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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA officials have canceled a planned Saturday launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour due to hydrogen leak.
The problem is similar to one the space agency faced in March during the launch countdown of Discovery.
The leak was discovered while the space shuttle was being fueled
Endeavour and its crew of seven are supposed to deliver the final segment of Japan's huge space station lab, along with some spare parts for the orbiting outpost and more than 600 pounds of food for the six men living there.
NASA is up against a tight deadline. Endeavour must lift off by Monday, otherwise the shuttle has to get in line behind a moon-bound spacecraft that's due to rocket away Wednesday. And if the shuttle isn't flying by June 20, it will have to wait until mid-July because of unfavorable sun angles that would make the ship too hot while docked at the international space station
After the leak is assessed, shuttle managers plan to meet Saturday morning to discuss what steps to take next, including targeting a new launch date for Endeavour's STS-127 mission to the International Space Station