Thunderstorms Cooperate As Space Shuttle
Discovery Begins Mission STS-105
By Cliff Lethbridge
Photo Credit: Robert Pankau, Newsradio 970, WFLA
Click Here To Link To NASA Photos Of This Launch Page 1
Click Here To Link To NASA Photos Of This Launch Page 2
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (August 10, 2001) - Although Florida's stock summer thunderstorms developed throughout the afternoon, they remained far enough away from the Kennedy Space Center to allow Space Shuttle Discovery to be launched on Mission STS-105 at 5:10 p.m. EDT today. Launch was from Launch Pad 39A, and in a relative rarity for the Space Shuttle, launch came earlier than expected. Launch had been targeted for 5:15 p.m. EDT, the optimum time to meet rendezvous requirements to the International Space Station (ISS). But after thunderstorms began developing about 40 miles south-southwest of the launch pad, launch managers pushed back the launch time as a precautionary measure. A launch attempt on August 9 was scrubbed due to clouds, rain and lightning in the Kennedy Space Center area.
STS-105 marks the 106th Space Shuttle mission, the 30th launch of Space Shuttle Discovery and the 11th Space Shuttle mission to ISS. Primary payload is the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), an Italian-built portable cargo carrier that will allow some 7,000 pounds of cargo to be ferried to and from ISS. Seven astronauts were launched aboard Discovery, three of whom will remain aboard ISS. The ISS Expedition Three Crew, consisting of Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin, are being launched aboard Discovery and will replace the ISS Expedition Two Crew, made up of Yury Usachev, James Voss and Susan Helms. The ISS Expedition Two Crew will be returned to Earth aboard Discovery. STS-105 is scheduled to last 11 days with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
For More Information:
Click Here To Link To The NASA STS-105 Press Kit
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