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November 14, 2008

Shuttle ready to go tonight – if weather cooperates

Posted: 01:46 PM ET

With the weather the only question mark at this time, the seven-member crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour will suit up and close the hatch in the 5 p.m. ET hour today, hoping that a cold front with potential cloud cover and crosswinds will permit the launch at 7:55 ET this evening.shuttle-endeavour2

It's only the third nighttime launch since the Shuttle Columbia disaster five years ago.   NASA mission managers were reluctant to launch after dark, when it would be harder to spot the kind of launch damage that eventually doomed the seven-member Columbia crew.   A piece of insulating foam separated from Columbia's fuel tank, piercing the shuttle's leading wing edge and compromising its protection from the intense heat of re-entering the atmosphere.

CNN's Miles O'Brien will broadcast live from Kennedy Space Center for the launch; he'll be accompanied by Janice Voss, a veteran of five previous shuttle missions.  Should the launch be scrubbed for weather or technical reasons, there are other launch opportunities Saturday at 7:25 p.m., and Sunday at 7:02 p.m., though Saturday's weather looks dicey as well.

Endeavour will carry a module to add to the ISS, expanding sleeping quarters and adding toilet facilities with a goal of expanding the station's capacity to host up to six long-term occupants.

Peter Dykstra    Executive Producer   CNN Science, Tech, and Weather

Filed under: Uncategorized

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Franko   November 14th, 2008 5:32 pm ET

People pay attention, not bcause
This is a heroic advancement of science
But, this is another potential disaster
Fellow humans, skirting the gates of Heaven, with a Taxi from Hell

doc   November 14th, 2008 5:56 pm ET

There is a cost for the advancement of science, and man's knowledge of his surroundings.

There is no disaster, that can ever be avoided if we stand still and make no effort to learn.

News From Space! - The Original Space Weblog » STS-126: Launch Day   November 14th, 2008 6:20 pm ET

[...] Launch Day By TonyF Endeavour is fueling up for tonight's launch to the ISS. NASA [...]

peter mioduszewski   November 14th, 2008 9:45 pm ET

I am glad somebody is excited about the shuttle flight. After all, we put high-school experiments on the ISS, once we put a school teacher on the shuttle. All for the bargain price of 100.000.000 a pop. It all reminds me of a quote I read about Paris Hilton: she is famous for being famous. The ISS and the shuttle are famous for being the ISS and the shuttle. Don't get me wrong, I am a physicist and a big believer in exploring the universe. Mars probe, the Hubble, fantastic! Manned space program? A hundred times more expensive, more risky, and totally useless. This time we are installing a new toilet on the ISS, wow! What a waste.

Franko   November 16th, 2008 3:03 am ET

When O rings fail, insulation and tiles flake off, on the way up
Bad enough, - Parachute, sky gliding, and hope for the best ?

Contract out the maintenence to Russians, Chinese Indians, Anyone
Seems most sensible, Even your local tile layer prides his work.

Freeman Dyson, physicist of great renown,
Described the space station as Welfare
NASA defrauding the taxpayer - wefare fraud ?
Corruption extended to Heaven, Saint Peter, let me sneak by for $100

School student why do you care   November 16th, 2008 5:26 pm ET


Tony   November 17th, 2008 12:39 pm ET

NASA's budget is small potatoes compared to the US spending budget. The number of man hours spent to study space is very small, and probably smaller than it should be.

Frank Hinterberger   November 18th, 2008 4:50 am ET

It is ludicrous and short-sighted to consider abandoning, or even cutting back on, our space program. At some point, we will have to leave our planet to find other alternatives. The history of Earth shows cataclysms where very little survived. We need to have homes elsewhere long before that day. A more immediate point, the science and contributions which have come out of this agencys' endeavours over the years is incalculable, all the way down to household items and electronics we use and take for granted on a daily basis. Also, with other countries getting into the race (and it still is a race, even more so today), we cannot afford to give up our leadership role in this category. It is one thing to hold a big missile over someones' head. It is entirely another to gain their respect and be GRANTED a leadership role because we earned it through peaceful and knowledgeable means.

How about this? We actually get back to educating our children and employ them in the space industry and those industries supporting it. Employ enough people whereby, in the long run, we actually put money back into the business and private sectors because of it. We would learn more about our planet, solar system, universe, and our own genesis instead of fearing that knowledge, and make money to boot.

If we want to cut out something non-essential, how about some of that pork each state looks for and squanders, or perhaps dropping an unnecessary war which has squandered our surplus and internationally ruined our reputation.

Franko   November 20th, 2008 2:01 pm ET

India managed $79 million to send a robot to the Moon
We could partner with India, Maybe even include China ?
To establish an outpost, prelude to settlement, of Mars ?

Mr. Britt   December 3rd, 2008 6:51 am ET

is anyone else sleepy? im hungry too, i like pie

Andy Setlow   December 3rd, 2008 9:18 pm ET

This is a general comment about the overall impressive reporting and analyses by your total team; more specifically, Miles O'Brien.

I think y'all (I live in Alabama) would benefit from looking over the lesson plan I use to introduce students to the TOTAL ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM IN ONE LESSON! If you don't already have one, you should acquire the Exploratorium's spectrum chart - I give one to teachers when I demonstrate the lesson in their classrooms as a science educator volunteer. Even at your professional level I believe you would experience an 'epiphany' of the beautiful simplicity of the total spectrum the way I teach it - and add considerable insight into your analyses.

I can't determine how to send you folks an email with the lesson and image of the chart as attachments. I'd be pleased to send it all to you if you can respond with an email address.

Best Regards & Happy Holidays!

Andy Setlow 256.880.8377

Ron Johnston   December 4th, 2008 10:58 am ET


Perhaps we can consider what is going on in the automobile industry as the "Revenge of Tucker". That small innovative company which existed for a short time in the late 40's early 50's. How did the Big Three handle that? With the assistance of our Congress, they drove this company out of business!

Additionally, no one has mentioned the consumer rating magazines which have systematically rated American made automobiles in the black and foreign made (particularly those made in Japan) excellent for as long as the ratings have existed.

Ford has greatly improved from the "Fix Or Repair Daily" to good designs with features not quite up to the competitive features provided in foreign vehicles.

Being innovative is not simply changing tail lights or a grill!

chuck ivey   December 4th, 2008 4:35 pm ET

can't believe these wonderful science stories are going to dry up. How can CNN justify this closing of the science and technology group? It was basically the most interesting stuff, what with all the politics-ad-nauseum for the past two years.

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