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The Spaceflight Meteorology Group
Postflight Mission Summary for STS-98

March 21, 2001

STS-98 International Space Station Assembly 5A Post-Mission Summary

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.

Launch Weather: 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.

Landing Weather: 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 or from NASA Public Affairs Office at web page or

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.

Submitted by:
Dan G. Bellue

STS-98 Lead Metorologist

SMG Information can be found as follows:



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