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04/20/2005 04:56 AM ID: 47544 Permalink   

Shuttle Launch Will be Delayed


The earliest scheduled launch date for the space shuttle Discovery has now been moved back one week, to May 22. NASA is running behind on the training schedule for Discovery's crew, and on the pre-flight preparations of some redesigned equipment.

The launch window would extend until at least June 3, and perhaps as late as June 5, but If Discovery cannot be launched during the May-June opportunity, the next chance would come in July, and the Atlantis' scheduled launch would likely be delayed.

The 12-day mission is aimed at bringing much-needed supplies to the space station, as well as testing the tools and techniques for inspecting the shuttle's protective skin while in orbit and making repairs if necessary.

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