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NASA delays shuttle launch because of cold
Posted: Wed, Feb 27, 2002, 5:31 PM ET (2231 GMT)
STS-109 patch (NASA) NASA announced Wednesday afternoon that it was delaying Thursday's scheduled launch of the shuttle Columbia by a day because of concerns about cold weather forecast for the morning liftoff. Shuttle managers said that temperatures of 3 degrees C (38 degrees F) forecast for Thursday morning were too low for comfort, and elected to delay the launch a day, when temperatures should be warmer. Launch of mission STS-109 is now scheduled for 6:22 am EST (1122 GMT) Friday, March 1. Engineers are also investigating an issue with bearings in the shuttle's landing gear that were apparently treated at a temperature more than 100 degrees C lower than required. Officials said they were becoming "more comfortable" with the bearings issue, but as of Wednesday afternoon had not concluded that the bearings would be fine. If NASA decided the bearings needed to be replaced, the launch would be delayed for several weeks since the work would have to be done back in the Vehicle Assembly Building.
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