Thu, Jun 15, 2006
Better Late Than Never!
They were a day late, and someone else did the flying... but the
crew of space shuttle Discovery arrived at Kennedy Space Center
Tuesday, to conduct several days of exercises leading up to their
planned July launch to the International Space Station.
Why the delay? One word: Alberto, the tropical storm that made
landfall Tuesday well north of Cape Canaveral. It passed just close
enough, however, to flummox the astronauts' travel plans.
The change in schedule also meant the astronauts had to fly in
on NASA's Gulfsteam bizjet, instead of in the usual training
"It's great to be here, finally, a day late," said Steve
Lindsey, the crew's commander. "My crew and I are optimistic that
early July looks good."
The Associated Press reports the planned "dress rehearsals" --
which will extend through Friday, one day later than originally
planned, to make up for the lost day -- include a practice launch
countdown, a simulated launch pad escape exercise, and instruction
on using fire suppression and other emergency equipment.
NASA officials are scheduled to meet on Friday and Saturday to
give their final blessings to next month's flight... as well as set
a firm launch date for Discovery to return to the skies.
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