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In brief: Shuttle Atlantis OK’d for takeoff

Sun., Nov. 15, 2009

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA has cleared space shuttle Atlantis for liftoff Monday on a trip to stock up the International Space Station with several years’ worth of spare parts.

Mission managers gave the go-ahead Saturday as forecasters put the odds of good launch weather at 90 percent, about as good as it gets.

Atlantis will deliver nearly 30,000 pounds of pumps, storage tanks, gyroscopes and other spare parts, along with six astronauts who will unload everything.

The goal is to take up as many large parts as possible, to keep the space station running for five to 10 years after the shuttle program ends next fall. Some of the pieces are too big to fit in any other spacecraft.

Only six shuttle missions remain, including this one.

Atlantis will bring back astronaut Nicole Stott, who has been living on the space station since the end of August.

Palin was unaware daughter had sex

New York – Sarah Palin says she didn’t know her daughter Bristol was sexually active before she learned the teenager was pregnant.

The former vice presidential candidate told ABC’s Barbara Walters: “Truthfully, we were devastated.”

Bristol was a high school senior when she gave birth to son Tripp in December.

Her pregnancy was publicly announced just after Sarah Palin accepted John McCain’s invitation to be his running mate.

ABC released that exchange between Walters and Palin on Saturday. Portions of their interview begin airing Tuesday on “Good Morning America” and will be shown at length Friday on “20/20.” Palin is promoting her new book, “Going Rogue.”

Private plane crashes in suburb

San Gabriel, Calif. – One person was killed when a small plane crashed in the heavily populated suburb of San Gabriel northeast of Los Angeles.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed and caught fire shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday, killing the only person on board.

The plane departed from Brackett Field in La Verne about 25 miles east of the crash site and was on a short flight to Van Nuys.

There are no reports of injuries to anyone on the ground and no immediate word of what caused the crash.


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