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14 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The launch of the space shuttle "Discovery" has been delayed until 16 July at the earliest due to a technical problem.
The cancelled blast off on 13 July from Cape Canaveral in Florida was to have been the first space-shuttle launch since the "Columbia" disaster two and a half years ago.
The deputy manager of the U.S. space agency's shuttle program, Wayne Hale, said a problem with a fuel sensor could not be fixed and amounted to a "launch-criteria violation" that forced the delay less than two and a half hours before the planned liftoff.
"We've been working hard to be ready to go and we incurred a problem," Hale said. "It was clearly a launch criteria violation. It took us about five minutes of discussion to confirm that and decide that it was time to try another day."
The planned flight of the seven "Discovery" astronauts to the International Space Station would be the first shuttle mission since "Columbia" disintegrated while returning to Earth in February 2003.
The U.S. space agency says it has added new safety measures to the shuttle program since the disaster.
Space Shuttle Ready To Fly Again