The launch of Atlantis shuttle to the international space station may be delayed again due to bad weather as a result of the tornadoes and thunderstorms that swept through the US on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

NASA had scheduled the launch of Atlantis for Thursday, 7, at 1:45 p.m. CST but NASA officials said they are not certain about the weather conditions which may prevent the launch of the shuttle.

Seven astronauts will go for an 11-day mission that will deliver the European Space Agency's 10.3-ton Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station.

Efforts to launch the shuttle last year in December were twice unsuccessful due to technical problems with the fuel gauges.

Weather forecasters said today there are prospects of rain, low clouds or lightening which may delay the launch attempt on Thursday.

The shuttle cannot fly through rain since lightening can severely affect its electronic system.

Mission managers will meet on Thursday morning to assess the weather situations, which will determine the possibilities for launching the shuttle.