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Weather Forecast Clear For Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch

Weather forecasts for Wednesday's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Endeavour in Florida are favorable and should help NASA avoid another delay. While a faulty valve delayed last week's original launch date, NASA test director Steve Payne said that all repairs have been made and the shuttle was ready to begin the new countdown Sunday night, the Houston Chronicle reported. "All our systems are in very good shape right now. The countdown work is on schedule," Payne said.
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Aug 06, 2007
In Firing Room 4 of the launch control center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the countdown clock began ticking backward on schedule for a launch at 6:36 p.m. on Wednesday. All countdown preparations are proceeding as planned at Launch Pad 39-A to meet an on-time launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. The weather forecast for launch day looks promising. Currently, there's only a 30% chance that isolated showers or anvil clouds could prevent launch. This prediction remains the same in the event of a 24-hour delay.

The flight's seven astronauts are staying busy with final launch preparations. On Sunday morning, Commander Scott Kelly and Pilot Charlie Hobaugh made several practice landings at the Shuttle Landing Facility in the shuttle training aircraft, a modified Gulfstream II jet that mimics the flying characteristics of a space shuttle orbiter.

The 22nd flight to the International Space Station, STS-118 will be the first flight for Endeavour since 2002, and the first mission for Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan, the teacher-turned-astronaut whose association with NASA began more than 20 years ago.

The shuttle's crew returned to Florida's Cape Canaveral on Friday, including former teacher Barbara Morgan and crew commander Scott Kelly.

If the shuttle is able to launch on Wednesday as scheduled, it will begin the first step of adding the newest addition to the growing international space station.

The shuttle is carrying an $11 million extension that its crew will add to the station's solar power system, along with additional supplies for the station's crew.

Endeavour's power system was recently modified to allow it to gain additional electrical power from the space station while docked, the Chronicle said.

earlier related report
Russian supply ship docks at International Space Station
Moscow (AFP) Aug 5 - A Russian supply ship carrying water, food, fuel and technical gear docked at the International Space Station Sunday three days after its launch, Russian news agencies reported. The vessel, Progress M-61, connected at 1840 GMT with its 2.5 tonnes of cargo. "The docking was a success," the top spokesman for the Russian space flight control centre, Valeri Lyndin, said, according to Interfax-AVN. The space station is currently home to Russian cosmonauts Fedor Yuchikin and Oleg Kotov, and US astronaut Clayton Anderson.

Source: United Press International

Source: Agence France-Presse
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Teacher Going Into Space 21 Years After Challenger Disaster
Washington, DC (VOA) Aug 05, 2007
Engineers with the U.S. space agency NASA are fixing a cabin leak discovered earlier this week in the space shuttle Endeavour. Officials are saying the problem will not delay the scheduled August 7 launch to the International Space Station. The historic mission will be the first for a teacher since the disastrous Challenger accident 21 years ago. VOA's Paul Sisco reports.

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