NASA Begins Launch Countdown for Hubble Mission

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA Friday began the countdown for its final trip to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The astronauts who'll attempt the Hubble repairs arrived at the launch site in Florida after flying in from Houston.

Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to blast off Monday afternoon with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new cameras and replacement equipment for Hubble.

The 19-year-old Hubble hasn't had any visitors for seven years.

Atlantis and its crew were supposed to show up last fall, but the mission was delayed seven months after a key part of the telescope broke.

Shuttle commander Scott Altman said it had been a long road, he and his seven crewmates are ready, and: quote: "Let's launch Atlantis!"

NASA expects good launching weather, but rain in Spain could keep Atlantis on the ground next week.

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