Tuesday, November 02, 2010.
"There is Excitement in the Air"
Countdown activities continue to pick up as Space Shuttle Discovery is a day away from its final launch. Technicians are inspecting the external tank liquid oxygen feedline today. The onboard and ground communications systems will be activated this afternoon and preparations are being made to move the rotating service structure away from the shuttle this evening.."There is excitement in the air," said NASA Test Director Steve Payne. "People are putting their game faces on.".This mission is the last spaceflight for Discovery, NASA's oldest active shuttle. Its history includes deployment of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and two successful Return to Flight missions, STS-26 and STS-114.."When she goes, she's going to take a little bit of every one of us and we're ready," Payne said..The weather forecast is holding steady with a 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch time Wednesday..Liftoff is still on track for the scheduled 3:52pm EDT Liftoff..
Discovery Launch Delayed by at Least a Day
The Space Shuttle Program Mission Management Team decided to delay by at least one day the launch of Shuttle Discovery to begin its 11-day mission to the International Space Station..The Rotating Service Structure will not be retracted tonight. The delay enables engineers more time to evaluate data gathered after irregular electrical readings were received while powering up the shuttle main engines Tuesday morning.
A liftoff Thursday would be at 3:29pm
MMT Gives "Go" For Thursday Launch Try, Eyes Weather
After looking deeply into an issue with a main engine controller on Space Shuttle Discovery, the Prelaunch Mission Management Team is confident the issue has been resolved, said Mike Moses, chair of the MMT. The team therefore gave a unanimous "go" for Discovery's launch Thursday at 3:29 p.m. EDT. That means the countdown will proceed through the night, including the retraction of the Rotating Service Structure from around the shuttle.
"From the vehicle perspective, we're ready to go," Moses said.
However, the weather forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of acceptable conditions, with the concerns being low clouds and rain within 20 miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility at launch time. The MMT will meet at 5:30 a.m. Thursday to consider the forecast and will decide then whether to fill the shuttle's huge external fuel tank for the launch.
"The weather still looks pretty bad for tomorrow," Moses said. "There's a chance we'll decide not to spend one of our (launch) opportunities."