NASA checks for damage after possible lightning

By The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is checking for any damage to space shuttle Atlantis or the launch pad after a lightning strike.

Atlantis is poised to blast off Friday on the very last shuttle flight. Thunderstorms, however, are threatening to keep the spaceship.

On Thursday, heavy rain and storms pelted the Florida launch site. Early in the afternoon, NASA reported a lightning strike within one-third of a mile from the pad. NASA says are no immediate signs of damage, but technicians are checking the electrical systems.

The shuttle has yet to be fueled for its historic mission. And the four astronauts won’t board until Friday.

Launch time on Friday is 11:26 a.m.