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. itsamemario

    theres one solution for the heat: swimming hole, tire swing included..

    July 18, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. itsamemario

    so glad im on the coast..

    July 18, 2011 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. ngc1300

    For the first time in 50 years the US has no way into space, save hitching a ride. Parents, do your kids a favor and insist that your school district offers classes in Chinese.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Craig Holm

      This will not be the first time in 50 years that the United States has had no way into space. The hiatus between the Apollo program and the Shuttle program lasted about six years. The push is now to let commercial industry get into the act for low earth orbit activities and the United States is taking the lead there. Rocket X will be shuttling people to and from the ISS within a few years. As for NASA, they're focus is back to research and exploration. We're goin' deep space baby!

      July 18, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm.

      You're so eager to spend our non-existent tax dollars on something the private sector can do so much better.
      Chillax...

      July 18, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      Personally I think the space shuttle program is a waste... Why are we wasting money orbiting the earth when we could be going to Mars? A space shuttle won't get us any closer... I think this program is past its prime.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • John Marshall

      CraigHolm , Goverment contracts go to politicly correct low bid minoritys. And then there's the corporate mindset to consider, mercenary is a mild way to describe it. When we have a buffoon in office who commands our best scientist and researchers to make the muslims feel good about themselves and cant remember the name of that asteroid, well I dont have much confidence that NASA will do anything logical till after 2012. obama could have been in " Hitch hikers guide to to galaxy " He'd fit right in.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. joe

    We dont need to be up thar in space anyways. I herd its all dark and no air to breath. I dont think nobody is realy even up thar. Its imposible. No air. The goverment is realy using this mony for blak op progekts.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ ngc1300:
    I agree with you.
    The youngest son of one of my oldest friends learned Chinese, along with routine French in his private school, and is now prospering in Europe.
    Americans are too often unaware of the need for European languages as a basic component of education.
    My (private) pupil's pupil just wrote his own ticket to a doctoral program in Ivy League schools competing for him, demanding housing along with his full tuition scholarship. One of his main assets was fluency in several languages.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    joe of 6:43 must be an excellent troll.
    I'm not as convinced of the absence of aliens as I am of the absence of deities "up thar in space."
    Good post.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Josh

    Pretty soon, most of the our high-tech air/space from the 20th Century will be nothing more than dusty old museum pieces, like the Concorde, Lunar Modules, and now the Shuttles, with nothing newer/better being flown.

    America will be the "has been" country, that can only look back at its past, and has nothing in its future.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Yes, Josh. It'll be like walking around classical ruins in Italy and Greece, with guides saying, "and this was where they stored grain..."

    July 18, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    A nation is its people.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    What about NASA and helping Arab nations?

    July 18, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mystery

    Nice picture. Where is that island right below the shuttle?

    July 18, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I support Obama's campaign, but I don't trust any politician completely because he still has to work in politics.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jerome

    Mystery: 'Nice picture. Where is that island right below the shuttle?'

    Bahamas – 23.200961,-75.314484

    July 18, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jerome

    More like, 23°15'36.45"N , 75°16'8.68"W .
    Shuttle heading NE.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jarett

      @Jerome: dude the space shuttle doesn't even fly over those coordinates

      July 18, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jarett

      space station*

      July 18, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerome

      @Jarett – 'dude the space shuttle doesn't even fly over those coordinates'

      The picture at the top of the article would suggest that it does. Right, shuttle approaching space station. Cut and paste those coordinates into maps.google.com and you will see that land mass.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Casey Anthony "Im out and free"

    Ha ha i got aw – ay with mur – der ha ha huh ha ha !!!! ........

    July 18, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
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