LA Times reports that NASA is keeping shuttle launch times “secret” to prevent terrorism:
Beginning with the April 4 launch of space shuttle Atlantis, NASA will keep its launch times secret until 24 hours in advance to guard against terrorist attack, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said. “NASA is choosing to be extra careful,” Kennedy Space Center spokesman Bruce Buckingham said from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Under the new policy, the space agency will give only four-hour launch periods until about 24 hours before liftoff.
About 18 hours before launch, the Rotating Service Structure — a mobile portion of the launch pad that protects the vehicle and provides worker access while the Space Shuttle is at the pad — is rolled away. About nine hours before launch, the external tank is filled with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The loading process takes almost three hours.
You can’t exactly fuel the thing in secret, if it takes 3 hours to fill ‘er up.
What sort of convoluted crazy terrorist plot did someone imagine deep in the recesses of their brain that led them to believe that this qualifies as a security measure?