Low clouds, rain and lightning within 20 miles from Discovery's launch pad forced both Cape weather and Houston's Spaceflight Meteorology Group to be no-go to resume the countdown at the T-9 minute hold at 1:26 am EDT this morning.
NASA has recycled the count and will try again beginning tonight to launch Discovery at 1:10:22 am EDT. The launch window is short -- only five minutes.
The Air Force weather office here at Cape Canaveral is calling for 70% favorable weather at launch time for Discovery (above, at 8AM today).
Discovery's 37th crew in 25 years includes mission commander Rick Sturckow, pilot Kevin Ford, and mission specialists Jose Hernandez, Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, Christer Fuglesang (European Space Agency) and Nicole Stott.
A few launch milestones tonight (EDT):
- 2:30p -- Crew awakes to begin launch day
- 3:30p -- External tank fueling begins
- 8:40p -- Weather briefing by commander, pilot and mission specialist 2
- 8:50p -- Astronauts don flight suits
- 9:20p -- Depart for launch pad
- 9:50p -- Arrive at White Room and begin ingress
- 11:10p -- Close Discovery's crew hatch
- 1:01:22 am -- T-9 minutes and counting
- 1:02:52 am -- Crew access arm retraction
- 1:05:22 am -- APU Start by pilot
- 1:10:16 am -- Main Engines start
- 1:10:22 am -- SRB Ignition - launch commit!
Thursday will be docking day as Discovery approaches and then docks with the space station as they travel 220 miles over southern Russia.
Stott, a former KSC orbiter process worker turned astronaut, will begin her stay aboard the space station as a member of the Expedition 20 crew. She will replace Tim Kopra who arrived for a six-week stay on July 17. Stott will return home aboard the next space shuttle flight in late-November.
(Be sure to watch the countdown and launch LIVE via our widescreen TV available at SpaceLaunchNews.com.)