Causes of delay in shuttle landing

Astronauts Jack Lousma and Gordon Fullerton are spending an extra day in orbit, thanks to gusty winds, poor visibility, and turbulence at White Sands, N.M.

At this writing, they are making the most of this unplanned opportunity by taking more time to observe some of the scientific and test flight instruments on board the space shuttle Columbia. They also are reviewing procedures for landing at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Christopher C. Kraft Jr., director of the Johnson Space Center here, said the probability was high that the space shuttle will land at Kennedy. This will be the eventual primary landing site for space shuttles. However, the first KSC landing was not due to take place until this, and probably the next, test flights were accomplished.

Since flight officials would prefer to have Columbia land at the Northrup airstrip at White Sands, they will monitor the weather closely. However, the forecast is that KSC will have the best weather of all the possible landing sites Tuesday.

Columbia is carrying ample reserves of food, water, oxygen, and fuel for the fuel cell power generators. Extending the mission an extra day has been an option available all along. Minor malfunctions with communications and some other equipment are not considered serious. Flight officials have said repeatedly that these malfunctions do not endanger the ship or the astronauts.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK