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Fri, Dec 14, 2007

NASA Aims For January 10 Launch Date For Atlantis

Wants Workers To Have Time With Their Families

NASA's Space Shuttle Program managers have targeted January 10 for the launch of shuttle Atlantis' STS-122 mission to the International Space Station.

"The workforce has stepped up to and met every challenge this year," said Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Moving the next launch attempt of Atlantis to January 10 will allow as many people as possible to have time with family and friends at the time of year when it means the most. A lot has been asked of them this year and a lot will be asked of them in 2008."

The liftoff date from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL depends on the resolution of a problem in a fuel sensor system. The shuttle's planned launches on December 6 and December 9 were postponed because of false readings from the part of the system that monitors the liquid hydrogen section of the tank.

As ANN reported, NASA plans an on-pad test Tuesday to test the engine cutoff (ECO) sensor system, by pumping super-cold liquid hydrogen into the external fuel tank.

Atlantis' main objective during its STS-122 mission to the International Space Station is to install and activate the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory, which will provide scientists around the world the ability to conduct a variety of life, physical and materials science experiments.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/shuttle

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