Wed, Jul 06, 2011
Forecasters Say Tropical Wave May Be Coming In Over Next Few
Mission managers say that disorganized tropical weather may
threaten the planned Friday launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on the
final scheduled mission of the shuttle program.
System Movement Is To The North
Following a meeting of the Mission Management Team this morning,
STS-135 countdown and weather updates were provided at prelaunch
news conference. Panelists included Mike Moses, Mission Management
Team chair and space shuttle launch integration manager, Mike
Leinbach, shuttle launch director, and Kathy Winters, shuttle
"We had a really smooth Mission Management Team meeting today,"
said Moses. "The vehicle is in fantastic shape." In regard to the
launch-day weather forecast, he added, "Before we go load the
propellants into the tank we'll take a look at the weather and make
sure it's really a good day to try that, and so at that point we'll
be making a decision"
"The countdown so far is going extremely well," reported
Leinbach. "We're not tracking anything at all that would prevent an
on-time liftoff Friday morning."
"We have a tropical wave that's out in the Caribbean," explained
Winters. "That wave is actually going to come into Florida along
with a lot of tropical moisture that's down to the south, and it's
all going to roll into Florida in the next couple of days." Based
on these conditions, Winters predicted an 80 percent chance of
weather preventing tanking operations, with a 70 percent chance of
it standing in the way of launch at 1126 EDT on Friday.
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