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Launch Delay
Launch Delay
24 Mar 2004
(Source: Kennedy Space Center)

March 24, 2004

George H. Diller
NASA Kennedy Space Center

LAUNCH DATE: July 30, 2004 NET
LAUNCH WINDOW: 2:17:44 a.m. - 2:17:56 a.m. EDT

A decision has been made to reschedule the launch of NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft - the first designed to orbit the planet Mercury-to no earlier than July 30. The launch opportunity extends until Aug. 13, 2004.

Several factors led to NASA's decision to move the launch from its original May 11 date, including a desire to include more testing of MESSENGER's fault-protection system software. This allows the spacecraft to check its own health and, when necessary, switch between alternative backup systems. This will also create some additional time for the test team to complete final assembly and checkout affording a more comfortable spacecraft processing schedule.

The spacecraft will continue its processing activities at the Astrotech Space Operations facilities near Kennedy Space Center. The stacking of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle at Pad 17-B is being rescheduled for mid-June.

MESSENGER has been built for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

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Last Updated: 25 Mar 2004