Shuttle Launch Scheduled Tonight

atlantis-lifts-sts-117.jpgUPDATE: ATLANIS LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL!

What a great way to start the weekend.

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 070607_sts117_shuttlepad_02.jpgSTS-117 Is set to go, all systems green tonight at 7:30 PM Eastern time. You might not be seeing much about this right now, but trust me that this is more important than Paris Hilton screaming in a courtroom.

  AP story:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A patched-up Atlantis was fueled for liftoff Friday night on the first space shuttle flight of 2007—a mission that was delayed by a damaging hailstorm and overshadowed by a lurid astronaut love triangle. The shuttle and its seven astronauts were set to blast off at 7:38 p.m. on a mission to continue construction of the international space station. Around midafternoon, the crew headed for the launch pad. The forecast looked great and the countdown appeared trouble-free except for the discovery of a loose clamp on the launch platform underneath the shuttle. The clamp holds a pipe in place. No immediate decision was made on whether it needed to be fixed.

During the 11-day flight, Atlantis’ astronauts will deliver a new segment and a pair of solar panels to the orbiting outpost. They will also swap out a member of the space station’s crew.

The mission was delayed for three months after a freak storm at the launch pad hurled golf-ball-size hail at Atlantis’ 154-foot fuel tank, putting thousands of pockmarks in its vital insulating foam and one of the orbiter’s wing.

LA Times has a video snip here.

2 Replies to “Shuttle Launch Scheduled Tonight”

  1. I live on the opposite coast of the launchpad but on rare occasions we can view the launch. Friday, a severe thunderstorm was moving in from central Florida towards the Gulf coast and I gave up hope of seeing the launch. I went to my sisters house to play bingo with the nieces and spent about a half hour on the highway traveling in front of the storm. There was a complete double rainbow out for the entire trip, kind of sad seeing the end of the rainbow where you were just at instead of where you are going.
    Anyway, to make this long story longer. Her house is on the river with several massive oak trees so I figured no shuttle viewing except on TV. She said you can still see the shuttle from her house and, sure enough, there it was, an opening in the trees with a rainbow on the right and the shuttle exhaust trail on the left and the storm clouds on top.
    I tried a couple cell phone photos but they really don’t do it justice.

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