NASA will give the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour another try Monday, after having been repeatedly thwarted by the weather and technical malfunctions.
Monday’s attempt is scheduled for 6:51 p.m. Weather forced the cancellation of launch attempts Saturday and Sunday. And last month, two launch attempts were scrubbed because of a hydrogen leak. On Sunday, lightning and cumulus clouds violated guidelines in case of an emergency landing and sent astronauts back to their quarters for the night. Cumulus clouds are tied to volatile weather such as lightning and tornadoes. On Friday, 11 lightning strikes hit within a half-mile of the launch pad, scratching Saturday’s launch. Endeavour, carrying seven astronauts and a key component for Japan’s Kibo science laboratory, is to head to the International Space Station for a 16-day mission.
Five spacewalks are planned for the crew after the shuttle docks. The Kibo science lab, also called the Japanese Experiment Module, is Japan’s first human space facility, and has been more than 20 years in the making.