Feeds

Shuttle mission postponed 'til Independence Day

Stormy weather in Florida

High performance access to file storage

The launch of space Shuttle Discovery has been delayed by bad weather for the second day in a row, and mission controllers have said they won't try for another launch until Independence Day.

The launch was scrubbed with two hours and 11 minutes left on the countdown, after the mission's seven-strong crew had been in their flight seats for almost an hour.

Rain and a brewing thunderstorm over the Kennedy Space Centre meant at least four of the conditions for launch were not met. Cumulus clouds, the presence of lightning, and high altitude anvil clouds are all immediate red flags for a launch.

"We went red this morning and stayed red," Air Force Lt Kaleb Nordgren of the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral told The LA Times.

The weather is expected to improve over the next 24 hours, and NASA says it will try for a launch at 11:37 PDT on Tuesday 4 July.

NASA engineers will stay busy while the launch is postponed, as the fuel cells' stores of hydrogen and oxygen will by now need to be re-filled to give the crew enough fuel to extend the mission by a day, if necessary. To do this, the engineers will need to roll the service gantry back out to Shuttle's launch pad.

The cost of postponing the launch is around a million dollars, according to launch director Michael Leinbach, making the weekend's dark clouds a very expensive inconvenience.

This launch will be the 115th time a Shuttle has blasted off from the US, but only the second since the loss of Columbia. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.