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NASA: Next window for space shuttle launch September 22-25


RUSSIAN MISSION CONTROL (Korolyov), August 9 (RIA Novosti) - The next launch window for space shuttle Atlantis will be September 22-25, a NASA expert told a news conference in Moscow. Phil Cleary said NASA initially considered a window between September 9 and September 25, but after confronting the separation of foam insulation on the shuttle's heat shield, this window narrowed to September 22-25.

According to Cleary, the Discovery mission that ended successfully on Tuesday was a test that opened the road to renewal of the space shuttle program.

The NASA expert praised Russia's assistance to the United States in the maintenance of the International Space Station (ISS) and expressed hope for future cooperation.

Russian Space Agency official Alexander Botvinenko said the space shuttle Discovery brought back components of the Russian Kurs fine-guidance auto-docking system.

"We were sure the Discovery mission would be successful, and we are hoping that the test mission of a space shuttle will open the road to regular shuttle flights," Botvinenko said.

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