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NASA delays shuttle launch

NASA has delayed the launch of the shuttle Discovery's mission to the International Space Station by more three days to February 22 to test potentially troublesome fuel valves.

The year's first mission had initially been planned for next Thursday, but was already delayed by a week to re-check valves that keep the fuel tank properly pressurized during the 8 1/2-minute climb to orbit.

A small piece of one valve broke off during the last shuttle launch in November.

Although it posed no risk to the ship or its crew, NASA's decision on Friday would allow more time to check what would happen if a larger piece should chip off and lodge in the lines.


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