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STS-115 Crew Heads to the Launch Pad


*STS-115 Crew Heads to the Launch Pad *

/ Sept. 8, 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 UTC)/
The astronauts walked out of the Operations and Checkout Building to 
cheers and applause from a crowd of workers wishing them well on mission 
STS-115. They boarded the silver Astrovan that took them on the 
20-minute trip to Launch Pad 39B. Through the White Room, located at the 
195-foot level of the pad, the astronauts will enter Atlantis one by one 
and be strapped into their seats before going through final checks in 
preparation for liftoff.

NASA's Freedom Star and Liberty Star are in position in the Atlantic 
Ocean for launch. Both recovery ships are currently stationed out in the 
Atlantic Ocean to tow the solid rocket boosters back to Kennedy Space 
Center after they separate from the orbiter during ascent. The boosters 
will then be refurbished and reused for other shuttle launches.

The launch team has reported that an ECO sensor on the hydrogen side of 
the external tank has failed. At this time the team is pressing forward 
with launch preparations. Mission Management Team members are meeting to 
determine if they will consider launching with three working sensors or 
if it will be necessary to de-tank and come back tomorrow.
+ See ECO Sensor PowerPoint Slide 

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 
+ NASA TV <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html>
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