NASA scrubbed space shuttle Endeavour's scheduled launch today after nine lightning strikes were reported near the pad in Florida. Technicians said they found no damage but will need another day to check critical systems. The next launch attempt will be in the early evening tomorrow. Endeavour should have blasted off to the international space station in mid-June but was grounded by potentially dangerous leaks of hydrogen gas.
The shuttle and its crew are set to deliver and install the third and final piece of Japan's $1 billion space station lab, named Kibo, Japanese for hope. The first two sections flew up last year. NASA has until Tuesday or possibly Wednesday to send up Endeavour before making way for the launch of an unmanned Russian supply ship. If that happened, the shuttle flight would be off until late July.