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Space Team Online QuestChat

Date: December 15, 1999

Featuring: Michael Ciannilli
Test Project Engineer
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL



Wed Dec 15 13:19:51 1999

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 2 - 09:42:14 ]
Hello to our early arriving chat participants. We will begin today's Space Team Online chat with Michael Ciannilli from NASA Kennedy Space Center in approximately 20 minutes. Be sure you have read Michael's profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/team/ciannilli.html to prepare your questions.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 09:43:23 ]
Today's chat may be MODERATED to help Michael keep up with our questions. If our chat is moderated, DON'T WORRY if you don't see your questions on your screen immediately. We will post a few questions for Michael every few minutes.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 4 - 09:44:34 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, we ask that you send your comments to us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats. Select "Surveys/Feedback" on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 5 - 10:01:11 ]
Hello and welcome to our Space Team Online chat with Michael Ciannilli from NASA Kennedy Space Center.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 6 - 10:01:23 ]
Hi! I would like to welcome everyone to the Cape. I look forward to talking with all of you.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 10:01:37 ]
And now, here is Michael Ciannilli to answer your questions.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 10 - 10:04:48 ]
RE: [Corey] What specific systems do you monitor during launch?
Hi Corey! We basically monitor all of the systems on the entire vehicle. For example, the ECL ( life support ), EPD ( electrical power ), DPS ( computers ), ISL ( instrumentation )...and many more both on the orbiter and aslo the solid rocket boosters and external tank.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 12 - 10:06:21 ]
RE: [Annette] I am not sure if you can answer my question but I can't seem to find any other chatroom. My question is about the stars. It is as follows, Looking at only the brightest stars in the night sky, what kind of stars are you most likely looking at? Why?
Annette, Glad to have you with us today. Well the first thing you should be aware of is that often the brightest objects in the sky are often planets.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 14 - 10:08:56 ]
RE: [Corey] What systems cause the greatest concern during launch?
Well good question as all systems are important, however, some are much more critical than others. The main propulsion system which includes the main engines and external tank is perhaps that best grabs our attention.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 17 - 10:12:32 ]
I would like to invite everyone to join my yearlong series of live broadcasts covering the processing of the space shuttle. The next one up is in January and covers the Launch Control Center. Basically, the series will take you from the Shuttle Landing Facility to eventually arrive at the launch pad. The following URL is the Home Page for the series and I invite you to take a look at it.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 18 - 10:12:33 ]
RE: [Annette] Could he be right?
Annette, I'll let Michael answer your question about the low mass stars. But here's an interesting tidbit for your classmates: when the International Space Station is completed, it will be visible from Earth with the naked eye. So stars and planets may not be the only bright celestial bodies we will be able to see!

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 19 - 10:15:00 ]
RE: [Annette] That's what I thought but some guy in my class said that they were Low mass stars
Well Annette as far as the objects go, I believe they are planets. However, when it comes to stars then there are several other factors to take into consideration such as distance, luminosity, and the age of the star.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 20 - 10:17:38 ]
RE: [Annette] Could he be right?
As far as Low Mass stars being the rule all of the time, I would have to look into that a little further. I would definitely recommend checking out some of NASA's great astronomical web sites for further info in that area.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 21 - 10:17:51 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] I would like to invite everyone to join my yearlong series of live broadcasts covering the processing of the space shuttle. The next one up is in January and covers the Launch Control Center. Basically, the series will take you from the Shuttle Landing Facility to eventually arrive at the launch pad. The following URL is the Home Page for the series and I invite you to take a look at it.
You can learn more about this series at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/events/ksc99

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 24 - 10:19:03 ]
This is also a great opportunity to remind everyone that the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled for tomorrow night, December 16, 1999 at 9:18pm eastern.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 25 - 10:20:54 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] This is also a great opportunity to remind everyone that the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled for tomorrow night, December 16, 1999 at 9:18pm eastern.
You can track the countdown for the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on the NASA Kennedy Space Center web site (http://www.ksc.nasa.gov) or the NASA Johnson Space Center web site (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov).

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 26 - 10:21:15 ]
RE: [Annette] That's a good point, I just wanted to make sure that I was partially right. The thing is that my Astronomy teacher asked us that question but I am not sure how to answer her question correctly when it seems that the answer may vary.
Annette, if probably would be a good idea to ask your teacher what she is trying to get you to focus on. There may be a general rule that covers what she wants to get across to you. However, remember a Low Mass star, very far away would be very hard to see.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 27 - 10:23:20 ]
Discovery's launch will be STS - 103. The primary mission objective will be to service the Hubble Space Telescope which has been experiencing several malfunctions recently.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 29 - 10:25:20 ]
Some specific tasks that will be performed are: the installation of 6 new gyroscopes ( currently 4 of the 6 onboard no longer function ), a new computer, and the installing of new thermal insulation on the outside of the telescope.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 30 - 10:27:37 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] Some specific tasks that will be performed are: the installation of 6 new gyroscopes ( currently 4 of the 6 onboard no longer function ), a new computer, and the installing of new thermal insulation on the outside of the telescope.
Mike, do you the specifications of the computer that will be installed on the Hubble?

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 31 - 10:28:30 ]
RE: [Annette] I tried looking in the book but it was not much help, on one of our quiz questions she asked "The most common stars are:" and the answer was Low mass stars. That's were my classmates got the answer for my origional question to be Low mass stars.
Well, low mass stars are indeed common, however, they are not the brightest. Remember, the brightest objects tend to be planets, and the brightest stars will be the ones that give off the most luminosity....and that depends on several other factors such as the ones that I listed earlier.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 34 - 10:33:07 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] Well, low mass stars are indeed common, however, they are not the brightest. Remember, the brightest objects tend to be planets, and the brightest stars will be the ones that give off the most luminosity....and that depends on several other factors such as the ones that I listed earlier.
And always remember that the distance to the object from the earth has a lot to do with the brightness of the object, at least as far as our eyes can see. That is one of the really exciting capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. It enables us to see deeper into the universe.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 35 - 10:34:46 ]
RE: [Annette] I just noticed that you said there was some websites I could check out, could you give me the website address
Well, I would start off at the NASA home page, http://www.nasa.gov. and from there head down the astronomy path

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 36 - 10:37:04 ]
Annette, are you taking astronomy in high school or college?

[ Annette - 47 - 10:53:13 ]
I am taking Astronomy in college, Michael. And thanks for the website address. ChatHost thanks for the tip

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 37 - 10:37:55 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] Well, I would start off at the NASA home page, http://www.nasa.gov and from there head down the astronomy path
Annette, on the NASA home page, you can find several websites focusing on astronomy listed under "Other Cool NASA Web Sites." Check it out!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 39 - 10:39:41 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] Hey Oran for the computer question. Hubble will receive at 486 MHz computer.
OK, thanks, Mike!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 40 - 10:41:22 ]
We would like to remind you to send your comments about today's chat to us, at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats. We hope to hear from you!

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 41 - 10:44:01 ]
Launch Countdown Update: The launch countdown of Discovery is going well. We started the count at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and we loaded the cryogenics for the Fuel Cell System early this morning.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 42 - 10:45:54 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] Launch Countdown Update: The launch countdown of Discovery is going well. We started the count at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and we loaded the cryogenics for the Fuel Cell System early this morning.
Michael, how confident are KSC officials that the launch will occur on schedule?

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 44 - 10:48:38 ]
RE: [Oran/NASAChatHost] Michael, how confident are KSC officials that the launch will occur on schedule?
Well, as far as the vehicle goes, at this time Discovery looks great and is performing very well. As far as the weather goes, I believe we have been given an 80% chance of GO conditions.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 46 - 10:52:18 ]
If there is anyone in the chat room from the Central Florida area, just wanted to let you know I will be joining WLRQ 99.3 radio station to provide live launch commentary for STS-103. I hope you dial us up and enjoy the broadcast!!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 48 - 10:54:26 ]
RE: [Annette] I am taking Astronomy in college, Michael. And thanks for the website address. ChatHost thanks for the tip
Annette, we're glad you stopped by today. We invite you to participate in our other NASA QuestChats in the future. Check our schedule at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events for more information. Be sure to send us your comments at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 50 - 10:57:28 ]
RE: [Oran/NASAChatHost] Michael, although Kennedy Space Center focuses on space shuttle processing, what has been the mood at the center with the recent losses of two Mars probes?
Ah, good question Oran. Well, a few things come to mind. First of all it is a totally separate program than ours. HOWEVER, it clearly reminds us just how critical it is that we do our job VERY carefully. The " Rocket Business " is inherently very risky and dangerous. Events such as the Mars Polar Lander just seem to reinforce that concept.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 52 - 10:59:23 ]
RE: [MichaelCiannilli/KSC] Ah, good question Oran. Well, a few things come to mind. First of all it is a totally separate program than ours. HOWEVER, it clearly reminds us just how critical it is that we do our job VERY carefully. The " Rocket Business " is inherently very risky and dangerous. Events such as the Mars Polar Lander just seem to reinforce that concept.
Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. Those of us here at the Ames Research Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California certainly understand that.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 53 - 11:00:34 ]
RE: [Annette] Alright, thank you both for taking the time to answer my questions. Have a good holiday if you celebrate Christmas (if not that's cool too) and a safe new year.
Annette our pleasure. Enjoy your holidays as well!

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 54 - 11:01:38 ]
RE: [Annette] Alright, thank you both for taking the time to answer my questions. Have a good holiday if you celebrate Christmas (if not that's cool too) and a safe new year.
Annette, Thank you for all of your questions. It was great chatting with you. Best of luck in school! If you have additional questions, feel free to submit them in the future. Maybe one day you will join us in the Space Science side of the space program!!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 55 - 11:04:24 ]
This concludes today's Space Team Online chat with Michael Ciannilli from NASA Kennedy Space Center. We would like to thank those of you who joined us for today's chat. Our special thanks to Michael Ciannilli for sharing his career experience and expertise with us today. Thank you, Michael.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 56 - 11:06:17 ]
Remember again that the launch of Discovery is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, 1999. Also be sure to join me in my series: Space Shuttle Countdown - Landing to Launch. The next episode will be in January. For past ones please visit the archives.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 57 - 11:06:27 ]
As a final reminder, please send your thoughts about today's chat to us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 59 - 11:07:41 ]
I want to thank all of you for joining me at the Kennedy Space Center today. It was great talking with you. I hope you will join me for the exciting broadcasts we have planned in the next millennium!

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 60 - 11:14:00 ]
RE: [Annette] Well we will see, who knows, maybe but I was wondering if I could get off the subject for a minute and ask you if you are married? If you mind me asking that question that's find you don't have to answer, it's just I saw your picture and I did not read anything about you being married in your profile. So my other question is, "being in the field that you are in, is it hard to have a social life/personal life? When do you get to spend time with your family?
Annette, no I am not married. Well I must say that we do end up at times working a lot of hours, with those hours sometimes being odd shifts. So some weeks you just kinda of get up, go to work and go to sleep. However, I believe a good social life is very important so I try to do my best to always have fun when I can. I do get to spend time with my family, typically seeing them every few weeks and definitely over the Holidays. My family is very important to me. Thanks for the question.

[ MichaelCiannilli/KSC - 63 - 11:45:41 ]
RE: [Mohammed] I am interested in having knowledge of the space quest and have a desire or will to go on a trip or an expidition to the space and would like to explore the univerese. but i couldnt do this becaus to go a head it requries lot of money to take admission. you can mail me on starnethyd@coolmail.com thaks for your valuable time Mohd.
Mohammed, Yes you too can get into space if that is indeed your dream. The best way to do this is to do your best in school, always do the best you can in everything you do, learn as much as you can about what interests you. Then apply to the astronaut program and maybe one day we will be launching you into outer space!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 61 - 11:14:34 ]
This concludes our Space Team Online chats for this year. We will resume our chats in January, 2000. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. On behalf of Linda Conrad, manager of the Space Team Online project, thank you for your participation this year!

 

 
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