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NASA: September shuttle launch unlikely
Posted: Fri, Aug 12, 2005, 8:23 AM ET (1223 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) NASA shuttle managers said Thursday that they believed it was unlikely they could launch the shuttle Atlantis next month as the investigation into foam shedding during the last launch continues. Atlantis had been scheduled to launch no earlier than September 22, in a window that closes threee days later. Although NASA said as recently as last Friday that they still believed that a September launch was possible, managers said Thursday that it was increasingly unlikely they could meet that schedule since they have not yet determined what caused foam to fall off the external tank during last month's launch of Discovery. The external tank may require a minor redesign in order to prevent the problem from occurring again, work that would preclude a September launch. If Atlantis does not launch on the STS-121 mission in September, the next launch window, and the last for 2005, is November 7-10.
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