Space shuttle Atlantis set for launch with Columbus module

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The United States Space Shuttle Atlantis and the European space station module Columbus are ready for launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, although NASA and ESA have said that there is only a “40 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch times.”

NASA astronaut Alan Poindexter training in preparation to board the space shuttle Atlantis

The launch director of Atlantis said that “the scope of the mission is first of course to bring the Columbus laboratory to space, to install it on the international space station, make all the connections, and of course activate the module, power it and bring the cooling and do all the activation."

The ESA Program manager for the International Space Station said that he thought the “the European team are looking forward to the launch on Thursday." Leroy Cain, the American manager of the mission said that he believed "the team is in great shape and we're ready to move forward,"

NASA said that “the five mission specialists for the flight are also spending full days with checklists and practicing their flight tasks.” He also said that the astronauts “have simulators at their disposal that let them rehearse the complex duties required in orbit.” The flight is due to be launched at 19:45 UTC (14:45 local time) tomorrow.


This audio file was created from the text revision dated 20:46, 6 February 2008 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)