Saturday, August 22, 2009

Countdown to Launch Continues Smoothly-STS 128!

Discovery's launch remains on track for 1:36 a.m. EDT Tuesday for its 13-day mission to the International Space Station.

At today's Countdown Status Briefing held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA Test Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson was pleased to report that all countdown preparations are on schedule and looking forward to a great launch.

"In this business there are few sites as beautiful as a nighttime launch," said Blackwell-Thompson. "And I expect this to be a spectacular site as Discovery roars to life early Tuesday morning and lights up the night sky."

STS-128 Payload Manager Joe Delai applauded the immense amount of work done by a great team to prepare the payload for delivery by Discovery and its crew.

"We're very excited about this mission," said Delai. "We're going to support a six crew capability both from a cargo and storage point of view -- we'll also be bringing up some good science racks so we can keep doing some good work up in space and for us folks here on Earth."

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported that forecast for launch time is holding at 70 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff and fueling. There only a slight concern of possible storms moving into the area before tanking begins.

Keeping to an early-morning launch schedule, Discovery’s crew went to bed at 7 a.m. and will be awakened at 3 p.m. They will undergo standard medical examinations this afternoon.


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