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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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ESA has expressed its disappointment over the rescheduling of the next U.S. space shuttle flight to March of 2006
The European Space Agency (ESA) has expressed its disappointment over the rescheduling of the next U.S. space shuttle flight to March of 2006. "It is a disappointment for us," ESA representative Franco Bonachina said. The postponement "will not have major consequences for the ESA," although it could influence its research, he said. German astronaut Thomas Reiter's trip to the International Space Station (ISS), which had been scheduled for September, will have to be postponed because of the delay. Technically, however, Reiter's long-term mission on the ISS remains possible. The ESA's concerns are linked to the flight carrying the Columbus European Laboratory, in which the agency has invested $1 billion. "The laboratory is ready and will be sent to NASA as soon as possible," Bonacina said. The agency "will do everything possible to ensure that the launch takes place as planned, at the end of 2006," although 2007 would also be an acceptable date, he said
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