NASA announced today that it has decided on June 8 as the official launch date for the space shuttle Atlantis, for mission STS-117. Barring any weather or technical delays, the shuttle will blast off at 2338 UTC (7:38 pm EDT), beginning its journey to the International Space Station.
Atlantis was originally supposed to launch back in March, but a hailstorm hammered the shuttle’s external fuel tank, requiring repairs. The shuttle was returned to its hanger and the foam insulation was repaired, pushing the launch back several months. This repair time made the tight launch schedule even tighter.
The shuttle will deliver a new set of solar powered wings to the station, increasing its electrical generating capacity. It will also deliver astronaut Clayton Anderson to the station for an extended stay, and return Sunita Williams back to Earth. Williams has been on board the station since December.
Original Source: NASA News Release