Shuttle Flight Postponed After Damage From Hail

New York Times article on the decision by NASA to postpone next month’s space shuttle launching because of thousands of dings and gouges from a hailstorm.

The hailstorm, which caught the shuttle at the launching pad, caused “the worst damage we have ever seen” to the insulating foam on the shuttle’s external fuel tank, said N. Wayne Hale Jr., the shuttle program manager, in a briefing from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

There were two dozen blemishes on the left wing of the shuttle Atlantis, though preliminary analysis suggests no serious damage.

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