Tuesday, July 05, 2011

No technical concerns as Atlantis countdown nears

NASA is not working any technical problems as Atlantis nears a 1 p.m. start to the final shuttle launch countdown, but big crowds expected for the launch may have to contend with stormy weather.

"All of our vehicle and ground systems are ready," said Jeremy Graeber, a NASA test director. "The STS-135 crew, Atlantis and the launch team are all ready to proceed with launch countdown, and we're looking forward to getting under way with (the) count, leading to a spectacular launch on Friday morning."

That will depend on cooperation from a front that threatens to bring showers, thunderstorms and clouds close to the launch site. There's a 60-percent chance of weather prohibiting the launch.

"I wish I had better weather for you," said Kathy Winters, the shuttle weather officer.

Conditions improve a bit Saturday and Sunday if necessary, with chance of a weather violation dropping to 40 percent and then 30 percent.

NASA expects between 750,000 and a million people will attempt to see the final shuttle launch.

The three-day countdown starts at 1 p.m. today.

Atlantis will have two attempts to launch between Friday and Sunday. Then NASA would stand down for an Air Force launch of a GPS satellite early July 14.

If the United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifts off on time, the next possible shuttle attempt would be July 16.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't be too surprised when this launch is repeatedly delayed and reset for several different reasons - all of which will be flaws discovered just before the scheduled lift-off.