NASA delays shuttle

NASA Shuttle
The 25th and final flight of shuttle Endeavour will slip 10 days to April 29, clearing the way for the previously scheduled launch of a robotic Russian space freighter and its arrival at the International Space Station.

The high-profile shuttle mission, commanded by the husband of critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, coincidentally will take place the same day as the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

"Somehow I don't think that factored into (shuttle launch date) planning," said Allard Beutel, a spokesman for NASA's Kennedy Space Center. "It is what it is."

Endeavour and six astronauts aim to deliver a $2 billion cosmic ray detector that could shed new light on the origin, evolution and fate of the universe.

There has been a high level of human interest in the mission because Giffords, who was shot in the head during a Jan. 8 assassination attempt, is making a remarkable recovery and hopes to attend the launch.

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