Endeavour stays toasty in Florida chill
Warm air purges prevent shuttle catching cold
NASA technicians are keeping space shuttle Endeavour nice and toasty ahead of its forthcoming STS-130 mission to the International Space Station, as Florida enjoys "unusually cold weather".
The shuttle is sitting on Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A (see pic), protected from catching cold with "heaters and warm air purges" which "keep the spacecraft's systems at an appropriate temperature".
Endeavour is slated to blast off on 7 February, carrying commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Nicholas Patrick, Robert Behnken, Stephen Robinson and Kathryn Hire.
They're tasked with delivering the US's Tranquility node and a seven-windowed cupola destined to be used as a robotics control room. The 13-day mission will feature three spacewalks.
Damn this global warming!
I hope the O-ring seals in the boosters are up to it this time...
Re Florida chill
Right, and to repeat it (the IT angle), you and your nose will certainly be, and feel, colder the more it blows. There are also those who think a mink fur is warm, still a dead mink is as cold as its surrounding.
All they need to do is lag the outside with frozen iguana and manatee corpses.
Ice formation is inevitable with the liquid fuels used in the shuttle's main engines and it is impossible to sufficiently lag the main fuel tank to prevent it, unless you don't mind the thing being so heavy that the engines can't get it off the ground.
Once in orbit and out of the humid stuff the shuttle then has to deal with the other side of the problem, excess heat from such things as the 150,000 degree solar wind, which is why the cargo bay doors have nice shiny radiators inside them.