Atlantis shuttle prepares for blast off on Monday

 @ibtimes
on November 15 2009 6:17 PM

NASA said Sunday that the weather is expected to be conducive for the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis to launch toward the International Space Station on Monday on a delivery mission.

Atlantis is planned to lift off at 2:28 p.m. ET on Monday from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle will carry six astronauts and two cases of large spare parts to the station.

Nasa said the weather outlook is optimistic for Monday, with a 90 percent chance of clear skies predicted.

The 11-day mission is scheduled to include three spacewalks to store hardware on the outside of the orbiting outpost.

The commander of Atlantis will be Charlie Hobaugh, a colonel in the US marines, and he will be accompanied by five other crew members; pilot Butch Willmore, and mission specialist's Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman, Leland Melvin and Robert Satcher.

They will return to Earth with a seventh crew member, Nicole Stott, who's been living at the space station for nearly three months.

This will be the fifth and last shuttle mission for 2009.

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