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May shuttle mission delayed by ISS problem
Posted: Fri, Mar 22, 2002, 10:32 AM ET (1532 GMT)
Canadarm2 attached to ISS (NASA) A shuttle mission scheduled for launch in early May has been delayed until the end of the month because of a problem with the station's robotic arm. One of seven joints in the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the station isn't working properly, and while software changes can temporarily correct the problem, station officials have decided that the joint should be replaced during the STS-111 shuttle flight. The training required to prepare astronauts to perform an additional spacewalk to carry out the repair will slip the launch of Endeavour from May 6 to May 31. The problem is not expected to delay the next shuttle flight, Atlantis; STS-110 is still tentatively scheduled for April 4. The delay means the current Expedition Four crew on the station, scheduled to return to Earth on Endeavour, will spend several extra weeks in space. With a tentative landing date of June 12, allowing American crewmembers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch to spend 189 days in space, breaking the America record for longest spaceflight set in 1996 by Shannon Lucid by one day.
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