Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lightning, storms scrub launch attempt

James Dean just filed this report on this morning's scrub ...

Thunderstorms and lightning forced NASA to scrub this morning’s planned launch of space shuttle Discovery.

A second launch attempt will be made at 1:10 a.m. Wednesday. The forecast calls for a 70-percent chance of favorable weather.

"When the weather is ready to cooperate we'll be ready to go," mission commander Rick Sturckow radioed to launch controllers about 10 minutes before a planned 1:36 a.m. liftoff.

With about two hours to launch, and after the seven astronauts were strapped into Discovery, storm cells formed near Launch Complex 39A. Lightning flashes could be seen near the pad.

Afternoon storms did not interrupt the loading of more than 500,000 gallons of supercold propellants into Discovery's external fuel tank, and initial forecasts predicted the weather would clear.

But just before midnight, a lightning warning was issued for KSC.

Discovery plans to fly a 13-day mission to deliver supplies and a crew member, former KSC engineer Nicole Stott, to the International Space Station.

In addition to Sturckow and Stott, who plans a three-month stay on the station, the crew includes pilot Kevin Ford and mission specialists Patrick Forrester, Christer Fuglesang of the European Space Agency, Jose Hernandez and Danny Olivas.

Discovery's payload bay holds a canister packed with more than 15,000 pounds of supplies, including a treadmill named for TV comedian Stephen Colbert, and science equipment to enhance the station's research capability.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That loser Colbert wouldn't even come down for the launch...loser !