Launch Night #2!

It’s round 2 for the launch of space shuttle Endeavour for the STS-130 mission since last night’s launch was scrubbed. It’s now 2 a.m. at the press site at Kennedy Space Center, and things are not hopping quite as much as round 1 — several journalists only allowed one day for the launch and there seems to be less VIPS wandering around. We saw the crew walk out of crew quarters — again — and with the smaller group of journalists and photographers, they were able to offer some banter back and forth with us. Commander George Zamka said he thought today would be the day. Again, the concerns for launch focus on the weather. Right now, the clouds are too low to allow launch, but the weather officers are optimistic that the clouds will break up.

But its been another fun day, as I met up with some fellow Space Tweeps and Camilla the rubber chicken showed up in her spacesuit.

Space Tweep founder and shuttle technician Jen Scheer (@flyingjenny) and me.

I had the great fortune to meet up at a Tweet up! Fellow space Twitterers met for food and drink this afternoon. Above is Jen Scheer, a.k.a. @flyingjenny, who founded the Space Tweep Society, a Twitter based organization that “promotes enthusiasm for all things space and to unite those inside the space industry with those who are outside looking in.” Jen is also a shuttle technician, and I wrote an article yesterday in which I talked with Jen about the looming layoffs that will occur when the shuttle program is ended later this year or early 2011; in addition the proposed cancellation of the Constellation program also does not bode well for the workforce at KSC. You can read the article on Universe Today.

Here’s more of the Tweet Up folks. We laughed how just a few years ago, everyone’s advice was not to ever interact with people you ran into online. But Twitter has changed all that, bringing together people from all over, joined by a common interest in space exploration. I’m sure this type of community is found in other areas of interest shared by people on Twitter.

Camilla is go for launch.

Camilla the rubber chicken and official unofficial mascot of the Solar Dynamics Observatory mission made another appearance at the press site; this time she donned her specially made spacesuit in hopes of bringing good luck to the crew of Endeavour for launch tonight. (OK, yes it is morning, but its dark out so to me, its night.)

Camilla sits in the big shuttle model that sits in the press room. Below is a close-up. Her outfits are hand-knitted.

Another model in the press room is one of the Cupola for the space station that will be brought up on this mission. The Cupola has seven windows which will provide unprecedented views of Earth and space for the astronauts on the ISS. It also is an area for a robotic workstation and a treadmill. We had a little fun tonight taking some pics of what the astronauts might see one day while looking out the window. Planet Nancy?

David Waters, Miles O'Brien and Leroy Chiao of

Back to more “serious” journalism, here’s the crew doing their live pre-launch show. As you can probably tell from their attire, it is a bit chilly tonight. Last night when I stopped by to chat with the trio, there was talk that they might need long underwear if we had to come back another night to try a second time for launch. I’ve listened off and on to their show tonight, and haven’t heard mention of said underwear, but they certainly look warmer than they did last night!

The’s live broadcast offers more in-depth coverage than network and cable news channels and more commentary than NASA TV. Watch them at Highly recommended.

So, still lots going on, and we’ll wait and see what happens with the weather.


February 8, 2010 at 5:59 am

Nancy it seems like a flawless launch. It is now 12:00 UT here in DownUnder. Can you please send me an email report for me to put to air in 8 hours time? Our Australian listeners so far from the action are still very interested in these last days of the shuttle era. God speed and return home safely to the brave crew of STS-130. You can listen as I quote you on at 18:50 UT. Regards and thanks for the great coverage, Col.

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Launch Night!

February 7, 2010