Last NASA trip to Hubble delayed

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Delays in producing space shuttle fuel tanks, which were substantially redesigned after the 2003 Columbia disaster, will postpone NASA's final service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope by a month or longer, agency officials said Thursday.

The shuttle mission was originally scheduled to launch Aug. 28. To fly to Hubble, NASA decided it needed a second shuttle ready to launch as a rescue craft in case the first one became too damaged to return home.

Needing two tanks ready for launch has strained the manufacturing process, resulting in the delay.

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