Atlantis Crew Counts Down

Crew assembles in Cape Canaveral for Thursday launch
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 4:20 PM CST
Space shuttle Atlantis commander Stephen Frick, front, speaking to the media, with his crew behind him from back left, European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts of France, mission specialist Stanley...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis arrived in Cape Canaveral yesterday to prepare for their Thursday launch, reports NASA repaired damage to the foam covering the shuttle’s fuel tank over the weekend and said the repair shouldn’t delay the mission, which will add European research module Columbus to the International Space Station.

Shuttle pilot Alan Poindexter thanked engineers and technicians for preparing the shuttle, saying, “It's really their ship and we appreciate them loaning it to us for a couple of weeks." The 11-day mission is expected to include at least three spacewalks to install Columbus, conduct other stations upgrades and repairs, and swap out one space station crew member.