Space Shuttle Headed Back to Launch Pad

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (AP) -- Just hours after NASA crews began moving Atlantis indoors, they've stopped at about the halfway point. Instead, the shuttle will go back to the launch pad.

The change of heart comes after forecasters lowered expectations for Tropical Storm Ernesto. NASA says the storm's top winds should be less than first thought, and it'll now be safe to leave Atlantis outside.

Moving the shuttle is no easy task. It takes about 12 hours to gingerly get it from the building to the launch pad.

Had it gone back indoors, it would have meant a delay of more than a week before NASA could try sending it up.

It's not immediately clear when NASA might try for a launch.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)