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NASA delays shuttle launch again

Space Shuttle Endeavour.

WASHINGTON (AFP): The launch of the US space shuttle Endeavour has been delayed for a third time, until at least May 16th, NASA announced Saturday.

"NASA managers met this afternoon and determined space shuttle Endeavour will launch no earlier than Monday, May 16th at 8:56 am EDT," the space agency said.

Technicians will continue to repair and retest the electric circuitry that caused NASA to postpone the launch on April 29 hours before liftoff, it said.

It is supposed to be the US space programme's second-to-last shuttle flight to the International Space Station, followed by Atlantis in June. After that, the 30-year-old US shuttle programme will end.

The glitch has been traced to a power problem in the aft load control assembly-2 (ALCA-2), a box of switches that control electrical flow to heaters that keep fuel lines from freezing in orbit.


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