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NASA postpones final shuttle missions
Posted: Fri, Jul 2, 2010, 7:31 AM ET (1131 GMT)
STS-132: launch (J. Foust) NASA announced Thursday plans to push back the final two scheduled shuttle missions, meaning that the shuttle program will not be retired until at least early 2011. The agency said that the next shuttle mission, STS-133, will be delayed from mid-September to November 1, while STS-134, the last mission on the current manifest, will be delayed from November to February 26, 2011. NASA had planned to retire the shuttle fleet in 2010, a date first announced by former President Bush in 2004, but said that "critical payload hardware" would not be ready in time for the planned September launch of STS-133. NASA is still weighing a proposal to add one additional shuttle mission, using the "launch on need" hardware needed to support the final planned mission; that additional mission, if approved, would fly in mid-2011.
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