Monday tidbits

Contributed by
Jul 16, 2006
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Update: Discovery landed this morning right on time and everything went smoothly. The crew is now off the Orbiter and the long process of inspection has begun.

Just a couple of quick notes to start the morning:

  1. As I write this (Sunday night) the Space Shuttle is due to land at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:14 Pacific Time (13:14 Greenwich). They close the hatch (really, the payload bay doors) around 2:00 a.m. Pacific, fire the engines up 3 hours later, and in only and hour from then they'll be home-- if it doesn't rain on the landing site, in which case they'll scrub the attempt (actually, they won't even deorbit if there's a significant chance of rain). There were some troubles on the mission: one of their auxiliary power units which powers the hydraulics-- needed to brake upon landing -- gave them some grief. However, there are two backup units, so it shouldn't be too big a worry. I suppose I'll know when I wake in the morning, so I'll post again when I have more info.
  2. You might have noticed the blog format changed again. I listened to the comments folks made when I moved the blog to the mainpage, the most common and important complaint being that the menu disappeared. Well, I tried to add one to the layout template (called a "theme") I was using and it was a nightmare. And the final straw, too: I had been having lots of trouble using the code in that theme. So I searched for three-column themes, found one that was close to what I liked, and spent all day hacking it. It was fun, actually! I haven't had a chance to really sit down and write code in ages. What I came up with is pretty different than the template I used to base it on, but very similar to how the blog looked before. I hope everyone likes it. And remember: in a few days now I'll be switching commenting systems entirely, so don't worry about any issues there.