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Shuttle Mission 100: Discovery Launch Scrubbed Despite Clear WeatherAired October 5, 2000 - 1:37 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: At Kennedy Space Center, the shuttle Discovery is on the launch pad, but will it fly tonight on a mission to the International Space Station?
Let's go an update from CNN's space correspondent, Miles O'Brien. He's there.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, the answer in a word is no. Mission managers here at the Kennedy Space Center, within the past hour, have decided to scrub this attempted launch of the space shuttle Discovery for this evening. It was a beautiful day for a launch, the weather cooperating after many day of soggy weather here in Florida.
But some engineers who are looking at some of the hardware used on the previous launch of Atlantis last month took a close look at a bolt which attaches the orbiter to its external tank. Now, that bolt, according to their analysis, did not fully retract into the belly of the space shuttle Atlantis. The door is still closed, the mission went off without a hitch. But nevertheless there is some concern there might be some sort of flaw in that bolt. That gives them some concern about launching today.
They do not fully understand why that bolt did not fully retract. They have a team of engineers scurrying through records right now trying to come to some sort of determination, trying to fully understand the problem, as it is. But they will not launch until they do so. And that means at least a 24-hour delay, perhaps a 36-hour delay on this the 100th launch of a space station.
So we are expecting a briefing from NASA mission managers very shortly. We should have some more information on this, all in all, on what was a beautiful day to fly a space shuttle; kind of a glum conclusion for NASA launch managers. Nevertheless, in these cases, they always err on the side of safety -- Natalie.
ALLEN: It certainly looks lovely. Is the weather expected to hold the next 24, 36 hours?
O'BRIEN: Actually, the weather is supposed to worsen over the next 24 to 36 hours, which is not good news for the mission management team here. But there was some concern that today's weather would not be favorable for launch, and as you can see just by looking at it, it's absolutely pristine weather.
So it's best not to try to predict the Florida weather, Natalie, as I know you know.
ALLEN: We've all been there. Thank you Miles O'Brien at Kennedy Space Center.
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