KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The long-awaited launching of the Hubble Space Telescope will be delayed from March to April because of a problem with one of the shuttle Discovery's solid fuel booster rockets, NASA officials announced Friday.
The $1.7-billion telescope is expected to become astronomy's most significant tool in expanding knowledge of the universe. It will look seven times more deeply into space and detect objects one-fiftieth as bright as those seen by the best ground-based observatory.
The space agency said shuttle managers decided to exchange one of the motor segments on the right booster rocket because there was a question as to whether a check was done properly. Assembly operations have advanced to the point where the test cannot be repeated.
The launching was scheduled for March 26. Estimates of the delay range from 10 days to two weeks.