LAUNCH - 2 DAYS
MISSION: STS-73 -- U.S. MICROGRAVITY LABORATORY-2
LOCATION: Pad 39B
LAUNCH DATE/TIME: Sept. 28 at 9:35 a.m. EDT
LAUNCH WINDOW: 2 hours, 30 minutes
KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: Oct. 14 at 7:30 a.m.
MISSION DURATION: 15 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 172 statute miles/39 degrees
NOTE: The countdown for launch of Columbia continues on schedule
today for liftoff on Thursday, Sept. 28. The 2 1/2 hour window opens
at 9:35 a.m. Columbia is scheduled to land at KSC’s Shuttle Landing
Facility at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 14.
This morning, Pad 39-B was cleared for loading the onboard
cryogenic tanks with the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen reactants.
Reactant loading is expected to be finished at about 12 noon today.
The reactants will provide electricity for the orbiter and crew while
in space and drinking water as a by-product during their 16-day
After the cryogenics are loaded, the orbiter’s mid-body
umbilical unit will be demated and retracted into the fixed service
structure. Final vehicle and facility close-outs will also resume.
Final mid-deck payload loading operations and spacelab experiment
stowage operations will begin this afternoon and continue through
On Wednesday, preparations will be made to retract the
rotating service structure to launch position at about 2:30 p.m.,
pending weather. Loading of the external tank with cryogenic
propellants is scheduled to begin at about 1:15 a.m. Thursday.
Air Force weather forecasters are currently indicating a 40
percent probability of weather prohibiting launch on Thursday. A weak
frontal boundary is stationary over central Florida and may produce
scattered to broken clouds with a chance for offshore early morning
showers. The best launch opportunity will likely be during the first
hour of the launch window.
During Thursday’s launch window, the winds at Pad B are
expected to be from the northeast at 5-10 knots; temperature 81
degrees F; visibility 7 miles; humidity 79 percent; and clouds
scattered at 2,500 and 10,000 feet and broken at 25,000 feet. The
24-hour-delay forecast reveals similar conditions and a 40 percent
chance of violation.
DISCOVERY/OV-103 -- Pre-Orbiter Maintenance Down Period
NOTE: Discovery’s departure from KSC is delayed at least 24 hours due
to problems with the attach points between the orbiter and the 747
Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Departure is now scheduled for 7:30 a.m.
Wednesday. Discovery will spend nine months in Palmdale, Calif.
undergoing about 100 modifications including the addition of an
external airlock for missions to the international Space Station. For
additional details, please refer to KSC Release No. 94-95.
CREW FOR MISSION STS-73
Ken Bowersox Commander (CDR) Red Team
Kent Rominger Pilot (PLT) Red Team
Catherine Coleman Mission Specialist (MS1) Blue Team
Michael Lopez-Alegria Mission Specialist (MS2) Blue Team
Kathryn Thornton Mission Specialist (MS3) Red Team
Fred Leslie Payload Specialist (PS1) Blue Team
Albert Sacco Payload Specialist (PS2) Red Team
SUMMARY OF STS-73 LAUNCH DAY CREW ACTIVITIES
Wednesday, Sept. 27
7:00 p.m. Wake up (Blue Team)
7:30 p.m. Breakfast (Blue Team)
Thursday, Sept. 28
12:30 a.m. Lunch (Blue Team)
4:00 a.m. Wake up (Red Team)
* 5:10 a.m. Breakfast/Dinner and Crew Photo
5:40 a.m. Weather briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)
5:40 a.m. Don launch and entry suits (MS1, MS3, PS1, PS2)
5:50 a.m. Don launch and entry suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)
* 6:00 a.m. Crew suiting photo
* 6:20 a.m. Depart for Launch Pad 39B
* 6:50 a.m. Arrive at white room and begin orbiter ingress
* 8:05 a.m. Close crew hatch
* 9:35 a.m. Launch
* Televised events (times may vary slightly)
All times Eastern
NOTE: For additional details regarding STS-73 countdown milestones,
please refer to KSC Release No. 96-95.
- end -
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