Nasa postpones Endeavour launch until 16 May

Endeavour launch
This is the latest in a series of delays since the shuttle's launch on 29 April was scrapped due to problems with its hydraulic systems. After the initial postponement, the agency targeted May 2, then May 8, and now mid-May at the earliest. Nasa managers have got to be worried that each subsequent delay is threatening the space shuttle programme's last ever launch, that of Atlantis, which is currently slated for 28 June.

"Kennedy [Space Center] technicians are continuing work to resolve an issue in a heater circuit associated with Endeavour's hydraulic system that resulted in the [April 29] launch postponement," Nasa said in a release on Friday. "Technicians determined the failure was inside an aft load control assembly, which is a switchbox in the shuttle's aft compartment, and possibly its associated electrical wiring."

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