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NASA finds no shuttle damage after two lightning strikes

By the CNN Wire Staff
Bad weather conditions threaten Atlantis' launch, which will mark the final liftoff in the 30-year-old space shuttle program.
Bad weather conditions threaten Atlantis' launch, which will mark the final liftoff in the 30-year-old space shuttle program.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: NASA finds no damage after lightning strikes
  • Weather looks iffy for Friday morning's scheduled launch
  • Atlantis will be the last shuttle to fly

(CNN) -- Early data shows space shuttle Atlantis, poised for launch Friday, escaped damage from two lightning strikes Thursday afternoon, NASA said.

One bolt emanating from a severe thunderstorm struck a water tower 515 feet from the pad; the second struck the beach nearby, the space agency said in a statement.

Currently, the launch time of 11:26 a.m. Friday remains unchanged, despite only a 30% chance of favorable weather, according to NASA.

Fueling was scheduled to start at 2:01 a.m. Friday. Ahead of that, engineers will determine whether the lightning affected systems, the external tank, main engines or other components.

Atlantis is poised to perform the last mission of the 30-year-old shuttle program.

On board will be a four-person, veteran crew of astronauts, headed to the international space station with a load of supplies.