Sun, Jul 12, 2009
'Game' Called On Account of Weather... Lots Of It
ANN Realtime Update, 07.12.09, 1903 EDT:
It is the flight that has had NO luck at all... and we can but
imagine that the crew of Endeavour are more than a little impatient
to get back to work -- but NOT today. Weather in the immediate area
threatened both the launch of the Shuttle as well as the potential
success of a return to the Shuttle Runway in the case of an
Currently, NASA hopes to launch on Monday at 1851 EDT... we'll
keep you informed as to their progress.
Original Report, 07.12.09, 0001 EDT: The launch
of space shuttle Endeavour was postponed until Sunday evening so
engineers could evaluate the spacecraft's myriad systems following
11 lightning strikes in the Launch Complex 39A area.
None of the strikes hit the shuttle or its external tank and
solid rocket boosters, but there were strikes to the lightning mast
and water tower. The launch pad is equipped with a lightning
protection system of wires that is intended to steer bolts away
from the shuttle.
"We've seen nothing so far that shows anything affected any of
the systems," said Mike Moses, chairman of the pre-launch Mission
Two of the strikes were strong enough to trigger an evaluation
by engineers just to make sure all of Endeavour's systems are ready
for flight. Although early evaluations showed no problems,
engineers wanted more time to make sure they have checked
"We need to be 100 percent confident that we have a good system
across the board," Moses said.
The launch time for Sunday is 7:13 p.m. EDT. The weather
forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions.
The STS-127 crew members are Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Doug
Hurley and Mission Specialists Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Tom
Marshburn, Tim Kopra and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie
Payette. Kopra will join the space station crew and replace
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will return to Earth on
Endeavour to conclude a three-month stay at the station.
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