Shuttle Discovery Launch Scrubbed For A Second Time - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shuttle Discovery Launch Scrubbed For A Second Time

Mission managers knew they were going to have continued problems with foam at launch time.  They were just hoping they wouldn't have as many difficulties with the weather.

Overnight into Sunday, the forecast went from bad to worse.  Thick clouds, rain, thunderstorms and hail. You name it, the Cape got pelted.  None of that can happen at launch.

"It's almost easier to talk about the criteria that have not been violated.  Specifically we have not violated the criteria for smoke and temperatures.  But all other criteria is basically in the red right now," a NASA official says.

Austronauts continued their pre-flight activities.  They ate, suited up.  The closeout crew checked for ice after fueling.  All while, keeping an eye on the sky.

At a nearby hotel, the Vanek family was packing up, looking forward to seeing the shuttle fly.  The kids had their snacks. And Dad, John, raised in Huntsville wanted to share his heritage.

John Vanek says, "We're hoping for good weather.  We had a little bit of rain this morning.  We'll see what this afternoon brings."

By lunchtime, in Discovery's cockpit, a little sunshine, but that ray of hope was quickly dashed.

"We've talked to lauch weather and landing weather and the op manager, and we've concluded we are not going to have a chance to launch today," a NASA offical says.

They will re-power the orbiter, so it has enough juice to last the 12 to 13 day mission.

Liftoff is scheduled for Tuesday for 1:37 Central Time.  A forecast right now, a 60 percent chance go on Tuesday.

By Carrie Duncan

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