Shuttle visible from Oklahoma

Tuesday, February 19th 2008, 3:38 pm
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

Oklahomans will be able to view the International Space Station, Atlantis Space Shuttle and a spy satellite Tuesday night.

The crew of the shuttle Atlantis is preparing the spaceship for tomorrow's landing after a two-week mission to the international space station. NASA wants Atlantis to land Wednesday so the military can safely shoot down a damaged satellite.

All three objects will be visible tonight:

  • the Atlantis will travel from northwest to southeast between 6:38-6:43 p.m.
  • the space station will travel from northwest to southeast from between 6:40-6:44 p.m. 
  • the satellite will travel from southwest to northeast between 6:42-6:47 p.m.

The shuttle's crew inspected the shuttle's wing and nose with a laser-tipped boom to check for any possible micrometeorite damage. NASA is analyzing the data and will let the astronauts know Tuesday if they're cleared for landing.

The examination has become standard procedure ever since Columbia was destroyed on re-entry in 2003.

Commander Stephen Frick tells ABC News that the crew hopes the weather cooperates so the ship can land in Florida tomorrow, saying that everyone's families are waiting there.

Atlantis is to touch down at the Kennedy Space Center if the weather is clear. If it's not, Atlantis will go to a backup landing site in California.