What a great way to start the weekend.
Â STS-117 Is set to go, all systems green tonight at 7:30 PM Eastern time. You might not be seeing much about this right now, but trust me that this is more important than Paris Hilton screaming in a courtroom.
Â AP story:
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A patched-up Atlantis was fueled for liftoff Friday night on the first space shuttle flight of 2007â€”a mission that was delayed by a damaging hailstorm and overshadowed by a lurid astronaut love triangle. The shuttle and its seven astronauts were set to blast off at 7:38 p.m. on a mission to continue construction of the international space station. Around midafternoon, the crew headed for the launch pad. The forecast looked great and the countdown appeared trouble-free except for the discovery of a loose clamp on the launch platform underneath the shuttle. The clamp holds a pipe in place. No immediate decision was made on whether it needed to be fixed.
During the 11-day flight, Atlantis’ astronauts will deliver a new segment and a pair of solar panels to the orbiting outpost. They will also swap out a member of the space station’s crew.
The mission was delayed for three months after a freak storm at the launch pad hurled golf-ball-size hail at Atlantis’ 154-foot fuel tank, putting thousands of pockmarks in its vital insulating foam and one of the orbiter’s wing.
LA Times has a video snip here.