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Thursday, December 7, 2006

An update from Cape Canaveral



The shuttle as it was rolled to the launch pad last month
(Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

Angela DiNapoli, a fifth-grade teacher from Needham is waiting to watch the takeoff of the space shuttle from Cape Canaveral today. The shuttle is carrying one of DiNapoli's former students, Sunita Williams, who will be living in the international space station for six months.

Here's some excerpts from an email DiNapoli sent this morning to the Newman Elementary School community.

I just wanted to update you on what's been happening. The launch is still scheduled for tonight at 9:36. The 2 mechanical issues they had are resolved (power surge and adhesive on one of the SRB's). Right now it is the cloud coverage that creates a problem. The clouds have to be at least 8000 feet above ground level for a launch to occur. They have to have a clearing in the clouds for the launch. There is only a 10 minute window to launch. So if they don't launch by 9:46, they will have to try again tomorrow night. Then the launch window will be 20 minutes earlier ...

There is a 60 percent chance for a launch tonight but NASA said that's pretty good odds. Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed. ...

Well, we will have to be at the launch site by 5:00 tonight to board the buses. We will be viewing the launch with the family at the best site at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Banana Creek. ... If you can video tape the event, that would be great. I'm afraid Mr. D and I will be too excited and have a shaky video of it. ...

Thinking of you all.
Mrs. DiNapoli

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