Weather Likely to Delay Final Shuttle Launch
July 6, 2011 –The countdown for the Space Shuttle program’s final launch began Monday afternoon, but the Space Shuttle Weather Office gives Atlantis only a 30 percent chance of favorable weather when it’s scheduled to launch at 11:26 a.m. EDT Friday.
STS-135 is a 12-day mission to the International Space Station to bring supplies and spare parts for the space station. Astronauts are Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. The shuttle is expected to return to KSC on July 20, perhaps the most significant date in NASA’s history.
With the final shuttle launch, the FAA last week issued the final temporary flight restriction (TFR) for a shuttle launch. Pilots are warned to stay clear of the Kennedy Space Center area, on which centers a 30-nautical-mile no-fly zone between 8:11 a.m. and 12:46 p.m. EDT. With the unfavorable weather forecast, however, pilots are advised to check the latest NOTAMs before takeoff.