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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) _ A space shuttle flight featuring the first Israeli astronaut is off until January because of cracked equipment, NASA said Friday.
Columbia was supposed to take off in July on a scientific research mission with Israel’s Ilan Ramon, but was delayed because of small cracks discovered in fuel-line pipes throughout the fleet. The launch was bumped to late November and then, on Friday, to mid-January.
On Thursday, NASA said the next shuttle launch, by Atlantis, will be no earlier than Oct. 2 because of cracked and damaged bearings in the platform needed to haul the ship to the pad. The mission, to deliver and install new pieces of the international space station, had been targeted for August and then late September.
Endeavour is supposed to fly to the space station in November.
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