Friday, July 8, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis - Final Shuttle Launch!

Launch Date: July 8
Launch Time: 11:26:46 a.m. EDT
Landing Date: July 20
Landing Time: 7:06 a.m. EDT

Today, Friday July 8th, 2011 is scheduled to be the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is also the final manned shuttle launch of the NASA space program altogether.  I'm typing this up Wednesday evening and as of right now, the weather looks like it has the potential to postpone the launch.  The 1,000,000 fans expected to attend the event will be mighty disappointed if that's the case, but not much they can do about that.  Will hope for the best!

Here's the latest update as of Wed evening:

"We had a really smooth Mission Management Team meeting today," said Moses. "The vehicle is in fantastic shape." In regard to the launch-day weather forecast, he added, "Before we go load the propellants into the tank we'll take a look at the weather and make sure it's really a good day to try that, and so at that point we'll be making a decision."

"The countdown so far is going extremely well," reported Leinbach. "We're not tracking anything at all that would prevent an on-time liftoff Friday morning."

"We have a tropical wave that's out in the Caribbean," explained Winters. "That wave is actually going to come into Florida along with a lot of tropical moisture that's down to the south, and it's all going to roll into Florida in the next couple of days." Based on these conditions, Winters predicted an 80 percent chance of weather preventing tanking operations, with a 70 percent chance of it standing in the way of launch at 11:26 a.m. EDT on Friday. The forecast for the following days improves to 60 percent no-go on Saturday and 40 percent on Sunday.

It's been quite an inspirational program for the United States over the years and hopefully this will continue with future space missions/trips with the help of private companies such as Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson's space division and other companies mentioned on the Space tourism Wikipedia page

Space Shuttle Atlantis Over the Years
Shuttle Legacy: Soaring Achievement, high costs

(A wish for success/fortune for one setting out on an enterprise, voyage or adventure)


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