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Archive for Friday, June 1, 2007

Shuttle Atlantis cleared for June 8 launch

June 1, 2007

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— A two-day flight readiness review ended Thursday with NASA formally clearing shuttle Atlantis and its seven astronauts for a long-delayed mission to the international space station.

Liftoff of the first shuttle flight of the year is scheduled for 6:38 p.m. CDT June 8 from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

"We're good to go," said Wayne Hale, shuttle program manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Originally planned for March 15, the mission was postponed after a freak Feb. 26 thunderstorm pelted Atlantis with hail. Ground crews spent months repairing thousands of divots and dings in the insulation of the ship's external fuel tank.

Once in space, the crew will spend 11 days delivering components and supplies to the space station. In addition, Atlantis will ferry a new crew member to the station and bring home an astronaut who has been there for more than five months.

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