Nasa postpones Atlantis launch

Nasa has postponed the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis to Friday after discovering a problem with the shuttle's power system, officials from the space agency have said.

    The shuttle's launch has been plagued by problems

    The latest delay to the shuttle's launch was announced on Wednesday after Nasa discovered that one of the craft's ne of three cells providing electricity had malfunctioned.

    Atlantis had been scheduled for launch from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, on Wednesday.

    Atlantis' mission is to resume construction of the International Space Station, which was stopped after the destruction of shuttle Columbia in 2003.

    Nasa said it would try to launch the shuttle on Friday but said that it might postpone the launch further.

    "I still am hopeful and I certainly believe that there's an opportunity to launch Friday morning," Wayne Hale, the space shuttle program manager, said.

    "We are going to set up for a launch Friday morning but we need to get satisfactory answers to some of our engineering questions."

    "If we cannot prove that we are safe to fly then we won't fly."

    Thursday and Friday are the last days for launch attempts before late October when lighting and other conditions will again be suitable for a flight to the space station.

    Nasa had planned to launch Atlantis and its six-member crew last week, but a lightning strike and a storm triggered a series of postponements.

    The mission has already been delayed more than three years while Nasa recovered from the 2003 Columbia disaster, when seven astronauts died after the shuttle exploded on re-entry.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".