Feb 6, 2008

Atlantis is ready for Thursday lift-off

US space shuttle Atlantis is ready to start it's journey! The lift-off, which was originally scheduled for December, now is set for Thursday after a two-month delay. Atlantis will deliver Europe's $1.6 billion Columbus laboratory to the orbiting International Space Station.

"Atlantis is ready to go fly," Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, assistant NASA test director, told reporters Monday

The European laboratory Columbus is the latest addition to the International Space Station, which will play key role in future planetary explorations. The Atlantis crew includes commander Stephen Frick, mission specialist Leland Melvin, pilot Alan Poindexter, mission specialist Rex Walheim, European Space Agency astronaut Hans Schlegel of Germany, mission specialist Stanley Love and European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts of France. Three spacewalks have also been scheduled during the mission.

Atlantis' first take-off attempt is set for a ten-minute window on Thursday beginning at 2:45 pm (1945 GMT) in Cape Canaveral. Link


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