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Spaceflight Meteorology Group Forecaster Honored by NASA

SMG Lead Forecasters Richard Lafosse (left) and Karl Silverman monitor weather patterns in preparation for landing of Space Shuttle Discovery in August 2005 (Photo: SMG)

(Aug. 9, 2006) -- National Weather Service Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) Lead Forecaster Richard LaFosse will have a ringside seat for the next space shuttle launch. LaFosse has been selected as a Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Honoree for the launch of STS-115 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Being selected as an SFA Honoree is one of the most prestigious awards available to employees of the NASA, industry and International Partner space flight team. LaFosse and a guest will view the launch, receive a VIP tour of the Space Center and attend a reception in honor of his contributions.

LaFosse and his colleagues at SMG provide unique world-class weather support to the U.S. Human Spaceflight effort by providing weather forecasts and briefings to NASA personnel; pre and post spaceflight weather analyses and documentation; advising the JSC community of adverse weather impacting the JSC complex; serving as meteorological consultants to the JSC community for current and future spaceflight endeavors; and, developing tools and techniques to enhance SMG's weather support and to improve the science of meteorology.

The mission of the STS-115 crew and Space Shuttle Atlantis is to resume construction of the International Space Station. The STS-115 crew consists of Commander Brent W. Jett Jr., Pilot Christopher J. Ferguson and

This illustration shows how the truss segment (with its solar arrays extended) will expand the International Space Station. The new truss segment and solar wings are visible on the right side of the station. (Photo: NASA)
Mission Specialists Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Joseph R. Tanner, Daniel C. Burbank and Steven G. MacLean, who represents the Canadian Space Agency.

During their 11 days in space, the astronauts will install an integrated truss segment with its two large solar arrays that will provide one-fourth of the total power generation capability of the completed station. The trusses are part of the 11-segment structure that will eventually span more than 300 feet when the station is completed.

The launch date for the mission is currently scheduled for no later than August 28.

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