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Titan 4 launch delayed as Canadians express concerns
Posted: Sat, Apr 9, 2005, 12:57 PM ET (1657 GMT)
Titan 4B launch (Lockheed Martin file photo) The last launch of a Titan 4 from Cape Canaveral has been delayed several days for technical reasons while Canadian government officials complain that the launch could showed debris on offshore drilling rigs. The Titan 4B, carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite, was scheduled to lift off Sunday night. Late Thursday, though, the Air Force delayed the launch for at least several days because of a problem with ground equipment used to pump propellants into the booster. The delay was announced shortly after Canadian government officials complained to their US counterparts that debris from the vehicle could rain down in the vicinity of drilling rigs off the coast from Newfoundland. At least one oil platform could be temporarily evacuated, even through engineers believe any rocket debris will land at least 25 kilometers from the platform; the evacuation and related shutdown and restart of the platform could cost as much as C$250 million (US$200 million). Although Canadian officials said they appealed to US officials as high-ranking as Vice President Cheney, they do not believe the Air Force will alter the trajectory of the rocket.
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