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Shuttle likely to make July 12 launch attempt
Posted: Wed, Jun 20, 2001, 1:48 PM ET (1748 GMT)
STS-104 patch NASA is likely to go ahead with a July 12 launch attempt of the space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-104, according to news reports published Tuesday. Shuttle and space station managers concluded that recent problems with the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm have either been solved or are manageable, clearing the way for the launch, scheduled for no sooner than 5:04 am EDT (0904 GMT) July 12. The station's arm needs to be in working order for the shuttle to carry out its primary mission, the installation of an airlock module: the shuttle's robot arm cannot reach the docking port on the Unity module where the airlock will be attached. The shuttle was to be rolled out to launch pad 39A on Wednesday morning, but the rollout was halted shortly after it started and the shuttle returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building when lightning was detected in the area. The rollout has been rescheduled for early Thursday. If the shuttle cannot launch by July 17, its mission will likely be delayed until September in order for Discovery to fly to the station on STS-105 to exchange station crews.
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