NASA delays Hubble mission until next year

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA said Monday it is delaying its shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope until next year because of an unexpected breakdown of the telescope.

Space shuttle Atlantis was scheduled to blast off in just two weeks, carrying seven astronauts on a mission to upgrade the telescope.

But on Saturday night, Hubble stopped sending science data, meaning it is unable to capture and beam down the information for its stunning deep space images. Now NASA must regroup and may send up a replacement part, which would require more training for the astronauts.

The mission is off until at least early next year, possibly February. The astronauts had trained for two years to make a series of upgrades on the 18-year-old telescope.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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