Posted: Fri, Jun 15, 2001, 11:30 AM ET (1530 GMT)
The crew of the International Space Station was able to complete a test of the station's robotic arm Thursday but encountered other problems during the test. The crew was able to move the Canadarm2 through the maneuvers it will perform when it installs an airlock module to the side of the Unity module during the STS-104 shuttle mission, a test that had been delayed for weeks because of problems with the arm. However, during the test the arm's free end suddenly moved and banged against the side of the Destiny module. No damage was reported to either the arm or the module, and the incident was later explained to tension that had built up on the arm. NASA has yet to make a decision on when to launch STS-104, although the launch will take place no sooner than July 12. Shuttle managers are waiting on reports on the status of Canadarm2 before deciding to roll the shuttle Atlantis out to the launch pad. Atlantis needs to launch before July 18 before stepping aside for the August launch of Discovery on STS-105; in that event Atlantis would not launch until September.