Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Astronauts practice countdown...

Mission Specialist Daniel Tani has his helmet adjusted during fitting of his launch and entry suit
Besides the bad news about Discovery's heat shield issue, launch preparations continue at Kennedy Space Center. The Astronauts have begun practicing launch procedures. Among others, this includes fitting of launch suites as well as emergency procedures. The so-called "terminal count down test" is an important milestone towards launch. As far as I know, the emphasis is on emergency procedure, which includes a ride in the emergency escape basket system.

Future Orion astronauts will possibly enjoy a roller coaster ride during the emergency drill. The current basket escape system is somewhat more basic, but obviously quite thrilling.

If everything goes well, the astronauts head back for a brief stay to Houston. They will return to Kennedy Space Center shortly before launch.

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