back to article Brass band to trumpet last shuttle external tank rollout

The last space shuttle external tank rollout will take place later today in New Orleans, as Endeavour's STS-134 mission fuel beast is waved on its way to Florida by "hundreds of handkerchief-waving" Lockheed Martin Space Systems employees. The ceremony, featuring local brass band the Storyville Stompers, marks the end of an …


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  1. Kenny Millar


    Lets hope it wasn't an ex-Apple engineer who designed the antennae.

  2. Annihilator

    Go science

    "absorbs the 7.8 million pounds of thrust of the three space shuttle main engines and solid rocket boosters during a space shuttle launch"

    How does one absorb thrust?...

    1. Tenko
      Paris Hilton


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  3. Chris Miller

    Brass band?

    It's a band, Jim, but not as we know it - what's that saxothingy doing in there? Black Dyke it ain't (but I don't expect they use that name across the pond).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Brass Band? Indeed

      Technically, the saxothingy is made of brass so they're not wrong.

      But, erm, yes, Dyke they aint.

      1. Allan George Dyer


        A saxophone is a woodwind instrument, not brass, despite it's construction materials.

        "Woodwind" and "brass" are technical musical terms that should be used in accordance with their technical definitions when in the context of music. Next you'll be complaining that your computer's RAM doesn't bleat!

  4. MrT

    Isn't Atlantis...

    ... being prepped as the Launch-on-Demand backup vehicle for STS-134 - has that external tank already been delivered then?

    STS-135 still possible... but not without the tank.

    1. Mr Mark V Thomas

      Re: STS 135 mission

      Reportedly, they already have a spare External Tank in storage for said mission, if this mission ever does occur...

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @How does one absorb thrust

    One braces oneself and thinks of NASA?

  6. Yesnomaybe

    "Taller than a 15-story building and more than 27 feet in diameter, the external tank absorbs the 7.8 million pounds of thrust of the three space shuttle main engines and solid rocket boosters during a space shuttle launch. It feeds 145,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and 390,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen to the main engines."

    Why does it feed 390K gallons, rather than 290K I would expect? (H2O: 145K x 2 = 290K)

    Probably something obvious I haven't thought of, right?

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Different densities and the mixture ratio is 6:1

      LOx density 1.141

      LH2 density 0.071

      Optimal LOx/LH2 ratio 6:1

      1.141/0.071 = 16.1 so the volume of LH2 should be 2.68 times larger than that of LOx

      145k x 2.68 = 389k

      1. Yesnomaybe
        Thumb Up



  7. Mike Flugennock

    A Brass Band? Jazz Funeral band, more like...

    I trust this will be a traditonal New Orleans jazz funeral band. I can only think of what they could play, given the occasion. Perhaps "Saint James Infirmary Blues"? Who knows what for the "second line"?

    Pint of Dixie Beer, as I'm sure all those laid-off workers will need many of them.

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