Conditions don’t look great for tomorrow’s launch of the space shuttle Atlantis, Space.com reports. The scheduled 2:45 pm ET launch has a 70% chance of being rained out as the southern US continues to feel the cold front that loosed several deadly tornadoes yesterday. If a thunderstorm or thick cloud cover scraps the launch, NASA will try again Friday.
Mission managers said the best scenario would be the lightening of weather conditions just before tomorrow’s launch. "As we all know, weather in Florida changes very rapidly. Things may improve or improve enough to get us the ability to get off the ground,” said one NASA official. Rain can damage a shuttle’s thermal protective shield, making it unable to withstand exiting the atmosphere.