Coast to Coast: Rain Check

Lightning storms around the launch pad kept STS-128 from launching during the night.


Click Here to watch the video of the lightning storms around the launch pad. Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection required.

STS-128 was supposed to launch at 1:36 AM EDT last night, a rare opportunity to see a spectactular night launch. My wife and I headed out to Titusville to watch from Kennedy Point Park, on the Indian River across from Kennedy Space Center. The launch pad is roughly ten miles to the east.

Florida weather being what it is, no launch is guaranteed, and lightning storms forced a postponement until tomorrow night at 1:10 AM EDT. Click Here to read NASA’s weather criteria that restrict launch conditions.

The video at the above link shows you the view from the park across the river. You’ll see various lightning strikes in the vicinity. Enormous floodlights illuminate the pad at night. A deluge over the pad diffused the light to create an amazing halo effect around the Shuttle. At the end of the clip, you’ll hear the chatter on NASA’s weather circuit from a plane circling above, monitored by someone with a portable scanner.

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