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Third Space Shuttle Delay Due to Weather


Once again, thunderstorms have forced a delay for the launch of the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour.

It is the third evening in a row that NASA has canceled the liftoff due to weather. Monday's postponement comes after two abortive attempts last month because of hydrogen fuel leaks.

The space agency will make its next attempt to get Endeavour into orbit and up to the International Space Station on Wednesday, at 6:03 pm EST/ 2203 GMT. If a launch is not successful in the next few days, flight managers will have to wait until late in the month so Russia can launch a ship carrying supplies to the station.

The seven-member shuttle crew plans to conduct a two-week mission to deliver the final piece of a Japanese laboratory known as Kibo ("Hope").

During a series of spacewalks, astronauts will mount a platform to the outside of the Kibo lab to be used for experiments that need to be exposed to the vacuum of space.

Endeavour will carry astronaut Timothy Kopra to take the place of Japan's Koichi Wakata, who has been on the space station since March. The shuttle's payload also includes batteries and spare parts for the space station.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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