Storms still casting shadow on last shuttle launch

Jul 07, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
The sun rises behind the clouds as fishermen try their luck along the Indian River in Riverfront Park in Titusville, Fla., Thursday, July 7, 2011. Unsettled weather threatens to postpone the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis, on Friday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

(AP) -- Thunderstorms are still threatening to delay NASA's last space shuttle launch, set for Friday.

On the eve of the historic liftoff, a senior manager said Thursday that NASA will try for an on-time launch of Atlantis anyway. That's despite a 70 percent chance would stop the liftoff.

Launch time is 11:26 a.m.

Atlantis and four astronauts will carry a load of supplies to the . Also on board are hundreds of crew patches and pins, as well as thousands of shuttle bookmarks for kids, to commemorate the 30-year program.

At least 750,000 people are expected to jam Cape Canaveral and surrounding towns for the launch. Dozens of astronauts already are in town, including the very first shuttle pilot Robert Crippen. He flew Columbia in 1981.

Explore further: Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

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