Endeavour's final voyage delayed
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 06:58:13 GMT
The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has postponed its penultimate space shuttle launch because of mechanical problems.
NASA hopes to try again to send space shuttle Endeavour on its final voyage on Monday, reported The Guardian.
US President Barack Obama and his family visited Kennedy Space Center to see the event for themselves.
Endeavour was fuelled and the six astronauts were heading to the launch pad when the countdown was halted about three and a half hours before the liftoff, at 3.47pm local time.
NASA's silver-colored astrovan did a U-turn at the launch control center and returned the crew to quarters.
It would have been the first time in NASA history that a sitting president and his family witnessed a launch.
As a consolation, Obama and his family got an up-close look at Atlantis. It will make the last shuttle flight this summer as NASA winds up the 30-year program and retires the fleet to museums.
Technicians will have to crawl into the shuttle's engine compartment to track a suspected electrical short circuit in a power distribution box.
As many as 700,000 spectators had been expected to visit the area around the launch site.
Endeavour's upcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is the last in its 19-year history.
It will deliver a $2bn physics experiment.
The shuttle -- the youngest in the fleet -- was built to replace Challenger, destroyed during liftoff in 1986, and made its maiden voyage in 1992.