[sarex] Shuttle Atlantis Rolls Back to Launch Pad to Ride Out Ernesto

Arthur Rowe azrowe80 at verizon.net
Wed Aug 30 01:31:34 PDT 2006


> Aug. 29, 2006
> Allard Beutel
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-4769
> Bruce Buckingham 
> Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
> 321-867-2468 
> RELEASE: 06-304
> NASA managers decided early Tuesday to move the Space Shuttle Atlantis 
> from its launch pad into the Vehicle Assembly Building for protection 
> from approaching Tropical Storm Ernesto, but later in the day, when 
> the weather forecast improved, they reversed the decision and began 
> moving Atlantis back to the pad. 
> Assessments of updated weather forecasts convinced shuttle managers 
> that Atlantis would be protected from the storm at the pad at NASA's 
> Kennedy Space Center. 
> Atlantis is expected to be locked down at the launch pad about 8 p.m. 
> EDT Tuesday. The rotating service structure, which will surround the 
> spacecraft and serve as a protective barrier from the storm, will be 
> put around Atlantis about 30 minutes later. 
> Depending on the effects of Ernesto on Kennedy, a new launch date for 
> Atlantis' STS-115 mission to the International Space Station could be 
> set once storm damage is evaluated and work resumes at the launch 
> pad. A launch attempt may be possible next week. 
> Kennedy is expected to close ahead of the storm late Tuesday and 
> remain closed until at least Thursday. The center's emergency 
> operations personnel will stay on-site to monitor the storm and make 
> initial damage assessments after it passes. 
> The STS-115 crew, Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson, mission 
> specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and 
> Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean, returned to NASA's Johnson Space 
> Center Tuesday morning. Crew members would return to Kennedy after a 
> new launch date is scheduled. 
> During STS-115, Atlantis' astronauts will deliver and install the 
> 17.5-ton, bus-sized P3/P4 integrated truss segment on the station. 
> The girder-like truss includes a set of giant solar arrays, batteries 
> and associated electronics. The P3/P4 truss segment will provide 
> one-fourth of the total power-generation capability for the completed 
> station. 
> For information about the STS-115 crew and mission, visit: 
> http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle 
> -end-

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