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Tuesday shuttle launch attempt scrubbed; rollback planned
Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2006, 1:56 PM ET (1756 GMT)
STS-115: logo NASA announced Monday morning that it had scrubbed a planned Tuesday launch attempt for the shuttle Atlantis and was making preparations to roll the orbiter back from the launch pad as a tropical storm made its way towards Florida. The launch, which had been planned for Tuesday afternoon, has yet to be rescheduled, and the next launch opportunity will depend on whether the shuttle is moved back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) or not. If, as anticipated, the shuttle is rolled back to the VAB to protect it from approaching Tropical Storm Ernesto, shuttle managers said Monday that it would be impossible to get the shuttle back on the pad and ready for a launch before the launch window closes on September 7. However, NASA is in talks with the Russian space agency Roskosmos about delaying the launch next month of a Soyuz mission to give NASA up to several more days in early September to carry out a launch. If that fails, the next launch opportunity will not come until October. Should Ernesto, which is currently expected to strengthen back to a hurricane before passing just south and east of Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, veer away from the launch site in the immediate future, NASA could keep the shuttle on the pad and make another launch attempt by the weekend, but that outcome is thought to be unlikely.
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