Repairs postpone Discovery launch

2010-10-30 20:16

Cape Canaveral - Work to repair a helium leak in the space shuttle Discovery's steering system will delay its launch on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to Wednesday, officials said on Saturday.

Nasa had hoped to launch Discovery on its final flight on Monday, but discovered a leak in the system the shuttle uses to maneuver while it's in orbit. Managers initially thought repairs would delay the launch by a day, but the work turned out to be more complicated than originally expected, Nasa test director Jeff Spaulding told reporters.

The shuttle is now scheduled to blast off at 19:52 GMT on Wednesday.

Meteorologists forecast a 70% chance that conditions would be suitable for launch.

Discovery will be carrying a storage pod, spare parts and supplies to the space station, a $100bn project of 16 nations that has been under construction since 1998.

The flight is one of Nasa's last to the outpost before its shuttles are retired next year.