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Shuttle launch no earlier than January 24
Posted: Fri, Jan 4, 2008, 7:27 AM ET (1227 GMT)
STS-122: logo (NASA) NASA shuttle managers said Thursday that they hope to be able to launch Atlantis as early as January 24, but warned that technical and weather issues could push the launch back to early February. Workers are replacing faulty electrical connectors in the shuttle's external tank that were the cause of erroneous readings by engine cutoff sensors in the tank that scrubbed two launch attempts in December. NASA had hoped to have the shuttle ready to fly earlier in the month, but the work required to replace and test the connectors will push the launch back until at least January 24. Officials warned that a January 24th launch requires everything to go as planned, and that a launch in the first week of February may be more realistic. When it does launch on the STS-122 mission, Atlantis will deliver the European lab module Columbus to the International Space Station.
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