NASA delays Hubble repair mission due to weather

Other News Materials 8 September 2008 04:00 (UTC +04:00)

( 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 on October 10 instead of October 8 from the Kennedy Space Center 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 on November 10 instead of November 8, as previously planned.

NASA is rushing to finish space station construction and the Hubble repair mission so it can retire the ageing spacecraft by 2010. Russia's Soyuz programme will then be the only launch vehicles traveling to the ISS.