- Associated Press - Friday, November 5, 2010

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. (AP) - NASA has called off Friday’s launch attempt for space shuttle Discovery because of a fuel leak.

Hydrogen gas began leaking Friday morning, midway through the fueling process. NASA says it’s the same type of problem that delayed two shuttle missions last year. It’s considered a serious problem because of the flammability of hydrogen gas.

NASA says the next launch attempt will be no earlier than Sunday. It’s possible, though, the flight may be off until December.

If Discovery isn’t flying by Sunday, its trip to the International Space Station will have to wait until the beginning of next month because of unacceptable solar angles.

It’s the final mission for Discovery as NASA closes down the shuttle program.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) _ Space shuttle Discovery has a fuel leak that threatens to delay Friday’s planned launch.

Hydrogen fuel began leaking Friday morning, midway through the fueling process. NASA says it’s the same type of problem that prevented a space shuttle from flying last year. It’s considered a serious problem.

Launch controllers are considering their options as the countdown continues toward a 3:04 p.m. liftoff. The six astronauts have yet to board. The weather, meanwhile, is holding at 70 percent “go.”

Discovery’s final mission is already running four days late because of technical and weather problems. NASA has until Sunday to send the shuttle to the International Space Station. Otherwise, the flight will be off until December because of unacceptable solar angles.

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