NASA said Tuesday it will try to launch the space shuttle Discovery on Oct. 6 and hopes to end a frustrating lull in flights that has lasted almost half a year.
"This date is a little success-oriented and is dependent on not encountering any unusual problems," said shuttle director Robert Crippen. "But I think the shuttle team has a good chance of making the 6th."Discovery is scheduled to lift off at 5:35 a.m. MDT with five astronauts who will send a European satellite on a five-year journey to study the sun.
Discovery was the last shuttle to fly, when it carried the flawed Hubble Space Telescope into orbit in April.
The shuttle Columbia is grounded until the hydrogen fuel leaks in its engine compartment are pinpointed and repaired, probably late this year or early next year. NASA tried four times in as many months to send Columbia on an astronomy mission.