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Shuttle cleared for rollout, June launch
Posted: Sat, May 12, 2007, 10:52 AM ET (1452 GMT)
STS-117: hail damage to external tank (NASA/KSC) NASA shuttle managers announced Friday afternoon that they plan to proceed with the planned rollout of the shuttle Atlantis next week, the next step towards the planned June launch of the shuttle. Officials said that repairs the shuttle's external tank, which suffered thousands of gouges during a freak hailstorm in late February, have been completed. The patchwork repairs will give the tank a "speckle-y" appearance, but will be safe to fly. Rollout of the shuttle to the launch pad is planned for May 16, although the rollout could be moved up a day if weekend work permits. The shuttle is now scheduled to launch on mission STS-117 no earlier than June 8.
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