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NASA Direct Webcast: STS-114 Mission Questions

Ted from Dover, NH
In the event STS-114 does not launch in July, what will be the launch window in September?
Kimberlee from Gainesville
What is the most significant finding that you have uncovered in the Space Shuttle experiments?
What exactly are your thoughts in the first 10 seconds of flight?
Carl from Waterville, Oh
Not since President Kennedy has a flight into space carried so much pressure. How important is it to be a part of this mission that is basically as important as when Russia launched Gagarin, or when Apollo 13 returned?
Jayson from Samarra, Iraq
Being stationed in Iraq - does the shuttle ever cross over Iraq and is it possible that troops on the ground could spot the shuttle in the sky?
Adam from Pleasanton
What are the pre-launch rituals for the crew?
Don from Hoodsport, WA
Has anyone considered the application of urethane foam to the leading edge of the wing to protect it from foam detaching from the main fuel tank? It would add a neglible amount of weight to the vehicle and could spread the force of impact to the point that it may not penetrate or otherwise damage the wing edge.
michael from novato
Has NASA upgraded the carbon tiles to be able to withstand impacts?
Edward from monroiva
If they find a critical tile or tiles missing and they can't repair them how will they return to earth?
keith Brown from Albuquerque
Could a liquid coating be sprayed on the heat shields to enhance the heat durability like the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) platinum alummide coating applied to turbine blades?
Joe from Rochester, NY
What criteria were used to choose the crew for STS-114 and for other shuttle missions? Is there more focus on education or military experience?
Sonny from Ridgeway
Of the three remaining issues to be addressed from the original 15 issues identified, which one poses the most serious safety risks and at what time during the mission?
barry from Bolton
Why is Discovery being launched from pad 39b instead of 39a?
Lesly from Norwalk, CT
Will there be an amateur radio operator onboard?
John from San Pedro,CA
Do we now have a contingency rescue plan implemented from earth to life boat the shuttle crew back in case of a damaged spacecraft?
Michael from Pelsall, UK
What fundamental lessons have been learned from the processing activities undertaken since the shuttle's first flight in 1981 that can be applied to the next generation of reusable spacecraft?
Thomas from Jacksonville,FL
After the safe launch and return of STS-114, will NASA resume a somewhat more normal launch schedule?
Thomas from Jacksonville,FL
Do you feel that after two years of safety-related improvements the orbiter is a safer vehicle? And would you, knowing the risks involved, have flown in a shuttle without these changes made?
Dee from San Diego
Where is the shuttle scheduled to land?
John from Allentown
Is it feasible to have a drone on board the shuttle to test repair tiles that could be send back to earth to see if it is successful?
Ed from Ralegh, N.C.
I am amazed at how seemingly small the bipod attachments that connect the orbiter to the external fuel tank appear in NASA photos. How do they take the weight of the orbiter, and the load of lift-off, without failing?
Brian from Sugar Hill, GA
How do launch date setbacks, both controllable (i.e rollback) and non-controllable (i.e weather) affect the personnel, and how do such setbacks affect the training and preperation for the mission?
How does the crew call KSC and how do they call the crew?
MARTIN from dublin ireland
In what year will the space station be completed?
Jonathon from Abilene, TX
In the event that something does go wrong in this space flight, God forbid, would this be the end of the Space Shuttle Program?
Michael from Santa Clarita
What are your thoughts about this particular mission?
Yesenia from Santa Clarita
What do you see for the future of space exploration and travel?
Ernesto from Santa Clarita
Do you think that children will ever be allowed to travel into space with the astronauts?
Patrecia from Whittier
I teach first grade. How can I ignite the love of space exploration in my students?
Jeremy from Greenacres, FL
I have a thousand questions, most of which will be answered, so I just wanted to give everyone my best wishes and prayers. Good luck and my daughter and I will be watching.
Jeremy Knox from Greenacres, FL
Given the volatile weather we had last year, have there been any changes to cancellation policies due to inclement weather? Will the launched get scrubbed earlier than normal if bad weather threatens?
Kim from Pembroke Pns,FL
Will any of the Educator Astronauts be involved in the "Return to Flight?"
Granville from San Jose, CA
Granville (age 5) wants to know how long it takes to place fuel in the shuttle tanks and when would you do this?
Kelly from Milwaukee, WI
What do you think will be the most memorable event in the mission?
Chris Norman from Bristol UK
If the C band radar or other indications show significant debris separation on launch, will you divert Discovery before it enters orbit? Have you defined "significant debris"?
Glenn from Tucson
With only Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, what impact does this have on the timeline for completion of the Station, and have there been any discussions on the building of a 6th orbiter to bring the fleet back up to 4 Shuttles?
Glenn from Tucson
How long would it take you to prepare either Atlantis or Endeavour to launch in the event that something happens to prevent Discovery's return to earth or return to the Station and how long can the consumables be stretched out on board Discovery?
Shiryle from Little Egg Harb
What are the safety issues being addressed with this mission concerning solar activity (CME) and the potential radiation exposure of our astronauts during the routine inspection and repair of the shuttle while in orbit?
Gary from Springfield, Oh
Have there been many things throughout the space program seen in space that are without explanation, like other spacecraft?
John from Seminole FL
Once on NASA TV we saw great stuff you filmed during an ascent on Endeavour. Is it available to the public? It was probably the best NASA film work I've ever seen an astronaut film!
Becca from Atlanta, GA
What payloads will Discovery be carrying on this flight and will any of the astronauts be staying on the Space Station?
jeffrey from Laredo
If something goes wrong, will there be a back up plan?
jeffrey from Laredo,TX
If anything were to happen during landing through the atmosphere, would you have heat protective space suits?
Terry from Fairfield
If STS-114 is launched on July 13th from pab 39B, what is the earliest date that another shuttle could be ready for a rescue launch if that became necessary?
jeffrey from laredo,TX
If an accident were to happen on the International Space Station and there is no Space Shuttle to land, what would happen to the astronauts on the ISS and STS-114?
Diane from Evanston, Illin
When I was a kid, I thought it would be possible to fly in the Space Shuttle in the year 2000. Can ordinary people volunteer to be passengers?
Michael from Jacksonville FL
Once back in space, does the crew of STS-114 plan any special memorial to remember your fallen astronauts?
Herb from Cincinnati, OH
I heard on my local TV station that the Space Shuttle launch was on an indefinite hold because some government committee has determined that NASA has not done enough to ensure that the problems that caused the last shuttle accident have not been corrected. Is there any truth to this? According to the "Return to Flight" website, everything is proceeding as planned for a launch in mid July.
Dan Smith from Jacksonville
Concerning helper robots, are there any plans on STS-114 or future flights to experiment with such robots?
jim kelley from naples ny
Is the new installed heater on the external tank on the idea of heat tape on house pipes? Was there any talk along the way of making the external tank reusable down the road?
Andrew from Hauppauge, NY
What is the most important thing that NASA has done to make make the shuttle safer?
Zach from Rochester, NY
How far apart are future launches set? Will the new safety features and precautions seriously delay the ISS construction process?
beth from ukiah
I am able to view the space station almost every night from where I live using only binoculars, but have access to a couple of telescopes. Will the docking and external activities be viewable by telescope or binoculars? If so, what telescopic strength would you suggest using for optimum viewing?
Mike from Iowa City, IA
What factors are considered in determining the time of day this launch will occur?
Mike from Lisle
What are the odds that the shuttle pilots may need to make evasive maneuvers to avoid other orbiting objects like satellites?
Guy from Arlington Hts.I
How long is the flight scheduled to last?
Arthur from Jacksonville,Tx
When the shuttle lands, will I be able to see it fly over Texas?
Brenda from Isle of Man.UK
If this launch is a success, that does the future hold for other launches? How will it affect the next intake of future astronauts, and the training involved?
Rachel from Upland, IN
Is there a higher chance of a problem occurring during launch or deorbit, and how does that affect the planning of the mission?
Bud from North Fort Myer
Has any consideration been given to tile or outside repairs being done at the Space Station prior to return to Earth?
FRED from silver creek
Would another accident end the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs?
Tim from Guantanamo Bay
What is the widest area that the shuttle launch may be viewed with the naked eye?
Brian from Knoxville
It's been over two years since the last manned Space Shuttle flight. What significant technical advancements have taken place on the shuttle since the last flight?
Frank from Summerville,SC
As the shuttle is sitting on the launch pad, how is it protected from lightning strikes?
Lisa from Mahopac, NY
The module Raffaello was mentioned in the mission. On a trip to Florida in 2001, I noticed that the modules for the ISS were named after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle characters. Why?
Pam from Belleview, FL
What has been the single most difficult problem to overcome in the Return to Flight?
Billy from Utica, NY
With Discovery on Launch Pad 39B, what precautions would need to be taken if a hurricane were to threaten the Florida coast?
Peter from San Diego
Is the new installed heater on the external tank on the idea of heat tape on house pipes? Was there any talk along the way of making the external tank reusable down the road?
Julie from League City
Due to the delays in Return to Flight, will the International Space Station continue construction as planned or will it be scaled back to a basic core configuration in order to focus on the return to Moon and on to Mars expeditions?
ashay from bridgeport
In news briefing on NASA TV, it was said that one of the improvements that NASA has done to prevent any disasters is that the shuttle will make a 180 degree pitch at about 500 meters from the ISS, and there will be pictures taken by two astronauts and one stationary camera within 30 seconds to view the rear side of the shuttle showing the thermal tiles. So if there is any tile damage detected, is it possible for the crew onboard to do the repairs? What would be the best solution to it?
tailhades from toulouse
How is the Space Shuttle program going to be adapted to ISS completion obligations on the one hand, while taking on preparations to develop a new class of vehicle on the other hand? How does NASA plan to handle the huge cost of running these two programs simultaneously, knowing the extremely high cost of the Space Shuttle?
Peter from Basel,Swiss
If Discovery has problems landing, how long can it stay docked with the ISS?
Peter from Basel,Swiss
If Discovery has a problem in orbit, can NASA launch the Space Shuttle Atlantis to help?
Peter from Switzerland
After the return of Discovery, can it fly again this year?
Su from Woking, UK
Will the astronauts on this flight continue the work started by the last shuttle crew by collecting evidence about the phenomenon of mega lightening and sprites? What procedures does NASA have in place to ensure the safety of the shuttle crew against this sort of lightening strike?
Hans from Spanga
What are the astronauts doing in the days before launch?
Dave from Sugarloaf, PA
Have Discovery and Atlantis been fitted with a device similar to Columbia that records onboard flight data?
Jeff from Smyrna, TN
My son Grant wants to know what the astronauts eat and drink on a shuttle flight.
Barry from Avon, IN
Do you feel closer to God out there in Space or is there so much going on that He gets crowded out in the busyness? I would think you would realize how dependent you are on Him out there all alone.
shashank from atlanta
Is one of the astronauts going to stay on the International Space Station?
Beth from Miamisburg OH
Do the astronauts get to eat their favorite meal before launch or do they have to fast?
Sue from West Babylon
Should Discovery need to cancel its entry into orbit and glide back safely to earth, approximately how long would it take to make the conversion?
Tim from N. Palm Beach F
Which direction will the shuttle go after launch?
Ian from Perranporth
On launch day do the astronauts get much opportunity to be alone with their thoughts or is it all go with no time to really think? If the latter is the case, when do they feel that things have calmed down enough to think, and realize the enormity and importance of what they are doing?
Charles from fitzgerald, ga
After the launch goes well, when will a family be able to work and live on the Space Station?
Roberta from Riverside, CA
What is the Shuttle schedule for landing? Will it be landing in California?
joshua from jax fl
Can you grow seeds in space?
Richard from Tulsa
In addition to the scientific and logistical goals for STS-114, there is also a significant emotional and poetic aspect of the mission, as you carry the hopes and dreams for an American future in space back into orbit, and in many ways validate the aspirations of the STS-107 crew and all astronauts. What personal preparations have the Return to Flight crew made for this unofficial goal of the mission, and will there be any on-orbit ceremonies to celebrate or emphasize this point?
Chloe from Scranton, PA
Why will the Space Station's robotic arm move the Raffaello module this time instead of how it was done in previous flights, where it's stated that the space shuttle's was used? Is this a mechanical issue or related to a safety issue?
Irwin from West Palm Beach
At what distance away from the launch site will we be able to view the lift off?
jeffrey from Laredo,TX
What kind experiments will they be doing in space?
Craig from Tulsa
If the goal is to go back to the moon, why not use proven technology. Dust off blue prints for the Apollo/service module/LEM combo and the Saturn five rocket, build them, and fly like we did in the 60's. I would dearly love to see the Saturn 5 fly again.
Leonardo from Torreón, Méxi
If the Shuttle Space Program ended at this time, what American spacecraft would transport the crew to the Space Station? Does the United States have a new Space Shuttle in development?
Eric from Easley
How much does the weather come into play, and what conditions are favorable for a good launch?
Tomasz from Bloomingdale Il
Will we be able to watch the launch on NASA TV?
nakano from S.Paulo Brazi
Why does the Shuttle need to rotate around during launch?
Ian from Central NJ
If the shuttle was struck by lightning, as was the Apollo 12 spacecraft, what effect would that have on the mission and what precautions have been made to prevent weather-related problems?
Noel from Salem
While we pray for their saftey, how do the STS-114 astronauts deal with the thought they could die?
abishek from trichy,india
Does the initial ascent trajectory pass over Asia?
Lynn from McLean
Are there new parts for the Space Station onboard Discovery?
Brad from Pittsburgh
What kind of supplies are packed in Raffaelo for the Space Station? Is most of it food?
Rod from El Segundo, CA
In the event that damage ever shows up again due to impact of FOD on launch, will we be able to affect a repair on orbit prior to de-orbit burn, or will a rescue shuttle be employed? Thanks & God Speed Discovery!
peter from Fleetwood uk
When the shuttle is scheduled to lift off at the planned time, is this allowing for the various 'holds' in the countdown?
Michael from Poland, Indiana
Of the 'in-orbit' repair techniques that will be practiced, will tiles actually be fitted or replaced by the crew during EVAs should the shuttle lose any tiles during takeoff, jettison of the external fuel tank or SRBs?
Are there any missions in December 2005?
Derek age 6 from Miami
What does it feel like to launch into space? How does your body feel? Are you nervous?
ivan from brisbane
Is it possible to land the shuttle remotely without the crew?
ivan from brisbane austra
Can the shuttle land in any other part of the world?
carole from silver springs
So many people have negative ideas about this flight. How to the astronauts feel about the flight going as planned?
joshua from jacksonville FL
When will you plan to set a date for going to Mars?
Gary from Glen Rose Tx
Is Discovery going to be broadcasting on HAM radio.
Jógvan from Tórshavn
Is it possible to use the STS as an unmanned vehicle to retrieve large structures?
John from Allentown
If critical areas on the orange tank were painted white would that prevent debris from falling on to the orbiter?
Brenda from Dunedin
Why does the Space Shuttle rotate as it ascends?
John from Allentown
Because the shuttle Columbia was the heaviest shuttle in the fleet, I would assume that there was far more shaking and vibrations during liftoff. Would that be one of the factors that contributed to the disaster?
Dan from Ballwin, MO
What is the crew of STS-114 most worried about during their mission?
Daryl from Jal
Of all the issues NASA had to address for STS-114, which was the most difficult to solve, and which was the most crucial to fix.
Tony from Bradenton,Fl
If Columbia's flight was STS-107, why is Discovery's STS-114 and not STS-108?
Michael from Delray Beach
What medical advances can we look forward to with the upcoming successful launches and experiments being conducted aboard the next few shuttle missions?
Ian from Washington
What is the environmental impact of a shuttle launch, e.g. how much CO2 ends up in the atmosphere? Is it greater or smaller than, say, a 747 long haul flight?
Alonzo from Mission
Do any members of the crew get to take along any good luck charms?
JOHN from Coupeville
For the average American, what will be the most significant science on this flight?
Ranjit from Pune
Ever since the shuttle disaster and the involvement of rigid polyurethane foam as an insulating material for the external tank (which presumably was the cause of the disaster) I have been keen to know how this problem has been addressed.
Todd from Salt Lake City
With the safety features that NASA has placed on the Shuttle since Challenger and now with Columbia disasters, are we still learning more on what NASA can do to keep the Astronauts safer during the trip to and from orbit?
niall aged 7 from manchester
What are the space suits made of?
niall aged 7 from manchester
How much does a space rocket cost?
Jógvan from Tórshavn
How many shuttle launches will there be before the STS is retired in 2010?
Angel from San Diego Ca.
Because of all the issues related to icing and its potential hazard for future shuttle launches, why is NASA not giving serious consideration to staging launches in areas of the U.S. with low humidity and also setting maximum humidity standards that would apply to future launches?
Suhasini from Dallas, Texas
I'm eleven years old and I like to study science in school. I was wondering what kind of new research will be conducted in the Space Station, dependent on its completion.
Jim from Lawrence, KS
Since flights have been delayed until now, and this has directly effected the construction of the ISS, how does the timetable look for future excursions most notably to Mars, since the ISS will be a key stage in the journey?
James from Miami
What are the alternate landing fields if the STS-114 can not make it to the Cape?
Greg from Surrey
Will a civilian ever be permitted to be on a shuttle flight in the future?
Raja from Manassas, VA
What is the feeling you experience when you view Earth through the Shuttle window in Space? Can you see any man-made landmarks at all?
Raja from Manassas
Do you foresee private space exploration in the near future? Being professional astronauts with so much training, do you think ordinary civilians can do space travel?
Raja from Manassas
Do you have web access from the shuttle once it is launched? Can you contact family members and friends from space and if so, how? Is private communication possible at all?
Raja from Manassas
I heard that when the shuttle comes back to Earth, it is totally un-powered flight? If so, what do you do during that phase of the flight? Is it possible for the shuttle to land at a wrong place?
Raja from Manassas
How early do astronauts come to know their mission assignment? Do you have backup astronauts to replace if someone on the crew falls sick before the launch date?
Raja from Manassas
Was there additional training to prepare the crew for this "Return to Flight" mission? If so, what specific areas did the crew get additional training on and why?
Raja from Manassas
Is sleeping in space easy or difficult as compared to sleeping on Earth? Are your body conditions monitored by Mission Control when you sleep?
Raja from Manassas
How many scientific experiments will be conducted during this mission? Which one do you consider the most important and why?
mallikarjun from gokak,india
How can I become eligible to be an astronaut under NASA as I would like to follow the footsteps of our Indian astronaut Kalpana Chawla?
Raja from Manassas
When did you decided to become an astronaut? What motivated you?
Raja from Manassas, VA
What factors determine from which pad you do the shuttle launch?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Apart from the commander and the pilot, who sits on the top deck of the crew cabin? How do you decide who else sits on the top deck of the cabin? Do you get a good view of the outside on the ride up when you sit there?
Martine from Midlothian, VA
A question for Kay: I understand that each EVA is scheduled for 6.5 hours. Is an EVA extremely fatiguing for the two astronauts, and do they have back up EVA suits? Can you compare EVA to scuba diving?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Similar to the passing of "good luck peanuts" at JPL before the critical part of a mission, do astronauts have a common ritual that they all do before they board that bus to the launch pad? Do you have a personal ritual or charm that you carry with you on board the orbiter?
Ralph from Dover
Could the electric heaters placed on the shuttle's bipod attachment fittings result in a premature detonation of the explosive bolts which separate the shuttle orbiter from the external fuel tank during launch?
Raja from Manassas, VA
What are your thoughts during the pre-launch breakfast? Do astronauts make small talk during the waiting period in the shuttle before launch?
Raja from Manassas, VA
After you go on a space mission, how soon can you go on another one? Is there a minimum "cooling off" period before you can go on another one?
Raja from Manassas, VA
How minutely is your time on the orbiter planned in advance? Do you have any "free time" or leeway in what you want to do once you're in space or is everything done according to what has already been planned before launch?
Mike from Boston, MA
How do the astronauts climb into their seats in their space suits when the shuttle is vertical for launch?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Can the launch be aborted by astronauts? Is there a "big red button" that does that or is the abort entirely under the control of Mission Control?
Raja from Manassas, VA
With so many new safety features added, what is the necessity to retire the shuttle by the end of this decade? Can't the funds for developing a new "Orbital Space Plane" be better utilized for existing space projects?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Which is more scary - the launch phase or the re-entry phase?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Who decides whether the shuttle lands at Edwards or Kennedy? Is bad weather at Kennedy the only criteria in that decision or are there other factors that could cause that decision to be made?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Do you have any chance for recreation on the shuttle? Are you allowed to carry MP3 players or CD players?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Is there a theoretical maximum life for an orbiter or can it just be serviced and used over and over? Are there any plans to build a new orbiter to replace Columbia?
Jonathan from St. Louisville
During launch, why is there so much steam on the launch pad?
Robert from Louisville, KY
The ISS is an airtight space similar to a submarine, except it never takes in fresh air. Please describe any equipment used to "freshen" the air.
Raja from Manassas, VA
Is there some sort of "de-briefing" after the astronauts return back from a mission? Are they given any special vacation after their return to Earth?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Are the astronauts trained to handle any medical emergencies on board?
Geoff from Melbourne,Aust
Being that this is the first flight in 2 years,how important is this mission for the future of the space shuttle program?
Stuart from Sydney AUS
With a large number of female astronauts available, is there ever going to be an all female flight crew?
Will the STS-114 launch be visible from Nassau, The Bahamas?
Federico from Geneva
With the return to space with STS-114, will we see the completion of the ISS or will the ISS project be ended in the push to put all the efforts to the Mars mission?
Robert from Amsterdam, Neth
Because this is more of a test flight than a regular space shuttle flight, will the astronauts wear protective suits during the flight or is the test element mainly in the examining of the Space Shuttle for possible damage?
Ray from Covington
Would it be possible to continue to carry the external main fuel tank into a stable orbit for possible future construction use?
Jiwesh from Bhopal
If the Discovery undergoes some damage during its take off as it happened in case of Colombia, when is the next take off planned to rectify the damage done to Discovery?
Codee from Roy
How long does it take the shuttle to get into space, and how much would a 150-pound person weigh during takeoff?
RandyG from Milwaukee
With the Columbia tragedy in mind on this mission, what attention is the foam on this flight receiving, and will there be heightened attention given to the observance of these panels during launch? If so, in what way?
RandyG from Milwaukee,WI
Does the crew aboard STS-114 have extra tiles or foam panels to replace damaged ones in an event of a emergency, and if so, would the flight crew repair while docked to the ISS or while orbiting alone? Would another emergency flight be launched in the event of not having replacement parts on board ?
Andy from Taunton
With all the different satellites and space debris orbiting the earth, how difficult is it to plan a "window" for the launch to avoid such material?
Dave from Roseville,CA
With all the astronauts' hard work and projects to do, when they get a moment to take a breather, what do they look for or most hope to see out there in the vast unknown?
Juan from Port Charlotte
If for a weather reason launch is cancel, when would the next launch be schedule? Can they be scheduled every 24 hours, six hours, or anytime? How is the launch time is set, and what is given attention?
Tom from Marietta OH
Has astronaut training changed any in the last two years? If so what has changed?
Adrian from Manchester, UK
Do the astronauts feel a temperature increase during reentry due to the massive temperature increase outside the spacecraft?
bill from thunder bay,ont
Will NASA be more stringent in the operations of the shuttle and its missions since the accident?
Simon from Loughborough,UK
What is the probability of critical damage to the thermal tiles due to impact with space debris while in orbit (as opposed to impact with foam during ascent)?
Ken from Walnut Creek
How do the memories of the previous accidents affect the current crew in their preparation for the "Return to Flight"?
Priscilla from Miami
In the event STS-114 does not launch in July 13, when will be the next try? What is the average number of days before a successful launch?
Mike from Corpus Christi
I see that on Day 2, at 10:36 a.m., the astronauts perform a wing leading edge and nose cap survey but they don't check out the thermal protection system experimental box until Day 5. Do they have the supplies and can they make repairs to some tiles?
Brian from Cheyenne, WY
How is NASA responding to the recent spate of articles touting the future of space tourism and cheaper launches funded by private enterprise? Is there a long-term future for NASA, a space shuttle replacement and the International Space Station in light of the rapid development of these entrepreneurial efforts?
Karen from Jacksonville
Given all the very hard work and tribulations of the NASA team and the Shuttle Discovery's STS-114 astronauts over the last few years of the Shuttle program, could you summarize the feelings of how the crew/team and what they all will be thinking as Discovery is launched on July 13th?
Joyce from Irvine
What factors are most important when considering the date and timing of a launch of the Space Shuttle?
Jack from Sarasota
What kind of special paint do you use to paint words and pictures on the top part of the shuttle wings and body?
Robin from Ridge
Will the STS-14 launch be available in high definition TV? Where? When?
paul from cardiff,uk
Will NASA send deaf people into space like myself as soon as the return to flight mission is completed?
Rob from MiltonKeynes UK
What has NASA learnt from the two shuttle accidents and will this be considered in future craft developments?
Phyllis from Land O'Lake
How much does the Discovery weigh on the launch pad?
I would like to know the temperatures in space and how you overcome the problem of heating vs. air conditioning. Also, I would like to know how you collect electricity to power the orbiter, and how you overcome these problems on the Space Station.
Greg from Greenwood, IN
Is this first Shuttle flight when all 7 astronauts are over the age of 40? (By the way I am age 46.)
Bill from Atlanta
What have NASA engineers done to prevent ionized heavy metals from accumulating on the RCC graphitized panels of the Shuttle during re-entry as they did on the Columbia? (In our laboratory graphite capsules used for metals analysis wetted then heated to 1700C accumulate iron and then fail after as few as 25-30 firings, apparently in a process similar to how coal coke is used to extract pig iron from iron ore.)
Patrick from Corpus Christi
I know that the flight crew has had at least 3 years of training for this mission, but how much time has the launch control team spent in pre-launch simulations for this mission?
Noel from Victoria,Texas
Will the Shuttle flight STS-114 be using HAM radio to communicate to HAMS on Earth during their free time? If not, how long will it be before HAM communications resumes on Shuttle flights?
Steve from Fort Wayne, IN
Have any type of impact sensors or new heat sensors been added to the shuttle to detect damage on lift off?
Wes from Perth Australia
I understand that space junk is tracked by private and government companies. Is there some one attached to each flight, connected to ground control, looking at space junk 24/7 while a Shuttle is in flight? And what is the smallest piece that cannot harm the Shuttle? Many Thanks for the travel through space with NASA.
Does EPCOT really provide the food for your mission? Good luck and God speed to all of you. Samantha age 9.
Kanyaraj from Pune
Are the nose, edge and underside of the new Discovery protected by the same material (RCC)? The last one had different materials for the nose, edge and underside.
andreas from magdeburg
Where can I find the Flight Readiness Review documents for STS-114 on the Internet?
Emily from Marietta,GA.
Will Hurricane Dennis affect the launch date?
Gerardo from Juarez, Mexico
In 1986, Challenger was lost and Discovery set the standards for the new missions for almost two decades. Enter 2003, Columbia was lost, and Discovery again is setting the standards for the new missions. Why is Discovery chosen again?
Cletus from Bithlo, FL
Understanding that the new Administrator has indicated that he wants a Shuttle-derived launch vehicle for exploration, how does this next Shuttle flight help in that endeavor?
When will be the last fight of Discovery?
Sean from Roanoke, Tx
How many hours of preparation does the ground crew go through prior to a launch, and how many people, total, are on the ground making it all happen?
What significant safety measures have been incorporated lately to the Shuttle design to save the crew in case of trouble during flight?
Timothy from Birmingham,Al
How can an aerospace vehicle be designed to almost always put the best interest and assure complete protection of the lives of our astronauts?
Christopher from Birmingham, UK
How do you feel about going into orbit sitting in a twenty year old rocket?
Rebecca from Dayton
I want to become an astronaut when I grow up, so I want to know what year you think the Space Shuttles will retire.
Rebecca from Dayton
When the first people go to Mars, what kind of tasks will they have to accomplish?
Robert from Seminole
Has NASA resolved the problem of viewing the underside of the space shuttle for missing tiles?
If this shuttle mission fails, will shuttle program be scrubbed or what will be the alternative?
roger from new orleans
Can you provide an itinerary of the next launch -- specifically the landing date, time and trajectory? Will there be cameras watching the re-entry?
Rebecca from Dayton
What do you think the new spacecraft will look like after the orbiters retire? How many astronauts do you think will be able to board it?
Rebecca from Dayton
What kind of jobs do astronauts do on days they are not training? For an experienced astronaut, could it be CAPCOM?
daren from manchester
Will I be able to see the launch on my PC via a live NASA web site?
Evan from Cary, NC
How will the new radar evaluate any debris breaking away from the shuttle? Can the radar tell the difference between ice and a chunk of insulation?
anne from toms river
Is it possible that mold can grow in the Space Station? If so, what do you do about it?
Rick from Poughkeepsie
As the Shuttle is launched, what active role, if any, are the Pilot and Commander responsible for?
monty from sacramento
How long would it take for NASA to take over the ISS if the Russian program failed?
Jim from Huntingtown, Md
After such a lengthy delay in the flight of the Shuttle, how do the astronauts keep up their flight readiness skills?
Carol Dibble from Evansville, IN
If perhaps the Space Shuttle Discovery did not launch on the 13th, how much of its inventory (supplies) would have to be removed and then reloaded closer to its launch date?
Denis from Luxembourg,Euro
What are your expectations for this flight and how do you feel about it?
Gil from Sarasota
At what precise point in the mission timeline do the Shuttle crew members take physical command of the Shuttle operations?
colin from newcastle
When will a manned Mars mission take place?
Vanessa from San Francisco
Will we be able to email them a question during flight or once their there?
Joel from Spotsylvania,Va
There is said to be a three week launch window ending on July 31st. If the shuttle does not launch on the 13th, when will be the next launch time?
Ian from Bridgwater, UK
How critical is the weather on launch day & what conditions would result in the flight being cancelled?
Diane from Fair Oaks
If someone dies on the Space Station, what are the procedures for handling the body and protecting the health of the other astronaunts?
Could adverse weather conditions affect the safe re-entry of STS 114 into the Earth's atmosphere?
Erin from Crystal Lake,IL
As I'm sure you know, Tropical Storm Dennis is spinning in the Atlantic/Caribbean. What do you feel is the possibility of the shuttle launch being postponed or cancelled? If delayed, how long?
Jacob from Stafford,Va
Why don't the SRBs nose cones come back to the U.S.?
Matt from east meadow
How do you scrub the lanuch when it is in bad weather?
Chris from Newcastle UK
Are there any plans for a new orbiter when the current vehicles are phased out in 2010?
Donna from Weyburn
How long have the Space Station astronauts been there? Will any of Discovery's astronauts trade places to stay on the station?
Raja from Manassas, VA
This being the first shuttle mission after more than 2 years, are there any plans for a live TV broadcast from up there?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Is there a camera on the outside of the shuttle? If so, would the live feed of this camera be available for general public during or after the launch?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Are you excited to get back to Earth on the last day in space, or are you a bit sad to leave the "Zero G" environment?
Raja from Manassas, VA
How long does it take to get fully adjusted to Earth's gravity after coming back from a mission? Is this dependent on the duration spent in space?
Nakano from Brazil SP
Will the STS 114 mission carry biological experiments such as with cancer cells expressions proteins?
Raja from Manassas, VA
How soon after launch do you start feeling the "Zero G" environment? Does your body feel lighter on the way up?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Do you have internet access available on board the shuttle?
Raja from Manassas, VA
What happens if a storm hits Houston after the shuttle is launched? Is the communication and control handled by Kennedy in that case or by some other place?
Palak from Chicago
What experiments is Discovery carrying onboard?
Palak from Chicago
Will there be a live coverage of the launch on NASA TV?
Anandhi from Manassas, VA
Do you eat more or less in "Zero G"? Does it have any effect on your appetite at all?
David from Hook,Hampshire,
God forbid, if the launch does go wrong can the astronauts eject to safety?
Shelly from Bryan
What would stop the rocket from launching?
Dede from College Station
Do you have any fresh fruits and veggies on the Space Station?
Jennifer from Green Bay, WI
What measures has NASA taken to ensure that the shuttle is safe to fly??
Jennifer from Green Bay
Has the crew had any special training in the event of an emergency such as what happened with the Columbia mission?
Jennifer from Green Bay
Have there been any changes to the Solid Rocket Boosters or the External Tank to ensure the safety of the shuttle as it flies towards outer space?
Nakano from Brazil SP
What does it mean for an astronaut to be someone who can change the future of humanity?
Jennifer from Green Bay
Why was the Space Shuttle Discovery chosen instead of Atlantis or Endeavour to fly in the Return to Flight Mission? Is there something special pertaining to this shuttle that it was chosen?
Helen from Davidsonville
Having Discovery the first shuttle to return to flight, what criteria has been established (new safeguards) that would automatically abort Discovery's liftoff or abort Discovery's mission while still in Earth's orbit?
Jeff from Glenview, IL
Suppose the shuttle is critically damaged during launch. The astronauts then wait in the ISS while a second "rescue" mission is launched. Suppose the second shuttle is also critically damaged before it gets to the ISS. What then?
Thomas from Athens(GREECE)
Following the tragic disaster of the Columbia, there has been much speculation that the flight controllers knew of the risk of re-entry of the space shuttle yet preferred to take a chance on the crew's survival. Knowing now what the problem was after the disaster, if the same problem were to occur during the Discovery flight, what would be the choice of action you would choose this time? Secondly, wouldn't the International Space Station be an option in order to house the crew until a plan could properly be tested?
Thomas from Athens (Greece_
Which do you believe are the most critical moments of any Space Shuttle mission, the launch or the re-entry?
Byron from Australia
Will there be more web cams available to view during the mission?
Emma from Australia
What research is NASA undertaking to determine the best sorts of people to send on a trip to Mars?
Leonardo from Lecco, Italy
Is it true that only U.S. pilots and commanders can take control of the Shuttle?
Chris from Palatine
How much training is required for a person to become a Space Shuttle astronaut?
Scott from New Richmond
There have been many safety improvements with the STS-114 and future Space Shuttle launches. What safety improvements are being considered for docking and undocking with the International Space Station?
Roberto from Roma
How does the implementation of the modifications to improve the shuttle safety affect shuttle performance? Is it necessary to fire the main engines for more time to compensate for the increased weight of the spacecraft?
Narendra from Auburn Hills,Mi
'Return to Flight' seems to have emerged from the disaster of Columbia. Is this taking us backward from where we were few years ago in safety considerations?
Jim from Newfields, NH
What kind of weather has the potential to delay a launch?
Beth from Greenville, SC
What personal items are the astronauts taking to space with them, such as any lucky charms? Do they have to pass a screening test?
Beth from Greenville, SC
I see engineers wear clean suits when working around payload, etc. What dangers are you trying to prevent?
Denise from Uniontown
How are the mission commanders chosen? Was Eileen Collins chosen because of her past experience as a shuttle commander?
Aria Davenport from Grass Valley
How is space debris tracked? Do the items have devices on them to make them trackable?
Earl from Hedgesville, WV
About 600 feet away from the Station, Collins will fly the Shuttle through a slow back flip. Are there contingency plans to prevent the shuttle from hitting the International Space Station if the shuttle thrusters fail (i.e., thrusters fail to fire during the maneuver or a thruster continues to fire after it is shutdown)?
Guy from Lake Worth
It has been mentioned that this will be the most photographed shuttle launch ever and that it includes cameras that are on the bottom of the shuttle to take pictures of the external tank during lift-off. Are these cameras going to be removed during one of the space walks, or are they made to withstand the heat that is endured during the re-entry?
What is the greatest challenge facing future generations of astronauts?
Keith from Jolibois
Obviously the big question this week is weather. Dennis is churning up the Gulf with ever increasing winds it is expected to reach hurricane status either late today or tomorrow and landfall is possibly expected in Florida. What is the maximum wind speed you plan to tolerate before scrubbing the mission?
Ray from Charlotte
Even with all the new safety features and the multitude of tests scheduled for the crew of STS-114, in the event that something made the shuttle no longer airworthy, and we are unable to ready Atlantis in a timely manner, do we have a back up plan such as collaborating with Russia in order to bring our astronauts back to safety?
Anandhi from Manassas, VA
Is it possible to eject from the orbiter using parachute during the re-entry phase (after the orbiter passes through the hot atmosphere) in case of emergency?
Valerio from Milano
When does the Space Shuttle reach the maximum speed during the lift-off?
David from Rogers, AR
Have procedures and training been completed in the event that an emergency landing is required at the designated Istres Air Base in France?
Based on the previous flight of the shuttle, what would the astronauts be thinking since they will soon launch?
Sungchul from Washinton D.C
What do astronauts do during rest time in space?
Salim from Washington, D.C
What are the risks of this mission? Does the Space Shuttle have an emergency plan?
Matthew from Tuttle, OK
How big of a threat is the current weather in the Gulf of Mexico and how is it playing into the probability of a launch? What chance does Dennis have of being a menace?
Matthew age 7 from Plantation, FL
What is the most dangerous part of the mission?
John from Syracuse, NY
As astronauts, you are viewed by many people around the globe as modern day trailblazers, paving the way for future generations. In your opinion, why is it worth the risk to continue to send human beings into space even while fully automated remote technologies are improving.
Arthur from LAWRENCE,MA.
Will the crew go onboard the ISS and communicate via HAM radio?
Barbara from Baltimore
How big is the Raffaelo module? How much will it hold?
Kevin from Ottawa, OH
How are payloads given priority, given the space limitations for each shuttle flight?
Paul from Blountsville AL
My question is for Kay Hire. Kay, I noticed that you have a BS degree in engineering resource management and that you were involved in a study on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system. My question is, how long do you think it will take us to be able to overcome the debilitating effects of microgravity so that engineering and construction can be safely and productively executed on the space station, the Moon and not to mention, Mars? Or do you think we will likely rely more heavily on artificial intelligence and robotics in the future?
Nakano from Brazil SP
What kind of material is used to produce the Orbiter's windows?
Gary from Phoenix
How does space affect emotional states, if any? As an adult suffering from ADHD all my life, is there any research in this direction?
Joseph from Huntsville
The old space capsules of the sixty's had escape rockets on them so the crew could separate from the rocket in an emergency. Since the orbiter is a rocket, how does the crew get away from it in the event of an accident?
paul from providence
What is the maximum payload weight the Shuttle can take on a normal routine trip to space?
Alexis from Noblesville, IN
What does it really take to become an astronaut? What kind of classes did you take in high school, and what did you major in in college?
Alexis from Noblesville, IN
Will I be able to see the shuttle from Indiana at anytime during the flight?
Daniel from New Plymouth
What do the astronauts do in the last 5 days before launch??
Alexis from Noblesville, IN
While I was attending the Space Academy program in Huntsville, AL, this year, they briefly described to us that the environment in space, which some call "zero G", is actually microgravity, a continual freefall around the Earth. Would you better explain this concept?
Alexis from Noblesville, IN
Is NASA working to create a spacecraft like Space Ship One? If so, how soon do you think it will likely take to perfect the craft and put it to use?
Irvin from Rochester, MI
Are there physical/psychological tests that must be passed to be an astronaut? If so, what are they?
Kurt from Ft Myers
Each of the members oversees different parts of the launch process with go, no-go parameters that they use to decide if STS-114 is ready to go. Do the experts also meet as a group and discuss the parameter variances each individual has recognized, then as a group reassess the go, no-go decision as a team?
Stan Kaye from Glasgow,U.K.
Being the first flight for more than two years, do you feel apprehensive regarding lift off and the mission itself?
Don from Derby, CT
Following the initial tanking test and subsequent change out, was there a tanking test done on the new tank? If so, where the results in line with expectations?
Joey from Lincoln
For safety purposes, why is the "Black Box" not made of armor like on airplanes?
Ashley from Lincoln
Is there some way to protect the "cabin" in case of potential dangers? Couldn't there be wings on the cabin with its own separate navigation capabilities so it can separate from the rest of the ship if there is potential for loss of the ship?
Joey from Lincoln
Will there be any space walks to look over the shuttle now since it would have been beneficial in the Columbia situation? If so, when will these start taking place? Will it be immediately for STS-114? If not, why?
Joshua from Lincoln
What are the dimensions of the shuttle? Wing span, length, height, weight, etc?
Don from Winfield, IL
What is the benefit to the common man, like me, of the current space program, and more specifically, STS-114?
Patrick from Honolulu
With all the new safeguards in place, will NASA return to a hectic schedule with quick turnarounds?
Pat from Honolulu
What kind of improvements have been made to help investigators in the event of another disaster --better black boxes or data relay to Earth stations during descent?
EDD from Nambucca Heads
If in the event that there was damage done to Discovery, how long would it take to send a rescue vechile to the Station to recover the crew?
Steve from Georgia
When do you determine if a storm will postpone a launch, such as a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico?
Tom from Chappaqua, NY
Does the Space Shuttle program provide an important link to future manned spaceflight? In other words, if the program were to have been terminated, would this have had an adverse impact on our plans to return astronauts to the Moon and Mars?
Rachek from Orlando
How do you feel this particular mission will affect future space travel and human space exploration?
Mary from Warsaw,IN
Will the effects from Hurricane Dennis possibly delay the launch date? If so, when will that decision be made?
RichO from Elk Grove, IL
As an astronaut, you know that going into space is very risky. At what point do you as an astronaut feel it is safe to fly? How closely do you work with the people who process the shuttle vehicles?
Ann from Martin
How might Hurricane Dennis affect the Shuttle launch?
Ashley Wipf from Fort Myers, fl
Can Hurricane Dennis stop the launch of STS-114?
Raja from Manassas, VA
Instead of having 25,000 tiles on the underside of the orbiter and increasing the "points of failure", is it not possible to have one continuous panel of protection on the underside of the orbiter?
Raja from Manassas, VA
How fast can data be transmitted from the orbiter? On the recent "Deep Impact" mission, I heard that the fly-by probe sent the data at 200kb/s. Similarly, at what speed does the orbiter transmit data?

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