Re: 3-21-96 Shuttle Status Report

Philip Chien (
Thu, 21 Mar 1996 16:16:14 -0400

>THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 1996 (11:30 AM EST)
>VEHICLE: Atlantis/OV-104
>LAUNCH DATE/TIME: March 22 at about 3:13 a.m. EST
>LAUNCH WINDOW: 7 minutes
>MISSION DURATION: 9 days, 3 hours, 50 minutes
>MIR DOCKING: March 23 at about 9:34 p.m.
>BEGIN SIX HOUR SPACEWALK: March 27 at about 12:45 a.m.
>MIR UNDOCKING: March 28 at about 8:08 p.m.
>TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: March 31 at about 7:03 a.m. EST
>CREW SIZE: 6 up -- 5 down
>ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 184 statute miles/51.6 degrees
>NOTE: The launch of Atlantis on mission STS-76 was postponed 24-hours
>yesterday as mission managers determined the high winds expected at KSC
>overnight would violate RTLS constraints at the Shuttle Landing Facility.
>Winds at the pad were also approaching red-line limits. The postponement was
>announced yesterday at about 6:30 p.m. EST prior to the beginning of tanking
>operations at the pad.  Launch has been rescheduled for Friday, March 22, at
>about 3:13 a.m. at the opening of a 7-minute window.
>     (The launch team will target launch for no earlier than 3:12 a.m. on
>Friday. The exact time of launch will be announced about 90 minutes prior to
>lift-off, following final computation of the location of the Mir space
>     Prior to cryogenic loading operations today, the Mission Management
>Team is scheduled to meet at 5:15 p.m. to discuss tomorrow s launch weather
>outlook. A final decision to proceed with tanking operations is expected at
>about 5:45 p.m. The three-hour tanking operation is scheduled to begin at
>about 5:50 p.m.  Also, the solid rocket booster recovery ships have been
>deployed and will arrive on station later today.
>     Air Force weather forecasters are currently indicating only a 10
>percent probability of weather prohibiting launch on Friday. The only
>concern is for the slight possibility of violating launch temperature
>     During Friday s 7-minute launch window, the winds at Pad B are expected
>to be from the west-northwest at 8-12 knots; temperature 43 degrees F;
>visibility 7 miles; humidity 60 percent; and stratocumulus cloud bases
>scattered at 5,000 feet. The 24-hour delay forecast indicates a 20 percent
>chance of violation.

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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