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StretchMark

A BMWST Greeting from Dex in the International Space Station

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StretchMark

I know there's another thread about Dex going here, but it's not too often you get an email from space so I thought I would put it into a new thread. thumbsup.gif

 

BMWST Greeting:

Greetings from the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Atlantis! This has been an absolutely incredible experience. I’ll be sure to post a good ride tale upon our return, but I wanted to take the chance to say hello to everyone from orbit.

 

As you can imagine, we’ve been very busy since launch. We’ve completed all of our major mission objectives. The first priority was to deliver the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory module. I am proud to tell you that it is sitting about 10 feet behind me out the pilots window, firmly attached to it’s new home. Columbus gleams in the sun and the colors that it takes on depending on the sun’s incidence angle are indescribable. It’s a beautiful place, the ISS. I can’t wait to share more of it with you. For now, I need to go perform my duties in preparation to close the hatch to the station. We undock tomorrow and if consumables allow, I’ll fly a 360 deg loop around the station for a photo survey.

 

If the weather allows, we’ll land early on Wednesday morning in Florida. If not, we might need to use Edwards AFB as a backup site. Regardless, we’re all looking forward to seeing our families, but leaving this outpost and zero g is going to be hard.

 

Be safe,

Dex

2 New pictures:

 

Dex is on the left:

255553392_BFHba-M.jpg

 

In addition to his pilot duties, Dex was spacewalk coordinator for this mission. This picture was taken just after a successful space walk:

255553372_6RvJm-M.jpg

 

I know I'll be watching the landing wednesday on NASA TV. clap.gifclap.gif

 

Go Dex Go!

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HappyMan

This has been so cool to watch and know that Dex is up there. Can't wait for the ride tail. thumbsup.gif

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Bud

THANK YOU for the NASA TV link.

 

Wow, watching real time from space is something everyone should do. Love technology that makes all of this possible.

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Boffin

That is so cool, I can't wait to read the ride tale! Go Dex!

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RightSpin

Mark, thanks so much for posting this.

 

Dex, have a great ride home. smile.gif

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Bud

Just heard Dex live!

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hANNAbONE

fLIPPIN Awesome..!!

 

Go Dex Go..!

 

thumbsup.gifclap.gifthumbsup.gifclap.gif

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Francois_Dumas

... and thank you for putting 'our' little toy up there !!!!! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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StretchMark

Mark, thanks so much for posting this.

 

Dex, have a great ride home.

Steve,

I'm disappointed. I was expecting a jib-jab link with all the astronauts heads on chorus line girls or something like that grin.gif

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keithb

Only three words needed to describe this: JUST PLAIN COOL!

 

Too bad we didn't think to send him up with a BMWST sticker to put on the shuttle window. That would be EXTRA COOL!

Edited by keithb

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KMG_365
Mark, thanks so much for posting this.

 

Dex, have a great ride home.

Steve,

I'm disappointed. I was expecting a jib-jab link with all the astronauts heads on chorus line girls or something like that grin.gif

Good lord, don't encourage him! lmao.gif

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azkaisr

Worthy

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RightSpin
Mark, thanks so much for posting this.

 

Dex, have a great ride home.

Steve,

I'm disappointed. I was expecting a jib-jab link with all the astronauts heads on chorus line girls or something like that grin.gif

 

Well, the nights not over. grin.gif

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Joel

Incredible clap.gif

 

Godspeed, Dex!

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ESokoloff
If the weather allows, we’ll land early on Wednesday morning in Florida. If not, we might need to use Edwards AFB as a backup site.

 

Hey Dex, looks like the weather at the Cape will not work for you.

Better fly that brick of yours into Edwards cool.gif

 

Ok-Ok so I'm fibbing.

Sure would be a treat to see you land that thing tho.

 

Dip your wing when you hit the California coast..... I'll wave wave.gif

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TEWKS

I get such a kick out of telling people that we have an astronaut in our BMWST club. Go Dex!

 

Pat

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

This is so phenomenally cool! It's like I know him...sorta...kinda, but he's part of this community and I get to see these very cool shots. Inspiring! clap.gif

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WURTY

Totally awesome..

 

Did you see that " Marty Hill Slept Here " sticker on the nose cone of the Shuttle ?

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marcopolo

Incredible journey, and an inspiring tale. All the best for your return. thumbsup.gif

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Totally awesome..

 

Did you see that " Marty Hill Slept Here " sticker on the nose cone of the Shuttle ?

 

Whoops, I thought it said WWMHD...

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russell_bynum

F***ing cool.

 

Thanks for sharing that, Mark.

 

Dex...the offer still stands...detour to Edwards and dinner's on us. grin.gif

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Twisties

Sounds like they are gearing up Edwards so as to get them out of the sky ASAP so they can shoot down the satellite ASAP. However, I've yet to figure what the one has to do with the other.

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JerryMather

That is so cool, thanks for posting it for us. thumbsup.gif

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ESokoloff
Sounds like they are gearing up Edwards so as to get them out of the sky ASAP so they can shoot down the satellite ASAP. However, I've yet to figure what the one has to do with the other.

 

My understanding is they don't want STS-122 to have to be exposed to any possible debris from the satellite.

 

 

So if he does land at Edward's, who all is going out?

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azkaisr

IF I can work out the details I may try to head out there. Would take the 300 most likely

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russell_bynum
Sounds like they are gearing up Edwards so as to get them out of the sky ASAP so they can shoot down the satellite ASAP. However, I've yet to figure what the one has to do with the other.

 

My understanding is they don't want STS-122 to have to be exposed to any possible debris from the satellite.

 

 

So if he does land at Edward's, who all is going out?

 

We have something we can't move on Wednesday morning, but if it's after that and we have time to get there, we'll be there.

 

Anyone know what time they're supposed to land?

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Twisties

Just to clarify what I said, they haven't said Edwards for sure, its more the first available landing site weather wise.

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ESokoloff

I found this info...

 

From Space.com news:

 

HOUSTON — NASA will call up a backup landing strip for the space shuttle Atlantis next week to give the U.S. military more leeway to shoot down an ailing spy satellite, mission managers said Friday.

The space agency will activate a backup runway at California's Edwards Air Force Base on Feb. 20 in addition to the shuttle's primary landing site at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to give the U.S. Navy the largest window possible in which to launch a missile at the dead satellite, said Sally Davis, lead space station flight director for the shuttle flight.

"We're going to open up Dryden at the Edwards Air Force Base to ensure that we land at the earliest opportunity, Davis told reporters as she read a NASA statement here at the Johnson Space Center. "The reason is to give the military the biggest possible window and maximum flexibility to ensure the success of the satellite intercept."

Atlantis is currently scheduled to land at the KSC runway at 9:06 a.m. EST (1406 GMT) on Wednesday, with a second opportunity available at 10:40 a.m. EST (1540 GMT). By activating the backup runway at Edwards, a third landing possibility is now available at 12:12 p.m. EST (1712 GMT).

Pentagon officials announced Thursday that it plans to fire a Standard Missile 3 from a U.S. Navy Aegis ship in the days following Atlantis' landing to destroy a U.S. reconnaissance satellite before it crashes to Earth.

"So we're going to bring the shuttle down before we even consider this option," U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during the Thursday announcement.

The classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite weighs 5,015 pounds (2,275 kilograms) and is about the size of a bus. It launched in December 2006, but suffered a major malfunction and is rapidly falling toward Earth. Eager skywatchers can observe the satellite in orbit as it flies overhead.

If left on its own, at least 50 percent of the satellite's mass would survive reentry — including a tank full of toxic hydrazine fuel — prompting concerns that debris could endanger the public should it fall on a populated area, Cartwright said.

The window in which to destroy the satellite just before it reenters the Earth's atmosphere — and still limit the risk of secondary debris endangering unmanned spacecraft, the International Space Station (ISS) and the public on the ground — closes just days after Atlantis' planned Feb. 20 landing.

NASA traditionally only targets the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at its KSC for the first landing day of a shuttle mission because it cuts at least a week and $1.7 million from the spacecraft's turnaround costs for subsequent flights.

Backup landing strips are available at Edwards and, less desireably, White Sands Space Harbor in White Sands, N.M. The New Mexico landing strip is less equipped to receive a landing shuttle and ferry it back to NASA's KSC launch site than the agency's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards.

NASA chief Michael Griffin said Thursday that the effort to shoot down the defunct spy satellite will not endanger Atlantis or the international, three-astronaut crew serving aboard the space station. Top space station officials reiterated that point today.

 

here

 

Sounds like too much of a crap shoot to me for Edward's, tho if the odds are stacked in favor of Edward's I would consider going out on stand by status.

Should know more on Wednesday but the last weather report I saw for the cape looked like good conditions.

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leikam

Very cool. Thanks for passing this on Mark.

 

And Dex, thanks for taking the time to write.

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jackie

That is flippin' awesome! what a ride!

When I rode my SS3000 to Daytona Beach Florida I treated myself to a sidetrip to the Kennedy Space Center. I'm dreaming of space travel!

kennedy.jpg

 

lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

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russell_bynum

Sweet.

 

OK, so what's the story for regular schmucks showing up at Edwards to watch a landing?

 

Do they let us get anywhere near the thing (would we actually be able to see the landing) or would we be better off watching it on TV?

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Marty Hill

Way to go Dex. Hope to see you again soon. wave.gif

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randys

So far the Kennedy weather forecast is looking good, storms moving through today, then only 20% chance of anything the rest of the week.

 

I will be watching for a wing waggle from the shuttle as it falls, er, glides over the office!

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WURTY

If your going out to Edwards to get a glimpse then your best bet would be to go to the town of North Edwards for your viewing pleasure. Just north of hwy 58 and the base properity.

That is unless they let the public on the base grounds.

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ESokoloff
OK, so what's the story for regular schmucks showing up at Edward's to watch a landing?

 

Do they let us get anywhere near the thing (would we actually be able to see the landing) or would we be better off watching it on TV?

 

I forgot about 9-11( bncry.gif), but in the good old days the base would allow visitors in & NASA had bleachers set up for public viewing.

To be honest, I don't know what post 9-11 policy is.

 

After looking at the weather for the Cape & understanding the urgency to shoot down that dead bird, I think the activation of Edward's is merely redundancy protocol.

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mrduck

There is a public viewing area that's way out on the east end of the lakebed,and you don't have to go thru any base checkpoints to get there. However,the shuttle lands quite a ways away so you're not gonna get close. But the twin sonic booms it makes coming in are real intense!

 

They're not gonna land out here unless it's really bad in Florida, and we all know the weather is always sunny and warm therethumbsup.gif

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questrider

Sweet. Very cool. cool.gif

 

So, if I go outside and wave, Mark, will Dex know its me? grin.gif

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Bud

Right now Dex is making a fly around the ISS. Neat pics.

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sgendler

I believe eats at Domingo's mexican restaurant nearby is something of a shuttle tradition and is likely your best bet for actually getting a few words with Dex on the day. But I only know that because of another astronaut thread over on advrider, so it could be completely false.

 

--sam

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StretchMark

Some really funny comments over on the ADV thread.

 

First Landing Opportunity:

Wed., Feb. 20, 9:07 a.m EST

Kennedy Space Center

 

NASA.TV coverage starts at 7:30am EST

 

Should be Cool thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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mrduck
I believe eats at Domingo's mexican restaurant nearby is something of a shuttle tradition and is likely your best bet for actually getting a few words with Dex on the day. But I only know that because of another astronaut thread over on advrider, so it could be completely false.

 

--sam

 

 

 

Domingos is in Boron and somewhat of a tradition for shuttle crews to go there after returning from the mission.

 

But they gotta land here at Edwards first

 

 

 

wave.gif

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beemerman2k

Awesome!!! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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russell_bynum

So far everything looks good for landing at 9:07AM EST tomorrow. Video on NASA TV.

 

Time for Dex to do some more of that Pilot stuff and bring it on home. clap.gif

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russell_bynum

They just had their morning wakeup call. (a Sousa march) Dex answered it and thanked a whole bunch of people....his family, the crew, etc...but no mention of BMWST.COM.

 

What the hell, man?

 

grin.gif

 

GO DEX!!!

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russell_bynum

Deorbit burn is in progress.

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Ken H.

Why does it make two sonic booms in sequence?

 

Just heard that Dex was manually flying it for a bit.

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Ken H.

Touchdown! Welcome home Dex!

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randys

Damn astronauts sure know how to wake a person up!

 

Sonic booms just over my house

 

touchdown!

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StretchMark

Woo hoo! clap.gif

 

Awesome thumbsup.gif

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