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Launch Day Arrives, Tanking Begins



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*Launch Day Arrives, Tanking Begins*

/ Sept. 8, 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 utc)/
At Launch Pad 39B, the three-hour process for loading of Space Shuttle 
Atlantis' orange external tank with 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and 
hydrogen began at 2:49 a.m EDT this morning. The "topping off" of 
propellants into the tank will continue until liftoff. All systems 
onboard the space shuttle are functioning normally and are ready for 
launch at 11:41 a.m. (1541 UTC)

Throughout the morning, the STS-115 astronauts will prepare for launch 
in the Operations and Checkout Building's crew quarters before taking 
the 20-minute ride to the launch pad about 7:50 a.m. this morning aboard 
the Astrovan.

Launch weather remains at 70 percent "go" for launch, with the primary 
concern for rain within 20 miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility. No 
other issues are being addressed by the launch team at this time.

Follow along with the countdown:
+ NASA's Launch Blog 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/launch/sts-115/launch-vlcc.html>
+ NASA TV <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html>
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