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Shuttle cleared for Friday night launch
Posted: Thu, Nov 21, 2002, 9:42 AM ET (1442 GMT)
STS-113 pach (NASA) Shuttle managers decided Wednesday night to proceed with plans to launch the space shuttle Endeavour Friday evening. At the meeting, managers concluded that the damage to the shuttle's robot arm incurred in a pad mishap last week was minor enough that it will not prevent the arm from operating as needed during the mission. The arm is needed to lift a truss segment out of the shuttle's cargo bay and handing it off to the station's arm, which will then install it into its final position. Officials also looked into repairing or removing the arm altogether, options which would have delayed the launch until early December, as well as revising mission plans if the shuttle's arm was not available. The exact launch time will be announced Thursday night; the current launch time is between 7 and 11 pm EST Friday (0000 and 0400 GMT Saturday). The major concern about the launch is weather at two transatlantic abort landing sites in Spain.
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