Progress Launches with ISS Supplies

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A Russian Progress cargo ship blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Oct. 27 to deliver fresh supplies to the international space station in advance of the Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch, which at press time was slated for no earlier than Nov. 2.

NASA initially cleared Discovery for a Nov. 1 launch after technicians replaced two seals in a leaky fuel line in the shuttle’s orbital maneuvering system (OMS). On Oct. 29, however, NASA managers decided to delay the launch at least one day in order to fix two newly discovered OMS leaks.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour, meanwhile, is slated to launch Feb. 27 on what had been expected to be the final mission of the space shuttle program. The U.S. Congress in September, however, approved an extra shuttle launch tentatively slated for June. NASA has begun planning for that mission, but a formal commitment awaits funding from Congress.