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STS-110 Mission
Question Board

Liz from Davis
How are the five sides of the S0 truss distinguished from each other?
Liz from Davis
Will the EVA astronauts be exercising during the 02 pre-breath, to decrease denitrogenation time?
Ed from Omaha
Considering we are testing wheat on this flight, does the ISS have the equipment, like a bread making machine, to bake on board? What challenges will there be in the cooking process? Specifically combining the ingredients and the process of rising bread? Since we have tried Coca-Cola why not bread?
Roland from Giengen Germany
What is the maximum payload weight a shuttle can bring into orbit?
Carlos from Edinburg, Texas
When is the MMU -- Manned Maneuvering Unit suit going to be used again? When is it supposed to be used for EVA's?
Björn from Trelleborg
Are doctors or directors in charge?
Mark from Leesburg
Is it possible to visit KSC this Thursday, prior to the launch?
Cletus from Bithlo, Florida
What happens when someone gets sick up in space?
Scott from Denver
What types of safety equipment do each of the shuttle astronauts carry on their space suits during launch. I noticed after Challenger the space suits are a bright orange. Does the crew capsule portion of the shuttle vehicle have any other built in safety features?
Andreas from Magdeburg
Is it possible to distinguish each space shuttle orbiter from the other by any markings other than their name on the hull?
Phil from Coventry
When will we know the exact time of takeoff?
Bobby Joe from Walla Walla, Washington
Do the astronauts really not have to pay taxes?
Wes from Wellesley
Is it possible to build structures on Mars? Could you try and grow something on Mars?
Roland from Giengen
Is NASA still thinking about Liquid-Flyback-Boosters for the shuttle?
Allan from Derry
The shuttle heat shield comes into play only on re-entry. On lift off the shuttle goes from 0 to 17,500 mph. On the return, 17,500 to 0 mph. Could you explain the interaction between speed, altitude and atmospheric density as it relates to the heat build up on re-entry and why it is not a concern going up into orbit?
Tom from Yardley
At what speed in miles per hour are the ISS and the shuttle traveling when they dock in orbit?
Greg from Seattle
We know that the shuttle can bring supplies to the space station, however, does it also return supplies/waste from the station? If not, how are waste items taken care of? Follow up question, what percentage of the supplies, by weight, does drinking water account for?
Robert from Mississauga Ontario
Do astronaut's diets contain any hard foods, example, apples, carrots, to maintain the chewing and grinding process for healthy teeth and gums?
Liz from Davis
How many hours of EVA simulation underwater do the astronauts practice?
Liz from Davis
I have heard that it takes 2.5 people to keep the ISS running smoothly, leaving 0.5 person to work on scientific experiments -- is that true?
Liz from Davis
How many hours per day do the ISS astronauts exercise?
Timmy from Duluth
How are the main engines of the shuttle ignited?
Greg from San Rafael
Who selects the wake-up music played for the crew while the shuttle is in orbit? How long has that been a tradition?
Taylor from Sarasota
Why is the S0 Truss so heavy? I read that it has a mass of over 30,000 pounds, which is massive! As the S0 will be weightless once on orbit, couldn't much of the mass of the truss be "shaved off" before launch, like the old LEM, which could not support itself in 1-G, but did just fine on the Moon.
Judy from Cape Canaveral
What is the maximum time a human could remain on the ISS? Since bone density and muscle mass may be lost in space, do the ISS crew members lose weight?
Allie from Round Rock
How long do you usually stay in space?
Nikita from Round Rock
How fast does the spacecraft travel?
Joe from Stamford
I heard on the radio that the shuttle has landed recently at Stewart Air Force Base in Newberg, NY, is this true???
Tyler from Topsham
When will people like me be able to live on the space station?
MJ from Eunice, New Mexico
When will Venturestar or the P-33 prototype be functional?
Morr from NO Tell
My sister wants to go to space and all that. I was wondering how hard it is to become an astronaut
Nick from Melbourne, Australia
Once the countdown for shuttle launch has begun, at what point can the launch no longer be canceled? Or can it be canceled at any point during the countdown?
Enrique from Providence
What will this mission entail?
Tony from S
Do the crew exercise or play the banjo?
Charlie from London U.K.
How many gallons of water are sprayed onto the launch pad during the launch of a shuttle?
Grant from Colorado Springs
How long does it take for the shuttle to reach orbit (from the launch pad to orbit)?
Christian from Wichita, Kansas
What is the altitude (respect to the surface of the Earth) where the force of gravity starts to reduce?
Liz from Davis
What is the weight limit of each astronaut's personal preference kit?
John from Lutz, Florida
Why is the S0 Truss so expensive? Isn't it a relatively simple piece of hardware (e.g. no pressurized volume, no life support, etc.)?
Krunal from Philadelphia
Will you attempt to modify shuttle design in order to enable them to taxi into a sort of space station landing area? This would help avoid damage to the space station during the arrival and departure of shuttles.
David from Pasadena
What types of experiments will the astronauts perform during their mission?
Zoe from Santa Cruz
The shuttle stack goes into a roll program at approx.. +12 sec, why? I have never heard a good explanation.
Nina from Harvard
What kinds of food do astronauts eat in space?
Roxana from Saratoga, California
Exactly how much time passes between liftoff and MECO, and when is the shuttle actually considered "in orbit?"
Roxana from Saratoga, California
What is the expected completion date for ISS, and how many people will be able to stay on ISS when construction is completed?
Roxana from Saratoga, California
How many pounds of liquid hydrogen and oxygen are stored in the external tank? How many pounds of solid fuel do the SRB's contain? How much of each does the shuttle consume per minute during launch?
Roxana from Saratoga, California
What is the chemical composition of the solid fuel used by the SRB's?
Roxana from Saratoga, California
What would the astronauts do if the orbiter lost pressure in space? What if a space suit starting losing pressure? Is there some kind of patches the astronauts can apply in a situation?
Alejandro from Santo Domingo
Have you ever had a medical emergency on board a shuttle? And how did they deal with it?
Kate from Boston
What is the chemical composition of the solid fuel in the SRB's?
Roxana from Saratoga
What is the highest orbit the shuttle can fly? What is the lowest possible orbit?
Alejandro from Santo Domingo
Do you know the effect of zero-g on the human body with respect to how they digest the food? If so please tell me how does it affect them?
Roxana from Saratoga
Why is atmospheric friction a problem during reentry but not during launch?
Roxana from Saratoga
Are there any plans for a new launch vehicle to replace the shuttle?
Roxana from Saratoga, California
How does the numbering system for shuttle missions work? I know this is STS-110, but have heard it is only the 109th shuttle flight.
Jeff from Wichita Falls
Since there usually is no such thing as greater than 100 percent how can the shuttle's main engines withstand 104 percent power up just before SRB separation? Doesn't this cause undue stress to the engines? What would be the difference if they were powered up to only 100 percent? Especially considering the density of the air at that altitude.
Olivia from Vero Beach
How do you drink water in space?
Olivia from Vero Beach
What happens if someone breaks a limb in space? Would they continue with their mission?
Joe from Pocono
What would happen to a kid in space? Is it possible for one to go up?
Jacqueline from Sand Diego
I have read that the truss has over 200,000 parts. How many man-hours does it take to completely assemble the unit in space?
Tyler from Butler
If the fuel balance is off in the boosters will the shuttle still make it to space?
Tadeu Fernandes from Rio de Janeiro
I would like to know as the navigation in the space is made is there some type of GPS to help in the navigation?
Ross from Wilkes-Barre
Does the age of the person make a difference on how vital statistics at takeoff compare with vital statistics at landing, i.e. do younger people lose more bone mass? Also for the general person's safety (in relation to my question above), would it be wise to not send a person of (a) specific age range(s) into space?
Ronnie from Myrtle Beach
What is the life expectancy of the ISS? Since MIR outlived all expectations, has NASA reevaluated its original life span for the ISS?
Aaron from Grand Rapids
What is the difference in max payload area between Atlantis and Buran?
Aaron from Grand Rapids
I heard that tests were being done in France to see if bone density loss can be avoided in space, are there any ways it can and if so what are they?
Troy from St. Laurent What do the astronauts do for fun in space?
Matthew from Oviedo, Florida
Since the ISS is only about 245 miles up, can gravity pull it down? Also, why is the S0 an important truss?
Jeffrey from Norwalk
When will NASA scrap the current inefficient shuttle program and build a new orbiter system with higher payload and better operating efficiency?
Anita from Wetaskiwin Alberta
Is the space station a first step to live in outerspace? (Like as seen on TV without the all the dramatics.)
Anita from Canada
What is the purpose of the ISS?
Anita from Canada
If the space station is a success what is the next step for NASA?
Jackie from Linden
If you wear glasses can you still become an astronaut
Loren from Linton
The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) have proven extremely reliable in many shuttle flights. Both SRBs are needed to lift the vehicle and provide controlled flight. Are there provisions for launch termination in the extremely unlikely situation where only one SRB ignites? Understand that ignition circuits are part of the pre-launch checks and that quality control for these components is very thorough, but ignition failure is still a remote possibility.
Janet from Sheffield
I participated in part of one of the experiments that was supposed to be on board this launch! A group of Alabama teachers helped prepare some crystal growing experiments which will be delivered to the ISS. I wonder if we can find out how the experiments will be progressing? When will this information be available? Who should we contact? Our director was Greg Jenkins. He works in cooperation with the good folks at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Should we ask him, or will the results be "made public?" Thanks!
Jonathon from Longwood
How many calories does an astronaut eat each day in space and do they all sleep at the same time or do they work in shifts?
Jason from Sydney, Australia
Is the ISS being used as a scientific research facility or is it mainly concerned with experimenting and space habitation?
Frank Zanotti from Bronx, New York
Two part question, the first question is: When the shuttle first takes off how fast is it going, on TV it looks like it is going very slow. The second part of the question is: After take off about 1 1/2 minutes the shuttle seems to level out and not go straight up. Do you enter space on a specific angle, and if so why? Thank You.
Sheryl from Phoenix
As a previous participant in the student space shuttle involvement program, I am curious to know if any student projects are going up in space, and if any have gone before?
Peter from Alexandria, Virginia
When is the first non-U.S non-Russian module going to be flown to the ISS?
Mike from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Why does the orbital vehicle rotate shortly after launch making the shuttle's top face the Earth?
Alejandra from Monterrey
When is the space station going to be built?
Lucille from Calgary
The Russian space suits seem to be easier for the astronauts/comonauts to get into. Why doesn't NASA use similar spacewalk suits?
Allan Garrison from Statesville
What are the plans for increasing the number of crew members on the International Space Station?
Ava from San Francisco
If you become an astronaut, do you have to know lots of math and what is the maximum time a human could remain on the ISS?
Sreeraman from Trivandrum
What will happen when you meet an alien in space?
David from Austin
Is it possible to launch and orbit east to west and why is it that the shuttle and station orbit cross north and south rather than just always heading east?
Brad from Orem
How are the astronauts conducting this mission physically prepared as compared to the Apollo astronauts? Which group was required to be in better shape?
Ali from Oakland
Would a space shuttle be able to lift up by using solid mercury and electricity as a fuel to go to space?
Casey from Vancouver
If you light a match while in orbit, which way will the flame point?
Nick from Ames
What happen if the space shuttle and/or the ISS has a serious problem in space -- like Apollo 13? And what happens if the crew must "abandon ship?" Do they have a means of escape safely and return home alive? And is there a medical doctor on board. What happens if a crew member gets seriously ill or injured in space? How will they perform CPR in zero-g. And what if a crew member on the ISS has a ruptured appendix or something like that? Will there be surgeons on the ISS in the future?
Terje from Oslo
What kind of weather conditions can prevent tanking, and why?
Terje from Oslo
In case of emergency, can the SRBS be separated prematurely?
Fredricka from Orlando
Why can't astronauts take off their space suits in space? What would happen if they did?
Vishal from Coralville
What specifically makes the space shuttle Atlantis different from its other counterparts?
Marius from Bucharest
How do you launch a satellite? Doesn't the vibration damage it?
Mahesh from Bhopal, India
How do the shuttle engines start -- pyro-electric fuse on oxygen and hydrogen jet or like internal combustion engines?
Jim Sopp from PDX
How often and is it regular intervals the ISS has to have its orbit boosted and how is this done?
Amit from Delhi
How do we make a vehicle aircraft have speed more than the speed of light?
Msa Mayank from Jabalpur, India
Hello sir, my question is "are we (humans) properly prepared for an ISS, in terms of its maintenance and its security and all?"
Sauli from Helsinki
What would happen if the shuttle payload which is meant to be a station component (like S0 Truss) turned out to be unusable? The station components are of course thoroughly tested before launch, but still it is hypothetically possible that a component can't be used as planned (broken connectors or something). In such case, what would happen to the station component? Would it be left floating nearby the station waiting for a new repair mission, would it be dumped to orbit as space junk, or would the shuttle land carrying it in the payload bay? If so, how much more difficult would the landing be (extra weight, possible unexpected movement of the payload, and so on)?
Vladimir from Djakovo, Croatia
How many more years will the four shuttles be operating?
Santanu Maity from Calcutta, India
Where is the exact position of our International Space Station and the HST (Hubble Space Telescope)?
Charles from Oklahoma City
Why does the shuttle always orbit the Earth upside down?
Edie from Viera
Has there ever been a woman launch director? If not, why not?
Jim from Sacramento
On three occasions, when the shuttle is reentering the atmosphere on its way to KSC, I have seen it; it is a large, purple-pink dot shooting across the sky. What causes the purple-pink color -- friction with the atmosphere, or retrorockets being fired?
Karthik from Bombay
Of what material is the space shuttle made of, that it does not even get blasted or damaged due to heat when it returns back to Earth's orbit?
Greg from Oxford
Since it takes x amount of thrust per pound of weight to lift the shuttle into space, and the weight varies with every liftoff, do you vary the burn time or throttle of the shuttle engines to compensate for weight variations? Do they have variations in the booster engines for weight variations in the shuttle?
Sauli from Helsinki
How are the members of the crew selected for shuttle missions (in general and especially for STS-110)? And how important is the nationality of the crew members? There are 7 Americans on STS-110, 2 Americans and 1 Russian on the ISS expedition -- so there will be 10 people in orbit, and 9 will be American. It's almost an all-American space team, nothing wrong with that, but shouldn't there be NASDA and ESA astronauts as well to be a real international mission?
Karthik Iyer from Bombay
Is it possible for an astronaut to use magnetic shoes on iron surfaces in space so that he can experience weightlessness or gravity?
Brandon from Albany
When is the estimated date the ISS will be completed? Will it serve as a training outpost for a manned expedition to Mars?
Laurence from Fresno, California
Will there ever be a fireworks show launched from the ISS? I think it wouldn't cost much to do that -- what do you think?
Alan from Easton
Is it true if a mineral crystal is grown in space it will be flawless?
Ben from Amsterdam
Tell me more about the successor of the space shuttle, if it is actually being planned.
Mark from St. Catharines
How will the Canadarm2 mount itself on the multiple trusses and connection points?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
When will man be ready to explore space from the International Space Station?
Angela from Fort Worth
Are there any animals living on the ISS?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
How do astronauts help the human race from the ISS?
Jeff from Wichita Falls
Standard mile at 5,280 feet versus a statute mile.
Ahmad from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
What is the main purpose of the Mobile Transporter and where will it be installed during the EVA?
Ahmad from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
What kind of material is used to build port and starboard truss structures for the ISS?
Jerrold Benally from Farmington
What kind of material is the outer shell of the space shuttle and launch pad made off? Do they use cenospheres in the mixture of material for heat resistance?
Kevin from Miami, Florida
How many people are allowed to be on the space station at one time?
David from Boca Raton, Florida
Why hasn't there been any tests for artificial gravity on the ISS or the shuttle? Why can't you spin the spacecraft even a little, similar to the Moon's rotation and gravity?
Dan from Denville The S0 truss is a large mechanical element, that also includes electrical and other connections, as well as three computers. Why does a primarily mechanical component require computers, and what do they do? Is there a web link that provides details on the S0 truss construction and components?
Jerbralter from Machesney Park
When will the shuttle be returning and why is it returning? Why don't we leave it out there?
George from Wilmington, NC
How much vibration during Max Q do the shuttle astronauts experience compared to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches
Tom Killen from Dallas
What is the average horsepower generated by the launch of the space shuttle?
Alejandro from Santo Domingo
Will the ISS be equipped with equipment for SETI functions?
Mark from Hamilton, Ontario
Does direct sunlight pose any sort of a problem, for the crew, during the extended EVAs necessary to construct the ISS?
Donald from El Paso Texas
Properly equipped for vertical descent, why couldn't the shuttle land and take off from the surface of the moon?
Vishal from Bombay India
What precautions has NASA taken to protect the space shuttle from any passing asteroids, considering the news of Asteroid 1950DA, although it is 878 years away what about the ones which can hit the shuttle within its life span.
Paige from Moss Bluff, Louisiana
I'm sure there is a good reason why, but can someone tell me why the space shuttle can't take off if it is raining? I could understand a hurricane, but just a little rain?
4th Grade from Renick
Have asteroids damaged the space station or the space shuttle?
Björn from Hudiksvall
What is the main objective for the space station?
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy
Why are the shuttle main engines ignited some seconds before the SRBs and not at the same time?
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy
What is the fuel used in SRBs? Why can't an engineer shut them down before all the fuel has burned?
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy
Who does usually sit at the CAPCOM desk and speak to the astronauts? Is he an engineer? What qualities should that person have?
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy
How many flight directors alternate during a mission as long as STS-110?
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy How many and how big are the antennas used to communicate with the space shuttle and the ISS? Where are they located on the planet?
Bryant from Avon, Indiana
Why not rotate the space station while in orbit if it would make artifial gravity? After all, isn't bone and muscle loss due to zero-g one of he biggest problems for people in space?
Graham from Los Angeles
Are the new shuttle engines different?
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy How long does it take to plan a space shuttle mission? Who prepares the flight and mission pages
Gabriele from Carrara, Italy
How can a NASA engineer become a flight controller? Where are flight controllers and their teams taken from?
Roberto from Novara, Italy
What is a statute mile?
Christine from Cincinnati
I have noticed that shuttle launches are always scheduled on Thursdays. Why is this?
Johnny G. from Clinton Illinois
Why doesn't NASA use the natural gravity of the Earth, and harness its energy. Also the magnetic field could be used to help launch future missions into space. Think about all of the natural unused energy in the universe.
Jon from Bement
Will the current space shuttle ever be retired soon and put on display?
John from Fort Worth
The spacesuit is at 4 to 5 psi. What is the lowest atmospheric pressure the human can withstand?
Orion from Nineveh Indiana
Before a spacewalk why do they have to depressurize the airlock?
Martin from Reading, England
What is the prospected life expectancy of the ISS?
Joy from Green Garden
How long will it take to get to the station and how long before you start the spacewalks once you get there?
Ross from Wilkes-Barre
About how many benefits will the ISS produce that will be available to the general public within its lifespan?
Liz from Davis
What is a launch window?
Scott from Oxford, Ohio
Why have built-in holds in the countdown? Why not just extend the countdown by the same length as the built-in holds?
Jesse from Dayton Virginia
What is the purpose of the ISS?
Chad from San Antonio, Texas
When the ISS is complete and all the modules are installed, do you guys (KSC) plan on having a party?
Bob from Wiggins, Colorado
The International Space Station Familiarization manual says that grounding is achieved through "Plasma Contactor Units (PCUs) located on the Z1 truss (one operational and one backup) generate plasma from xenon gas and emit a stream of electrons into space." How much xenon is used, where is it stored, and how is it replenished? Also, how many amps do you use to de-saturate a Control Moment Gyroscope? Can you de-saturate all four at once?
Sutha from Mississauga
I am wondering why the initial space shuttle launch is always scheduled to liftoff on Thursdays?
Renata from Brazil
What kind of food do astronauts eat in space?
Josh from P.A.
If the rocket is traveling at a high rate of speed wouldn't the frame rip off?
Mark from Liverpool England
Why are there only two mission specialists allowed out on a space"walk" at any one time? Wouldn't it be more effective to have two of the station crew out there at the same time thus cutting the work load down of each EVA? Watching the preflight videos, there seems to be a lot of work to be done attaching the truss to the station.
Marylou from Dubuque
How does growing wheat qualify as "KSC's most complex plant experiment?"
John from Albertville, Alabama
What is NASA's biggest fear while launching a shuttle?
Joe from Perkasie
Are you planning on sending a kid up to the ISS?
Ke from New York
With all the space junk and satellites orbiting the Earth, has the space station ever come close to being hit by a satellite or large object? And how do you prevent the station from being hit?
Des from Gladstone Australia
Given that most of the shuttles have had upwards of 20 or more launches, have they already exceeded their life expectancies?
Peter from St. Petersburg
How many cubic square feet are the living quarters of the ISS and is it growing every mission?
Tony from Melbourne, Australia
I understand that about 8,000 objects are tracked in Earth orbit. How close does the shuttle come to other objects on orbit? For instance, would the crew be able to see other satellites as they pass by?
Bruce from Mt. Kisco, New York
I have noticed that shuttle launches are always scheduled on Thursdays. Why is this?
Sabastian from Bruges
How exactly will STS-110 affect the development of the ISS?
Marni from Boca Raton, Florida
This is a two part question, 1. What is the best and worst part about going on space shuttle missions? And 2. When, if ever, do you think they will allow civilians to go on shuttle missions again? Have a safe trip, and please if you're not too busy, try to Kindergarten class is watching!
Jeffrey from Invercargill
Why does it take two days to reach the ISS with the shuttle? This seems strange since the Apollo CSM reached Skylab on the fifth revolution.
Bruce from Mt. Kisco, New York
What determined the orbital degree of inclination that the ISS was assigned?
John from Dallas
What kind of experiments are you guys doing in space?
Rick Crowe from Enoree South Carolina
Can you tell me how long Atlantis has been in service and how much longer will she be in service?
Michael from Perth
What is the estimated cost of this mission?
Adam from Perth
What is the aim of this Atlantis mission? What is the total cost of this mission?
Max J. Franks from Lakeland
Does NASA have a team that tracks space junk and handicaps the situation to determine the probability of impact to the station? Also, what are the chances of space debris hitting the station? Is there a figure on that?
Alison from New Orleans
How long would it take to evacuate the station and how would the astronauts evacuate in case of fire?
Dorothann from Salt Lake Utah
Why does food float around while you are in the shuttle?
Gerald from Phoenix
How many times can the high pressure turbopumps be launched before overhaul is required?
Gerald from Phoenix
Is there an exterior camera on the shuttle system such as some of the rockets have? If so, how can I get a copy of the video?
Renato from Rio de Janeiro
What is the temperature out of the ISS in a shadow area? And how about the temperature in a place under the sunlight?
Frank from Farmingdale
Is it true that NORAD tracks objects that might compromise the safety of the space station and advised it to change its course to avoid a collision with a spaceborn object?
Tom from Pinellas Park
Are there any other types of fuel that might be used in the near future for the shuttle, also are any of the members on board wating to play their favorite music in space?
Mike from Hartlepool, UK
When is the ISS scheduled for completion, how many more years will it take? Also, how many more shuttle missions are planned to the ISS for crew rotation and payload delivery?
David Bouman from Martin
What is the reasoning for loading the shuttle payload container when the shuttle is on the launch pad instead of in the VAB or other facility?
Kelly from Haslemere, UK
How high is the point where the shuttle leaves the sky to enter space?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
How can the ISS send all the information from space to earth?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
What kind of studies and experiments will be done at the ISS and how long would it take to do them?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
What will be the relationship of the ISS with SETI for the quest of extraterrestrial intelligence?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
How will the experiments on the ISS help the human race?
Ken from Laconia New Hampshire
The shuttle "throttles down" at Maximum Dynamic Pressure. I understand that. But at "throttle up" the announcement is always 104 percent. Wouldn't 100 percent be the top power of the engines?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
Is it possible for the shuttle in the future to go to other planets with the development of new technologies?
Heather from Albuquerque
Now that there have been several missions to the ISS...does any of the crew feel that this mission is routine?
Dave from Plain City Ohio
Shuttle propulsion technology is the key to doing more in space. Where do we stand in adapting new technology to similar future designs of the command ship (space shuttle) ?
Rudi from Munich
Can we see the orbiter from Munich just after launch? I roughly calculated T+23 minutes and know it passes somewhere over Germany, don't have any orientation for such possible sighting though. Heard that sometimes the orbiter can be seen trailing the Maintank over Europe.
Guillermo from Nottingham
Does the shuttle have any weapons? If there are, what are they?
George from Glasgow United Kingdom
Where can I get pictures of the shuttles?
Edson from Coimbra Portugal
What is the capacity and the power of the space shuttle's fuel tanks?
Edson from Coimbra Portugal
What kind of fuel power will be used in the successor of the space shuttle? When will the substitution occur?
Jon Larcombe from Mullion Cove, UK
On maps of the Earth showing ISS and shuttle overpasses, the orbits shown seem to follow an almost sine-wave pattern rather than an orbit circular to the earth. Are these actual orbit paths? If yes, what causes the apparent changes in direction? I'm perplexed!
Michael from Braunschweig
Is it possible to see the rendezvous of the shuttle and the ISS from Earth? If I could see it, I'd guess it looks like two lightning points that collide. Is that correct? Has anybody taken a photo of this moment?
Adam from Randolph
How many G's do you pull during take off?
Matt from London
Given that space is a vacuum, and that there is nothing to push against up there, how do the shuttle's thrusters work to slow it down for reentry?
Merry E. from Evans, Georgia
When will the astronauts (currently in station) come back, and will their bones have that disease where the bones get all brittle so that they can't walk very well because they don't have enough calcium? Is there any way to prevent it besides exercising in space?
Deb from Fuquay Varina
Two parts to my question, 1. How does NASA decide which astronauts to assign to a mission? 2. How does NASA decide which shuttle will fly the mission? Good Luck & God Speed!
Michael from Greer
I heard that you now use the OMS engines during launch for extra thrust. Is this true? If so, was this a major change in the engine systems?
Steely from Manchester, United Kingdom
Considering the amount of heat and thrust during blast off is the any damage done to the launch pad, and do thay have to rebuild certain parts of the launch pad after every mission?
Jorge from Valledupar
Until now, NASA has only tried to send adult humans to the ISS. How about sending children to that magnificent structure in space? How long can a child be there? Is there any danger for them?
Ande from Philly
Is the space shuttle leaving from Florida or Houston?
Aaron from Singapore
How many years is the ISS expected to be in service?
William from Penndel
How do you make the fuel for the rockets and boosters?
Christopher from Point Lookout
Can the shuttle perform a go-around on landing if need be?
Elvin from Ruston, Louisiana
Will STS-110 take pictures of the planetary alignment scheduled to appear this month? When will they be available to the public?
Matt from Beaver Falls
Is it possible to see the International Space Station from Earth with a telescope? If so what power telescope would you need?
Gwri from Leicester
Will this mission be as intense as the last mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope? Will this mission require the same kind of space walk stamina and engineering skills? All the best in space. Gwri
Gábor from Budapest
Do the developers of the ISS have a final plan relating to its shape, or they can change their ideas, according to future requirements (of some experiments)? What is the planned shape of the ISS? Any regularity? Are the developers planning the evaluation of gravity somehow in the ISS?
John from Amsterdam
How often is the hardware/software on a shuttle upgraded and who decides what should be changed?
Steven from Centennial
Is there an escape mechanism on the orbiter that the astronauts can use during ascent? If so, when can it be used?
Tony from Omaha
Are you guys using the ISS as a testbed for breakthrough propulsion systems and tests?
Roy from Ft. Myers
What is the total flying time of the pilot in command of the space shuttle and how much of the launch and reentry might be hand flown by the crew?
Brandon from Neepawa, MB
Hi, so can you tell me what is so good about the new engines? Also how heavy is the space shuttle with this payload?
Class 1-C from Jefferson City
Do they leave the cargo bay doors open (to cool the ship after entry) when the truss is in the cargo bay?
Andy from Reading
Could you counter the drag on ISS by scooping up the thin atmosphere at the front and blasting it out the back as a plasma or ion beam instead of boosting its orbit with spare fuel from each mission?
Greg from Seattle
I notice in pictures of the space walks that one crew member will have, what appears to be, red tape around their legs and backpack. What does that signify?
Bryant from Avon, Indiana
Is it a major concern that food and/or water doesn't get into the computers while the astronauts are eating? What precautions are being taken to avoid this?
Bryant from Avon, Indiana
Does the crew have a way to escape the ISS if there was any major incident, for example if there was an oxygen leak?
Bryant from Avon, Indiana
How much power will the solar panels be able to produce on the ISS? How much will actually be used? Do you have a backup power source?
Sam from Oil City
Are there any plans to designate a small area of the space station as a chapel?
Ryan from New York
How do you water plants in space?
Chris from Pembroke Pines
Why is it important to learn about how plants grow in space?
Michelle from La Grange
Do the plants grow in soil?
Arnold from Chicago
How do plants orient their growth without gravity?
Peter from Charleston
What will be done with the wheat after it returns to earth?
Steve from Athens, Georgia
Why was wheat selected to grow in space?
Luigi from Naples
What does PESTO stand for?
Mike from Santa Barbara
During ascent from the launch pad, why does the shuttle roll so that the shuttle is facing Earth? Why doesn't the shuttle roll so that the external tank is between the shuttle and Earth?
Bryan from Cork Ireland
Why is the window for a launch very small?
Mike from Charlotte, North Carolina
Will there be made available a video of the launch? I'm thinking this video would describe (in layman's terms) all the systems and components of the shuttle, and what functions they undergo from the beginning of the launch countdown until liftoff. Example: t-minus x minutes and counting - the external fuel tanks are pressurized and so forth ...
Beasleigh from Tinker Air Force Base
What type of medium is the space program's top choice to cultivate plants? Is it hydroponics, zeoponics or some other technique? Please explain...
Marcus from Tampa
How do astronauts launder their garments on the space station, or do they?
Lynda from Miami
In the collaboration effort to complete the ISS station, are any other nations going to partake in a mission soon? Why haven't nations other than those in Europe joined to embark on such an integral part of advancement for the human race?
Joshua from Albuguerque
How much fuel does it take to fill up the rocket for blast off?
Scott from Sydney
When the shuttle performs the "heads down" manuever, is this manually performed by the pilot or does the "autopilot" control, if it is the autopilot, what percentage of the time is the pilot in control of the shuttle?
Jonathan from Aalborg
I don't know at what point in the flight the main fuel tank is detached, but is it possible to continue into orbit with it still attached, perhaps to be used as part of the ISS either as storage space or even as the shell for living quarters ?
Art from Haymarket, Virginia
Why are launches continuously scheduled during known peak thunderstorm times of late afternoon?
Trevor from London
Why in the days of Gemini and Apollo a redezvous and docking could be achieved in one or so orbits but with the shuttle it takes approximately two days to achieve a rendezvous and dock?
Anna from West Caving
What music is being taken up on this flight? Do the astronauts get to bring their favorite CD's? Do all listen to the same music or are they allowed to bring a personal player with a headset?
Karen from Junta Gird
After an equipment failure like this, do you get a little bit more nervous at launch time?
Apt. M from USAF BCC
I have heard a rumor that the shuttle may not launch for another week or so. What can you tell us?
Braid from Chicago
What is the purpose of the S0 Truss and how does it work?
Tom from Richboro
Why does Atlantis need to fire its OMS engines for a minute or so after main engine throttle up?
Roland from Giengen
Can an astronaut feel that he is flying in heads-down-position after the roll-program and can he watch the top of the ET or the solids from the cockpit as commander or pilot?
Krys from New Jersey
Are you going to give a full inspection on the STS-110 to make sure there are no further failures?
Marija from Mala Gorica, CR
If the hydrogen leak is repaired is it possible that the leak might occur again after they launch and after there is no way back?
Bob from Little River, South Carolina
I reside in Little River, South Carolina -- Lat/Long coords: 33 51 947N - 78 37 340W. My wife and I were sitting on our back deck, facing south, last February, I believe, when the last shuttle was launched to repair Hubble. Holy Cow!! We saw the darn thing!! We watched main engine cutoff, saw the smoke trail end, and then the sun reflecting off the skin for a few more seconds. What a beautiful sight!! Question: can you tell me how far I am on a straight line to launch pad, and also how high the thing had to be for us to witness it? Bob Nall
Danita from Elkhart
How big is the payload on the space shuttle Atlantis and is there room for a blow dryer? Can I smoke up in space?
Adam from London, United Kingdom
I have heard rumors of there being a VT camera attached to the ET for this mission (a la Mars Odyssey). Is this true? If so will the footage be available on the web? Good flying...Adam
Wayne from Ft. Lauderdale
What, exactly, is the "inclination" of the orbital liftoff?
Dan from Cleveland
Can the crew of the ISS see the shuttle launch?
Kyle from Seymour
When do you think the new spacecraft will be built? And how much will it cost ot make the space veihcle? When do you think we will land on Mars?
Steven from Bacolod
Does traffic have to be considered in planning the shuttle's path?
Tony from Rockledge
Why are you using such out-of-date propulsion when there are many more energy and cost efficient means of propulsion such as colliding antimatter with matter?
Heather from Carlsbad
What would happen if another leak occurred during the time the shuttle was in space?
Kirk from Madison
Is not "Atlantis" the most sophisticated of the four shuttles in the fleet?
Kirk from Madison, Wisconsin
If an astronaut became ill on the eve of his or her flight could they be replaced or would they simply be left off the flight?
Tyler from Roanoke
Since space is so harsh how do you protect the exposed parts of the ISS from the extreme temperatures?
Tyler from Roanoke
How are the crew protected from radiation and the UVA and UVB rays from the sun?
Tyler from Roanoke
Is there a medical doctor on the ISS all the time or do they cycle out with the crew, or does everyone on the shuttle have a basic understanding of the body and its workings?
Tyler from Roanoke
If a crew member breaks a bone in the middle of a mission what happens?
Tyler from Roanoke
Is it possible for a person to accidentally "leave the oven on" in the ISS?
Tyler from Roanoke
If the S0 is the backbone of the ISS what is the heart?
Tyler from Roanoke
If necessary can the crew override the orders of the main computer on the space shuttle?
Steve from Lichfield, United Kingdom
Do the crew of the ISS pay tax on the money they earn when in space as they are not living in any one country? Please keep up the good work and if you ever get any spare seats please call.
David from Knoxville, Tennessee
Who has made the most space flights in history?
Joe from Selah
How fast is the shuttle going when it lifts off the ground? How fast is it going when it lands?
Bob from Boston, New York
Mission Commander -- what are the major requirements to become the Mission Commander? Also what is the commander's roll d uring the EVAs? NASA TV always gives us a great s how and opportunity to be part of each mission. Thanks and great job.
William from Penndel
I may have asked for this before, but how is the fuel made for the boosters and where and how long does it take? Keep up the good work and have a good and prosperous summer. Love you all and I love this site and love tracking the satellites on jtrack3d - check it out every one! Also try terrafly - it's really cool. Still trying to find a site where I can get real data so I can see where I live from space. Landsat7 is cool too.
Maria Cristina from Daytona Beach
Have any life birds or fish been on a space shuttle, what were the experiments and results?
5th Grade from Florissant, Missouri
Can you see the shuttle from Missouri on launch or reentry at all?
Mr. Side Ireson from New Plymouth
Why is the shuttle launched so that it is behind the ISS and in catch up mode and not launched so it is in front of the ISS and slowly lose speed to match the ISS's orbit?
Celina from Montrose
Who was the first woman in outerspace?
Ed from Monroe Township, New Jersey
With thousands of pieces of space debris floating around that needs to be constantly monitored, why don't the shuttle crews retrieve a few on each mission? Why wasn't the shuttle used to retrieve the failed U.S.A./Argentine satellite?
Tom Carp from Woolwich, New Jersey
With all the space junk that is present in space how do the astronauts deal with the stress of knowing that they could be hit by an object at any given moment?
Joy from Green Garden
What is the range of seeing the shuttle once it has launched?
Tref from YnysMon, Wales
The visible development of spacecraft was obvious during the 30 years post war period. However, to the untrained eye, little has changed to shuttle design over the past 20 years. Is this because of insufficient funding or did you get it right first time?
Gary from Yalaha, Florida
Why are there two sonic booms on reentry?
Joshua from 7 Lakes
In what year is the space station going to be able to support living organisms?
Michael from Hasting
Why does NASA send so many shuttle missions to the space station? Isn't there supposed to be a crew on board the space station year-round?
Martin from Reading, England
I understand that the space shuttle Atlantis now has all three of its main engines modified. Can you explain what improvements have been made and what effect these will have to its performance?
Robert from Hicksville, Ohio
When will the new spacecraft be used?
Michael from Oklahoma City
What does the term "talkback" refer to when the astronauts are configuring switches aboard the shuttle?
David from Monett
During launch, close-up shots of the rear of the shuttle stack show what appears to be smoke originating from the bottom of the ET. Is this due to the heat of the SRB's actually burning the back end of the ET, due to draft causing smoke to be drawn up into the vacuum behind the ET, an optical illusion or just what? I know it's normal as I've seen it on every launch, but have always wondered what was causing it.
Cylon from Lake City, Florida
What's the logic of launching the shuttle straight up versus taking off like an airplane/jet? Seems to me that it would take less fuel due to the less amount of thrust needed to go airborne.
Sheryl from Dublin
What does the STS-110 stand for?
Garrett from Shreveport
Will there be any future expansions made to the ISS?
Garrett from Shreveport
Are there any emergency rescue systems for the cargo in case something happens that would otherwise destroy it?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
What will be the first animal to go to the space station and on which mission will it go?
Jose Manuel from Mexico D.F.
How does the shuttle conserve the life and integrity of the plants and astronauts in space?
Steven from Rome
Is it true that Discovery is the heaviest of the shuttles built?
How much fuel is needed to launch the space shuttle (in kilograms please).
Troy from Grand Prairie
When the ISS is completed, what will its official name be? I believe that it can be one of three: ISS, Alpha, and Orbital Outpost, is this true? I think all of them are just awesome and it will be a tough decision to make. Submitted by proprietor at OMNITEK of Grande Prairie.
Steven from Glasgow
Could the shuttle be adapted to reach the moon?
Jake from Newark, Ohio
How do rockets work?
Edmund from Newton, New Jersey
Why is it that the space shuttle only operates in low earth orbit? Is it because it can't go any higher? If it can could the space shuttle go around the moon?
Sigurd Ares from Frankfurt, Germany
After having landed on Earth, how long does NASA need to prepare a shuttle for the next flight?
Sigurd from Frankfurt, Germany
How many people with average strength are needed to move the space shuttle into orbit?
Shannon from Hilton Head, South Carolina
I live on the coast in the southern most area of South Carolina and was wondering is it possible to see the space shuttle launch from there?
Brian from Portland
At what atmospheric level are the booster rockets usually released from the main fuel tank?
Rodney from Latham, New York
Will the completed ISS be visible during daylight hour flyovers?
6th Grade Class from West End Elementary
What is the S0 truss used for on this mission?
Matt from Barnegat
I live in southern jersey on the coast. 6 to 8 minutes after launch is it possible to see the space shuttle? Thank you.
Matthew from Liverpool
When the shuttle lifts off, what measures are taken to ensure it flies upwards and not go out of control doing a loop and hitting the ground as is the case with so many amateur built rockets.
Mary from Wauwatosa
Is is possible to get a description of the plant growth chamber that is being carried on today's (4/08/02) launch? I teach Biology and would like to describe this to my students. Thank you.
Christopher from Los Angeles
Does NASA have a plan to prevent space junk and debris and how is NASA preparing for potential collisions between the debris and the space station?
Michael Hellman from Lubbock
What is the area inside the shuttle in cubic feet?
Jeremy from Santa Rosa, California
Shuttle landings are always compared to commercial airliner landings--so many times steeper or faster or whatever. I think that a better comparison would be to a carrier landing by a Navy fighter plane such as an F-14 Tomcat. Although carrier landings are somewhat different, since they are made under power on an extremely short 'field' and are often referred to as "controlled crashes," there are similarities in rate of descent and speed, compared to an airliner. I would appreciate hearing both comparisons in future shuttle landings.
Shaun from England
How long will it take the STS-110 to get to its destination?
Jon from Indianapolis
I would like to watch the launch as well as the countdown to the launch on my computer. How do I achieve that? Thanks!
Marie from Yoakum
Can NASA provide STS-109 and ISS docking information (date and time)? My location is Lat.29.288, Long.-97.152, I would love to see and show my kids the two come together. Also "Orbital Insertion Altitude & Inclination: 122 nautical miles/51.6degrees," but direction (N, E, or S)? I use this information for keeping my kids interested in science, so many thanks!
Shaun from London
Is it true that they are going to build a space hotel?
Steve from Everett
At what point do the astronauts drive/direct the course of the shuttle. or is it all preprogrammed or controlled from the ground? Also fuel for our cars is like $1.30 per gallon and a car may hold 20 gallons and we may get about 20 miles per gallon -- how does this compare to the space shuttle? Thank you.
Susanne from Massapequa
Since September 11th have the astronauts needed to amend their training or mission objectives?
Bryan from Locust Grove
How long does it take from the time the astronaut starts getting dressed to the time of liftoff?
Ahmad from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
What is the reason that the space shuttle changes its orientation and altitutde position (pitch, roll and yaw) in orbit?
Mark from Daytona Beach
After touring the Space Center. I ask: Why don't we get to see more live coverage of the inside of the shuttle during departure and especially a full reentry. It would be great and informative to see what happens from inside instead of just the outside.
Jared from Westby
Do you think that we will ever land on Pluto?
Terry from Whyalla Sth Australia
Does a launch ever get common place with Americans? Because for me, on the net for the first time, watching this I think, (on my birthday), it will be hard to beat! Thanx!
Mark from Callahan, Florida
What time wil the shuttle launch occur today?
Jim from Tulsa
Is it technically possible to have two shuttles up at the same time?
Nia McDonald from N. Chili
If NASA can send animals into space why can't they send regular children such as myself?
John from Hollywood
What are Gimbel angles? Why is a gimbel lock bad?
John from Jacksonville
It is my understanding that gamma rays are very prevalent in outer space, dangerous, and can even penetrate metal (i.e. space shuttle). How are the astronauts not harmed?
Yolanda from Joaquin
How do people talk on the space shuttles?
Nancy from Palatine
In regard to security and air clearance, what is the difference between the shuttle's air/security clearance and Air Force One's?
Duane from Redlands
What is the main mission of Atlantis today? How far into orbit will the total mission be in miles?
Aaron from Grand Rapids
There were many other USSR space stations than MIR -- they didn't have many people to keep them running so why can't the ISS have less people to make it run?
Paul from Maple Glen
Is it at all possible to view the shuttle as it heads up the eastern seaboard? More so, is it viewable from near Atlantic City?
Aaron from Ada
What is the difference between the payload area between Atlantis and Burran the USSR space shuttle?
Alison from New Orleans
Is the life expectancy for humans who live on the ISS their entire lives longer than that of humans on Earth?
Jamison from Bedford
I am wondering what impact the Mideast turmoil/situation is having on the ISS. Are the other members of this venture still giving support as much as originally intended or are we loosing any potential members/modules? Are we still on track?
Matthew from Auburn
Where is STS from this mission going to land after their mission and how much more is there to go before the space station will be completed? What was the reason for the delay at five minutes today before the launch?
Jeff from Tempe
What is the hardest part about landing the space shuttle?
Jim from Emerson
To calculate the pre-orbit powered launch trajectory, should one compute a lessened "G" as a function of centrifugal (instantaneous x velocity actually centrifugal forces are a fictin, I know better to note - centripetal force)
Dave from Plain City, Ohio
STS-110 God Speed! Great work NASA! How does the current design of the propellant consumption affect or limit the mission's goals?
Rob from Scottsdale
Are there any trees/plants growing in the station that are not part of an experiment? If so, how many trees/plants would be needed to assist with adding oxygen to the station?
Jennifer from Edinburgh
How many medical applications are you involved in testing? What benefits do you think space medicine have and will have?
Alvaro from Rome
Have you guys at NASA employed the prinicples of ion thrust to let's say the ISS, try using antimatter engines on your latest vehicles.
Joe from Ocean Springs
Dear Sirs: Will there ever be a "live video" of the shuttle crew reentering the Earth's atmosphere when they are returning to Earth? Thanks, Joe
Gadhadar from Bangalore
I would like to know about why we just can't fire a rocket or a space shuttle like we fire a gun.
CJ from Monroe
What is the life expectancy of the current space shuttle fleet? Is NASA any closer to production of a new space vehicle? Finally, this is not a question but a statement of admiration and thanks; I wish you all the best in future missions and exploration.
John from Tampa, Florida
How many shuttles are there currently being used?
Gregg from Tampa
How much do the space shuttles weigh, what is their height?
Callum from Aberdeen
How many people can be in the shuttle at once?
Jenny from Phoenix
What is the Zarya module on the International Space Station?
Morgan from Greenlawn
While on the space station can the shuttle provide oxygen and lights and heat to the station or will they need suits to work inside? How long will the air and batteries last on the EVA suits?
Alfred from Queens, New York
This seems new, a shuttle docking in the day time for me seems unusual. Am I right and why this time? Thank you.
Morgan from Greenlawn
Will the shuttle be supplying the inside of the space station or does it have its own power yet? How long does the air and batteries last on their EVA suits?
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center