NASA To Make Last Minute Call On Final Shuttle Launch

NASA says it could wait until the last minute to decide whether or not to scrap the launch of space shuttle Atlantis on Friday morning. Ed Mayberry reports.

With bad weather in the forecast, Shuttle managers are holding out hope that they’ll still be able to get Atlantis off the launch
pad on time. The forecast appears to be only slightly better for a Saturday or Sunday launch. Space Shuttle Launch Integration
Manager Mike Moses says after that, a previously scheduled Delta rocket launch takes priority for the next week.

“Everybody is already asking do we have plans to make them move and all that and the bottom line is nothing happens until we can’t launch, so nobody is going to agree to things that are planned until there are problems, and there are no problems yet, there’s just weather forecasts, and weather forecasts are forecasts.” 

the STS-135 crew members pause for a photo in front of Atlantis
After completing training on Launch Pad 39A, the STS-135 crew members pause for a photo. From left are Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett June 23, 2011

Moses says NASA is ready to get the last mission underway and is not rooting for more delays to prolong the program.

“We are not at all in the mode that taking more time to make this launch happen is a good thing. The team is ready. They’re prepared. Everything is in the right spot. This is a normal countdown for us. It’s time to go and so we’re more than ready.”  

A tropical wave moving into Florida is bringing with it a 70-percent chance for thunderstorms at the launch site on Friday.

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