Nasa cancels shuttle launch

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has cancelled Tuesday’s planned Atlantis shuttle launch but put off a decision to return the orbiter to its hangar to protect it from tropical storm Ernesto, a spokesperson said on Monday.

The United States space agency has begun initial preparations to possibly move Atlantis off the launch pad, but a final decision will be taken by midday on Tuesday, said Nasa spokesperson Dean Acosta.

Returning Atlantis to its vehicle-assembly building will rule out any launch attempts this week and will make it difficult for Nasa to meet its goal of launching by September 7.

“Nasa mission managers this morning decided to scrub Tuesday’s scheduled launch attempt of the space shuttle Atlantis,” Acosta said at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida.—AFP

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