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ISS robot arm problems delay next shuttle mission
Posted: Wed, May 30, 2001, 1:58 PM ET (1758 GMT)
STS-104 patch Problems with the new robotic arm on the International Space Station will delay the next shuttle mission until at least early July, NASA officials announced Wednesday morning. Software uploaded to ISS Wednesday failed to correct a problem with the Canadarm2's shoulder joint noticed during tests earlier this month, leading engineers to worry that the problem may be with the joint itself. Glitches with the arm noticed during testing this month had led to speculation that the STS-104 mission might be delayed until after the STS-105 mission, scheduled for later this summer, until the arm problems could be corrected. The arm is required for the STS-104 mission since it will be needed to install the airlock module the shuttle will be carrying, as the shuttle's own robot arm cannot reach the section of the Unity module where the airlock will be attached. For the time being NASA has delayed STS-104 until early July, with a final decision regarding when to launch it to be made on June 11.
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