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Task force delay could affect shuttle launch
Posted: Mon, Apr 4, 2005, 8:24 AM ET (1224 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) A delay in the final report by a task force studying NASA's implementation of post-Columbia recommendations could force the agency to delay next month's launch of the shuttle Discovery. Currently Discovery is slated to lift off on May 15 on mission STS-114; the orbiter was stacked to its external tank and SRBs last week and will be rolled out to the launch pad Monday night. However, last week the Stafford-Covey Return to Flight Task Group postponed a public meeting that was scheduled to be one of its last acts before delivering its final report. In a statement, NASA said the task force delayed its meeting so it could obtain additional data it needed for its deliberations. The delay has raised speculation that NASA could be forced to delay the launch, depending on how much extra time the task force needs and how long NASA will wait between the delivery of the final report, which has been planned for mid-April, and the launch itself. Discovery's launch window runs through June 3; after that, the next launch window opens in July.
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