NASA: Space shuttle Discovery repaired for final launch next week

According to a Monday statement by NASA officials, the Discovery space shuttle has finally been repaired for its last launch into the space next week. The forthcoming window to launch Discovery, which has been marred by delays due to weather and technical glitches, will open on November 30 and close around December 6.

The launch of Discovery, which has been delayed for more than a month, has currently been scheduled for December 3, at 2:52 a. m. EST. The space shuttle, whose launch has already been delayed for over a month, is sitting atop a seaside launch pad, awaiting its final take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

About the hydrogen gas leak that delayed the Discovery's launch, NASA officials have stated that engineers have finished the work related to the plugging of a potentially dangerous leak, by strengthening the cracked metal ribs
- called stringers - on shuttle's gigantic external tank.

With two cracks having been detected on two stringers, near the upper middle part of external tank, the shuttle technicians, last Friday, installed new sections of double-thick metal to restore the cracked areas.

Noting that no other issues have been found, and the technicians are "pretty much done with the overall repair work," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said in an e-mail to SPACE. com: "The stringer cracks were repaired last week and foam was reapplied during the weekend."