Preparations for shuttle liftoff continue

Preparations for shuttle liftoff continue
Friday, July 8, 2011 - 3:15am

Nasa keeping one eye on tropical system that could mean delay

The Houston Chronicle is reporting; Mother Nature may not be quite ready for the end of the space shuttle program.

Forecasters say a tropical system moving across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Florida should provide enough clouds and rain to scrub the planned launch of space shuttle Atlantis at 10:26 a.m. today.

"I wish I had better weather for you," shuttle launch officer Kathy Winters said Thursday. She rated the chance of acceptable conditions around the launch at 30 percent.

Intermittent thunderstorms hammered Kennedy Space Center Thursday, and there were two significant lightning strikes near the launch pad. Engineers later determined that the vehicle escaped damage.

In Florida, however, as in Houston, thunderstorms come and go, and NASA is still hopeful of finding a window amid the bad weather to slip Atlantis into the heavens.

To read more on this story, head to The Houston Chronicle's website:

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