Thursday, February 24, 2011

STS-133 Still On Schedule

BRD is still on 9132 kHz USB. An issue with slight damage to a tile near the hatch has been resolved by repairing the tile. An issue with a power bus has been worked around and cleared. Another issue appears to have been caused by sunlight, and is not a factor.

Weather remains go.

STS-133 Booster Vessels Heard on 9132 kHz USB

Both Booster Recovery Vessels, the Liberty Star and the Freedom Star, were just heard on 9132 kHz USB in radio checks with the Booster Recovery Director at Cape Canaveral.

Various listeners in the eastern US have also heard comm on 10780 kHz USB from Cape Radio. The 9132 shore side is a remote transmitter at "Andrews."

Astronauts are currently entering the vehicle.

Weather is now 90% go.

The launch is being blogged here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

STS-133 Counting for 2150 UTC Launch

The STS-133 count remains on schedule at this time.

Fueling of Discovery's external tank is expected to begin at approximately 1225 UTC. NASA TV coverage begins at 1215 UTC.

This flight delivers a storage module and a robot ("R2") to the ISS.

The STS-133 crew members are Commander Steven Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, Steve Bowen and Nicole Stott. Bowen replaced astronaut Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident in January.

Discovery will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and provide critical spare components to the International Space Station. This will be the 35th shuttle mission to the station. It is also Discovery's final flight.

The Eastern Test Range uses many frequencies for booster recovery and safety, but some recent ones are 5711, 6751, 9043, 9132, 10780, 11104, 11548, 13212, and 14837 kHz USB.

Weather forecast shows only a 20% possibility of preventing launch.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aero Frequencies for North African Trouble Spots

Major World Air Route Areas (MWARA):

3419 5652 8894 13273 17961

3467 5517 6574 11300 13288 17961

Regional and Domestic Air Route Areas (RDARA):

2562 (Egypt)
2815 (Libya)
3175 (Egypt)
5790 (Egypt)
5830 (Egypt)
5859 (Egypt)
6930 (Egypt)
10947 (Egypt)
13270 13276 13291 17913 17943 17955

STS-133 Launch Set For 2150 UTC on 24 Feb

Old news, but:

Feb. 18, 2011

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington

RELEASE: 11-047


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 4:50 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 24, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission is Discovery's final scheduled flight.

Discovery's launch date was announced Friday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle and station's equipment, support systems and personnel are ready.

The six astronauts for the mission will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) to the station. The PMM was converted from the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo and will provide additional storage for the station crew. Experiments in such fields as fluid physics, materials science, biology and biotechnology may be conducted inside the module.

The PMM also carries Robonaut 2, the first human-like robot in space, which will become a permanent resident of the station. In addition, the flight will deliver critical spare parts and the Express Logistics Carrier 4, an external platform that holds large equipment.

STS-133 Commander Steve Lindsey and his crew are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy on Sunday, Feb. 20, for final launch preparations. Joining Lindsey are Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Bowen and Drew will conduct two spacewalks to install new components and perform maintenance.

Discovery's launch will occur six hours after the planned docking of the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 "Johannes Kepler" to the space station.

STS-133 is the first mission planned for 2011. It is Discovery's 39th flight and 35th shuttle mission to the station. There are two other flights planned before the shuttle retires this year. For the schedule of upcoming missions to the International Space Station, visit:

For more information about the space station, visit:

Stott will send mission updates to her Twitter account:

For more information about the STS-133 mission, visit:


Friday, February 11, 2011

Egyptian Government Changes Hands

At approximately 1600 UTC, the VP of Egypt came on air for about 20 seconds to say the president had resigned, and a military council had taken power. This came a few hours after President Mubarak left the palace, and the military tanks guarding the perimeter turned their turrets so that the cannon faced inward at the facility, not outward at the crowd.

That probably says it all.

Egyptian MFA is probably the best catch right now. There might be some opchat in amid the encrypted messages. Keep in mind that often their ARQ teleprinting uses ATU80, an Arabic alphabet, instead of the standard ITA2.

Aero freqs might be good as well.

Along with the Middle East in general, Egypt will be a good country to keep tabs on until things shake out. This process could last well after the promised September elections.