I'm gonna take a wild guess that Julie is the one 2nd from right.
Either that or NASA is a /very/ equal-opportunities employer and doesn't mind its pilots wearing drag...
Space shuttle Endeavour is in "excellent shape" to launch tomorrow on its delayed STS-127 mission to the International Space Station. The 16-day mission will feature five space walks to fit the final components of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo lab. NASA has released a fine "Right Stuff" style snap of the crew …
Is there a technical reason for the seemingly random launch time? I'm (perhaps naively) assuming that it's not a case of launching at that precise time so they can fly in a perfectly straight line to the docking port on the ISS.
Would a nice round 7:40 make any noticeable difference?
I should probably make a quip about it not being rocket science, but somehow that seems wrong...
So, NASA stupidly didn't give you the lineup of names to go with the photo. That's no excuse for lazy journalism. It took me 2 minutes to put together the lineup using Yahoo image search.
Left to Right:
1. Mission Specialist Tim Kopra
2. Mission Specialist Tom Marshburn
3. Mission Specialist Christopher Cassidy
4. Commander Mark Polansky
5. Mission Specialist Dave Wolf
6. Julie Payette
7. Pilot Doug Hurley
'Is there a technical reason for the seemingly random launch time? I'm (perhaps naively) assuming that it's not a case of launching at that precise time so they can fly in a perfectly straight line to the docking port on the ISS.'
Pretty much it - the launch window is when the orbital plane of the ISS intersects Kennedy. It's actually a window opening at 19:34 and closing again at 19.44. The Shuttle tries to launch right in the middle of that window to reduce the amount of maneuvering needed to intercept the ISS. There's a similar length window open for each of the next few days.
The Shuttle's launch window is further constrained as NASA tries to launch when the transAtlantic abort sites are in daylight. If the Shuttle has a major failure - such as the loss of two engines before main engine cut-off it doesn't have enough velocity to go once around the Earth and return to the US, and it's going too fast and too high to return to Kennedy, so the plan would be to hop across the Atlantic and land the orbiter at one of several extremely long runways including RAF Fairford, Zaragoza and Keflavik.
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