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Discovery astronaut injured in bike accident
Posted: Sun, Jan 16, 2011, 8:14 AM ET (1314 GMT)
Kopra, Tim (NASA) A member of next month's shuttle crew was injured in a bicycle accident Saturday, raising concerns about his role on the mission and potentially further delaying it. NASA released few details about the accident involving Tim Kopra, citing medical privacy, other than saying that the veteran astronaut "will be OK". However, CBS News reports that multiple sources said Kopra may have broken his hip. Kopra is the lead spacewalker for the STS-133 shuttle mission, scheduled for launch on February 24, but an injury could affect that schedule. NASA would only say in a statement that "there could be an impact to his duties" on the mission. Since backup crews aren't trained for shuttle missions, there is no one immediately available to take his place, raising the possibility that the mission could be delayed until a replacement is ready or Kopra is cleared to fly. The shuttle mission has been delayed several times since early November, primarily to allow time to investigate and repair cracks found in stringers on the shuttle's external tank.
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