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NASA considers extending STS-114 mission
Posted: Fri, Jul 29, 2005, 9:23 PM ET (0123 GMT)
STS-114: logo (NASA) Facing a potentially extended gap before the next shuttle flight, NASA is considering extending the current STS-114 mission by an extra day. Mission managers said Friday that the extra day would allow the crew more time to perform work at the station, critical since Discovery is the first shuttle to visit the ISS since late 2002. Officials also said they were confident that the standdown of the shuttle program, prompted by the discovery of foam coming off the external tank during Tuesday's launch, may be short-lived, and that the next shuttle mission, STS-121, could launch before the end of the year. While the largest chunk of foam seen coming of the tank missed the shuttle, several smaller pieces may have struck the orbiter during ascent, although none appear to have cased significant damage.
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