- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009


Space shuttle Atlantis was successfully launched Monday afternoon after low clouds cleared over the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The 11-day mission calls for Commander Charles Hobaugh and five other astronauts to deliver spare parts to the International Space Station before NASA retires the shuttle fleet next year.

Crew members will deliver nearly 30,000 pounds of cargo, including pumps and other spare parts. They will stay through Thanksgiving and conduct three space walks.

NASA plans to launch the final five flights next year.

Atlantis left the launch pad at the scheduled 2:28 p.m. EST departure time amid clouds of white smoke and firing rockets. The booster rockets fell to earth as the manned shuttle headed into outer space.

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