CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The shuttle Challenger, running into delays like its predecessor, will blast off Sunday rather than Saturday because of bad weather in Florida and at an emergency runway in Africa, NASA said today. Aboard will be schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
The delay threw a wrench in the flight schedule and left in doubt when McAuliffe's two long-planned lessons from orbit will be rescheduled for broadcast to classrooms across the nation.
Challenger's blastoff had been scheduled for 1:21 p.m. PST Saturday, but it was delayed until 6:36 a.m. Sunday, primarily because of concern about poor visibility at the emergency field at Dakar, Senegal.
Challenger originally was scheduled to take off Jan. 22, but the shuttle Columbia's many launch delays this month forced delays to Jan. 25. The delay to Sunday is Challenger's fourth.