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Shuttle launch plans announced
Posted: Mon, Aug 5, 2002, 7:41 AM ET (1141 GMT)
STS-112 patch (NASA) NASA officials confirmed plans Friday to reschedule the next three space shuttle missions. Under the new schedule, Atlantis will launch on mission STS-112 to the International Space Station on September 28. That will be followed on November 2 by Endeavour's launch on STS-113, an ISS crew rotation mission. Columbia, which has previously been slated to be the next shuttle to fly, will be pushed back to no earlier that November 29 on STS-107, a non-ISS science mission. Shuttle managers cautioned that Columbia's launch could slip into December or January depending on when the previous two missions fly. NASA also confirmed that they plan to weld cracks found in flow liners in the fuel lines of all four orbiters. Engineers believe the cracks were created by high-cycle fatigue caused by a combination of vibrational, thermal, and acoustical effects.
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