Christer Fuglesang’s newsletter: one day delay
JSC crew quarters, 19 August 2009. The launch is delayed until 25 August. A minor technical problem was found on Discovery during one of the hundreds of tests that are now being carried out prior to the launch. As I understand it the problem concerned damage to an Earth wire.
Replacing the damaged cable and redoing some of the tests delayed the rest of the work. This means that launching on 24 August is no longer possible and the new launch time is scheduled for 01:36 on 25 August (07:36 in Sweden).
In parallel, the meeting to make the final decision as to whether Discovery is ready for a space was still ongoing. The meeting is called the FRR, Flight Readiness Review. As the work was delayed by a day, the FRR had extra time to discuss things and the official decision was therefore not taken until today. But the biggest stumbling block, i.e. if there was anyone who was definitely against flying with the external tank as it is, was overcome.
Although there were some in favour of doing more tests, in the end everyone was prepared to accept the potentially higher risk. With a clear decision made about the tank there are no problems anticipated today that should prevent the FRR from making a fairly quick decision to schedule 25 August as the official launch date.
Despite the one day delay, our plans are continuing as before and we fly to Florida today (after having slept from 05:30–13:30, Houston time). We would rather spend the extra day waiting at the Cape than here.
The weather forecast, however, is not so good, so it isn’t certain that we can fly the T-38s. The alternative is to take the STAs (Shuttle Training Aircraft) that are also going to the Cape with us so that CJ and Kevin can practice rendezvous approach flying there, during as much time as there is still available.
It is fairly calm in the crew quarters. I have gone through all the training material I have gathered and will make important notes in my flight notebook right up until the last second. I have practiced with some of the tools that will be used during the spacewalks and I’ve been to the gym.
Family members have been visiting – all of our spouses were here for our most recent breakfast (they had lunch), except for Kevin’s wife who lives up in north east US. Every evening (night) we watch a film together. Yesterday it was 'A few good men'.
The chess game http://www.dn.se/nyheter/vetenskap/schack-christer-fuglesang-1.844628 is ongoing and on one occasion I noticed there were more than one thousand votes for a particular move.