Getting Ready For Launch Countdown

Getting Ready For Launch Countdown

I recently stumbled upon a great blog by Mike Leinbach which has some untold stories about the days of the Space Shuttle program.  Namely, the blog talks a lot about the the final flight of Columbia and the days/weeks leading up to it.  It sounds like it will continue and go into depth on the accident and recovery effort as well.

I was fortunate to start working on the Shuttle program after college, shortly after the return to flight.  My small contribution was towards an advisory system which provided real time telemetry to the folks on launch day.  Our team’s software is pictured on the display in the picture below.

A photo with the NASA Shuttle Launch Director in Firing Room 4

Mike Leinbach was the Shuttle Launch Director during my time at the cape, and for a longer time before that.  I got to meet Mike briefly during an open house near the end of 2010.  When our team worked launches, it was best for us to be invisible.  That was the case for the most part, with a couple of notable exceptions.  Launch day operations were probably the most stressful and exciting times I’ve had in my career.  Perhaps someday I’ll write about some of those times.

This blog is relatively new, and at the time of writing this, only has 9 followers. It’s a good read, and if you’re interested in the Shuttle program I’d recommend following.  It looks like the writing is following the Columbia flow as it went fourteen years ago.  Now, is a great time to jump in.  Here is a link to the latest entry:

Fourteen years ago this week we were doing our final preparations on Columbia and the ground systems, getting ready to enter launch countdown (LCD). With launch scheduled for January 16, the 3-day countdown was to begin Monday, 1/13. After dusting off vehicle and ground systems (and ourselves!) last week following our 9-day holiday period vacation, we […]

via Getting Ready for Launch Countdown — Bringing Columbia Home