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Endeavour will set out to map the Earth this week.
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Courtesy of NASA

Endeavour Will Map the Earth (Updated!)
News story originally written on February 2, 2000

The Space Shuttle Endeavour will have to wait even longer. NASA scientists found a problem with the shuttle minutes before the launch. The earliest Endeavour will be ready is February 9, 2000.

The mission has been postponed numerous times. The initial launch date was last September, but faulty wiring postponed the launch until this week. The launch was next scheduled for this past Monday, but bad weather prevented liftoff. Now, this critical error has officials wondering if the mission will ever get off the ground.

"We're preparing to go as early as the 9th, but those discussions are ongoing," said Joel Wells, a spokesman at Kennedy Space Center.

The problem occurred in one of the shuttle's Master Events Controllers. These controllers have important tools called avionics boxes, which tell the shuttle's computer to release the booster rockets and fuel tank. During a final health check of the shuttle, one of these boxes failed. NASA has a firm rule not to launch if something may be wrong with a controller. The avionics box will be replaced immediately.

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