I’m carpooling with some other people attending the tweetup that are staying in the Daytona area, and we’re leaving at 6AM. Activities start at 9AM and include meeting NASA bigwigs, astronauts, and Elmo from Sesame Street. We also will view the rollback of the RSS. I should get very VERY close to Atlantis tomorrow. It’s almost more exciting than the launch.
NASA is getting its day started early too. Things get going at 5AM. I’ll still be putting on sunscreen and eating a bagel at that hour.
Launch-1 Day (Thursday, July 7)
Flight Crew Equipment stowage
Begin removal of pad ground support equipment
Enter built-in 14 hours, 1 minute hold at T-11 hours (5 a.m.)
Activate the orbiter’s communications systems
Lower engine support platforms, retract access platforms
External tank inspections
Complete Flight Crew Systems time critical stowage (middeck payloads)
Rotating Service Structure begins move away from Atlantis to the park position (2 p.m.) <—- I’ll be there for this!
Perform ascent switch list
Fuel cell flow-through purge complete
Resume countdown at T-11 hours (7:01 p.m.)
Activate the orbiter’s fuel cells (8:11 p.m.)
Clear the blast danger area of all nonessential personnel
Switch Atlantis’ purge air to gaseous nitrogen (9:01 p.m.)