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Shuttle Endeavour cleared for launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA unanimously approved a Monday morning launch attempt for the space shuttle Endeavour, after reviewing all the repairs for an electrical problem that grounded the next-to-last shuttle flight two weeks ago.

The flight to the International Space Station will be led by commander Mark Kelly, the husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded during a January shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz. She was present for the first launch attempt, and is to be on hand for this one as well.

Mission management team chairman Mike Moses said Saturday he is confident the repairs took care of the electrical short and blown fuse that prevented a string of heaters from turning on during the first launch attempt on April 29. A thermostat with an exposed wire was replaced, as was a switch box with a blown fuse.

“In our minds, we are good to go,” Moses told reporters. Forecasters put the odds of good weather at 70 percent.

President Barack Obama and his family were among those who traveled to Kennedy Space Center last month hoping to see a launch. He won’t return Monday.

“I sure would have liked to have him come back,” Launch director Mike Leinbach said. “We did all that work for him, and now he’s not going to get to see a launch.” It’s possible, he noted, that the president may come for the very last shuttle launch in July.


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Seoul: North Korea committed to U.S. summit, denuclearization

UPDATED: 7:57 p.m.

updated  South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed in the rivals’ surprise meeting to sitting down with President Donald Trump and to a “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” The Korean leaders’ second summit in a month Saturday saw bear hugs and broad smiles, but their quickly arranged meeting appears to highlight a sense of urgency on both sides of the world’s most heavily armed border.