Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Media badging up

There are going to be around 1500 media at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for the STS-134 launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Whilst not a record, it is a 70 precent increase on those present for the last Shuttle launch, that of Discovery at the end of February.

The accreditation process for bona fide media representatives can be a complex affair. First off, foreign media need a visa before NASA will accept an electronic application.

Outside of KSC itself there are two badging stations - a news media access badge and a mission badge. Both require photos, fingerprinting and, if you are to drive through security under your own steam, an FBI check.

All went smoothly this morning, so I’m badged up and good to go. There are security check points on all the roads into KSC, mostly a couple of miles outside of the main area.

As the mission gets closer security levels will be increasingly raised, all adding to the excitement and anticipation.

This morning there is a smattering of the regular ‘space’ journalists here already. In 45 minutes’ time there if a pre-launch news conference.

Most likely, one of the main topics will be the weather forecast and the storm clouds amassing on the horizon.

The prediction at present is for good launch day weather but with thunder storms the night before - which is not such good news for the overnight fuelling operations on the pad.

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