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February 6, 2008

Shuttle Prep

Posted: 01:39 PM ET

Greetings from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida!

Today is L-1 (pronounced L minus one), which in NASA-speak means the day before launch. I'm here on site with Miami live truck operator Max Lewis getting set up for the big day tomorrow.

The headline out of today's Shuttle Status Briefing is that the engineers are seeing no significant technical issues with Atlantis, and the countdown is proceeding smoothly - but the weather could keep the shuttle on the ground Thursday. The official forecast says there is a 70 percent chance that bad weather will prevent launch tomorrow.

Friday and Saturday look better, but could still be problematic. High winds are forecast for Sunday. So we could be here a while.

L-1 is always a busy day for me. We don't have a building here at KSC, and trailers were banned after the nasty hurricane season of 2004. So I started the day about 8 a.m. at our storage room in nearby Cocoa, loading up my rental van with our tent, directors chairs, folding tables, shuttle model, and various other odds and ends that we'll be needing.

Half an hour and one massive security checkpoint later, I arrived here at the site, followed soon by Max driving the Miami live truck. The RV that we use as workspace was delivered about 10 a.m., and a delivery truck dropped off about 8 shipping cases of TV equipment shortly after that.

Our live location tomorrow will the roof of the Orlando Sentinel building next door to our lot. Max will get all the TV and electrical cable pulled over there today so we can hit the ground running with lights and camera set-up tomorrow. He'll also help me get the RV plugged in, the NASA television feed run to the TV there, and our computer network up and running.

Check this space tomorrow for Miles O'Brien's launch day blog!

- Kate Tobin, Producer, CNN Science & Tech

Filed under: NASA

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Father Robert Lyons   February 6th, 2008 2:31 pm ET

Don't get me wrong, I love my job as a priest... but I'd love to be there working with you for Launch Day. I've loved the space program since I was a child, and my hopes and prayers rise with the crew of STS-122/Atlantis!   February 6th, 2008 2:34 pm ET

Rock on Atlantis!

Its about time that the European lab gets up there!

Richard   February 6th, 2008 4:00 pm ET

I really hope it actually gets up this time, after all the delays and then cencelation in December. Shuttle launches and touchdowns are some of the most amazing things to watch.

I'd sure like to be with you, watching the lauch with your own eyes.

Good luck Atlantis! 🙂

By the way, what's this mission for? Is it more Space Shuttle repair/construction work?

Richard   February 6th, 2008 4:51 pm ET

Sadly, the launch has slipped to Friday

Gary   February 6th, 2008 7:10 pm ET

Rock on NASA. Prep Atlantis for a smooth launch, and light that candle!

Aaron   February 6th, 2008 7:24 pm ET

In the memory of my Grandfather (one of the lead electrical engineers on the shuttle program). Godspeed!   February 7th, 2008 5:45 am ET

Godspeed to the shuttle crew and we will be watching the launch from our front lawn in St Lucie County.
Awesome view!

Andrew   February 7th, 2008 11:12 am ET


You do an awesome job with the Space Program news and shows that you do – by far one of the most intelligent newspeople on TV today – thank you.

But....if you're going to blog, then you need to do it much more often for something as 'live' as this? Where's your report this morning?

Have a great day – I hope you get to enjoy the launch in the middle of all your work.


Landon   February 7th, 2008 11:55 am ET

I know about the bad weather. but when excatly is liftoff..
Is it morning,afternoon? excat time??
Any room for a hichhicker? 😉

Landon   February 7th, 2008 11:57 am ET

Hitchhiker;) sorry

m.r.smith   February 7th, 2008 12:26 pm ET

I believe liftoff is still scheduled for 2:45 pm EST today (Thursday). I'll try to be watching on the computer at work unless IT yells at me for taking up too much bandwidth again...

As for the mission, according to NASA's website, "the crew's prime objective is to attach the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station, adding to the station's size and capabilities."


VdV   February 7th, 2008 12:45 pm ET

Greetings from JSC in Houston. The launch has slipped to Friday.

Richard   February 7th, 2008 1:58 pm ET

The akuch is still set for Thusday, 2:45 PM ET, at least when I'm writing this. See the NASA shuttle blog for up-to-the-minute updates at

You can watch the launch live on Live ( )


Richard   February 7th, 2008 2:32 pm ET

Sorry, that was supposed to be 'launch' in my first sentence.

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