NASA May Revise Last Shuttle Flight Dates

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 23 (UPI) — National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials say they are considering changing the launch dates for the final two space shuttle missions.

NASA program managers said the change would move the launch date for STS-133 from Sept. 16 to Oct. 29 and STS-134 from late November to Feb. 28 to allow additional time to prepare for those missions.

“The change is under review and any changes will be announced at the first of July,” NASA officials said in a statement.

At the Kennedy Space Center, technicians Wednesday were to complete Discovery’s payload pre-mate test. The drag chute door installation and checkout was completed Tuesday night.

Removal of the shuttle’s three main engines was scheduled Thursday, following resolution of an issue with a turbopump in one of the spacecraft’s engines, officials said. The turbopump will be replaced and the engines will be reinstalled.

The astronauts were involved in training exercises this week at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for the STS-133 mission. The crew members worked Wednesday on robotics tasks they will use during their mission to the International Space Station.

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