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NASA approves July 12 launch date for STS-104
Posted: Thu, Jun 28, 2001, 11:37 PM ET (0337 GMT)
STS-104 patch Space shuttle managers gave their approval late Thursday for a July 12 launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on a mission to the International Space Station. The flight of STS-104 is now scheduled for liftoff at approximately 5:04 am EDT (0904 GMT) July 12. The main purpose of the mission is to install an airlock module on the ISS's Unity module that will allow station crews to perform EVAs outside the station. Three spacewalks are planned for the flight, including the first to originate from the station. The mission has been delayed about a month, first because it took technicians longer than expected to dry out shuttle tiles that were rained on after its last mission, and then because of problems with the robotic arm on the station. Assuming a July 12 launch, the shuttle will end its mission with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center just before 1 am EDT (0500 GMT) July 23.
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