Archive for July 1st, 2006

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Launch cancelled until tomorrow

Due to weather constraints the launch has been scrubbed for today. The aim is to have a 24hr turn around to launch tomorrow at 19:26 GMT.

Feel very sorry for everyone involved, especially the crew that will have to wait quite some time before they can be extracted from the orbiter to do it all again tomorrow!

Fingers crossed!

Matt

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No go for weather?

Currently the launch of Discovery STS-121 is a negative due to weather. There are storms in the launch area but the weather conditions must be acceptable at one of the three Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) sites to launch. The sites are Zaragoza, Spain; Moron, Spain; or Istres, France. Today’s preferred landing site is in Moron, Spain.

Launch is still technically good and the prefered lift off time is 19:48.41 GMT.

Matt

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About 25 minutes to go!

The closeout crew are just leaving the launch tower as we are part way through a 40 minute scheduled hold. The launch window has just been confirmed and is just over four minutes long!

There was an issue earlier on with a shuttle thruster but the issue has been cleared for launch by the Mission Management Team.

Matt

(Image credit: NASA/KSC)

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Crew on board

The crew are no on board Discovery ready for the launch of STS-121 and are now conducting air-ground communication checks.

There were some concerns earlier on that the weather could preven a launch but a flight in a Shuttle Training Aircraft by Astronaut Mike Bloomfield will assess the weather during the reat of the launch countdown. There have been some reports of lightening in the area.

Matt

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Countdown continues

The ‘Ice team’ are just finishing up their inspection of the vehicle on the pad and the countdown clock is running once again.

The crew a dressing in their space suits and will soon be entering the orbiter.

Matt

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Discovery set for Launch

NASA’s Space shuttle Discovery is all set for launch on what will be the second mission since the loss of Columbia.

Mission STS-121 (Discovery’s 32nd flight) should see Discovery launch at around 1549 EDT (1949 GMT) but is dependent on local weather conditions being suitable.

Modifications

NASA have made a number of modifications to the orbiter, the most significant being the changes to the external tank. The Proterberance Air Load Ramps have been removed from the fuel tank as this was the area that foam was previously shed from. Following extensive testing and analysis the PAL Ramps have been deemed unnecessary.

Changes have been made to Discoverie’s heat shield. More than 5000 gap fillers have been replaced and the heat tiles around the front landing gear doors have been replaced with ‘hardened’ tiles as this is a particularly vulnerable area.

Discovery Crew

From the left are astronauts Stephanie D. Wilson, Michael E. Fossum, both mission specialists; Steven W. Lindsey, commander; Piers J. Sellers, mission specialist; Mark E. Kelly, pilot; European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany; and Lisa M. Nowak, both mission specialists. Image credit: NASA

Matt

(Image credit: NASA/KSC)

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