“The weather is a concern, but we have no technical issues”

STS 122 crew insigniaHaving resolved the technical issues with those pesky ECO sensors [pdf file], which delayed the launch from last year, the Space Shuttle Mission STS-122: Atlantis is fuelled and hoping for clear skies to lift the ESA Colombus laboratory to the International Space Station. Launch time set for 1945 GMT. As well as the shuttle’s usual launch blog, and the NASA TV coverage, this time there’s additional coverage via a dedicated Colombus blog. Update Despite the appearance of a thunderstorm near Kennedy Space Center less than an hour before the scheduled lift-off, the weather cleared sufficiently for the launch to go ahead on time. By 7:53 p.m. (GMT) Atlantis was in orbit. Adds NASA TV footage of launch to orbit of STS-122: Atlantis. [heads-up roll approx 6min 30s in]

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