- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
Astronauts woken up by second computer failure
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. (AP) - After getting a little free time Thursday, the last space shuttle crew was woken up to deal with a second computer failure on Atlantis.
The astronauts switched to another of the five main computers on board, and NASA said the shuttle was in “stable condition with no concerns for the crew’s safety.” A computer had also failed on Sunday.
The crew had gone to bed late Thursday afternoon, but Mission Control woke them up about 1 1/2 hours later because of the failed computer. NASA said they would troubleshoot the problem on Friday.
Sunday’s computer glitch occurred just before the shuttle linked up with the International Space Station. Engineers said the problem was likely caused by a bad switch throw. That computer was working again Monday after new software was installed.
The check-and-balance network of computers provides redundancy during the most critical phases of the mission, and will be needed when Atlantis lands next week to close out the 30-year shuttle era.
Earlier Thursday, the crew got some time off after a hectic week to savor their historic experience.
“This is one of the first days we’ve been able to take a deep breath and appreciate what we’re doing up here,” said shuttle commander, Christopher Ferguson.
Until Thursday, the workload in orbit was so intense that the four astronauts had only fleeting moments of realizing “wow, this is really it,” astronaut Rex Walheim said in a series of TV interviews.
“But boy, it’s going to hit when we land and wheels stop,” he added.
On Friday afternoon, the 10 astronauts aboard the linked Atlantis and space station will get another break from their chores to take a phone call from President Barack Obama.
Before kicking back and relaxing, Ferguson said the space station delivery mission was going well and that the back-and-forth cargo hauling was three-quarters completed.
“Atlantis is purring like a kitten,” he said. “I think she’s about 25 years or so old, but she performs just like a newborn.”
Atlantis first rocketed into orbit in 1985. This is its 33rd flight and the 135th shuttle mission overall. Atlantis will join Discovery and Endeavour in retirement, following its landing next week.
The space shuttle delivered nearly 5 tons of food, clothes and other household goods in a giant canister to the space station _ an entire year’s worth of supplies. NASA wants the orbiting lab well stocked in case private companies fall behind in their effort to take over shuttle supply runs. The first such commercial flight is expected by year’s end.
While the unmanned cargo ships are smaller than NASA’s shuttles, Ferguson pointed out there are many more of them, launching from all over the world. But the craft burn up in the atmosphere after they undock.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow