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Progress docking problem delays shuttle launch
Posted: Thu, Nov 29, 2001, 9:32 PM ET (0232 GMT)
STS-108 patch The launch of the space shuttle Endeavour has been delayed at least until Friday while engineers study an incident where a Progress spacecraft failed to dock properly with the International Space Station. Endeavour was scheduled to launch on mission STS-108 at 7:41 pm EST Thursday (0041 GMT Friday), but mission managers met early Thursday and elected to delay the launch while engineers continue to study the problem with the Progress, which docked with the station Wednesday but failed to make a hard lock with the station. Russian officials believe that a cable left over from a station EVA may have interfered with the docking, according to AFP. Regulations require that the Progress be securely attached to the station before the shuttle docks, to prevent vibrations from the shuttle docking from knocking the Progress loose or damaging the station. The launch has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday at 7:18 pm EST (0018 GMT Saturday), but that is dependent on what conclusions station officials make about the status of the Progress. SPACE.com reported than an EVA will almost likely be needed to secure the Progress, but the question of when the EVA takes place relative to STS-108 remains open.
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