NASA Good to Go on Friday

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER — All systems are a go.

During a countdown status briefing this morning, NASA Test Director Steve Payne announced that preparations for launch on Friday continue and everything is on schedule.

“All our systems right now are in great shape — we’re tracking no constraints that are show stoppers,” said Payne. “Teams are ready and everybody’s eager to launch — we’re looking forward to a successful assembly mission.”

Launch Weather Officer Kathy Winters of the 45th weather squadron reported there is a 30 per cent chance of weather prohibiting launch. Although a typical pattern of afternoon thunderstorms prevail, upper level winds will push the clouds away by launch time.

The tanking forecast for Friday morning also looks good with no violation of constraints.

The launch countdown for Atlantis officially begins at 9 p.m. EDT today, at T-43 hours. Included in the countdown is nearly 28 hours of built-in hold time prior to a targeted 7:38 p.m. EDT launch on Friday.

The mission STS-117 astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Monday evening. Landing aboard their T-38 training jets, the astronauts flew in from Johnson Space Center in Houston to Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility.

The days before launch will be busy ones for the astronauts and launch team as they make final preparations for Friday’s flight to the International Space Station.

Mission STS-117 is the Space Shuttle Program’s 21st mission to the space station.

PHOTO CAPTION: Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its second journey to the launch pad in preparation for STS-117 (NASA photo).

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