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Atlantis Fuels Up Despite Unfavorable Weather for Shuttle Launch

NASA/Troy Cryder UPDATE: Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on Friday to begin the final mission for NASA's space shuttle program.

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Space shuttle Atlantis began fueling up with over 500,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen early Friday morning in anticipation of its final launch -- the last mission for NASA's space shuttle program.

The space shuttle is scheduled for lift-off at 11:26 a.m. ET.  However, inclement weather could push the launch back to either Saturday or Sunday.  According to NASA, Friday's forecast shows a 30 percent chance of favorable weather.

Up to one million spectators are estimated to be on hand when Atlantis' four-man crew -- Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim -- takes off for a 12-day mission to the International Space Station from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.  The astronauts will carry critical parts and goods to keep the station supplied for the next year.

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