The Spaceflight Meteorology Group |
Postflight Mission Summary for STS-98
March 21, 2001
International Space Station Assembly 5A
STS-98, the 102nd Shuttle mission, lifted-off from Pad 39-A of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida
on February 8, 2001 at 23:13 UTC (5:13 PM CST). The Shuttle Atlantis was launched into a 51.6 degree orbit
inclination at an altitude of 199 miles. The prime Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) site was Ben Guerir,
Morocco. The weather alternate TAL site was Zaragoza, Spain. Low cloud ceilings and precipitation
within 20 nautical miles precluded the use of Moron, Spain as a TAL weather alternate. The Shuttle
Atlantis remained in orbit for almost 13 days while the shuttle crew delivered and installed the U.S. Destiny
Laboratory to the International Space Station.
Weather in Florida was rather benign as high pressure dominated weather patterns for launch day. Weather
at the TAL sites was a different story. An upper level low with bands of cloudiness and showers threatened
the northern TAL sites. Cloud ceilings and the threat of precipitation caused concerns at Moron.
Precipitation and surface winds were a possible limiting factor at Zaragoza.
A cold front pushed through the Florida peninsula Saturday and high pressure over the eastern U.S.
influenced weather over the eastern portion of the nation. Out west a low pressure trough began moving
onshore in southern California Monday and influenced weather at Edwards AFB Monday and Tuesday.
February 18, 2001: Forecasts of excess crosswinds at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility caused a 24
hour wave-off for STS-98 crew.
February 19, 2001: Excess crosswinds at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility and low cloud ceilings
and precipitation in California caused another 24 hour wave-off for STS-98 crew.
February 20, 2001: Low cloud ceilings at KSC caused a delay in closing the shuttle payload bay
doors until the second KSC landing opportunity of the day. Forecasts of cloud ceilings and precipitation
for this second KSC opportunity required a wave-off to Edwards AFB. The first Edwards opportunity was
the only good opportunity for the day because low cloud ceilings and crosswinds for the second
opportunity were out of landing limits. The Shuttle Atlantis landed on Edwards' runway 22 at 20:33:06
UTC (2:33:06 PM CST).
Other mission information is available at SMG's website under the link for the Spaceflight Meteorology
Group (SMG) at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/smg or from NASA Public Affairs Office at
http://www.nasa.gov web page or http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/.
SMG Lead Meteorologist Dan Bellue worked his 92nd mission (17th as Lead). Wayne Baggett was the
Assistant Lead and Doris Rotzoll was the Techniques Development Unit Meteorologist.
Dan G. Bellue
STS-98 Lead Metorologist
SMG Information can be found as follows:
NWS Family of Services: FXXX01 KHOU