Aug 22, 2007- Hot day on the runway STS-118

Another great landing at KSC! Here’s how the day went:
Had several pre-landing briefings at the Shuttle Landing Facility in the morning

We then manned our vehicles, rolled out to the runway, and staged near the control tower/viewing area. This is where you see all the news trucks and reporters giving their live commentary and where the family members of the astronauts watch the landing from the bleachers. I cut out the news trucks on the right of the picture because it was a bad viewing angle of them, but they all had their satellite dishes up. We showed up right at noon, so they got a shot of us lining up right when they went live.

We waited for about 1/2 hour, sweating in blue collar coveralls that are flame resistant

until landing at 1232 hr!

Since we are PURGE 1, we pull up to the right aft side of the orbiter once preliminary sniff checks are done to verify that no toxic vapors were escaping from the thrusters.

We move the staircase into position so the safety team can sniff the OMS pods and clear the T-0 areas

We get a go and install the T-0 frame along with the purge ducts needed to purge the interior of the vehicle. Because the winds were out of the east, we ended up being hit with powerful whiffs of ammonia every once in a while from the ammonia spray boilers, burning our eyes and making the T-0 experience quite enjoyable. We installed the frame and purge ducts within 25 minutes. Should have worn my PPE (it was optional- wouldn’t have needed it if the wind didn’t shift!)

Then the show started….. more tomorrow!


About John Sep

Former Space Shuttle aerospace technician and private pilot now looking towards the next great adventure. Soon to be heading home from my overseas assignment! Transfered my blog from MySpace to here so check my older stuff for info and pictures from my days in space shuttle processing- lots of behind the scenes stuff! He drew pics, flew planes, fought fires and helped launch people into space - what will he do next?
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