NASA officials have decided to delay the launch of space shuttle Atlantis by 24 hours to give engineers more time to determine whether one of the most powerful lightning strikes ever at a Kennedy Space Center launch pad caused any problems.
The launch, planned for Sunday, now will not happen until at least Monday. It was the first time a lightning strike at the launch pad had caused a shuttle launch delay.
The lightning Friday did not hit the shuttle, but it created a lightning field around the vehicle, NASA managers said.
There was no indication that any system was damaged, but if repairs were needed they would likely take days, not weeks, said Leroy Cain, launch integration manager.
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