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NASA suspends shuttle launches
Posted: Wed, Jul 27, 2005, 11:18 PM ET (0318 GMT)
STS-114: launch (NASA) Shuttle officials announced late Wednesday that they would not launch the shuttle again until they understood why a large chunk of foam fell off the shuttle's external tank during Tuesday's launch of Discovery. The largest piece of foam, estimated at nearly 90 centimeters across, did not strike the shuttle during its ascent. The foam appeared to come off from a ramp on the external tank designed to improve the aerodynamics around external cables. A piece of foam fell of the external tank during Columbia's launch two and a half years ago, causing damage to a wing leading edge panel that caused the shuttle to break apart upon reentry. Managers said that they don't know how long it will take to understand and resolve the problem. The next shuttle mission, STS-121, had been scheduled for launch in September assuming a successful flight by Discovery.
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