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Tuesday, 25 August 2009 18:12

Stormy weather grounds STS-128/Discovery

Even though the weather was supposed to improve as launch time approached at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it didn’t. The NASA manned mission to the International Space Station had to be postponed 24 hours.

Early Tuesday morning, August 25, 2009, NASA launch director Pete Nickolenko had to call space shuttle Discovery commander Rick Sturckow at about 1:25 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and tell him the mission that day was scrubbed.

With the launch only 11 minutes away, the weather, which was supposed to be clearing, wasn’t doing what was expected.

Instead, the storm cells above the launch site at KSC were not dissipating and the forecast was downgraded from a 80% favorable for a launch to only 60%.

With rain showers and lightning around launch complex 39A, the flight was postponed twenty-four hours.

The new launch time is now scheduled for 1:10 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

For an insider's look at the launch and mission, check out Anna Heiney, public affairs web writer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and "NASA's STS-128 Launch Blog."

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