Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Better Luck Tomorrow

Better Luck Tomorrow: "

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - A sudden and unexpected onset of bad weather over Launch Complex 39A here caused NASA to scrub its first attempt to launch space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-128 to the International Space Station.

Although forecasts originally called for an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for launch, the situation rapidly deteriorated as the scheduled 1:36 a.m. EDT Aug. 25 liftoff time neared. A storm cell cropped up directly over the launch site, pouring rain on the orbiter and creating lightning strikes within five nautical miles of the pad.

Numerous weather constraints were violated concerning cloud cover, lightning potential and flight-through-precipitation. Some of those constraints were lifted shortly before the launch window, but conditions didn’t improve in time to allow a flight.

The shuttle team will try to launch Discovery again early Wednesday morning, at 1:10:22 a.m. EDT, when forecasters estimate a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions for liftoff. If that attempt also is scrubbed, the team will stand down for 24 hours before trying again.

There were no major technical problems with Discovery that would have precluded a launch. The Final Inspection Team expressed brief concern about an ice formation about 4.5 inches long on the liquid hydrogen T-zero umbilical, but it was determined not to be a problem.


(Via On Space.)

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