The Space Shuttle Atlantis is all set for its final launch scheduledÂ early Friday at 11:26 am. The fuel tank is full and all technical aspects have been completely set and NASA is pretty much ready to launch the last of its shuttle programs. However, because of the unstable weather forecast, there is a 70 percent chance that the launch will be delayed due to rain or thunderstorms. According to NASA spokeswoman Karen Bruning, if the weather condition remains, the launch will be late at the most by five minutes.
At around 7 a.m. on Friday, weather officials from NASA and the astronauts privately held a weather briefing to determine if the weather condition would permit the launch. After one hour, there was still no advice of any cancellation. The heavy rain and thunderstorms were the results of a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service said that the weather condition will last until Sunday.Â As per guidelines, NASA should not allow any space shuttle launch if there is rain or any lightning activities within the area. In this particular launch, officials are also closely monitoring the visibility because itâ€™s important that they are able to see particularly when they will need to turn around. Thousands are waiting to witness this historic launch on Cape Canaveral so that heavy traffic is expected within the vicinity.