Discovery Prepares to Roll to the Pad

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As dawn begins to break over Launch Pad 39A, the payload canister carrying the International Space Station’s Harmony module is lifted toward the payload change out area of the pad’s service structure. Image credit: NASA

In preparation for the targeted Oct. 23 launch, Discovery is set to roll from the Vehicle Assembly Building out to the Launch Pad 39A aboard the crawler transporter this weekend. Earlier in the week, the orbiter was attached to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters atop the mobile launch platform.

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DAILY UPDATE – CLIPPER 07-08 – 30 SEPTEMBER

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WESTERNAUSTRALIA2011.COM MAINTAINS LEAD

LEAD BOATS TAKE INTER-CANARY ISLAND COURSE

GLASGOW: SCOTLAND WITH STYLE CLIPPER TUCKS INTO FANTASY SUNDAY LUNCH

The crew of westernaustralia2011.com continues to lead the pack as the fleet
approach the first full week of racing since leaving La Rochelle last Sunday
on the 4,200-mile race to Salvador in Brazil. Hull & Humber is just 16 miles
behind as the leaders close in on the Canary Islands. To view the latest
positions on the Clipper Race Viewer log on to www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

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Safely loaded and bound for Murmansk

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If there are gods about the place, they woke up smiling on Friday morning.

Dawn broke divinely calm – bronze and rose in the east fading to pewter but holding the promise of stillness. The sea around the ‘Kapitan Danilkin’ was plate smooth and Barrabas, moored against the ship’s port side tugged gently at her lines. She knew, I’m certain, exactly what would happen later in the morning. I had explained it to her as we motored from the Tiksi docks the previous evening after getting the call from the ship’s Chief Mate to proceed alongside. Barrabas is an extraordinary boat. The short run from the docks to the ship, six miles, required three course changes. Without touching the autopilot, Barrabas made the turns, ten degrees to starboard on each occasion, on the mark without any input from me. She knew where she was going like a trekking horse that has trodden the same path interminably and no matter what cajoling from its rider will not deviate. Barrabas was as anxious as I to get away.

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DAILY UPDATE – CLIPPER 07-08 – 29 SEPTEMBER

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Positions on the race viewer look very different today as skippers and crews take tactical decisions based on weather forecasts and the existence of the island of Madeira in the middle of their course. (Log on to www.clipperroundtheworld.com to see it.) The result is a division in the fleet as they decide which tack to take to make best use of the wind in the future. Currently the wind is coming from exactly the direction they’re heading into.

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Easing winds allow fleet to make sail repairs

ClipperHull & Humber races towards finish line

With the winds dropping the daily runs have been reduced from 240 nautical miles to fewer than 160 nautical miles as the fleet scramble to try to position themselves in the best location to maximise the gain from the weather patterns. The most recent poll at 0600 GMT showed westernaustralia2011.com had just edged ahead of Hull & Humber

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Broads Authority crack down on speeding boats

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Chased by a River Inspector’s launch this speedboat was travelling at several times the speed limit

Broads Authority navigation rangers have been cracking down on speeding boats to protect boaters, wildlife and the fragile environment.

Written warnings handed out to helmsmen who are speeding and creating excess wash and those who overstay on free 24 hour moorings are already more than double this year compared to the whole of last year. There are also 18 potential court cases pending.

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YNGLING WOMEN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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With 10 races completed the stage is set for the Medal Race. Russian crew of Ekaterina Skudina, Diana Krutzkikh and Natalia Ivanova managed to keep the lead and will start the Medal Race 4 points in front of second placed the team of Mandy Mulder, Brechte Van Der Werft and Marje Kampen (NED). Also fighting for the gold medal is third placed team Sofia Bekatoru, Sofia
Papadopoulou and Christina Charamountani.

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