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September 07, 2006

Go For Launch Friday?

Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale said that the fuel cell problem that scrubbed the shuttle launch on Wednesday has been resolved. The launch is set for 11:41 AM EDT. If weather or some other problem prevents the launch on Friday, then NASA managers will face a tough decision: whether or not to approve a night-time launch later this month or in early October. Daylight launch is preferred so the launch cameras can scan the vehicle for falling foam. NASA had planned for this to be the last mission with this constraint on the launch window.

Friday is the last day in this window because the 11-day mission of STS-115 cannot overlap the Russian Soyuz TMA-9 flight that will bring up two members of the Expedition 14 crew, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin. Tom Reiter went up on the July shuttle flight and will remain onboard until Shuttle Flight STS-116 in December when Sunita Williams will take his place. The current Expedition 13 crew, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams, will ride home on the Soyuz TMA-8 with the first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari.

Marianne Dyson

Posted by m_dyson at September 7, 2006 07:44 PM



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