HOUSTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- NASA officials have set a January date for the next scheduled launch of the shuttle Atlantis, giving workers time to spend the holidays with their families.
"The workforce has stepped up and met every challenge this year," program manager Wayne Hale said Thursday in a release. "Moving the next launch attempt of Atlantis to Jan. 10 will allow as many people as possible to have time with family and friends at the time of year when it means the most. A lot has been asked of them this year and a lot will be asked of them in 2008."
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration had previously said Atlantis would not liftoff before Jan. 2.
The launch date is dependent on the resolution of a problem in a fuel sensor system. The shuttle's planned launches Dec. 6 and Dec. 9 were postponed because of false readings from the part of the system that monitors the liquid hydrogen section of the tank.
Atlantis' main objective during its STS-122 mission to the International Space Station is to install and activate the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory, the agency said.