On the Radar: Shuttle set to leave, heat staying, Japan typhoon
The space shuttle Atlantis prepares to dock with the International Space Station on July 10.
July 18th, 2011
06:03 AM ET

On the Radar: Shuttle set to leave, heat staying, Japan typhoon

Three things you need to know today.

Hatch closed - At 9:19 a.m. ET on Monday, the hatch between the space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station will be closed for the final time and the shuttle will prepare for a return to Earth.

Tomorrow, the shuttle will undock from the station and fly around it so visual inspections of both the space station and the shuttle's thermal protection system can be performed.

Atlantis is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:06 a.m. on Wednesday, bringing an end to three decades of space shuttle flight.

Hot temperatures - A heat wave will continue to roast the country's midsection even as it spreads to the east, according to the National Weather Service.

The hottest spots from Oklahoma through South Dakota should see highs of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and top temperatures are forecast in the 90s for most of the rest of the country - with the exception of some mountain and coastal regions, according to the weather service.

On Sunday, daily temperature records were broken from Alpena, Michigan, south to Miami, Florida.

"Heat index values" - how hot it feels outside - have been running over 125 degrees Fahrenheit in the worst-hit areas, the National Weather Service said. The scale designed to describe how intense heat feels also includes factors such as humidity.

Japan typhoon - Workers in Japan scrambled Monday to build a protective covering over a damaged nuclear reactor ahead of an approaching powerful typhoon, an energy company spokesman said.

Typhoon Ma-on  should strike Japan well south of the damaged No. 3 reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

But the Tokyo Power Company, which is responsible for the plant wracked by the March 11 tsunami that struck northeast Japan, is constructing a "roof-like structure to prevent rain from entering holes on the turbine building," spokesman Satoshi Watanabe said.

The energy company says it aims to complete construction late Monday.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan • Natural Disasters • On the Radar • Shuttle • Space • Tropical weather • Tsunami • Weather • World
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. BD70

    Everyone dress in ape suits for the shuttle return. Pass it on.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    @BD70, LMAO!!

    July 18, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Norm.

    Flagged every time for spam and being a moron.

    July 18, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. joe

    Thanks our good friend. I try to troll some. Sometimes people believe me and sometimes not. I probably should have spelled there correctly. Spelling it thar might have been too much. Anyhow,vwevhope your day reall will be the happiest. signed, the doodoo troll

    July 18, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. elmo kitchens

    Id like to see us go back to the moon. Bet we cant. Even with all of todays technology, I bet we cant really go up there and make it back.

    July 18, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Barry

    What a spectacular picture!

    July 18, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. WHY!?

    Why are they always settings things up in space? They want pave the way to some future dictator tyrant like Hitler /AntiChrist so he can just zap anyone from space with his tools, or project his false projections on our skies so gullible masses will come and believe he's God?!!

    July 18, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. me dingy leaks

    Anybody wanna fix it for me?

    July 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mad Ole Lady

    Nah. I'd rather watch your dingy sink.

    July 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Katie Nelson

    The things the national security agency is doing omg! All the people who believed they were abducted and implanted by alliens! That was the nsa and they were rfid chip test! I have one myself from my mother being in the military! There is no ufo! It's like the chinese stealth, a boomerang shaped aircraft that is thrown into a stall causing it to spin in circles! Those allien photos are actually starved ethiopian children whose faces have been distorted! They brainwash you and use your tv's speakers as a microphone to listen in to every home in America! I challenge you to plug a pair of headphones into the mic jack on your pc! One of the speakers doubles as a mic. It's the same principle. As for SETI they use that satellite not to send grettings into deep space, but to talk inside people's minds! HAARP is what has been causing all these natural disasters lately! HAARP cost us $300 million dollars, so they can manipulate our weather,cause earthquakes,hurricanes. Our hard earned tax dollars used against unarmed citizens!

    August 8, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
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