WORLD : Atlantis Readied for Oct. 12 Launch

From Times Wire Services

The space shuttle Atlantis, mounted atop a ponderous crawler-transporter, was hauled to the launch pad today for blastoff Oct. 12 on a flight to fire the $1.4-billion, nuclear-powered Galileo probe to Jupiter.

One of the first items on the agenda at the pad is work to inspect rubber seals in both of Atlantis' solid-fuel boosters because of a "nick" discovered in a seal used by the shuttle Columbia's right-side booster during its Aug. 8 launch. The inspection will use up one of the days set aside to handle unexpected problems, but Atlantis remains on schedule. The unmanned Galileo, the most sophisticated interplanetary spacecraft ever built, is scheduled to orbit Jupiter, dropping a probe into its stormy atmosphere and studying the planet's moons and swirling atmosphere.

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