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Shuttle Launch Postponed - 2002-05-31


NASA has postponed its Friday's scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour because of poor weather at the Florida launch site. The delay means the American astronauts now living on the international space station will set a new record for longevity in space.

The threat of more thunderstorms ruled out Friday's scheduled launch of Endeavour, already postponed once. Liftoff could now come as early as Saturday provided the forecast improves.

This delay means at least two more days in orbit for American astronauts Daniel Bursch and Carl Walz who, along with their Russian commander, have been living aboard the international space station since December. By the time they return to Earth, they will have broken the U.S. space endurance record of 188 days, set by Shannon Lucid aboard Russia's Mir space station in 1996.

In addition to transferring a new crew to the space station, Endeavour commander Ken Cockrell says astronauts will have a heavy workload. "We've got one of those missions that has almost too much in it to get done, " he said.

Including transferring tons of cargo, conducting three space walks and repairing a faulty joint on the station's robot arm.

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