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STS-130 Launch Coverage: Second Attempt

By Susan Poulton

for Breaking Orbit

Fueling of the space shuttle is complete and it stands ready for a second launch attempt at 4:14am ET. We just returned from the crew walk out and they are now getting strapped into their seats on the shuttle. Their faces never seem to look any less excited on a second attempt even with the weather conditions questionable. The crowd here at Kennedy Space Center has thinned out a bit as it traditionally does the day after a scrub. I’ve confirmed that I will be returning to the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building tonight to photograph the launch, so I’m quite excited (and much more organized and rested than I was last night!)

crew_day2b.jpg—Image Credit: Susan Poulton

crew_day2.jpg—Image Credit: Susan Poulton

The six crew members from left to right are Bob Behnken, Nicholas Patrick, Steve Robinson, Kay Hire, Terry Virts (pilot) and George Zamka (commander). All are veterans of previous launches except for pilot Terry Virts. At crew walkout, I especially love seeing the faces of the astronauts for whom this will be their first trip into space. Their smile always seems to be a little extra wide!

—Susan Poulton works for National Geographic Digital Media and is a self-proclaimed space geek. Since graduating from Space Camp in 1987, she’s been fascinated by all things space and can’t resist sharing this passion with others. A veteran of 12 launches (and over 30 launch attempts), she has attempted to see every space shuttle launch since STS-114 in 2005.