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STS-114 LATEST DEVELOPMENTS



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

At about 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Launch Pad 39B, the cover of Discovery’s 
window #7 fell approximately 60 feet and struck a carrier panel on the 
orbiter's left Orbital Maneuvering System pod, damaging several tiles. A 
replacement carrier panel was quickly located and successfully installed 
on the orbiter. Work on the panel took approximately one hour, slightly 
delaying tonight's planned 7 p.m. rollback of the pad's Rotating Service 
Structure. No other issues are being tracked by the Launch Team.

Earlier on Tuesday at a Countdown Status Briefing, NASA Test Director 
Jeff Spaulding and STS-114 Payload Manager Scott Higginbotham agreed 
that everything is go for launch on Wednesday. Discovery, its payloads, 
the launch team, and the Expedition 11 crew aboard the International 
Space Station are ready for the mission. Shuttle weather officer Kathy 
Winters reported a slight increase of a weather delay during countdown 
-- 40%, up from 30% Monday -- due to the possibility of showers or a 
thunderstorm, which is typical for this time of year at the launch site.

The families of the Columbia astronauts issued a statement today, saying 
"we have every confidence that the sacrifice of our loved ones and those 
that preceded them will be realized for the benefit of all humankind" (+ 
Read More 
<http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2005/jul/HQ_05180_Columbia_Family.html>).

Liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery on NASA's Return to Flight Mission is 
scheduled for 3:51 p.m. EDT July 13.
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