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NASA puts Mars craft launch on hold

August 11, 2005

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – NASA on Thursday postponed
the launch of its next Mars probe due to a problem with sensors
on the spacecraft’s Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket.

Liftoff of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was rescheduled
for Friday between 7:43 and 9:43 a.m. EDT.

Thursday’s launch was first delayed by overnight rain that
forced the launch team to postpone fueling of the Atlas
booster.

Then, shortly before the end of two-hour launch window, the
flight was canceled for the day to resolve a problem with
sensors in the rocket’s upper-stage booster and software that
controls vehicle fueling, said NASA launch director Chuck
Dovale.

The spacecraft is a sophisticated orbiter scheduled to
arrive at Mars in March for a four-year mission. The orbiter’s
primary goal is to search for signs of past water and scout for
landing sites for future rover missions and eventual human
expeditions.




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