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Shuttle cleared for November 29 launch despite wheel concern
Posted: Fri, Nov 16, 2001, 10:32 AM ET (1532 GMT)
STS-108 rollout to pad 39B (NASA/KSC) Shuttle managers decided Thursday to proceed with a November 29 launch of the space shuttle Endeavour despite concerns about wheel corrosion. At a flight readiness review Thursday NASA officials cleared the shuttle for launch on the 29th at 7:44 pm EST (0044 GMT Nov. 30). However, engineers will spend the next two weeks studying a possible problem with corrosion on the landing wheels of the shuttle. Small amounts of rust have been found on bolts on several wheels, although officials don't know if there is corrosion on any of Endeavour's six wheels. Engineers are studying both what is causing the corrosion and whether it could cause the wheels to fail during landing. The wheels on Endeavour cannot be inspected on the launch pad, so any decision to study them could delay the launch of STS-108 by several weeks.
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