18 April 2007 Flight Status Update

From Bob Wells FAAM BAE Flight Operations Manager

Tuesday was a no-fly day.

The SATCOM phone problem was raised with the service provider, Stratos, but as yet there is no indication that it has been fixed.

A lot of planning was undertaken in an attempt to exploit the 2007/04/19 03:35Z METOP pass directly over the ARM ground observatory. Three possible sorties have been devised and the decision on which one of these to fly will be taken by Houston noon Wednesday in light of the latest cloud forecasts. All three briefs involve a landing in the wee small hours of Thursday.

Partly as a consequence of this Stuart Newman will be investigating the possibilities of another overnight METOP mission Thursday-Friday night which may involve a refuel (possibly at Mobile, Alabama).

It is highly probable that Saturday and Sunday will be declared ‘down days’ so avoiding many constraints on the programme from crew-hour limitation considerations. There will be no suitable satellite passes on these days and wind forecasts do not look good for another Houston Plume jaunt.

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