Links: | Shuttle Status | videos | Space.Com | AP | CNN | Shuttle Status Report |August 8 (Day 220, Cursing): NASA successfully launched the STS-118 Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center Florida under a hazy sky at 6:36/42 PM EDT (2236/42 GMT). The STS-118 mission with Orbiter Endeavour (OV-105) will deliver the S-5 truss segment to the International Space Station. Prior to launch there was troubleshooting after 2 of the 19 latch indicators failed to indicate that the Orbiter door was closed. After a visual inspection revealed all latches were latched and the door had closed properly, the OK was given to Launch. After launch, Mission Control in Houston initially had a problem verifying closure of the External Tank Doors. That problem was also quickly resolved. Endeavour was last launched in 2002.
Near the top of the patch are a pair of gray wagon tracks with a larger gray piece (representing the S-5 Truss) crossing them. The gray wagon tracks correspond to the Minneapolis I-35W bridge that collapsed. Both the Mississippi River and a railroad track underneath were blocked, which corresponds to the gray piece at the top of the patch that resembles a piece of concrete blocking the wagon tracks. There were two bridges in Minneapolis across the Mississippi, and one of them fell.
At the end of the loop and the seven stars is a flaming torch, which symbolizes underground lighting related to the Utah mine cave-in that left six miners trapped on August 6, Day 218.
Prior to launch 2 of 19 latch indicators in the Orbiter hatch failed to indicate latched. Here, the number, 2, for divine division, and 19, for the federal judiciary, correspond to the Middle East trip of the US Secretaries of State and Defense associated with the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse. The wagon tracks on the Mission Patch correspond to the bridge collapse. After closure of the External Tank Doors, the latch indicators for the doors were initially not indicating latched in Mission Control. The problem was quickly resolved. However, a problem with an out of configuration closed or open door is a serious Spiritual omen. God closes and opens doors (Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 3:7; Job 12:14). There was a door closure problem prior to the Challenger disaster.