back to article Endeavour launch scrubbed for fourth time

NASA today scrubbed the launch of space shuttle Endeavour for the fourth time, citing inclement weather at Kennedy Space Center. The agency reports: "Cumulus clouds and lightning violated rules for launching Endeavour because of weather near the Shuttle Landing Facility. The runway would be needed in the unlikely event that …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Future is Virtual ... Embrace ITs RemarkAble Absolutely Fabulous Progress.


    That sub-title "Florida weather refuses to play ball" would maybe be more accurately written as ..... Florida whether refuses to play ball.

    Whenever you can Bring Space into your Own Consciousness, Blasting into Space for Real is Unnecessary whenever you can Create IT for Archiving in Digital Media/Binary Records Chronicling Man's SMARTer Evolution into Foreign Alien Beings into Founding Foundries.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Don't get it.

    Every shuttle emergency landing to date has been in the form of small pieces distributed over a geographically significant area. Takeoff failures in the rocketry world are generally characterised by some variation on the word "BANG" and crew intervention restricted to something like "What the fu....?".

    What's the runway for?

  3. Alex Brett

    Re: Don't get it.

    The shuttle's most likely failure on ascent is a main engine failure - if that happens relatively soon in to the climb, then they can essentially continue until the solid rocket boosters burn out, then fly around, drop the tank and glide back to a runway - it's known as a RTLS (Return To Launch Site) abort. It's never had to be done, but they have had a main engine failure before - on STS-51-F which was high enough that it could ATO (Abort To Orbit), i.e. end up in orbit, but at a lower altitude than planned.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ TeeCee

    'What's the runway for?'

    Landing in the event of an emergency.

    HOWEVER - the Shuttle has real problems with bad weather in the event of an abort. The first being that it has a sink rate about that of a brick and is extremely vulnerable to side winds - there's no 'go around' if it can't land - so the weather has to be calm.

    The second is that the heat tiles form the aerodynamic surface of the Shuttle; flying through large raindrops or hail could shred the coating on the wings, destroying the lift and - well that gets nasty. NASA was very strongly condemned for launching into heavy clouds shortly before Challenger made its final flight.

  5. Jeremy 2
    Thumb Up

    Scrub it again! Scrub it again!

    I'm gonna be on a beach on the Florida/Georgia border a fortnight from now and I've always wanted to see a shuttle launch...

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