NASA Scrubs Tuesday Shuttle Launch Attempt Due to Hurricane

By Keith Cowing
August 27, 2006
Filed under
NASA Scrubs Tuesday Shuttle Launch Attempt Due to Hurricane

Editor’s 28 Aug 7:30 am EDT update: Dean Acosta just announced in the newsroom that NASA mission managers decided this morning to scrub Tuesday’s launch attempt . Rollback preparations will begin, but the actual decision to rollback will not be made until midday tomorrow. There will be a news briefing at 9:00 am EDT.

Editor’s 28 Aug 7:10 am EDT update: The KSC launch site news room staff suddenly dashed out a few moments ago. Those who remain are talking about “rollback”.

Editor’s 27 Aug 9:10 pm EDT update: NASA did indeed announce that they have put off a final decision as to whether they will proceed with launch preparations – or prepare to roll the shuttle back to the VAB until 7:00 am EDT on Monday. The track of Ernesto seems to have developed in a way that gives NASA some optimism that it will not affect launch preparations. In addition, analysis of the SRBs shows that the lightning strike most likely did not affect SRB systems.

Editor’s 27 Aug 7:41 pm EDT update: NASA will announce at 8:00 pm EDT that they have not made a decision after all and that we have to wait until 7;00 AM EDT Monday for a final answer. Meanwhile, a L-1 MMT meeting is being planned for 10 am EDT on Monday.

Editor’s 11:30 am EDT note: MMT representatives toured the pad last night and met to discuss what they saw. This morning’s MMT meeting has been rescheduled to 6:00 pm today at which time it should be clear what NASA plans to do. Expect word around 7:00 pm EDT. Meanwhile, there will be an internal weather briefing at 1:00 pm EDT and a briefing with Bill Gerstenmeier at 2:00 pm EDT.

Right now a number of concerns are swirling about: possible lightning damage to the pyrotechnics on the SRBs (and perhaps other orbiter systems), the possibility that a hurricane off the western coast of Florida on Tuesday will produce unacceptable winds here at the Cape, and the impending launch of a Soyuz to the ISS in September and the need to not have an orbiter – and a visiting Soyuz – at ISS at the same time.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.