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Shuttle inches closer to Friday launch
Posted: Tue, Nov 19, 2002, 8:32 AM ET (1332 GMT)
STS-113 pach (NASA) NASA plans to restart the countdown for the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour late Tuesday night even though no final decision has been made about a Friday launch attempt. Shuttle managers are scheduled to meet Wednesday evening to review the status of the shuttle's robot arm, damaged in a pad mishap last week, and determine whether to go ahead with the STS-113 launch now scheduled for Friday night between 7 and 11 pm EST (0000 and 0400 GMT Saturday). NASA said in a statement that managers "are gaining some confidence" that the issues can be resolved in time for a Friday launch. Officials will decide whether the damage is minor enough to allow the shuttle to fly as is, and if not, whether the damage can be repaired or if the arm should be removed entirely. The last option would likely delay the launch until early December to both allow time to remove the arm as well as train astronauts on a backup plan where only the station's arm would be used to install a truss segment Endeavour is carrying.
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