The U.S. Space Agency NASA is planning to launch its space shuttle Atlantis in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday.

A NASA spokesman said the weather forecast is very favorable for the launch, set for 12:29 pm local time - a time of day before Florida's frequent afternoon thunderstorms.

Atlantis was originally scheduled to launch August 27 on a mission to resume construction of the International Space Station. But that launch was delayed after a lightning strike at the launch pad.

If the National Air and Space Administration is not able to launch Atlantis this week, the mission to the International Space Station likely will be postponed until October.

NASA's plans call for an 11-day mission to the space station, where astronauts will conduct three spacewalks to attach solar panels. The panels eventually will generate one quarter of the station's energy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.