The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery was delayed once again, pushing the launch date back to July. The upcoming launch window of May 22nd to June
3rd will be rescheduled to July 12th. STS-114, the "Return to Flight Mission" for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will now launch
Discovery on July 12th. This will more than likely delay the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-121 whose current window dates from July 12th to
July 31st. This cancellation comes after much concern by NASA that falling debris could once again damage the shuttle.
MELBOURNE, Florida (Reuters) -- NASA plans to delay the launch of space shuttle Discovery, the first shuttle set to fly since the 2003 Columbia
accident, from May until July, an official familiar with NASA's timetable said Thursday.
The decision to delay the launch was made by NASA's new administrator, Michael Griffin, and would be formally announced Friday, according to the
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
NASA had targeted May 22 as a launch date for the first shuttle's return to flight. The next possible launch window is from July 13 to 31.
Preparations for Discovery's launch were temporarily halted earlier Thursday while managers debated nagging concerns that debris could damage the
spacecraft during liftoff. The ship was moved to its Florida launch pad three weeks ago.
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It's too bad to hear of yet another setback of an already ailing program. The space shuttles are beautiful aircraft and it will be the begining of
a new era when they are retired. It would be nice to see them fly as many more missions as they can. However, astronauts safety is the top concern
and I believe that NASA is handling this as quickly as humanly possible.
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