.

    Well, it’s ~1500 miles out of the way to be more precise, which is about $240 worth of gas alone in my car, so maybe I can’t afford it… but I’ll certainly regret it later.

    • mccrum says:

      If I recall from 1991 (what up Atlantis STS-37!), you find yourself a nice spot across the street from the McDonald’s in Titusville (Google gives the address as 3835 South Washington Avenue Titusville, FL 32780-5847) and you sleep in your car. This puts you just across the bay and it is truly awesome.

      If you don’t go, I’ll even regret it. $240 is totally a bargain.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think a nice secular humanist send-off to someone would be, “Keep your wits about you!”

  17. Kosmoid says:

    To me, the most fascinating aspect of the space shuttle is how they can manage a dead stick landing with a 2,000 ton spacecraft.

    The Airbus A380 has a maximum take-off weight of approx. 715 tons.

    (Is this right? I’m going by the listings on Wikipedia.)

    • Guysmiley says:

      The for landing the Shuttle Orbiter has a maximum landing weight of 230,000 lbs or 115 tons.

      At LAUNCH when you include the solid rocket boosters and topped off external fuel tank the entire stack weighs 4.4 million pounds.

  18. grikdog says:

    Godspeed? Who the hell says godspeed these days? “CUL8R G8R” works for me.

  19. Maggie Pax says:

    I would say, “Ad astra!” or use Heinlein’s phrase, “Hot jets!”

  20. Ar-Ghost says:

    Am I the only one upset at the wasted time and effort this technical glitch has caused? Have we become the laughingstock of space programs?

    • Guysmiley says:

      Yes, I think you are. Launch delays are not uncommon and if Challenger and Columbia have taught NASA anything it’s to err on the side of safety and ignore the pressure to “look good”.

      A failed APU fuel heater could cause significant damage if the hydrazine inside froze while in orbit and ruptured the tank. They have these tests and checks in place for a reason.

    • SamSam says:

      Do any of the other space programs laugh at us? I seriously doubt it. The US already puts more humans into space every year than every other country combined. (ref) How does being diligent and safe make the US into a laughing stock?

      Or maybe you were joking. I can’t tell.

    • Brainspore says:

      Have we become the laughingstock of space programs?

      Yeah, they laugh… and then NASA is all like “Oh, we’re sorry. Is our reusable space transport not as good as your reusable space transport? Yeah, well, you’ve probably got a way better reusable space transport.”

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