NOTE: The launch countdown for STS-87 began on time yesterday at 3 p.m. and preparations continue for the launch of Columbia on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 2:46 p.m.
Loading of cryogenic reactants into the power reactant storage and distribution system was planned for 1 p.m. today, but delayed by about four hours due to lower than acceptable helium readings in the orbiter midbody umbilical unit cavity. Helium is used to purge the tanks before reactant loading. Workers were sent out to Pad 39B to inspect the purge line interfaces and tightened the fittings. Following those troubleshooting activities, consoles in the firing room indicated an acceptable helium concentration and reactant loading began at about 4:30 p.m. Mangers expect to recuperate from the delay with no significant impacts to the launch schedule.
The STS-87 flight crew arrived at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at about 3:15 p.m. yesterday and will undergo routine pre-flight medical exams and final mission familiarization briefings in the days leading up to launch. Commander Kevin Kregel and Pilot Steven Lindsey practiced SLF approaches in the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) this afternoon and have an additional STA flight planned for tomorrow evening.
Air Force weather forecasters are currently indicating a 40 percent probability that weather may prohibit Wednesday's launch of Columbia. The primary concern is for low cloud ceilings, thick layered clouds and possible showers.
On Wednesday, the winds at KSC are expected to be from the north at 10 knots gusting to 15 knots; temperature 67 degrees F; visibility 7 miles; humidity 75 percent; and clouds scattered at 3,000 feet and broken at 9,000 feet and 25,000 feet. The 24-hour delay forecast reveals a 40 percent chance of weather violation and only 20 percent chance of violation with a 48-hour delay.
T-TIME LENGTH OF HOLD HOLD BEGINS HOLD ENDS T-19 hours 6 hours 9:00 p.m. Mon. 3:00 a.m. Tues. T-11 hours 13 hours, 26 minutes 11:00 a.m. Tues. 12:26 a.m. Wed. T-6 hours 1 hour 5:26 a.m. Wed. 6:26 a.m. Wed. T-3 hours 2 hours 9:26 a.m. Wed. 11:26 a.m. Wed. T-20 minutes 10 minutes 2:06 p.m. Wed. 2:16 p.m. Wed. T-9 minutes 10 minutes 2:27 p.m. Wed. 2:37 p.m. Wed.
Commander (CDR): Kevin Kregel Pilot (PLT): Steven Lindsey Mission Specialist (MS1): Kalpana Chawla Mission Specialist (MS2): Winston Scott Mission Specialist (MS3): Takao Doi Payload Specialist (PS): Leonid Kadenyuk
Wednesday, November 19 9:51 a.m. Wake up *10:21 a.m. Breakfast and Crew photo 10:51 a.m. Weather briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2) 10:51 a.m. Don launch and entry suits (MS1, MS3, PS) 11:01 a.m. Don launch and entry suits (CDR, PLT, MS2) 11:15 a.m. Suit up photo *11:31 a.m. Depart for launch pad 39B *12:01 p.m. Arrive at white room and begin ingress * 1:16 p.m. Close crew hatch * 2:46 p.m. Launch
* Televised events (times may vary slightly)
All times Eastern
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