Mon, Feb 06, 2006
... But Weather May Force Delay
The mood is one of
cautious optimism at Kennedy Space Center -- and not just because
NASA hopes to launch the space shuttle within the next several
months. Spirits are also high because everything looks good for
takeoff Tuesday morning of Steve Fossett and the Virgin Atlantic
GlobalFlyer from the fabled spaceport.
The GlobalFlyer team has been mobilized for "Code Green,"
meaning weather conditions over the next several days look
favorable for launch. The UK flight control team winged its
way to Florida Sunday to assist with the takeoff, while the mission
control center in Crawley, Sussex, England is expected to be
The road to Tuesday's expected launch at 6:42 am has been paved
by delays, including a brief scare last month after a ground accident resulted in damage to
one of the GlobalFlyer's wings. And controllers are
keeping their eyes on a storm front that may move into the area,
just in time to scrap the launch once more.
"...There is the risk of a small weather front reaching Kennedy
Space Center," says a statement on the GlobalFlyer website. "If the
front arrives before launch, the rain and warm temperatures would
result in a cancellation."
For the moment, however, the party's still on... and we wouldn't
be at all surprised if Fossett is banking all the sleep he can now,
as there will be very little chance for slumber during his expected
80-hour record flight.
If all goes to plan, Fossett will land in England sometime
Friday, having travelled nonstop for a longer distance than has
ever been accomplished before by ANY flying machine.
Stay tuned to ANN for updated, REAL TIME coverage of this
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