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NASA postpones end of U.S. space shuttle program to 2011

07-02-2010 08:40 BJT

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The end of U.S. space shuttle program will be postponed to 2011, U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said Thursday.

The U.S. space agency set November 1 for the launch of space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission, which had been planned for September 16. The shuttle Endeavor mission was rescheduled February 26 instead of late November.

The U.S. space shuttles are expected to retire after the two missions.

"The target dates were adjusted because critical payload hardware for STS-133 will not be ready in time to support the previously planned Sept. 16 launch. With STS-133 moving to November, STS-134 cannot fly as planned, so the next available launch window is in February 2011," it said.

NASA said it will schedule the official launch date for each mission following the agency's Flight Readiness Reviews, which typically occur about two weeks prior to launches. All target launch dates are subject to change.

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Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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