Further delay for final Discovery launch

Jan 07, 2011
This image provided by NASA shows space shuttle Discovery with it's external fuel tank being worked on and examined in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The decision was made Thursday Jan. 6, 2011 to delay the launch and allow the teams additional time and delay the next launch opportunity out of the early February launch window, which opened Feb. 3. New potential launch dates for Discovery’s STS-133 mission and shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 have yet to be determined. (AP Photo/NASA)

NASA said Thursday it had again postponed the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, already pushed back to February, to an undetermined date to allow more time for repairs.

"The decision was made today to allow the teams additional time and delay the next launch opportunity out of the early February launch window," the space agency said in a statement on its website.

Discovery has been plagued by setbacks since its initial launch attempt in November and was moved from its at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to an assembly building on December 22 for evaluation and repairs.

had initially been forced to delay the launch on November 5 when was discovered leaking from the external fuel tank.

During repairs, engineers went on to find small cracks on the metal supports of the tank, with the aging shuttle undergoing X-ray testing before its final .

NASA has said that if, as has happened, the February 3-10 window became impossible, the next available window would be from February 27 to March 3.

Another shuttle, Endeavour, is set to take off in April in what will be the last shuttle launch scheduled for the US program.

One more as yet unscheduled launch could take place in the summer before the entire fleet is retired for good.

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA finds more cracks on Discovery fuel tank

Dec 31, 2010

NASA said Thursday it has found four more small cracks on the metal supports of the shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank, as the aging shuttle undergoes X-ray testing before its final space mission next ...

NASA to test shuttle Discovery repairs Friday

Dec 16, 2010

NASA will run a series of fuel tank tests on the shuttle Discovery Friday to see if repairs have successfully fixed a series of cracks that have thwarted the mission's final run to space.

NASA postpones Discovery launch to mid-December

Nov 24, 2010

NASA on Wednesday postponed until mid-December the launch of the space shuttle Discovery on its last trip to the International Space Station after cracks were found in its external fuel tank.

NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

Oct 17, 2005

NASA engineers say they are closer to resolving the problem of large chunks of foam insulation falling off space shuttle external fuel tanks during launch.

NASA Aims for 4 Shuttle Flights in 2007

Apr 17, 2007

NASA has announced a revised launch schedule for the upcoming Space Shuttle missions. The revised schedule follows a review of repairs to the insulation on the Shuttle's external fuel tank, which was damaged ...

Endeavour Rolls To Launch Pad for November Launch

Oct 23, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Space shuttle Endeavour began moving off Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Thursday morning at 8:28. It will take about seven hours to reposition the shuttle for launch on ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

15 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

20 hours ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0