Top NASA officials outlined a new shuttle launch processing schedule Thursday that sets Aug. 22 as the agency's internal planning date for the first post-Challenger shuttle launch.

But Rear Adm. Richard Truly, a former shuttle astronaut and associate administrator for space flight at NASA headquarters in Washington, told United Press International the new launch target is just that - a planning target - and that Discovery will be cleared for blastoff only when it is safe to fly."We're looking at this only in terms of putting a schedule out for the people at the Kennedy Space Center," he said in a Washington interview.

"I will say again and again, that I just don't care whether we fly in August or September. Whenever we fly, it'll be safe, it will work and people must understand that it's a long program."