A Step Forward for NASA

By: AP
By: AP

The space shuttle Discovery is slowly heading out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

The move had been delayed because a crack was discovered in the foam insulation on the external fuel tank. Officials decided the crack was no reason for concern.

It's the first time a shuttle's been readied for launch since "Columbia" broke apart during its return two years ago. The disaster was blamed on a chunk of foam that fell off during takeoff and ripped a hole in a wing. All seven astronauts died in the disintegration over Texas.

The tank has been extensively redesigned for Discovery's flight.

NASA plans to launch Discovery next month for a mission to the international space station.


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