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ORLANDO, Fla. – The cosmic quest for a parking space has led to a delay in NASA's penultimate shuttle launch, the space agency announced Monday morning.
NASA has targeted the launch of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission for 3:47 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 29 -- a ten-day delay that alleviates a scheduling conflict with a Russian Progress supply vehicle scheduled to launch April 27 and arrive at the station April 29, the space agency said.
The news of the scheduling glitch for NASA's highly publicized final mission for Endeavour was announced on the website The Daily Beast late Sunday.
The craft was due to blast off April 19 for a two-week mission that will include space walks and a docking with the International Space Station.
The robotic Russian vessel cannot dock with the International Space Station while the American shuttle is close by, the sources said. Progress 42 will be delivering supplies to the station. It is unclear from the report why the Russian launch could not be rescheduled.
The Endeavour flight is to be commanded by Captain Mark Kelly, a veteran astronaut and the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is currently recovering in a Houston hospital from an assassination attempt in January.
It will be the penultimate mission for NASA's space shuttle program, which is due for retirement in 2011.
NewsCore contributed to this report.