Saturday, August 22, 2009

Live At KSC: Countdown Status Briefing On Tap

The countdown to the planned launch early Tuesday of shuttle Discovery is continuing at Kennedy Space Center this morning as engineers and technicians began to service the shuttle's three power-generating fuel cells.

Discovery and seven astronauts are slated to blast off at 1:36 a.m. Tuesday on an International Space Station outfitting mission. The astronauts arrived at KSC earlier this week and countdown clocks began ticking backward at 11 p.m. Friday.

The weather forecast for launch is favorable. Meteorologists say there is a 70 percent chance conditions will be acceptable for launch. The prime concern is a chance of showers or thick, electrically charged clouds in the area at launch time.

Forecasters will be keeping a close eye on the weather for external tank fuel-loading operations, which are scheduled to begin about 4 p.m. Monday. There is a 30 percent chance of lightning in the area at that time.

Check out the details in this Official Forecast from the Air Force 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron. The wing provides tracking, range safety and weather forecasting services for all launches from KSC and nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Tune in to this morning L-3 Countdown Status Briefing at the top of the hour. Click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and be sure to refresh this page for periodic updates.

Taking part in the briefing will be:

- Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA Test Director
- Joe Delai, STS-128 Payload manager
- Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer

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