CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The next launch of the space shuttle from Florida has been delayed until June, NASA announced Tuesday.
The Atlantis' external fuel tank was hit by hail on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 26. Engineers have been repairing the insulating foam, which was damaged in more than 2,600 spots.
Wayne Hale, director of the space shuttle program, said the shuttle could be rolled out as early as May 6. The launch window lasts from June 8 to July 18.
"What we're doing is letting the work drive the schedule, not the other way around," Hale said.
NASA had been hoping for a May launch.
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