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Atlantis Will Test New Engine Software

NASA said AHMS is the sixth major upgrade to the space shuttle's main engines since the first shuttle flight in 1981.
by Staff Writers
UPI Correspondent
Cape Canaveral FL (UPI) June 05, 2007
A main engine computer upgrade developed by NASA will be activated during the Friday launch of space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 mission. Officials said the upgrade is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's continuing efforts to improve space shuttle safety and reliability.

The Advanced Health Management System, or AHMS, will provide new monitoring of the two most critical components of the space shuttle main engine: the high-pressure fuel turbopump and the high-pressure oxidizer turbopump.

The upgrade allows an engine to shut down during launch if vibration levels exceed safe limits. NASA scientists said.

AHMS first flew on Discovery's STS-116 mission in December with a single controller on one engine, but in monitor-only mode -- meaning it collected and processed vibration data, but could not shut down the engine. AHMS will operate in active mode on one engine during the upcoming STS-117 mission and is scheduled to fly in active mode on all three engines during the STS-118 mission later this year.

NASA said AHMS is the sixth major upgrade to the space shuttle's main engines since the first shuttle flight in 1981.

earlier related report
A piece of the past rides into space
A 400-year-old piece of U.S. history will be aboard NASA's space shuttle Atlantis during its upcoming mission to the International Space Station.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said a four-century-old metal cargo tag bearing the words "Yames Towne" -- along with other commemorative mementoes -- are packed in Atlantis' mid-deck floor cargo space for the roundtrip flight to the International Space Station.

The commemoration honors this year's 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Va. -- the first permanent English settlement in North America.

"We found the tag at the bottom of a well during a dig at the James Fort," said William Kelso, director of archaeology at Historic Jamestowne. "It appears to be a discarded shipping tag from a crate or trunk that arrived from England around 1611. The artifact clearly marks Jamestown as a destination -- our nation's first address."

When the one-inch diameter artifact returns to Earth, it will have traveled more than 4 million miles in four centuries. Two sets of Jamestown commemorative coins, authorized by Congress and issued by the U.S. Mint, will also be aboard Atlantis.

Source: United Press International

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Atlantis Astronauts Ready After Long Wait
Cape Canaveral FL (UPI) Jun 04, 2007
Astronauts set to take off from Florida on the shuttle Atlantis are determined to remember the mission, because it could be the last of their careers. Lee Archambault, a 20-year Air Force test pilot and longtime astronaut, has yet to fly into space, The Miami Herald reported. If all goes smoothly this week Archambault will experience his first journey into space.

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