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Space Shuttle launch
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Courtesy of Corel Corporation

Discovery launch is postponed
News story originally written on May 17, 1999

The Space Shuttle Discovery, originally scheduled to launch May 20, 1999, has been postponed at least one week. A recent hail storm causing damage to the fuel tank lead to the change in launch time. A new launch date will be determined this week, the earliest date being May 27th.

Scientists working with the shuttle say the hail storm produced small dents in the foam insulation of the external fuel tank. Ice could possibly form in these dents, causing difficulties after liftoff. The ice crystals could become falling debris, possibly damaging the shuttle or launch pad.

The shuttle will be moved from the launch pad back to the base. Repairs will be made in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL.

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