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Shuttle stay at ISS extended, Tito flight likely delayed
Posted: Fri, Apr 27, 2001, 2:51 AM ET (0651 GMT)
STS-100 patch NASA announced late Thursday that it would keep the space shuttle Endeavour docked to the International Space Station for two extra days, a decision that will likely delay Saturday's launch of a Soyuz carrying space tourist Dennis Tito. The station crew and ground controllers were able to get one of three command and control computers on the station working Thursday, but had two fault protection computers in the Unity module shut down, apparently because of a timing synchronization problem. Flight controllers hope to get a second command and control computer up and running by early Friday before turning their attention to the computer failures in Unity. NASA hopes to make up for time lost to the computer failures by keeping Endeavour docked to the station until Monday, two days later than planned. That decision is contingent on Russian approval to delay its launch early Saturday of a Soyuz taxi mission carrying Tito and two Russian cosmonauts: otherwise a traffic jam could develop at the station as the Soyuz passes within a few meters of the shuttle on its approach to dock with the station Monday. If approved, the shuttle crew will return the Raffaello cargo module to the shuttle's cargo bay Friday, and attempt a robotic arm handover of a Spacelab pallet on Saturday.
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