by wjw on April 30, 2011

The shuttle launch was scrubbed due to an electrical problem, so now either it’ll be Monday or it won’t.  So either we’ll hang around till then or not.  And that’s where we’re at now, until we learn something different.  Or not.

Here’s the most coherent description of the problem I’ve found so far:

“If there’s a thermostat that’s failed such that it might have an open circuit in it, not necessarily a short circuit but just an open, that would open up to ground,” he said.

“These things are wired together such that all the heaters on the front half of that string share a common ground…So a single failure on one thermostat could still cause this problem.”

“The troubleshooting involves taking in a can of (compressed air) and spraying it on the thermostat to see if we can force a lower temperature on the thermostat and have it kick on,” Leinbach said. “If that works, we might have just a thermostat that’s out of kilter and we can replace that thermostat and we’ll be in good shape.

“If it’s more than that, then it could be in a box called the LCA. the load control assembly, which is essentially a box full of switches. If there’s something wrong in that box and we have to change out that box, that’s a much more extensive job. It would take us quite some time to do that.”

The astronauts weren’t told of the scrub till they were already in their van heading for the shuttle, and we weren’t told till we showed up at the Space Center with our shiny VIP tickets clutched in our eager hands.  Rather than leave via the traffic jam of 700,000 disappointed space geeks returning home, we spent the day at the Space Center enjoying the exhibits.

That’s two days at the Space Center now.  We’re experts.  We could be guides and charge money.  And if we have to go through this all again on Monday, we’ll be panhandling to beat the band.

On the plus side, we attended the Fincke Family Party last night, with all of the Finckes on hand except for Astronaut Mike, who was in quarantine so we won’t give him measles or something.   I met the lovely and lively Renita, Mike’s wife, who I’d previously known only in email.  There were drinks, a fajita bar, and bhangra music, so what more do we need?

Well, a launch.  A launch would be good.

I’ve just turned to CNN to see if I could find any more information, but they seem to be showing some kind of horror film, the Invasion of the Overdressed Frog-Faced People or something . . .

Oh wait!  It’s a rerun of the royal wedding!

Oh, never mind . . .

Dave Bishop April 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

You see Walter, you can’t escape a Royal Wedding! I’ve been working hard at escaping the Royal Wedding – but last night someone actually asked me what I thought of ‘the dress’?

Somebody shoot me – please!

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