Liftoff into space for the Atlantis shuttle may be delayed due to inclement weather, the Associated Press reports.
The forecast for this week isn’t great for the Atlantis shuttle, which is set to take off Friday. Weather forecasts include a 70 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms which could hold up the launch, according to the Associated Press.
Atlantis shuttle is scheduled to launch July 8 at 11:26 a.m. The countdown for this final space shuttle launch officially began yesterday at 1 p.m. This morning at the T-27 hour mark, the countdown entered a planned hold at 5 a.m. and resumed at 9 a.m. At 4:30 a.m., Atlantis astronauts awoke to continue preparations for launch.
In a recent update, NASA’s Mission Management Team chair and shuttle launch integration manager, Mike Moses,Mike Leinbach, shuttle launch director, and Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer spoke at a meeting on possible delays.
“Before we go load the propellants into the tank we’ll take a look at the weather and make sure it’s really a good day to try that, and so at that point we’ll be making a decision,” said Moses.
“The countdown so far is going extremely well,” Leinbach said. “We’re not tracking anything at all that would prevent an on-time liftoff Friday morning.”
“We have a tropical wave that’s out in the Caribbean,” explained Winters. “That wave is actually going to come into Florida along with a lot of tropical moisture that’s down to the south, and it’s all going to roll into Florida in the next couple of days.” With these conditions, according to NASA, Winters predicted an 80 percent chance of weather preventing tanking operations, with a 70 percent chance of it standing in the way of launch at 11:26 a.m. EDT on Friday.
The final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, is a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Atlantis will carry four astronauts that include Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. Atlantis will also carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station.