Entries in Countdown (3)


Final Countdown Begins for Space Shuttle Atlantis' Launch

NASA/Kim ShiflettUPDATE: Space shuttle Atlantis' scheduled July 8 launch date runs the risk of being postponed due to inclement weather.

"Right now we are going with a 60 percent chance of [Kennedy Space Center] weather prohibiting launch due to the potential for showers and isolated thunderstorms in the area," says Mission Weather Officer Kathy Winters.

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- After taking the Fourth of July holiday weekend off, launch pad engineers are back at work in Florida as the final countdown for NASA's last space shuttle mission begins Tuesday.

On Monday, the four-man crew who will board space shuttle Atlantis -- Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim -- arrived at Kennedy Space Center, where they will continue training and spend some time with their families before blasting off into space on Friday.

Speaking to reporters upon his arrival, Commander Ferguson said, "I think I speak for the whole crew in that we are delighted to be here after a very arduous nine-month training flow and we're thrilled to finally be here in Florida for launch week."

Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for lift-off on July 8 at 11:26 a.m.  As part of their 12-day mission to the International Space Station, Ferguson and his fellow astronauts will carry critical parts and goods to keep the station supplied for the next year.

Local officials expect a million people will line area roads to see the final flight of the space shuttle program.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Keith Olbermann Leaves 'Countdown' on MSNBC

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Controversial liberal news anchor Keith Olbermann has left the MSNBC cable network after hosting its most popular nightly show, Countdown, for almost eight years.

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended our contract," NBC Universal said in a statement Friday. "The last broadcast of Countdown will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

The reasons for Olbermann's departure were not immediately clear.

Olbermann suggested as he signed off Friday that he was told abruptly his show was ending.

"I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I've been told -- that this is going to be the last edition of your show," he said. "You go directly to the scene from the movie Network, complete with the pajamas and the raincoat and you go off on an existential, otherworldly verbal journey of unutterable profundity and vision. You damn the impediments and you insist upon the insurrections, and then you emit Peter Finch's guttural, resonant, 'So --.' And you implore, you will the viewer to go to the window, open it, stick out his head and yell-- Well, you know the rest.

"In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative," he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


'Countdown' Host Keith Olbermann to Be Back On-Air Tuesday

Photo Courtesy - MSNBC(NEW YORK) -- Keith Olbermann can go back on the air Tuesday after what his MSNBC boss decided was an "appropriate punishment" for making contributions to a trio of Democrats.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin made the announcement late Sunday that Olbermann would be allowed to return to Countdown, the cable channel's most popular program.

"After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy," Griffin said in a brief statement.  "We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."

Olbermann, who was suspended Friday after it was revealed that he contributed to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates, took to the Internet earlier Sunday to update and thank supporters.  Olbermann posted the following message Sunday afternoon:

"Greetings From Exile!  A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO."

Politico reported Friday that Olbermann contributed to the candidates in the run-up to Tuesday's midterm elections, making a donation to Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva on the same day he appeared on the cable news show.

In a statement announcing the suspension, MSNBC said its ethics policy bans journalists from making political contributions.´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio