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6th time lucky? Endeavour fueled

AMERICAN space shuttle Endeavour was being readied for a sixth launch attempt at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida yesterday for a mission to deliver the last piece of Japan's research laboratory to the International Space Station.

Meteorologists said there was a 60-percent chance of conditions suitable for liftoff after more than a month of delays due to fuel leaks, lightning strikes and poor weather near the shuttle's launch pad.

Technicians began pumping 1.9 million liters of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the shuttle's fuel tank for a liftoff this morning.

NASA has just today left for launch attempts this week before managers at the United States space agency would reschedule the flight for late July to allow time for a Russian Progress resupply ship to launch and dock at the station.

Endeavour carries a platform for experiments, the final piece of Japan's elaborate three-part laboratory called Kibo. The platform can hold experiments that need to be exposed to the open space environment.

The platform is to be installed during the first of five spacewalks planned during Endeavour's 11-day stay at the station. The spaceship's visit to the orbital outpost was shortened a day after Endeavour's last launch delay on Monday.


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