FLORIDA : Weather May Delay Launch of Shuttle
NASA resolved last-minute equipment trouble with the space shuttle Columbia, scheduled for liftoff today on a 16- or 17-day mission to study the effects of extended spaceflight on the body. However, thunderstorms could delay the 7:49 a.m. PDT liftoff. Forecasters at Kennedy Space Center in Florida gave only a 40% chance of acceptable conditions. The medical experiments are part of the preparation for the international space station that will begin taking shape later this decade. Once in orbit, seven U.S., Canadian and French astronauts will conduct $138 million worth of biomedical, plant, fluid and metal experiments.