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Countdown begins for STS-109 launch
Posted: Tue, Feb 26, 2002, 2:03 AM ET (0703 GMT)
STS-109 patch (NASA) NASA started the countdown Monday for the Thursday morning launch of the space shuttle Columbia on mission STS-109. The countdown began at 10 am EST (1500 GMT) at the T-43 hour mark for a launch at 6:48 am EST (1148 GMT) Thursday, February 28. No technical problems have been reported to date, and meteorologists are predicting a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions at launch time, with cold temperatures the main concern. The purpose of the STS-109 mission is to carry out a set of repairs and upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope, including a new camera, power system, cooling system, and solar panels. That work will be carried out by four astronauts during five spacewalks scheduled for the mission.
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