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NASA again delays last launch of Discovery shuttle

RIA Novosti

06:28 03/11/2010

MOSCOW, November 3 (RIA Novosti) - The latest launch of the Discovery shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS), initially scheduled to take place on Wednesday, was again delayed for at least 24 hours, NASA said.

"The Prelaunch Mission Management Team wants to give engineers more time to look deeply into two electrical issues from a main engine computer controller that cropped up this morning," NASA said on its website.

"Therefore, the launch of space shuttle Discovery on STS-133 has been delayed until at least Thursday," the statement adds.

The problems are thought to originate in a circuit breaker in the shuttle's cockpit.

The mission management team will meet again at 9 pm Moscow time (18:00 GMT) on Wednesday to decide whether the launch should take place on Thursday. The liftoff, if approved, is scheduled for 10.29 pm Moscow time (19:29 GMT).

Following the STS-133 mission, to take Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott to the ISS, Discovery will become the first of the shuttle fleet to retire.

The space shuttle Endeavour has one more flight on the manifest, to take place in February-March 2011. Atlantis may be launched next summer, but not under the Space Shuttle program.

Discovery has flown more missions than any other shuttle, spending 352 days in space. It has finished 38 missions to date, and has made more than 5,600 trips around the Earth. By the end of the STS-133 mission, 180 people will have flown aboard the Discovery.

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