Countdown going smoothly, but weather may be factor

Home Archived News Countdown going smoothly, but weather may be factor

By Chris Drain

January 30, 2008

Atlantis is ready to go, but weather may be a factor in tomorrow’s launch.

Severe weather pummeling the southeast today is expected to move into the area by launch time, although it won’t have the energy it has had in the last 24 hours, according to shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters.

“I wish I had a better weather report for tomorrow, but we are expecting to have some significant weather in the area,” she said, during today’s countdown status briefing.

The launch is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Winters predicted light winds from the southeast at launch time, a sea breeze developing about an hour before launch and the potential for inland thunderstorms.

“We have a 70 percent of (Kennedy Space Center) weather prohibiting launch,” Winters said.

Jeff Spaulding, NASA test director, reported that “the countdown is going very smoothly,” with no problems with scheduled preparations and tests.

There is a three-day launch window, Spaulding said, meaning that if Atlantis is scrubbed for weather on Thursday, then Friday and Saturday are options.

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