Dec 15, 2007

NASA puts off Atlantis launch to Jan 10

NASA has postponed the launch of Atlantis shuttle until January 10 to let staff spend the festive season with their families, the space agency's website said on Thursday. The launch, which is due to deliver the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station (ISS), has been repeatedly delayed since December 6 over technical problems.

Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center, was quoted as saying: "Moving the next launch attempt of Atlantis to January 10 will allow as many people as possible to have time with family and friends at the time of year when it means the most. A lot has been asked of them this year and a lot will be asked of them in 2008."

The Atlantis crew consists of seven astronauts - commander Stephen Frick, pilot Alan Poindexter, mission specialists Rex Walheim, Leland Melvin and Stanley Love plus European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts, Hans Schlegel from German and French national Leopold Eyharts. Link


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