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Friday, July 8, 2011

Atlantis gears up for shuttle program's final mission

Atlantis' journey to the International Space Station will be NASA's 135th and final mission in the space shuttle program, which began 30 years ago. Tune in to CNN's live coverage of the launch Friday, starting at 10 a.m. ET on CNN, CNN.com/Live and the CNN mobileapps. Then check out "CNN Presents: Beyond Atlantis" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
(CNN) -- Atlantis is scheduled to blast off into space Friday for the final mission of NASA's 30-year shuttle program.
The launch is set for 11:26 a.m. ET.
Early data shows the space shuttle escaped damage from two lightning strikes Thursday afternoon, NASA said.
One bolt emanating from a severe thunderstorm struck a water tower 515 feet from the pad; the second struck the beach nearby, the space agency said in a statement.
Saying goodbye to the space shuttle
The launch time remains unchanged, despite only a 30% chance of favorable weather, according to NASA. The agency decided early Friday to proceed with fueling Atlantis.
Onboard will be a four-person, veteran crew of astronauts, headed to the international space station with a load of supplies.

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