August 08, 2005

Discovery waved off until tomorrow

Discovery's astronauts get to enjoy a free day in orbit today after being waved off from today's scheduled landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Discovery was supposed to land in the pre-dawn hours this morning, but due to clouds and threatening weather in Florida, Mission Control decided to wave them off in order to try again tomorrow.

The astronauts had powered up their spacecraft and were awaiting word from Mission Control to fire their braking rockets and head for home when controllers announced early Monday that low clouds over Cape Canaveral would postpone the landing.

"We've been working this pretty hard as I'm sure you can imagine from our silence down here," Mission Control radioed Discovery commander Eileen Collins. "We just can't get comfortable with the stability of the situation for this particular opportunity, so we are going to officially wave you off for 24 hours."

Discovery is now scheduled for landing at 5:09 AM Eastern time tomorrow. If conditions in Florida prohibit landing there, the shuttle could land at Edwards AFB in California or at White Sands, NM.

NASA would prefer not to use either contingency site; it would cost a cool million dollars to load Discovery on the back of a 747 and ferry it back to Florida if they do.

(More coverage from Unpartisan, The Political Teen & others)

Posted by mhking at August 8, 2005 08:14 AM | TrackBack
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