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Space Shuttle Launch Is Set for Sept. 16

September 06, 1996| Reuters

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Space shuttle Atlantis, whose launch was delayed by the approach of Hurricane Fran, will lift off before dawn on Sept. 16, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Thursday.

NASA managers approved Atlantis' return to the launch pad complex early Thursday, one day after the shuttle was forced into its hangar by fears that Fran might strike central Florida. The storm headed north of Florida instead.

The delay extended by two days the stay in space of Shannon Lucid, a U.S. astronaut who has been working aboard the orbiting Russian space station Mir since March. Lucid, a biochemist and 53-year-old mother of three, was originally due home in early August.

The return was previously delayed six weeks because of problems with the shuttle's booster rockets.

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