Friday, July 14, 2006

---Israeli Warship Hit, STS-121 Prepares for Landing 

My Way News[AP] - Hezbollah Drone Batters Israeli Warship
There are a number of confusing accounts of an attack on one of the Israeli warships near Beirut. The first stories of the incident describe an attack by “an unmanned aircraft rigged with explosives”, a “new weapon” in the Hezbollah arsenal. The attack coincided with a broadcast message from Hezbollah leader Nasrallah, who gloated about the attack after escaping injury as his residence and the terrorist group’s headquarters were destroyed by the Israelis.
That a modern warship, benefiting from 40 years of experience since anti-ship missile development revolutionized naval warfare, could be successfully attacked by some kind of makeshift lightplane or low-tech drone seems extremely unlikely.
The warship---described as a missile ship with “several dozen” crew--- was on fire and had lost steering according to early reports, and four crew members were missing. The ship has now been towed back to Haifa, where it should be possible to determine the exact nature of the attack.
Meanwhile [FOXNews.com[AP] - Ahmadinejad Says Israel Does Not Have Power to Harm Iran - The Mideast] Iranian leader Abadabadoobajab appeared to be encouraging Israel to harm him and/or his nation. I would be satisfied with a communications blackout of his incessant blithering.

STS-121 prepares for return
Spaceflight Now | STS-121 Shuttle Report | Shuttle boss optimistic about Discovery hydraulics issue
The Discovery crew is making preparations to leave ISS and return to Kennedy Space Center. NASA is evaluating the apparent leak in the fuel system for APU #1 and its impact on the landing. Oddly enough, only APU1 can operate the landing gear hydraulically. If it has to be shut down, the gear will have to be deployed for landing with pyrotechnic charges. This evidently isn’t that unusual, though.
SPACE.com -- NASA Confident Potential Leak Won’t Hinder Shuttle Landing
There have been some major leaks in the history of the Shuttle program, including one on STS-9 that set two APU’s on fire. I can recall seeing a poster presentation on a wall of Bldg. 13 at JSC with photos of APU turbines which exploded in flight, which resulted in a redesign effort---the details escape me at this point. That’s why there are three APU’s onboard.
Unfortunately, it appears that the rest of the hydraulic system---designed by airline practice in the ‘70’s (and see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_232) ---is not truly redundant. It appears to me that there are several possible single point failures---such as an event which severs the brake lines on a main gear strut---which would result in loss of all hydraulic pressure, and the vehicle and crew. I’m open to discussion on the subject. It’s too bad that I’ve become severely allergic to sci.space.* newsgroups.

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