Bad weather has forced NASA to scrub planned launch of the space shuttle Discovery on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

Liftoff had been scheduled for 0235 UTC from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But low clouds forced the liftoff to be delayed for at least 24 hours. NASA did not immediately identify the next for liftoff opportunity.

Launch director Mike Leinbach was quoted as saying NASA gave it the best shot and did not get clear and convincing evidence that the cloud ceiling had cleared.

NASA managers waited until the end of the launch window before deciding to scrub the liftoff. This would have been the first launch attempt at night since before the Columbia disaster in 2003 that killed seven astronauts.

When the shuttle Discovery does go into orbit, its astronauts plan to rewire the space station's power system and install a new section on the orbiting outpost.

Discovery's mission is the third and final shuttle launch of the year.

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