NASA: Extra Spacewalk to Fix Valve Won't be Needed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Space shuttle Discovery's astronauts won't need to make an extra spacewalk after all.

NASA had been considering a fourth spacewalk to fix a stuck valve at the International Space Station. But Mission Control told the crew early Thursday the repairs could wait. Discovery remains on schedule to depart the space station Saturday. The nitrogen valve failed to open earlier this week after the astronauts put in a new ammonia tank for the space station's cooling system.

Engineers on the ground have determined the space station can operate with the problem for at least a month. Flight controllers will continue trying opening the valve by remote. If that doesn't work, the space station crew may have to make the spacewalking repairs.


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