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This is a previous Atlantis launch. We may not see another one of these until May.
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Courtesy of NASA

Will the Launch be Delayed?
News story originally written on April 10, 2000

The Space Shuttle Atlantis is on the launch pad, but its April 24, 2000, launch may be delayed. Scientists say there is a problem with the shuttle's rudder. If the repairs can't be made at the pad, they will take Atlantis back to the hangar, delaying the launch for weeks.

"We're hoping if we have to do anything, we can do it at the pad," NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham said.

The mission is scheduled to deliver supplies and replacement parts to the International Space Station. The mission was already delayed when commander James Halsell Jr. twisted his ankle during training.The incident occurred in March, but the commander could not return to the shuttle similator until last week.

"It's no risk to the launch date as long as I'm real conservative and make sure I don't reinjure it," Halsell said Thursday, showing off a lightweight cast under his pant leg.

NASA hopes to know this week if the mission will indeed be postponed.

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