Forecast appears favorable for Wednesday shuttle liftoff

September 04, 2006|By The Orlando Sentinel

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA could finally get good weather this week for the planned launch of space shuttle Atlantis.

Meteorologists are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions for Wednesday's 12:28 p.m. scheduled liftoff. The primary concerns are storm clouds and isolated showers.

"A dryer atmosphere and the launch time should provide decent conditions," said a forecast issued yesterday by Patrick Air Force Base's 45th Weather Squadron.

If the launch is delayed until Thursday or Friday, meteorologists are predicting a 70 percent chance of good weather for those opportunities. Atlantis' 11-day mission to the International Space Station must lift off by Friday or it likely will be delayed until next month.

Bad weather has kept Atlantis grounded for more than a week.

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