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U.S. Shuttle Launch Gets Green Light

Nation IN BRIEF : FLORIDA

November 12, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Space shuttle Columbia has been cleared for launch now that engineers have resolved a nagging booster rocket problem, space agency officials said at Cape Canaveral, Fla. Columbia is scheduled to blast off Friday at 11:50 p.m. PST, a week later than planned. The mission had been delayed so engineers could conclude an investigation into the perplexing rocket problem, which cropped up on the last shuttle flight. Space agency officials wanted to determine exactly what caused about 60 gouges in the protective insulation that lined the bell-like nozzle of a solid rocket booster used by shuttle Atlantis in September. During the 16-day mission the astronauts are due to release and later retrieve a pair of science satellites and to make two spacewalks to study space station construction techniques.

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