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Space Shuttle Columbia: Her Missions and Crews by Ben Evans

Space Shuttle Columbia: Her Missions and Crews by Ben Evans

Author:Ben Evans
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


Seventh time lucky 239

pressure oxidiser turbopump discharge ducts to determine that they were of the

correct thickness. Also during the delay period, one of Columbia's five flight deck

computers failed and had to be replaced and retested. The 15 October launch target,

however, had already come under threat from the weather: it was scrubbed at T75

minutes due to low clouds and rain.

The next launch attempt could not now occur until at least 19 October, because

the Eastern Test Range's tracking resources were already supporting another

booking: a satellite-carrying Atlas rocket from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force

Station. The Atlas was originally scheduled for 17 October, but was postponed a day

because of bad weather, and this in turn pushed Columbia back to the 20th. Even on

this seventh attempt, the weather looked grim, prompting KSC spokesman Bruce

Buckingham to tell journalists `Àll you can do is press on and hope for the best.''

SEVENTH TIME LUCKY

The repeated launch delays did not appear to have diminished the enthusiasm of

Bowersox and his six crewmates ± Pilot Kent Rominger, Payload Commander

Kathy Thornton, Mission Specialists Cady Coleman and Spanish-born Mike Lopez-

Alegria and Payload Specialists Fred Leslie and Al Sacco ± as they left the

Operations and Checkout Building that morning, wearing back-to-front baseball

STS-73 crew portrait. Front row (left to right) are Al Sacco, Kent Rominger and Mike

Lopez-Alegria and back row are Cady Coleman, Ken Bowersox, Fred Leslie and Kathy

Thornton.



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