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NASA’s top spaceflight managers announced the latest delay on Friday. They said they need more time to understand the cracking, which cropped up following a failed launch attempt in early November.

Discovery remains on the launchpad, holding a load of equipment for the International Space Station. The launch team plans to conduct a fueling test by month’s end — rigging the external tank with gauges and sensors, then loading it up — in hopes of cracking the elusive crack problem.

Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA’s space operations, said liftoff tentatively is set for around Feb. 3, the opening of the next practical launch window. That will push the final mission of shuttle Endeavour back a full month, into April. A series of unmanned cargo ships from other countries are due to fly to the orbiting lab in the next few months, complicating matters. Also on tap is the arrival of a new station crew in mid-December, via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.


Gunman’s memorial draws hundreds

MENOMINEE | Hundreds of people showed up Sunday for a memorial to a 15-year-old Wisconsin boy who held his social studies class hostage before shooting himself last week, setting aside the terrifying standoff to honor him as a quiet, helpful leader who loved the outdoors.

Sam Hengel’s family held the gathering in a school auditorium in Menominee, Mich., because they expected so many supporters. Menominee lies just across the Menominee River from Marinette, Wis., where Hengel held 26 classmates and his teacher at gunpoint for nearly six hours.

Barb Post of Marinette, Wis., said she didn’t know Hengel’s family, but attended anyway to show support.

“You care about the people and the family, and you understand it could happen to anybody,” Ms. Post said.

The line to greet the teen’s parents and two younger brothers stretched out of the auditorium and into the lobby, where mourners gazed at collages of photos depicting Hengel as a small child, holding a string of fish and paddling along on a canoe trip with his family.

On a table was a message board. Hengel’s brother, Ben, had written “I will always miss you, brother” on it. Next to the board were pin-on buttons emblazoned with Hengel’s face and take-home cards listing symptoms that might indicate suicidal thoughts.


Unabomber land on auction block

LINCOLN | A 1.4-acre parcel of land in western Montana that was once owned by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski is on the market for $69,500.

The listing — by John Pistelak Realty of Lincoln — offers potential buyers a chance to own a piece of “infamous U.S. history.”

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