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Shuttle cleared for January 19 launch
Posted: Thu, Jan 11, 2001, 1:50 PM ET (1850 GMT)
STS-98 mission patch NASA approved plans Wednesday to launch the space shuttle Atlantis next week on a mission to the International Space Station. Shuttle managers gave the green light to launch Atlantis on Friday, January 19 at 2:11 am EST (0711 GMT). The five-person crew of STS-98 will deliver the Destiny lab module to ISS, with three spacewalks planned to install the module to the station's Unity docking node. Preparations for the launch have been squeezed into a tight schedule after the shuttle's rollout was delayed last month to check for electrical problems with the solid rocket boosters, and delayed again a day last week after the crawler transporter malfunctioned during the rollout itself. Crews are "working three shifts, seven days to pull this off," Kennedy Space Center spokesman George Diller told Florida Today.
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