NASA Schedules 7th Attempt to Launch Shuttle

From Associated Press

NASA will try Friday for the seventh time to launch space shuttle Columbia on a laboratory-research mission.

The flight, now three weeks late, was delayed a record-tying sixth time Sunday because of bad weather.

NASA could have tried to launch Columbia on Thursday, but that plan was scrapped when an unmanned Atlas rocket failed to blast off Tuesday because of high wind. The Atlas launch slipped to today and Columbia consequently was moved to Friday morning.

The Air Force tracks all launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for safety purposes and needs one to two days after one flight to get ready for the next.

Atlas rocket maker Lockheed Martin Corp. long ago had reserved launch dates for early this week.

If the Atlas isn't off the ground today, NASA will assume priority. And if Columbia isn't aloft by early next week, Atlantis will be the next shuttle to fly and Columbia's 16-day mission will be bumped to late November.

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