Space Shuttle Hits Snag With Telescope

<i> Associated Press</i>

NASA today ran into a communications snag with the Astro observatory aboard the space shuttle Columbia as the clock ticked on toward a launch Saturday.

Test director Al Sofge declined to say what might happen if the problem is not resolved soon.

Information was not being received over the communications lines that link Astro’s X-ray telescope with computers in the launch control center. The trouble was discovered after Columbia’s payload doors were closed Wednesday.

The mission has been delayed since May 30, when a launch attempt was called off because of a hydrogen leak during fueling. A month later, similar problems were found with Atlantis, and its classified Pentagon flight was delayed from July to November.