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Shuttle Mission Delayed 5th Time

September 05, 1993| Reuters

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA announced Saturday that it is delaying the shuttle Discovery's mission for a fifth time because of a possible problem with its payload, a $363-million experimental communication satellite.

Five astronauts were supposed to blast off Friday on a mission to deploy the Advanced Communication Technology Satellite. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the mission will be put back at least two days, until next Sunday.

Sources said the space agency wants to double-check transistors on the satellite booster rocket. If they have to be replaced, the launch could be put off for a week or more.

NASA officials said they believe the satellite is working properly, but a special review was ordered to make sure it does not encounter similar problems that plagued the Mars Observer. The Observer, which was supposed to circle and map Mars, has not been heard from since the agency lost contact with it last month.

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