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THE COLUMBIA DISASTER

Launch of Satellite Is Postponed

February 08, 2003|From Reuters

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The launch of a defense communications satellite scheduled for Monday has been postponed, Boeing Co. said Friday.

No new date has been set for the launch of the Delta 4 rocket and the Defense Satellite Communications System satellite. The Air Force, which controls the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is scheduled to begin a number of safety upgrades there that could postpone launches for several weeks.

Boeing said the postponement was unrelated to the space shuttle Columbia disaster. Columbia was launched from Kennedy Space Center on Jan. 16 and disintegrated over Texas on Feb. 1, killing all seven astronauts onboard.

The delay was caused by contamination discovered in the rocket's main engine, the company said.

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