NASA delays Hubble repair missionSeptember 8th, 2008 - 6:41 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Sep 8 (DPA) Uneasy about ongoing tropical storms, the US space agency NASA Sunday announced a two-day delay in launching the Atlantis shuttle mission to repair the Hubble telescope.Atlantis will launch Oct 10 instead of Oct 8 from the Kennedy Space Centre on the Florida Atlantic coast, NASA said.
The mission is complicated because a second shuttle must be ready on the launch pad immediately after Atlantis takes off to serve as a back-up in case of problems with the mission.
Normal shuttle missions to the International Space Station do not require such measures because the station is equipped with rescue capsules.
After the Hubble mission, the shuttle Endeavour will take off Nov 10 instead of Nov 8, as previously planned.
NASA is rushing to finish space station construction and the Hubble repair mission so that it can retire the ageing spacecraft by 2010.
Russia’s Soyuz programme will then be the only launch vehicles travelling to the ISS.