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Countdown begins for Thursday shuttle launch
Posted: Mon, Jul 9, 2001, 6:42 PM ET (2242 GMT)
STS-104 patch The countdown for the launch this Thursday of the space shuttle Atlantis began Monday morning with weather the only major concern. Countdown clocks started at 8 am EDT (1200 GMT) at the T-43 hour point towards the launch of Atlantis on mission STS-104. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:04 am EDT (0904 GMT) Thursday, July 12. Shuttle managers said Monday morning they are working on no technical issues that could delay the launch, although they are keeping an eye on the weather. Current forecasts call for a 40 percent chance of unacceptable launch weather Thursday morning, as well as a 30 percent chance of weather that would prohibit the transfer of propellants into the shuttle's external tank Wednesday evening. NASA has until July 17 to launch Atlantis on its mission to install an airlock on the International Space Station: after that date a variety of circumstances, including another shuttle flight and a planned range shutdown at Cape Canaveral, could delay the mission until September.
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