CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- NASA managers said Wednesday that they have cleared shuttle Endeavour for a second launch attempt on Friday, convinced that the spaceship's damaged robot arm will perform as needed during the upcoming space station construction mission.
"There's no further testing that is required for flight," shuttle program manager Ronald Dittemore said during a teleconference.
Engineers in Canada who built the robot arm were able to simulate the damage inflicted on Endeavour's crane when it was struck accidentally by a work platform last week.
The test arm was subjected to three times the forces that the flight unit is expected to undergo when it lifts a 14-ton station truss segment out of the shuttle's payload bay.
"The bottom line is that the (arm) is cleared for flights, and we have no constraints," said Dittemore.
When the shuttle returns to Florida, however, engineers will repair the arm to ensure that it is restored to its original condition, Dittemore added.
Friday's launch attempt will be the second for the shuttle, which is scheduled to spend one week at the International Space Station. The first launch attempt was called off three hours before liftoff when an oxygen leak was detected in the shuttle's crew cabin. During a hunt to find the source of the leak, the shuttle's arm was damaged.
NASA still could face one obstacle totally out of its control: the weather. Early forecasts call for unacceptable conditions at the shuttle's overseas emergency landing sites.
"We can't do anything about that," said Dittemore. "Hopefully Mother Nature smiles on us, and we'll have adequate weather on Friday."