CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- With a leaky line repaired, NASA fueled space shuttle Atlantis again Monday even though stiff wind threatened to further delay the space station construction mission.
The forecast called for gusts of up to 35 mph at the pad, right at the safety limit for launch.
As the sun rose, NASA began pumping fuel into Atlantis' external tank and expressed confidence that all the plumbing would hold, unlike last week.
NASA kept the 4:39 p.m. launch time a secret until late Sunday afternoon, under a new policy intended to protect the shuttle and its seven astronauts from terrorist attack.
The astronauts' activities Monday also were not being televised live, as usual, because of the new security policy. The crew was not to be seen by the public until reaching the launch pad, under protection by fighter jets and attack helicopters.
The cracked pipe on the pad sent clouds of hydrogen fuel billowing into the air Thursday and forced a four-day delay.
Over the weekend, technicians working 37 feet above the pad welded clamshell-type pipes over the cracked hydrogen vent line, located on the exterior of the Apollo-era launch platform. The crack occurred on a weld in a 16-inch-diameter aluminum pipe, which is believed to be at least 20 years old.
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