Sunday, September 21, 2008

Endeavour put on standby as rescue spacecraft

An article in Cnet shows something that one doesn't see too often at Kennedy space center. Matter of fact this hasn't taken place since 2001. What you might ask? Two shuttles ready to launch at the same time. As you can see by the picture, Atlantis is in the foreground on Launch Pad A, and Endeavour is behind it on Launch Pad B. Endeavour was moved into position Friday so it could be on standby in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary for the Atlantis' planned October 10 mission to repair the Hubble telescope. Due to Hubble's high orbit, a shuttle is more likely to be inpacted by space debris. Matter of fact the odds are 1 in 185 chance that a piece of space junk or a micrometeoroid will cause catastrophic damage to the shuttle.

Graphic (Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller )

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