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NATION : Shuttle Launch Delay Seen

May 08, 1990| From Times Wire Services

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Launch of the shuttle Columbia next week on a Spacelab astronomy mission could be delayed at least five days because of problems with the ship's Freon cooling system, sources said today.

If the problem is confirmed and cannot be fixed at launch pad 39A, the sources said, NASA engineers could be forced to haul the shuttle back to its hangar for repairs, a move that could delay launch of the 36th shuttle mission up to a month.

In either case, Columbia's next flight, a Spacelab life sciences mission planned for late August, is in danger of a delay because of an already-tight launch-processing schedule and an October flight that must go on time to send a probe to Jupiter and the sun.

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