Camera views of STS-95 Discovery
Click on Photo for current NASA select feed

STS-95 Liftoff Status Page

Click here to see the launch countdown clock
Click here to follow the shuttle's progress after liftoff
Click here for the Space Shuttle Status Reports
KSC Live Video Feeds

Shuttle Discovery Launch Status

October 29, 1998 2:20:19 p.m. EST Launch Window 2 hours 30 minutes

On Thursday, 10/29/98, the countdown continues on schedule. The crew was woken up at 8:30am EST and served breakfast. After breakfast, the crew received a 15 minute weather briefing, suited up and departed the Operations and Checkout Building for Launch Pad LC-39B at 10:45am EST. After arriving at the pad, the crew proceeded to the 195ft level where one by one, they ingressed into the orbiter. The hatch was closed at 12:30pm EST, just as President Clinton's Air Force One plane touched down at the landing strip on Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS). The countdown proceded to the T-9 minute mark but was kept an additional 8.5 min at thee T-9 minute hold while the launch team discussed the status of a master alarm heard during cabin leak checks after hatch closure. At 2:00pm EST, the launch team was polled and Discovery was given a "go" to proceed past the T-minus 9 minute mark. At 2:03pm the Orbiter Access Arm was retracted but the Range Safety Officer (SR0) requested a hold at the T-minus 5 minute mark due to an aircraft in the no fly zone. At 2:14pm EST, SRO gave the all clear signal and the countdown proceeded. At 2:14pm EST, a go was given for auto sequence start and launch occured at 14:20:19 pm EST.

On Wednesday, 10/28/98, Preparations for Thursday's 2 p.m. launch of Shuttle Discovery continue on schedule and launch managers are not working any major technical issues at this time. This morning workers completed efforts to install the SPACEHAB experiments in the orbiter payload bay and the airlock has been closed for flight. Discovery's communication systems will be activated today and flight crew equipment late stow activities begin at about 3:30 p.m. The Rotating Service Structure will retract away from the Shuttle at 8 p.m. today and the launch countdown will resume counting at T-11 hours at 11:40 p.m. External tank loading operations begin at about 5:40 a.m. tomorrow. Air Force weather forecasters continue to indicate a zero percent chance that weather could prohibit launch on Thursday. The forecast calls for few clouds at 4,000 feet; visibility at 7 miles; winds at 10 knots gusting to 15 knots from the northeast; temperature at 79 degrees F; relative humidity at 64 percent. Hurricane Mitch is still drifting westward away from Florida's coast and will not impact Thursday's launch attempt. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/28/1998)

On Tuesday, 10/27/98, The launch countdown for STS-95 proceeds on schedule for Thursday's 2 p.m. liftoff of Shuttle Discovery. Mission managers are not working any significant technical concerns at this time and launch preparations continue at Launch Pad 39B. At 4 a.m. workers began loading the orbiter's power reactant storage and distribution system with cryogenic reactants and that operation concluded at about noon. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/27/1998)

On Monday, 10/26/98, the launch countdown for mission STS-95 began on time today at 8 a.m. Launch managers are not working any significant technical issues at this time and preparations for Thursday's 2 p.m. launch continue on schedule. Final vehicle close-outs are in work and Discovery's backup flight systems will be loaded into the orbiter's general purpose computer today. Tonight the orbiter's navigational systems will be activated. Loading of the power reactant storage and distribution system (PRSD) with cryogenic reactants begins tomorrow morning. Air Force weather forecasters are indicating a 40 percent chance that weather could prohibit launch on Thursday. The forecast calls for scattered to broken clouds at 4000 feet and scattered clouds at 20000 feet; visibility at 7 miles; winds at 16 knots gusting to 23 knots from the northeast; temperature at 79 degrees F; relative humidity at 62 percent. The primary concerns are low level winds, a slight chance of showers and a low cloud ceiling.

Currently, the 24-hour and 48-hour scrub turnaround forecast indicates a 40 percent chance of weather violation. Managers continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Mitch in the Caribbean, currently moving in a west-northwesterly direction away from Florida's east coast. Mitch is not expected to affect Thursday The STS-95 flight crew arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 3:30pm. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/26/1998)

On Sunday, 10/25/98, preparations to begin the STS-95 launch countdown continued on schedule. Yesterday, workers began stowing the flight crew's equipment onboard Discovery. Forecasters are monitoring the progress of Hurricane Mitch in the Caribbean, but preliminary weather forecasts indicate generally favorable conditions for Thursday's launch of Shuttle Discovery. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/25/1998)

On Saturday, 10/24/98, Final preparations to begin the STS-95 launch countdown are on schedule. At the launch pad yesterday, workers successfully completed torque verifications in the external airlock. Payload bay closeouts are complete and the payload bay doors are closed for flight. Flight crew equipment stowage is in work today. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/24/1998)

On Tuesday, 10/13/98, HOST end-to-end testing was in work and on Monday workers completed the HOST payload Interface Verification Test (IVT). Discovery's midbody umbilical connection were made 10/12/98 and leak checks are complete. Technicians have also removed a faulty mass memory unit (MMU) and replacement of MMU No. 2 is slated for Thursday. During Tuesday evening, workers installed the astronaut contingency space suits into the orbiter. Payload closeout activities are scheduled through the remainder of the week. Shuttle managers have gathered at KSC today for the STS-95 Flight Readiness Review and announced Oct. 29 as the official launch date for Shuttle Discovery. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/13/1998)

On Friday, 10/9/98, the KSC test team and the STS-95 flight crew successfully completed the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test at about 11 a.m. The launch day dress rehearsal culminated with a simulated Shuttle main engine cutoff at T-3 seconds on the countdown clock. TCDT allows the launch team and crew to practice launch day activities and to validate emergency egress procedures. Afterwards, the crew returned to their homes in Houston, TX and will complete their mission training at Johnson Space Center. Preparations to replace Discovery's mass memory unit No. 2 were under way. At pad 39B, the Rotating Service Structure will be retracted for Saturday's KSC Open House and extended in place around the Shuttle immediately following the event. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/09/1998)
On Monday, 10/5/98, loading of hypergolic propellants into the orbiter's onboard storage tanks began with oxidizer loading. Fuel loading occurs 10/6/98. Preparations for Friday's Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test are in work. The STS-95 flight crew arrives Tuesday to begin familiarization activities at KSC prior to the actual dress rehearsal on Friday. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/05/1998)

On Friday, 10/2/98, Discovery'are complete. Gaseous nitrogen servicing of the orbiter was successfully completed and the Spartan payload interface verification test (IVT) was also performed. Over the weekend, the SPACEHAB IVT was completed and the orbiter's payload bay doors were closed. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/05/1998)

Over the weekend, workers performed weight and center of gravity tests on Space Shuttle Discovery before lowering it onto the orbiter transfer vehicle. At about 10 a.m. Monday, September 14, 1998 Discovery rolled out of KSC's Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) bay 2. The orbiter arrived in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) a short while later and was lifted from the orbiter transfer vehicle at about 4:30 p.m. Discovery will be soft mated to the external fuel tank (ET) at about 6 a.m. tomorrow. Hard mate connections will follow Tuesday and interface verification tests (IVT) will be conducted prior to next Monday's rollout to Launch Pad 39B. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 9/14/1998)

On Thursday, September 10, 1998, technicians completed checks of Discovery's Ku-band antenna system and final stowage. Pressurization of the landing gear tires for flight is also complete. Checkout of the robot arm concluded earlier this week and orbiter midbody close-outs continue on schedule. Preparations were under way for Friday night's payload bay door closure. Workers conducted aft compartment structural leak checks and completed forward compartment close-outs. Saturday, Discovery's weight and center of gravity determination tests are scheduled and Sunday the vehicle will be placed on the orbiter transfer vehicle for Monday's rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 9/10/1998)

On Monday, August 31, 1998, Installation of the integrated vehicle health monitoring (IVHM) system brackets are complete and IVHM sensor installation is nearing completion. Today, technicians are conducting orbiter integrated hydraulic testing and preparing for tunnel adapter installation slated to occur later today. Closeouts of the orbiter's midbody compartment continue in preparation for Wednesday's Crew Equipment Interface Test. Testing of the Ku-band antenna continues. In high bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, external tank and solid rocket booster mating closeouts are ongoing. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 8/31/1998)

During the week of 8/17/98 - 8/21/98, Discovery's main engines were installed. On Saturday, KSC technicians began precautionary efforts to secure Discovery, Endeavour and Columbia in their respective OPF bays due to the threat of Hurricane Bonnie. Discovery's payload bay doors were closed and the orbiter was powered down. Managers will continue to monitor the hurricane's status and hope to resume processing later today. Once the decision to proceed is made, workers will power up the orbiter and launch processing system, open the payload doors and deploy the Ku band antenna. Also, main engine securing and pump torque checks are scheduled. Payload premate testing will follow payload bay door opening. Work delays due to hurricane preparedness efforts are not expected to impact any major Shuttle processing milestones. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 8/24/1998)

By Monday, 8/17/98, Discovery's ammonia servicing work was complete. Preparations are under way for Shuttle main engine installation this week. Installation and testing of the integrated vehicle health monitoring system continue and water spray boiler servicing is in progress. Standard torque checks of the wind to fuselage attach bolts are slated for today. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 8/17/1998)

On Friday 7/31/98, workers completed Discovery's fuel cell voltage tests, and the orbiter's forward reaction control system (FRCS) was installed. FRCS interface verification testing was under way on Monday 8/3/98. The recently replaced fuel cell water relief valve is being brazed to the panel today. Installation of the integrated vehicle health monitoring (IVHM) system continues, and main landing gear wheel and tire installation is in work. Auxiliary power unit and main propulsion system leak and functional tests are scheduled for this week. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 8/3/1998)

On Monday 7/27/98, Thruster replacement work on Discovery's right-hand orbital maneuvering system (OMS) pod and subsequent leak checks and X-rays were completed. Functional checks of Discovery's newly installed crew seats were also completed. Over the weekend, technicians removed the leaky fuel cell No. 3 water relief valve and today, installation of a replacement valve is scheduled. Discovery's forward reaction control system was delivered to the OPF for installation into the orbiter later this week. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/27/1998)

On Monday, 7/6/98, Functional testing of Discovery's main propulsion system were in work. Last week, the power converter units that supported the STS-91 payloads were removed from Discovery's cargo bay. Preparations are under way to remove the Shuttle main engines later this week. Today, main engine heat shield removal is continuing. Postflight waste management system servicing is in progress. Installation of the integrated vehicle health monitoring system (IVHM) begins this week. The IVHM upgrade, already installed on Columbia, provides real-time Shuttle system monitoring capability to ground and flight controllers. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/06/1998)

On Monday, 6/22/98, validation of Discovery's electrical power systems and payload removal efforts in OPF Bay 2 were complete. Preparations to drain the orbiter maneuvering system (OMS) reactant storage tanks are in work and OMS thruster replacement efforts are scheduled to begin this week. Leak checks of the flash evaporator system and post flight inspections of the Shuttle main engines are ongoing. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 6/22/1998)

STS-95 Movies and Images


STS-95 Countdown Last Mission STS-91 Next Mission STS-88

Developed under the direction of the NASA KSC Public Affairs Office
Author: Jim Dumoulin ( / NASA - Payload Operations
Last Updated: Monday November 9 12:07:27 EDT 1998(J.Dumoulin)

A service of NASA/Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Office, David Dickinson,Acting Director (