Major Ingrid C. Kaat is the commander of Detachment 2, 45 Operations Group, Ascension Auxiliary Airfield, Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean
We are designated as an Emergency Landing Site and we provide orbital tracking via radar.
There are many sites around the world designated as Emergency Landing Sites, and Detachment 2 at Ascension Island is one of those.
Should the Shuttle encounter an emergency and require landing at our location, my position would assume the role of Incident Commander, and serve as the conduit of information between Detachment 2 and NASA representatives.
The Fire and Security team bear the primary responsibility for dealing with any major incident. Their functions include setting up a convoy, establishing the toxic corridor and security perimeter, and assisting with astronaut egress after landing. Hazardous Materials and Medical Teams would also be called upon. The emergency response required after the landing is highly dependent on the condition of the orbiter and its team. Given the remote location and the relatively small size of Detachment 2, NASA would automatically generate a contingency response force to arrive within 24 hours. For the first 24 hours, the on-island response would indeed be international. We would potentially request medical and fire support from the Ascension Island Government and Royal Air Force.
Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean
Katherine Winters on the Weather Console
Kathy Winters is an Air Force Civilian Meteorologist at the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. She is the Space Shuttle Launch Weather Officer providing weather support to the Space Shuttle Program at Kennedy Space Center as the Launch Team prepares for the 8 July 2011 launch of Atlantis. You can find out more about the 45th Space Wing at their Facebook page.
It’s launch week and we are issuing our weather forecasts for the last Space Shuttle launch Friday, 8 July 2011. The weather situation is interesting. A tropical wave located over the Turks and Caicos Islands is moving west-northwest toward Florida. These waves are typical this time of year, and as they move into Florida, they bring scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms behind them. We expect this wave to move into Florida on Thursday, the day prior to launch, as it rotates around the western side of the high pressure ridge north of the Central Florida area. A tropical wave near the Turks and Caicos Islands will bring scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms to Florida Thursday. You can follow the development of the tropical wave in the Caribbean on the National Hurricane Center’s web site, tropical discussion.
A tropical wave near the Turks and Caicos Islands will bring scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms to Florida Thursday.