NASA fretted over the weather more than 4,000 miles away Wednesday night while preparing space shuttle Atlantis for launch today on an ozone-mapping mission.
Atlantis was scheduled to blast off at 8:56 a.m. PST. Good weather was expected at the space center, but clouds and high wind were forecast for the emergency landing sites in Spain and Morocco.
NASA cannot launch Atlantis unless at least one emergency landing site has acceptable weather.
This will be the fifth shuttle mission this year and the third in a row that is part of NASA's program to understand such environmental changes as ozone depletion and global warming.