Atlantis Rolls Back From Launch Pad

February 27, 2007
Atlantis Shuttle Rolls Back From Launch Pad
NASA officials have confirmed that Space Shuttle Atlantis will roll back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for further assessment after yesterday's hail storm. This image shows the external tank with hail marks. Credit: NASA/KSC

NASA officials have confirmed that Atlantis Space Shuttle will roll back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for further assessment after yesterday's hail storm. Additional details will be available later today.

A strong thunderstorm with hail passed through the Kennedy Space Center launch complex area about 5 p.m. EST Monday. The remote cameras indicate some damage to the external tank, but a full assessment on the scene is just getting underway due to the pad being closed for fuel loading.

The two-day Flight Readiness Review at NASA's Kennedy Space Center will continue in parallel with Kennedy Ground Operations assessment of the external tank damage. The Flight Readiness Review board will be briefed midday Wednesday.

Before each mission, the review is conducted by top-level NASA officials, space shuttle program managers, engineers and contractors approximately two weeks prior to the opening of the launch window. They examine the readiness of the space shuttle, flight crew and payloads to determine if everything is set to proceed for launch.

The Atlantis flight crew will return to Kennedy a few days before the launch of mission STS-117 to the International Space Station, targeted for March 15.

During the 11-day mission, the six-member crew will install a new truss segment, retract a set of solar arrays and unfold a new set on the starboard side of the station. Lessons learned from two previous missions will provide the astronauts with new techniques and tools to perform their duties.

Commanding the STS-117 crew is Rick Sturckow, a veteran of two shuttle missions (STS-88, STS-105), while Lee Archambault will be making his first flight as the shuttle's pilot. Mission Specialists James Reilly (STS-89, STS-104) and Patrick Forrester (STS-105) will be returning to the station. Steven Swanson and John Olivas, both mission specialists, join the crew for their first flight into space.

Source: NASA

Explore further: NTSB: Company should have prepared for human error

Related Stories

NTSB: Company should have prepared for human error

July 28, 2015

The developer of the commercial spacecraft that broke apart during a test flight over California's Mojave Desert last year failed to protect against human error, specifically the co-pilot unlocking a braking system too quickly ...

Recommended for you

First detection of lithium from an exploding star

July 29, 2015

The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain ...

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

New names and insights at Ceres

July 29, 2015

Colorful new maps of Ceres, based on data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showcase a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles (15 kilometers).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.