LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA is delaying the launch of an unmanned
spacecraft to the moon.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is designed to scout for
potential astronaut landing sites, was supposed to blast off from
Florida in early December aboard an Atlas rocket. But the launch
was pushed back after NASA agreed to swap with the Air Force, which
will fly a prototype space drone.
A NASA spokesman says the new launch window, which opens
February 27th, relieves schedule pressure and provides more launch
The spacecraft is the first step in NASA's program to send
astronauts back to the moon and beyond. But the agency will miss
the Bush administration's stated goal of exploring the moon with a
robotic spacecraft by 2008. NASA plans to land astronauts on the
moon by 2020.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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