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NASA delays launch, probes cracked tank

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA managers – still struggling to figure out what caused cracks in the space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank – decided Wednesday that the shuttle’s final flight will now launch no earlier than Dec. 17.

Officials had been considering an attempt between Dec. 3 and Dec. 6, but wanted more time to complete analysis of the cracked tank.

The new launch window extends from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20 and would put Discovery’s six-person crew at the International Space Station on Christmas Day.

But NASA shuttle program manager John Shannon said Dec. 17 is a “no-earlier-than” date, adding there is still much work to be done to understand why cracks formed on the upper part of the fuel tank.

Discovery’s early-November launch was delayed initially by weather and a hydrogen fuel leak. But while crews were working on that, they found cracks in the giant orange fuel tank. Repairs and inspections were finished over the weekend.


 

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Unapologetic Trump digs in on immigration despite outrage

UPDATED: 4:54 p.m.

An unapologetic President Donald Trump defended his administration’s border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Trump declared the U.S. “will not be a migrant camp” on his watch.